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Thread: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

  1. #1

    Shrug Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    I ask this because I recently found out that there is no pressure switch made for the Quark Turbo X that I recently bought, and that means I can't mount the thing. After I received it I thought it would be great on my rifle, so I looked into it.

    No go says 4Sevens because they say the recoil will damage the light/batteries.

    Is this a problem that guys were having, or is their fix in the battery compartment a solution in search of a problem? Are all SF lights that are frequently mounted on the AR15 platform made differently to withstand sustained recoil?

    Thanks guys.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic mattevt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0311Hoosier View Post
    I ask this because I recently found out that there is no pressure switch made for the Quark Turbo X that I recently bought, and that means I can't mount the thing. After I received it I thought it would be great on my rifle, so I looked into it.

    No go says 4Sevens because they say the recoil will damage the light/batteries.

    Is this a problem that guys were having, or is their fix in the battery compartment a solution in search of a problem? Are all SF lights that are frequently mounted on the AR15 platform made differently to withstand sustained recoil?

    Thanks guys.
    I don't know much about this subject, but i guess it would depend on the type of rifle you are using. Gear reviewer "nutnfancy" on youtube mounted a Q Turbo on a few guns and it appeared to turn out OK.

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    Default

    The SF lights that are usually mounted to have heavy springs in the tailcap and the back of the LA so the batteries "float" and can jostle back and forth without smashing into anything solid. Plus, they also offer shock isolated bezels for use on weapons.

    You *might* get away with another light not designed for it on a weapon, or you might put it on and kill it right away.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Speaking of Fenix, there are models specifically designed to withstand a repeated recoil of a rifle (for instance TK15). Not every flashlight is capable of this. I don't know about 4Sevens.

    Cheers,

    Tam

  5. #5

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    The lights themselves will not get damaged. What will get damaged is the batteries within.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Quote Originally Posted by chanjyj View Post
    The lights themselves will not get damaged. What will get damaged is the batteries within.
    What is the likelihood of this happening? It's not that I want to cut corners; I merely want to know if the issue justifies the nearly double priced light. If it's a real danger, I'll spend the money.

    I'm just curious I suppose.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0311Hoosier View Post
    What is the likelihood of this happening? It's not that I want to cut corners; I merely want to know if the issue justifies the nearly double priced light. If it's a real danger, I'll spend the money.

    I'm just curious I suppose.
    If using 2 CR123s? 100% likely.

    Heck, I drop my TK10 on the floor and the CR123s start denting after a while (they impact each other and the nipple from the +ve of the bottom CR123 dents the -ve of the top CR123).

    But one thing is that my batteries continue to work. How much abuse will it take? I don't know. I drop it a few times, albeit at a pretty high heigh of 1m plus. Firing a 30 round magazine will be akin to dropping it 30 times maybe?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Quote Originally Posted by chanjyj View Post
    The lights themselves will not get damaged. What will get damaged is the batteries within.
    Also the electronics, if they're not potted, to prevent them from being able to move.

    If the electronics are potted (which they aren't, in 4Sevens lights, other than maybe the G5), its lifespan will depend on how large/heavy the components are. The bigger/heavier they are, the more likely they are to be damaged.

    ~Brian

  9. #9

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    What calibre rifle and how often will you be shooting it with the light attached? Also, how dependable do you need the light to be in a given situation? Recoil packs quite a whallop, and always in exactly the same very focused direction- even a high quality regular rifle scope will eventually be destroyed if mounted on an ordinary kid's air rifle because their very mild recoil goes in two directions and not just one. If you are going to be firing your rifle often, you might consider how the light you are thinking of would hold up if consistently dropped from a height onto a hard surface (with the impact corresponding to the calibre) that many times. Any light is going to work the first time, and after that it depends... personally I would be extra wary of multi-mode lights but maybe that's just me.

    Added via edit: Regarding the possibility of batteries being damaged, I'm reminded that in my enforcement days Surefire weaponlights originally came with their CR123s sealed into a single unit by shrink tube sorts of things. From what I could see, our SRT guys would just insert regular loose batteries as replacements but perhaps SF knew something our guys didn't. Since SF refuses sell to Canadians and Canucks therefore normally have to pay a ghastly premium to importers to get anything recent from them in that marketing line, I haven't been able to follow up in my semi-retired civvy life and they may have discontinued the sealed unit practice.
    Last edited by Mr Bigglow; 08-10-2011 at 09:01 AM.
    It is better to light up one LED than to curse the darkness.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    I know the 4 Sevens Maelstrom G5 was made to attach to a rifle and was tested as such. There is also a pressure switch available for it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    I doubt an AR15 will have enough wallop to damage a 7777 light, but you'd be "at your own risk" if it did break for some reason (even unrelated to shooting).

    As mentioned above, nutnfancy from YouTube has shown several Quarks in his vids with zero problems. That dude shoots a fair amount, so if it's not busting on him, I would imagine it's probably OK. For the price of a SureFire, you could buy two or 3 Turbos, so perhaps it's worth doing your own research and trying the light out if you can work around the lack of a pressure switch.

