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  • watchmaker

    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    3   0   0
    Jan 1, 2008
    New York

    Hi guys,
    I have about 200 lights between flashlights and tactical lights, and also this idea of taking beam shots, so members can compare between them.

    First, lets take a look at some lights that are used by police for traffic stops, search and even clearing houses.
    These are not for CCW, but good to have in the car or truck to take care of big illumination needs.

    This post will try to show how different lights used in law enforcement compare with each other, and will clarify the difference between the lumen ratings used in Luxeon (LED) lights and incandescent lights.
    In short, I will show (through pictures) how Luxeons lack definition when used at increased distances.

    I have maintained for a long time that LED Luxeons don’t have the range over the incandescent to really be helpful for law enforcement. They are excellent lights to use inside the house; their beams are very clean, white and with substantial flood, and in the average house, that is all you need. However, when taken outside to the backyard, woods, or large structure and the distance to the target is 25 yards or more, they lack definition (as they lack the red spectrum of light), and their poor penetration of fog or rain makes them inefficient to clearly identify what you are seeing at that distance.
    Moreover, when the subject being illuminated is an animal with a light-drinking fur (depth of texture), the blending effect of the LED’s (against the background) will cause the observer to lose perspective.


    As I am in contact with police officers that tell me what they really need to perform their functions at night, I think that I know more than the average guy what is needed for those officers.
    What those experienced officers want are three lights that will cover specific illumination chores.
    First, when writing a ticket at night, or looking for a dropped pencil in the floor of their own car or any other close up chore, they want a flood light in LED form: small and with an output of 20 lumens or less (LED lumens), and preferably with a clip incorporated to free both hands for holding the pad and writing.

    LEO’s that have used the Fenix LOP (1 AAA) consider this light ideal (except for the lack of a clip). Another favorite is the ARC AAA. These lights can be held in the mouth without any discomfort.

    Fenix has put out a bigger light (1 AA) with two stages output, and the lower output will be also ideal for these chores.


    Those same officers want to have a good light on their belt. Some prefer the two cell 123’s lights like the Surefire 6P, G2, or C-2 for their better flood beam over the more tightly focused Streamlight Scorpion, TL-2 and Night Fighter II (it is important for them to be able to cover an average room with the light, without the need of panning it).
    They look for a run time of one hour and an output of 65 lumens.
    Some opt for more intense lights like the Surefire 9P or the C-3 with their 105 lumens and one hour run time.
    The Streamlight TL-3 is a little too tightly focused for clearing rooms, but it will do fine in an average backyard.
    In LED form (Luxeon V), the Surefire L-4 is a good contender due to the excellent flood light that it puts out at medium range inside a house.

    The main thing is that the officers want to avoid losing precious seconds by panning a light when entering a room. That is why the Surefires are preferred over the tightly focused others brands.




    These police officers wear a light holder in their belt (a plastic and leather ring). On exiting their cars, they slip in the ring one of the powerful rechargeable lights, most commonly the Magcharger (200 lumens) or the Ultra Stinger (295 lumens) and sometimes a BOREALIS 1050 lumens.

    Those are ideal lights for search, clearing houses, backyards, warehouses etc. Being rechargeable, they are always used with a maximum run time (taken out of the charger at start of the shift), a thing that you can not do with 123 batteries unless you are willing to dump half-used batteries at the start of a shift.

    Their large diameter (2 inches) reflectors put more light at a longer distance than any of the belt lights. Even though some of the belt lights approach 200 lumens, they do it with reduced run time and much reduced throw, due to their small diameter reflectors.
    A Magcharger will put a spot of light at 150 yards, as will the Ultra Stinger and a BOREALIS, which has the capability of illuminating the whole road for 250 yards.

    Those lights are ideal for traffic stops, accident sites and the ones with major lumen output can even illuminate through heavily tinted windows, which makes them ideal car’s lights or for using in an emergency situation.

    Lets start with the popular Surefire G-2 (or 6 P) at 65 lumens, the target is the 8 by 12 tool shed at 30 yards.
    We are going to pit the Surefire G-2 65 lumens $35.00 against the Surefire Digital Lumamax L-4 (also 65 lumens and with a price tag of $160.00).

    Surefire G-2 65 lumens


    Surefire L-4 Luxeon V, LED, 65 lumens


    And now we are going to pit the Surefire 6 P with the P-61 120 lumen lamp (20 minutes run time) against the best Luxeon LED thrower that I have (similar to the cree LED).
    This is a Mc Gizmo PR T head with a TWOJ bin Luxeon doing 120 plus lumens.

    Surefire Centurion C-2 (same as the 6P) with the P-61 lamp, 120 lumens.


