If you've been waiting for a dedicated, "purpose-built" light and laser unit for the Remington 870 12 gauge, send a thank you note to LaserMax. Their new LMS-1202 combo is light, tough, effective and very user friendly.
The 13.4-ounce anodized aluminum unit clamps a 60-lumen LED weaponlight and a pulsating 5mW laser between the barrel and magazine extension tube of the 870 and its cousins, the 1100 and 11-87. Two lithium CR-123 batteries provide 1.5 hours burn time and a green LED indicator turns red when you're down to 30 minutes of juice. The positive constant-on button is well placed for thumb activation with bare or gloved hands, and an optional pigtail-cord remote switch provides a momentary or "flash-on" feature.
Some users might want "tactically blinding" light--on the order of 90 lumens--but that could only come with double the battery load, more weight and bulk. No, thanks. As delivered, the light provides perfectly adequate threat illumination at fighting ranges, the laser center punches it neatly, and swing-and-point handling is excellent. Is it rugged? Mounted on an 870, the 1202 was repeatedly drop-tested onto concrete from six feet at all angles. The stock broke. The 1202 was unaffected. That's battle-worthy durability.
Dancing In The Dark
Clamped on my bead-sighted plain-Jane 870 Police, gains in target identification and acquisition, speed and accuracy were truly impressive. Mounted on a Vang Comp Systems 870 Police Magnum, those improvements were nothing short of spectacular. My scratch-testing results were so good I handed both units off to some pals at the Cochise County Sheriff's Office in Arizona, just to get second--and possibly more critical--opinions.
Both Lt. Ken Buckner, Cochise County's Firearms Training Coordinator, and Luke Senesac, Firearms Instructor, came to the same conclusions as I. Engaging threat targets in low light with the bead-sighted 870P was "challenging at best," reporting difficulty identifying threats and aligning the bead, stout recoil and muzzle rise which delayed follow-up shots and, although all Federal Tactical 00 pellets were on target, some fell out of the scoring area. As expected, speed in acquisition and follow-up, accuracy and confidence improved very significantly using the LMS-1202. That was the main course. Then came dessert.
Switching to the Vang Comp 870 without light and...