Firetail – Ergonomics Of A Tapeswitch Without The Wires

Nicholas C
by Nicholas C

Activating a weaponlight comes in two flavors. Pressing a button on the light, typically the tailcap, or using a remote tape switch that is connected by wires. In some rare cases, you have companies like Aimshot who use wireless tape switches. Well, POSI-Lum has come out with a new twist on weapon light activation and they call it the Firetail.

Photo by POSI-Lum

The Firetail is an attachment that activates the tailcap of 1″ handheld flashlights. It is a ring that clamps onto the tailcap and the ring has a hinged tail. By pressing the hinged tail, there is a bump that will press the button on the tailcap for you.

Photo by POSI-Lum
Photo by POSI-Lum

Looking at the photos of the Firetail, I was a little concerned about the tail and whether it would flip out of the way when you do not want it to. However, there is an exploded diagram of the Firetail on their website. From the looks of it, there is a spring-loaded ball detent to keep the tail in place.

Photo by POSI-Lum

POSI-Lum makes some interesting claims.

FireTail doesn’t modify the functionality of your rifle-mounted flashlight, it merely changes the direction of pressure required for activation. By attaching a FireTail to the tailcap of your rifle-mounted tactical flashlight, you gain the ability to activate your flashlight with a less awkward, more ergonomic lateral squeeze motion. Laterally applied pressure (squeezing) is a more intuitive, natural motion for support-hand activation.

They claim that “laterally applied pressure is more intuitive”. But do not mention against what method is it more intuitive. I suppose pressing/squeezing sideways is slightly more ergonomic than trying to push the tailcap button forward.

If a tail-cap-mounted tape switch fails, the user has no way of activating their light because the original tailcap button has been replaced with the now-faulty tape switch. This could leave someone in a dangerous predicament without the ability to identify their target. If however, the FireTail ever breaks, accessibility to the original pressure switch is still available. A user can still activate their light in a possibly life-threatening situation.

This claim is a bit of a stretch. For weaponlights like the Streamlight Protac rail mount, this is true. You replace the pushbutton tailcap for a tape switch and if something happens to the cable or tape switch, you cannot turn on the light. However, weaponlights by SureFire, like the Millennium Series or Scout Light series do not have this problem. While the original Scout Light tape switch tailcap was originally designed without a backup push button, they came out with the DS00 tailcap that resembles the Millennium tailcap. So they both have a socket for the remote tape switch and a backup push button all in one tailcap.

Being a simple, self-contained mechanical device, a FireTail consists of only three moving parts that are constructed of either 6061 aluminum or high-strength glass-filled nylon (similar to what a modern striker-fired pistol receiver is made of). The FireTail gives you the ability to activate your rifle-mounted light with an ergonomic squeeze motion, and because it’s rugged and 100% mechanical, you don’t need to worry about snagged, broken, or melted electronic wires.

It seems they are exploring making the Firetail either out of machined aluminum or molded out of polymer.

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I am not sure how well this works. I have some concerns. Handheld lights are not typically suited for weaponlight use. So already you are using a disadvantageous light. Couple with the fact that you have to mount the light as well. The Firetail might be more complicated than needed. But I will try to get one and write up a small review. I have some ideas on how this could be better and it might be useful for some of you. The Firetail is not yet available. For more information check out their website.

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Nicholas C
Nicholas C

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  • Egghead Egghead on Feb 26, 2020

    This thing cost 70 dollars, ouch

    • Uncle Yar Uncle Yar on Feb 26, 2020

      @egghead Lol what. I'd buy one and make a 3d print model for the thing. Sell the copies for 5-10 a pop.

  • Ravyn Smith Ravyn Smith on Mar 06, 2020

    The FireTail is now available on the website and on Amazon. You should check it out!