    If you have to rely on the light for "real", I'd go with a dedicated rig though. An EagleTac, O-light, Maelstrom G5, or similar would be a great choice that won't bust the bank like a SureFire.

    Avoid rechargeable batteries though. As mentioned the batteries take a beating, and disposable cells will generally withstand the beating until they are tossed. A rechargeable on the other hand, doesn't get tossed, so it would get beat over and over.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Just my instant thought: in the most cases a light survives droping it on a hard ground from some meter height, and a rifle recoil hardly reach to the impact of a drop to the ground.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Quote Originally Posted by entoptics View Post
    I doubt an AR15 will have enough wallop to damage a 7777 light, but you'd be "at your own risk" if it did break for some reason (even unrelated to shooting).

    As mentioned above, nutnfancy from YouTube has shown several Quarks in his vids with zero problems. That dude shoots a fair amount, so if it's not busting on him, I would imagine it's probably OK. For the price of a SureFire, you could buy two or 3 Turbos, so perhaps it's worth doing your own research and trying the light out if you can work around the lack of a pressure switch.

    If you have to rely on the light for "real", I'd go with a dedicated rig though. An EagleTac, O-light, Maelstrom G5, or similar would be a great choice that won't bust the bank like a SureFire.

    Avoid rechargeable batteries though. As mentioned the batteries take a beating, and disposable cells will generally withstand the beating until they are tossed. A rechargeable on the other hand, doesn't get tossed, so it would get beat over and over.
    Thanks for your input, and that's a good point about the batteries. Using disposables would be a good idea for a rifle light.

    To those that have asked about the caliber of the rifle in question. It's just a standard 5.56mm AR15, and I use mil-spec M193 ball ammo. It's pretty hot, so there is a decent amount of recoil (even though it's 5.56!)

  14. #14

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    OK, it wasn't clear to me if you were referring to the AR15-mounted class of weapon lights or to an actual AR15. Anyway, recoil effects can and will add up- remember the proverb of dripping water wearing away stone. I have the personal example of a .117 air rifle (my son's) wrecking a perfectly good rifle scope (mine) and that involved no more recoil than would squash a fruitfly. Less, since it was only the spring rebounding that did the damage, coming after the original minute push backwards.
    It is better to light up one LED than to curse the darkness.

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    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Mr. Bigglow,
    Not to change the subject, but air rifles have special scopes made for them just because of this issue. Firearms' scopes are meant to endure recoil in the opposite direction of air rifles. If you were to mount a firearm scope on an air rifle BACKWARDS it might not have been damaged. (And of course it would not have been useful. ) Air rifles tend to "slam" their air pistons forward causing a "reverse recoil." It sounds like balony, but I've heard it many times from air rifle owners. BTW, I'm not implying that your original point is not valid - just trying to help with the air rifle issue. (Should probably have PM'd you on this - sorry.)

    As for the OP's question, I put into practice the "two is one, one is none," theory. I keep a Nailbender XML (potted) and a Malkoff M61 (known for toughness) both in SF 6P's on a 7.62x51 battle carbine. I'll comment further on their longevity after more trigger time

    -Tom
    Last edited by Voider; 08-14-2011 at 05:31 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Oops,
    I should have read your posts more clearly, Mr Bigglow. Was so excited to have something to offer that I responded with info you already knew. My apologies, sir and folks.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Voider View Post
    Oops,
    I should have read your posts more clearly, Mr Bigglow. Was so excited to have something to offer that I responded with info you already knew. My apologies, sir and folks.
    No problem at all, Voider. But where were you 10-15 years ago when my son and I thought it would be kewl to mount my big $550 Leupold scope on his little $40 pellet rifle?
    It is better to light up one LED than to curse the darkness.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* shao.fu.tzer's Avatar
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    Shrug Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Things to check -
    Are there springs on both sides of the battery tube?
    Is the body the standard 1" size for weapons mounting?


    I've killed many lights trying to mount them to my pistol grip 870... These same lights performed admirably mounted
    to .22s, 9mms, .45s.... I call it the 12 ga. test - if it can withstand 12 pellets of 00 buck at 1,280 fps for at least a dozen
    rounds, you should be OK!!!!

  19. #19
    Enlightened killforfood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Itís all about controlling battery movement. If you can keep them from beating back and forth; the light will likely survive. To prevent injury, race car drivers pull the belts as tight as possible to hold them against a hard seat. The physics inside of a flashlight is no different. I would prefer a hard stop at one end and a very short stiff spring at the other. Since you are shooting an AR15 donít worry about it. There is almost no recoil.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bigglow View Post
    No problem at all, Voider. But where were you 10-15 years ago when my son and I thought it would be kewl to mount my big $550 Leupold scope on his little $40 pellet rifle?
    Ouch! Clearly Murphy's law prevents Bushnell/Tasco/Simmons/etc. from being the victim. Ironically, a pellet gun guy told me "even a Leupold can't endure" those unique recoil properties. (At least it wasn't a $1500 Zeiss/Swarovski/Leica....)
    Last edited by Voider; 08-17-2011 at 11:54 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    I bought the scope secondhand but was told the warranty would not have been good anyway. Of course I could have lied, darn it.
    It is better to light up one LED than to curse the darkness.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    I use a Streamlight TLR-1 on a Midwest Industries FSB mount. It keeps the light forward and unobtrusive, allowing you to keep your nondominate hand as far forward as possible (or as comfortable: high power shooters will know about the difference between a carbine length and a rifle length gas system with a shooting sling. Mine's a midlength.)

