By B. Gil Horman
This article is a reprint that originally appeared in American Rifleman on May 10, 2012.
When a threat arises, it can do so in an instant. Today’s personal-protection technology allows an individual to respond to that threat rapidly. Full-size and compact handguns are powerful, reliable and chambered for potent calibers. Rugged Kydex security holsters are available with intuitive one-touch pistol release buttons for a quick draw. Bright LED light sources aid in threat identification and can blind attackers. Laser sight systems allow for rapid target acquisition. All of these defensive innovations are valuable, although they may not always be compatible.
Adding tactical-rail accessories to a pistol usually renders a molded holster obsolete, while reaching for a separate light source may consume valuable time in a defensive situation. Even with some of the best equipment available, it may require multiple steps or a complicated routine to get an entire set of gear up and running. Viridian’s Enhanced Combat Readiness (ECR) System is an efficient answer to the problem.
Simply stated, the ECR System allows an operator to activate his or her pre-programmed Viridian green laser sight as the gun is drawn from a Viridian TacLoc holster. No fuss, no muss. Start by holstering the pistol with the module turned on. The holster turns the module off as the pistol locks into place. When the pistol is drawn, the holster reactivates the module without any extra steps. What if the module needs to remain off when the pistol is drawn? Just holster the pistol with the module turned off and the light will remain off when the gun is drawn. It’s a no-practice-required system to master.
One ECR Combination
The Viridian TacLoc holsters and laser modules can be mixed and matched to produce the best fit for your needs while still taking advantage of the ECR system. For this product test, I selected a base pistol that can fill the role of a just-one-gun defensive solutionthe Glock G23. Capable of holding 13+1 rounds of .40 S&W, this particular compact Glock is large enough for duty use, compact enough for concealed carry and powerful enough for home defense. Looking over Viridian’s online sizing chart, it was easy to identify which modules would fit.
The Gen II X5L laser and light module is designed for use on full-size pistols, but it also fits the compact G23 as well. Even though smaller modules are available, I wanted to take advantage of the X5L’s bright 154-lumen tactical light and a green laser ramped up to the maximum power level federal regulations will allow. The electronics are set in a tough, milled aluminum housing capped with Zytel polymer. The rail mounts are designed to work with a variety of Picatinny-style rails.
Pressing one of the X5L’s left or right side activation buttons turns the unit on or off. A digital processor chip in the module allows the unit to be programmed for a variety of settings. Pressing both buttons at the same time cycles through the three main settings, such as the light only, laser only or light and laser together. Within each of these options, the operator has many more settings from which to choose. The light or laser can be set to produce a steady shine or to strobe or pulse, and each can be adjusted for brightness. Once the selections are made, those settings will be in place the next time the module is activated. If the settings need to be adjusted, just press both activation buttons and make the changes.
The X5L arrives ready to install with the rail mounts in place and a battery in the box. The battery can be installed or exchanged by unscrewing the LED light housing. This means it’s not necessary to remove the sight from the pistol in order to exchange batteries. How long does the battery last? It depends on the settings used. The CR123A 3v battery supplied by Viridian is listed as providing a 60-minute constant-on life span with both the light and laser activated and programmed for a steady shine. With only the constant laser activated, battery life jumps to over six hours and shifting the laser to pulse will stretch battery life to over 10 hours.
The X5L box also contains an easy-to-understand owner’s manual, an additional rail retention screw, two extra rail-mount screws, two rail-mount screw-sized Allen keys and a pair of laser-adjustment Allen keys. It’s a nice touch for Viridian to include these extra components, as this spares customers the headache of dredging up these critical bits of hardware in case of loss or damage.
The TacLoc holster is a customized version of the BLACKHAWK! Serpa CQC holster system. The belt loop frame is attached to the holster using three screws in a triangular configuration allowing the operator to change the holster to a forward or rearward cant. A pair of removable spacers mounted in the belt loop openings can be adjusted for various belt widths up to 2.25-inches wide.
At the Range
With the X5L installed on the G23 pistol, and the TacLoc holster installed on a DeSantis GunHide shooting belt, the ECR system was tested at an indoor range. The holster provided for a smooth draw and easy re-holstering. The security device locked the pistol in place tightly, preventing holster wobble. Using the provided Allen keys to adjust for windage and elevation, the laser was tuned to point-of-aim at 7 yards. This adjustment held true through several magazines of ammunition.
