Nightstick is a little light company that’s slowly making a bigger and bigger splash in the world of affordable lights. In a world of Olights, more companies should try to be Nightstick. While I’m a Cloud Defensive man, the Nightstick SFL caught my attention. I’m always on the lookout for shotgun lights. I’ve experimented with the Streamlight TL Racker and the Surefire DSF and found both to be quite nice.
The Nightstick SFL, or Shotgun Forend Light, replaces your pump with a dedicated light system. That’s nothing new. Streamlight and Surefire did it, but the Nightstick SFL offered a few features and changes that caught my attention. First, the 120-dollar price point makes it fairly affordable. Second, 1,200 lumens of light outperform the DSF and TL Racker. The 1,200 lumens are backed by 10,315 candela, and Surefire and Streamlight both beat the Nightstick in candela.
Another feature is the option of a laser. Visible lasers on long guns are a little silly, but on guns like the Shockwave and TAC14, they provide hours of enjoyment and make instinctively shooting the gun fairly easy. Nightstick also designed the grip of the SFL to be incredibly ergonomic and highly textured for a sure and easy grip. I tried it out at SHOT, and Nightstick happily agreed to send me a model, and they did just that.
The Nightstick SFL – Lights It Up
Nightstick created the SFL for the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500 series. This includes the 590 and Shockwave series. I went with the 590 model, and it ships with a spacer so it can function with both the standard length action tubes and shorter tubes. The Nightstick SFL packs a punch with an IP-X7 rating and a 2-meter drop rating.
Nightstick includes the tube wrench and batteries, too, making it easy to install. Unscrew the old pump, reinstall the new light, screw it back on, and boom, you’re done. Once installed, the light looks somewhat bulky but handles well. The palm swell fits the hand nicely, and the aggressive texturing allows you to get a rock-solid grip on the light and pump.
The thing with these shotgun forend lights is that they have to double as both a good light and a good pump. If it half-asses either route, you get a crap design. The palm swell of the Nightstick SFL helps make it a very effective pump and allows you to get a good, tight grip on the light. If you use the push/pull method of recoil mitigation, you’ll appreciate the SFL.
You can shove that dang thing forward with ease and push it forward to help control the gun as you pull rearward on the stock. I use a good stiff push, and my hand doesn’t slide off the pump or slide forward. Even if it did, you could install the optional pump strap that comes with the Nightstick SFL.
Shiny and Bright
The Nightstick SFL casts a big wide beam made of bright white light that sits more on the cool spectrum. It is a light designed to fill a room, and to do so, and you get a big wide light head. That big head casts a wide beam with a fairly focused hot spot. While the light will fill your peripheral vision with white light, and that hot spot will blind a threat, chew through a photonic barrier, and give you a little extra range if you need it.
The beam has a fairly effective range when you take the light outside. It stays well within shotgun range, and at 50 yards, I can tell you the colors of my various gongs. Out to 100 hundred yards, I can see a man-shaped target, but I couldn’t tell you much more than that.
For buckshot tasks, the Nightstick SFL does a fairly good job of giving you the light necessary to identify and deal with a threat. I set up a fairly standard handheld light and aimed it at myself. This created a photonic barrier and the SFL shined right through it. It beat back the light and allowed me to see clearly what was shining alight at me.
I turned on my barn lights and placed a target on the dark side of the barn. I stood on the other dark side and blasted the light through the overhead photonic barrier, and the Nightstick chewed through it. Spotting the target wasn’t a problem.
Admittedly lasers on pumps don’t offer the most stable, easily zeroed platform. The laser moves a fair bit because the pump moves. It isn’t much of a problem for close range, and on a PGO firearm, you’ll have more problems than pump slop. Even so, I can bust a clay pigeon at 15 yards from the hip every time I try.
On a PGO, it would be a fair bit of fun, much like the Crimson Trace Laser Saddle. The laser on the SFL is fairly bright and very easy to see, even in bright daytime situations. At 20 yards, the little light shines bright. If lasers aren’t your thing, the SLF comes with a light-only option that’ll save you a few bucks.
Fit For Defense?
While the Surefire series will likely rule the duty market for many years to come, the Nightstick SFL offers a very bright and capable light that works well as both a pump and a weapon light. It’s perfect for home defense and perfectly suitable for your nightstand gun, and it is priced well for its potential.