Rifle mounted lights?


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Rem700SD
January 5, 2006, 05:48 AM
Is there a rifle-mounted sytem that's capable of illuminating a 150-300yd shot at night? I'd like to avoid night vision if I can, but if I can do it for <$500 I'm willing to give it a shot.
This is for hog hunting at late evening/night. If anyone has other light strategies, I'm all ears!

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Double Naught Spy
January 5, 2006, 11:42 AM
Absolutely. Of course, there will be some issues to consider. For example, at that range, the illumination won't be great and so dark targets will be hard to see but lighter targets will stand out.



I have shot white steel targets at night from 300 yards using a Surefire flashlight (Z3, I think is the model...it runs on 3 cr123 batteries) mounted to by AR15 with a mount from GG&G and it put out 90 lumens.

I have also done it with one of Surefiresforend lights with both 125 and 250 lumens. Obviously, 250 worked better. However, if you pan down, there is another model with a 500 lumen option.
http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main/co_disp/displ/carfnbr/265/sesent/00

Surefire makes the Hellfire for .50 cal machineguns...
http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main/co_disp/displ/prrfnbr/24279/sesent/00

AT 300 yards, I was using ACOG scopes. One was 3.5x and the other was 4.0x. The scope most definitely helped, but the shots could still have been done with iron sights, just not as quickly or easily.

150 yards should not be a problem.

Rem700SD
January 5, 2006, 02:37 PM
It's beginning to look more and more like I need an AR-10 with a rail system for my hunting...

NMshooter
January 5, 2006, 09:44 PM
You will want the big "turbo" head, this has a greater focal distance.

250-500 lumens for certain, my 9V light barely reaches out to 100 yards.

Your scope should have a very large objective of course.

Depending on what kind of stock you can mount sections of picatinny rail to the sides and bottom. You can also purchase a rail for the top that will replace your scope bases, allowing you greater versatility for mounting optics.

What kind of rifle?

black bear
January 6, 2006, 02:45 AM
You can mount a Surefire M-6 to a sporting rifle. If you don't want to drill holes in your nice wood, you could try my system with Velcro in the bottom of the base (Picattiny rail) and on the top of a piece of camo tape on the stock (or even masking tape) you will need two rubber bands to stabilize the set-up.
It is quick detachable by the Weaver ring.

Or if you don't mind a little unobstrusive base in the side of your stock, just use wood screws and epoxie in a small Weaver base.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/remingm4andpicattiny.jpg

If you don't want to go to the poor house buying batteries for the M-4, ($19.92 per hour) get my POLAR BEAR that is rechargeable, output 76 more lumens than the M-4 (426 lumens) and will run for 70 minutes on the charge.
It can be put under the rifle by using a Pelican Lite-Saddle, like this rubber mount in the Remington 742 that is holding a Little Glacier Bear (rechargeable 300 lumens)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/Glacierbearand742.jpg

The Polar Bear is made on the Maglite 3 C "host" but it is very lightweight because it uses Lithium Ion batteries.
Here is a picture of it next to the Surefire M-4.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/p.jpg

For short distances (up to 78 yards) you can use the TACM III lights that are better throwers than any other 2 cell Surefire like the 6 P G-2, Z2, C-2 etc. because they have a bigger reflector and it is smooth polished instead of stippled like the Surefires.
In my experience 2 cell Surefires quit when they reach 45 yards.

Here is an example of the TACM III lights with remote switch

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/gunlights.jpg


For longer ranges in the Surefires you need turboheads, because lumens output along don't do it with the reflectors they have. Those reflectors are designed for Police work, to spread the light in clearing houses, going to a 9 P with a P-91 lamp for 200 lumens you don't increase the range, just the size of the hot spot and the intensity of the light.

For the only application I will use a Surefire 6 P with the P-61 lamp (120 lumens) is for bow hunting by nuisance permit holders in doing culling operations. I install them in bows using the stabilizer as a base, like in this picture.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/bowlight.jpg

If you want to reach "way up there" the only light that will allowed you to do that will be the MAG 951 II mounted on the rifle with a Pelican Litle Saddle.
Like this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/S5300070.jpg

You probably will find others option perusing my thread in the B/S/T accessories section, here is the link:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=2050464#post2050464

It is very different to shoot reflective targets in the range than dark animals with fur drinking light. to see how much luminosity you are loosing shine a laser in a boar or bear fur and compare it to a flat unorganic surface.

Best regards
black bear

PvtPyle
January 6, 2006, 03:01 AM
Screw the visible light. Get a PVS-14 and use IR chem lights at the bait. It works great for coyotes! You see the IR reflected in their eyes, BAM!

Rem700SD
January 6, 2006, 05:13 AM
The rifle I'll probably be using is one of these. All things considered, I'll probably use the .300 Remington. It's only got 4 shots, but it's got the best scope, and those 4 will count! Thanks for the lights advice, all!

