Review - Surefire X300U-B
Updated: May 6
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. With quality, reliability and a proven status, I had the requirement for a torch for my TM Glock 19. Having spent many days researching and reading reviews, watching YouTube videos and trawling forums, I settled on the X300U-B. Small, lightweight and robust, along with a 1000 lumen output, the X300U-B caught my eye. Marked as white light only it was exactly what I was after.
Herein lies the product description from the website;
Trust The Standard. Popular with law enforcement and military operators around the world, our best-selling WeaponLight now delivers a stunning 1,000 lumens of LED-generated output. Focused by a precision TIR lens, it creates a far-reaching high-intensity beam with a larger center spot that is ideal for close- to medium-range engagements. You can count on the X300U-B to help you positively identify threats at significant distances while temporarily impairing your adversary’s vision. It also provides extensive peripheral illumination for maintaining situational awareness. Ambidextrous switching provides one-finger control of momentary-on or constant-on activation. Its rugged, aerospace aluminium body is Mil-Spec hard anodized for scratch and corrosion resistance and sealed to make it weatherproof. It’s also IPX7 waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes. The X300U-B delivers a standard of excellence you can trust.
High Output - 1,000 lumens High Runtime - 1.25 hours Peak Beam Intensity - 11,300 candela Batteries - Two 123A (incl.) Switching - Ambidextrous push/toggle Length - 3.6 in (9.1 cm)
High Output - 1,000 lumens High Runtime - 1.25 hours Distance - 213 meters
Construction - Aluminium Finish - Mil-Spec Hard Anodized Weight with batteries - 4.1 oz (116 g) Bezel diameter - 1.125 in (2.9 cm) Liquid Ingress Protection - IPX7
NSN - X300U-B - 6230-01-649-7363
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 X300U-B, 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.
Surefire X300 Models
There are a number of X300 models available, however I have highlighted the three prominent variants below, the X300U-A, X300U-B and the X300V. All are subtly different;
X300U-A - this utilises the Rail Lock system as an alternative way of attaching it to a handgun and provides 1000 lumens of white light.
X300U-B - this utilises the clamp system to attach to rails and provides 1000 lumens of white light.
X300V - white light and IR variant using the Rail Lock system and provides 350 lumens of white light or 120 mW of IR light.
The Surefire X300U-B comes in a 19.6 x 11.8 x 4 cm (L x W x H) card box weighing 210 grams in total. The front of the box has a plastic window through which you can see the X300U-B. 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 features Surefire product information and key points about the X300U-B. 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 X300U-A, X300U-B or the X300V.
The X300U-B package contained;
2x Surefire CR123A Batteries
Picatinny crossmember & Retaining pin
Battery warning pamphlet
X300U-B exterior in detail
The X300U-B weighs a mere 121 grams with batteries installed, and 89 grams without a battery. The exterior is manufactured from high grade aerospace aluminium which has further been protected through black Mil-Spec anodizing. This certainly is a lightweight and minimal piece of equipment.
Height 3.4 cm
Width 3.7 cm
Length 9.6 cm
As seen in the images below, the main body is nearly completely featureless to ensure no snagging or sharp edges which might be an issue when mounted. The rounded shape ensures that it snugly fits in the hand when fielding a handgun with the X300U-B fitted.
The X300U-B can be broken down into four parts; tailcap, body, mount and the bezel.
The X300U-B tailcap is designed to be ambidextrous enabling left and right handed shooters from activating the torch. The tailcap features an ABS plastic paddle on each side which are both spring loaded. Pushing the paddle slightly upwards or downwards (when torch is mounted on rail (in image one position below)) enables a 'momentary on' of the torch, releasing your finger turns the torch off. Generally the typical way to enable momentary on of the torch is to set the paddles horizontally (as seen in image 1) and then push the paddle forwards towards the body of the torch. Pushing the paddle firmly upwards or downwards on the tailcap engages the 'constant on' of the torch. The paddles feature protruding plastic ridges which provide some grip even when wearing a pair of gloves.
To replace the batteries via the tailcap, the X300U-B is flipped upside down so the battery insertion images are facing upwards (image two above ). Centrally at the rear there is a small spring loaded release catch that when pressed down releases a catch enabling the tailcap to open, exposing the CR123A batteries inside. The tailcap has an angled rubber seal around the edge providing the X300U-B with its XP7 rating, preventing water from entering the main body of the torch.
Flipping the torch over you can see that the tailcap is held in place with two U shaped clips that fit over a miniature metal rod (image three below). If you rotate the tailcap all of the way around, you can carefully remove the tailcap completely. By itself, the tailcap weighs only 10 grams.
The tailcap can be removed an replaced with either a DG switch or a XT07 switch.
DG Switch - this switch features an arm that runs from the tailcap underneath of the trigger guard reaching back towards the pistol grip. At the end of the switch is a small button which can be used by your gripping hand to momentarily activate the torch. The switch still features the paddles which can be used, meaning there is no loss of functionality.
XT07 Switch - this switch provides the user with a rail mountable switch /pads providing a high level of functionality. The switch still features the paddles which can be used, meaning there is no loss of functionality.
The body houses the double CR123A battery compartment which run parallel to the rail. The exterior of the X300U-B features a number of markings relating to identification of the make and model as well as a battery insertion diagram on the underside of the torch. The top of the torch features a QR code for the product and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) marking. There are no other noticeable features of the body other than its curved design without sharp edges. This design is not only appealing but also functional, meaning there are no lumpy / sharp edges when this torch is placed into the non-dominant / supportive hand when mounted. The body measures 4.9 x 3.7 x 3 cm (L x W x H) and weighs 79 grams.
