The shotgun is a favorite home defense tool for the gun owning public. It’s a powerful and brutal weapon that excels in close quarters fighting and shooting in low light conditions. Shotguns are affordable, easy to use, and reliable weapons for home defense. Shotguns do lack the inherent modularity of most modern carbines on the market. Attaching rails, and the associated do-dads and gadgets is difficult. It’s not needed. Shotguns are simple weapons and should stay light and handy. Equipping a light to a pump action shotgun is difficult. I believe I found the only real option with the DSF 870 from Surefire.
Is the juice worth the squeeze? Is it worth the high price tag? Well, during my DSF 870 review I can hardly find fault with it. If you are a vet, active duty, emergency responder, or a cop you can get a substantial discount on products like this form Govx, that’s where I got mine.
A light needs to be mounted intuitively and must be strong enough not to be thrown off by recoil. Even with modern weapon mounts it hard to install a tactical light on a pump action shotgun and still be able to control both the gun and the light.
Your result is a light handing way off the way, and a mess of wires and pressure switches. Pressure switches on a device you are violently pumping is a recipe for disaster.
Surefire has a better idea. Turn the entire pump into a light.
The DSF 870 pump allows the operator to control both the pump action of the gun and the weapon light. There are no wires or pressure pads that run the risk of disconnecting when pumping the shotgun. No hard to reach weapon lights, and the profile of the gun stays thin.
I’m using the Surefire DSF 870, but the Mossberg 500/590 model are identical in use and function. The light has both a high and low setting. At the brightest setting, you are casting a blinding 600 lumens towards your target. The more moderate setting is a soft 200 lumens that are perfect for extended use.
The DSF 870 can run for 3 hours on the low setting and 1.5 hours on the high setting. For home defense and even tactical use this more than enough battery power and a whole lot of brightness. In my own home, I run the 200 lumens mode to avoid the bright reflections off-white walls, mirrors, and stainless-steel appliances.
The light is cast more like a spotlight than a sharp beam. It’s a bright and clear. The Surefire casts a net of light that gives you a wide field of view. It reaches out wide enough for your peripheral vision to be in play. During my DSF 870 review, I always felt in control of the weapon and the light. If it shined on something I could shoot it.
The ergonomics of this system are ingenious. The light’s controls are present on both the left and right-hand side of the pump. It’s truly ambidextrous, and there is always a switch in reach.
The system features a variety of buttons, and most mimic each other for ambidextrous operation. One is a universal on/off switch. This switch keeps the light from coming on accidentally during storage or transport. This is great because it would suck to have dead batteries because the DSF got switched on in the gun safe.
The two forward buttons on either side of the pump are your main controls. These buttons are huge, and I love them. I can reach the controls on one side with my left pointer finger and reach the controls on the opposite side with my left thumb. The massive size of the buttons also quick and easy activation.
The forward button is a momentary on switch. The light is only on as long as the switch is held. When released the DSF turns off. Momentary switches are utilized for quick scans and searches while minimizing the time the light is on. This setting reduces the user’s profile and makes them harder to track via their tactical light. The rear button is the constant on switch. Press it, and the light comes on and stays on until the button is pressed again This allows for continuous use in a situation where the wielder isn’t worried about being seen.
Way behind these two switches is a much smaller switch. This little switch is your LED output switch. This is what changes the light from high to low. What’s cool is the Surefire DSF remembers your settings.
Can’t Beat It
To set the LED output, you swap the light to constant on and press the button to alternate between high and low LED output. Let’s say I want to run the dimmer output when I hit the momentary or the constant on button. I turn the light on, hit the LED output switch until the light is on low and then I turn it off. Next time I pick it up the weapon, the light will be set to low output.
On the Range with the DSF 870
Surefire is the premier weapon light manufacturer. They make the gear that police and military forces use around the world. These are lights can to go to hell and back. This thing has shrugged off hundreds of rounds without even a flicker of the beam.
I’ve put tons of birdshot, buckshot, and even some slugs through the system. I was more rocked than the light ever was. Most of the shooting is done during the day because it’s hard to hit the range at night. However, I kept the light on throughout my testing and kept an eye on how it shines when firing.
It stays on, and that’s what I expect from a company like Surefire.
If the shotgun is your go-to home defense weapon, I couldn’t suggest the Surefire DSF enough. It’s lightweight, bright, and ergonomic. The Surefire DSF 870 is the perfect light for a fighting shotgun. In fact, I can’t think of another option that even competes with the Surefire DSF on a pump action shotgun.
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