Inforce APL Weapon Light | Is It Good Enough?

Inforce APL

When selecting my first weapon light, I knew I needed something better than the airsoft grade lights my local shops carried. I also didn't want to break the bank. With mostly positive reviews and an affordable price, I picked up the APL from Inforce.

The Inforce APL is a lightweight, polymer body pistol light. It sports ambidextrous controls, a small footprint, and is powered from a single CR123 battery. My first APL, a second generation model, purchased in late 2014, featured 200-lumen output. The light can be locked out by rotating the bezel a quarter turn, preventing accidental activation.

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The biggest draw of the Inforce APL was the ambidextrous switches. Most other lights use some sort of drum or lever that must be rotated to activate. The APL uses paddles that must be pressed inboard; a quick tap results in constant on, while a longer press provides momentary on. This motion is very intuitive and allows for a seamless transition between left or right handed shooting.

Durability

My gen 2 Inforce APL lived on five different pistols (Ruger Security 9 and EAA Witness Polymer reviews) having roughly 3,000 rounds of 9x19 fired with it mounted over the course of three years. Approximately 600 of those were +P rounds, mostly 124gr Speer Gold Dot. The APL saw action in both USPSA and 3 Gun, as well as several training courses like Valor Ridge Pistolcraft 1 and Mid West Tactical's class. Despite functioning flawlessly, near the end of 2017, its life was cut short.

The second generation of the APL (and the current version of the APLc) have a fatal flaw; the rail mount is made from polymer. When removing the light to place on another pistol, I noticed substantial cracks on both sides of the mount. Unfortunately, I don't know exactly when these cracks began forming.

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This is not the only potential downside of the Inforce APL rail mount. The APL attaches via picatinny rail mounts and is held in place by a single flathead screw. This screw has no way of preventing the user from over tightening the light on the firearm. This could potentially cause reliability issues on polymer framed handguns, and may have contributed to the mounts cracking.

Luckily Inforce provides a lifetime material and workmanship warranty for their products, so I contacted them immediately asking for a repair or replacement. A representative replied in under 24 hours asking for the serial number of the light, and sent a prepaid return label so I could send in my gen 2 light. Less than a week later I had a brand new gen 3 in my mailbox at no cost.

Rebirth

The third generation of the Inforce APL features multiple upgrades. The body has been redesigned with a more streamlined shape and higher quality finish. Edges have been rounded, giving it a more refined look. The paddles are slightly smaller, with more aggressive texturing, providing a more tactile click when activated. The biggest improvement is the mounts which are now made of aluminum instead of polymer. The output has also increased from 200 lumens up to 400.

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So far, the new APL has seen roughly 500 rounds of 9x19 and 100 rounds of .45ACP. I suspect the generation 3 lights will be more durable than its predecessors, but that remains to be seen.

Holster compatibility may be an issue for those upgrading from older APL models due to the new body style. My G-Code OSL holster does get retention on the gen 3, but a significantly smaller amount. The gun stays in place during normal movement, but I doubt it would be retained if I took a tumble.

I won't call the Inforce APL a bad light, but I won't call it a good light either. The APL will do what 90% of shooters need it to do, and do that job good enough to be unremarkable one way or the other. That being said, for nearly the same price, you can buy an Olight PL-2 or Streamlight TLR-1 and have something that is excellent.

If you are one of the small percentages of shooters who fire more than a few boxes of ammo each year, then you will be better served by looking elsewhere for your illumination needs.

At the time this review was written, the Inforce APL is selling for $109.72 on Amazon.

About Daniel Reedy 140 Articles
Daniel is a Range Master and NRA certified handgun and rifle instructor and range safety officer, as well as a USPSA pistol and Multi-Gun competitor. He has received training from Craig Douglas, Mike Pannone, and Scott Jedlinski among others. In his free time Daniel enjoys petting puppies and reading the Constitution. Daniel also writes for the Kommando Blog

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