With every step I could feel brass roll underneath my feet. My MK18 was so hot that it was almost untouchable and caked with grime and carbon fouling from a regimen of firing almost 800 rounds of 5.56×45 during a training event. As the day rolled into night we switched to our Surefire weapon lights for the low visibility conditions. I was one of the only guys running a 10.3 inch barreled rifle and when we went to switch on our Surefire weapon lights to engage targets mine was noticeably dimmer than the guys running standard length M4’s due to how close my light was to the muzzle of my weapon. The extreme firing regimen had coated the lens of my Surefire light in carbon fouling and the heat from my weapon and the sun during the day had baked it on hard. No amount of wiping would completely remove it and on the advice of another guy I resorted to using a pencil eraser to get much of the carbon fouling off with some judicious scrubbing. Since that time I’ve had similar issues occur with handguns as well.
While most modern weapon lights have excellent lumen output, the carbon caked over the lens is going to diminish the quality of light they can throw. And when you’re shooting lowlight you need your weapon lights to perform to the utmost to ensure that you, as the operator of that weapon system, can effectively identify and engage targets. Often to some extent or another wiping a gloved finger across the lens is going to remove the carbon unless it gets baked on there from heat of the weapon or heat of the day. But a way to guarantee it’s going to be removed is by using the weapon light conditioner from White Sound Defense. I was incredibly dubious when I first heard about the product. However over the time that I’ve used it, I’ve found it to be a simple and cheap trick to ensure my light will be good to go when I need it regardless of the conditions.
For around 7 bucks you get a siloxane oil blend to ensure that the o-rings on weapon lights will not be damaged as they could be by certain gun oils. On a clean weapon light you put one drop on the lens, spread it around then wipe off any excess which leaves a thin film. You allow the film to cure for 1 hour and it’s good to go. The cured film ensures that any carbon stuck to the lens will wipe right off. After your weapon light is sufficiently dirty and you find yourself in need of a cleaner lens to aid in visualizing threats / paper targets, you wipe your finger across the lens to remove the carbon cleanly and easily. To reapply simply clean the lens if it needs cleaning and apply more weapon light conditioner.
For as inexpensive as the product is I’ve found it to be a lifesaver in certain conditions. In many situations you won’t have the time to sit down and properly clean the weapon light, having an expedient means of cleaning the light before entering a building when you realize that a day’s worth of firing has occluded the lens could be potentially game changing. I’m sure there are other tricks out there to deal with a dirty weapon light but I’ve found that the weapon light conditioner from White Sound Defense is a simple fix and a top notch product that will last me a very long time.