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I picked up a Surefire X300 Ultra from ebay for my M4. Prior to this, I had an HSP edition Inforce WML for a short time. At 200 lumens, the WML didn’t quite pack the punch of my Klarus XT11 but it was small and light – which the Klarus was not. In addition, I didn’t get on with the WML’s ergonomics and its activation pad/switch, so that went to a better home.

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Now, not everyone agrees that brighter is better and there are also all sorts of arguments about hot spots, throw and spill if you look into opinions about tactical lights. I get on better with a brighter light, but for some the backwash is too glaring for their applications (indoors). So, it’s not a case of measuring dicks in lumens.

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I knew I wanted an ‘honest’ lumen value of around 500. When I say honest, I mean a light with an output which matched the manufacturers claims. Reading candlepowerforums you soon realise that Surefire is as well regarded in this area as it is in terms of the quality and robustness of its product.

The X300-U’s form factor also spoke to me. Small, light, highly robust and I liked the ergonomics of the activation controls. I was lucky enough to try out my friend Lyle’s X300-U some months ago and found the momentary-on function particularly easy to control with my support hand.

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Rather than the usual tail cap button activation, the X300-U exhibits a paddle on each side of the rear of the unit. In the off position, the paddles are arranged at the 3 O’clock and 9 O’clock positions. By toggling either paddle up or down, the light activates constant on. Toggling back to the level 3/9 position switches the light off. However, with the paddles in the off position, momentary on is achieved simply by prodding one of the paddles towards the unit. So, the paddles work like buttons, but are shaped like levers. I find this shape easier to activate with my thumb, while wearing gloves.

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Battery fitment is straightforward. The light control area hinges like a trap door, when the catch on top of the unit is depressed. Surefire includes a clip which prevents the catch from being depressed accidentally. This is optional, but I’ll be fitting mine as it’s a good idea and it looks cool.

The light ships in QD universal rail mode. To switch this to QD RIS mode is a five minute job with supplied parts. The other option is Rail-Lock, which is more secure. I haven’t decided which system to use, yet. I will be using a Gear Sector X-Series 45 degree mount, which I suppose could stay bolted to the gun while the light is added when required.

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More words and pics when I’ve fitted the X300-U. At this point, after skirting over Surefire’s commitment to quality and innovation, I am extremely impressed. I can see where the money goes, now.