The SureFire X-Series lights are an industry standard ever since Paul Kim (PK) designed them for SureFire over a decade ago. The X200 pistol light has evolved since into the X300 and then into the X400 with integrated laser. When PK developed their Vampire series of lights, they incorporated that technology to create the X400V. And now they have the X400VH which is compatible with their Masterfire holster.
Masterfire Holster – One Holster To Hold Them All
Pete reviewed the Masterfire holster two years ago. I got one when it came out and the one thing they did not have was an X400V that was compatible with the Masterfire. They had a regular visible X400UH in red or green laser.
One of the bigger changes from the original X300 to the new ones was the method of attachment to the pistol accessory rail. For the longest time, the X-series pistol lights used a spring tension plate with a crossbar. You just slide it over the rail and the plate locks into the slot in the rail under spring pressure. Now they use an adjustable clamp and side screw.
The biggest challenge in making the X400VH was to make the bezel index with the pins of the Masterfire holster. On a regular visible Masterfire light the bezel has two indentations, one on each side. Those interface with the holster to lock the bezel in place when holstered.
Look at the original X400 and X400V below.
The X400V head has three positions. You pull the head forward and twist it into position to select White light, OFF, or IR light.
And because the X400V and X300V flashlights have rotating bezels, making them compatible with the Masterfire holster took a while. So instead of two indexing indentations, the X400VH has six indentations. two for each mode selected. Below you can see the indentations for White and IR modes while OFF index points are on the side.
The X400V features another selector switch to control the laser and light. You can have just the laser, just the light, have them both on simultaneously or if you rotate the switch all the way right or left it is a master shut off. That way the light won’t turn on even if the toggle switches are bumped in a range bag.
For some reason, SureFire redesigned the X400VUH rotary selector switch.
The new rotary switch is smaller and has star shape to it.
For some reason, I found the X400VH would occasionally switch off when I re-holstered my gun. I don’t mean turning off the light as that is the Masterfire holster’s function. But the rotary selector switch would get bumped and switch to off. However, when I try to replicate the results on camera, it does not want to do it. But I spent a whole night at Don Edward’s Night Fighters course annoyed that the rotary switch kept rotating when I did not want it. Also, I had issues drawing the gun and the light would turn on but as soon as I took a shot, the light would shut off.
Why Would You Want An X400VH When You Can Have Red Dots?
The X400V is great for shooting with night vision. However, it requires custom made holsters. I have yet to find a holster for my modified Glock as you see above. Since the Masterfire holds onto compatible weaponlights and not the gun, I can use any gun with the Masterfire holster. And with the X400VH I can now holster a night vision compatible handgun.
Now under normal scenarios, a red dot mounted on a handgun is going to be the best setup for shooting under night vision. The red dot works in the day and at night. However, there are some exceptions to that rule. Tritium powered red dots like my dual power RMR do not work with the coatings in my ANVIS9 objective lenses. They are invisible and become useless. The other instance where a red dot doesn’t work with night vision is when it dies unexpectedly. I had an Aimpoint T2 die on me in the middle of the first stage at a night match. Here is the video below of that fantastic disaster.
Since the Aimpoint T2 died on me, no it was not just a dead battery, I had to resort to using the X400VH. But given the issues I had at the Night Fighters course, I decided to just manually activate the light.
Later that night the comp on my Glock fell off mid-stage but I didn’t notice it until the following stage. The gun would not cycle properly and when I discovered the problem I had to resort to a backup gun, my Glock 19X. But it has a dual power tritium RMR on it which I cannot see with my ANVIS. So I had to try and rezero the X400V onto that pistol and run the rest of the match.
I like the X400VH for the fact that I can holster any gun and use it to shoot with night vision. However, I have not figured out the issues such as accidentally bumping the selector switch and the partial activation issues. It could be an issue with my holster but I only have one example of this. I do not know anyone else running the same holster and light setup. However, it did save me at the night match when everything went wrong. I also forgot to mention my friend that night borrowed my pistol caliber AR and he managed to make it not work after his gun stopped working. So even when three guns stopped working, the SureFire X400VH kept me in the game, literally.
There is the issue of cost. The X400VH retails for $879. That is a bit much especially since Streamlight has just come out with their TLR-VIR II and you can get those for less than half the price of the X400VH. We got one in, so look forward to that review soon. While it is cheaper than the SureFire, is it better? We shall find out.
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