Viridian X5L Laser and Weapons Light Review

Lately we’ve been doing a lot with weapons mounted lights and I think the first one that I’ve done recently is the Inforce APL which is an excellent light system for your handgun. I’ve done of rifle light reviews over the past few years but handgun lights have been one of those things where I’m just not done a lot with them. I’ve picked up and while I was in NRA in Nashville, the Viridian and this is X5L and it is a light with a laser. We’re going to go ahead and take a serious look at this weapon system and some the philosophies about using a laser with your light. Giving you some added advantages, it gives you two really options and really guys the light is your best security tool but evil things at night typically. Definitely there are some things that happen during the day but predominantly, low light situations are where most of your crime happens.

Now, you get the usual stuff with the box. Your owner’s manual and things like that, those are important to read especially when you’re looking at something this but I’m going to go ahead and describe, we’re going to talk about all that in detail as we look at the system. One of the things I really going to show you is how this is mounted and this is the new version. Now, I got this from Georgia Optics while I was in Nashville at the NRA Annual Meeting. Georgia Optics is the number one seller of Trijicon in the country. They do a ton of things with Trijicon and I’ve got a couple of things coming up with that but one of the things I wanted to hit first was this Viridian and Viridian in Latin stands for green. Green is a very viable option lasers, in fact I would pick green over red anytime. I naturally pick some green better. As you can see it’s already mounted on this small little block which is very similar to the Glock but inside [shaking noises] are your tools which I think is a really cool way to display this.

The way to access the tools and your battery are also in this little compartment. It just says “Open this way” reveals all the contents. The body of the X5L is an anodized aluminum, it’s aircraft grade 6065T6 aluminum. It has a bezel here with the light, of course you can install your battery here. I really like that specifically because once it’s mounted onto your pistol makes it really easy to be able to pull this on and off. Sometimes I’ve had some systems that actually, the battery is entered into the back and that definitely causes a lot of issues if you have it all ready mounted. You do have your rail system here and here, there are small little set screws that hold that in place. There are different sizes that you can get as well according to what you wanted to mount it to. Your on and off switch, either side so it is ambidextrous.

Here we have the laser, it’s right here inserted and then you have windage and you have elevation right here and that’s one of the things this tool really comes in handy. You can take care of your rail system here, use it other side to adjust your windage and elevation for your laser. With the light it’s not as important but pointing in the same point of impact as where you’re shooting and of course you have your laser here, the barrel appears. There is a distance here that you got to have to account for. Marked the X5L right here on the side, they do make a compact version which is the CTL and it will be marked as well. It’s a lot smaller, the light is a lot smaller, the outer side here is polymer, it’s a Zytel polymer that goes around the outside.

It only weigh 3.3 ounces, so it’s a very light weight system. Of course this is your mounting screw and it’s put in by just the flathead screw driver. To install the battery, just remove the head, place the positive end first and then just snap in your head. You’ll see there’s two little notches here and here that correspond with the head. Take it, turn it, to very positive. Making sure that the firearm is unloaded and this is an HK P30. We’re going to go ahead and place the rails, place this on the rails first. You can again, adjust these rails to fit whatever rail you’re putting it on and if you want to tighten those down of course here your set screws. I did loosen these up just a touch just while I was examining it, so we’re going to check it out, we’re going to tighten it down just a little bit.

Okay, we want to make sure that we have it lined up with the picatinny rails, so when we’re putting a bolt through it fits. Then we’ll take our screwdriver and tighten it down. We really want to make sure that this is secured considering the laser is going to be a point of impact. As you can see it’s very narrow, it doesn’t come out hardly any more than the slide does if it all. Very compact, fits right up to the trigger guard and so it’s going to really be compact. Now the dimensions of the light are 2.75 inches in length, it’s 1.25 in width and it’s just about 1.5 in height. Which of course matches most of your trigger guards and again it is very trim and slim and the battery life is 60 minutes on constant on. If you have it on strobe setting it will go for 90 minutes.

