J-Frame Light?

Hyskore’s Griplight

The CREE LED on the Griplight puts out over 100 lumens of even, bright light. It not only
lights up the target, it lights up the front sight neatly.

You can debate the value of a weapon-mounted light versus a separate light, but we’ll leave that for another time. I’ll just say, on a home-defense gun, I want both — a light on the gun resting on the nightstand, and a separate light next to it.

Accessory rails allow you the option. Up until now, it’s an option not readily available for one of the most popular of all handguns. Since the introduction of the first Smith & Wesson J-Frame revolver in 1950, hundreds of thousands of the little wheelguns have been purchased, sometimes as the primary weapon, often as a backup, and legions of them serve as home/self-defense guns.

Among the admirers of the J-Frame is our illustrious editor, Roy. I remember a conversation with him as we were riding around in a safari truck in Africa. We were talking about the guns he used during his police career. Roy mentioned he had always carried a J-Frame as a backup and had stayed with it even during the big change to semi-autos.

“I’d have given anything for the option of a light mounted on both my duty gun and the backup in those days. And before you make any wisecracks about electricity not being invented back then, I’ll remind you, in Africa people have been known to disappear, and their bodies are never found.”

Roy may have forgotten the conversation but he didn’t forget about lights and J-Frames. It seemed no one was making what he wanted, he couldn’t get anyone interested in doing it, so in the classic American spirit of innovation, he just went ahead and did it himself — with assistance from a company called Hyskore.

The button just behind the triggerguard activates the light. If the gun is in hand
and you want the light off, just relax pressure on the button.

A Griplight

The Griplight he designed is now in production and is made for all round-butt S&W J-Frames. He was hesitant to show it in our pages, but I assured him it makes sense and readers should see it. A lot of thought has been given to details. With millions of revolvers produced there’s bound to be minor variations in grip size, and in the location of the pin at the bottom of the grip frame. The hole in the grip panels for the pin is just slightly oversized to allow for these minor variations. I tried the Griplight on half a dozen J-Frames (and one I-Frame) and it fit snugly and tightly on all of them.

The bottom of the grip (below the grip frame) houses a powerful lithium CR2 battery. Roy wanted lots of light and a decent run time, so the little button batteries wouldn’t do. The light itself is a CREE LED putting out over 100 lumens of white light. It really lights up the room — and the front sight. Run time on a single battery is over 30 minutes.

The grips are built on an aluminum frame for strength and to act as a heat-sinc for that bright LED. It also acts as the base for the soft grip inserts. It’s been tested to handle full power .357 Magnum loads, even in ultralight J-Frames. I ran 100 rounds of .38 Special +P through a current production, nickeled Model 36 and everything ran fine and still worked.

A small sliding switch on the grip bottom is the main power “on/off” switch, used to turn off the light when the revolver is being stored. With that switch on pressing the micro-switch on the front of the grip activates the light. By simply applying or releasing pressure with the middle finger, the light can be instantly turned on or off.

Its aluminum/soft synthetic construction and highquality light module handles the recoil
of even those ultralight, scandium-framed .357 Magnums.

A Bit Bigger

The longer grips are actually more comfortable than the usual small round-butt grips, and certainly make the gun easier to control and shoot accurately. On a home-defense gun kept on a nightstand the extra size is a benefit. They’re a bit big for pocket carry, unless we’re talking cargo/tactical pants or jacket pockets. For concealed carry I’d be thinking along the lines of an ankle or belt holster, or carried in a jacket or coat pocket. A holster with a thumb break or safety strap over the hammer likely won’t work over the light. One holster I know that does work is the Mitch Rosen Workman, which just happens to be my favorite J-Frame belt holster.

The Griplight doesn’t allow use of my Safariland J-Frame speedloaders. Most J-Frame owners use speed strips, loops or just loose rounds in a pocket rather than speedloaders, but I do like the option. There are no wires or switches in the left grip panel so I think it could be easily reshaped with a Dremel tool if speedloader use is really important to you.

Self-defense isn’t the only role for the Griplight. Living on a fairly remote farm there isn’t much chance I’ll have to repel invaders. Heck, sometimes we go weeks, even months at a time without a single gun battle out here.

But, the vermin we have to deal with are actual vermin, such as sparrows and the occasional rat, skunk or weasel. They always seem to hang out in a dark corner of the barn or a shed. Now they’ll have no place to hide. The Griplight is a handy tool, indeed. MSRP is $129.95.

For more info: https://hyskore.com/, Ph: (631) 673-5975.

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