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FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Illuminating A Suppressed MP5

In the past few years, we have seen a roller lock renaissance. I believe this is in part due to quality clones like the Zenith MKEs, Omega Arms, and PTR. The list goes on and on. The stabilizing brace also made the pistol version of the MP5 more accessible and useful for shooters. So now everyone has their own MP5 clone. But the desire does not stop at just having an MP5. Now you have to accessorize it. And the two best accessories are the suppressor and the light. However, illuminating a suppressed MP5 is not as easy as it sounds. There are a number of lighted forends for the MP5 and not all of them work with suppressors. Let’s take a closer look.

SureFire 628 Lighted Forend

The SureFire 628 is the iconic weapon light for the MP5. The classic WML was a weaponized version of their SureFire 6P handheld flashlight. It uses 2x CR123 and an incandescent bulb.

The bezel, that houses the bulb, is enlarged to encompass a shock isolating system to prevent the bulb from breaking under recoil.

SureFire has since moved on and utilized their LED light technology and updated the 628s with LED heads. One downside to these new heads is the fact that they are proprietary. The body of the light is permanently attached to the head. In the past, SureFire lights were like LEGO elements. You could swap parts between them. I would have preferred an adapter body to allow SureFire Scout Light heads to be used on the 628 lighted forend. You can see in the photo below how much smaller the LED head is compared to the old incandescent bezel.

 

 

Below you can see how close the SureFire 628 head sits to the barrel.

With the old classic head, it is impossible to mount a suppressor. The LED head is narrower but it still interferes with the suppressor. You can force the 628 onto the MP5 but it will stress and crack the ear holes of the lighted forend. Plus the light bezel will touch the can.

One solution that SureFire came up with is the A17 adjustable offset adapter. This offsets the head of the 628 allowing clearance of a suppressor as well as reducing barrel shadow. I attached my SureFire KM3 vampire head to the A17.

 

Depending on your suppressor, the A17 may still not work. It touches the trilug adapter of my Tirant 9M.

However, if you screw a suppressor directly to the threads at the end of the barrel, then the A17 offset adapter will help the bezel clear the can.

The SureFire 628 is very common. You can still get the updated LED versions off SureFire.com for $649.00. You can find the old classic incandescent versions used for around $200 or less on various gun groups.

Laser Devices LDITL (Steiner MP5 Lighted Forend)

At first glance the Laser Devices, now called Steiner, LDITL is an MP5 lighted forend. It looks a lot like the SureFire 628. However, it is better than the 628 in the fact that the light is offset for suppressors and it can use SureFire commonly available weaponlight heads. I have a SureFire M600V head on mine. This gives me both white light and IR light for use with night vision.

You can see that the LDITL positions the head of the light much lower than the SureFire 628 making plenty of room for a suppressor.

Below are two old photos I took almost three years ago. There are two versions of the LDITL and both of them are compatible with SureFire LED heads. The factory Laser Devices heads were incandescent.

The LDITL on the left is compatible with SureFire M600 Scoutlight and E-Series heads. The LDITL on the right is compatible with SureFire’s legacy Millennium weapon light heads like the tan KM3 from the M952V weapon light.

The LDITL is long since discontinued. Since there are more MP5 shooters than ever before the LDITL is becoming scarce. Pricing is all over the place for one. It all depends on how badly you want it and how much someone is willing to let one go. If you have one I would not sell it if you enjoy shooting your MP5 suppressed in the dark.

 

KAC MP5 RAS

Just like an AR-15 you can get a railed handguard like the KAC MP5 RAS for your MP5 and attach lights how you want to your MP5. If you have a tax stamp for your MP5, you can add a classic SureFire M900 light to the bottom of the KAS MP5 RAS.

 

I use a SureFire X400V so I have IR light and laser for use with night vision.

With the KAC MP5 RAS now you no longer have an issue with the light and suppressor fighting for the same space like the SureFire 628. The KAC MP5 RAS costs around $350 but are not that common and they are rather wide. They are not the most ergonomic setup. However, the KAS RAS does allow you to mount a Wilcox Raptar directly to the handguard. If you recall, the Wilcox Raptar uses a Picatinny rail adapter. But the MP5 RAS has tapped holes that work with the Raptar.

The only issue is that the Raptar hugs the rail so close that you cannot attach a vertical grip. With the Raptar mounted the handguard is even fatter to grasp.

Midwest Industries MI-MP5M MLOK Handguard

Probably the most modular setup would have to be the Midwest Industries MLOK handguard. It has six sides with MLOK slots. Allowing you to position lights and accessories anywhere you want.

I am using a SureFire Scout Light and an Arisaka Defense offset adapter at the highest MLOK slots. Then I use the ST07 and Cloud Defensive MLOK LCS to mount the tape switch to the side of the MI-MP5M. This positions the tape switch ergonomically for me and it is similar to the SureFire 628. The MI-MP5M is the most affordable at just $119.95 but that does not include the weapon light and other accessories.


Get A Light That Fits Your Needs And Budget

As you saw, there are a number of options to get a light onto an MP5. Some are a bit of a compromise like the KAC RAS and SureFire 628. You sacrifice suppressor compatibility for the ergonomics and streamlined design of the SureFire 628. The KAC is a solid platform for customization but it is bulky and heavy. The Laser Devices/Steiner LDITL is the best in my opinion for running a light on a suppressed MP5 but they are hard to find. The Midwest Industries MI-MP5M is the best for ergonomics and modularity plus it is not terribly expensive. I hope I have been able to help you narrow down what lighted forend is good for you.




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