    And the PR T with TWOJ bin Luxeon, (LED) @ 120 lumens


    And now we are going to show a belt light of 200 lumens (The Surefire Centurion III with the P-91 lamp, 200 lumens, 20 minutes run) and three cars' lights of 200 lumens plus and beyond.

    Surefire Centurion C-III, 200 lumens P-91 lamp.


    And here the Magcharger also 200 lumens, with its bigger reflector and tighter focus will throw the light at 150 yards, while the Centurion III range will stop at 45 or 50 yards.

    Magcharger 200 lumens (40,000 candlepowers)


    And here is the Ultra Stinger, the most powerful of the Stingers rechargeables from Streamlight with 295 lumens and 75,000 candlepower, although this figure is largely inflated when you consider that is about “bulb” lumens and not torch or “real” lumens.


    And now the BOREALIS, with the format of a 3 D (12 1/2 inches long) outputting 1050 lumens (two million candlepower) for 50 minutes.


    Do I need to say anything about the importance of a powerful light for police use when clearing a backyard or wooded area?
    As you well can see the capabilities of each light from these pictures.

    Best regards,


    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    3   0   0
    Jan 1, 2008
    New York

    As a continuation of the first post and for whatever value it has, I am going to do some more shoot outs of a mix of popular Luxeon lights and incandescent ones.

    The first order of things is to change the target area, to make it a little more interesting to my viewers.
    Consequently I replaced the tool shed target with a deer and bear mount.
    The deer head mounted on the tree is exactly 26 yards from my second story window from where the lights are shinning.
    The bear head in the fence is only six more feet further away from the tree.

    In the summer I have plenty of bushy cover in the area, but this time I had to be creative and cut and nailed to the tree and fence, some branches from a pine tree, not to hide the animals from view, just to provide a natural blending effect, like they were coming from a natural habitat.

    The camera was placed twelve foot away from the tree (and eighteen feet from the bear) in a solid tripod, and the night camera mode used (this mode shows in pictures the same light values that I am seeing with my own eyes).

    The close proximity of the camera is for the viewer to see the target with clarity; if I were to place the camera 26 yards away the target will be awfully small.

    Here it is the target area and how it looks in daylight.


    And here are the contenders, but before I describe them, let me voice my opinion that some manufacturers of Luxeon lights label the output in lumens in quite a wild way.


    From left to right: # 1 Fenix L1P at about 40 lumens, # 2 Nuwaii Q III at 75 lumens (yes, sure!) # 3 Surefire L-4 Digital Lumamax at 65 lumens (this is a Luxeon V which is quite a flood light but with little throw).

    # 4 Streamlight Task-Light 2 L (two Lithium 3 volts batteries, high and low output,
    Cost is about $77.00) This is billed at a High Flux Luxeon III. With 75 lumens, which I think is about right.

    # 5 is the Streamlight Pro Polymer 4 AA with a Luxeon I, billed as 40 lumens (3,500 candlepower according to the advertising) which I think is quite wrong, as it appears to me to have about 70 lumens or more, this light has a bigger and deeper reflector than the others lights and the beam is concentrated more than the others. This is a great light for the price of about $40.00

    # 6, this is a PR T Luxeon III head done for me by master modder McGizmo, it is set on a Surefire E2e body and I am using two rechargeable 123’s with a voltage of 4.2 volts in it.
    This light is my best Luxeon III light and up to two years ago it was pretty HOT STUFF, today the cree LED’s are approaching it in intensity, although it has not been overpower by any other Luxeon, yet.
    My friends told me I have two of the Integrated Sphere Spectotometers just above my nose, those spheres are telling me that this light makes 120 to 130 “real” lumens.

    # 7, this is A Surefire Centurion II in black with the P-60 lamp (65 lumens) this represents all the others Surefires lights that use this lamp, G-2, 6P. Z-2. etc.

    # 8, this is another Surefire Centurion II, but in Hard anodized, it wears the HOLA lamp. The P-61 with the output of 120 lumens for 20 minutes.

    # 9 this is a Surefire Centurion III (3 cells) this is usually sold with the P-90 lamp that makes 105 lumens for one hour, but in this case is set up with the P-91 lamp for 200 lumens for 20 minutes, as you will see in the picture later, the floodlight effect is great at 26 yards. All those P’s lamps start to lose range at about 45 to 50 yards, this is because the reflectors are fabricated to produce a good flood so police officers can clear houses with them.
    I took this particular light out of my Remington 742 rifle, where it sits in the special quick detach mount in a Picattiny rail.

    # 10, this is the BEAR CUB, this light weights 13 oz and measures 9 inches long, it works with two Lithium Ion computer batteries, and produces 220 plus lumens for 90 minutes. Thanks to the big and deep 2 inch mirror-like reflector, this light concentrates the beam like a laser and has a throw of 120 to 150 yards.
    So the 26 yards distance is like child play for the Bear Cub and the light is so intense at the target that they had to close their eyes!

