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Tips for that Remote Tape Switch on Your AR-15

For the general purpose AR, a dedicated weapon-mounted light is a popular accessory, whether mounted on the rail or the vertical foregrip.  If you’re using a remote tape switch with your light, there are a couple of critical points to watch for. These tips are from Gun Digest author Scott Wagner, from his book Own the Night: Selection & Use of Tactical Lights & Laser Sights.

If you use a light with a remote switch, check two things. First, make sure the wires don’t touch any “hot” part of the gun, like the barrel. This may sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes one loses attention to detail.

In 1997, when I took the required training to be a certified law enforcement “Assault Weapons” instructor through the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission, I was shooting the course of fire alongside an officer from an area police department who was equipped with an M16A1 and one of those new-fangled, yet el-cheapo, laser sight things designed to mount on a rifle. His A1 had the pressure switch for the laser taped to one of the flats on the triangular handguard and the sight was mounted on the front sight triangle. The cord to the switch, a coiled affair like an old telephone cord, at some point due to movement from the shock of recoil or improper positioning, came in contact with the barrel and in very short order burned through it. He was done with the laser.

This DELTON AR-15 A2 features a Midwest Industries front sight mount and Surefire M600C Scout Light with remote pressure switch placed on standard AR forend. Note use of electrical tape to help secure pressure switch to forend. This is a great trunk-stored rifle for emergency situations.

I really didn’t get to see any of the laser sight actually being used, it was toast on the second day of class when we began live fire. I have to admit though, that I thought even then that the concept of a laser sight on a rifle was way cool. However, the Crimson Trace Laser Grip that I had mounted on my Colt 1991A1 Commander functioned perfectly. I saw then there was potential for rifle mounted lasers, just maybe not with that arrangement. I mention it now because the same thing can happen with remote switched lights.

Don’t wind cords through the openings in a quad rail, because the aforementioned will, at some time, happen.

Second, don’t tape them to the receiver either, it gets hot too. Make sure the wire is secure in addition to being out of the way of heat. Try and get a system with the shortest cord possible and tape it to the rail and/or vertical foregrip so there is nothing dangling. Don’t let the excess hang free or it will hang up.

Whether you are a tactical gear enthusiast, military or police operator, or a proactive civilian defending yourself and your home, "Own the Night" shows you the newest advances in supportive illumination systems, including handheld tactical lights, weapon mounted lights and supplemental laser illumination devices.

For more practical advice from Wagner about customizing and accessorizing your tactical guns, stop by the Gun Digest Store and pick up a copy of Own the Night: Selection & Use of Tactical Lights & Laser Sights, or his other popular title, Gun Digest Book of the Tactical Shotgun. Remember to use promo code INSIDEGDB to get free standard U.S. shipping on your books. (Promo code fine print: Items which ship directly from the manufacturer do not qualify for free shipping.)

What is a "tactical" shotgun? What works best for home defense? Pump, semi-auto or double: Which is best for you? Find out, with the help of "Tactical Shotgun."

One thought on “Tips for that Remote Tape Switch on Your AR-15

  1. raymllr

    I had a hard time getting the switch to stick to the plastic stock. Every time I turned around it was hanging off of the gun. I finally used some of that silicon tape to wrap around the switch and the forend grip, being carefull to not wrap it to tight, it works perfectly and also gives me a no slip grip for my hand. This tape only sticks to its self and I mean sticks, it becomes one when you wrap it onto its self. You can get it at Home Depot.

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