One of my projects of late has been putting weapon lights on my various rifles. This has been a much larger undertaking than I gave it credit for… the advent of LED lights and relatively high-quality Surefire clones has really created a fascinating market. While I’ve mostly been putting old Surefire M-series lights on the rifles, I’ve also been exploring mounting hand-held lights on my SBRs, where a larger light makes less sense (and a Surefire Scout is way too expensive).
To that end, I’ve been looking into the appropriate mounts. There are a lot of them out there, and some are made by CAA and FAB Defense. In this review, I’ll be looking at the FAB Defense PLR light mount. More after the break.
The PLR is a permanent attach light mount that fits ~1″ diameter lights. It’s made out of a rigid polymer of some sort. You can, in a pinch, detach the mount using the thumbscrew you see on the top picture. The light itself slides into the mount, and is tightened using a standard screw. All the screws are captured, so you don’t need to worry about losing them – a surprisingly user-friendly touch.
The thumbscrew is handy to have, but when attaching it to my KPOS G2 Glock chassis, it actually hit the chassis. This necessitated reversing the mount so the thumbscrew would be on the bottom, which had some impact on the position-unlock button.
The PLR’s “big feature” is its ability to be positioned in 10 different positions. You do this by pushing a button at the front/back (depending on how it’s positioned) of the mount. The button requires some pushing to unlock the movement, it’s not something that will happen by accident.
While this feature is neat, I am somewhat skeptical of its use in real life. You can see in the pictures below how you can use it to adjust the position of the light on the fly:
As you can see, the light can be positioned top or bottom. In this particular case, the light (a Surefire G3) extends past the muzzle, so it doesn’t really matter much where it goes. But I think in “real life”, the user is much more likely to choose all the way up or all the way down and then just leave the light in the chosen position.
I will say that, just as a general light mount, this one seems pretty good. One of the problem with those ultra-cheap two dollar mounts you see on eBay and Amazon is that they don’t put the light close enough to the rifle – there’s some offset outward. With this mount (much like the VTAC and other better mounts), it extends straight up/down from the rail. If you’re using a VFG, that allows you to do this trick:
I know it’s not “operator” to put your light at 5-o-clock, but it is SUPER convenient when using a VFG, as your thumb is naturally in the right place to hit the tailcap switch. If you choose to put it at 1-o-clock, you can use a “c-clamp” grip to hit the momentary switch. However, this tends to be most effective on rifles that use AR-height sights or higher – on something like the KPOS or an AK, you could very well block your sights with your hand doing this. So, while this is a good light mount, I’d generally advise the FAB Defense PLS instead, as I think a QD mechanism would be more useful than the light positioning mechanism.
One more serious issue I encountered was that the mount doesn’t work well with lights that have an OD of exactly 1″ or maybe a smidge under. My Surefire G3 clamped in just fine; my Pentagonlight X2 was loose, and was essentially held in by the oversized tail cap and head. This is not what you want from a flashlight mount, and it needs a larger adjustment range.