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Old December 29, 2019, 11:29 PM   #1
vaaccess
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M&P 9mm - flashlight and night optics - DIY???

Basic question I guess.

I have an S&W M&P 9mm, with standard sights.

I want to to improve usability in the dark.

If I add a flashlight (?) and night sights(?), what would you recommend and is it a DIY effort?

Thanks for your help!
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Old December 29, 2019, 11:53 PM   #2
TunnelRat
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If you mean adding a weapon light and night sights then sure you can do it yourself. The weapon lights today can usually be put on and taken off in a matter of seconds. Most will come with a number of "keys" for rail slots of different thicknesses. Some larger lights may not fit smaller pistols so check comparability before buying.

Night sights can be trickier as you have to remove the original sights. There are a number of sight pushers of varying cost that are available or you can always go the route of a hammer and a taped brass rod with the slide held in a vise (use a cloth on the sides of the slide I'd your vise isn't padded). With the M&P just be aware that the striker block and spring is accessed by removing the rear sight. So if you do remove the rear sight just be sure not to lose those parts (they won't fly out just by removing the rear sight, it's more a question of were you to upend the slide and handle it roughly they might fall out).

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Old December 29, 2019, 11:53 PM   #3
L-2
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I found this Youtube video, using the search words: sights install smith wesson m&P

This video will give you one example of how the remove and install different sights.
I'd prefer to use a sight pusher tool as I suspect tapping or hammering a sight into place might damage the tritium vials imbedded within night sights.

There are a variety of sight pusher tools for sale. Perhaps someone other than me could recommend a good tool to change both the front and rear sights on a S&W M&P.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Avy0LknVVO0
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Old December 30, 2019, 11:10 AM   #4
vaaccess
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Thanks to both of you for your help.

I also appreciate you looking for a link for a video to watch how to do the installation. I was going to look that up next, but thought I would look here first to see what the experts like you all might say.

I do still have a question, is there a certain brand or type of sights or flashlight that I should be looking for? I can obviously Google and look at reviews, but I prefer to see what the everyone here might have to offer before I dive into reviews.

Have a great one!
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Old December 30, 2019, 11:21 AM   #5
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There are quite a few these days.

SureFire is one of the older brands. They have the distinction of their products being made in the USA whereas many lights are made in China. They have a very good reputation for reliability and durability. The trade-off to being made in the USA is a notably higher cost than some competitors.

Streamlight has a very good reputation as well and is used by a number of emergency services across the country, both police and fire. Their lights are typically made in China, and as a trade-off are generally very affordable.

Both Streamlight and SureFire have US military contracts IIRC. That matters to some people.

Some options that have gotten more attention in recent years are Inforce and Olight. Again these are made in China. They still have good reputations, though don't seem to be as well thought of as the previous two.

If all you're looking for is a full-size light for home defense then personally I think SureFire or Streamlight is the way to go, though Olight has a similar light called the Valkyrie that produces an impressive amount of lumens. If you're looking for a more compact light for use in a concealed carry holster I think Inforce and Olight have some nice options. I would say for home defense the Streamlight TLR-1 HL is hard to beat. Many of the lights have switches that activate in different ways. Watch some videos of them to see if one switch type in particular appeals to you. Not all lights have the same beam pattern either. Some are more of a spotlight or a flood. Wouldn't hurt to read an article about candela versus lumens if you want to understand the topic better.

When buying any light just check reviews for the level of fakes. On Amazon some sellers will sell fakes. If buying there just check the score of the particular seller before ordering.

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Last edited by TunnelRat; December 30, 2019 at 11:33 AM.
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Old December 30, 2019, 12:57 PM   #6
BourbonCowboy
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I went with the Olight PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie. I like the light output, magnetized rechargeable feature via USB connector, and the ease of installation/removal. It's a marvel of engineering, and when you can catch a sale (usually 30% off), they're relatively inexpensive. I bought one for my VP9, VP9sk, and Taurus Judge (with an aftermarket rail). Unless I experience problems, I will put one on any pistol I buy in the future.

https://www.olightstore.com/pl-mini-2.html
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Old December 31, 2019, 03:56 PM   #7
vaaccess
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Perfect, love the thoughts and recommendations!

I’ve already taken a quick look and will continue to watch videos and better understand how each operates.

I will say I’m a bit apprehensive of rechargeable items since battery life is notoriously bad as those batteries age, but perhaps the battery life is so good on them that it’s a moot point.

Thanks again,
Mike
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Old December 31, 2019, 04:01 PM   #8
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I haven't had my Olight that long, about a year and a half. I haven't noticed in that time any changes to the light duration or intensity. I think part of this is the fact that it's not like a phone where it's being charged every day. That said I do wonder how many full discharges it can support. If you do go that way though you'll likely be fine.

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