    # 11, (last on the left lying in horizontal position next to the Bear Cub) this light is a KL-1 head Luxeon I of three years ago, it is set up in a Surefire Outdoorsman body and the lumens output is no more than 20, consequently I decided to strike it out from the competition, there is no room in my stable for weaklings and I will present it to my nephew on his birthday quite soon.

    And now let’s go to the pictures:

    Fenix L1P (40 lumens) Luxeon I


    Nuwaii Q III (advertised at 75 lumens in a website, which I don’t believe) Luxeon III.


    Surefire L-4 Digital Lumamax (65 lumens) this is very flood light and the lumens spread in a very wide area, so it cannot be expected to have a good throw at 26 yards. (Luxeon V ~which are 4 of the one watt together)


    Streamlight Task Light 2 L about 75 lumens on high, works on two 123’s batteries and has two levels of illumination. High Flux Luxeon III. About $77.00


    Streamlight Poly Pro 4 AA Luxeon. This light has a deep and bigger reflector, the Luxeon is I, according to the manufacturer, is listed at 40 lumens, but to my eyes is doing about 75 lumens.
    For the price of $40.00 this is a great light, and very battery friendly as it uses regulars AA.
    I feed this light, rechargeable Nimhs AA of high current (Powerex 2700 mah) that hovers around 1.4 volts for weeks consequently it costs me nothing to operate it.


    Mc Gizmo PR T head on Surefire body, Luxeon III, TWOJ bin,
    My best Luxeon light putting out 120 to 130 lumens. This is a collector’s item and was state of the art, less than two years ago.
    I have found nothing new that can approach its power, except the new cree 7090 that is getting close.


    Surefire Centurion II in black with the P-60 lamp (65 lumens for one hour)


    Surefire Centurion II in Hard anodized with the P-61 lamp (120 lumens for 20 minutes)


    Surefire Centurion III in hard anodized, with the P-91 lamp (200 lumens for 20 minutes) as you can see it is a great flood at 26 yards.


    BEAR CUB running for 90 minutes on two computer Lithium Ion batteries, driving a Xenon Magnum Star bulb for 5 cells pretty hard at 8.4 volts at 220 lumens (which make it a very white light) with a reach of 120 to 150 yards, even surpassing the Ultra Stinger.


    Best regards


    Well-Known Member
    Gold Member
    Rating - 100%
    138   0   0
    Sep 12, 2006
    Gonzales, LA
    I currently have a stock G3 but I just bought a lenseless G2 from cpf and I'm going to put the lens from the G3 into the G2 and order this one for the G3. :o

    That's about all. Right now I'm in the process of trying to decide on a new EDC knife sine I don't really like carrying around my microtech kestrel. :o


    Rating - 100%
    24   0   0
    Mar 14, 2007
    Man after my own heart.

    When I started wanting a carry light, I went to every gun shop and big box store in Shreveport/Bossier and bought every handheld possibly tactical light I could find and brought home a huge pile of lights and did this around the house.

    All of my lights are Surefire and Inova now. They had the highest quality light, IMO.


    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    3   0   0
    Jan 1, 2008
    New York
    I currently have a stock G3 but I just bought a lenseless G2 from cpf and I'm going to put the lens from the G3 into the G2 and order this one for the G3. :o

    That's about all. Right now I'm in the process of trying to decide on a new EDC knife sine I don't really like carrying around my microtech kestrel. :o

    You may want a metal head in that G-3 with that module. Surefire has gone to the metal head in the G2L.

    I haven't tried that combination, but I did the Deal Extreme, but I haven't finish testing it with long runs for lack of more batteries that are on order.
    However I will post my impressions of the Deal Extreme light.



    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    3   0   0
    Jan 1, 2008
    New York

    A while ago I bought one of the Deal Extreme new Cree lamps advertised to fit the Surefires for two cells, like in the 6P, G-2, Z-2, C-2 etc.

    Yesterday I installed it in a Surefire G-2 (the yellow one). The fit is not exactly perfect, as you can see in the picture, the lamp is a little longer than necessary and the bezel doesn’t close all the way, like in the green G-2.
    I guess I can fix the gap by instating an O ring, a trip to Home Depot to get one in necessary.


    Inside the house, at short range the output is considerable; I think that at the short distance inside the house I will prefer it over the P-60 lamp.
    Outside, the P-60 lamp is giving me more range and more picture detail up to maybe 45 yards, at my usual range of 26 yards (where I test all my lights against the deer head) I will say that they both go head to head, as you may see in the pictures in the general illumination department, BUT the definition of the foliage to the right of the tree (at the height of the posted sign) is better with the P-60 incandescent lamp.


