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jhedge05

M4 surefire M80

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I've been doing some research in ways to attach a weapon mounted light to my M1014. So far the surefire M80 forend looks the best to me but people have been saying it has pitfalls. What are the pitfalls of this system and does anyone have one installed with pros or cons from their experience? I'd also like to hear some other suggestions to mount a light to my gun. I don't want to use a tube mounted system as i've had bad experience with them in the past.

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Some people love them, some don't like them.

 

I have very limited first hand experience with one, but if I had to make a list of issues ...

 

1) - Issues with hot gas being let right out onto hands, or something

2) - fitment and strength issues, wobble, ill fit in receiver etc

3) - the design is such that if it's flexed, it prevents the gas pistons from moving via friction, thus potentially jamming your gun

4) - Ugly as sin

5) - Not true 1913 spec rails.

6) - heavy?

 

These issues could all be resolved by now, but I lost any interest I ever really had in the rail. I may have even made some of the issues up in a temporary bout of insanity. I'm just giving you a list of stuff to check out ... I seem to remember threads on all these issues, for better or for worse.

 

As far as how to mount a light on an m4 ... it's a bit of pain right now, as I (and many others) find the aftermarket options to be pretty slim.

 

You basically either get a railed handguard (surefire, B&T, FAB and sidearmor) and then attach a light to that, or you get a mag tube/barrel clamp mount and attach a light like that, but it must be removed every time the gun is disassembled ...

 

The slickest, and IMO most desirable light setup I've seen thus far is something like this ...

 

benellim4forend.jpg

benellim4forendinside.jpg

Edited by Duggan

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benellim4forendwM3.jpg

benellim4forendwM3full.jpg

 

If I can score an extra set of hand guards I will likely try to duplicate something like this ...

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I just bought one for some testing.

 

The fit for my M4 has been quite well. I haven't had the chance to do any live fire testing on it yet.

 

Duggan is right about the out of true spec rails. The side rails have a channel cut down the center similar to the factory Benelli top rail. The bottom rail appears to be in spec though. What does this mean in the real world? This is to be determined. I've mounted my LaRue mount to the side rails for my X300, and it hasn't shown any wear.

 

The rail system is thicker than the factory handguards. Depending on what kind of rail covers/ladders, this size will vary.

 

Now here is what I dislike about the handguard mounted rail system.

3590985341_53caa44cca.jpg?v=0

 

3591792876_71991d86f0.jpg?v=0

 

As you can see, my hand is hitting the remote switch cable. This is less than ideal in my opinion. I even have the LaRue mount mounted further forward than ideal.

 

If there was an offset mount that moved the light higher up, that would work out alright. I'm looking at an angled offset mount. Maybe something like this:

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=160074

 

The ability to mount a sling point on the picatinny rail is better than the factory front sling mount in my opinion.

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sorry had to do individual posts http://www.dsarms.com/Benelli-M4-Quad-Rail-Handguard---BT21353/productinfo/BT21353/

 

or would this be too heavy looks expensive just so you can put a light on it

 

Top rail has that pesky channel cut down the length of the rail. Also, it's not US-made; so it won't work as a "compliance part" (if you're among those who care).

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Some people love them, some don't like them.

 

I have very limited first hand experience with one, but if I had to make a list of issues ...

 

1) - Issues with hot gas being let right out onto hands, or something

2) - fitment and strength issues, wobble, ill fit in receiver etc

3) - the design is such that if it's flexed, it prevents the gas pistons from moving via friction, thus potentially jamming your gun

4) - Ugly as sin

5) - Not true 1913 spec rails.

6) - heavy?

 

These issues could all be resolved by now, but I lost any interest I ever really had in the rail. I may have even made some of the issues up in a temporary bout of insanity. I'm just giving you a list of stuff to check out ... I seem to remember threads on all these issues, for better or for worse.

 

As far as how to mount a light on an m4 ... it's a bit of pain right now, as I (and many others) find the aftermarket options to be pretty slim.

