A few weeks ago, as I worked up my personal go-anywhere-do-anything rifle, I elected to mount the Crimson Trace LiNQ system. The LiNQ is a true wireless activated combat light and laser system. The system isn’t overly complicated—even less so if you do not use all of the features but concentrate on the modes that suit your needs.
I recommend spending an evening carefully studying the instruction manual, and another manipulating the device in dry fire movement before heading to the range. The LiNQ is designed for the AR-15 and is useful for all variants. The primary components include a laser module with a powerful light and a custom-grade AR grip that holds the controllers.
The firing grip sends a signal to the light module when the controls are activated. This avoids clumsy wires running from the controller to the laser. Communication is encoded and testing has been performed to be certain the unit cannot be affected by most methods and frequencies. A unique pairing in each unit is accomplished at the factory.
This testing is increasingly important. As an example, a few years ago I was security director at a facility that prided itself on tight access and our IT man was very secretive. A truck driver came into the office one day and asked me to walk to his truck. Our main security camera was broadcasting to his truck’s backup camera screen! Crimson Trace has conducted extensive testing to avoid embarrassing pitfalls such as this.
The laser and combat light are enclosed in a durable, rugged, and water resistant hard-anodized aluminum housing. This housing is strong and well designed. The light mounts on a rail and demands only 2.75 inches of rail space. The honeycomb-type light features LED lights rated at 300 Lumen.
There is also a green laser diode. This is where things get interesting. The LiNQ may be set to operate with the laser only, light only, or a combination of the light and laser. There is also a choice of laser and strobe light. I have tested these modes and each mode has merit.
White light for identification and illumination is always important. The laser component for aiming is just as important. Like all Crimson Trace products, the laser is bright and focused. The advantage of the laser is the cohesiveness of the light. Inexpensive covers, often, do not work as well as the glass used in the Crimson Trace unit.
The battery may be removed without dismounting the unit. There is also a switch on the light/laser body itself. This allows the use of the module if the grip is disabled or damaged. The button on the firing grip is useful for fast action as the finger closes on the activation button. The button on the module may be used to lock it on if desired. This is a fail safe system that is ideal for use in critical incidents.
Like all Crimson Trace products, considerable research went into the design of the grip. The grip is a standard A2-type with well-designed stippling that makes for good abrasion and adhesion when handling and firing the rifle. When the handle is grasped, and the fingers close on the front strap, the middle finger depresses the activation switch.
This is a natural firing motion. By using the mode selector and activation buttons, you may set the mode for the desired function. The on and off switch allows the device to be turned off. The grip holds a spare battery in a compartment in the bottom.
To install the LiNQ, first be certain the rifle is unloaded. The grip is installed like any other by removing the long screw that secures the grip. The LiNQ comes with a wrench and long screw to attach the grip. There is also a rubber plug that prevents damage to the internals by moisture.
It isn’t difficult to choose a mode among the four choices. You press the selector switch while simultaneously depressing the trigger in the front strap. At this point, the laser will cycle through the various modes and as you depress the main button the mode that the LiNQ is in at the moment will be programmed in. It is simple to change the mode.
For daylight use, the laser only option is preferred. This laser makes a signature of one-half inch at 50 feet. A tool is supplied with the LiNQ to adjust elevation and windage. A small amount of turn in the twin settings goes a long way. The laser offers high visibility in most situations.
After a bit of thought, I set my personal system up for a combination of light and laser. The light offers illumination while the laser offers an aiming spot when it is too dark to acquire the sights.
I took the LiNQ combination to the range along with six magazines filled with Winchester 55-grain FMJ. I took the time to sight the rifle in and began firing at man-sized targets at 10, 15 and 20 yards. I like the fact that the LiNQ doesn’t require any type of wires or leads to operate properly. The light doesn’t require manipulation by the weak side hand nor is there any fumbling to get the LiNQ into action. Bring the rifle to bear and take a natural grip and the light and laser module is activated.
Illuminating the target is critical for target identification. There are worse things than getting shot and shooting the wrong person is one of these things. Illumination makes a great difference. The green laser is highly visible and aids in aiming and getting a hit if firing is called for in the situation
- 300 Lumen light
- Laser battery life two hours
- Factory sighted for 50 feet
- Three year warranty
- Dot size .50 at 50 feet
- MSRP $429
Have you discovered the advantage of the Crimson Trace LiNQ for tactical defense? Share your experience in the comment section.
Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooters Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.
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