    Many G-2’s gets to be mounted in carbines like the M-4 or M-16, I have people ask me if I will use the Deal Extreme lamp in them, (As they suppose to resist recoil better), well, no, I still prefer the P-60 lamp for the extended range and even better the P-61 lamp for the increase brightness and coverage with their 120 lumens.



    G-2 WITH P-60 LAMP


    Any way it is not recoil that break filament lamps, but it is the vibration of many rounds while the filament is very hot, that explain why during the 1920’s and to the 60’s tigers were hunted from machans using regular 2 and 3 D flashlights clamped to the barrel in powerful rifles like the 470 Nitro Express, without any trouble with the bulbs. It seems that one or two shots, will not affect the filament, no matter how much the recoil is.
    After all the filament is very lightweight and the inertia is just not there, because the lack of real weight.

    All the best


    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    3   0   0
    Jan 1, 2008
    New York


    The problem with the Deal Extreme modules is that none of them use thermal regulation to reduce the drive current to the LED to control the temperature of the lamp. LED's do not like high heat. It reduces their efficiency, shortens their lives, and can cause the tint of the light output to change.

    The Nitrolon body of the G2 acts as an insulator rather than a conductor, so that heat just stays inside of the lamp and cooks the LED. These modules are better suited for use in aluminum bodied flashlights like the 6P. They'll work alright for short bursts in the G2 (I'd say a max of 5 minutes) but extended use is not recommended outside of an emergency.

    Surefire recently released a G2L and 6PL that uses their P60L LED module. It has a sensor under the LED to cut the current back when the LED gets hot, in order to prolong life. Well, the G2L has only been out for a few months now and Surefire has already made a change in it. They swapped the Nitrolon bezel out for an aluminum one in order to help dissipate heat.

    Since they did this with a light that uses a thermally regulated module, it makes you wonder just how incredibly hot the non-thermally regulated modules actually get. Actually, I don't have to wonder since I tested a Deal Extreme 4068 module in a G2 and after just a few minutes it was too hot to hold in my hand, and the tint of the beam had shifted blue. It was perfectly fine in an aluminum bodied flashlight, though.


    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    3   0   0
    Jan 1, 2008
    New York

    I like the little Scorpion a lot, to be honest; it is a powerful (at 6,500 candle powers) light (at 4.4 oz), not too long at 4.9 inches, and with a great feel in the hand thanks to the rubber boot that covers the body.
    This rubber boot can be especially beneficial in the winter when others lights left in the trunk are too cold to hold without gloves.


    The switch is momentary and click on, exactly as I want my switches; it is located in the back of the light and protected by the rubber boot.
    The momentary works well. The click is in my case, though, is too difficult to operate with my big thumb and I have to click it with my index finger.
    But rarely do I use the click, as this light can be used as a “tactical” light and the momentary mode is preferred when using it with a gun. (You don’t want to drop the light “on” and that it will illuminate you or your partner, which is the reason to use the momentary).

    The light uses two 123’s batteries and run a xenon bulb for one hour. This xenon bulb is quite small (a spare is located in the bulb holder inside the head). I will hate to have to change it in less than normal conditions; for starters you have to pry a cover from the bulb holder to access the spare, you will have a few small parts in your hands, and you will need calm conditions and plenty of light to do the job properly.

    For those situations I really prefer the big bulbs with reflector included of the Surefires’ or even the smaller but easy to handle bulb of the E2e’s.

    Why I consider this so important? Well, the bulb is rated for 5 hours of life, which is extremely short.

    I say I like this light, but it is really not rational because we have much better designs for a tactical light. The little Scorpion will roll out on a table that is not perfectly flat, for lack of an anti-roll bezel. Surefires are much better in this department.

    The beam can be adjusted by rotating the head (the filament of the bulb will go lower or higher inside the reflector), in reality I have the light set to maximum throw that will not show any artifacts and I don’t twist the head at all because the quality of the beam will be spoiled by artifacts and black spots.
    This light is good for throw (considering the small reflector), and the quality of the beam, when set at near maximum throw, is good, producing a nice round circle due to the short filament.

    The lens is polycarbonate. I would like to see it changed to Pyrex, but that is only my personal feeling that this light should deserve a better lens.
    I bought mine two years ago from Cabela’s and it cost me $38.00; I think that the price is right for a quality made American product.
    The bulbs run about $6.00 each and I also consider them in price, they are so bright because they are overdriven (hence their short life of 5 hours).

    I have seen a holster for the light made out of Cordura Nylon, but I haven’t tried it and I don’t know if is any issues in removing the light quickly, the rubber boot cause me trouble when removing the light from tight pockets (read Jean’s) but is okay when the pocket is from s dress pants.
    I also have seen filters made for this light in red, blue and yellow for those that would like to penetrate the deer’s woods with a minimum of light pollution.

