New Weapon Lighting System

wml

That is the actual name for this product. New Weapon Lighting System is an integrated light built into a free float AR handguard. They also included an integrated red laser at the 12 o’clock position of the LED array.

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This reminds me of those cheap flashlights you find at an auto parts store.

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There is not a lot of information out about this weapon light system. No idea of cost or how the light array is powered. No information on how the light array is controlled. But according to their Facebook page, it is 500+ lumens. The problem with pure numbers like that can be misleading. It is like reporting horsepower on a car. 500 hp in a FWD Honda Civic is not the same as a 500 hp Corvette. Same with flashlights. Reflectors and bezel designs help shape and control that light. From my experience with LED lights, this array will be all flood and no throw. Meaning you will get a great big wall of light but it wont do much past 50 yards if even that far at all. Still it is an interesting product that hasn’t really been seen in the industry before.



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Daniel

    Quadrails. Are those making a comeback?

    • Nothing wrong with rails on each side. The problem is having FULL LENGTH rails everywhere, because they grate the hands and add a lot of weight.

      • Andrew Hobby

        NOW you tell me! Great.

        In other news, anybody want to buy a quad rail?

        • FightFireJay

          Is it lightly used?

          • Andrew Hobby

            verryyy lightly used

  • Orion Quach

    And if a bulb goes down, what do you do? And without good reflectors, your just spilling light all over I feel like.

    • Risky

      LED’s don’t really go down like other types of bulbs and the majority of tactical lights only use LED’s anymore. This does have much more redundancy in that regard, though, as it has a multitude of LED’s versus the usual single LED of most tactical lights. If they could shape the beam with some kind of reflector and actually get a decent balance of throw and spill this could be a legitimate alternative to a standard rail mounted weapon light. As it is as a finished product I’m not sure how well it would perform, though… it might need some more development.

      • Bill

        I’ve NEVER had a duty grade LED fail, or witness one failing. That’s not to say it couldn’t happen, but compared to the number of halogen and xenon bulbs I’ve seen blow out….

        Lasers on rifles, with the exception of IR, crack me up, particularly when the gun is also fitted with an EOTECH or some other red dot sight. Unless you are using it to designate targets for close air support, which seems unlikely in central Ohio, I just don’t get the need for one on a rifle.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          visable laser = intimidation and other non-explicitly-shooting uses

          • Bill

            I know that the higher powered laser dazzlers were supposed to be effective in convoys and checkpoints overseas, but If a person isn’t intimidated by having a gun pointed at them, a small red dot probably isn’t going to make much difference. I dunno, it seems like the bit about racking a shotgun causing bad people to soil themselves and volunteer for Jerry’s Kids.

            I wonder how of ten the hood even sees it- the last place I’m looking in a fight is my own chest.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            I would be inclined to agree with you, but I had a couple friends work checkpoints in Afghanistan and Kuwait/Iraq that said it worked fairly well on occasion. I suppose to your point, perhaps some people are more accustomed to having weapons simply pointed at them than others.

            If you wanted another use, with a red laser, without looking around, if I was working in a team, I’d know that someone being detained had at least one more gun on them.

          • Ethan

            Helps reduce flagging your team as well.

          • Bill

            and too often i’ve witnessed 6 dots on a target while the stack dithers trying to figure out whose is whose. There are only so many colors or any quality.

            I’ve heard anecdotal evidence of cops using laser pointers to simulate WMLs. They are also useful for designating danger zones and detecting tripwires.

          • Ethan

            You wouldn’t think so, but it does. Its like people see a gun pointed at them and think its a movie – it doesnt sink in. The hollywood “freeze” reaction just doesn’t happen.

            But with a laser, its like you’ve broken the touch barrier – now they realize that gun is going to reach across that distance TOUCH them in a very specific place.

            I can’t explain it other than saying its a psychology hack, but from what i’ve seen it works.

        • Jeremy Star

          Second zero range for a rifle. The red dot in your EOTech is one range, the green dot is another.

        • Grendel Medlord

          But what if you’re giving a presentation and need to point to something on the screen? Just whip out your AR-15, fire up the laser and BOOM laser pointer!

    • spotr

      LEDs are often rated in tens of thousands of hours. The typical incandescent house light has a rating of 1200 hours. Compare that to an LED at 25,000 hours. You can also wire them in parallel, like Christmas tree lights, to prevent single point failures

  • echelon

    That pic makes it look like the lights are kinda glued in there and homemade. Looks janky to me…

  • Hrachya H.

    Good idea! Although perhaps can’t use a suppressor along with the light…

  • Ethan

    Personally i have experienced a lot of frustration trying to mount a flashlight without causing major shadows, so this is fixing a legitimate problem for some. I’m not sure about the weight of this solution – but I think its a really good idea.

    Lights in particular are non-precision and I’d like to see more of them integrated into the rail to save space, reduce the overall envelope, etc.. The only concern I can see is weight and heat resistance being that close to the barrel.

    • Nicholas Chen

      I’m more concerned with muzzle blast/residue being so close to the muzzle.

      • Bill

        Surefires mounted on MP5s were usually scorched and soot would eventually cover the lens, but it never effected the function of the light or gun.

        That’s the plain MP5, not the suppressed ones. The light usually protruded a little past the muzzle

        • Nicholas Chen

          The lens of those lights get coated with gun residue and it does dim the light a bit. A problem I have with my pistol lights on my pistols.

        • Grendel Medlord

          I would think that’d only be a problem is the hand guard is nearly the same length as the barrel. If the hand guard is a few inches shorter, I doubt much of anything would happen.

