Review - Surefire M300V
Updated: Jan 20
History of Surefire
Surefire began in 1969 with the focus on laser technology, specifically for laser mounted solutions for firearms. Going from strength to strength their products appeared in use by LAPDs' SWAT at the 1984 Olympics and have featured in multiple films providing the ultimate solution. In tandem with lasers, the company also focussed on mounted torches to boost sales and enhance existing laser capabilities. Providing equipment to Military, Law Enforcement and civilians, their reputation and quality helps to place them at the forefront of the tactical market.
For more info - visit Surefire website.
Surefire are one of the worlds best and most respected light and laser manufacturers. Their products are used across the globe by LEO (Law Enforcement Officers) and military personnel from a variety of countries. It was no surprise that Surefire products would appear in use by Bravo. A torch is one essential piece of equipment that the team use and they're generally fixed to their 416 rifles throughout the seasons. Lightweight, easy to use, reliable and outputting high lumens, in the darkest underground tunnels to the catacomb like structures of buildings, they help to illuminate the darkest corner and identify threats quickly. The team utilise the Surefire M300C Scout Light (generally fixed to 416 rifles) and the Surefire M600U Scout Light (fixed to marksmen rifles) which are both identifiable by the wave shaped turret of the KE1 / KE2 bezels. Although the M300C is only capable of white light and is simplistic (as a torch needs to be), it's 500 lumen output is double that of the M300V at 250 lumens. The team favour the Unity Tactical left wing adapters as their torch mounting positions and generally use only the push button function for simplicity instead of a pressure pad.
Engagement distances were most likely for me to be short > medium and therefore a high output light reaching further whilst better with white light wasn't necessary. Wanting to maximise IR capabilities and to futureproof the SEAL Team loadout, I chose the M300V with the ability to switch between White light and IR which would be beneficial in a number of scenarios and environments, especially when coupled with NVDs (Night Vision Devices).
Herein lies the product description from the website;
Trust The Gatekeeper. The M300V is the gatekeeper in our line of multi-spectrum Scout Lights. Powered by a single 123A lithium battery, it produces 250 lumens of brilliant white light or 100 mW of invisible infrared illumination for use with night vision devices — with no need for IR filters or spare lamps. To switch between white light, disable, and infrared modes you simply twist the front knurled portion of the bezel. In either mode, the M300V's TIR lens produces a tight beam suited for close- to medium-range applications. The M300V comes with a momentary /constant-on push-button tailcap switch. It clamps solidly to any rifle equipped with a Picatinny rail via its integral M75 thumbscrew mount. Constructed of high-strength aerospace aluminum with Mil-Spec hard anodizing for superior toughness and corrosion resistance, it’s a battle-proven design, built to withstand the rigors of combat.
High Output (White) 250 lumens High runtime (White) 1.5 hours IR Output 100 milliWatts / 860 nm IR runtime 6 hours Distance 190 meters
Body construction Aluminum Finish Mil-Spec Hard Anodized Bezel diameter 1.06 in (2.7 cm)
Liquid Ingress Protection IPX7
What does it actually mean?
IPX7 - this is the International Protection regarding protection of equipment from water, dust, electromagnetic interference etc. Further details for IP can be found on Wikipedia. For the M300V, the code stands for;
IP - International Protection.
X - no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to this criteria.
7 - immersion proof up to 1m (3'3") or more. Test duration 30 minutes.
One of the key points around Surefire products is their compatibility across the range of models that they manufacture. The chart below demonstrates how the model numbers are generated i.e. M300V which is comprised of parts selected from; the body, mount, tailcap and bezel sections.
The Surefire M300V comes in a 20.5 x 12 x 4.7 cm (L x W x H) card box weighing 219 grams in total. The front of the box has a plastic window through which you can see the M300V. The front further bears the Surefire name and logo with the torch model in bold at the bottom. The left and right supports on either side of the window show basic technical information. The left hand side of the box bears light output and runtime information. The right hand side of the box again has printed technical specifications and Surefire advertising. The rear of the box has a fold out card page secured in place via a circular velcro patch. The exterior of the page is further Surefire advertising and the company ethos. The interior of the page houses Scout Light series accessories including; switches, mounts and tailcaps. The bottom of the box has the standard California 65 warning and the product barcode and identifier.
The interior is basic, containing a removable plastic tray insert split in two; base tray and upper cover. The interior base tray is designed to enable it to house either the M300 or M600 torch (3.5cm difference). Behind the tray is a small double page Surefire product pamphlet advertising further products. In addition to this, a Surefire sticker was included as well as the all important operators manual.
M300V exterior in detail
The M300V with battery installed weighs a mere 112 grams (with battery installed), and 95 grams without a battery. The exterior is manufactured from high grade aerospace aluminium which has further been protected through black Mil-Spec anodizing. The M300V is compact measuring 10.4 x 2.7 x 2.7 cm (L x W x H) (measurements do not include the M75 mount).
The Z68 tailcap features a silicon coated button which can be pressed either lightly to enable the torch to emit light momentarily or it can be fully pressed in until it clicks, at which point the torch will then be constantly on. Around the button is a 5mm raised guard that helps to prevent the button accidentally being pressed. Like the rest of the M300V it's high grade aluminium and anodized. The circular holes on the guard can be used as attachment points through which bungee cord or paracord can be threaded and used to hang the torch around the neck etc. The only distinguishing mark is the marking for 'www.surefire.com'. The Z68 tailcap measures 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm (L x W x H) and weighs 14 grams.
