SureFire XSC Review (Powerful Compact Light) By: Joseph Kocik

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If you have a micro-compact pistol and need to add a light, this SureFire XSC Review is for you.

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Being a fan of SureFire lights in general and using many different models over the years on my guns, I wasn’t sure if I would like the XSC.

The only way to be sure was to get my hands on one and test it out for myself.

This post is a complete review of the SureFire XSC.

SureFire XSC Review

SureFire XSC Reviewed – Pros & Cons

The SureFire XSC is a compact high-powered flashlight designed to fit specifically on slim-line compact pistols.

Currently, it is made with 3 different mount designs.

  • Choose XSC-A for railed Glock 43X & 48
  • Choose XSC-P365 for SIG SAUER P365 & P365 XL
  • Choose XSC-HELLCAT for Springfield Armory Hellcat
  • Choose XSC-B for
    • Smith & Wesson M&P
    • Beretta PX4 Storm Sub-Compact
    • CZ75 SP-01 & P-07
    • FN FNS-40, Five-Seven, 509 & FNX
    • H & K VP9
    • SIG SAUER P226, P228, P229, P320 Carry, P320 Compact, P365X-MACRO, 1911 GSR
    • Springfield Armory XD Mod 2

Here is the SureFire XSC Data Sheet for more specs and info.

SureFire XSC Review

SureFire XSC

  • 350 Lumens
  • 2,000 Candela
  • Rechargeable
  • 30 min (single B12 battery)
  • Ambidextrous
  • Reliable and built tough
Check Price

Price Check: Optics Planet, Palmetto State Armory, Primary Arms, Brownells, Sportsman’s Guide, GunMag Warehouse, Grab A Gun, Cabela’s, Amazon

MSRP $329

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Rechargeable
  • Easy to install and use
  • Ambidextrous
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Extreme Durability
  • Holster compatibility
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • 350 lumens
  • Expensive
  • No strobe mode
  • Propriety batteries

Background

SureFire started out making laser sights and even a laser sight for shotguns. Since then they have dominated the market with weapon lights.

The X300 and the M600 weapon lights series are their flagship products and have set the standard for all other weapon light manufacturers.

They also hold many military contracts and produce some of the best and most reliable weapon lights in the world.

Why A Pistol Light?

SureFire XSC Review

There are more new gun owners now than ever and people are finally taking self-defense seriously by starting to conceal carry.

Small sub-compact slim-line pistols like the Glock 43x, Sig P365, and Springfield Hellcat are among the most popular choices on the market.

Adding a light to your defensive pistol is great for target identification.

Being able to properly identify your target before shooting is crucial.

I’m a huge fan of adding lights to all weapons, especially my primary battle rifle and my secondary sidearm.

SureFire XSC Review

Recently I have discovered a weapon light is just as important on my everyday carry gun. Chances are I will use my concealed carry pistol in a real-world situation before I ever use an AR-15.

Now is also a great time to add a pistol light to your CCW because of how many great light options there are and how many holster companies are making holsters to accommodate pistol lights.

What’s In the Box?

SureFire XSC Review

Here is everything you get in the box with the SureFire XSC:

  • SureFire XSC tactical light
  • Owners manual
  • Sticker
  • Battery (B12)
  • CH21 battery charging dock
  • Charging Cable (USB-A to USB-C)
  • 3M sticky mounting pads for charger
SureFire XSC Review

First Impressions

The first thing that stood out to me was how expensive this light was compared to similar products on the market. It costs roughly double that of most competitor offerings.

With that being said it was a very small and well-made pistol light. It is the smallest light that I held for a concealed carry-type pistol.

I was excited to test and review this light and see how bright and how long the battery would last.

The advertised run time of 30 min was a little concerning to me. I know that 30 min is more than enough for real-world use but for training and practicing I knew I would want an additional battery.

SureFire XSC Overview

Here is some quick data on the SureFire XSC tactical weapon light.

Full Disclosure: I was not sent this light and purchased it with my own money. This is just my experience with it and yours might be different.

Specs

Light Output: 350 lumens
Battery Type: Stand Alone Lithium
Beam Color: White
Color: Black
Beam Distance: 90 m
Length: 1.94 in
Weight: 1.7 oz
Bezel Diameter: 0.78 in
Weather Resistance: Yes
Finish: Mil-Spec HardCoat Anodized
Battery Quantity: 1
Included Accessories: Lithium Polymer rechargeable battery, Charger
Condition: New
Fabric/Material: Aluminum
Attachment/Mount Type: Rail
Water Resistance Level: IPX-7

Notable Features

  • Rechargeable
  • Battery charge level indicator
  • Extremely small footprint
  • Top Notch durability

Brightness

The brightness isn’t anything to brag about on the XSC. 350 lumens today is the bare minimum in my opinion.