    As always the beam shots are coming from 26 yards away and my camera tripod is in the same position, 12 feet from the deer and 18 from the bear.
    I have also included as way of comparison the beam shot with the P-60 lamp out of a Surefire Centurion C-2 (read it also Surefire 6P, Z-2, G-2 D-2 etc).



    P-60 LAMP FROM a Surefire Centurion II


    You will notice that the beam of the Scorpion is more concentrated than the P-60 lamp, making the target clearer at this distance, for tactical situations at short range the P-60 lamp is better for the extra flood, it will be easier to clear a room with a Surefire without the need to pan the light to cover it all.



    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    3   0   0
    Jan 1, 2008
    New York

    The Black Bear 720 lumens flashlight is 10 inch long and weights 23 oz. It has all the same high quality state of the art components as its bigger sister the Borealis 1050 lumens.

    The Black Bear is made on the “host” of the Maglite 2 D., which is one of the advantages of the Black Bear System, as when after hard use, if the light is scratched or dented, a new host can be replaced inexpensively available almost anywhere, and the transfer of parts takes only ten minutes of the owner’s time.

    The only difference between the Borealis and the Black Bear 720 (beside the shorter length) is in the shorter Rolls Royce battery carrier (for six batteries) and the reduced voltage super-bulbs.
    The light has a 40 minutes run time and outputs an incredible 720 lumens, all this with rechargeable Nimh in the Rolls Royce battery carrier. This unit plugs into the charger for a 4 ½ hours charge.



    It is almost impossible to talk about the Black Bear 720 without mention its closest competition, the Surefire M-6.
    The Surefire M-6 is well known in the tactical circles as the light used by SWAT teams and Special Forces, This light that cost close to $400, is 500 lumens for a run time of 20 minutes, running on six disposable 123 batteries, yes that is right! it uses six batteries, a value of $12 for a 20 minutes run time.



    Clearly, the Black Bear 720 lumens is a better value as the batteries are rechargeable, with a life of 1.000 recharges and the run time is of 40 minutes.
    When the BB 720 needs new batteries after 666 hours of running, a new set costs only $30.
    While the M-6 has only one choice in reflector finish, the light stippled, the BB720 has a choice of four reflector finish, to customize the light to your work. Wildlife officers doing deer census in the field will want the long throw capabilities of the Smooth (mirror finish) reflector, same as firefighters that need to punch a hole in the smoke. Others can use the Orange Peel for a little more flood, and the law enforcement officers will like the capabilities of illuminating an entire warehouse with the extra flood provided by the Light Stippled and Medium Stippled reflectors.

    None of the other incandescent flashlights used for military/police work will get near the lumens output of the BB720, the Magcharger is 200 lumens and the most powerful of the Streamlights, the Ultra Stinger, is 295 lumens.
    The shorter size of the Black Bear 720 makes it a natural to store in the car, inside the glove compartment, and it is not too heavy to be carried in a trench coat or overcoat pocket and the power in lumens compares to a car’s headlights or to a one and a half million candlepower spotlight, really an amazing performance for a light of this size.

    Surefire M-6


    Black Bear 720


    Like its bigger sister the Borealis 1050 lumens, (12 ½ inches 28 oz.), the BB720 is hand made one by one on a semi-custom basis, using state of the art components and lots of hand labor to reduce internal resistance to make the white light that is the trademark of the Black Bear Flashlights.



    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    3   0   0
    Jan 1, 2008
    New York
    Thank you for your post, glad it is another flashaholic in this forum.

    I like McGizmo work, he built me a Pelican Reflector, turbo head that I put in a E2e body with a Z-57 tail cap that is fantastic.
    I can't wait to try it against the new Fenix T-1 I have just ordered (Review of the T-1 is coming soon)

    You are right about the new Maglite 3 D LED having more throw, but the amount of light is very poor against a hot wire such as the Black Bear 720 lumens, as it is explained in my next post.

    Best regards


    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    3   0   0
    Jan 1, 2008
    New York
    I was intrigued by this light for a while; I knew that the only difference from a regular Krypton 2 D model was in the self contained “bulb” of Luxeon LED.

    Still I wanted to try it against a regular Krypton bulb model to see if the increase in price was going to provide an increase in performance.
    Recently the Krypton White Star bulb specifications was upped to 36.5 lumens and 16,200 candlepower, I have in my arsenal a brand new Maglite 2 d with Krypton bulb and I just bought a new 2D LED model for the test, you can see them in the picture side by side, they are the two black lights.
    The red is also a Maglite “shell” or “host” as I like to call them, but the interior have been changed into a Black Bear 720 lumens powerhouse.
    If you are not familiar with the modifications of Black Bear Flashlights, they are full of special components and some skilled labor to convert the regular 2 D’s, 3D’s and other formats, into incredible bright lights outputting 220, 426. 720, 856 and 1050 lumens.


