By Jeff Gurwitch
All photos and video clips contained in this article are copyrighted. Jeff Gurwitch and DefenseReview.com (DR) own the copyright on them.
December 16, 2011
Thanks to the folks at Emissive Energy Corp/INFORCE, I recently got my hands on the new Inforce Weapon Mounted Light (WML for short). Up front, I must say I’m impressed! If it was their goal to design a flashlight around the current growing trend in tactical AR (AR-15) rifles right now with slim profile front rails/forend rail tubes/tactical handguards where the C-clamp method of gripping the rifle is being employed, then they are dead on.
The overall specs of the WML have been previously covered here on Defense Review by David Crane, so I’ll give you the cliff notes version. The WML I received has three settings: a high beam, a low beam, and strobe, all of which are controlled by a single pressure button. What really makes this light stand out is the design of the actuation button. When mounted to a rifle, it’s positioned roughly at a 45-degree angle out from the shooter. This angle puts the actuation button right in line with your thumb if you use a C-clamp style grip on the forearm, with your support-hand thumb resting on top. It’s just a slight move to put your thumb on the activation button. The key factor here is that there’s no alteration to your grip to activate the light.
One button multiple modes
As posted in the previous Defense Review article on the WML, there seems be a lot of concern out there with the single button design and the potential for the light to be in the wrong mode when you need to illuminate something. Because all the modes are tied into a single switch, you must cycle through the various modes to get to the one you need. What if you just illuminated an area for a second on high? Does that mean the next time you hit the light it will be in low mode and it will not be sufficient for shooting a target? Well I’m happy to report this is totally not the case. I think the WML designers really did their homework with this weapon light, and with how the single multi-mode button works, specifically.
When shooting targets, I had no trouble going from high output to off between targets and switching from constant high on/off to strobe. One item overlooked in previous online comments on the INFORCE WML tactical weapon light is that it has a momentary-on function that allows you to flash (on high beam) a target or area. Then, if you need to re-illuminate right away, you can do so with no problem. Just press the activation button and maintain pressure on the button like a more traditional push button light. When you let the pressure off, it will go off. And, when you press it again, it’s there for you on high beam. So, the fear of pressing it on once to high beam, then having it set on low beam with the next press is not true. If you follow the instructions included with the light, I think you’ll find it works pretty easily. I will say, though, that it does take a little bit of practice to get used to the single button and the multiple modes. However, after one day at the range, I feel pretty confident that I can use this light now under pressure in a tactical situation if necessary.
I must say the only other light I own with all these same features is not only twice the size but also takes two 123A lithium batteries compared to the WML’s one. Max output is 125 lumens on high beam and 30 lumens on low beam. It also has a IR (Infrared) mode and a strobe setting. I especially like the way in which you switch it to IR from white light mode. The WML has a lever mounted on the side; toggle it one way and its a white light, toggle it the opposite way, and it goes to IR mode. After, playing around with it, I think it’s not only the fastest design out there, but also one of the most practical I’ve seen.
Being a lefty, I have the light mounted on the right side of my rifle. The lever to toggle between IR and white light is within easy reach of my thumb. For a righty with the light mounted oppositely on the left side of the weapon, the lever is within easy reach of both your index and middle finger. Lefty or righty, with the toggle lever on the WML, you can literally switch it back and forth on the fly while keeping your rifle up and mounted. On another white/IR weapon light I own (one that cost me just over $500, by the way), you have to manipulate the lens housing of the light to switch modes. This method does not really allow you to easily switch it on while on the move in the middle of engagements.
I’ve already mentioned the single button design and its 45-degree angle that I think totally lends itself to the forward C-clamp method of holding a rifle. Another plus with their button design is that it’s next to impossible to bump it against something and cause a white light AD (accidental discharge). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen soldiers white-light AD while patrolling blacked out at night using a conventional push-button light where the button sticks out of the back of the light. There’s nothing like having a fellow teammate spotlight the area around you by accident. To counter this (white light AD’s), I’ve seen everything from scope caps put on lights to good old homemade 100-mph tape covers used. With the INFORCE WML, the button does not stick out at all. To activate it, you have to push into the light itself. I’ve tried banging it against my body, knees, and even giving it a few palm strikes to try to turn it on. Unless you push in with something relative in size to a finger on the button, it’s next to impossible to turn on by accident.
