Surefire Masterfire Holster with x300 Weaponlight – Review

The Surefire booth at SHOT 2017 had enough space to play a full team vs team street hockey game. And yet, surrounded by bullet proof lights, milspec silencers and well, more lights, it was strange that the one product that really caught my attention was a holster. For one, the Masterfire holster system is unique in that it engages the weapon light rather than the gun itself. Two, its open front design allows for the carrying of pistols with muzzle devices and suppressors. And to top it off, the Surefire Masterfire holster can be configured so that the weapon light switches on when the pistol is drawn.

Anyway, I was pretty excited about Surefire’s release; I rarely ask to review a specific product (I take what the bosses see fit to assign) however this was one I couldn’t pass up requesting as soon as I got home.

Surefire Masterfire

Let’s get my clarification statements out of the way early: I am not a modern day Wyatt Earp. I don’t practice 1000’s of draw strokes or shoot steel plates until they are unrecognizable. As such, I don’t consider myself a holster expert. But like all of my reviews, I feel like I can give you a real-world take on how a particular product would fit into your bag of tricks. Finally, please adhere to all of the firearms safety rules – act like lives depend on your proper storage, use and carrying of guns.

Enough of my blabbering, let’s check out the Masterfire.

Surefire Masterfire Lights:

Since the holster itself is centered around the weaponlight, let’s start with model compatibility. Chances are if you use a Surefire light on your pistols, it probably won’t work with the Masterfire. Surefire only recently released the models with the needed attachment points. So you will most likely need to buy a new light to go along with your new holster. A little disappointing? Sure. A deal breaker? No. Remember, since the holster keys off your light, whatever gun has the light mounted is by default compatible with your new holster.

Here are three generations of Surefire X300 weapon lights. Moving left to right, my five year old X300, a six month old X300U-B and the Masterfire ready X300UH-A. Notice the cutouts on the bezel of the last one.

Surefire Masterfire ReAdy x300UH-A Specifications:

  • Max Output — White Light 600 .0 lumens
  • Tactical Runtime** 1 .75 hours
  • Length 3 .7 inches
  • Bezel Diameter 1 .125 inches
  • Weight w/Batteries 4 .4 oz
  • MSRP: $300

Features:

  • Cam-slotted bezel and rear locking lugs on battery housing interface with MASTERFIRE holster for secure weapon retention
  • Serves as the interface for the MASTERFIRE holster system for almost any pistol with a tactical rail
  • Special high-performance LED produces 600 lumen
  • Custom TIR lens creates smooth, far-reaching beam with a larger center spot beam
  • Integral ambidextrous momentary- and constant-on switching
  • Attaches securely to both Universal and Picatinny accessory rails
  • Weatherproof O-ring and gasket sealing
  • High-strength aerospace aluminum body, Mil-Spec hard anodized for extreme durability
  • Accepts optional pressure-activated DG switches for precision control without altering grip on weapon
  • Backed by SureFire’s No-Hassle Guarantee

The X300UH-B was created to interface with SureFire’s revolutionary MASTERFIRE Rapid Deploy Holster. This compact but powerful WeaponLight features a unique bezel with cam slots, and pin slots on both sides of the body, that lock the light into the holster, securing the weapon at an advantageous angle for quick deployment. The X300UH-B is designed to automatically activate when the weapon is drawn from the MASTERFIRE holster (if the holster is manually set for this function), saving valuable time in high-stress situations and making one-handed manipulations easier. Because the MASTERFIRE holster interfaces with the WeaponLight instead of the pistol, and features an open design, most any X300UH-equipped pistol can be accommodated by it.


Besides the X300UH-A (B), Surefire has additional models that are compatible with the new holster in varying price and feature ranges.

So why do you need a new light for the Surefire Masterfire holster? Let’s take a closer look at the mount points for lockup and retention.

In the middle of the Masterfire, two stainless pins act as the retention mechanism. The pin pictured on the top is disengaged with the thumb-break style Level 3 actuator. The pin pictured on the bottom can be set as an additional Level 3 retention mechanism using the side mounted switch.

In the front, two stationary stainless pivot point pins engage the light’s bezel:

The light drops in easily and snugly into the retention area. The polymer used to make the holster is solid, unlike Kydex, with virtually no give or play. I’d describe it as similar to the material used to make Pelican cases.

