Product review: The torch spillbeam perfect for long guns

The programmable 6-inch, 6-ounce torch takes CR123 cells and features 920-lumens; works well as a patrol light but whose strongest quality is a perfect beam configuration for long gun use

Product review: The torch spillbeam perfect for long guns

The programmable 6-inch, 6-ounce torch takes CR123 cells and features 920-lumens. (Photo courtesy FourSevens)

This year, FourSevens released the Maelstrom tactical flashlight line.  Although each torch is unique, all four models were engineered for glove friendly, hard daily use by professionals who rely on tactical lights.

The line includes the Maelstrom Regen MMR-X a lightweight USB rechargeable torch that uses the 2600 mAh 18650 cell, the slightly larger MMX-360 – which uses CR123a cell or the 18650 cell, the rechargeable Regen MMU-X3R – which uses 3 CREE XM-L2 emitters, and the 15,000 lumen Maelstrom XM18 which has 18 (yes 18!) emitters. 

Today we’re evaluating the Maelstrom MMX-360, a light that works well as a patrol light but whose strongest quality is a perfect beam configuration for long gun use. It gives the user a good concentration for aiming focus and enough spillbeam for targets of opportunity. 

MMX-360 Applications
I put my Maelstrom MMX-360 on my MMC Armory Tactical C14.7 upper, my tack driver. The MMX-360 makes this combination a very effective package. The programmable 6-inch, 6-ounce torch takes CR123 cells and features 920-lumens.

The MMX-360 features a pressure switch in a ring that surrounds the barrel. Users depress the pressure switch to change lighting modes. It is recessed and tactile enough to prevent any accidental switching. All Maelstrom hand lights have robust tail switches.

The MMX-360 mounts solidly using the machined aluminum Offset Weapon Mount and Maelstrom MMS/MM-X digital remote tailswitch, each of which can be purchased separately. I know that there are dozens of similar products on the market, but reliability trumps everything when it comes to weapons and rescue tools.

The Offset Weapon Mount is a single Picatinny rail clamp with about 1.25-inches of clamping area and  an indexing pin. The torch clamp uses four Allen screws, which creates even clamping on the barrel. This mount will fit any one-inch barrel light.

My MMC upper is a top rail-only, making it lightweight, comfortable and allows for easy handling. This kind of set-up requires an offset mount and my mounted Maelstrom MMX-360 doesn’t interfere with the optic. 

The MMX-360 uses a CREE XM-L2 and smooth reflector. It throws a very bright center with harsh shadows and a generous spillbeam. It’s not the kind of beam I would use to light a walkway, but it is exactly the kind one mounts on a bullet launcher. On the end of my carbine, I can easily do target identification in a full length alley. one notch for room clearing.

It uses very solid mounting of internals and recoil doesn’t induce battery slam, which can flicker beams and self-destruct torches. The MMX-360 can be used reliably for dynamic entry.

In its brightest mode, this torch will run 1.5 hours, with an initial 920 lumen burst, followed by a continuous 460 lumens. It can provide a room clearing 210 lumens for 4 hours and 22 days on its lowest setting.

The MMS/MM-X digital remote tailswitch is digital and completely sealed. It can be mounted in several different ways and there is a straight or pigtail cord option. The digital design means it is good for 100,000 actuations.

The other three Maelstrom models are completely different, and their integration can improve mission success. The Regen MMR-X is a little smaller than the MMX-360. It is micro USB-rechargeable and I found it slightly exceeded its advertised charging specs. It uses the same Cree XM-L2 emitter, pushing out 800 lumens. It can plug into a USB port to charge (it comes with a cord, plug, case and lanyard), and you can program it using the USB. It is a little lighter and sleeker than the MMX-360 and is an ideal patrol light. Because of its compact size and handling, I use mine to practice manipulations like magazine changes and opening doors.

The MMX-360 can take the 18650 rechargeable cell that comes with the Regen MMR-X, if it’s charged separately.

The Maelstrom Line
The USB rechargeable MMU-X3R uses three Cree XM-L2 emitters in a single torch head. When I first turned it on, I pointed it at the ground. When I checked, the entire area was scorched. Of course, I’m kidding, but it is incredibly bright. The MMU-X3R puts out an incredible volume of light. It reaches out quite well, but it can also flood an area. It’s ideal for rescue ops or sweeping an area with stark white light.

The Cree XM-L2 tends toward a high contrast spectrum. This increases the speed at which a person can recognize a camouflaged or partially obscured target. In strobe mode, it is completely disorienting. This should be taken into account when the user is firing on reflective surfaces or sweeping interiors.

Finally, there is the Maelstrom XM18. This uses 28 XM-L2 emitters in an array. For units needing a crowd control or border denial tool, 15,000 lumens will work.

If you’re looking for a high-performing torch to use in combination with your long gun, Maelstrom’s MMX-360 is a smart, durable option.