TPM Outfitters recently came across a 1980’s Hensoldt light.

Old school HK optic made by Hensoldt that projects light with a crosshair in the beam. It runs on 5 C batteries and weighs as much as the MP5 itself.

Back in the day SAS ran Maglite flashlights ontop of their MP5s.


  • Spencerhut

    Might look stupid, but if it worked back in the day when there was nothing else . . . it ain’t stupid.

    • iksnilol

      I always liked the idea of zeroing flashlights to weapons. Would be good for point shooting/CQB.

      • Jeff Smith

        While I never tried it, the light on my HK USP was centered with the iron sights. I suspected that I could probably make decent hits on a man-sized target within 10ish meters. I hate that I never tried it.

    • Anonymoose

      Well, I guess you’re not getting a cheekweld with that gas mask anyway…

      • CommonSense23

        You ever see the SAS shoot a MP5. Cheekweld isnt even a concern.

        • Mr Mxyzptlk

          In the early days for CQB they didn’t even bother extending the stock, instead just pushing it out against the sling (you can see this in photos from Operation Nimrod). However this changed pretty quick and they realised that a stock was kind of handy. Even if you can’t properly see through the sights because of the mask, you will be more accurate if you are at least sort of looking down the gun. This is why even with the basically sightless MP5KA1s they fitted the folding PDW stock when it became available.

          • Dave Biggers

            They didn’t extend the stocks because they couldn’t get a cheek weld due to the filters on their masks.

  • iksnilol

    Guy 1: You know how the MP5 is light and handy?
    Guy 2: Yeah
    Guy 1: What if we made it not like that?

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Looks about like a trailer hitch on a Ferrari.

  • Edeco

    The Mag-lite is moronic, how you gojng to give a perp the anodized-shampoo with it stuck to a gun?

  • DubenSchleeben
    • Spencerhut

      That picture pops up quite a bit.

    • Calavera

      Steampunk weapons mounted light!

  • JT303

    Seems like an advancement of the Wespi Searchlight Sight. Himmelwright wrote about it in one of his books and said that if it could be modified to project either a crosshair or a bright spot, it would be greatly improved.

  • Graham2

    I remember when a D-cell Maglite was state of the art lighting technology- we could only dream of the compact LED lights we have today! They made great batons though…

    • Anonymoose

      They still make great batons.

    • iksnilol

      Imagine a baton sized flashlight with todays technology.

      • FearlessFarris

        Pick up a copy of the most recent “Off Grid” Magazine. They have a feature in the current issue about modern D-Cell flashlights. It’s pretty incredible the number of lumens that modern technology can put out in a set up like that.

        Still work as clubs, too.

        • Nicholas C

          The problem is lumen output is like horsepower in a car. Big numbers sounds impressive but you have other considerations. Reflector design is crucial. Maglites now have respectable Lumen output but they are ruined by their crappy reflector design. The adjustable reflector is a stupid gimmick and ruins the light output. There are lots of lights that have perfect reflectors. Good hotspot with a perfect and seamless corona. How a light controls and shines that light is important.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, but a baton sized flashlight should allow for a good reflector (plenty of space to get the right angles).


          • Nicholas C

            The size of the body doesn’t matter. That is just for the power source.

            The size of the reflector only matter for throw. For example my Hellfighter reflector shapes 3,500 lumens and throws it out to 600 yards.

            Just use Surefire as an example. The bigger the head of the flashlight, the further the light can be focused downrange.

          • iksnilol

            I was thinking that a big head is less disproportionate on a big flashlight than a small one. Thus mentioning baton sized.

            Imagine having the Hellfighter reflector on a tiny AA pocket flashlight. Would be kinda weird.

    • JSIII

      I still have one at my bed side, makes for a great impact weapon if I run out of ammo.

    • Calavera

      Indeed. I prefer the term “bludgeon.” Old school. My D-Cell Maglite remains in service by my driver’s seat. Now fitted with LED tech. Batteries last forever, and enough lumens to bring down aircraft. But it’s main purpose is keeping malcontents at bay.

      • phuzz

        Do you have any information about the LED upgrade? I’d like to try it on my maglite

        • Calavera

          I found mine in the local hardware store some years ago. Any place that sells Maglites should have it. I paid about $20 for the LED conversion pack. These days most come from the factory already equipped with LED, but those are usually only the 2 D-cell variety. Best thing about the LED is that it eliminates the annoying “blind” spot of the incandescent bulbs, much brighter, and uses so little battery power that they last for months.

      • GhostTrain81

        Damm… that’s not a flashlight, it’s a tactical mace with integrated illumination.

        • Calavera

          Thought about adding three lengths of 3/8″ chain with ball bearings to the end cap. It’d make a dandy 21st century flail…but the Sheriff would take a dim view of that.

          • CountryBoy

            …or, he might ask where he can get one like that!

      • iksnilol

        At this point it’s like we’re not even pretending it’s intended for light.

    • Shiller Tiller

      Ha. Yes. Even in the late 90’s cops were still using huge ass D cell maglites

  • Mr Mxyzptlk

    A slight tangent, but the SAS used two different flashlights in the early days. One of them was, as you say, Maglites which tended to be fitted to claw mounts in an improvised way using tape and hose clamps. The other (which I think may actually be first but was not very available hence the improvised Maglites) was an early Streamlight weaponlight. They look quite similar, but they were actually both used during operation Nimrod, the Streamlights can be distinguished by the more angular head and by the fact that they mount into a tube attached to the claw mount rather than using tape. The bottom picture is a rare purpose built Maglite weapon light, but it has been jury rigged to fit onto and MP5 as it was actually designed to mount under the handguard of an L85 rifle (Google “royal marine fleet protection group” if you want to see how they are meant to mount).

  • gunsandrockets
  • A Fascist Corgi

    I remember watching a documentary about the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege in London. They interviewed John McAleese who said that they used those Maglite flashlights mounted on their MP5s as proto-laser pointers. Wherever the light beam was, that’s where the bullets went. So, it doesn’t surprise me that they would add a crosshair to the beam.

    • noob

      I once got a cheap laser pointer from the local thrift chinesium shop that could project a crosshair among other amusing images. I wonder ifa modern underbarrel laser with a crosshair mode could be useful, especially if it told you bullet drop and sight over bore error

      • Chris

        light growth is linear and bullet drop is parabolic. its like first focal plane vs second and then squared squared.

  • RicoSuave

    “We’re running a 2 for 1 special: would you like an MP5 with your Maglite ?”

  • Klaus

    Why is putting empty shot shells in his vest?

    • Nicholas C

      It is probably a museum dummy.

      • Fruitbat44

        I’m wondering if the bottom most photo was a posed photo for an illustration, using a model, possibly with an airsoft MP5. Possibly.

    • jcitizen

      Shot shells or batteries?

  • Kwong

    “projects light with a crosshair in the beam”

    Picture of said beam would be nice.

  • TheStoneOfTheBuilder

    The official gun of “spray and pray”

  • jcitizen

    Very interesting history there!