SureFire Laser Sight and Tactical Flashlight Pioneer Turns 30
Revolutionizing an industry with American engineering.
Fountain Valley, CA –-(AmmoLand.com)- SureFire, LLC, manufacturer of the world’s finest illumination tools and tactical products, is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
The company that pioneered the first commercial laser-aiming sight, the first dedicated weapon light, and the tactical flashlight will officially turn 30 on October 17, 2009.
SureFire opened for business on October 17, 1979 as Laser Products Corporation. The first product sold was the LPC Model 7, Laser-Aimed Revolver. It was the first commercially available laser-aiming product integrated with a firearm. The firearm was a Colt Trooper .357 Magnum with a helium-neon gas laser sight fixed to the gun’s original sight posts. The laser was powered by a custom built rechargeable battery integrated with a modified Pachmayr grip. This gun/laser package was sold to SWAT and Special Forces, and for anti-terrorist applications.
From 1979-1984, a series of laser sights were created for firearms such as the Remington 870, Ruger Mini-14, H&K MP5, and the Colt M-16. In 1984, a Hollywood prop master noticed the laser sights mounted on the shotguns of the LAPD and LA County Sheriffs at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Laser Prodcuts Corp. was immediately contacted by the prop master and asked to create a laser to fit an AMT Hardballer Longslide .45 caliber pistol for an upcoming movie. This laser-sighted gun was soon made famous by an up-and-coming actor named Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator.
“The only thing I received for doing the job was a hat, tee shirt, and sweatshirt,” said Ed Reynolds, company co-founder and designer of the Terminator laser. “Laser Products Corp. did get acknowledged in the film credits at the end of the picture. I still have the laser.”
Less than a year later, in 1985, the “SureFire” brand was born when Laser Products responded to requests from police departments for an effective way to attach their flashlights to their shotguns. The engineers at Laser Products began building mounts that allowed users to attach their duty flashlights to their firearms. The first SureFire-named product was the Model 300, a flashlight mount that held a duty flashlight and replaced its tailcap with a coiled tape switch that allowed remote activation of the light. The custom bracket utilized the same mounts as the company’s Model 32 laser so the devices could be used interchangeably. A few months later in January of 1986, the SureFire brand released the first ever dedicated handgun weapon light, the Model 310 built for a Colt 1911.
In 1988, the SureFire brand broke the mold of large handheld flashlights when it released its model 6C flashlight. This compact (4.6″ long) incandescent flashlight, powered by two lithium 123A batteries, produced 60 lumens of light output, that’s three times the light output of the widely used D-cell flashlights of the time. The SureFire light was waterproof, shock-resistant, and came housed in a space-age aircraft-grade aluminum body. A model with a pushbutton tailcap, called the 6P, was released a few months later. This is considered the first ever tactical flashlight and it quantified “tactical output.” The age of the illumination tool was born and flashlights would never be the same.
In 2000, Laser Products officially changed its name to SureFire, L.L.C. Since then the company’s operations have expanded with the addition of a suppressor division, an edged weapons division, and a hearing protection/enhancement division—all leading the way in their industries. The company has recently come full circle in 2009 with the release of the X400® WeaponLight. This weapon light + laser combo is the pinnacle of all that SureFire has pioneered over the last 30 years.
For 30 years, the founding members of SureFire, Dr. John Matthews, Dr. Peter Hauk, and Ed Reynolds, have committed themselves to building the absolute best products for those who go in harm’s way. These men can be found in their offices five days a week, as each one still plays an integral role in the operations of SureFire on a daily basis, as well as guiding it into the future. Look for SureFire to celebrate their anniversary at SHOT (their 25th year at the show) with wall of historical products.