Surefire X300 Ultra Review

Surefire X300 Ultra Weapon light Review

By : Opie 

I can remember as a young paratrooper readying to deploy to Afghanistan in 2002 feeling the need to equip my M4 with some sort of light. At the time weaponlights weren’t the standard issue they are today. We all had infrared aiming devices but few people had any sort of white light on their weapons. I had purchased one of Surefire’s 9z Combatlights and was impressed by its brightness, durability and quality of material and design. I bought a low end scope ring and mounted it on the bottom rail of my foreend. My improvised setup served me well for our deployment and at the end of it I was sold on the quality and dependability of the Surefire brand.

SureFire X300 Ultra Review

The X300 Ultra next to its older sibling, the X200

Fast forward a few years to the next career and I was issued a Surefire X200 weaponlight for my department sidearm. After issuing a batch of Surefires my department chose to issue a competitor’s weaponlight due to cost savings. I had the opportunity to “upgrade” to the newer light but stuck with my reliable X200. It has been with me for almost eight years and I’ve developed quite the fondness for it. It is bright, tough and has never failed me. It’s exactly what I expect from a Surefire. I joked with my better half that when I retired I would try to buy my weaponlight back from the department because I’ve been so impressed with it.

SureFire X300 Ultra Review

Recently I saw that Surefire had come out with an upgrade to their newer weaponlights; the X300 Ultra. It is rated at 500 lumen max output with a stated “tactical run-time” of 1.5 hours. Tactical runtime is defined “runtime until output drops below 50 lumens.” Keep that in mind, we’ll come back to that.

SureFire X300 Ultra Review

Already having a high output handheld light, I liked the idea of upgrading the output of my pistol mounted light so I ordered the X300 Ultra. I anxiously awaited the box and wasn’t disappointed when it arrived. I was lucky enough to get it two days before my yearly nighttime qualification so I had time to practice holstering and reholstering it as well as activating the ambi-dextrous switch that was a direct carryover from my X200.

SureFire X300 Ultra Review

SureFire X300 Ultra Review

Some of the initial things I noticed about the X300 Ultra was that the universal adapter plate that locks into my Glock 19’s light-rail was a much snugger fit than the one that is on my X200. I don’t know if the X200 was that tight when I was first issued it but I don’t remember it as such. If your gun doesn’t run a universal rail like the Glock’s the X300 also comes with a picatinny adapter plate that can be installed instead. In light of the snug fit the lockup is more than positive. While I never had my X200 come loose in the years I had it, I am confident my X300 will repeat that feat.

SureFire X300 Ultra Review

There is a lot of concern over the X300 not fitting a holster that will work with the X200 series of lights due to its being slightly longer. I know this is the case with some custom molded kydex holsters. I am happy to report that it fit just fine in my Safariland 6365 which features both the rotating hood and ALS retention.

SureFire X300 Ultra Review

As for power, it runs on (2) – 123A lithium batteries which is standard for most of the weaponlights out there.

 

SureFire X200 and X300 Ultra Comparison

The X200 (Left) and the X300 (right)

The brightness of this light is impressive. As you can see in the picture the X300 Ultra is significantly brighter than the X200. The throw (distant light) is markedly longer but the biggest difference was how much spill (diffuse up-close light) there was. Some people gripe that 500 lumens are too bright and if you use it indoors you’re going to blind yourself. Maybe, but using it in my house I found that an activation from one side of a room lit up the hole room with no sweeping. I can’t say the same for the X200 and its narrower, dimmer beam. As soon as you activate the light you’ve given your position away – wouldn’t you rather see as much as you can with that light activation?

SureFire X300 Ultra Review

Now earlier I mentioned that the tactical runtime as being the measure until the light drops to 50 lumens. Doing a little research I found that my X200 was rated at 60 lumens, max output. Think about that – the runtime is measured to just below the point the prior generation was at PEAK.

SureFire X300 Ultra Review

So now I’m torn. My loyalty to my issued light is rapidly fading in the blinding light of its brighter younger brother. I’m happy with the years of service I’ve gotten from it, but I know the X300 Ultra will be with me for the next eight years and likely beyond. 

SureFire X300 Ultra Review

Where to find it:

Surefire:  http://www.surefire.com/illumination/weaponlights/handgun.html

Amazon: Surefire X300 Ultra on Amazon