What's a 'Tactical' Flashlight

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angusinalberta
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What's a 'Tactical' Flashlight

Pardon if this has already been answered somewhere.

What's the difference between a 'tactical' and a 'normal' flashlight?

Cheers
Angus

 

 

jekostas
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angusinalberta wrote:

Pardon if this has already been answered somewhere.

What's the difference between a 'tactical' and a 'normal' flashlight?

Cheers
Angus

 

 

 

To be perfectly honest?  About a 30% price difference.  There might be a forward switch and an option for a tape switch.  That's really about it.

okwchin
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"Tactical" in its functional description means a torch that is supposed to be suitable for use in situations where a reliable and simple to use torch is required, possibly including a strobe option for disorientation. Think of LEOs, or the kind of torch you would attach to a gun.

 

## Features could include the following examples

Simple UI - 1 or 2 modes, that are controlled SEPaARATE to the clicky switch

Forward clicky - for momentary on at the switch, and the switch must do nothing but turn the torch on or off.

Strobe - is a possible feature that may be used for disorientation

Extended crenelations on the bezel for use as a possible melee weapon

Grip designs allowing various comfortable grip positions

 

As much as these are the idea behind "tactical", there are too many torches, especially those of chinese origin which excessively and liberally use the description and cosmetic elements of "tactical" to supposedly increase the desireability of their products. This includes the inclusion of above said features to varying degrees, but more often than not, dont actually include the functional aspects, only actually incorporating the cosmetic elements to varying degrees. Examples include crenelated bezels, some are rediculous 1" long spikes on the end of a 2" long torch, and excessive labeling of torches with terminology suggesting tactical usage.

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

old4570
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I defy anyone to prove strobe ... As being anything but annoying ... 

Here is a simple test : 

Tape a $100 bill to your forehead and walk through the worst part of your town [ where your guaranteed to be mugged ] and ward of said mugger with strobe .... 

Another simple test :  Give a friend a paint ball gun , and have him pretend to be a mugger and see if strobe stops him from shooting you ...  

Your best chance would be with a XM-L light ...  

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

mizjif
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When it comes to strobe, the only time I am happy to have it is when I am out in the middle of the forest camping or at my cabin. In the case of large wildlife such as black/brown bear and mountain lion, I think the strobe will do a decent job of disorienting. Maybe I am wrong. If I am, I do enjoy the false sense of security and hope that I never need to actually use the strobe function for such an event lol. 

okwchin
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Becasue strobe doesnt disorientate the user........

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

Budgeteer
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Tactical in china within budget sector means that the flashlight is black coated/painted. A nice diversion from charming...

Within reason, tactical flashlights should be very tough, often black, with a forward switch and very good waterproofness. Would not differ much from what you would expect from military use flashlights.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

sb56637
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This is a very good question, I've always sort of wondered that myself. I do know that almost all the flashlight designs that I've seen labelled as "tactical" don't appeal to me. I imagine that's due to what okwchin mentioned, excessive crenellations, spikes, huge superfluous protrusions on the body, etc.

As far as the definition of "tactical", I'm probably wrong, but it always made me think of the spanish/latin word "tacto", which has to do with the sense of touch. The word in spanish would be used to say, for example, "This velvet feels good to the touch". So I imagined that a "tactical" light would be one that you could grab in the dark, and locate the switch easily because of the unique design around the switch area that permits you to find it "al tacto" just with the sense of touch. This differs from a simple cylindrical design, which doesn't have many differentiating factors to the sense of touch. I'm just guessing though.

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ky70
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Tactical = forward clicky with minimal modes. I actually like the way 4sevens does their tactical light with only 2 modes immediately accessible (you pick which 2) but with many other modes hidden and available through programming.
pipopopo
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okwchin wrote:

"Tactical" in its functional description means a torch that is supposed to be suitable for use in situations where a reliable and simple to use torch is required, possibly including a strobe option for disorientation. Think of LEOs, or the kind of torch you would attach to a gun.

 

## Features could include the following examples

Simple UI - 1 or 2 modes, that are controlled SEPaARATE to the clicky switch

Forward clicky - for momentary on at the switch, and the switch must do nothing but turn the torch on or off.

Strobe - is a possible feature that may be used for disorientation

Extended crenelations on the bezel for use as a possible melee weapon

Grip designs allowing various comfortable grip positions

 

agree! only strobe can easily be mistaken for firing a machine gun @ night

*I believe min. mil. spec is 60 lumens to clear a room

*black or camo

*though design (can resist recoil, water, dust, cold)

*can be operated with gloves

*uses common batteries (AA or CR123)

tbenedict
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I remember reading where a manufacturer stated that SWAT teams actually use strobe.  How effective it is is beyond me, but I have often wondered if someone broke into the house if I would use turbo or strobe in conjunction with my pistol. 

That being said, I think of tactical as a light that is very reliable, easy to determine what is going to come out the end (if multiple modes) with some form of forward clicky.  I would think a minimum of 60 lumens would be required for the high.  I also think a moonlight or low red light would be tactical if it keeps you out of sight and again, if it is easy to select. 

I think avoiding low when you expect high and avoiding high when you just need to read a map (along with reliablity) is the key to "tactical".

beam0
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A true tactical flashlight is one that is specifically designed for Self Defense/Home Defense/Police/Military/EMT/Firefighter/Search & Rescue/Etc. I see Nitecore, Klarus, Crelant and some others design lights for this specific purpose.

Of course many of the budget flashlights these days are (incorrectly) being labeled as tactical since the proliferation of G700/Atomic Beam Etc.