 

You basically either get a railed handguard (surefire, B&T and sidearmor) and then attach a light to that, or you get a mag tube/barrel clamp mount and attach a light like that, but it must be removed every time the gun is disassembled ...

 

The slickest, and IMO most desirable light setup I've seen thus far is something like this ...

 

benellim4forend.jpg

benellim4forendinside.jpg

 

I agree it is small perfect and you do not have to add any crazy looking bulky parts.

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Another option is the FAB rail which I forgot to mention before, but it also has it's share of issues ... it has to be carved out a bit to fit the newer 11707 barrel profile.

 

By the way, not suggesting anyone buy from BOTACH, I'm just raping them for their pictures.

 

http://www.botachtactical.com/fabbem4po4ra.html

 

botach_2057_231880333

botach_2057_234724471

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Is that FAB top rail plastic? It looks like a molding mark down the center.

 

I beleive that the ENTIRE hand guard and rail is polymer (fancy plastic!).

 

I've never seen one in person though, so I could be wrong ... but that is my belief.

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Well I e-mailed surefire and the rep said the M80 rail without rail covers weighs 8.1oz. so the 8oz. i'll save once my titanium tube comes will counteract that. I like the simplicity in the single rail piece put onto factory handguard and wouldn't mind doing that i'm just a little nervous to start cutting up my handguard and have something go wrong. So far out of all of them i like the looks of the surefire the best but i'm not really sure what i'm going to do. The only thing i'm worried about with the M80 is the possibility of a ftf which i've heard could happen but never heard anyone say it happened to them so ??? And also the gases getting blown out to my hands. So if anyone has one installed and ran into either of those problems i'd love to hear about it.

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8.1 ounces? Interesting.

Remember, you're removing the handguards from the weapon also. So that is probably worth 3 or 4 ounces maybe. I am running the ladder rails on the side rails. Then Magpul XTM covers along the bottom. Having XTM covers on all the rails made it feel quite thick.

 

The 5 ounces you'll save with the Ti tube will really help.

 

I 86'ed all the tape switches for now. The trouble with the M80 is it mounts the device where your hand will be.

So I'm currently running the X300 (3.4 ounces) on the right side of the M80 at the very front. I can hit the switch with my support thumb. I'm concerned that the light is going to get beat up or accidently turned on being on the inside towards my body.

 

With this setup, the sling has to be relocated behind the light, or you'll run into obstruction issues.

 

This isn't exactly what I wanted to begin with. The XT07 remote switch was difficult to press and hold in a momentary on fashion. My hand would get fatigued within 20 seconds of pressing it. The 7" cable was way too short too, and they do not offer longer lengths.

 

I have not function tested the weapon yet with the M80 installed. The shotgun is disassembled waiting for the Ti tube.

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STRANGERDANGER:

 

Your set-up is almost like mine..........ha ha...........

 

I like it where my fore grip hand middle and ring finger actuate the momentary on and my pinky actuates the constant on.

 

0412091539.jpg

 

benellishort.jpg

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I hate tape switches, I much prefer push button on/off/temp switches and offset mounts ...

 

G2%20in%20606.JPG

 

bad picture, but you get the idea.

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STRANGERDANGER:

 

Your set-up is almost like mine..........ha ha...........

 

I like it where my fore grip hand middle and ring finger actuate the momentary on and my pinky actuates the constant on.

 

0412091539.jpg

 

benellishort.jpg

 

What bolt-release is that?

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After brain storming most of the weekend, I think I'm going to try to do something a little different.

 

I decided that a forearm mounted activation is okay, but not ideal. I determined that a switch on the pistol grip itself would be far better. The trouble is, getting the switch there without causing a wiring nightmare.

 

I also decided that I need the Sidearmor rail system in order to get the light out of the handguard area. I'm not real happy about having to go that route, but it is a necessary evil. I need the full length top rail in order to route the wiring discreetly.

