Hands On With the Latest Gear From Viridian

Viridian came to town last week. They were in Phoenix for the Sports Inc. show and while here, they extended their stay through the weekend to allow for a casual media range day, drawing about 20+ attendees.

When the invite came through my email I RSVP’d right away, not just because a day on the range is better than one off the range, but because I had about zero experience with their products beyond that of visiting their booth at SHOT or the NRA Show.

At trade shows or in a retail environment, you can handle products but not much beyond an elaborate ‘show and tell.’ You can’t actually test them out. Worse, you usually can’t talk to the people behind the products. Sales guys and gals working the show booth can recite the features and details from the catalog, but often can’t explain why certain changes were made to the product.

This wasn’t the case at the Viridian event. Along with their director of marketing, Megan Gaffney, Viridian was represented by Casey Carlson, director of product development and engineering (above), and Brian Hedeen, Viridian’s president and CEO (below). Between those three, attendees could get the ‘inside baseball’ on Viridian’s current and new products, and all their how, why, and when questions answered.

I know because when not shooting I was peppering Brian with questions, and later that evening Casey. There’s perhaps no better way to learn about a company and its products than by talking to the engineers…and the CEO they answer to.

One of the new products they had on display that is not yet released but coming early to mid-Q2 is the M-LOK compatible 4LUX 2K ($229), and 4LUX 2K Duo ($259) angled grip light for AR-style rifles. It is a redesign of their 400-lumen 4LUX Grip Light, but features better ergonomics and a whole lot more lumens – like 1,910 in the 2K and 1,800 in the 2K Duo.

As the name might suggest, the 2K Duo offers both a light and a laser, in…wait for it…green. Shocking, I know. The unit I got to shoot was the standard 2K and the first thing I noticed was its ergonomics. Very comfortable. Brian explained to me that improved ergonomics and a whole lot more lumens were the main focuses of their redesign.

The new 4LUX 2K was the first product that drew my attention during the media event. I have an angled grip on my AR and find the ergonomics, well, lacking. The lumen output, rechargability and comfortable feel of the Viridian 2K left me wanting one. (Photo: P. Erhardt)

Additionally, the 4LUX 2K models are rechargeable and utilize Viridian’s SAFECharge system which was developed about a year ago, according to Casey. This recharging system can be used for several Viridian products and is super convenient.

Another rifle product that stood out, and is currently available as of last October, is their ambidextrous 35-degree angled offset mount for dot optics. The PINCH ($79) comes with one of four mounting plate options: ACRO, RMR, Doctor or RMSc. The design allows the optic to shift to accommodate larger primary optics.

The PINCH offset mount can handle a variety of optic footprints depending on which option you select. Its 35-degree angle offers a fast transition from primary to secondary optic. (Photo: P. Erhardt)

The rifle I shot had the PINCH outfitted with their RFX45 closed emitter green dot ($459 – $489). The 35-degree angle made transitions smooth and fast, when I did my part. I was surprised how much I liked this one piece of kit. If you’re an offset optic shooter then I would consider trying the PINCH to see how you like it.

On the subject of closed emitter green dots, the RFX45 came out around last year’s NRA Show. I remember because I specifically stopped in their booth to find out when Viridian would be officially joining the ACRO mount optic club. They are now out with a smaller version, the RFX44, which was released last December. Compared to the RFX45 at 1.9” in length, the RFX44 comes in at shorter 1.59”.

The age of the closed emitter optic is here. Viridian’s RFX45, shown on their PINCH offset mount, was right at home as a secondary rifle optic. (Photo: P. Erhardt)

After shooting both, I’m not sure I have a preference beyond running the RFX44 on a pistol. I could go either way on a rifle and be happy. This is where personal preference comes in, so go your own way.

The new MDS35 will be out sometime in Q2, and likely by the NRA Show in May. The generously sized window expands your field of view, aiding in target acquisition and engagement. (Photo: P. Erhardt)

The one new product that I didn’t get to shoot was the all new MDS35 rifle optic. MDS stands for Modern Dot Sight. The MDS35 offers a massive field of view through its 36mm square lens. So much so it’s like looking through a rifle-mounted TV.

The view through the MDS35 (Photo: P. Erhardt)

There is also a smaller 21mmX29mm option in the MDS25. Both are also scheduled for release in Q2 of this year.

The final item of note, at least for me, coming out of the event was the Viridian line of holsters. Holsters from an optic maker aren’t front page news, usually. However, in this case the holster design specifically accommodates the SAFECharge system which initially supported the C Series of weapon mounted lights and laser/lights.

The smart design of the Viridian holsters incorporates access for their SAFECharge system. It also fits the external design of their C Series lights to create a point of retention. (Photo: P. Erhardt)

The idea behind it is that for those that carry, or have a Viridian equipped duty weapon, the light could be easily charged without having to remove the firearm from the holster. Another important feature of the Viridian holsters are the use of the cutout on the C Series weapon light providing a point of retention with a properly formed holster.

Everybody knows the headache of finding a holster for a particular gun. Add to that a weapon mounted light, and the headaches expand exponentially. Viridian offers their own holsters, and in speaking with Casey about the issue, the company is actively building connections with other holster makers to share the much needed technical data based on the Viridian light form factors.

Viridian will be exhibiting at this year’s NRA Show in Dallas, May 17-19. If you’re planning on attending it will be a great opportunity to handle all the Viridian products. Especially if you aren’t as well versed on their products as you’d like to be.


Paul Erhardt is the managing editor of the Outdoor Wire Digital Network.

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