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Surefire X400 - Problems?

Discussion in 'Sights, Optics and Lasers' started by vantage, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. vantage


    Feb 5, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Howdy all.

    I was hoping that someone who owns a Surefire X400 can help me answer a question. Have you been able to adjust the laser sight, and how?

    I am unable to adjust the windage on the laser to center. The range of adjustment appears to begin off to the left and only move further towards the left.

    This has been the case with the first unit I received in late July and a replacement unit I received in August. I have spoken with customer and technical support, and their advice has been that I need to adjust the screws together and not separately. Given the single supplied wrench, I am not sure how to accomplish this other than by small lockstep adjustments, which has not corrected the problem.

    I would appreciate knowing if you have had any trouble. I'd just like to know whether I should exchange a second time.

  2. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    That's exactly how it's done! And until you've done it many times, collimating a laser is slow, painstaking work.

    I find it unlikely that you'd get two defective X400s...

    I don't own an X400, but I have sighted in a LaserMax UNI-GREEN and Sabre. Plus, I have two LaserMax guide rod lasers. If I may, I have some questions and comments.

    - Forgive me, but can you dry fire the gun without the laser dot moving around on the wall? Pick a target--a clock or a door knob--and dry fire a shot. Does the laser dot stay steady during the shot, or does it move around? If it moves, I'd bet it's to the left, yes?

    - Forgive me, but can you bull's-eye with this gun using the open sights? If so, get yourself an astute observer to help you at the range. *

    - Reel a target out to 25-feet, turn the laser on and ignore it. Fire a bull's-eye shot, using the sights, then reel in the target and have the observer write a number where the laser dot was when you fired the bull's-eye. The bull's-eye was the POI, and the laser's POA is the number.

    - Reel the target back out and repeat the above drill. You should have two bull's-eyes and two numbers, with about the same offset between the two.

    - Reel the target back out and sight another bull's-eye with the open sights. Adjust the laser's windage until the dot is directly beneath or above your bull's-eye POA with the open sights (ask your observer). Fire the shot. Bring the target back and number this shot.

    - You should now have a third bull's-eye shot and a third number directly above or below it. Reel the target back out and adjust the elevation until the dots overlap.

    - Repeat the above steps until your POA and the laser's POA are the same.

    - Now shoot using only the laser. You do not need to sight down the barrel... Note that the smallest of your hand movements, are described by the laser. Practice until you're steady, and able to consistently hit the bull's-eye.

    - Note that there is some parallax with a rig like yours. You will need to dial in a sweet spot, where bullet and laser converge. In this case we started with 25-feet. Inside or outside 25-feet, your laser will be off.

    - Tweak the adjustments for greater range, as desired.

    * If you know the sights are "on", and you can routinely bull's-eye, you can get a lot of this done by dry firing with an observer at home. Pick a target and sight in, dry fire and have the observer put tape on the wall where the laser dot was. Begin adjustments and fine tune them at the range.


  3. vantage


    Feb 5, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Ray, thanks for the message, your insight is much appreciated. I'll have to try making some smaller adjustments again.

    I have experience in sighting in Crimson Trace, Insight, Streamlight and Walther lasers, none of which have exhibited the need to small lockstep adjustments and each of which exhibited a much wider range of adjustment for the elevation and windage.

    I have been trying to adjust the laser by unloading the gun and observing the laser point at a distance of 20 yards in comparison to the iron sights. With each of the two X400 units the laser has started out about 3 feet left of the center at 20 yards with the adjustment screw loose or removed. Tightening the windage screw only moved the laser further left. At any distance, the laser is too far off to the left to be of any use.

    I'm skeptical that these adjustments will bring the laser to center or further to the right. I'm also skeptical that Surefire would put out a product unable to be zeroed, so I'm hoping that I'm just not understanding something and someone who has successfully zeroed their X400 can assist.

  4. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    You are most welcome!

    But based on your reply, I doubt my methods will help much... :crying:

    May I ask, what platform are you using this laser on?

    You mentioned experience with other lasers. Can you slip this unit onto an already zeroed, laser-equipped gun? If so, overlap the dots and you're home free (at that distance anyway).

    You know, I was an OEM rep for twelve years, and very often, when there was a defect, it was a faulty component happily installed by production, thereby replicating the defect in hundreds of units. This may be the case with your X400. :whistling:

    Here's an earlier thread on the X400:

    Why not PM this guy, and get his input? :dunno:

  5. Hydro


    May 12, 2006
    I have the X400 on a G22 for duty and as much as I love this weapon light, its been a pain in the butt. First off there are no duty holsters for it since Surefire decided to make their weapon light laser channel wider. I had to buy a Safariland 6280 for the Insight M6X and it fits loose after tightening the holster all the way. I was using a G35 for duty but no Safariland doesn't make a M6X holster for the 35 and I was forced to carry a G22 if I wanted to use the X400.

    The plus side is there isn't a better weapon light out there that can hold a candle to the X400 as far as quality, brightness with LED and laser. It has the brightest red laser on the market.

    The laser is a pain to sight in as well, but once you sight it in, it won't move. I used a laser you put in the barrel to sight in the laser and it worked flawless. IMH its the only way to go.
  6. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

    Dec 2, 2005

    Congrats on your SureFire X400!

    While it's not my intention to argue with you, I thought I'd chime in on a couple of points.

    1) At 110 lumens the SureFire X200B, X300 and X400 are plenty bright. But at 125 lumens, Insight's XTI Procyon compares quite well, as would Streamlight's new TLR-1 C4 & TLR-2 C4.

