The Crimson Trace MVF-515, one of my favorite AR-15 accessories is a well thought out, useful and high quality AR-15 accessory. If you are tired of trying to find the right combination of rail mounted grips, flashlight mounts, laser mounts and keeping up with all the wires and switches, the MVF-515 may be just what you are looking for.
Most of us would like to have lots of AR-15s, all custom built using only the very best parts for each scenario we can imagine. One for precision target shooting, one for longer shots hunting on open ground in daylight, one for hunting in the brush in daylight, one for up close at night, one for home defense. You get the picture. Most of us operate on a budget that dictates we have only one or two AR type rifles/carbines. Some of us have all the ARs we want, but tend to consistently pick up that one favorite we keep coming back to. It has our favorite items installed, it’s reliable, we can pick it up and shoot it well without thinking about it. It just fits like an old hat. If you fit one of these categories, then you should check out the MVF-515. Why? Efficiency.
As we start customizing our rifles, most of us add things like flashlights, lasers, and fore grips of varying types. Among the challenges we face when adding electronic devices is the practical ergonomics of mounting them in a way that makes them accessible and easy to use under pressure. Then, if you use pressure switches, you have to deal with containing the wires.
The MVF-515 is a streamlining and condensing of all those accessories into one simple to use device. Made specifically to attach to the railed fore end of an AR-15 it will also fit on the picatinny rail of any weapon you choose. With all of this built into one package, there are no wires to get hung on bushes or look messy, there is no trying to find the perfect mount and location for the flashlight or laser. The laser is customizable providing you with the option of using a red, green, or IR laser.
How does Crimson Trace do it? They take the idea of a vertical grip and integrate a laser into one side, a flashlight into the other and pressure switches into the grip itself. It’s a smart idea!
The fit and finish is excellent. The mount is made from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum and the body is made of polymer. When mounted, it provides a solid grip. There is no movement at all from the body and no rattling from the internals. The flashlight is a 150/200 lumen unit and the laser is 5 milowatts. The laser is sighted in by the factory at 50 yards, but you will want to double check it, since the rail you mount it on may not be identical to the one Crimson Trace used to do the zeroing. Both the laser and light have three modes that can be chosen independently from each other: momentary on, constant on and strobe.
How well does it work in the real world? I’ve used one on a couple of hunts. If you shoot right-handed, left-handed or both, it works equally well since the grip is fully ambidextrous. Crimson Trace uses pressure switches for both the light and laser on the left and right sides. The upper pad is for the light and the lower for the laser. If you want either or both, just squeeze the appropriate pressure pad or pads. I had the opportunity to use the MVF-515 with the red laser installed in tandem with the white light and with the IR laser under night vision. While using the naked eye night hunting in the brush and small fields, the flashlight was adequate to good and the red laser excellent. I’ve used a variety of lasers and have consistently found Crimson Trace Lasers to be among the best. In my opinion, the ergonomics are excellent and the controls intuitive. My favorite way to hunt at night is using helmet mounted night vision and a weapon mounted IR laser. If for some reason I need to flip the night vision up and use a light, the MVF-515 make the transition simple and fast. As an added benefit, there is one set of batteries and one mount reducing weight when compared to running separate light and laser. As a side note, this is also great tool for home/self defense!
Do I like this device? Yes! It may not be the ideal solution for everyone. Nothing is. The Crimson Trace MVF-515 is, in my opinion one of the best accessories made for the AR patterned or modern sporting rifle. If you hunt during the day or night, have night vision equipment or just your naked eye, using iron sights or a red dot; the MVF-515 may be just what you need. When it comes to night hunting or self-defense, this is one you should try. I’ve used it successfully in a number of different environments and found it to be excellent. When it comes to making a rifle a simple and efficient machine without a lot of extraneous clap trap, Crimson Trace has scored a win in my book.