Some­thing Wicked

Phill Price tries a new lamp­ing sys­tem from across the Pond

Airgun World - - Contents -

Phill Price tries out a lamp­ing sys­tem de­signed in the US - as we meet the Wicked Light

The busiest time of the air­gun hunter’s year is fast ap­proach­ing, so I was happy to see a new light­ing sys­tem ar­rive from the good folks at Scott Coun­try, now the Euro­pean dis­trib­u­tor of Wicked Lights. One look at the name tells you that this is an Amer­i­can brand, be­cause no­body else would call them­selves Wicked Lights! In­side the padded stor­age case is a very com­pre­hen­sive sys­tem that gives you ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing you need for a long night out on the rab­bits. The lamp of­fers three out­put colours at the twist of a dial, and it fo­cuses from a wide flood to a light spot. The out­put is also dimmable, a fea­ture that I found very use­ful. The lamp is 7¾”, slightly larger than most of those specif­i­cally de­signed for your av­er­age air­gun, but isn’t ex­ces­sively heavy. It runs on the pop­u­lar 18650 Li-ion bat­tery, which I know well to be durable and eas­ily re­placed should you lose one.

DUAL PUR­POSE

The lamp can be used as a hand-held torch, but comes with a sturdy, so­phis­ti­cated scope mount and a re­mote switch that con­verts it into a proper gun light. The mount has a scope ring that you clamp on for a se­cure fit, and this nat­u­rally suits 30mm tubes, but comes with adap­tors that clamp 1” bod­ies just as well. This ring has a sec­tion of Weaver rail that the lamp mount fits onto, with a quick re­lease – which is re­ally im­por­tant. When you want to put the ri­fle in its case, or into your gun cab­i­net, you must be able to re­move the lamp quickly, but it must go back into the same place and the Weaver rail con­nec­tor takes care of that. All the parts are chunky and sub­stan­tial, sug­gest­ing that they’ll take the knocks in their stride.

The lamp mount has thumb wheel ad­justers that al­low you to cen­tre the beam’s out­put ex­actly on your crosshairs, a process that

“At a turn of a dial on the side, you can swap from white to green or red light to suit the sit­u­a­tion”

takes just sec­onds to achieve. Once set up, it’s a true ‘fit and for­get’ mech­a­nism.

At a turn of a dial on the side, you can swap from white to green or red light to suit the sit­u­a­tion, and as you change colour, the beam stays cen­tred on your crosshairs so you can do it at any time with­out the need to make ad­just­ments. You can also fo­cus the beam from a flood to a tight spot, and then dim or brighten the out­put to suit the mo­ment. Dim­ming can also be con­trolled from the re­mote switch, which is great.

FIELD TOUGH

I could see that the peo­ple who de­signed this have been out in the field and have ex­pe­ri­enced the same prob­lems and frus­tra­tions as the rest of us, and made a prod­uct to ad­dress them. The slip-on rub­ber ‘halo shield’ is a good example. This flex­i­ble tube slides onto the front of the lamp, and al­lows us to ‘cut’ any light that might re­flect off the bar­rel or si­lencer to ob­scure the view of our quarry. I’ve had this hap­pen to me in the past and it can be in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing when a rab­bit is right there, but you can’t get your sights on it well enough to take a shot.

There’s an­other sign that these peo­ple ac­tu­ally hunt – there are two bat­ter­ies in the kit. For me, it’s vi­tal to carry a spare one along be­cause they al­ways seem to go flat at the worst pos­si­ble mo­ment, but with a spare in my pocket I can swap to a fully-charged one in sec­onds. The full set-up weighs 1.6lbs (750 grammes) so you most cer­tainly know it’s on board, but it’s not un­com­fort­able in use.

SQUARE SPOT

In use, the wide beam seemed quite dif­fused, even at full power, but once fo­cused to a tight spot the light was sharp and clear. In­ter­est­ingly, the spot beam is square and very in­tense, which is where the re­mote dim­ming con­trol be­came so im­por­tant. I was able to scan well ahead, per­haps sev­eral hun­dred yards to spot rab­bits, and then drop the power right down when I’d closed the gap to a shootable dis­tance. I no­ticed that the three dif­fer­ent colour out­puts seemed very dif­fer­ent in their power to my eyes, the red ap­pear­ing to be par­tic­u­larly in­tense, show­ing just how each in­di­vid­ual’s eye­sight is dif­fer­ent. My shoot­ing pal who was with me saw the green as stronger.

This is my first en­counter with the Wicked Lights brand, and it’s clear to me that this is a well thought out and com­pre­hen­sive sys­tem, de­signed for hard field use. There’s noth­ing flimsy about it, and the ad­justa­bil­ity al­lows it to be adapted for any hunt­ing sit­u­a­tion you could imag­ine, from long-range rab­bits to up-close rats around the farm­yard. Based on what I saw, I think we’ll be hear­ing a lot more from this brand. I

A twist of a dial lets you se­lect three colours in­stantly.

De­spite the sturdy build the lamp isn’t overly heavy.

The whole kit fits into this padded case.

A Weaver rail sec­tion cre­ates the in­ter­face.

This quick re­lease lever locks the halves se­curely.

The mount­ing sys­tem is strong and ad­justable.

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