    In playing the new LED against the Krypton model, my observation is that the LED light produces a more smoother beam than the Krypton model, the intensity of the beam is, in my opinion not changed, but is of course, whiter.

    You can see the results here in my pictures taken at 35 yards distance. I have not seen any place in the package or in the instructions where it mentions the amount of lumens emitted by the three watts Luxeon diode of the new light, but the pictures will help to visualize it.







    The package mention the increased battery life and the more rugged emitter (LED’s doesn’t have a filament to burn and can last for 100,000 hours) so the light is an improvement over the Krypton model.
    The light has a good throw thanks to the two inch diameter reflector that really help to deliver a beam at long distance, it is the best thrower of all the 3 watts LED in the market, it is an ideal light to keep in car or truck for emergencies and even if necessary, to use as a whacking tool (who knows, you may need it to check for proper inflation in the tires).

    The light was on sale at Wal-Mart and I paid $25.00 for it, I think that for that price you get a LOT of quality in a very rugged light that will take abuse and even work underwater.
    I recommend the new Maglite 2 D 3 watts LED highly, at 23 oz and ten inches long it is not too heavy but it makes a good impact tool, I know, I have used one to drive tent stakes when camping in the wild.

    As for the Black Bear 720 lumens of Black Bear Flashlights, this is a light in another dimension, the internals parts are made with infinite precision and the highest material quality, the Rolls Royce battery carrier (it carriers six rechargeable Nimh batteries) is a work of art, the reflector is a heavy walled solid aluminum and the bulb holder is a quality aluminum and ceramic component, the lens is Pyrex and the torch is heavily modified for the lowest internal resistance, with a lot of hand work.

    This Rolls Royce of a flashlight largely hand made, is driving a super-bulb producing 720 lumens of light, only superated by the BOREALIS 1050 lumens, another Black Bear product that is made on the host of the 3 D, 12 ½ inches long and 28 oz.

    Back to the Maglite 2 D, LED this light is a quality product made proudly in the USA, the threads are cut with precision and without play and the interior is anodized as well as the outside, the tolerances are minimal and to think that all this quality can be had for less than $30 USD is a miracle of new manufacturing techniques. If some of you are old enough, you may remember that when the new Maglite came into the market in the 1980’s the retail price were $60 USD and the government agencies were flocking to buy them at that price, for the increased quality and innovation that it represented over the other lights in the market then.

    For years I had kept a 2D in the glove compartment of my cars and in the trunk the more powerful 6 D’s; I had two of them, one fitted with an orange traffic cone for road emergencies.
    The addition of LED technology make the Maglites better than ever, there is many more lights using 3 watts LED’s on the market, but none with the reach of the Maglite and as affordable as they are.


    Full Auto is fun!
    Rating - 100%
    6   0   0
    Jun 22, 2007
    i have a fenix P3d, and they are fairly inexpensive and freaking BRIGHT.

    rated at 200+ lumens, it strobes and has several lesser light modes as well.

    I think I paid around $60 for mine.


    Well-Known Member
    Rating - 100%
    3   0   0
    Jan 1, 2008
    New York
    Shooting in low light

    I am going to explain how to employ the useful techniques of using a flashlight with a pistol, especially useful for those flashlights that have a tactical switch.

    As many of the members already have a Surefire of two or three batteries with a tactical switch or a similar one of another brand, going from 60 to 200 lumens, I am going to explain the two most popular techniques. One is the Harries which I have already explained in the previous post in conjunction with the Borealis 1050 lumens light.

    The Harries technique


    Michael Harries invented this position and it is considered one of the first positions ever that coordinates the use of the flashlight using the two hands.
    For using with tactical switch lights (with a switch in the tail), the flashlight is grasped with the left hand around the body and the thumb will activate the switch.
    For lights with switch on the top (as the Magcharger, Stinger and Borealis) the index finger is used to press the switch down without clicking it on (if you drop your light you don’t want it to illuminate you)
    The back of the hands are pressed together and maintain an isometric tension to help control the recoil of the gun. Your wrists will be crossed and the light will be parallel or close to the muzzle of the gun.