The mount is integrated into the body and is designed for it to be quickly and easily attached to a handgun or rifle rail without tools. The 11mm thumbscrew is adjustable though is difficult to do so wearing gloves dues to its slimline nature. The X300U-B came fitted with the universal crossmember installed. In simple terms this ensures that the X300U-B can be attached easily to standard rails, however if a tighter fit is required such as for picatinny rails, a separate picatinny crossmember is also included in the contents. The thumbscrew can be removed 95% of the way which is useful, saving losing a screw. Once the screw has been nearly fully undone, the crossmember can be titled and pulled upwards to remove it (images six and seven). When tightening the screw, the crossmember is held firmly in place by the horizontal rail bar.
The bezel fitted to the X300U-B is non removable. It is a standard clear toughened glass lens and is not designed to be rotated or removed. The bezel measures 3.3 x 297 x 2.9 cm (L x W x H).
Fitting the X300U-B to handgun rails
The X300U-B is designed to be fitted to a handgun (can also be fitted to rifle rails) via the mount. The mount enables the user to directly mount the X300U-B to standard Mil-spec 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. Additionally review the Torque Specifications pamphlet included in the contents.
As seen below, fitted to a TM Glock 19, the X300U-B sits snugly against the trigger guard and when the screw is tightened the torch is rock solid with no threat of movement. Further, the bezel does protrude forward of the tip of the barrel which is something to be aware of when drawing / working in confined spaces to reduce potential of damage to the bezel or lens.
From the front and rear of the Glock 19, the almost slimline feature of the X300U-B is barely noticeable. Whilst it does add weight to the front of the Glock it's not uncomfortable.
When fitting a torch to a handgun, it's worth doing research prior to buying a torch to ensure that the holster you already own or are looking to purchase is able to house both the handgun and the torch.
Carrying a TM Glock 19 with a mounted X300U-B, I use the Crye Precision GunClip which I have reviewed previously and can be found here - Review - Crye Precision GunClip. The GunClip for me is lightweight and exactly what's needed to compliment the X300U-B when mounted, enabling a quick snap release to get on target quickly.
Fitting the X300U-B to rifle rails
The X300U-B can be fitted to rifle rails also via the mount. The mount enables the user to directly mount the X300U-B to standard Mil-spec 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. Additionally review the Torque Specifications pamphlet included in the contents. Below, the X300U-B has been mounted at the fore end of the rail on a Seekins Precision 223 a rifle which I've previously looked at - Review EMG Seekins Precision AR-15 SP223.
The X300U-B features a TIR (Total Internal Reflection) lens. In simple terms, this type of lens produces a highly focussed central beam of light that reaches a distance of approx 213m with a larger central spot that's designed for close to medium engagement ranges. The image below from Surefire illustrates the different types of lenses available on their products.
General testing was involved using the X300U-B when fitted to both the TM Glock 19 and the SP223 to give a balanced view of the torch and its handling across different firearms platforms. Weighing in at 121g on the Glock it does add weight to the front end which is noticeable however it does nicely counterbalance the heavy metal magazine used in the Glock. There's no noticeable pull left or right due to its design sitting firmly central so it never felt that the front of the handgun would be pulled to the left or the right. When used on the SP223 the weight was not noticeable at all and again due to near slimline body there was no concern regarding it catching on a sling, bipod or anything in the environment. When switched on the underside of the torch did become hot which is worth noting as it'll likely flare up under a thermal sight and also if you accidentally touch it after it's been running for a period of time, the hot metal can catch you off guard. The integrated mount didn't cause me any concern either as once fitted to the Glock and SP223, with the thumbscrew tightened, the X300U-B really was not going to go anywhere at all.
The X300U-B was further tested in an urban and wooded environment.
Urban environment - operating in an urban environment meant that distances were mostly close range when searching through a building and therefore the emitted light was more than enough to light up nearly an entire room, leaving no place to hide. This is marked in the promotional material as 'situational awareness / visibility'.
Wooded environment - using the X300U-B outside was a huge plus, the range and clarity of light emitted ensured that the light did reach from close to mid ranges. The further distances did illuminate figures and vehicles, however it really excelled at closer ranges. Due to the emitted light close trees / shrubs etc did cause huge shadows which were slightly disorientating to begin with.
I'm currently in the process of producing a video to demonstrate the X300U-B in action in daylight, dusk and dark night hours. I'll also be comparing it when used in both urban and woodland environments.
Thoughts and opinion
A torch as per my previous blogs is 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. The specific requirements I had i.e. I needed a high intensity torch that could fit on my TM Glock 19 provided me with a narrow choice of manufacturer, although my previous experience of Surefire (owning the M300V which was reviewed here - Review - Surefire M300V) as well as knowing their brand was what drove me towards purchasing the X300U-B. The high intensity lumen count comes at a cost of runtime being relatively short, however that is a trade off that I'm willing to make. Although there were slight differences between the X300U-A, X300U-B and X300V, this is where research paid off and really depends on what you want the torch to do. The X300U-A was across most videos known to come loose from its mounting which caused issues. The Surefire X300U-B is adaptable too, being able to be fitted to either a handgun or a rifle which again is another bonus in my eyes.
Surefire is a trusted brand and I've never had problems with any of their products that I've owned before and through the years. Tried and tested, their equipment is my go to for lighting requirements. As a real steel product 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 X300U-B can be repaired or replaced if needed.
If you are after a small package that is high intensity, robust and comes from a reputable brand, then look no further.
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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.