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Photo by David Thorson, Tracerx Photography for Guns & Tactics Magazine

May 9, 2014 Posted by Chris Tran in blog

Mission First Tactical - TORCH - The Little Light That Can

A small little light dubbed the Torch Backup White Light (TBWL) or its counterparts the Torch Backup Light White/Red (TBLWR) Torch Backup Light Infrared (TBLIR). The TORCH is compact, streamlined, and has a positive, low-profile on/off pad.

Mission First Tactical (MFT) has gained popularity, especially with their Battlelink Minimalist stock - the odd-looking, L-shaped, stripped down carbine stock that has become all the rage with lightweight AR builders. MFT has since pushed out more products to the AR accessory market such as pistol grips, vertical foregrips with integral weaponlight housing, and a small little light dubbed the Torch Backup White Light (TBWL) or its counterparts the Torch Backup Light White/Red (TBLWR) Torch Backup Light Infrared (TBLIR). The model I had a chance to look at was the TBWL, which features two white LED lights with an output of approximately 20 lumens.

When I first picked up the MFT TBWL, my inner skeptic kicked in as usual. Why would I want to take up precious rail space and add weight to the nose of my rifle (albeit minimal as the TBWL weighs in at a scant 22 grams) for a light that wouldn't adequately help me with proper target identification?

Also as usual, I had to rethink my initial reaction after doing a little reading of the literature. The purpose of the TBWL light is not intended to be a primary weapons light, so I could let go of all the half-baked lumens arguments that had started to form in my head. Rather, MFT bills the TBWL as a light intended to provide illumination that is "...low output for signature reduction during patrol, stealth structure search and approach to the target and breaching operations."

Keeping this information in mind, the little TORCH made a lot more sense. The TORCH is compact, streamlined, and has a positive, low-profile on/off pad. I mounted the TBWL onto the 3 o'clock rail of my Faxon Firearms ARAK-21. It was a tight fit over the picatinny rail and solidly locked down. Off to the races. I did an outdoor dusk/nighttime shoot with Tracerx Photography a few days ago, and got to use the TBWL out in the woods as we went from location to location. Now as a simple navigation light, the TBWL is great. It provided a small amount of light; enough to watch my footing through the vegetation without completely destroying my night vision, and was just enough light to illuminate outdoor structures for me to be able to make out good-enough details for me to see without crashing into things at dusk.

I could see how this little light would be useful exiting a dark building after a successful clearing search, or for short nighttime treks where threats were not imminent and I wanted to approach an area without broadcasting my presence to the entire world - but where complete, strict light discipline was unnecessary. The TBWL is a great intermediate light option between a typical handheld tactical light and the dedicated weaponlight on my work gun, and might fill a need for room illumination for small houses.

Photo by David Thorson, Tracerx Photography for Guns & Tactics Magazine

I would definitely like to give the TBLWR (White/Red) model a go for further nighttime testing; with a red light option as well as a reduced light output of only 10 lumens, I think the TBLWR would be even more discrete, but effective for low-light/no-light navigation with a small signature.

The TBWL is rated at approximately 20 lumens, weighs in at 22 grams, and boasts a 10 year storage life, and a 12 hours burn time.

The TBLWR (White/Red) and the TBLIR are similar; rated at 10 lumens, high/low settings, a 10 year storage life, and a 24 hour burn time.

All three models are IPX7 rated (waterproof up to max 1 meter), are made in the USA, with an MSRP of about $60.

If the end user is looking for a discrete, reduced signature light source, the Torch will fit the bill.

Learn more about the TORCH at: www.missionfirsttactical.com

Photo by David Thorson, Tracerx Photography for Guns & Tactics Magazine

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