    The Roger-Surefire


    Holster maker, ex FBI agent, and competition shooter Bill Rogers teamed up with Surefire to adapt a rubber grommet or washer to the Surefire 6 Z (now available in most combat models of Surefire and copied by others light makers).
    The position is also called the cigar position, as you grasp the body of the flashlight like a cigar, with the index and middle finger. The tail cap is resting on the fleshy part below your thumb and a little pressure back on the rubber ring will activate the light (the tail cap button resting in that part below your thumb will switch the light on).
    That position will let you grasp the hand shooting the pistol with three fingers of the left hand, and it is the only position that let you use a two-handed grip on the gun

    The Chapman technique


    Ray Chapman was the first IPSC world champion. He invented his position for use with the Kel-Lites of the 1970’s (probably the first high quality Police Flashlight) that have a sliding switch on top of the barrel. It is still a great position to use for those that don’t want to cross the wrists as in the Harries position when using a big flashlight.
    It is well suited for the Maglites or Stingers and for the modification of the Maglite like the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.

    You just grasp the flashlight as you usually do, with your thumb in the switch and your fingers circling the barrel and you bring it up to index your fingernails with the fingernails of the shooting hand.

    In my other post I have mentioned the old FBI technique which is to separate the flashlight high and away from you in order to confuse you opponent about your position, however it will not work on hallways and narrow places, so is better to have knowledge of all the positions to fit them to each particular situation.

    Another technique that doesn’t offer any support to the shooting hand but it can be very useful when using a pistol with lousy sights (original 1911, Luger, etc) is the one I used more than 40 years ago when I started combat shooting.
    It indexes the light on top of my head, letting the light fall on a line from the sights to the target. Even the minuscule back up .380 or the Baby Browning sights gets illuminated using this ridiculous position.

    In closing, I would like to say that in my opinion lights with less than 60 lumens are out of the new low light fighting techniques.
    For my belt light I will prefer to have a minimum of 200 lumens, using the Surefire C-3 and the P-91 lamp as my favorite if in civilian clothing and a Bear Cub if in uniform (as the bigger head of the Bear Cub is not easy to conceal.

    But if I have to clear a big room, warehouse or backyard, I prefer a light with more power. My Surefire M-6 with the 500 lumens lamp will do, but I prefer even more lumens to really blind, disorient, and roast my opponent. That is when I use the Borealis 1050 lumens light.

    These positions I have shown here will work with big lights too (except for the cigar position), the thing you will have to remember is that when you need a light in a hairy situation you need it badly and that two is better than one, so a big light in your hand to blind you opponent and another smaller light in your belt as a back up is better than only one. (Two is one and one is none).



    Premium Member
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    4   0   0
    Jun 3, 2007
    Metairie, LA
    Thanks for the info!

    I come from a caving background, which makes me look at flashlights differently than LEO's. The questions that come to mind are:
    How waterproof are most of the tactical lights? How shock/drop resistant are they? Are they round (will they roll if I have to put it down)? Can I change the batteries in pitch dark easily? How common are the batteries if I'm in some small town on a Sunday night (I can get AA batts anywhere, CR123's are a little harder to find)? Does the lamp get too hot to touch? Can I change a bulb in the field? Can I find spare bulbs/parts? How much does temperature affect batt life? How long do they last at 50 degrees?

    LSP, you make a good point about Katrina. I'm surprised most police departments haven't standardized on a flashlight just like they do on pistols.
    The tactical lights are brighter than my caving lights. I use a 4AA princeton tec headlamp and handheld light. They use the same bulbs, and even the same heads. They're submersible down to something ridiculus (2000 feet) so you could even use them as dive lights. They're bright enough (halogen bulbs or standard).
    As far as tactics, I would think there would be some advantage to seperating the gun and the light. I would think the criminal would instinctively shoot at the light, rather than trying to figure out where center of mass would be.
    Again , I'm not a LEO, so just my thoughts....
    Also, were I a LEO, I'd be concerned about using such a bright light indoors. If you turn a corner and hit a mirror, or even just a glossy white painted wall, isn't it going to kill your night vision, or even temporarily affecy your regular vision? Or do you carry a seperate light for indoors?


    Well-Known Member
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    18   0   0
    Sep 13, 2006
    I'm a firm lover of the TLR-1 for a weapons light.

    For GP patrol use I've had a standard Stinger on my belt for 2 years, i've only ran it dry during a shift once or twice, both times were after doing alot of traffic work for wrecks and such, and I have a spare battery in my unit. Even after all of this use, my Stinger is still using the original battery. The backup battery has only been used once or twice.

    BUT after spending some time with good ole LSP972, which is always a pleasure, I've taken to carrying a Surefire G2 and a mess of 123 batteries as well. If something could keep me away from my car for an extended period I can stock up and be prepared.

    My future mother in law got me a Stinger LED for Christmas, I need a different holder for my duty belt but its going to find a home there soon, I've been impressed using it so far and the battery life is excellent. The strobe mode will be good when used with a traffic cone, plus I'll have my other Stinger and its batteries, giving me 2 lights, 4 batteries, and 2 chargers at my disposal.

