Night Evolution M961 and M620P Weapon Lights
To be honest with you, I consider flashlights just as a tacticool accessory for my gun. That is because I play in woodland areas 90% of the time and only when the sun is out. At night, you should be using NVGs instead of shooting light rays (with a wavelength greater than 780nm) through the woods like a Jedi. If you are playing at an urban or CQB area, a flashlight can be a valuable tool that gives you tactical advantage.
Buying expensive, original products isn’t really profitable for most players out there or at least only for a really small group of people (reenactors, geardos etc.). Chinese manufacturers copy almost everything the can get their hands on and fortunately they did it with the Surefire weapon lights too.
Night Evolution produces detailed, accurate and affordable replicas of the well known Surefire lamps for the ambitious Airsoft player. In this review, we are going to take a closer look at two flashlight models and check, how well they perform and whether or not you should get the real deal.
Below this paragraph you can see all the technical specs that are printed onto the packaging. The box of the M620P was accidentally labeled “M600U” but the specs match the M620P. Values in brackets represent the original Surefire models (if provided).
>>> Night Evolution M961
Lumen: 180 (125)
LED: Cree (Xenon/Halogen)
Run Time: 2h (1h)
Battery: 3x 123A or 16430 (3x 123A)
Diameter of light beam: 0,8m
Switch: Cable switch or tail-cap switch
Other: Waterproof(?), rail mount included
>>> Night Evolution M620P
Lumen: 679 (600)
Run Time: 30 Min. (1,5h)
Battery: 2x 123A oder 16430 (2x 123A)
Diameter of light beam: 1,5m
Switch: Cable switch oder tail-cap switch
Other: Waterproof(?), rail montage included
>>> Night Evolution M961 Universal Weapon Light
The Surefire M961 was a popular weapons light back in the days used by large number of armed forces around the world. Compared to the M620P, the M961 is bulkier and heavier and has way less Lumens. Night Evolution kept the lumen output close to the original Surefire model. The lamp head isn’t really smaller than the M620P’s so they could have easily fitted a larger LED module into the M961.
The main reason for buying the M961 might be it’s appearance or the fact that you don’t need a high lumen output. One should also consider the battery run-time when choosing a flashlight model.
Disassembling the M961 is fairly easy. The lamp consists of a tail-cap with an integrated button switch and a connector for the remote, the base module with the rail mount, the lamp module and a LED unit wit a lamp head and reflector lens.
The lamp module also features ribs for cooling the LED module.
The mount is compatible with all 1913 Picatinny rail panels and can be swapped with other availible mounts if needed. Night Evolution actually doesn’t offer another mount for the M961 but you can use mounts from other brands such as Element, Haley Strategic etc.
The mount itself is a simple clamp version that uses two thumb screws. Depending on the RIS panel, there might is a slight intolerance you have to deal with. On our Fortis REV rail, the mount was wobbling slightly.
The Night Evolution M961 features an on/off button on the end cap as well as a connector for the remote switch. This results in a quite large end cap, although you don’t have to swap the whole end cap if when you want to use one of the two switches.
The remote switch gets connected via a simple plug-in connector whereas the Surefire model utilizes a threaded connection. The jack features an o-ring for better weather protection.
The LED module sits inside a thick brass ring, that helps cooling the module. The lamp head also features a ring with metal teeth. If you could/should smash a window with the lamp or press it against any surface to stabilize your weapon? Probably not. It looks cool and adds an aggressive look the the lamp.
The lens and the reflector are held in place by a well sized o-ring. The o-ring sits firmly and I refused to remove it because I didn’t want to damage it. The lens is made out of plastic and creates a tight beam pattern.
When comapred to the 12″ PTS Fortis Rail, the M961 looks quite massive.
>>> Night Evolution M620P Fury Scout Light
The Night Evolution M620P is the replica of the Surefire M620P Fury Scout light and was designed mainly for sport shooters. Due to its compact size it fits on nearly every rifle.
The M620 can be disassembled the same way as the M961. The M620P consists of a centerpiece, that mounts to the rail adapter, a tail-cap switch or button switch, the lamp head with a simple reflector and the LED unit with the lens cover.
The M620P can be used with an end-cap that has a built in connector jack for the remote switch or a typical on/off button switch.
In the photo above you can see the tail-cap with the button switch mounted.
The LED module sits inside a large aluminum frame/ring that also helps cooling the module itself. The LED of the M620P is way larger then the one used in the M961.
When inserting the batteries into the lamp, be sure to unscrew the lamp head and insert the batteries that way. Inserting them by removing the tail cap won’t work as the opening diameter is smaller. The rail mount can be removed by unscrewing two small hex screws. The M961 and the M620P share the same mounting system so, for example, offset-mounts can be used on both models.
The M620P features a QD lever rather than thumb screws. As with the M961 there is a slight intolerance and the mount may wobble a bit on your rail interface. You can easily fix this by adding some electrical tape as a spacer.
When disassembling the M260P for the first time, the o-ring of the lens cover / reflector got squeezed into the thread of the lamp head. Not a big problem as you can get a replacement o-ring in almost every hardware store nearby.
Shown in the picture above is the tail cap with the connector jack for the remote switch. Like the M961, the M620P uses a plug and not a threaded connector. The plug sits firmly inside the tail cap and also has an o-ring for weather sealing.
Compared to the 12″ Fortis REV rail the m620P is much smaller than the M961 although it has almost 4 times the output.
In this short video we compare the M961 and the M620P together with a Princeton Tec Remix head lamp. The video also shows the different beam patterns of each lamp.
Night Evolution offers a lot of “bang for your buck” with their Surefire replicas. The build quality is good and the performance is sufficient enough for any Airsoft applications.
The M961 offers a lower lumen output and a quite tight beam pattern. The tight spot could be too tight in close quarters and I wasn’t able to illuminate a whole body at a distance of roughly 15m.
The M620P has a high lumen output but lacks the focused beam pattern. The spot is wide and easily illuminates a whole room when used at a distance of 10m.
You should choose the lamp model and/or beam pattern according to your preferred environment.