The green laser provided an exceptionally bright, well-focused dot on the target all the way to the back wall of the 25-yard range. The X5L was removed completely from the test pistol and taken outside to see how the laser performs in bright daylight. The dot from the laser was clearly visible at 100 yards, just as the specifications claim. This is beyond a pistol’s practical defensive range, however, it’s nice to know you’ve got the juice if you choose to move the sight over to a defensive rifle.
When testing the X5L at home, I followed two simple rules to ensure the safety of the other members of my household. First, I field stripped the G23 pistol to remove the entire upper slide assembly and the magazine. This left just the bare frame to hold the laser sight and no equipment or ammunition in the gun to make it go “bang.” Secondly, the hot green laser was not activated outside of my closed office except when I was the only person in the house. This guaranteed my wife and kids would not be at risk of coming around a corner and getting a beam of laser light shone into their eyes. This arrangement sacrifices some of the “realism” of home practice, but it’s worth it.
The 154-lumen light is bright, very bright if you are on the receiving end of it. In the interior daylight of our brightest and largest room, a quick look directly into the LED light (laser off, of course) left me blinking with spots on my eyes. In the darkest room of the basement, which was nearly pitch black, the LED light was unbearable, forcing me to turn away.
One of the real advantages of such a powerful light is that the corona, or outer rim, of the light beam is bright enough that the center of the light beam does not have to be pointed directly at a subject in order to identify it. In near and total darkness, I pulled the pistol frame in tight against my chest in a two-handed ready position. The center of the light and the activated laser indicated the muzzle, if it had been attached, would be pointed at the ground about 3 yards in front of me. With the X5L in this position and with it being the only source of light in the room, the corona of the light was bright enough to read the titles of the books I had shelved in the area. This may not be how everyone chooses to move through the home with a gun-mounted light. However, it does offer a reasonable balance of speedy target acquisition without pointing the muzzle of the gun directly at a center-of-mass location during subject identification.
If you’ve done your homework and found that a tactical-rail mounted light and laser module makes sense for the work you do, or for your personal defense plan, then the Viridian ECR system is a top-notch option for the job. This system is remarkable because it is so simple to use. All that’s needed is to draw the handgun from the holster to bring your pistol, LED light and green laser sight into action. With the flexibility of a holster designed to fit almost any belt, the ECR system will easily transition between on-duty applications, concealed carry and home defense. If you are ready to simplify your defensive hardware set, Viridian offers a logical and reliable set of options.
Manufacturer: Viridian; Viridiangreenlaser.com
Model: X5L Laser/Light Module
Tactical Light Output: 154 Lumens Continuous-On, 187 lumens in Strobe Mode
Green Laser Beam Range: Up to 100 Yards Daylight, 2-Miles at Night
Sight Adjustment: User-Adjustable for Windage and Elevation
Weight: 3.3 ozs.
Materials: 6061 Aircraft Grade Aluminum, Zytel(R) Polymer
Power Source: CR123A Batteries
Rail Mount: Universal Modular Mounting System For Most Railed Handguns and Rifles
TacLoc Holster: Finger-Release Kydex Security Holster, Belt Loop Retention Frame
Suggested Retail Price: X5L Laser/Light $409; TacLoc Holster $49
Want to keep your hot beverages hot longer? Try Goal Zero’s Steamer Beverage Heater. With its handy 12v charger you can let it does its job while you are driving. Or for those more adventurous types that have grown to love Goal-Zero for their solar powered products, this product is compatible with all Sherpa, Escape and Extreme Power Packs. Just one more item in Goal-Zero’s well thought product line.
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LaserLyte® Returns to Basics with a very affordable rear sight laser for the Springfield XD/XD pistols.
All levels are changed with the Intensity Knob, conveniently located on the right side of the NIGHTRAZOR.
Light can be easily and quickly turned off with the Intensity Knob.
The NIGHTRAZOR features the following:
The NIGHTRAZOR is covered by a 2 year limited warranty. Please see our warranty section for details.
MINT SPRING, VA — Parker Bows, a leading U.S. manufacturer of high quality Compound bows, Crossbows and Crossbow Accessories is proud to introduce the Tornado F4 for 2012. Inspired by the highly successful Tornado, the highest selling crossbow three years straight, the Tornado F4 is redefining the modern hunting crossbow in style, performance, and features with unrivaled tack driving accuracy.