 

I'm going to use Ranger bands to attach the switch to the left side of the pistol grip so my fingers rest over the switching area. I am also considering mounting it so my strong hand thumb does the activation. I need to perform some tests to see what works best.

 

Why to the pistol grip? I'm a follower of the momentary light is best. Constant on can lead to problems. Also, controlling the light source with your support hand can lead to problems. Lights out any time you reload. Lights out if you move to open a door. Or, you're stuck with constant on.

With the light being controlled by your strong hand that isn't moving positions, you have a greater control over the output.

 

I don't think I can route the wire down the center channel of the top rail abd hold it in place with a ladder rail. The cable is too thick and bows the ladder rail upward and into the iron sight plain. So I'm thinking I'll route it along the side of the rail instead. I think I can get this taken care of with a 18" cable.

 

I'm going to switch out lights to a Surefire Scout Light with a LED head. The reason for this is the X300 is too big when the wiring tail cap is installed. Since the Sidearmor unit is attached to the receiver, there will not be any disassembly issues except unscrewing the stock from the receiver.

 

If needed, I'll use silicon to seat any exposed wiring to the receiver to prevent a snag hazard or damage to the wiring.

 

This will take a few weeks to put together.

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After brain storming most of the weekend, I think I'm going to try to do something a little different.

 

I decided that a forearm mounted activation is okay, but not ideal. I determined that a switch on the pistol grip itself would be far better. The trouble is, getting the switch there without causing a wiring nightmare.

 

I also decided that I need the Sidearmor rail system in order to get the light out of the handguard area. I'm not real happy about having to go that route, but it is a necessary evil. I need the full length top rail in order to route the wiring discreetly.

 

I'm going to use Ranger bands to attach the switch to the left side of the pistol grip so my fingers rest over the switching area. I am also considering mounting it so my strong hand thumb does the activation. I need to perform some tests to see what works best.

 

Why to the pistol grip? I'm a follower of the momentary light is best. Constant on can lead to problems. Also, controlling the light source with your support hand can lead to problems. Lights out any time you reload. Lights out if you move to open a door. Or, you're stuck with constant on.

With the light being controlled by your strong hand that isn't moving positions, you have a greater control over the output.

 

I don't think I can route the wire down the center channel of the top rail abd hold it in place with a ladder rail. The cable is too thick and bows the ladder rail upward and into the iron sight plain. So I'm thinking I'll route it along the side of the rail instead. I think I can get this taken care of with a 18" cable.

 

I'm going to switch out lights to a Surefire Scout Light with a LED head. The reason for this is the X300 is too big when the wiring tail cap is installed. Since the Sidearmor unit is attached to the receiver, there will not be any disassembly issues except unscrewing the stock from the receiver.

 

If needed, I'll use silicon to seat any exposed wiring to the receiver to prevent a snag hazard or damage to the wiring.

 

This will take a few weeks to put together.

 

I have an M600A upgraded with the KX2C head (effectively making it an M600C). I am running the Z61 tail-cap intead of the stock Z68. In my limited fondling static-mounting it on my KAC RAS, the Z61 was much easier to activate than the guarded Z68. It still has lock-out of course to prevent AD's. I am letting the setup go for $220. It has never been used on a weapon, only as a hand-held/static mounted for fondling.

 

This is my ad:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=7&f=25&t=685675

Edited by Unobtanium

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After brain storming most of the weekend, I think I'm going to try to do something a little different.

 

I decided that a forearm mounted activation is okay, but not ideal. I determined that a switch on the pistol grip itself would be far better. The trouble is, getting the switch there without causing a wiring nightmare.

 

I also decided that I need the Sidearmor rail system in order to get the light out of the handguard area. I'm not real happy about having to go that route, but it is a necessary evil. I need the full length top rail in order to route the wiring discreetly.

 

I'm going to use Ranger bands to attach the switch to the left side of the pistol grip so my fingers rest over the switching area. I am also considering mounting it so my strong hand thumb does the activation. I need to perform some tests to see what works best.