    Two 123as, 3W Luxeon LED, no problems.

    An AR15 in 5.56 has a large recoil velocity, but low recoil energy. It's not really something to worry about. A well-designed LED flashlight should be able to take 300 Win Mag (moderate recoil velocity, heavy recoil energy).

    ...and because there aren't any pictures yet in this thread...




    Oh, and the first case I heard of a soldier mounting a weaponlight dated back to a German soldier captured in a trench back in WW1 with a flashlight taped to his 7.92mm (x57 or 8mm Austrian?) Mauser. I doubt they had shock insulated bezels back then
    Last edited by icecube; 08-18-2011 at 12:36 PM.
    -Arc AAA-P r.4,r.5, Peak LED Sol. Caribbean 3W Lux (retired), Foursevens QTLC Gen 2

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    ya never know...ze germans were very crafty back then

  24. #24

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisrupTer911 View Post
    ya never know...ze germans were very crafty back then
    lol... I wonder how much light actually came out of it.
    Icecube, do you have the source of the information about the German soldier?

  25. #25
    Enlightened killforfood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Quote Originally Posted by icecube View Post
    An AR15 in 5.56 has a large recoil velocity, but low recoil energy. It's not really something to worry about. A well-designed LED flashlight should be able to take 300 Win Mag (moderate recoil velocity, heavy recoil energy).
    Icecube,
    You've got this arse backwards. Recoil velocity and recoil energy go hand in hand and are kind of redundant. Recoil velocity increases as recoil energy increases. Most folks just skip the velocity and go with ft. lbs. of recoil energy. Itís a function of bullet weight vs velocity and weight of the gun. I donít know the exact math but assuming that both rifles weigh the same and have the same muzzle velocity (entirely possible with these examples) you would then throw the bullet weight into the equation to determine free recoil. The average AR15 bullet is 55 grains and the average 300 Win Mag is 180 grains. Without a doubt the 300 grain bullet will cause the rifle to recoil with more velocity than a 55 grain bullet could.
    Sorry if I busted your chops, the rest of the post was good. Dig the Spikeís Multi Cal lower.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    OK my full and drawnout thoughts are as follows: it's one thing to tape a light on your rifle or shotgun or whatever and fire it a few times, then take it off. Farmers have been doing this to protect their chickens for a century or more. The light will work at least once.

    Nowadays with modern rails and special mounts it's possible, and even desirable, to attach almost any light and leave it there permanently. That's a very different propositon and if the owner puts hundreds or thousands of target rounds through the firearm, the light is going to take a pounding, and exactly the same very focused pounding, shot after shot. Not every light is going to put up with that and still work in a combat situation.

    Another concern I have is that if the gun is being fired repeatedly with the light on, a multimode light would switch through the modes as the gun was being fired. The sort of situation where repeated shots are necessary is stressful enough as it is.

    If I was mounting a weaponlight permanently I would therefore buy a specifically made and dedicated light.
    Last edited by Mr Bigglow; 08-19-2011 at 12:02 PM.
    It is better to light up one LED than to curse the darkness.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bigglow View Post
    If I was mounting a weaponlight permanently I would therefore buy a specifically made and dedicated light.
    My thoughts exactly. If you are just plunking around it will be fine to just strap a light on but now the possibility of damaging it is very real. If this is for use in a combat situation get a light specifically designed for it so it won't fail on you when you need it most.

  28. #28
    Enlightened CSSA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    I have a Surefire weapon light that is part of a Surefire forearm on a Benelli M1 Super 90 combat shotgun. It originally came with 2 cr123 batteries in a sleeve, but when they were drained I thought I'd replace them with a pair of cr123 batteries. It works, but after you've shot a box or two of shells the batteries are dented from the recoil.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    Quote Originally Posted by CSSA View Post
    I have a Surefire weapon light that is part of a Surefire forearm on a Benelli M1 Super 90 combat shotgun. It originally came with 2 cr123 batteries in a sleeve, but when they were drained I thought I'd replace them with a pair of cr123 batteries. It works, but after you've shot a box or two of shells the batteries are dented from the recoil.
    That's interesting- I wonder what would happen if you were to shrink-tube them together in the way I remember, as in a previous post? No matter what, if you're in the US I'll bet SF customer service would offer some good advice, if only not to worry....
    It is better to light up one LED than to curse the darkness.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will rifle recoil damage a decent light like Fenix or 4Sevens?

    I've shot plenty of ARs and I was never aware they had any recoil

    SF sells pairs of 123As shrink-wrapped together.
    A little madness never hurt anybody.

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