As I mentioned in my review of the Streamlight TL Racker, weapon lights on pump shotguns can be a tough conundrum. Magpul’s pump made it a little easier, but mounting a proper light to a pump shotgun can be a little tricky.
Pump shotgun weapon light options from both Streamlight and Surefire are often the most ergonomic options with pump-action weapons. But Steiner also makes the Mk7, a purpose-built shotgun weapon light that works a bit differently than most.
Instead of mounting to the pump of the weapon, it mounts on the magazine tube. It’s completely unaffected by the pump.
Steiner makes the Mk7 for the Remington 870, Mossberg 500 (not the 590), the Beretta 1301, and the Benelli Nova/M4. This light was recently discontinued, and Steiner is doing a massive clearance sale on them. You can get one for $50 from Steiner direct, so jump on it.
I purchased mine and slapped it on a pawnshop find 870. From the pictures you’ve seen by now, you may have already likely spotted some flaws, but the Mk7 is not without merit. We’ll discuss both, but let’s look at the numbers first.
Inside the Mk7
The Steiner Mk7 is a 350 lumen light that runs off a single CR123 battery. The run time is 1 hour, which isn’t terrible for a single CR123, but not exceptional either.
The light is submersible up to three meters for underwater fishing. The Mk7 weighs a scant 4.1 ounces and is 3.5 inches long. The light is thrown outwards at 10 degrees and is a prefocused TIR beam.
The white LED bulb casts a lovely light outwards. It’s bright and clean and capable of lighting up your peripherals. The light that’s cast is certainly enough for targets inside buckshot range. For inside a home, I appreciate the 350-lumen power. 850 to 1,000 lumens is nice but can be too much for the inside of my home.
High lumen lights are great for duty use where the environment can change, but for home defense, the Mk7 is plenty bright. The lower lumen light is more comfortable to use for more extended periods. In my home defense plan, I‘m arming up, positioning myself in a hallway between the family and the rest of my home and waiting. I like to think of myself as one of those trapdoor tarantulas. Except I have a shotgun, and I’m not as scary as a spider.
In this role, the Steiner Mk7 works. The pictures really suck at showing how bright the light is, but I can identify a target at 50 yards in complete darkness, and that’s certainly far enough for home defense.
The significant advantage of this design is the fact it’s so low profile and lightweight. Compared to both the TL Racker and the Surefire DSF, the Mk7 is teeny tiny and ultra-lightweight. It doesn’t affect the balance of the gun, and I’m a big fan of lightweight, quick-moving shotguns. The Mk7 certainly keeps things light and low profile. Nothing is poking out, begging to get caught on something.
The Mk7 can also be removed from the weapon and uses as a handheld light. The cap the light threads to will ensure your magazine spring and rounds stay in place. I can certainly imagine a few situations in which it could be convenient to have a light that easily mounts on and off a weapon.
The light stays constant and doesn’t move with the pump-action like the Streamlight and Surefire pumps. This allows you to see downrange with the same sight picture for port loading or slug select drills.
The Steiner Mk7 has ambidextrous push-button controls that are slightly recessed into the light. This prevents accidental ignition and protects the soft rubber buttons. It’s simple but easy to activate and deactivate. It’s also easy to remove and transfer to handheld use.
Disadvantages of the Design
There are quite a few disadvantages to the Mk7 that bear mentioning. The most obvious is activating and reaching it. The Remington 870 I have the gun mounted to has a simple 4 round tube, and I can reach the on button while still gripping the pump. Four rounds is a short tube, so it’s easy to reach.
If you have a longer tube, like a six-round Remington or an eight-round Mossberg, the light would be placed further from you. That will make it much tougher to reach while still having control of the pump.
There is also no momentary mode for the light. The light goes on and off, and that’s it. An easily controllable momentary mode is a great feature to have on a weapon light. It allows you to search without broadcasting your position at all times and makes it so the light can be turned off quicker by releasing rather than hitting a button again.
On this 4 round tube, the light works well with an 18.5-inch barrel. If the tube were longer, it would be exposed to the blast from the muzzle, which may or may not affect function. I can’t find a solid answer on this from Steiner or anywhere else.
Also, you can’t run a magazine tube extension when you have the light mounted. You are limited to whatever the stock capacity of your tube is.
Yay or Nay?
When the MSRP was over $200, I would have said Nah, man. I appreciate the design, but the price would’ve lead me to a DSF or TL Racker. However, at $50 plus free shipping price, I’m all over it. For that price, it’s a winner, even if you just want a handheld light.
The Surefire DSF is super pricey, and the TL Racker is a bit better, but if I were on a budget, a $50 light from a company like Steiner is an excellent choice. It’s a neat design, primarily due to the weight and size of the light and its shotgun-friendly nature.
Since Steiner is discontinuing the light, it’s on its last legs, so if you want one, now is the time to jump on it.
Specifications: Steiner Mk7 Shotgun Light
Lumens – 350
Length – 3.5 inches
Weight – 4.1 ounces
Run Time – 1 Hour
MSRP – $212.99 (Currently on close out for $50)
Ratings (Out of 5 Stars)
Light Output * * * *
Like most lights that are on the same plane as the barrel, you are going to get some barrel shadow. Other than that this the Mk7 emits a healthy amount of light that’s clean and bright. It works within the effective range of a shotgun and fills your peripheral vision.
Ergonomics * * *
Ergonomically it can work… Depending on how long your magazine tube is. On a four-shot Remington, it’s just about perfect. It’s still a little bit of a reach, but it’s reasonable depending on the gun’s length of pull.
Overall * * * 1/2
If the price were higher, it would be a 3 star. I’ll give an extra half star just for the 50 dollar price tag and the fact it’s a professional-grade weapon light on the cheap. Steiner had a neat design with the Mk7, and I think a pressure switch could’ve helped the light’s overall ergonomics.