You cannot really see it in this picture, but I am running a Magpul AFG (Angled Fore Grip). I’ve also found the WML to work well with the AFG. Because the angled grip supports the C-clamp method, it puts your thumb right where it needs to be to be able to activate the light.
One WML feature that I think is a necessity on any weapon light is the strobe mode. The WML’s strobe mode works well, and is pretty easy to operate with just two quick presses on the activation button. On the other weapon light I own, you have to rotate the tail cap between modes. Like the IR lever, going from constant to momentary beam to strobe mode was pretty easy.
The two final features I really like about the WML are its reasonable price and the mounting bracket on the light itself. The WML costs just under $200.00, so it’s not going to break the bank. Again, I own another weapon light that cost me around $500. You can buy a named brand pistol for that price! Regarding the mounting bracket, the WML uses a spring loaded clamp that locks onto your standard rail. What’s cool about their clamp is it requires no tools to put on/off, and to ensure that it doesn’t un-clip, it has a set screw built into it that you tighten by hand. This takes all the play out of the clamp so it can’t be unclipped or vibrate off. I find it to be a very simple and positive mounting method.
What I Do Not Like
There’s only one thing I find that I don’t like about the INFORCE WML: I did not find it to work well on a carbine length rail. The 45-degree activation button, which I think is one of it’s biggest strengths, unfortunately does not work well on a really short rail with which you do not have a lot of room to work. While I think the WML feels awesome on a long rail like a mid-length, there’s just not enough space on a carbine rail to use the C-clamp grip and light since it lays in-line with your support hand thumb, . No matter where I put it, I could not get my normal grip, even when using a vertical foregrip and mounting it on the opposite side of my support hand and using it like a conventional push button (gripping the vertical grip and using my thumb to operate it). While it does work, I did not find it as positive as a normal push-button light where the button is sticking out (thus making it easy to press). I’m not saying the WML will not work on carbine-length rails and smaller. It does. I just don’t find it to work well for me and my method of holding a rifle.
I just want to mention two items/features on the WML that aren’t negatives, but that I just feel are not needed at all. First is the lock-out lever. Yes, the lockout lever does work well. It does rotate over the button and keeps you from pressing it. However, the way the activation button is designed is kind off overkill. I’m pretty confident in the design of the button that I won’t white light AD. I don’t think I’ll ever need to use the lock-out lever.
The second unnecessary feature on the WML is the low-beam mode. Low beam modes are great for hand-helds, but I do not feel that they have much place on a weapon light at all. The danger with low beams on weapon lights is that shooters have a tendency to think it’s like some sort of a administrative light for searching or looking at maps and stuff. This sometime leads to people pointing their weapons at stuff they shouldn’t be–like fellow shooters, for instance. That’s why I believe that if you need a low beam to search or scan or look at stuff, then bust out a handheld light. In addition, not having a low-beam mode would simplify the WML, making it even easier to operate and more appealing to people who might be worried about the whole single-button multi-function aspect.
The Wrap Up
All in all, I think the Inforce WML tactical weapons light is definitely worth looking at, especially if your style of shooting involves the C-clamp method or other styles where you run your support hand out towards the front of the gun. If you run an MagPul Angled Fore Grip (AFG), you now have one more option over the usual tape switch at the 12-o’clock on the rail. All the modes work well, and the WML’s 45-degree activation button works so well and feels so natural that I won’t be surprised to see it copied by others in the industry.
About the Author (Jeff Gurwitch):
- Joined the U.S. Army in June of 1990 as an infantryman.
Company Contact Info:
EMISSIVE ENERGY CORP. (EEC) / INFORCE
135 Circuit Drive
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Email: [email protected]
INFORCE WML Page: http://www.inforce-mil.com/wml-ir.php
General Website: http://www.inforce-mil.com
Matthew S. Wolfe
VP Military & Government Sales
Email: [email protected]
Michael Strickland (USAF Ret.)
Military & Government Sales Manager
Email: [email protected]
Michael J. Vogel
International Business Development
EMISSIVE ENERGY CORP. (EEC) / INFORCE
Email: [email protected]
© Copyright 2011 DefenseReview.com (DR) and Jeff Gurwitch. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.
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