444
January 6, 2006, 09:44 AM
I am no expert on shooting at night, but I have done some of it. The ranges that you list seem unrealistic to me.
I have shot coyotes and bobcats, at night, using lights. I have also shot hundreds of jackrabbits at night over lights.
The primary lights we used were spotlights that you plug into the car lighter. The spotlights were advertised to be 3 million candlepower lights in some cases: I realize that the system of measuring is a gimmick - I have read all the stuff in Surefire's magazines and website: but these lights are significantly more powerful than any flashlight I have ever seen. I also have attempted to use a Surefire 900 series weaponlight on an AR15 as well as various flashlights. I have also gone jackrabbit shooting at night one time using GenIII nightvision scopes and an IR flashlight.
150 yards is a very long shot at night at an animal. 150 yards in the field is a long way to spot an animal: this isn't a nice clean manicured rifle range. There is brush, trees, an animal trying to make itself scarce by it's natural camoflauge as well as by moving. 300 yards ? That is a long shot in broad daylight.
Under the right conditions, either shot might be possible. I have shot at close to 150 yards where the animal was up on a hillside, so there was no brush or trees in between me and the animal. But IMO, as a general rule, 150 yards would be on the outside limits of realistic shooting at night. Now maybe, if you did have some kind of bait set up, like a cow that dropped over dead and you hunted over this one spot and set up everything in daylight: you know the range and have a clear shooting lane etc. But for actual hunting ? That would be pushing reality.

black bear
January 6, 2006, 10:35 AM
What 444 said about the range of night shooting is exactly my sentiments, until you haven' tried it you can possible know how difficult is to see a dark animal at such longer ranges in the field.

And how difficult is to estimate that range, laser range-finders mostly don't have enough light collecting capabilities to function at night.

Another need is a big scope with a Illuminated reticle, something like these Leupold scopes here.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/scopes.jpg

My MAG 951 II light can trounce a one million candlepower spotlight, but a two million with their bigger reflectors and 75 watts lamps are usually better thrower than my flashlights.
Unless I am using one of my BIG HEADS in them.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/bigandflash.jpg

Boars at night are mostly hunted from "hotchsits" or tree stands overlooking a field where the animals root for tubers at night.
A good "Sus Scroffa" boar will make a grand trophy and great eating, good luck on your hunt.

black bear

Double Naught Spy
January 6, 2006, 11:36 AM
I
150 yards is a very long shot at night at an animal. 150 yards in the field is a long way to spot an animal: this isn't a nice clean manicured rifle range. There is brush, trees, an animal trying to make itself scarce by it's natural camoflauge as well as by moving. 300 yards ? That is a long shot in broad daylight.
Under the right conditions, either shot might be possible. I have shot at close to 150 yards where the animal was up on a hillside, so there was no brush or trees in between me and the animal. But IMO, as a general rule, 150 yards would be on the outside limits of realistic shooting at night. Now maybe, if you did have some kind of bait set up, like a cow that dropped over dead and you hunted over this one spot and set up everything in daylight: you know the range and have a clear shooting lane etc. But for actual hunting ? That would be pushing reality.

150 yards at night is the same distance as in the daytime whether for shooting an animal or a practice target.

I understand that where you shoot may not be a cleaned and manicured rifle range, but if you choose your shooting location a little better, you can be hunting in areas with low ground vegetation. It is not unrealistic.

I am not sure I follow Black Bear's power issue with laser range finders not being powerful enough to work at night. He must have one of those solar-powered models. The only trouble we had with using a laser range finder at night was being sure that what we were distancing actually was the distance of the intended target. If the target area isn't illuminated, then it can be hard to see specifically where the rangefinder is pointed and estimating range.

Of course, if you have an illuminated target area, you can use an optical range finder.

Many of the hunters I do know will scope out a hunting area in daylight and identify landmarks that are known distances from the hunter's platform or hide and by knowing the distances of those landmarks, they can get a good estimation on the distance to an animal in daylight or low light shooting.

black bear
January 6, 2006, 08:49 PM
DN Spy,
Yes I have a regular Nikon 8 power by 28 mm of objetive aperture,

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/laser800.jpg

At night (dark) it is not possible to see anything thru it.

The way the culling operations against wild boar that I have participate (in another Country) are conducted, is that the shooter sits in a "hotchsit" overlooking the field in which the animals feed at night.
As they can come from any directions and the field is big (as of severals hundred yards) and without a moon is necessary many times to hunt in pitch dark, a powerful flashlight with a red filter is play over the field until the reflecting eyes of the animals are spotted.

For that job I use my POLAR BEAR 426 lumens with a Maglite rubber holder for the red filter and with a smooth polished reflector for throw, the light is rechargeable and have a 70 minutes run time (this is the workhorse flashlight that is doing all the job of "spotting", similiar to the work of binoculars during the day

After the animals are located the rifle with a powerful flashlight incorporated (The MAG 951 II-951 lumens- or another POLAR BEAR without a filter) is brought to play illuminating the target to take the shot.