    My mounted light on my AR is a Blackhawk 9volt Falcata. Its probably overkill for my purposes but I'm impressed with it.

    Also, I've started putting the Brinkman Maxfire LX in my personal vehicles, it can be found for about $20 if you look hard enough, it is almost the exact clone of a G2 but with a clicky tail cap, which I like better. It can even use surefire replacement lamps, including LED drop ins. Walmart on Siegen is the only place I've found them in Baton Rouge. Brightness is virtually identical to my G2, the surefire just has a slightly cleaner beam but thats pretty nit-picky.


    Well-Known Member
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    3   0   0
    Jan 1, 2008
    New York
    Fenix has come out with a new LED tactical light. It runs on two 123 batteries and outputs in the high setting 225 lumens for 1.5 hours. In the low setting of sixty lumens it lasts, according to the instructions, 10 hours.
    This new light uses a Cree Premium Q-5 7090 XR-E that is said to make 225 lumens. It could very well be as it trounces every other LED light that I have in the stables, including my darling E2e modded with MacGizmo PR T head.

    The light output is really impressive for an LED; it even has a very decent throw that is sufficient for tactical use inside and even outside.
    I have tested it against other tactical lights like my Surefire Centurion III with P-91 lamp (200 lumens) and it really compares very well, to the point that I will carry from now on the new T-1 instead of the Centurion III.

    My neighbor’s door is 50 yards away and the light illuminates the target quite well. The package says that the range is 200 yards, which is an exaggeration, and I can’t see any illumination at a target placed 200 yards away. My regular testing for long distance is a hydrant at 88 yards and a group of trees at 111 yards. This light will illuminate the hydrant, barely. I can see that the outline of the hydrant is there (The same with the Centurion III) but I can’t make out any detail or see it sharply. If the target were a human at that distance, I will be not able to tell if it is a bad guy with a gun or a nun with a cell phone.

    My incandescent rechargeable Bear Cub light at 220 lumens can illuminate the hydrant and the group of trees at 111 yards and go beyond, It is well known that incandescent provide longer range and better definition. Granted the Bear Cub has a bigger reflector and the light itself is longer at 9 inches.



    The T-1 has a massive head with a wall of 4.5 mm thickness, and the light is quite heavy in comparison with other tactical lights. But it is the price you pay for running an LED at 225 lumens, as all this mass of metal is needed to divert the heat away from the batteries.
    You may know that the LED’s unlikely incandescent that throw the heat forward as infrared, accumulate heat near the source of light, that is why they have to have a heavy heat sink, this heavy head act as one.
    Otherwise the heat will reach the batteries and when a certain point is reached the internal protection that the 123’s batteries have, will cut down the juice, and stop the light.
    So, they advertise the light as been built like a tank, but now you know what is the real reason behind all that metal at the head.
    The light is say to be waterproof and it passed my four hour test in a BIG glass filled with water. Now in winter is no way that I am going to test it further by doing some diving.
    I love the switch; it is just have the right feel for the momentary action, so good that it can be strobe as fast as you want if that is your cup of tea for tactical encounters. It is permanent on by clicking it, and can be unscrewed to put it in safe mode for when you carry the light in luggage or back pack.

    The tail cap of the switch has a hole for a lanyard that is included and you can stand the light on its tail cap on a flat surface for a candle mode. What you cannot do is use this light with the Roger-Surefire or cigar grip because the rubber button is recessed flat with the tail cap.
    Inside the package I found a spare button and O rings, I applaud that move by Fenix, and it is appreciated as some of us use the lights hard.

    The T-1 comes with a holster, which is okay, but it also have a sturdy clip that grasp my belt very well and lower the profile on your waist in comparison with the holster. The only thing about the clip is that it rubs on the body of the light when you want to access the low mode of 60 lumens. We will see how good is the hard anodized type III as the clip is rubbing against the light with a good pressure and I suspect will be soon marked by a line.

    FENIX T-1






    Anyway I think that the Fenix T-1 is one of the better lights that have hit the market lately, it is very rugged and is very well made, and well worth the price of 76 USD that I have paid for it.



    Pratertium terminus est
    Rating - 100%
    34   0   0
    Jan 29, 2007
    New Orleans
    Watchmaker, I looked pretty hard at that Blackbear 2D MagLite unit. I agree, it hands the M6 its ass.

    But... here we have the age-old bugaboo of rechargeables. You gotta keep it "topped up", and when the charge is gone, its gone; until you can get back to the charger.


    They wern't available two years ygo, but you might want to check out the new NiMH hybrid batteries. They're rechargeable, but don't suffer from the "trickle down" of the old generation rechargeables. So far, I think they're only available in AA and AAA, but they'll hopefully cone out in 123 and other sizes soon.

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