Thursday, January 23, 2014

Roger Streamlight Rail Light Review

Roger Streamlight Rail Light Review

I believe in the use of tactical lights, however I have been challenged with their actual use.  Most of us who are already carrying around a pistol, extra mag, tactical flashlight, mace, and folding knife plus daily items start to feel more like Batman. 

A lot of people now are mounting lights to their firearms, however the problem is that is not always appropriate from a lighting, defensive, or ergonomic perspective. Also, most tactical weapon lights are not especially flat to carry in a pocket or ergonomic in the hand.

Weapon mounted tactical lights are also generally misused. Most people use the light like it was just a flashlight all the while forgetting that it is attached to a loaded gun which is dialed in to shoot pretty much where you are pointing the light. Tactical lights should be used only for final target identification and not general purpose lighting otherwise you end up pointing a gun at you something you do not want to distroy. Pointing a gun at someone without cause in some states is a felony; all be it, a very grey area of law.

Tactical lighting is a necessity whether it be in hand or weapon attached.  Bill Roger took a different approach and developed the Roger’s Rail Light which is simple, small, light and inexpensive option to tactical lighting for the CCW owner.

Bill Rogers is the the chief instructor at the Rogers Shooting School, is a former FBI Agent, police instructor, successful inventor, is well known in the shooting industry as an inventor and product engineer. He has been a world ranked IPSC shooter, a state trap champion, and has over 40 years of shooting competition experience. Bill has invented many of the holsters and equipment used by police and military worldwide, invented the target system and the method of instruction used at his Roger’s Shooting school, and of course invented the Super-Stoc and this Rail Light based on his vast experience and feedback from friends in the military, law enforcement, and competition community. I also learned of an awesome single point sling and gun cleaning Bore Squeeg-E system which DPMS now is also licensing for their kit, but those will be a different reviews.

Bill took the approach that we did not need a billion lumens of light in the same inconvenient sized case, but instead use the advancements in lighting technologies to provide a smaller and easier to carry light option which could still quickly attach/detach from a firearm.  The result was a snap-on and snap-off Rogers Rail Light designed for the industry standard 1913 Picatinny rails we find on all AR15s and almost every mid-large framed semi-automatic pistol on the market.

It should be rather obvious that Rogers is using the LED AAA powered Streamlight Microstream which mounts into the Rogers Rail Light chassis. The light is included as a kit which has a street price of around $35 which anyone can afford. In talking with Bill, making an affordable lighting option was one of his design goals. According to Bill, “We don’t need to illuminate the moon in a tactical situation, we just need to clearly illuminate what is 25-yards in front of us at night and the Microstream does a great job at that very affordably.” The Microstream features an unbreakable polycarbonate lens, machines aluminum body, is water resistant rated IPX4, and best of all it uses inexpensive and readily available AAA batteries. I of course recommend opting for the lithium versions for longer runtime and higher reliability. Although the 28-lumen rating of the light may seem low, the Microstream puts nearly 100% of that light into a very tight beam, so ultimately you end up with a light which seems far brighter than the lumens would indicate.

The mount is high strength polymer which is designed clip on a firearm by sliding it on the rail. Detaching only requires the light side to be rolled downward and it quickly detaches. Simple and easy with no screws, levers or gadgets to deal with.  Depending on the tactical or defensive situation, the Rogers Rail Light could be used in hand or clipped on quickly.

The Rogers Rail light is ambidextrous and does allow the light positioning on the left or right. Generally the light will be placed on the support hand side so that the support hand thumb or index finger can operation the momentary and on/off switch as needed. All that is required for the switch is to loosen the light retention screws flip the light and move the rail lock to the other side.  The light can also be move forward or backward to position the light conveniently for activation. The Streamlight’s button is designed to require fingertip push to click it on/off, however smashing the button with thumb or finger lightly allows momentary operation of the light; very well thought out for a simply button.

The other really cool feature I like is how easy the Roger Rail light can be carried in the pocket.  The Micrstream includes a pocket clip which allows the entire Rail Light to be clipped into the pocket for quick access. Once in hand the light can be used for general lighting operations or quickly slipped onto the firearm.

There are a lot of things about the Rogers Rail Light that really like. It delivers enough light without being bulky, has a pocket clip for easy access, it works well on both handguns and I even tested it on my AR15 and of course the $35 Street Price is beyond affordable in the land of $200 tactical lights.  

There is a note in the p that the Streamlight Microstream never designed as a dedicated weaponlight, however I had no issues with the light on my Walther PPX, PPS, or Glocks or even my AR15s. Technically the Microstream features polycarbonate lens and LED which are both impact proof so I do not foresee any issues as long as it is not used as a dedicated weaponlight you plan on beating up. 

Everyone should carry a tactical light. They are indispensable in day-to-day life and critically important in final identification of someone you have to shoot in defense. At this price everyone should own one. The Roger Rail Light is the perfect solution to the CCW owner who wants a simple and inexpensive working multi-light option and at under $40 there is nothing else like it on the market.

Fits on any Picatinny/1913 rail
Ambidextrous design
Houses the Streamlight
Microstream® and Protac 2AAA®
Positions the tail on/off switch
right at shooters forward thumb
Easy snap on and off installation
Extremely light weight
Made of a heavy duty polymer
External rib design for added
strength and grip
Multipurpose Light
Supporti hand's thumb activated
Momentary and Click on  Off
Can be carried in pocket easily
Made in USA
Street Price $35


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