You can find cheap Chinese knock-off brands on Amazon that have a higher lumen and candela than this light.

SureFire XSC Review

I guess the trade-off you are getting is the rechargeable battery feature but to me, I think brightness is more important than rechargeable batteries.

I want to completely blind and disorient anyone I think is a threat.

So the SureFire XSC is lacking in the brightness category.

Size

One of the redeeming traits of this light is how small it is. It is one of the smallest lights on the market and can easily fit on sub-compact pistols without feeling bulky.

So if you are a true minimalist and don’t need anything fancy, just the smallest most reliable light then you might consider the XSC.

SureFire XSC Review

It may not have a ton of features, but it is small and works.

Construction

SureFire has built a reputation for itself as making some of the most battle-hardened lights and the XSC is built like a tank.

Don’t let the small size make you think it’s fragile.

I would trust this light on my personal carry gun and know it can take a beating.

Battery

A main selling point for the SureFire XSC is rechargeable batteries. I like having normal batteries and believe they shine brighter.

A cool feature of these batteries is there is a charge level indicator on the underside of the battery.

SureFire XSC Review

Simply remove the battery and press the button to show how much juice you have left.

Sadly I recommend buying a spare just in case and unfortunately, SureFire makes you buy this separately.

I would justify the cost more if they included 2 batteries with this kit.

SureFire XSC Review

Also, the charger comes with a cable but you need to use one of your own charging bricks. They do not supply one of these either.

Ergonomics

This part will depend on the user but I had a slight issue with the layout of the button and the length of the housing.

If this is your first pistol-mounted light it may not be an issue, but having used many pistol lights myself the position of the button seemed off for my hand.

I shoot with thumbs forward and my nondominant thumb activates the light. I felt as if I had to bend my thumb to get a nice natural feel.

SureFire XSC Review

SureFire XSC

  • 350 Lumens
  • 2,000 Candela
  • Rechargeable
  • 30 min (single B12 battery)
  • Ambidextrous
  • Reliable and built tough
Check Price

Price Check: Optics Planet, Palmetto State Armory, Primary Arms, Brownells, Sportsman’s Guide, GunMag Warehouse, Grab A Gun, Cabela’s, Amazon

My Experience

The light itself is fine. I have had exactly zero problems with it. That said I rarely shoot at night but from time to time I have gone out in the backyard at night (I live way out in the country) and practiced using the light itself.

What I immediately noticed about the light itself though was the buttons on the back were mushy and I felt like I had to search for them.

My support hand just didn’t naturally fall right on the XSC.

The overall ergonomics were slightly off for me but this might not be a problem for you. Everyone is different.

The Click or the tactile feel of the buttons were not as good as I was expecting.

Mounting

Mounting was super simple and only one hex screw is used. You do not have to use Locktite but it won’t hurt so I used a drop of Blue Locktite just in case.

Make sure you do not over-torque the screw.

Tighten until you feel a sharp rise in resistance, then turn an additional quarter turn.

No issues with mounting and after shooting a few hundred rounds nothing has loosened up or backed out.

The mounting clamp is a simple and strong design.

Shooting

So when testing this light I shot a few hundred rounds with it attached to my Glock 43x.

I had no issues with flickering and it worked flawlessly without a hiccup.

Drawing in and out of my holster didn’t cause any problems and I never accidentally activated the light unintentionally.

I didn’t baby the light and it banged off the counter a few times and still looks brand new.

The brightness was fine but I think it could have been better. Like I said earlier it’s enough to see but I want to blind.

The SureFire XSC worked great and had no complaints about the function.

What Guns Will the SureFire XSC Work On?

Here are just a few of the most popular guns I see people mounting this optic on:

  • Glock 43x MOS – (reviewed)
  • Sig Sauer P365
  • Springfield Armory Hellcat

SureFire also has a very helpful Beam Pattern Guide that instructs you on what to look for in a weapon light.

SureFire XSC Review

Alternatives

If you aren’t sold on the SureFire and want to know what other options are available, the best alternative is the Streamlight TLR-7 Sub.

I also tested and reviewed that pistol light and it is a great option as well. I think the Streamlight is a better option overall and half the price, so it’s hard to justify the SureFire XSC.

To learn all the differences between these two lights, take a look at my SureFire XCS vs Streamlight TLR-7 Sub article if you want to know more.

If you want to see some other pistol flashlights I have tested and reviewed, check out my article Best Pistol Flashlights.

That write-up covers more about pistol flashlights in general and ones made for both full-size and compact pistols.

