Aegis Academy Tech Tip – Mounting a Flashlight to your shotgun!
Aegis Academy members and readers, if you are planning on purchasing a Tactical Light System for your new shotgun, it can quickly become very expensive. Oversize controls, fancy sight systems and magazine extensions will do you little to no good at night if you can’t see and identify your target. The correct tactical answer for nighttime scenario is having your shotgun equipped with some type of Tactical Light on the fore-grip. A fore-grip with an integral light system and built in pressure switch can retail for more than $300 depending on which shotgun and light system you buy. Let’s look at some of the low cost alternatives for mounting a tactical light to your shotgun.
Do It Yourself Tactical Light Mounting
If you have some basic hand tools, no duct tape or hose clamps please, you can have a rail mounted Surefire Tactical Light and an AFG (Advanced Fore-Grip) for less than $120. A quick search on the Internet yielded some inexpensive parts for your low cost shotgun light system. A Surefire 6P light $52.99, two 5” aluminum Picatinny rail sections $11.99, a Streamlight rail mount for your light $17.99 and an AFG for $30.99.
To mount the flashlight start by unloading your shotgun and marking the approximate spot you want your support hand to rest comfortably on your AFG. It should be under the fore grip and you should be able to manipulate the light with your support hand thumb. One of the many advantages of using the 1913 Picatinny rail system is the built-in adjustability it affords your AFG/Light System depending on use and size of the shooter. Once all your bits and pieces arrive, begin the field strip process to remove the OEM fore-grip.
Look at the reference mark for the center of your rail section to ensure the rail will not interfere with the locking nut on the mag tube or the receiver in the rear. If your rail section is too long, just cut it to fit the main body of your fore-grip. Now place the rail section along the bottom of the fore grip, ensure the rail fits flat and flush with the bottom and mark the holes to be drilled thru the pre-drilled holes in the rail. Double check to make sure the holes are centerline on the bottom of the fore-grip and match your drill bit size to the size of the pre-drilled holes in your rail section. Drill at least three holes, two on the ends and one in the middle to ensure the rail is unaffected by the brutal recoil from your shotgun. Using stainless steel pop rivets that are just slightly smaller in diameter than the holes in the fore-grip and rail, install the bottom rail and AFG on your fore-grip.
Reassemble your shotgun, check for fit and hand position on your AFG, ensuring the thumb of your support hand will be in the proper position to easily manipulate the on-off button on the light and make any adjustments needed. Mark the side of your fore-grip for your side rail and ensure the rail does not extend too far past the light mount location so it doesn’t bite your support hand.
Other Systems Available
I get it, not everyone likes to spend hours and hours in their garage working on different weapons and mounting systems. So I tried to find a really low cost, no drama solution. After a couple trips to an online gun store, I came up with a simple solution.
GG&G manufactures a bracket that fits between the barrel lug and the locking nut, which has a short length of Picatinny rail and two sling attachment points. It positions the rail just behind the forward edge of the fore-grip and is ambidextrous. This bracket will allow you to position your flashlight right in front of your thumb on your support hand and not change the way you manipulate the weapon. This simple mounting system and a $17 flashlight mount from the same company will enable you to put your flashlight of choice right where it should be for smooth tactical operation.
Total cost for both the rail bracket and mount is less than $50, compared with a $300 plus aftermarket fore-grip that has a pressure pad, which I don’t like for tactical reasons.
I won’t get into a forum on flashlights right here, but I’ve used Surefire products since I was in the Teams with zero failures. Support equipment in the Teams really gets worked over by the environment and the operators and having a tactical light you can always depend on is just one less thing that can/will go wrong. I do recommend an LED bulb for weapon lights, especially for the brutal recoil from a 12 gauge scattergun.
#tacticallight, #shotgunlight, #tacticalshotgun