Ranges from 150 to 250 yards or more are involved and a big objetive scope with a rheostat Illuminated reticle is needed or preferred, I like the Leupold Vary X III with the 3 1/2 to 10 power and with its high quality optics. The 300 W.M. Magnum rifle is adjusted to shoot 3 inches high at 100 yards to make possible shoots at 300 yards without the need to estimate distance.

A laser in top of the scope is adjusted to intercept line of sight at 50 yards, so close shots at moving animals can be taken with this alternated method(you can see such scope in my above post)

Here are some of the tools of previous culling operations:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/nighthunter.jpg

It have nothing to do with sportmanship, it is necessary to remove a certain amount of animals that are causing extreme damage to crops, and it is done in the most efficient way that can be devised regardless of how unsporting it is.

black bear

BIG SW 99
January 8, 2006, 02:53 AM
I was in Gander Mountain the other day and seen the thing your lookin for a light that mounts on top of your scope that shines for 100 yards and is only $59.00 check it out .

Rem700SD
January 8, 2006, 05:10 AM
A culling operation is exactly what I have in mind. After I bait the area and look for evidence, I'll guestimate the activity and plan accordingly. We may try to trap the hogs in this area if at all possible.
The area in question was mown down before the drought hit (E. Texas) I'm baiting a creek bottom area with a ridge area 150-200+ yds behind and 50ft above the area. It's a great deer hunting area; wide, few obstacles, no brush, everything is ranged out, etc. Basically it's my personal shooting range the wildlife likes to live in.
I don't enjoy this scenario, but a neighbor has spotted as many as 30 hogs feeding in their cattle feeders. If the feral hogs are getting this bold/desparate, I feel for the other wildlife in the area. Bambi must be starving...
My Remington 700 .300WinMag has a 12-42x56mm obj. Nightforce scope w/ illuminated mil dot reticle on top. I hope that's enough scope... Atm I'm thinking of placing a couple of chem lights in the tree just above the bait area. Will that help?

NMshooter
January 8, 2006, 01:04 PM
Since you are baiting you have all sorts of options.

A car headlight or two and a battery to power them with a remote switch for activation could shed quite a bit of light on the kill zone.

I am sure you could come up with something, remember you are picking the place, you can do all sorts of things to prepare the area. The hogs will be more concerned with what they smell than anything else.

black bear
January 8, 2006, 08:21 PM
Well, if you are going to shoot over a feeder, your options increase, but I will not use a bare light if you want the rest of the animals to return.
Red filters works well in getting just the proper amount of invisible light (for the animals eyes) and with that scope I am sure you will not have a problem shooting them.

Are those suppressors in your rifles?

By the way the red crosshair of my Leupold illuminated reticle turns white when the RED light is on the target.

Of course you can use one of the varmint shooting lights that mount on top of your scope and have a flip up red filter, they have a range advertised at 250 yards (but not with the red light)
And the power is suplied by a battery that you wear on your belt (6 volts 4 ah. battery) and the switch is at the end of a cable that goes to your battery and light and that lies on the stock attached with Velcro.

Once more, if you expect the animals to return, DON'T USE A BARE LIGHT!!

The chemical stick idea could work, but more oftem don't, wild animals can smell human presence many hours after you have been there, many are so WILD that they will not approach a site that have been visited as many as 7 hours ago.

I will avoid getting near the bait area at all or walk near, or even cross the same path that they are going to use.
Attention to detail is what gets the game, the more you do it and the more respect you have for the game capabilities the more thropies you are going to get.

good shooting

black bear

Rem700SD
January 9, 2006, 03:23 AM
"Are those suppressors in your rifles?"-black bear

yup.(all NFA rules applied/followed) I love shooting, but I hate loud, go figure. All of my rifles are suppressed(hence my login name), except for a .22 rifle, which isn't that loud. Cans do wonders for recoil, as well.
From what i've read in TP&WL, anything's legal for hog use. Thanks for the heads up on the reticle. I was a bit worried about my red reticle with a red light.

Thanks everyone for all the advice, keep it coming!

I plan to mix about 150lbs or so of feed into sour mash, as I've heard that makes good bait, and burying it in post holes along a drainage canal in stated area. It's dry, so they should just make the canal a little deeper for when it does rain.

DigMe
January 9, 2006, 10:02 AM
I plan to mix about 150lbs or so of feed into sour mash, as I've heard that makes good bait, and burying it in post holes along a drainage canal in stated area. It's dry, so they should just make the canal a little deeper for when it does rain.


yeah, anything that has a good strong smell. You could also sprinkle some dry strawberry jello powder around the holes and a little in them to help draw them in.

brad cook

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