Mounting lights on pump-action shotguns is a real hassle. Working the pump back and forth makes most lights and remote switches tricky to use without proper planning. In the past, the best options always seemed to come from Surefire in the form of replacing the pump with a dedicated light. Now that’s it’s 2022, Surefire has competitors, and one that came out of nowhere was the Nightstick SFL or Shotgun Forend Light.
This particular Nightstick WML isn’t completely out of nowhere. I first saw it at SHOT and was fairly impressed. The fine folks at Nightstick gave me a card and promised to send one when available. They made good on that promise, and my Mossberg 590 now wears a Nightstick SFL. I’ve been kicking it around for a little over a month now, and I’ve got the full run down.
Before we dive in, let’s cover the logistics. The Nightstick SFL works with the Mossberg 500/590/Maverick 88 series and the Remington 870 series. Benelli fans like me are left out to dry, but the two biggest shotguns in North America are covered. The 590 model comes equipped to function on both the short and long tube, so it will fit on the Shockwave versions. On full-sized Mossberg shotguns, you’ll use the equipped spacer.
Installation took no time, and Nightstick includes the batteries, the tube wrench, and an optional strap. It’s all in one package that makes everything quick and easy to install.
Nightstick Shotgun Forend Light: Specifications
The Nightstick Shotgun Forend Light (SFL) comes with not just a light but a laser as well. Visible laser might serve a dubious nature in the age of red dots, but on a pistol grip firearm like the Shockwave, they make close range aiming easy and a ton of fun. We’ll talk about that a little later. Let’s look at the specifications of this thing.
dThe SFL is rather large and in charge.Lumens – 1200
Candela – 10,315
Length – 7.1 inches
Weight – 17.5 ounces
Width – 2 inches
Drop Rating – 2 meters
Waterproof Rating – IPX7
Specs-wise it’s fairly impressive. 1,200 lumens is a fair bit of light, and a 10,315 candela isn’t too bad. It’s fairly standard as far as lights go but packs more power than most shotgun lights. It’s not the smallest light and is a little heavy. The durability ratings might not make it ship to shore ready, but for bumps in the night, it can bump back.
Ergonomics, Controls, and More
The big problem with these shotgun forend lights is the weight. The longer the shotgun, the more noticeable it became. At 17.5 ounces, the Nightstick SFL is fairly heavy and will make a big 590A1 feel a little off balance. That’s not especially heavy for a shotgun forend light, but it’s not impressively light.
Most of the light is made from high-impact polymer and features a fair degree of texture. This gives you a non-slip grip, but more importantly, it gives you leverage for that push/pull recoil mitigation technique. That no-slip grip makes it possible for me to really push forward on the pump to better control the gun.
The controls are a cross between the Streamlight TL Racker and the Surefire DSF. The Nightstick SFL comes equipped with an ambidextrous button system to control the light and laser. The buttons are big but not massive, and they are easy to engage. Nightstick positioned the buttons to be easy to reach with my pointer finger or thumb.
If you want a tactile action, you get it with the Nightstick SFL. Those buttons are clicky and audible. You know when they get pressed. With the buttons, you can use a constant or momentary mode. A long press and then release gives you the momentary mode, and a short, single press turns it to constant. Simple and easy to remember and implement.
Swapping between laser only, light only, and laser and light are easy and requires holding one button while pressing the other. In-person, that big bright light is impressive and capable. Indoors the light is huge and fills a room with bright white light that sits in the middle of the cool and warm spectrum. A bright white hot spot sits at the center that will cut through most normal photonic barriers.
Indoors, you won’t have issues establishing positive identification with the Nightstick SLF. Outdoors the light works fairly well for shotgun ranges. It’s no Cloud Defensive OWL, but it’s damn sure bright enough to toss light out to 50 yards and fully illuminate a threat. Back to 100 yards, you can spot a person, but it might be tough to see if they are armed or not.
The light is certainly more tuned to close range with a wide beam than a super tightly focused one. That makes a lot of sense for a shotgun. Barrel shadow isn’t a huge issue because it’s mostly upwards and out of your normal cone of vision.
Laser It Up
My Nightstick SFL came with a green laser, and holy crap, is it big and bright. It’s an impressively capable beam. It’s also a ton of fun for blasting clays from the hip. Clays on a berm, not in the air. Most lasers get lost fairly easily in the bright sun of Florida, but this one can be seen from 25 yards away on a target in the sun.
Sure, it takes some looking, but it can be seen. At super close range, a laser can act as a secondary aiming point, especially indoors. They make steering stockless shotguns on target a fair bit easier as well. The problem is that there is a fair bit of slop with a shotgun pump, especially on the Mossberg 500 series.
Zeroing it and having it move an inch from pump slop isn’t inspiring. I prefer a good red dot over a laser anyways. That being said, when combined with birdshot, it can be fun. Also, various models of the Nightstick SFL can be purchased without a laser to save a few bucks.
On the Range with the shotgun forend light
The shape and design of the Nightstick SFL lend themselves well to modern, action shooting. You can run the pump rapidly and easily without your hand slipping as you work the action. The non-slip grip keeps your hand in place as you run the gun and work the action.
It’s easy to hold onto and launch all the buckshot, birdshot, and even slugs you could ever want. The Nightstick SFL provides shotgunner an affordable, easy handling, bright, and capable shotgun forend light. It doesn’t fail in being a pump or a weapon light. When it comes time for home defense, the Nightstick SFL offers you a mighty good option without costing Surefire money.
About the Author:
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner, a lifelong firearms enthusiast, and now a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor. is the world’s Okayest firearm instructor, and a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.