I just received a Viridian X5L green laser/led light combo today. I know this is more for handguns, even though the Viridian website does show it mounted on some long guns, but I thought I would mention my first impression of it.

First, the packaging is very nice. I know this does not always speak to the quality of the product, but in general, it is a good start and a good first impression. It came with the laser unit itself, a secondary mount screw (unnecessary on handgun rails but gives added support on long guns), the led light unit which doubles as the battery cover, the battery itself, 3 allen wrench tools, a secondary adjustment screw, and a dvd. All of this was packaged very solidly in a small green box with a nice foam pad and plenty of documentation.

Next, the laser unit itself seems to be very solidly built. It appears to be constructed of a polymer very similar to the kinds used in my Glock or XDm. It seems to be well designed and put together well, and I have no doubt it could survive some rough handling. Many people who view this product online will no doubt feel as if the unit is too bulky and makes a handgun too large and heavy overall. There is certainly an argument to be made there, especially if you are talking about concealed carry, which would just about be impossible with this unit, or for primary carry guns over long shifts. You will have a heck of a time finding many options for holsters anyway. But for my application, which is on my primary side-of-the-bed gun, this simply isn't a concern for me. The design is quite futuristic in appearance, will protrude further down past your trigger guard than a standalone flashlight or laser will, and will almost make your gun look like something out of Star Wars. Some people will love it, some people will hate it. I am honestly kind of "meh" about it. I will live with it because of the green laser. I am sure it will look better on some guns than others. Obviously its black color lends it to blending in with black guns better, but even on my Stainless/OD Green XDm it doesn't look too bad.

Since I just received the unit today, I cannot speak to how well this thing will work on the range, whether it will remain accurate over many rounds, or how long the battery will realistically last.

Just from playing around with it, it seems fairly easy to adjust, using the provided allen keys. They are small, fitting very small screws to make adjustments. The documentation claims 4-6+ hours of laser use, depending on your settings. Using the led light is apparently very hard on the single small lithium battery, bringing the overall life down to just one hour, depending on settings.

Both the laser and the led light have 5 settings each, if you count "off". The laser has off, constant beam, slow pulse, medium pulse, and fast pulse. Constant beam eats the most battery juice. The led light has off, high beam (100 claimed lumens), strobe mode (140 lumens), medium, and low. For some reason, the led light can NOT be turned on unless the laser is also turned on. I am not sure why this is, because I can imagine having the light on but not necessarily needing the laser on, so this is a bit baffling.

Let me say this about the led light. This is one area that I was very disappointed in. This product cost a nice chunk of cheese, and while I realize that the X5L is primarily a green laser, I did expect the light to be brighter. Especially when I compare it to my Surefire X300 handgun weapon light, which claims 110 lumens, the Surefire just absolutely craps on the light on the Viridium, on any setting you choose. This is assuming that the included battery is good; I did not buy a fresh battery to test it. The beam on the Surefire is far brighter, and better focused. That being said, the Surefire is also being powered by TWO more-powerful batteries, but it makes me wonder if Surefire is either bad underrating their lumens or if Viridium is bad overrating theirs, because the difference should not be this night-and-day. One other thing to consider here: There is a cheaper version of this product that does not come with the led light, the X5. The problem is, the product housing is still the exact same size, so it saves you no space at all. You might as well have the light there. And as much as I bagged on it, hell, if you are in a dark room, it will provide light, so I reckon it works. I would NOT, however, expect it to have much of a blinding effect on someone. I would avoid using the light as much as possible just because of the hit to the battery though.

This also brings me to my last concern, before I get to the laser. I have this weird concern for wanting things to be waterproof. I love my Surefire lights because you can basically go diving with them. I am not so sure this device would hold up to much moisture. So far I have not noticed any rubber gaskets or O rings of any kind, which would lead me to believe that this product is not intended to survive being submerged in water. If anyone knows different, please let me know.

Now for the laser. Oh My God is the green laser bright! I was expecting a very bright laser, and the X5L definitely surpassed my expectations, at least so far as I can tell. I am anxious to test it outside under bright conditions to see just how well it works, but at least it seems as good as advertised so far. I have seen a lot of red lasers, especially the cheap ones that tend to show up at a lot of gun shows, and this laser is far more visible than any I have seen.

I can't wait to get out and shoot with this thing! I will let you guys know how well it works out in the field. If anyone else has any experience with this or other Viridian products, feel free to chime in.

Sorry I don't have any pics to post, but if you are interested in seeing it, check out Viridian's website at