Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

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Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by ashwednesday » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:31 pm

Uh, like the titles says. Who uses pressure switches for white lights, and why? How do you set them up? What are the pros and cons? Thanks.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Mall Ninja » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:21 pm

I run a pressure switch mounted at 12:00 just behind the front sight. For me the pros are that I can operate it with either hand, and since I use a thumb over grip, I can activate it without changing my grip, all I need to do is apply a little more pressure with my thumb. I suppose the cons are possibly increased chance of a light ND, although I have not had a problem with that, and possibly some added expense if the light doesnt come with the pressure switch.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by ashwednesday » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:53 pm

Thanks for the info.

Some of my lights came with pressure switches included, which I chucked into a box somewhere, but I want to try them out now. I have an Adcor BEAR and it has a forward charging handle on the left side of the cheese grater, so I had to locate the light on the right side at about 1:00, and reaching the tailcap is a stretch. I was thinking that a pressure switch at 12:00 behind the buis would fix this. The switch has a very short cable. I was going to get an Ergo rail mounting kit in the hopes that it won't interfere with the forward charging handle.

The PSA middy in my safe has a MOE handguard. Can Magpul's pressure switch mount be situated at noon as well? In their literature their pressure switches on the MOE handguard are always on one side or the other. I'm referring to the Magpul MOE illumination kit. I don't mind modding the mount a little bit if necessary to make it fit up there.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by raptor » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:35 am

I prefer pressure switches...except for the fact that they tend to be far more fragile than body mounted momentary switch. I really like the idea of a pressure switch especially on a rifle but when push comes to darkness (the switch fails) ...well I will stick to what is most reliable in critical applications.

I do use a pressure switch for night hog control for my laser and light but this is not a critical application. A failure then is not a disaster.

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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Dave_M » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:54 am

If you must use one, do yourself a favor and get one of the SRxx Surefire setups.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Whackpack7 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:56 am

I recently put a Streamlight HP on my BCM and have had great results. It features both a tail switch and pressure switch which can both be used. The models feature standard and strobe and straight or coiled wires.

The light is mounted on my right side with the rear of the light forward of my vertical fore grip. The pressure switch is behind it. This allows me to actuate the light with the rear switch if holding the fore grip and with the pressure switch if holding the fore end. Double tapping the pressure switch activates strobe, holding is on.

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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Whackpack7 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:03 am

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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Iowa_guy » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:07 am

Whackpack7 wrote:

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A nice short wire running along the side. That is my biggest gripe with some setups, the cord can get snagged easily.

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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Whackpack7 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:53 am

Iowa_guy wrote:
Whackpack7 wrote:

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A nice short wire running along the side. That is my biggest gripe with some setups, the cord can get snagged easily.
Exactly. This configuration came with enough mounting hardware to easily deal with the wires and make sure they were not visable/able to be snagged. I am seriously fond of this light so much that I replaced my Surefire with it. It is cheap(er), dependable, and very ergonomic and well designed. It is aircraft grade aluminum, water proof, and features numerous methods of operation and mounting. The way it is now, I can use either the constant on switch on the rear of the light or the pressure switch allowing my hand to be positioned in different locations. I have had no failures with the switch and it simply unplugs from the main light should I want to remove it. The light is mounted with a finger tight screw instead of one requiring tools.

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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Matt E. » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:55 pm

Con- In the past, pressure switches were very fragile and were prone to rips and tears. Much of the issues were caused by the users failure to manage the cable. When this happens, the cable portion can become caught, torn or ripped out of the light. The fact that there were limited ways to affix the actual pressure portion to the weapon is/was another issue.

Pro- You can activate the light using a grip that's closer to your natural shooting style which doesn't have to be slaved to where the light is placed. This, and along with the fact that many of the switches available today are not the old school blivet type, have made them more popular today. It's why its much more common to see (insert well known firearms instructor here), Mil and LE units using them now. The new ones (Like the SR07 and the SR07-D-IT) also snap to your rail and are low profile. of interest, I have had to replace as many "clicky" or "push button" caps on lights as I have tape switches for .mil. The tape switches I've replaced were generally due to the cable getting caught and ripping, or simply being lost. Clicky caps wear out also. As stated above, many of the tape switch issues can be mitigated by a little thought and managing the loose cable or getting a shorter cable in the first place. (the SR comes in 2" to 9" for example).

The days of hard and fast answers as to which is better are all but gone. However, both the push button and tape switch have their place. That's why so many lights that are intended for use on a long gun come with both options.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by ashwednesday » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:43 pm

A few questions:

Magpul says you can put their illumination kit tape switch mount at the 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 of the MOE handguard. Not at the 12:00. Is this because the curve of the MOE handguard won't accomodate the switch mount, or because the heat from the gas tube will damage the tape switch? I'd much rather have the switch at 12:00.

*Edit: By which I mean on the MOE handguard.
Last edited by ashwednesday on Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by angelofwar » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:37 pm

I have my Surefire M961 has the older U07" tape switch, which has since been replaced by the XM07 (difference being that the XM07 also has a click switch). I have mine running down to the fore-grip. The only issue is that you can't leave the light on, which, can also be seen as a plus (i.e. a "dead-Mans" switch). Other than that, it definetly much easier to "squeeze" the foregrip, where my hand is naturally, instead of trying to tunr a tail-cap or push a switch. Definitely gives you that extra second or two.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by ashwednesday » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:51 am

I read through 60- some pages of the light mount thread on arf.com, going back to 2005. Neat how things have changed. Lots of cool stuff.