The lumens are 160 lumens for the flashlight then when it goes to strobe it’s 190 lumens and it really lights up a large area. The LED in here is just exceptional and it has a mineral glass lens, the bezel here is polymer so that’s going to keep it from getting dinged up, it’s going to be a little softer. This is not a toy, it will be seen in daylight up to 100 yards and we’ve done some test with it and it does, it’s really bright. I’ve dealt with a lot of lasers, in fact one of the things I’ve been turned off by lasers is just the weak… you can’t even hardly see it during the daytime. This will also be visible at night time for two miles which is incredible. This is not just a inexpensive add on to your pistol, this is a really great piece of kit.

Now to set it on constant on, just tap it and you’re at constant on. If you want it to be momentary, hold it down for just three quarters of a second and it’s momentary. Tap it and it’s on constant on again. Now, it will power down after ten minutes of inactivity. If it powers down and you want it to pop back up, then just tap it on again. Now, to go through your mode settings just hit both of the buttons, right and left simultaneously. I just press them and it goes to the next setting. Now, this is light and laser and it’s really difficult to say but right here you can just barely see the laser here and the light, of course this is really close up. We’re going to hit it again and now we’re getting pulsating or strobe with a full laser. Hit it again, you’re getting it pulsating laser, hit it again, you’re getting a light that’s constant with the pulsating laser, hit it again, just light, one more time and you’re back to you laser setting.

Now once you find the setting that you want, so let’s just say that we want to have light and laser. Leave it on, click it off. The next time you turn it on you’re going to have light and laser. Here you can see the laser coming out. If you remove the battery, it’s going to immediately go back to the default setting, so you’ll have just laser once you remove the light put it back on. If in some reason you’re in a situation where you need your light but your battery runs dead, when you return your battery you’re going to return back to just the laser and you’ll need to reprogram.If you really want to get into the details, hold down both sides for three seconds and this is going to allow you to get in to your different settings of setting your pulsating laser, setting your light modes and a lot of other things. I’m not going to get into that, you can do that with your owner’s manual but it does give you a lot of capability with this light system.

Decided that I’m going to use one of my laser bore sight tools, you don’t have to have this, you can just line it up with the sights to get it but I’m going to use this to make it a little bit easier, plus it will show you how it works more than anything. Again, I’m going to use this small tool and we’re going to adjust the windage here and then the elevation right here. I’m going to show you the target on how it looks when it’s first been installed and then as I adjust you’ll see that green move up to the red and this will be red. Here you can see my sights and if I line them up, you can see that it’s off. It’s good distance off, we’re going to need to sight that in. What we want is for the dot to be in line with those sights, with the laser bore sight in that is my impact right there. I’ve got a good ways to go before I get to it.

First thing we’re going to do is adjust our windage. We just turn it and then we can line it up, now we’re going to adjust the elevation. It’s really pretty simple to do and looks like we’re going to have to adjust our windage a little bit more as well. Here we go, we just them to overlap each other. Now, it’s really important that you sight this in at a known distance but the closer it’s going to get, the more those two dots are going to change and then the farther out it gets the more they’re going to change. Right now, I’m about ten feet away so I’m just a little over three yards distance. One thing I do want to demonstrate is the closer I get to the target, you’ll notice that the red dot is starting to rise up. The farther out I get from the target, that red dot is going to switch with the green dot and it’s going to end up being below it.

If I’m at ten yards, it’s going to make a bigger difference and if I’m at 20 yards, it’s going to be even making a bigger difference so it’s something to really consider when sighting in your pistol. Now, as you can see I’ve got my sights lined up and the laser is right on target. Now, we need to take it out to the range and we need to go ahead and test it. One of the cool things about a laser is I can just line it up, I don’t even have to look over my sights. I can see where I’m pointing and I’m dead on and that’s just an advantage especially if you’re in an awkward situation. You may not have time to pull it up and to really find that laser because it can be hard to find in a real stressful situation. But if you’re behind something and you need to get a hand around you can get that laser up just like I can right now. I’m getting it in the lens and yet I’m not looking down the sights.

Now, we’re going to shoot steel. We’re going to shoot this silhouette target and as you can see about ten yards out and we’re just going to fire some rounds. I’ve got a camera up close to really get a better look at it. One of the things I want you to notice though is how the laser moves. I’ll have it on the target and it’s going to move and where that point is, it’s going to show you really where that impact is going.

