LONG DISTANCE SHOOTING LIGHTS
My quest for a rifle mounted flashlight that can be used at long distance is getting close to the finish line.
I have acquired torches, put together others and even invented one to get me close to what is my goal of having the most efficient rifle mounted flashlight for my intended purpose, which is coyote hunting.
Now, getting a rifle mounted light to reach 150 yards is no easy accomplishment. Of course it also depends on the power-and-light gathering ability of the scope that is mounted on your rifle. The quality and diameter of the front lens and optics in general really help in taking advantage of the light output of the flashlight.
My Surefire M-4 really works well at shots at coyotes under the 150 yards limit when it is coupled with my Leupold Vary X III 3 ½ by 10x scope with the Illuminated reticle.
I had this combination moved from rifle to rifle until now it resides in a Remington 700 in .223 caliber that is racked next to the kitchen door in the country house.
The big Surefire turbo head in the M-4 can do the job, but when I was confronted with the need to put a far reaching light in my Mini-14, I wanted to do it in a less expensive way, for both scope and light.
I tried under the rifle my Bear Cub (made in the Maglite 2 C host, 9 inches long 13 oz weight) which is as heavy and as long as the Surefire M-4 is.
The Bear Cub can reach even father than the M-4 and outputs 181 lumens. Of course the better throw is accomplished because the head is 2” in diameter (close to the diameter of the M-4) and the reflector is smooth.
But the problem is that it is not as easy to mount as the M-4 which sports the 1" body diameter.
For the Bear Cub I used a Pelican Lite-Saddle mount that fit on the fore arm but that mount is now out of print.
I also converted my old Surefire 9P to run with Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries; of course now it is longer because I had to use an extension to accommodate the two 17mm by 67 mm Li Ion cells.
I use the P-91 lamp on it for the 200 lumens, but due to the stippled reflector of this lamp and the normal Surefire head, the throw is curtailed considerably.
I will say that probably with a good scope, about 80 yards shots are possible with this combination
Browsing thru the Cabela’s catalogue, I find a Cabela’s light that is a 12 volt system, uses four 123’s batteries and even has a medium-sized turbo head as an option.
Such Cabela’s light is not other that one of the DiGilight offering, I bought this to try it out and I am really please with the results.
The purchase was made easy as I had the required amount of points in my Cabela’s Club card, so it actually cost me nothing.
The G&P pressure remote switch really works well on this light, I also bought the accessory bigger head to gain some distance.
The light is rated at 240 lumens and it looks right to me in comparison with other lights.
The body is one inch so is not a problem to use any of the inexpensive scope rings of that diameter. I use the Leupold Quick Detach Weaver style because I really like its solidity and prefer the lever of the Leupold to the knurled round nut of the Weaver mount.
With this light and a good scope perhaps I can hit a coyote out to 120 yards, people who hunt hogs at night can maybe extend the range a bit.
The question of how to mount these lights in a sporting rifle is answered by a length of Picatiny rail; available from Bravo Company, it can be screwed to any plastic or wooden stock or in the case that you don’t want to mar the finish of the gun with screw holes it can be even attached with Velcro and stabilized with rubber bands.
My Surefire M-4 has handled very well the recoil of a 30-06 so far. I don’t know if the DiGilight will do the same, but in my case as I am into coyote shooting I use the smaller .223 caliber and don’t have a reason to try out the Cabela’s light in the 30-06.
For people that need a light to shoot at shorter distances or bigger targets, the Surefires of 3 cells like the 9 P (with the Z-32 shock absorbing bezel) will do. Even the 6 P can be used if the shock absorbing bezel is provided.
Another light that can reach close to 80 yards and works with only two 123’s is the TACM III that have a smooth reflector and is of bigger diameter than the Surefires’ reflectors.
I have a few under shotgun and rifles and have resisted very well the shooting that I have done for years, as I only used these lights to illuminate something that I am shooting at, I am still in the originals lamps.
The Cabela’s light is not as far reaching as the Surefire M-4 but it does a commendable job of putting a good enough amount of light at the target.
Until I come up with a steel mount for the Bear Cub, these two lights, the M-4 and the Cabela’s light will be my far reaching lights under the rifle.
If you need more distance than that only the MAG 951 flashlight can reach 250 yards in shoots at coyotes, but that is a heavy (1 lb.13 oz ) and long (12 ½ “) torch and can be adapted only with the Pelican Little-Saddle.
More distance than that and you will have to go to the specialty varmint lights that goes on top of your scope and have big reflectors and wear the battery on your belt.
If any member of the Forum is aware of any other light that can throw a long way when mounted under the rifle, I will like to hear of it, for me it is desirable a turbo head, because they surely give you more range, but cost is important too, otherwise is money is no object it is hard to beat the M-4.
Easy of mounting is necessary, as I can not use in a sporting rifle my Surefire M-6 for lack of a proper mount for that fat body.