Surefire Masterfire Holster Specifications:

  • Length 8.25 inches (21 cm)
  • Width 4.48 inches (11.4 cm)
  • Weight 8.75 oz. (248 g)
  • MSRP:  $165

Features:

  • Positions holster at optimized angle for a fast, consistent draw stroke
  • Provides Level 3 retention, securing firearm with primary and secondary locking systems
  • Indexes off of H-Series WeaponLights (XH15, X300UH, X400UH), not the weapon, so it accommodates a wide range of handguns
  • Can be set to automatically activate the WeaponLight and/or laser, saving valuable time in high-stress situations
  • Open design accommodates red-dot optics and even a suppressor, including SF Ryder Series suppressors
  • Constructed of durable, lightweight polymer
  • Customizable for personal preferences and adjustable to fit most any duty belt

The revolutionary SureFire MASTERFIRE Rapid Deploy Holster (RDH) is a lightweight, durable holster that provides a tactical advantage with its ergonomic, one-of-a-kind design. It securely holds most any railed handgun equipped with a SureFire H-Series WeaponLight, positioning it at an advantageous angle for a fast, consistent draw stroke. A proprietary lug-and-cam system locks the firearm in place with Level 3 retention, utilizing both a primary and secondary locking system, which is released by an ergonomic thumb-break for rapid weapon deployment. The holster’s open design also accommodates most any red-dot optics and/or suppressor.


Function Of the Surefire Masterfire Holster:

The holster itself is obviously an outside the waistband (OWB) thread-through belt design. It rides slightly lower than a standard OWB holster, sitting about at the pocket level, giving a comfortable hand placement for draw strokes. The screws on the belt attachment can be switched to a second set of holes that puts the Masterfire at a slight forward cant, depending on your carry style.

Unholstering requires using your thumb to disengage the retention and a slight rock forward on the gun as you pull up. With the light switch in the ‘off’ position, the draw is smooth with little to no resistance. With the light in the ‘on’ position, it takes a bit more force to remove the gun, pulling the holster out and away slightly before breaking free. Configured as a thigh rig, I see the the ‘light-on’ draw being more controllable as opposed to an OWB setup.

Like every new piece of gear, the process to reholster using the Masterfire takes some practice. But after a few dozen draws and ‘return to holster’ dry runs, the process starts to become second nature.

I did attempt to cause a few malfunctions. Obviously, debris inside the holster will prevent the light from fully seating and the pistol locking up in the mechanism itself. However, I didn’t see this as any more of an issue than a standard holster when chaff gets inside.

I also tried to wrench the gun free from the holster both with and without the the second Level 3 lock engaged. And while I didn’t torture it, I couldn’t get the gun to break free without engaging the locking mechanism.

In a pseudo Cowboy-style fashion, I open carried the setup through the dense woods in an attempt to get the gun to work free without actively working the disengagement mechanism. And although the pistol (and optic and sights) are more exposed than other holster designs, I never felt that the whole setup was unsecure or at any more risk than normal. Sure, a hood would protect the Trijicon RMR better, but like all good gear, features are a compromise between utility, protection and function.

Surefire Masterfire

Conclusions:

Overall, the Surefire Masterfire holster represents true innovation – this isn’t a new take on an old design. Surefire has come up with with a near revolutionary system for a universal holster.

Is it perfect? No, it does have some detractors, mostly centered on the fact that it requires purchasing a new light, but the fact that I am able to carry virtually any suppressed pistol with a SF weaponlight, for me, overrides most of the downsides.

This is an extremely well made system that obviously will see some real world testing in the coming months. I’ll update TFB readers with any reports, good or bad.

Cons:

  • Requires the purchase of a new weaponlight ($150+)

Neutral:

  • Price – $160
  • Righthand only (at the moment)
  • OWB only (at the moment
  • Drawstroke with the ‘light on’ feature requires more force than with ‘light off’

Pros:

  • Universal holster for any weaponlight enabled pistol
  • Level 3 retention
  • Muzzle devices like compensators and suppressors can be holstered
  • Easy re-holstering
  • True innovation in holster design and function

Surefire Masterfire



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com
Twitter: @gunboxready
Instagram: @tfb_pete
https://www.instagram.com/tfb_pete/


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  • d

    Interesting concept. I would never want the holster to activate the light. The light must be controlled by me, going on when I want and off when I want. There are many times that a light will give away your position

    • There are probably a million more times where having the light turn on automatically would be an advantage. Can’t have it both ways, would think automatic on is better.

      • Gary Kirk

        You can have it both ways.. The automatic on feature can be turned off..

  • Giolli Joker

    Say it that you asked to review this to out-Roland Patrick in public.
    Mean Pete.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Lol. Awesome.

      • Flounder

        If this is true… Pete is the Troll king.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Can it get up ten minutes before I wake up in the morning and start frying some bacon so I wake up to the smell of bacon?

