August 10, 2022


The Surefire X300 is undisputedly one of the best handgun lights on the market. Being such a well-known, battle-proven light has given it several advantages. One of those advantages is that if someone is going to make a light accessory, they will do it for the X300 first. That’s actually the topic of this article. A new accessory/upgrade has been made for the X300, and it’s pretty sweet.

Paddle Switch on Surefire X300
The Surefire X300 line is well known for reliability and power. The author tests the Emissary Development Paddle Shifter to see if the light can be enhanced further.

A New Option

Emissary Development, created in early 2020, developed a new product for the Surefire X300 — the Paddle Shifter. In my opinion, it looks fantastic. The paddle shifter replaces the paddle to activate the light on the support hand side of the pistol.

Paddle Switch being tested on XD-M Elite Precision pistol
The Emissary Development Paddle Shifter replaces the stock switch to activate the X300 on the support hand side of the pistol.

The Paddle Shifter kit comes with everything you need to install the shifter, and it’s very straightforward to fit. The kit includes a particular hex fit screwdriver bit used to remove the current paddle. It also comes with a two-piece tool used to remove the paddle as well as some super glue to secure the new paddle shifter to the X300.

With all these included tools, you can remove the default paddle easily and secure it. The only materials you will need to provide on your own is a single screwdriver that can accept hex bits.

The Design

The paddle shifter itself has the look of the original paddle, but has an arm that extends at a nearly 90-degree angle. Atop it is a flat paddle that, with almost all handguns, will align with the top of the trigger guard. With the XD-M Elite Precision pistol I had on hand, the paddle did align with the top of the trigger guard where it meets the frame.

installation of Emissary paddle switch
Emissary Development includes everything you need to install the shifter, including a specific hex fit screwdriver bit used to remove the stock switch.

When shooting the pistol with a thumbs-forward grip, this puts the paddle exactly where it needs to be to trigger the light without altering your grip on the pistol. You can easily use your support hand thumb to push the paddle forward, thus triggering the light.

Here are some things to consider when you order one. It works with nearly every pistol frame. It also works with almost every single holster on the market, if that holster is able to accept the X300. The paddle shifter is, all in all, still a tiny footprint. Also, the switch does still support momentary and constant on. The nylon polymer shifter is made in the U.S.A. and is patent-pending. You will have to specify when you order it whether you are a right or a left-handed shooter so you will have the shifter for your correct support side.

Hands-On

Once I had my paddle shifter all set up on my pistol, I decided to try it out moving around the house, just practicing triggering the light while peering around concealment. I found the paddle shifter very easy to use, and I enjoyed not having to alter my grip. I believe I have longer fingers than the average person, so for me, I usually have an awkward experience triggering the X300.

testing the paddle switch on the range
The author found the paddle shifter very easy to use. He enjoyed not having to alter his grip to activate the light.

For me to both activate the X300’s momentary switch and pull the trigger, my support side thumb and trigger finger actually collide a bit. The only thing that can somewhat save me from this is if a pistol has a large grip. But typically, there’s this weird moment where both fingers touch as they glide past each other. Well, with the Emissary Development Paddle Shifter, I can say goodbye to that!

The Verdict

In practice, the paddle shifter works and works well. Say goodbye to dipping your thumb down to trigger the light. Now, you can rest your support hand thumb on the paddle shifter and just push it forward like you would on the standard paddle. This is enough force to activate the light’s momentary mode. Not having to alter your grip to trigger the light is fantastic. The Emissary Development Paddle Shifter is only $28.00.

comparing X300 to paddle switch
In the photograph above, the Emissary Development Paddle Shifter is shown installed on the Surefire X300 (top). The Surefire light under it uses the stock switch system.

I think the Emissary Development Paddle Shifter is an essential upgrade, especially at the cost of under $30, and you can install it yourself in about two minutes or less. The feel this paddle shifter gives you is a game-changer. I recommend this easy fix to upgrade your X300.

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