Still considering running a tape switch at 12:00 on the rifle with the free float tube and rails, considering trying to get a switch at 12:00 on a MOE handguard as well if possible.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:54 am

Wanted to show off one of the applications for a remote switch.
ImageImage
The bullpup design doesn't leave a lot of room for normal light mounts. They sell a $230 drop in unit, but it's not a momentary switch and can't be activated without your finger off the trigger. I'd expect to see similar rigs for other bullpups as well.

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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Haji » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:28 pm

My rifle previously had a DD 9.5 FSP. I ran an SR07 at the 12 on that rifle for a couple years, about two channels behind the gas block. I don't know if it's possible to run it at the 12 on a MOE because I've never tried to rig it up, but if you can figure out a way to get a rail section on there, the switch won't have a problem with the heat.

Currently, Schwaggie is sporting a DD 12.0 FSP, and the M600C (in tan, which makes it run cooler) has been swapped for an M600 UBoat ((c) Matt E.) in tan, because tan makes everything cooler. The SR07 has been moved to the 3 o'clock to mitigate the risk of frying hand against the FSB when the tape was at the 12 at the front of the rail. Next fore end, I expect to be running a tubular type handguard, and will have the switch back on top again. I find it's the most versatile place to put it.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by ashwednesday » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:33 pm

I've been all wrapped up with moving the last few weeks. Once that nightmare is over I'm going to have Element Arms install a Samson Evo 9.0 EX free float tube on my middie and try out a pressure switch in an Ergo kit at the 12:00. If I love it I will consider changing up to the Surefire switch.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by ashwednesday » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:34 pm

Haji, pics of the current / previous setup?
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by mr.trooper » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:20 pm

I've used work guns with the Surefire forends on them several times. For me, hitting the switch when I needed it felt very awkward ... but yet i was hitting it by accident every time I had to shift ready positions.

BTW, this was one of the older model forends from shortly after they came out. Don't know what sort of tweeks they have made to the design since.

My personal preference would be for a flashlight clamp and a standard button tailcap mounted just ahead of the grip.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Haji » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:44 pm

Only have one current-ish photo, but this is more or less the current configuration (the CTR has been swapped for a B5 Bravo, and the rail panels will change soon, too, to lighten it up a bit more). That's the M600 UBoat ((c) Matt E.); to paraphrase the Bard, Ferriss Bueller, "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up".
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Whackpack7 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:43 pm

Haji wrote:Only have one current-ish photo, but this is more or less the current configuration (the CTR has been swapped for a B5 Bravo, and the rail panels will change soon, too, to lighten it up a bit more). That's the M600 UBoat ((c) Matt E.); to paraphrase the Bard, Ferriss Bueller, "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up".
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Haji » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:04 pm

ATS Two Point Adjustable. Basically, same design as the VTAC and a million others. We make it with jacquard Multicam webbing, which increases accuracy at least 7%. Multicam does that; it has magical accuracy powers.

The previously mentioned B5 Bravo has since been swapped for an LMT SOPMOD. I like the flat butt pad, and with the battery tubes removed, its about the same weight. I started in motion the plan to get a new upper on that rifle, so next time I get a pic of it, it'll probably have a tubular fore end and a Surefire brake instead of the FH that's on it now.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by ashwednesday » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:53 pm

I'm hesitant to order a Surefire pressure switch until I'm completely certain which length of cable fits the best. It's excellent that they have such a range of cable lengths available, though. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and order a Thorntail for my cheese grater Samson Star forend and see how long the cable needs to be with the switch all the way up front at 12:00. I've got some LaRue clips coming as well to manage the wire.
Also, I'm interested in the Lasermax Manta, which is like the Ergo switch mounting kit but a lot narrower, if I'm understanding their advertising propaganda correctly.
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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Whackpack7 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:23 am

Haji wrote:ATS Two Point Adjustable. Basically, same design as the VTAC and a million others. We make it with jacquard Multicam webbing, which increases accuracy at least 7%. Multicam does that; it has magical accuracy powers.

The previously mentioned B5 Bravo has since been swapped for an LMT SOPMOD. I like the flat butt pad, and with the battery tubes removed, its about the same weight. I started in motion the plan to get a new upper on that rifle, so next time I get a pic of it, it'll probably have a tubular fore end and a Surefire brake instead of the FH that's on it now.
Yeah I actually thought it was the VTAC. Everyone kinda has a 2 point of that style. I have one in black, but you know... I NEED one in multicam. It's almost a requirement since it does improve overall accuracy and tactical operation of the weapon. Thanks.

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Re: Pressure switches for lights? Pros and cons?

Post by Haji » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:07 pm

I knew dudes who were stitching that design together by hand out of MOLLE pack strap buckles almost ten years ago. VTAC did a great job of refining the design and making some improvements, but it's the same basic sling. Mine is the much more accurate Multicam, though. :D
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