 

Why to the pistol grip? I'm a follower of the momentary light is best. Constant on can lead to problems. Also, controlling the light source with your support hand can lead to problems. Lights out any time you reload. Lights out if you move to open a door. Or, you're stuck with constant on.

With the light being controlled by your strong hand that isn't moving positions, you have a greater control over the output.

 

I don't think I can route the wire down the center channel of the top rail abd hold it in place with a ladder rail. The cable is too thick and bows the ladder rail upward and into the iron sight plain. So I'm thinking I'll route it along the side of the rail instead. I think I can get this taken care of with a 18" cable.

 

I'm going to switch out lights to a Surefire Scout Light with a LED head. The reason for this is the X300 is too big when the wiring tail cap is installed. Since the Sidearmor unit is attached to the receiver, there will not be any disassembly issues except unscrewing the stock from the receiver.

 

If needed, I'll use silicon to seat any exposed wiring to the receiver to prevent a snag hazard or damage to the wiring.

 

This will take a few weeks to put together.

 

Respectfully, I think you're ******* nuts.

 

You're buying a ton of replacement parts and adding unnecessary weight (and a big long out of spec rail) just for the sake of wiring a tape switch to your fire control hand ... a hand that should always stay with a firm grip in the weapon, with a finger on or near fire control ... I don't think you will have much luck trying to manipulate a tape switch somehow with that hand, which also gripping the gun and being able to manipulate the trigger as you wish ... I see lots of accidental light discharges and lots of headaches.

 

I think you would be much better off leaving out the tape switch idea all together and going with a push button, offset, support side mounted light. The thumb of your support hand activates and manipulates the light, it allows for temporary or sustained "click on" lighting, and it doesn't alter your grip at all. If you have to reload, click the light on if you want while loading ...

 

Imagine this, changed up to way that would work with you ... (this is how my MRP was set up over the winter, it's a bit different now, but my camera is in my car).

 

LMTMRP01t.jpg

 

^^^^Something like that, but without a VFG in the way ... I was trying a strange grip when I had my gun set up like that. Now, I have 4 XTM rail panels on all 3 sides, and the mount/surefire on the very front of the rail, support hand side. It works amazingly well.

 

It's obviously your gun and you can do what you want with it, it just seems like a bad idea to me and I think you will have a case of buyers regret if you go through with it.

Edited by Duggan

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Duggan,

I know, it is quite a departure from the normal. I was worried about the top rail being out of spec also, but then I realized I don't have any plans to add an optic. I'm just using a relatively light top rail as a bridge to get to a high mounted rail mount that is clear of the handguards.

 

I already did some testing with the tape switch on the pistol grip. Basically, the activation system ends up like how the crimson trace grips work. It doesn't feel awkward or like there is a huge wart on the pistol grip. The only viewable wire when I'm done will be the stub from the back of the Scout, and then from the rear iron sights along the back curved portion of the receiver onto the rubberized pistol grip. I have no qualms about applying an adhesive cover over any exposed wiring.

 

I also run some full size and SBR AR15's with lighting setups similar to your LMT. I'm moving away from the FVG's. I did like the offset light setup when running a FVG though.

 

If things don't work, you guys will be the first to know. I'm not worried about the costs. Since if I hate it, I can send new items back or sell them on gunbroker and recoup the majority of my cash.

 

The only way we're ever going to get a full on rail system that is in spec is if Kip does it. I imagine he's working on this in some fashion. The bosses on his in spec rail are a clue I think.

I probably know less than you guys about this though.

 

If you think this project is crazy, you should see my truck.

3028305070_ce6eed7222.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3234/3028305216_6b742df9af_b.jpg

Yes, it is covered from top to bottom in color matched Line-X.

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Ok, I look forward to seeing the results of your frankenmod then!

 

Nice truck, you nutcase! :)

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I would strongly suggest buying my M600 setup as it is the cheapest you will find that unit. I am losing money on it, but just have no use.

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