April 02, 2021
By Handguns Staff
Micro-compact 9mms are the hot thing in the handgun market right now, and accessory companies certainly didn’t miss the memo. For two years Surefire has been working on a weapon light that would fit these handy pistols. The result of its efforts is the XSC ($329), which measures less than two inches long and weighs just 1.7 ounces.
“The micro-compact handgun market has been expanding in a big way due to the amount of capability these handguns give you in such a small package,” said Surefire’s Andrew Wright. “Now the XSC completes the package, giving you almost a full-sized capability in a concealed package. The small form factor gives customers no excuse to not carry a weapon light with them and be prepared for any scenario.”
He said the big hurdle was coming up with a way to power a light so small and still generate enough lumens for it to be effective. Engineers were also tasked to come up with a battery that was removable without having to take the light off the gun and one that would fit flush with the body of the light.
They achieved it with the B12 rechargeable lithium battery. Run time is 30 minutes, which I confirmed with a stopwatch. The battery has an LED “fuel gauge” on the side. It doesn’t function while the light is on the gun, but if you remove the battery—a quick, tool-less operation—a button on the underside activates the gauge. The gauge also lights up when you’re charging the battery so you can monitor progress.
Charge time from exhausted to full was two hours. It’s a “smart” charger that knows when to stop sending juice, so leaving the battery on the charger for extensive periods will not shorten its overall life.
The light itself works great. The switches are nicely located for easy operation: tap for constant-on, push and hold then let off for momentary.
I spent a lot of time working with the XSC, and I think the beam is ideal. It’s 350 lumens and has a concentrated center, but the spillover light casts a wide illuminated area, making it useful in most any concealed-carry or home-defense scenario.
Because of variances in gun-rail dimensions, the XSC is gun-specific. It’s currently available for the Springfield Hellcat, SIG P365 and Glock 43X/48. It comes with a charging cradle/USB cord and one battery. Spare B12s will soon be available from Surefire for $35.