    Here is a pic comparing my X200B and Insight Procyon, projecting their beams into a fully darkened room, under identical conditions. I think them's apples & apples...

    2) While I've nothing against them, I don't prefer laser/light combinations. Instead, I prefer separate systems, working together. In this way, components can be separated and used independently. Also, if one component fails, the other is still operating.

    Finally, I like the reduced parallax of the two systems that follow. Both are set up for parallel beam, or known offset, so that there is no sweet spot in the aim. This is possible because the laser emitters sit so close to the bore axis.

    Attached is a pic of Judy's G19, utilizing the following...

    - Trijicon Night Sights
    - LaserMax Guide Rod Laser
    - SureFire X200B
    - G18 33-Round Magazine (Not Shown)

    Also attached is a pic of my G21, wearing the following...

    - Meprolight Night Sights
    - LaserMax UNI-GREEN Laser
    - Insight XTI Procyon
    - KKM Barrel

    All of the above-mentioned weapons and accessories have been thoroughly range tested, and all have functioned perfectly.

    The guide rod laser came collimated from the factory, and is accurate out to practical pistol ranges. Battery life is awesome!

    The UNI-GREEN laser was easy to collimate, and has held zero just fine! That green beam is the bee's knees for 24-hour visibility!

    Both weapon lights (as you can see) work great!

    I don't disagree that SureFire quality is ultimately the finest, and that their products appear to be the most hardened. Plus, I really like their switch options. But that Procyon sure gives that X200B a run for its money--at $100.00 less!

    All I'm saying is that for the same money, or less, there are other ways to go that work quite well!

    We've read good things about the TLR-2 and Viridian X5L.

    More holstering options are coming on line all the time...

  7. Hydro


    May 12, 2006
    The Procyon has more of a spot beam unlike the flood the X200B has. I had a early Procyon that had the latch issues and we dumped them. They now use a metal latch which corrected this issue.

    One thing I'd like to point out is lights like Insight and Streamlight is their lumens are measured at the LED source. All Surefires are measured after the light exits the lense. This is why my 110 Lumen seems much brighter than the 125 lumen Procyon and 135 lumen TLR C4.

    The DG-11 switch is nothing short of brilliant. To be able to grip the firearm and work the light/laser is fantastic. I never have to fumble with a toggle switch on the light.

    We're a small department and we did our homework and Surefire has been the best for us. The DG-11 switches are just great. There's still a few X200B and X200As still around here, but most of us have went to the X300 and X400.

    But you're right, there are great weapon lights out there for far less money that do the job well. My wife thought I was nuts spending $400 on the X400, but I know this thing will work if and when I need it most.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
  8. mosqto


    Sep 8, 2009
    Hope this helps....

    I have the X400 and have been able to set the laser alright. It was a bit strange to set at first but I sorta figured it out, well enough to get it set to where I want it aimed at. The 2 settings on the X400 do not seem to be the same as the settings on a regular scope or laser, it does not go in a straight up or down and left to right formation with the provided screws. there are not 2 axis points of rotation, there appears to be 3 with one being fixed and not adjustable. This is why you need to adjust with both screws, not at the same time though. when turning the screws it moves the laser in more of a "X" formation rather than A "+". If you have one of the screws too tight and you try to adjust the second one it will not move the laser, you will need to loosen the first screw a bit first then go back to it afterward to finish the calibrations. At least this is what I found it to be. I think Surefire made it this way to help stabilize the laser in its aluminum housing.

    It is a bit strange to figure out, I had a similar adjustment on some aftermarket headlights for my car that where installed after a collision.

    If I am wrong on this then I may have a jacked up Surefire X400 just like you but may be just lucky enough to be able to set my laser's aim with the imperfections.
  9. vantage


    Feb 5, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks, that is helpful.

    I've noticed that the individual screws do appear to each adjust in a sweeping curve rather than straight line. I was still unable to adjust mine and it is now back with Surefire for them to review.

    Glad to hear that you were able to get yours working.

    Hopefully I'll get mine back in working order in a month or so.
  10. oldtexan


    Jul 15, 2005
    I've got two of these things and noticed like many here that it didn't seem to zero like a scope or a pair of lasergrips. Sometimes turning a screw would have no effect on the beam, and sometimes the beam would seem to move in the wrong direction. After much trial and error I think I've gotten them zeroed, but I certainly wish Surefire had made them easier to adjust.
  11. vantage


    Feb 5, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Good news!

    I received my repaired X400 from Surefire on Friday which they had pre-aligned for me. It required only minor adjustments but now works perfectly on my Kimber.

    Good luck to the rest of you too!
  12. mr4agze


    Aug 14, 2009
    I know this is a very old thread, but i thought id chime in and let all new owners of the x400 know that...i had the same problem w/ the laser being way off to the left. THere was even one point where i unscrewed the windage screw all the way out and the laser was still a couple inches off to the left. Anyway, after 3.5 hours of tweaking, using the information posted by mosqto (see 10-02-2009 15:57 post) and using my unorthodox understanding of it...i was able to get the laser exactly where it should be. I guess the point of this VERY late post is...I havent found many forums on this issue w/ the x400 and i thought id throw it out there that if you have the same issues w/ being unable to center the laser very quickly...youre unit is most likely NOT broken and you shouldnt waste your time sending it back for another. Instead, i would suggest dedicating your time to reading mosqto's post and analyzing the method yourself.

    * Note: although this post doesn't tell you exactly how to adjust your laser, it should definately save you time by realizing that your unit is most likely not broken, thus preventing you from wasting time by shipping the unit back/forth to the manufacturer