I just hit my paint can.

Now, you could see I was aiming about chest high and yet I was getting a really decent group. We’re going to try some different shooting positions with my hand if I had to reach around a berry or something like that. We’re going to see where it hits.

Still getting in that same area. Now, I’m going to take some headshots. Maybe I’ll just hit that white little hostage target.

Now, the biggest thing with light and definitely with a laser is training and training with your laser, using it when you’re going out to the range, not just putting it on as a second after thought. When you get into a real serious situation, you’re going to need to be able to count on this and to be able to make sure you’re getting your shots right. Again, I think there’s some definite advantages to the laser especially in odd shooting positions. On the other hand, if you’re shooting just traditional focus on your sights if possible. Concentrating on those sights, getting your natural point of aim in place and then using that laser as an additional tool not solely depending on the laser, unless you’re in a critical situation where you need it. It’s not a substitute for training, it’s not a substitute for fundamentals.

Now, one really cool thing about the Viridian system is that when you put it in certain holsters it will shut off automatically. If you leave this on for ten minutes, it’s going to shutdown anyway, but if you have it out and you need to holster it you don’t have to think about turning it off but even more importantly, if you’re drawing it, you don’t have to worry about turning it on. You set the mode where you wanted. Here I have my light and laser on, insert it in the holster, it’s off. No light shining through, if I draw it my light’s on, my laser in and that’s the mode that I set it in. Momentary, if I want to leave it on about 2/3 of a second, take it off it. If I want to left it on, just tap it and you’re ready.

The other thing I do want to demonstrate again is the light and the laser on in the holster it shuts off. Pulling it from the holster it activates and it’s on. Again, that is just really super cool. Now, we’re going to do some night time shooting with it and we’re going to be using it with just the laser, with the laser and the light, with pulsating, we’re going to use some different things. I’m just going to do some shooting, giving you a visual of how this will look.

Now, right here is a telephone pole and I’ve got my light on and it’s probably about 15 yards out and you can see the laser going at the pole. That tree is about 40 yards out. I want you to look how bright that is and if you look and you could see the laser down and that’s out of my range. That is 100 yards off, you can see that laser just bouncing back and forth. We were looking at barrels earlier down there and it was picking up those barrels really easily and this was even in early evening. This laser is a professional laser. It’s not one of the cheap toys. It’s definitely got a lot of power behind it. Now, during the daylight this is report to be visible up to 100 yards, at night up to 2 miles and guys I’m telling you what, I really that is the case because this is a strong beam even after at 100 yards. It’s definitely going to go a lot further. Now, these are available at georgiaoptics.com and one of the things they have across their better is that they will beat any price. They’re guaranteed to have the lowest price and call them if you find a price lower and they’ll beat it.

This is just a great way to know that you’re getting a good deal. This run $249 on the Georgia Optics website, if you find them cheaper somewhere else call them in and they’ll give you a better deal. Just a great source for a lot your different things. Again, they are the largest dealer of Trijicon in the country which is huge and Trijicon is really just top notch. In fact, all the Georgia Optics products are really excellent. Checkout georgiaoptics.com and I think going to be a great source for you, not only to get the Viridian laser and light and they do a lot of other things with Viridian with the holster systems with the pressure pads and so this is just going to be able to get… they’re going to be able to take care of all your needs with this light system.

I want to thank the guys at Georgia Optics for sending this for the review and it has really been a blast, so coming up we’re going to talk a little bit more about lasers and training, how they’re used in home defense and some different things and philosophies about using the laser and light combination in a self-defense situation. Be strong, be of good courage. God bless America. Long live the republic.

Pretty weird shooting at the dark and hitting that. [laughs] Pretty cool, I hit it. Typically at a distance, and that was… I think this can has seen better days, it took one right here. Coming off that steel, it will definitely kill you that why you got to be really be careful when shooting steel. Of course is, it’s direction and this just happen to be in the wrong direction.

Now I got a light a laser on you man. Before that I just went ahead and got… it allows you to adjust your laser… I don’t know what that is. My neighbors love me. I bet so.