_____________

In my opinion there are 4 major things that are MANDATORY for a tactical light:

1. Rubber booted forward tail switch

2. A full click of the tail switch ALWAYS activates HIGH (or Turbo) every time it is clicked.
…Regardless of what mode level the light was turned off in (no mode memory on the tail switch)

3. Reliability: For a light to be used for critical situations it must be a proven reliable model that can take drops and is highly water resistant.

4. Brightness: Must be bright at least 800-900 real Lumens

_____________

In a critical situation there will be no fumbling time delay to find side switch in the dark (very bad for tactical) Also no mode scrolling/extra button presses etc. to get to High/Turbo. A “normal” flashlight for home/camping/etc can have side only switch and can start on Low mode.

(IMO) a budget light can be tactical IF it can meet the 4 above requirements (or has been modded to) Not everyone can afford the Nitecores/Klarus Etc.

There are some budget lights that can work well for tactical. I like the (nearly budget priced) Crelant 7G3CS and V6CS. Both have their “Tactical tailcap high mode switch” as they call it.

                                      

beam0
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Tryin to figure why I just replied to a 6 year old thread! Oops!

I think I was looking at my account/posts and thought I was on the recent posts page, then replied without even looking at the date of the previous post, 2011!

                                      

sb56637
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beam0 wrote:
Tryin to figure why I just replied to a 6 year old thread! Oops!

I think I was looking at my account/posts and thought I was on the recent posts page, then replied without even looking at the date of the previous post, 2011!

You replied because a spammer posted a link to a tactical flashlight in this old thread, which I just removed. But no worries, your post was still informative, and this is still a great thread. Thanks! Cool

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hIKARInoob
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sb56637 wrote:
beam0 wrote:
Tryin to figure why I just replied to a 6 year old thread! Oops!

I think I was looking at my account/posts and thought I was on the recent posts page, then replied without even looking at the date of the previous post, 2011!

You replied because a spammer posted a link to a tactical flashlight in this old thread, which I just removed. But no worries, your post was still informative, and this is still a great thread. Thanks! Cool

“Low” mode on some of today’s flashlights is brighter than tactical strobe 6 years ago, hehe. Sick

beam0
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sb56637 wrote:
beam0 wrote:
Tryin to figure why I just replied to a 6 year old thread! Oops!

I think I was looking at my account/posts and thought I was on the recent posts page, then replied without even looking at the date of the previous post, 2011!

You replied because a spammer posted a link to a tactical flashlight in this old thread, which I just removed. But no worries, your post was still informative, and this is still a great thread. Thanks! Cool


Thanks!!! Thought I wasn’t goin crazy. Right before I read your reply I thought it had to be in the recent posts because I never posted on this, then I realized there must have been a deleted post, thanks for confirming.

I thought maybe should I delete mine, but yea since I spent the time I figured I let it stand.

                                      

vwpieces
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Only a light that uses Military technology can be defined as Tactical.
Yes, that can only be…… drum roll please…..

The G700

Deep fried version, of course.

sb56637
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vwpieces wrote:
The G700

‘G’ for “Gullible”. Silly

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bwl123
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How To Choose a Flashlight For Self Defense (Blinding Power)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa3zTW1hO9I

kennotee
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Quote:
A true tactical flashlight is one that is specifically designed for Self Defense/Home Defense/Police/Military/EMT/Firefighter/Search & Rescue/Etc. I see Nitecore, Klarus, Crelant and some others design lights for this specific purpose. Of course many of the budget flashlights these days are (incorrectly) being labeled as tactical since the proliferation of G700/Atomic Beam Etc. _____________ In my opinion there are 4 major things that are MANDATORY for a tactical light: *1. Rubber booted forward tail switch* *2. A full click of the tail switch ALWAYS activates HIGH* (or Turbo) *+every time+* it is clicked. ...Regardless of what mode level the light was turned off in (no mode memory on the tail switch) *3. Reliability:* For a light to be used for critical situations it must be a proven reliable model that can take drops and is highly water resistant. *4. Brightness:* Must be bright at least 800-900 real Lumens _____________ In a critical situation there will be no fumbling time delay to find side switch in the dark (very bad for tactical) Also no mode scrolling/extra button presses etc. to get to High/Turbo. A "normal" flashlight for home/camping/etc can have side only switch and can start on Low mode. (IMO) a budget light can be tactical IF it can meet the 4 above requirements (or has been modded to) Not everyone can afford the Nitecores/Klarus Etc. There are some budget lights that can work well for tactical. I like the (nearly budget priced) Crelant 7G3CS and V6CS. Both have their "Tactical tailcap high mode switch" as they call it.
Today I was searching the definition of tactical flashlight. Just wanted to know, what is the best tactical flashlight? I found that site a partial answer. But, this is the only answer I found very helpful and really well-explained. Now, I will able to find a good tactical flashlight.

.

djozz
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LOL, actually it is nice to read old threads, I enjoyed this one! Smile

DavidEF
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Question: What’s a ‘Tactical’ Flashlight?

Answer: Marketing. Cash

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
-Ayn Rand

FPV
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Older Klarus flashlights had this feature:

A silent switch. Wish all my lights had this. Never found a completely silent switch as an aftermarket part. So there are a few features that might be very useful for law enforcement or similar applications.

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Can anyone explain to me why a silent switch is so important? Why is it that the sound of a switch clicking is going to destroy your stealth, but a beam of light with its origin in you hand won’t?

Lazy-R-us