Skip to main content

Surefire Upgrades Their Concealed-Carry Standard

Surefire Upgrades Their Concealed-Carry Standard

Photos by Mark Fingar

No firearm is harder to equip with a duty-­capable light source than a concealed-­carry pistol (CCP). Think about how much life sucks for a CCP. It’s going to get stuffed into a pair of pants and spend all its days in that warm, dark and moist environment. Life is even bleaker for a light and its accompanying electronics.

Lights mounted on CCPs also have to stand up to the training regimen followed by many that carry. Not only does such a light have to be small, it has to be rugged.

Surefire came out with the XC1 a couple of years ago, and it defined the concealed-­carry handgun light. This tiny light is 2.38-­inches long, about an inch wide and tips the scales at a trim 1.6 ounces. They don’t get much smaller than that.


Surefire-XC1­B-1
The single AAA battery loads from the front and rides next to the LED.

Surefire has been making quality firearm lights longer than anyone else, and they are extremely tough to beat when it comes to building a stout light. SureFire products were and are standard unit purchase items in all the U.S. special operations forces units that I know of and for good reason — they last. You can pack one to the back 40 in Afghanistan and not worry about it going tits up on a dark and dangerous night.


I’ve had a couple of XC1s for about a year and a half, and the size and durability is hard to beat. It puts out 200 lumens, which means it works well for distances it’s likely to see in concealed-carry scenarios.

However, I didn’t particularly care for the toggle switch that had to be held down to keep the XC1 on. When scanning for threats, it’s a great switch. You hold it down while you’re looking for threats, then pull your thumb off the switch when you’re done. There are no white-­light accidental discharges, and you can’t get lazy and leave the light on while you move. That’s a bad idea because anything out there hiding will know right where you are.

Surefire-XC1­B-2"

The problem is that your thumb has to stay on the switch as long as you need the light to stay on. Since the support hand gets jostled around under recoil, so does the switch that thumb is resting on. It felt kind of like having to hold your tongue just right while shooting your pistol. It’s totally doable, but it’s one more thing to think about.

B-Series Boost




The XC1-­B is the same size and shape of the XC1 but with a boost in output (300 lumens) and an improved switch. It’s a noticeable difference and gives the light some extra range when outdoors.

Some fear too much light is a bad thing indoors, but the throw from the XC1-­B is the same as the XC1. These lights were designed for use indoors or at close range, so they throw a wide beam that doesn’t splash back like a focused beam would. Even if you shine the light on a white wall, the beam isn’t focused enough to blind you once you turn it off.

Surefire-XC1­B-3

The boost in lumens is nice, but the change SureFire made to the toggle switch is what I like the most. Shooters desiring the light to stay on simply give the switch a quick tap. The tap turns the light on, and it stays that way until you give it another quick tap to shut it off.


If you prefer the XC1-­B to stay on only while you hold the switch down, you have that option as well. Holding the toggle down provides momentary on, and the light turns off as soon as you release the switch.

There is also a sliding bar that sits near the back of the mount that doubles as a constant-on switch. Push the bar to one side and the light stays on. Push it back the other way and it turns off. Both the XC1 and the XC1-­B have the same sliding bar.

Surefire-XC1­B-4
The reflector in the XC1-B throws a wide beam with no discernable hotspot. This is ideal for any illumination source used in close confines.

The XC1-­B attaches to any pistol with a section of Picatinny rail on the dust cover (portion of the frame forward of the triggerguard). Some pistols look like they have Picatinny rails but actually have proprietary rails that may or may not pair with this light.

The XC1-­B is a great light for anyone keeping a pistol for home defense and definitely an essential item for those carrying concealed.

XC1-B
Type: pistol-mounted light output 300 lumens
Length: 2.38 in.
Weight: 1.6 oz. (with battery)
Battery: 1 AAA
MSRP: $299
Manufacturer: SureFire, surefire.com


 
Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light takes on EDC illumination segment.

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For others, the debate goes on. In this segment of “Cameras Don't Lie,” competitive shooters Patrick Sweeney and Jim Tarr head to the range to put the vaunted loads on record, and then consider the footage.

Trijicon

Trijicon's New Specialized Reflex Optics (SRO)

The Trijicon SRO is specifically designed for pistol use. The wide field of view and clean, crisp dot makes it easy for users to find and track the dot in both target and competitive shooting applications.

Savage Arms Impulse Rifle with Straight-Pull Action

Savage Arms Impulse Rifle with Straight-Pull Action

Savage introduces a must-shoot straight-pull rifle, the Impulse, with three hunting configurations.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light takes on EDC illumination segment.Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look Tactical

Surefire XSC Micro-Compact Pistol Light: First Look

Jeremy Stafford - September 10, 2020

Small, lightweight and purpose-built for sub-compact carry guns, Surefire's XSC pistol light...

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new RMRcc, they plan on dominating the concealed carry market as well.Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry Optics

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry

Jeremy Stafford - October 01, 2020

Trijicon has dominated the Carry Optic landscape on hard-use handguns for years. With the new...

The United States Army has adopted the SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm as its new dedicated optic for squad designated marksmen.SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm Review Optics

SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm Review

Tom Beckstrand - December 31, 2020

The United States Army has adopted the SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm as its new dedicated optic...

Meet the Wilson Combat Protector: You get the experience of sound design and quality now in a more affordable package.Wilson Combat Protector Review Reviews

Wilson Combat Protector Review

Tom Beckstrand - March 24, 2020

Meet the Wilson Combat Protector: You get the experience of sound design and quality now in a...

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

The new Wheeler FAT Stix Preset Torque Wrench Set includes all the most popular bit sizes in a convenient soft carry case.New for 2021: Wheeler FAT Stix Preset Torque Wrench Set SHOT Show

New for 2021: Wheeler FAT Stix Preset Torque Wrench Set

Guns & Ammo Staff - January 27, 2021

The new Wheeler FAT Stix Preset Torque Wrench Set includes all the most popular bit sizes in a...

The best gifts for this holiday season from Guns & Ammo.2020 Guns & Ammo Holiday Gift Guide Accessories

2020 Guns & Ammo Holiday Gift Guide

Guns & Ammo Staff - November 03, 2020

The best gifts for this holiday season from Guns & Ammo.

XS Sights high-visibility color front dot and Express-style V-shaped rear are an upgrade in quality and performance over the typical dot-and-notch setup.Testing XS Sights Accessories

Testing XS Sights

Jeremy Stafford - September 08, 2020

XS Sights high-visibility color front dot and Express-style V-shaped rear are an upgrade in...

The new ELMS (Expert Laser Marksman System) consists of the patent-pending ELMS laser training cartridge and the award-winning G-Sight Laser Training Pro App.Must-Have for 2021: G-Sight ELMS Firearm Laser Training SHOT Show

Must-Have for 2021: G-Sight ELMS Firearm Laser Training

Guns & Ammo Staff - January 27, 2021

The new ELMS (Expert Laser Marksman System) consists of the patent-pending ELMS laser training...

See More Accessories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now