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


 

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

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Guns & Ammo TV: Wheelgun vs. Pistol

Guns & Ammo TV: Wheelgun vs. Pistol

In this segment of “Pros vs. Joes,” we put competitive shooter and author James Tarr against Guns & Ammo TV cameraman Nathan Wilt. With handguns, they see who can knock down plates the fastest on two Revolution Targets Heavy Duty Plate Racks. Here's the catch: Tarr has to use a Colt King Cobra in .357 Mag. while Wilt shoots a Smith & Wesson M&P9 M2.0 in 9mm.

Cameras Don

Cameras Don't Lie: Subsonic 9mm vs. .300 Blackout

In this segment of "Cameras Don't Lie," a subsonic-ammo showdown, 9mm vs. .300 Blackout fired from AR rifles.

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

Red vs. Green Lasers: Visibility in Bright Light

In this segment of “At The Range,” Handgunning Editor Jeremy Stafford and contributor Patrick Sweeney compare the visibility of red and green lasers in outdoor, sunny conditions.

Guns & Ammo TV: Irons vs. Optics

Guns & Ammo TV: Irons vs. Optics

How much of an edge do optics give shooters? In this segment of Pros vs. Joes, Guns & Ammo TV puts Coordinating Producer Jeff Murray against Professional Shooter Chris Cerino.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market. Handguns

Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review

James Tarr - April 17, 2019

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market.

A guide on how to pair .223 and 5.56 NATO rifle barrel twist rates with bullet weights. Conventional wisdom says slower twist rates wouldn't properly-stabilize a heavy bullet. On the other hand, faster rates could over-stabilize lighter bullets. This is correct in theory, however, modern ballisticians have all but debunked the over-stabilization theory. All things being equal, it is better to have too much twist than not enough. How-To

Pairing Barrel Twist Rates with Bullets for .223 and 5.56 NATO

Keith Wood - November 17, 2018

A guide on how to pair .223 and 5.56 NATO rifle barrel twist rates with bullet weights....

The Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan is arguably the best production-grade precision hunting rifle available. Rifles

Review: Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan

Joseph von Benedikt - March 25, 2019

The Browning X-Bolt Hell's Canyon Speed Long Range McMillan is arguably the best...

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. Optics

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight Review – Perfect for Concealed Carry

Jeremy Stafford - September 01, 2020

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

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

N8 Tactical announced the release of the company's first all-Kydex holster called the KO-1. Accessories

N8 Tactical KO-1 Modular Kydex IWB Holster – First Look

Guns & Ammo Staff - July 30, 2020

N8 Tactical announced the release of the company's first all-Kydex holster called the KO-1.

Brownells announced the next generation of its BRN-180 uppers, including the much-anticipated version chambered in .300 AAC Blackout, perfect for use with a suppressor. Accessories

Brownells Gen2 BRN-180 Uppers – First Look

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 10, 2020

Brownells announced the next generation of its BRN-180 uppers, including the much-anticipated...

The Warne Skyline bipod is expensive, but it has excellent build quality and offers the owner lots of modularity. The ability to quickly pan and cant the rifle into the desired shooting position is extremely convenient. Accessories

Warne Skyline Precision Bipod Review

Tom Beckstrand - July 30, 2020

The Warne Skyline bipod is expensive, but it has excellent build quality and offers the owner...

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. 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...

See More Accessories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

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