    • Cymond

      If it does, I’ll order today.

  • “True innovation in holster design and function”

    At it’s core this is an IPSC/USPSA race holster set to index off the light. And most newer race holsters provide positive locks too. I’ve found out first hand how effective the lock is on my Safariland 014, when I forget to unlock it…

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      No, your right. The light activation and mount points are pretty sweet. It’s a unique “forward thinking” piece of gear. As much as I hate that term.

    • AK™

      Goes to rapidly draw gun from holster,yanks so hard without releasing safety lock, that your leg comes up and kicks you in the face..thereby knocking you out.

  • Christopher Wallace

    what comp is on the gun pictured

    • Giolli Joker

      Strike Industries G4 Slide Comp.
      Locked on the slide, not on the barrel.

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        Review shortly. Then it’s headed to Patrick R “Roland” lol

        • KestrelBike

          give us a spoiler: do you like it? Worth the price of admission?

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            Like I said, I’m not a comp guy, but for the price and ease of installation, it’s absolutely worth the MSRP. Functions as advertised, well made. Review should be published this week depending on schedule availability.

  • Silas

    For what it’s worth, this concept has been around for a while, at least for IWB. Check out Armordillo Concealment Xfer and the Raven Vanguard 3.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      I have a Vanguard. I like my Vanguard. Senator, this is no Vanguard.

      Joking aside, I get your point. The weaponlight switch is pretty unique. It does have a race-gun feel to it, but with better retention and durability.

      • William Elliott

        does the vanguard lock to the light? The Armordillo [I have one] is tension retention, and though its acceptable, I prefer something with a little more positive retention [minimum, a thumb break snap] to hold the pistol in place during…unexpected departure from controlled locomotion [IE, my dumb-ass trips and goes rolling down a hill or something]

  • Cactus Air Force

    Maybe fawn about this new expensive (150$ light 160$ holster vs. the light you already have and a 50$ kydex holster) product a little bit less? This is a holster designed to make you buy another Surefire.

    “For one, the Masterfire holster system is unique in that it engages the weapon light rather than the gun itself.”
    -Not even remotely unique, as stated, holsters like the XFer and the Vanguard have been around for a while, and the ease of use/ubiquitous nature of Kydex means that eventually a holster will be made for every part of a gun. Hell ENDO has shown guys with AR15 kydex scabbards, it’s accessible even for complete fools. In addition, the XFer is literally designed for the exact series of weapon light you are referring to, so it’s a bit odd that you would call this ‘unique’. Not only that, these other holsters, by virtue of being easily molded kydex, offer models compatible with older X200 and X300 lights, so you won’t need the latest and greatest from Surefire to use. Both of those options are much cheaper than the Masterfire.

    “Two, its open front design allows for the carrying of pistols with muzzle devices and suppressors.”
    -Everybody does this. Not many people see the need for closed-bottom holsters, they just gather muck. Its just another option, which, again, is easy to include if you’re making simple kydex. How many holster company websites have you seen where there’s a drop down menu for accommodations like RMR cuts, suppressor sights, and compensators? Hell, the crossbreed supertuck I am currently wearing is an open front design, so I guess that’s a feature now?

    “And to top it off, the Surefire Masterfire holster can be configured so that the weapon light switches on when the pistol is drawn.”
    -I have no problem using the power switch included on the light that sits in my trigger guard. I never have to worry about what setting my holster is on (I never thought I would have to write that sentence), it’s just another thing to forget, and there’s times when I wouldn’t want my 50,000,000 lumen light to turn on and kill my night vision. Either way you’re using a switch. I don’t know why this isn’t working out for someone.

    As stated, this mention of retention isn’t new, just new to weapon light holsters. Nothing about this holster is unique other than the material used, which just serves to jack up the price.

    • Cactus Air Force

      Actually I was too harsh. It’s not designed JUST to sell lights. It’s probably a great holster in its own right, yada yada anyway. Just think it’s a bit tacticool.

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        No, I totally get it. You were honest, which is fine. And my “con” was the light purchase requirement.

        • Nicholas C

          Surefire does make an “entry level” light. They XH15. Single cell. It is like $150 I think.

          One major downside is that it lacks momentary activation.

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            It’s in the list of compatible Holsters I posted.

      • Nicholas C

        The major benefit of this holster is any pistol that can mount a Surefire light will work with this holster.

        “Go get custom kydex made” that is easier said than done. My friend personally has pistols that are uncommon and know one he knows will make a custom kudex Holster for him. Also getting a custom holster for every setup is a bit excessive.

        Holsters for a pistol with weaponlight and suppressor mounted are not common.

