By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
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March 4, 2014
When DefenseReview (DR) stopped by the Mission First Tactical (MFT) booth at SHOT Show 2014, we figured we'd be shown a few new products, since MFT is primarily an AR-15 weapons accessories manufacturer, and we weren't disappointed. We'll start with the MFT TORCH Backup Light/Laser Mount Series, consisting of the MFT TORCH Backup Light White (TBLW), the MFT TORCH Backup Light White/Red (TBLWR), and the MFT TORCH Backup Light IR (Infrared)/Red (TBLIR), which are all small, low-lumen-output dual-LED (Light-Emitting Diode) tactical weaponlights/helmet lights that attach to your weapon's or helmet's MIL-STD-1913 "Picatinny" rail system.
Manfuctured for MFT in the USA by Princeton Tec, the MFT TORCH TBLW's white-light lumen output is 20 lumens, and the MFT TORCH TBLWR's white light lumen is 10 lumens. Neither of those constitutes much light output, and therefore gives us pause with regard to the TORCH's viability as a fighting light that can blind and disorient the bad guy looking at your muzzle. In other words, we wouldn't bank on it. However, 20 lumens (and perhaps even 10 lumens) is probably adequate as a navigation light when things go bump in the night, and will at least allow you to see what you're shooting at.
Now, would we like a MFT TORCH TBLW or MFT TORCH TBLW/R that puts out at least 100-200 lumens of white light as an option? Would we even like 400-600 lumens, if we can get it in a small, lightweight TORCH-like package? Of course we would, but that's probably not realistic. The MFT TBLW/R, MFT TBLW and MFT TBLIR are all VERY small and lightweight at 22 grams, so they add as little weight as possible to the front of your gun, and that's a good thing. They're also well-designed, aesthetically, and pretty inexpensive at $59.99 MSRP.
The MFT TORCH Backup Light/Laser Mount Series weaponlights/helmet lights are thumb-activated (or index finger-activated), and the user can choose between illumation modes by either pressing once or twice in rapid succession or holding the button down for a couple of seconds. Pretty easy. Burn time is 10 hours for the TBLW, and 24 hours for the TBLW/R and TBLIR, respectively.
DR wouldn't mind getting our hands on a TBLW and TBLW/R just to play around with a little bit to see just how well they do in the dark. We're curious as to how many lumens MFT and Princeton Tec can pack into larger TORCH models that are twice the size and weight of the current ones, and how that would look and feel on the end of our gun.
And, speaking of guns, and specfically tactical AR carbines, the gun you see in the photos and embedded video below is a very cool little Arsenal Democracy Reaper 33 .300 8.5" (MERC) tactical AR SBR (Short Barreled Rifle)/sub-carbine that's chambered in 300 AAC Blackout (300BLK) and features an interesting billet upper and lower receiver, a great looking MIL-STD-1913 "Picatinny" rail system, and a nice-looking Kryptek Typhon black combat camouflage gun coating/finish–and MFT tactical AR-15 accessories, of course. Defense Review really liked the look of not only this gun, but the rest of the Arsenal Democracy guns (tactical AR's) we photographed and handled at SHOT Show, as well. Those guys do some nice work, over there, and we really dug the Reaper 33 .300 8.5" (MERC) SBR in particular for dynamic CQB/CQC (Close Quarters Battle/Close Quarters Combat).
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Mission First Tactical AR-15 Rifle/Carbine/SBR Accessories in Kryptek Camouflage Patterns: Camo MFT BATTLELINK Utility Stock (BUS)/Minimalist Stock (BMS) Series, MFT REACT Vertical Grip Series, MFT TORCH Light/Laser Mount Series, MFT Engage Pistol Grip Series and MFT Rail Systems (Video!)
Adams Arms COR (Competition Optic Ready) 16.5″ Ultra Lite AR-15 Upper Receiver/Lightweight Tactical Gas Piston AR Carbine with HiperFire HiperTouch 24C Match Trigger and Diamondhead D-45 (Swing Sights) Integrated Sighting System Flip-Up BUIS for Tactical 3-Gun Competition Shooting (Video!)
Patriot Ordnance Factory POF P308 and P415 (also written P-308 and P-415) Gen-4 Tactical Gas Piston AR Rifle/Carbine/SBR’s with New E2 Extraction (E-Squared Extraction) Chamber that Floats the Fired Case Right Out of the Gun (Video!)
LWRCI SIX8 M6.8-UCIW (Ultra-Compact Individual Weapon) 8.5″ 6.8 SPC Tactical Piston AR-15 SBR/PDW (Short Barreled Rifle/Personal Defense Weapon) and M6.8-A2 Piston AR Carbine with Fully-Ambidextrous Lower Receiver/Ambi Controls (Video!)