The Tornado F4 features Parker’s all new and proprietary Advanced Split Limb Technology with integrated Fulcrum Pocket System making it ultra compact and devastatingly fast at 340 Feet Per Second (FPS), an increase of 10 FPS over its predecessor. At a mere 8 lbs, the Tornado F4 is also Ultra Lightweight and Optimally Balanced for a steadier aim on the target. Knowing the importance of stealth while in the woods, Parker added Dual String Suppressors to reduce Noise and Vibration. Parker’s highly anticipated new EZ Pull System has been engineered into each 2012 crossbow, reducing the cocking effort by over 50%, when paired with the RED HOT EZ Roller Rope Cocker; this system makes Parker crossbows the easiest to cock in the industry.
The Tornado F4 includes a Four Arrow Quick Detach Quiver, Four Arrows with Field Points, and is available in three optics packages: (1) 3 x 32 Multi-Reticle Scope, (2) Illuminated 3 x 32 Multi-Reticle Scope, (3) NEW Pin Point Scope (3x). For the hunter who wants a complete package with all accessories included, the Tornado F4 is offered in the Perfect Storm Package.
The Tornado F4 is proudly made in the U.S.A., is backed by Parker’s Lifetime Warranty, and has a retail beginning at $799.95.
If you would like more information on the New Parker Tornado F4, visit the Parker website at www.parkerbows.com or call (540)-337-5426.
“Coonhunters tell us that they their love their hat- mounted NIGHTRAZOR spotlights, and they asked us to come up with a method of attaching our light to their rifles,” commented Gary Williams, Tri-Tronics Marketing and Sales Manager. “Our engineers designed the accessory adaptor to be compatible with Weaver or Picatinny-rail style scope rings.”
Weighing only 5.2 ounces, the NIGHTRAZOR cordless spotlight runs off a rechargeable, long-lasting battery. The compact, rugged, waterproof design includes four levels of bright- ness intensity and battery life indicator. The NIGHTRAZOR offers a S_O_S flashing option can be used in cases of emergencies. A quick flashing Strobe mode can be used to catch the eye of a curious raccoon or signal a hunting partner.
“Red and Amber filters are available as additional accessories to provide additional stealth, perfect for hunting wild hogs, coyotes, or other predators at night,” stated Williams.
“It’s reliable, compact, has phenomenal battery life, super lightweight, and weapon mount- able,” remarked A.P. Jones, owner of AllPredatorCalls.com. “If you started with a clean sheet of paper with the intent to design the ideal night hunting light, it would be called the NIGHTRAZOR”
In addition to the riflescope adaptors ($7.95), the NIGHTRAZOR can be used as a cap- mounted spotlight, in either a baseball-style cap with liner or a hard plastic helmet. An accessory headband-style mount will be available in May. The Tri-Tronics NIGHTRAZOR is backed by a 2-year warranty and is made in the USA.
For more information visit http://www.tritronics.com/nightrazor.html
As many know, laser sights can be very beneficial; but there is one major flaw… ordinary red lasers can be next to impossible to see in most daylight conditions. The benefit of a green laser is that it is much more visible, allowing for it to be used anytime, day or night, indoors or outdoors, permitting you to track your target quicker and more accurately. Additionally, because green lasers are so much more visible to the human eye, you can actually see a very intimidating visible beam in low-light conditions.
During the Day
Which is more visible to you? On the left we see a traditional red laser sight, compared to the green Viridian in broad daylight. The lasers were at a distance of 25 feet from the wall.
On the left you can see how visible the beam can actually get during dark or dimmer conditions.
Overcast, In the woods
Shown to the left is an additional day shot, which again shows the dramatic difference.
Green is closer to the center of the visible spectrum, at 532 Nanometers, so it’s easier for our eyes to perceive the color vs. a red laser at 635 Nanometers. In fact, a green laser can appear as much as 50 times brighter than the red equivalent and as can be seen from the below charts 532 nm is the ideal wavelength to maximize visibility during day or night.
In Daytime Conditions the human eye has maximum sensitivity
at the 555 nm wavelength
In Nighttime Conditions the human eye has maximum sensitivity
of 512 nm wavelength
Know someone that can’t find their way out of a paper bag? What about a shopaholic forever “misplacing” their car at the mall? Or a person that likes to be well prepared just in case they should lose their way when adventuring in the outdoors? Then now is the time to purchase Bushnell’s BackTrack D-TOUR to help them find their way. If you purchase the D-Tour from now until June 15th, you are eligible for a $25 mail-in rebate. Click here for the details.