        • Cactus Air Force

          The thing is, both the vanguard and X-fer V2 are also compatible with the vast majority of pistols that can mount a weapon light. The inherent design of flashlight holsters makes them near universal anyway. Vanguard holsters states “As a general rule, any Pistol + X300U A/B combination will fit as long as the distance between the muzzle end of the gun and the bezel end of the light is ¾” and I said, well yeah, sounds about right. Everything is glock 19 sized nowadays, duty pistols have an incentive to make rails semi-standardized.

          I didn’t really mean to suggest getting custom kydex made, because it can take some time for a custom fitment. Many of the newer, highly-tacticool companies offer these extra accommodations as standard, and if you open up the sale page for a holster and it has less drop down menus than Arma III then they’re slacking. This idea really just a logical continuation of an existing trend of an over-saturation of holster companies, so of course my entitled consumer ass is going to sit over here and sing the song of my people (“Too expensive!”) until they’re stocking these at my corner 7-11 next to the gum.

          However, I’m intrigued that you are having a hard time with custom kydex. This may just be my own locational ignorance, but in both Virginia and Georgia on our local Armslist and facebook groups there always are a couple of people cranking out kydex holsters, who will happily mold to a specific gun. I have great experiences with this guy from Opelika who started up a holster company out of the blue; he made me holsters for a Norinco 213 with a ridiculous compensator and an Astra A80 of all things. I honestly think the best bet for getting an obscure gun on your belt is a custom kydex job in this day and age. If you have eccentric gun tastes (and why wouldn’t you?) the easiest way forward is custom.

          You’re right about the holster with suppressors – its a priorities thing. I saw “muzzle devices and suppressors” and I thought about coolkid muzzle brakes first. I’m not on that NFA life.

          • Nicholas C

            Yeah I’m all about suppressors now. I’m surprised Pete did not expand more into suppressor compatibility with his review.

            There aren’t many holster options for running suppressed pistol and weaponlight.

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            The truth is, all the pics I took with cans mounted sucked.

          • William Elliott

            As far as I can tell, its the only “locking” holster that works off the light and not the gun, with an open top that allows for a suppressor. My only concern is, as much as I would like one, they don’t have a V [Night vision] light option yet.
            But hey, I’m picky that way.
            I agree a shroud would be good for protecting the rest of the gun/optics…I wonder if it could be retrofitted…like a panel that attaches to the main body of the holster?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Just because you don’t want an auto-activation option doesn’t mean it’s not new and unique.

      There aren’t many suppressor ready holsters, which is obviously important to me. I don’t compensate. Lol.

      As stated above, I have a Vanguard, and many Kydex holsters. I’m not knocking Kydex at all. What I mean was that kydex wouldn’t work for this design.

  • DanGoodShot

    Pete, you always find the coolest new toys. That’s why I get all giddy whenever I see it’s one of your articles.
    Edit: The down side: my wallet hates when I see your articles. 😉

  • Nicholas C

    FYI the extra holes in the paddle are not for a change in rotation of the holster. Try it. The release button gets in the way. Surefire told me it is for a left handed model they plan on buying.

  • Lawrence Yu

    Might have to give this holster a try. Was very interested when I saw the articles about it at shotshow. I have an omnivore which is the same concept with the light being the attachment point. (It also comes with a separate rail attachment if you don’t want to use the WML) However, it’s about the same size as a bulimic walrus so not an ideal solution. Btw, what is the magwell you’re using in the pictures? Thanks for the review!

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Zev Compact Magwell

  • GSC

    Does the holster index off any part of the light other than the bezel? I’d guess Surefire could offer just the new heads but probably won’t…

    • Andrew

      Yes, in addition to the bezel, there is engagement points on the rear of the light. You can see the 4 metal tabs that engage with the light in the fourth picture of this review.

      • William Elliott

        I was just thinking about it. The two rear tabs are the actual locking tabs whil the bezel tabs are mostly for positioning. I wish we could see exactly where the rear two tabs interface on the body of the light. IF older lights can be retrofitted with a compatable bezel, and the body has the “snap in” locations for the rear tabs already, then retrofitting my X300V or an X400V might just be a matter of adapting the twist bezel

  • Friend of Tibet

    Anyone knows what is that muzzle device on the glock?

  • carlcasino

    I will volunteer to review all these “flashlights” that go up to $600.00 for free to just get a decent high output LED light that will Blind an attacker and strobe my dog to leave Dodge. Oh and use a 1$ battery vs a 5$ low life one.

  • Joe Gamer

    It doesn’t really look like you could use it with a suppressor though so what’s the point?