The body houses the CR123A battery compartment, and has O rings at both ends which aids in sealing the unit preventing dust or water ingress. (Over time depending on usage, it is worth replacing the O rings to maintain the seals). The tailcap is attached at the rear of the torch (right hand side in 1st image) and the bezel is attached at the front (left hand side in 1st image). To change the battery (it's recommended that only genuine manufacturer batteries are used, rechargeable batteries can cause damage if used), only the bezel needs to be removed allowing access to the battery compartment. Of note is that the battery cannot be inserted or removed from the tailcap end due to the inside of the compartment being a smaller circumference than that of the battery. The body measures 5.1 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm (L x W x H) and weighs 18 grams.
The M75 mount enables it to be quickly attached to a rifles rails, and the large 15mm thumbscrew is adjustable even with thick gloves on, or it can be separated if required. The M75 is fixed to the M300V body via 2x torx (T-08) screws which can be undone allowing the mount to be removed completely. The M75 in standard form enables the torch to be mounted directly onto Military Standard 1913 Picatinny rails. Of note is that one half of the mount appears to have a blue tint to it. The thumbscrew cannot be completely removed when unscrewed, thus ensuring that you don't lose it if unwinding it too far. The M75 weighs 25 grams.
KM1-E bezel 38
The bezel is where the M300V is really unique. Other torches (including Surefire ones) could be dual purpose i.e. emit white or IR light, however previously the bezel would need to be swapped for an IR specific bezel or have an IR filter attached or a lamp changed. With the M300V, the torch comes with the ability to utilise both white and IR light through the tempered glass. The bezel comes in two parts; fixed and rotational. The fixed part, other than housing the white dot (to show the user what mode the torch is set to) is purely used to attach the bezel to the body. The rotational part identifies the 3 modes; OFF, WH, IR. It also bears the markings KM1-E (part number) and A34701. The bezel measures 4.5 x 2.7 x 2.7 cm (L x W x H) and weighs 38 grams.
The ability to quickly and easily take the M300V apart is of benefit allowing it to be reconfigured for the mission ahead. This further provides the advantage of keeping the parts clean and modular proving it is again, another adaptable piece of equipment.
The M300V has 3 modes available; White Light (WH), Off and IR (Infra-red). The rotational part of the bezel has these marked on it and there is also a white dot on the fixed part of the bezel that denotes which mode the torch is currently in. To change mode, gently pull the bezel away from the body and twist it either left or right. An audible click can be heard when the rotation is complete and the mode is 'locked in'. There is certainly no worry of the bezel being twisted or knocked into a different mode as it requires the dual movement of pull and twist.
Fitting the M300V to rifle rails (direct)
The M300V is designed to be fitted to a rifle (can also fit to handgun although it does overbalance the front end) via the M75 mount. The M75 mount enables the user to directly mount the M300V to standard Mil-spec Picatinny rails. It's advised that the mount is screwed on until finger tight and then a flathead screwdriver used to turn the thumbscrew an additional 1/4 of a turn to ensure it's secure.
Fitting the M300V to an adapter (in-direct)
The Surefire comes with the M75 mount already attached. If required, the mount can be removed, by using a Torx tool to remove the 2x torx (T-08) screws holding the mount in place. The mounting fittings on the underside of the Surefire body (2x screw holes) can then be used to attach the body to a fitting such as the Unity Tactical left wing adapter. The M300V does not come with any screws to attach the torch to an adapter, as the adapter should come with additional screws to use.
The M300V features a TIR (Total Internal Reflection) lens. In simple terms, this type of lens produces a highly focussed central beam of light with little 'spill' either side of it meaning it creates at distance a smaller circle of light. The image below from Surefire illustrates the different types of lenses available on their products.
Thoughts and opinion
Torches are an essential piece of equipment that should be at the very least be carried whilst deployed in case they're required for searching, signalling etc. Thought needs to be given around the operators requirements i.e. is it purely white light required or dual purpose i.e. white light for illumination and IR for night ops? Runtime is also important to note. The larger Surefire models take larger batteries and run for longer but that increases the weight slightly. All of these subtle differences add up and it's important that research is undertaken and time is spent reading reviews and watching Youtube reviews.
The Surefire M300V is a fantastic little torch that certainly gives bang for a buck. The high output and dual capabilities (WH or IR) in my opinion massively outdo the standard M300C with just WH. The light weight also ensures that the front of the rifle is not overbalanced and even when carried in a pocket it's barely noticeable.
You can buy cheap and you can buy clone, but as with all real steel products you get the assurance that they're reliable, built from quality materials and not likely to break or damage easily. Surefire additionally has a lifetime no-hassle guarantee for their products (covering damage / failure etc - outside of normal usage) and therefore the money spent is justified to ensure that the M300V can be repaired or replaced if needed.
I'd certainly recommend the Surefire M300V to those wanting to utilise WH and IR especially if you're using NVDs (Night Vision Devices) or others are / do in your unit. If IR is not required, the standard M300C will suffice. The Surefire torches are an awesome addition to the equipment list and I'm looking forward to using it on the range in the near future. As with my previous V-Lite review, I will be producing a video to demonstrate the M300V in action in daylight, dusk and dark night hours. I'll also be comparing it when used in both urban and woodland environments.
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I am not paid for my blogs by the manufacturers or companies that I purchase my items from. I am not offered freebies to promote a product. These blogs are purely written from my own experience in truth to help advise and inform others who may wish to purchase the items or understand more about them. If I am sent a freebie to review this will be stated at the beginning to make you aware.