      • Ethan

        I suppose it would depend on the length of your engagement. For 50-60 rounds it shouldn’t be an issue. After that maybe you can just reach up and wipe it clear really quick… just a thought.

  • Menger40

    Where does the battery go?

    • Nicholas Chen

      I messaged them on their facebook page, they said there will be a battery box under the rail.

  • spotr

    I fabricated many of these a few years ago by just tinkering around in my spare time. The concept of a ring of lights and lasers works. Here are some pictures.

    Since I have several working examples, I can comment on some of the factors which TFB commenters have speculated on.

    Nicolas – You are right about the flood (wide spread) versus throw (long range). My first attempts were “all flood” which might be ok for home defense since it lights up the whole room, but useless for spotting a coyote that is 100 yards behind the barn. Back-setting the lights (into the bezel ring) and using chrome reflectors (fabricated from Ace hardware chrome hobby flashing) partially solved this problem. Brute force brightness also solved the “throw” range issue. At one point I had a 6 LED ring with 720 lumens for one of my experiments.

    I tried many variations including: single LEDs, 4 LEDs, 6 LEDs, etc. I also tried a lot of different types of LEDs with different characteristics (Cree R5, R2, Q5, Q4, Q3 ). Some of these had better inherent “throw” properties. It does not even need to be super-bright. I found that a single LED with High/Low (15 lumens/110 lumens) setting to work very well. It did have a slight barrel shadow with some CREE LEDs that were wide flood rated.

    The 4 and 6 LED ones also worked extremely well and you get less barrel shadow with them. The shadow effect is probably why this company is makeing a product is using a ring of lights rather than a single LED.

    I put the batteries in the pistol grip to keep it streamlined. On/off switch was on the left side of the pistol grip (like a 1911 magazine release button)

    I used a bore-sighted bright green laser in the top (12 o’clock) position with a seperate on/off switch.

    The high lumen versions also had a dazzle effect on the eyes, to the point that the gun becomes obscured by the light if it is pointed at you. You can start to see this effect in the picutures even though this was one of my weakest (110 lumen) setups.

    Disclaimer – I am not associated with the company in the article.
    “Bragging rights” – My versions are better built than the ones in this companies pictures. 🙂

    • avconsumer2

      Heh – your tinkering makes my tinkering look like a poor attempt at a Lego set. 😉 Nice work!

    • Ian Jordan

      What in the hell, I consider myself a tinkerer, but this put all my ideas to shame. If you don’t have a job in the firearm industry or invent random stuff lIke this and patent and sell it, you are wasting a marvelous brain. Seriously that is impressive.

    • Nicholas Chen

      Very impressive!!! Thanks for sharing! Brag away!!

    • Michael

      I would like to leave this here. There is no DIY, “tinkering” results like this. It is Waterproof, has zero exposed wires inside, around or on the barrel. And it is Patent pending.

  • Wingbert

    A 500HP Civic would smoke a 500HP Corvette on straight line just because it’ll have a better power to weight ratio. That thing looks like someone soldered on a couple of radio shack LED’s onto a chinese UTG rail

    • Nicholas Chen

      Not if the civic only has HP. It will have a hard time keeping that power to traction on the road being fwd. That is why I tried to make the analogy of control. You need to control and harness that power so it is usable.

    • Grendel Medlord

      In your attempt to sound smart, you missed the point of the analogy. Also UTG rails are made in the USA.

      • Michael

        Making assumptions usually end in defeat. Here’s a new ProtoPhoto floating around. This thing looks Solid. I’d Like to Hold it and see it, also has video showing waterproof. Slick idea. And the bragging rights guy attempt doesn’t look anything close to the technology this company is using.

  • Mystick

    What about the gas block, or is there one integral to this?

  • cj

    Seems like HEAT would be a major concern here. How on earth do all those electronic components hold up to the heat produced when in such close contact with the barrel?

    • spotr

      Heat was a big issue initially.
      My early prototypes were staged with a wood bezel (see picture). This was obviously intended only for fit testing, but when I got it all together I could not resist trying it!. When I turned them on, those LEDs died a quick death due to thermal cascade (overheating). It was partially due to wood (insulating properties vs. heat dissipation) and partially because I just wanted to see how much light I could get by pumping up the voltage on the power supply.
      Hence the need to buy lots of replacement LEDs. I literally bought bags full of LEDs (in the picture also).

      However, the working versions did not have this problem because:
      1. I used the proper voltage that the LED was rated for (with batteries) and did not “over-pump” them.
      2. Heat sinks. Lots-o-heat sinks!

      See the circular black ring in the picture? That is a very bright, working, 2 LED insert for a hand-guard. That black ring is a chunk of aluminum (aka – heat-sink). It also has another heat sink that is sandwiched behind it. both of these fit snug with the inner surface of the hand-guard which makes the entire hand-guard a heat sink. None of this touches the barrel. There are no electronics (other than LEDs) on the business end of this. Batteries are in the pistol grip. The high temperature wire is routed internally where possible.

      I did not have heat issues when firing the gun, even with rapid fire mag dumps. I am going to guess that you would need to get the barrel very hot (extended full auto abuse?) before heat becomes an issue.

  • man14

    Seems like a great idea. The guy who claims bragging rights by tinkering with this (spotr). Nice job, but the patent pending unit this other company has done looks more appealing me. We also don’t know how this thing is assembled, but it looks pretty solid. The set up they used seems to have a lot of potential, but advancements in technology always get some kind of criticism along the way if not enough information is available on it. Good story, but need more info

  • uisconfruzed

    My 500+ Honda ha eaten every Vette that’s tested it!! …..sarcasm