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Posted: 9/17/2003 9:46:31 AM EDT
I'm thinking of one of these two lights to go on a Bushmaster A3 16" gun.

Is the M96 the same size as the M3Combat Light?

Also, just how far out do the mounts on these move the light?

I have a Bushmaster Three rail gas block on the gun right now, and want to know if the light will clear the handguards if mounted to the gas block.
I also have a set of Fobus M33 guards sitting around. Would either the M96 or M95 fit under the guards with a forward vertical grip in place? Or would a M900 just be the better all around option?

Thanks for the help, Kirt
Link Posted: 9/17/2003 6:36:12 PM EDT
The easiest way to check to see is look at the bulb that they take, and the diameter for the head. Yes, they are both the same, I own both for that reason M96 and M3. John
Link Posted: 9/19/2003 12:40:23 PM EDT
I thought they were the same, thanks. 'nother quick question. I have a Surefire M3. What would be a sturdy way to mount it, vs. buying a new light in the M96 at a higher price?
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 4:58:47 AM EDT
The cheapest workable mount is a (or a pair) of Weaver scope rings. Knight's makes a great mount for 1" diameter lights as well, but it is not cheap. Remember, the batteries in the M3 are not restrained from hammering against the base of the bulb, so reliability may not be 100%. Many, myself included, have used non-isolated lights with no problems, but for maximum reliability go with the dedicated weaponlight.
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 9:26:00 AM EDT
Is there a different shock isolation for the M3, vs the dedicated weapon lights? Thanks.
Link Posted: 9/23/2003 4:42:09 AM EDT
While I would also recommend a dedicated weapon light, both the M2 and M3 handheld lights employ shock isolated bezels. One advantage to these handhelds is that they can be cannibalized to replace broken or damaged parts on their sister weapon lights, M3/M500/M900 and M2/M95/M96, etc. The mount for the M96 takes up quite allot of *real estate* on the handguard. We had a student in a class with one that had the tail cap with the pressure pad tape switch and between the light, mount and tapeswitch it interfered with his gripping the forend on a 16 inch barreled rifle. I had to loan him a click on tail cap that he activated with his support hand thumb (which worked out well). IMHO, the M95 and M96 are fine light systems that would be more at home on a full length rifle or mounted to a gas block with a rail interface. Might also work at the six O'clock position but again, a dedicated weapon light is the better option. Another issue to contend with is lumen output. For indoor use, 6 volt systems provide plenty of light but outdoors, 125 lumens is the minimum I would want on a shoulder weapon and I ususally use the 225 lamp in my M500's. The downside to the brighter lamps is washout of reticles and red dots against a light colored wall or background. I run aimpoints on my rifles so in these situations I simply use the front iron sight as they are co-witness with the red dot. HTH Tony
Link Posted: 9/23/2003 5:11:20 AM EDT
Yep, washout is a problem with the red dots. I have an EOTech, and i will lose the dot with an Insight M3 which is I guess around 60 lumens, when comparing with a Surefire G2. It is worse when shining towards a light colored surface. Inside, the 125 lumens is too much also.
Link Posted: 9/23/2003 2:34:47 PM EDT
One work-around I've been testing is the surefire beam shaper. These are the same flip type covers as the red and blue filters but have a *frosted* lens that softens the bright light output. It wouldn't take much to run it open and close it prior to entering a structure and vice versa.
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