Final Thoughts

This light has performed flawlessly for me and I can say it’s a good option. I like the Streamlight TLR-7 Sub better and I would recommend that light instead for most people.

Who is this light for? This is a great light for someone who honestly carries their pistol all day every day without exception.

The rechargeable feature is great and I would recommend buying a second battery.

If you want the best reliability and dependability you can get, the XSC is the one for you. Also if you’re a big fan of the brand then the SureFire won’t disappoint.

They are also made in the USA which I know is a factor for some people.

I just think they are overpriced for what you get. But hey, if money is no option and you want the best for durability, you will love it.

SureFire XSC Review

SureFire XSC

  • 350 Lumens
  • 2,000 Candela
  • Rechargeable
  • 30 min (single B12 battery)
  • Ambidextrous
  • Reliable and built tough
Check Price

Price Check: Optics Planet, Palmetto State Armory, Primary Arms, Brownells, Sportsman’s Guide, GunMag Warehouse, Grab A Gun, Cabela’s, Amazon

What Others Are Saying

Here are some of the top reviews and comments of what other people are saying about the SureFire XSC:

“This is a great light for the Hellcat. Fits perfectly and the rechargeable battery is a welcome feature! Not quite as bright as an x300 but I wouldn’t expect that in this size anyway. I was hesitant with the price on this light paired with a smaller gun but now that I’ve used it it’s definitely a justified cost.” – Matt Richards – Reviewed on September 18, 2023

“It’s expensive compared to others sure…but surefire makes great products in my opinion. It’s only 4 stars because although I like the switch on it, I wish they made it a bit more sensitive.” – Damion Miles – Reviewed on June 27, 2023

“Fits great on Springfield Hellcat. Sticks out a little bit past the end of the muzzle. Easy to access the on/off switch. Very bright.” – Milke Bernard – Reviewed on April 23, 2023

“The light has a wide spill and is great for close encounters which is what you would want using a subcompact. It still has enough Lumens and Candella to punch through light obstructions when needed. The Rechargeable Battery is nice and easy to take off and check battery levels with an LED indicator on the light. Has a nice compact size that fits the frame well and the switches are firm but are quality so I expect it to last long. I would buy it again for a different firearm. QVO Tactical has holsters that fit this configuration.” – Adam Manski – Reviewed on February 22, 2022

“I purchased this weapon light for my new EDC pistol a P365X handgun. Installation was easy and I had the light on snugly within less than 30 seconds. I used Surefire products when I was in the military, and have never been disappointed in their performance. They’re pricey but I rather buy once and cry once. The light output is 350 lumens which is more than enough given the scope of what the light is intended to do. As soon as the light was mounted on the weapon I had zero reservations about my purchase.” – Jason Tinness – Reviewed on September 7, 2023

“Fits securely on the G43X. Brightness is great. With the MOS Glock 43X using a Trijicon RMRcc the red dot functions perfectly with this light.” – Austin Wright – Reviewed on February 19, 2023

“I bought this a month ago, and have put over 1,000 rounds through my P365 without issue. It has not loosened at all, and I didn’t use blue Loctite or anything. Amazingly the lens doesn’t even get covered with powder residue like my TLR-1s on Glocks do, might have something to do with the positioning. Helpful hints- Optics Planet has a DeSantis belt holster that fits the P365 with this light. I have also found that the DeSantis pocket holster for the Glock 42 with Streamlight TLR-6 fits the P365 with XSC perfectly. They have that here too. Last, battery life. The battery lasts a good half-hour. That’s plenty of time for any street encounter or just checking on what went bump in the night. However, if you are going to be doing some low-light training with the light, I urge you to, pony up for the spare battery and charger. They aren’t expensive, but you will appreciate the ability to continue training.” – Joe Nichols – Reviewed on August 25, 2023

SureFire XSC Review FAQ

SureFire XSC Review

Is the SureFire XSC worth it?

The SureFire XSC is a great option for a pistol light on a compact slim-line pistol. It gets the job done and is reliable.

How long is the run time for the SureFire XSC?

The SureFire has a short run time of only 30 min. This is not too impressive for pistol-mounted lights and could be improved in newer versions.

Is the SureFire XSC waterproof?

The SureFire XSC is not waterproof but rather water resistant. It has an IPX-7 water resistance rating.

How long does it take to charge a SureFire XSC battery?

The SureFire XSC uses a B12 battery from SureFire and can take up to 3 hours to charge In the CH21 charging cradle.

How many lumens should a pistol light be?

A pistol light should be at least 500 lumens for great brightness and spill. Modern lights are more than capable of doing this in a compact size.

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