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Bushnell Announces the RainGuard HD Hawaiian Adventure Sweepstakes
Overland Park, Kan. — Bushnell Outdoor Products, an industry-leader in high performance sports optics and outdoor accessories for more than 60 years, has announced the RainGuard HD Hawaiian Rainforest Adventure Sweepstakes. The patented RainGuard HD technology is a permanent water resistant and anti-fog coating that causes moisture to bead up and scatter less light, giving users a clear sight picture in unclear conditions.
The grand prize Hawaiian dream vacation includes roundtrip air transportation for two to Kauai, Hawaii, room accommodations for three nights at Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation Resort, an adventure activity package, and a Bushnell RainGuard HD product package.
Four additional prize packages will be awarded:
First Place Prize (3 winners)
Second Place Prize (5 winners)
Third Place Prize (50 winners)
Fourth Place Prize (500 winners)
• Bushnell RainGuard Rain Suits
No purchase is necessary to enter or win the sweepstakes, which runs from May 7 through December 31, 2012. For more information about the rules and regulations or to enter, visit www.rainguardhdadventure.com. To learn more about Bushnell Outdoor Products and its complete line of sports optics and outdoor technology, visit www.bushnell.com or call 1-800-423-3537.
Bushnell Outdoor Products is a global manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer products based in Overland Park, Kansas. Bushnell Outdoor Products sells its products worldwide under the Bushnell®, Tasco®, Serengeti®, Bollé®, Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement®, Stoney Point®, Hoppe’s®, Butler Creek®, Cébé®, Millett®, Uncle Mike’s®, Final Approach® and Simmons® brand names. For information about any of these brands or products, please contact Bushnell Public Relations at (913) 752-6105.
Legend Ultra HD 3-9x 50mm
Legend Ultra HD 10x 25mm
Legend Ultra HD 10x 25mm Compact Binocular
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Bushnell Receives Two Outdoor Life Gear Test Great Buy Awards
Overland Park, Kan. — Bushnell Outdoor Products, an industry-leader in high performance sports optics and outdoor accessories for more than 60 years, has been awarded with twoOutdoor Life Great Buy awards. The new Legend Ultra HD 3-9x 50mm riflescope and Legend Ultra HD 10x 25mm folding compact binocular earned the Great Buy awards in the riflescope and mid-size binocular categories, respectively.
Each winter the Outdoor Life test team gathers to evaluate the newest rifles, shotguns and hunting optics for its annual gear test. The Optics Test includes four categories: riflescopes, full-size binoculars, mid-size binoculars and spotting scopes. Each optic is rated based on optical quality, mechanical precision, low-light performance and through a subjective evaluation. Within each category, the optic with the highest cumulative scores earns the Editor’s Choice award, and the top price/value scoring optic gets the Great Buy award. As a result of the 2012 Optics Test, Bushnell received Great Buy awards for the following products from the Legend Ultra HD family.
The fully multi-coated Legend Ultra HD 3-9x 50mm riflescope delivers 89 percent light transmission for a clear, crisp sight picture. Each riflescope in the Legend Ultra HD family isconstructed with a durable yet sleek one-piece tube and offers 100 percent waterproof, fog proof and shockproof performance. Protected with the patented RainGuard HD lens coating, the permanent, water-resistant lens coating causes moisture to bead up and scatter less light, making the Legend riflescope an all-weather performer.
The new Legend Ultra HD 10x 25mm folding compact binocular features wide-angle BaK-4 roof prisms for incredible edge-to-edge sharpness and detail. Bushnell enhances the viewing experience with its fully-multi coated lenses to maximize light transmission and deliver superior brightness. Built with a magnesium chassis and wrapped in a non-slip, rubber-armored housing, the Legend UHD compact is 100 percent waterproof and fog-proof. Add to that the RainGuard HD water-repellant technology and you have a high-quality compact binocular ready to perform, rain or shine.
For more information about the Legend Ultra HD riflescope andbinocular product lines, visit the product pages online. To learn more about Bushnell Outdoor Products and its complete line of sports optics and outdoor technology, visit www.bushnell.comor call 1-800-423-3537.
Bushnell Outdoor Products is a global manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer products based in Overland Park, Kansas. Bushnell Outdoor Products sells its products worldwide under the Bushnell®, Tasco®, Serengeti®, Bollé®, Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement®, Stoney Point®, Hoppe’s®, Butler Creek®, Cébé®, Millett®, Uncle Mike’s®, Final Approach®and Simmons® brand names. For information about any of these brands or products, please contact Bushnell Public Relations at (913) 752-6105.