Review of Surefire DSF-870 Shotgun Forend Weaponlight
Surefire has been a leader in the weapon light industry for years. They are a supplier to the U.S. military as well as militaries around the world. It should come as no surprise that they are the ones to create a truly awesome flashlight attachment for the Remington 870 shotgun. This review will take you behind the barrel and show you exactly what makes the DSF-870 the best shotgun weapon light on the market today.
Shotguns As Home Defense Weapons
Shotguns are one of the best home defense tools that you can buy. They require little aiming, can be operated easily once you’re familiar with them, and are powerful enough to stop an intruder in their tracks. Unlike a handgun, however, shotguns require a two-handed operation. This means that you need both hands on the weapon and there’s no way to hold a flashlight, something that’s often needed in low or no-light situations such as a home invasion. Although shotguns are not as modular as the popular AR-15, they don’t need to be either. Think of a shotgun as a “point-and-click” device. One accessory that shotguns can take is a flashlight attachment. The best one on the market is the Surefire DSF-870.
Because a shotgun blast is so much more percussive than a handgun or rifle, the attachment mechanism of a flashlight must be well made in order to withstand the blast. A pressure switch wouldn’t be effective because your non-firing hand is moving on a pump action shotgun like the Remington 870. A simple clip-on flashlight also wouldn’t cut it. Surefire looked at all of those issues and decided the best way to add a light to a pump action shotgun is to integrate it into the pump itself. The DSF-870 is a replacement pump that has a built in flashlight. It’s made of high-strength polymer and aluminum and has ambidextrous controls for both right-handed and left-handed shooters. One feature that’s great on the DSF-870 is the extremely large buttons. They are placed intuitively so that when your hand rests on the pump, your fingers fall on the buttons naturally. They are also programmable so you can change the setting to your liking.
The light output on the DSF-870 is adjustable for different situations. It has a 200 lumen low setting and 600 lumen high setting. On the lowest setting, the two 123A lithium batteries will power the light for three hours, while the brightest setting will last one and a half hours. It features two “on” settings as well, momentary on and constant on. The wide angle beam is great for illuminating wide areas, such as the interior of a room in your house. The beam is still bright enough, however, to reach up to 225 meters should you need to use it outdoors, as a police officer for example.
Like I mentioned before, simply attaching a flashlight to the barrel of a shotgun wouldn’t work. Surefire knew this, that’s why they designed their DSF-870 to be integrated into the pump of the shotgun. The grip of the DSF-870 is textured to increase resistance, which means that you can get a firm grip on it and it won’t slide out of your hand. When your non-firing hand rests on the grip, your fingers naturally fall in place on the controls of the flashlight.
In a home defense scenario, I prefer to use the low power setting. There are a few reasons for this. No. 1 is that most interior walls are painted some shade of white, and a high-output flashlight can create a glare off of the walls in a totally dark room. Add to that mirrors and other reflective surfaces like television screens and stainless steel appliances, and a high-output beam could create a “hall-of-mirrors” effect. Also, the low-output mode preserves battery life, always a good thing.
When you first pick up your shotgun with the DSF-870 attached, there’s one step you need to take before anything else. There’s a master on/off switch on the bottom of the flashlight grip. This is so that the light doesn’t accidentally come on when you don’t need it and kill your battery. If you store your shotgun near your bed for self-defense, it’s a good idea to keep the master switch in the “on” position. That way it’s always ready to use. When you store the shotgun in a gun case or safe, it’s a good idea to switch the master switch to “off”.
The Surefire DSF-870 Forend Weaponlight is the top of the line flashlight attachment for Remington 870 shotguns. Its solid construction holds up well to the beating that shotgun accessories are bound to take. The flashlight itself is classic Surefire quality, which has always been second-to-none. It has two settings, continuous-on and momentary-on, as well as two brightness settings, low and high. The position of the controls is intuitive and easy to manipulate in the dark.
It’s worth noting that this model is only for the Remington 870 shotgun, which is one of the most popular home defense and tactical shotguns on the market. The other most popular shotgun model is the Mossberg 500/590. Surefire also makes a Forend Weaponlight for the Mossberg shotguns that is identical to the DSF-870, but fits the Mossberg. It’s called (unironically) the DSF-500/590.
If you have a Mossberg sitting next to your bed for home defense, be sure to check out the Surefire DSF-500/590 as well.
The only disadvantage of the Surefire Forend is a high price: $375 But you receive high-quality and extremely reliable forend with integrated flashlight. Very expensive but very good choice for tactical or home defense shotgun.
Surefire Forend Flashlight Video Review:
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From Strapy from Remington 870 Forum
Here is the final piece to the 870 express I built for my wife. She chose the Surefire 618LMG over the Eotech because the grip felt better. The Eotech is all Polycarbonate and the Surefire has a bit of a rubber grip.
Also the Eotech depth is much more then the Surefire. As you can see in the pictures, the Surefire rises back up to the mag tube behind the flashlight. The Eotech continues straight back. The Surefire also feels much more solidly built then the Eotech.
The batteries are a bit expensive and only last about 2 hours of use. But who goes around using their tactical light as a flash light? She has had it on her shotgun better part of 2 months and although she doesn’t pull it out every day on the job the light is still bright when she op-checks it.