Army In Search of Laser/Light Module for Modular Handgun

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss
M17 Equipped with LaserMaxDefense ‘Pistol Enhancer’ (US Army)

With the adoption of the SIG Sauer P320 last year, the US Army has been searching for a new laser/light module for its M17 / M18 Modular Handgun System. Back in June, we covered the module shown off by Program Executive Office Soldier at a Pentagon Close Combat Lethality Tech Day. This was an offering from Streamlight based on their TLR-8. But according to the latest reports, there is another contender.

A recent Army Times article has shed more light on the Army’s search for a Multifunction Aiming Light, or MFAL for the Modular Handgun System. According to Daryl Easlick, a Capability Development Manager, of the Army’s Lethality Branch the army is looking MFALs from both Streamlight and LaserMax Defense.

Curtis Brookshire Jr., a systems engineer at Program Executive Office Soldier, shows the Army’s new Multifunction Aiming Light, mounted on the rails of a Modular Handgun during the “Close Combat Lethality Tech Day” demonstration, at the Pentagon, May 24, 2018. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by David Vergun)

While the Army Times’ article does not state which LaserMax Defense product the Lethality Branch has been evaluating, it does show a photograph of an M17 equipped with what appears to be the companies Pistol Enhancer (LMD-PE-IR-1).

Easlick explained the difficulties with developing an optimal MFAL, “I can get a lot of white light, but that takes a lot of battery. But with a lot of battery I have a lot of size.” The Pistol Enhancer (LMD-PE-IR-1) and Streamlight TLR-8 appear to be two promising options with the ‘Pistol Enhancer’ reportedly having double the range of a standard TLR-8. Both the light/laser modules will be given to troops for field testing over summer 2018.

Easlick said that with further testing, involving safety testing, budget planning, and laser specific testing is needed before the new MFAL can be selected and adopted. Easlick expects the light to be fielded sometime in 2019. He also said that the Army is looking for a suitable holster which can be used with the to-be-selected MFAL.

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Matthew Moss
Matthew Moss

Managing Editor: TheFirearmBlog.com & Overt Defense.com. Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. Matt is also runs The Armourer's Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms. Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news. Reach Matt at: matt@thefirearmblog.com

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  • Mig1nc Mig1nc on Jul 25, 2018

    Wow, the LaserMax only has 150 lumens on the white light?

  • Paddy Paddy on Jul 25, 2018

    Well at least they'll be able to see better accuracy when holding the pistol sideways while they shoot.

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