Review: Solarforce Gladiator
Solarforce Gladiator: Flashlight à la Truncheon
Notwithstanding my lack of need for such an item, I've wanted a Gladiator for some time, more out of curiosity than anything else. The goal of more weight and size for a flashlight only makes sense if the design target also happens to be the back of one's skull (someone else's) and/or shattered kneecaps of same. Gladiator in hand, its raison d'etre is obvious; rapid, efficient administration of pain garnished with lethality. Alternate use: flashlight. Ideally, my comments will be limited to this secondary role, having no affection for the blood sports. As an instrument of pain, I'll leave that to your imagination. As a hand held lighting instrument, the Gladiator gets a hearty . . .
Bottom line: Having acknowledged an aversion to violence, Foy emphatically supports its use as a defensive measure. It is when considering likely scenarios where the need for a flashlight is greatest, that a Gladiator might make sense. Lots of folks walk the dog at night or early morning and a Gladiator will light the way just as well as a torch having zero defensive capability. Machine work is typical Solarforce awesome, it's reliable as dirt and with the included three dummy cells, the Gladiator accepts and functions with an infinite variety/combination of drop-ins and batteries. Any P60 module and most compatible heads will screw onto this enforcer of opinions held, including both Masterpiece Pro heads. $60 may be pricey for a flashlight host, but it's a relative bargain for a stick you won't mind carrying in the night. I must also say that for most people (myself included) the Gladiator will likely be nothing more than a curiosity. The idea of walking a dog carrying a lighted billy club does work, in theory but swinging this thing for real against another person is a different matter entirely. As wearying as Foy finds the debate about personal protection devices carried, I still will add the suggestion that you check local laws prior to any planned sashaying down the boardwalk armed with a Gladiator.
What I like:
- the concept of a flashlight that actually could be used defensively
- machine quality
- hefty, thick chunk of aluminum
- module/battery versatility
- "dummy" batteries
What I do not like:
- sharp edges around hand-hold/flat area
- using this flashlight defensively
Solarforce Gladiator P60 host
$59.99 Lighthound.com http://www.lighthound.com/Solar-Force-Gladiator-Flashlight-Host_p_4032.html
designed for 1, 2, 3 or 4 x 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable batteries
T6061 aluminum alloy
strengthened glass lens, both sides coated
type 3 hard anodization, matte black finish
recessed, tail-standing, forward clicky tail cap switch rated to 3 amps with 16mm black boot ('Solarforce' imprinted)
340mm (length) 34mm (diameter)
457 grams (empty)
What you get for $59.99:
- Gladiator P60 host including; flashlight body, head/lens, tail cap/switch
- 3 x dummy batteries
- spare o-rings
- extra GITD boot
- nylon holster
- magnetized gift box
I'm not saying this is necessarily a huge deal but when it comes to current, with the Gladiator at least, bigger might not be better . . .
Gladiator with 1 x Solarforce 18650 and
3-Mode UltraFire XM-L drop-in (sku 5720)
Solarforce L2 (new version, black)
Gladiator with Solarforce 18650 and
Int'l Outdoor Store XM-L drop-in
Solarforce L2 (new version, black)
Above is with the same battery, not fully charged (didn't measure voltage) and does show the possible advantage of a regulated module. Just thought it was interesting.
The Gladiator is a fairly steady tail-stander, given its length. Side drilled holes allow tail standing with lanyard attached . . .
Machine work is among Solarforce's very best, but . . .
My only gripe is, the edges at the rounded cut-outs/hand-hold, where the name is imprinted. These are quite sharp and will be the first to show the ano wearing off . . .
Speaking of which, Foy's Gladiator already has signs of ano wear on the corners of some of the blocks . . . I'm just sayin'.
Also, since no one asked; Foy thinks the name "Gladiator" is stupid.
The Gladiator accepts a standard P60 drop-in and the head can be swapped with any compatible Solarforce head . . .
These may not be ideal but . . .
The MPP 2 isn't so bad and 12 volts means the possibility of 3 x 18650. At 16 volts max, a MPP 1 equipped Gladiator could combine throw with great run time.
Kudos to whomever Solarforce has working the lathe . . .
I'm not sure if this goes without saying but the ideal single battery configuration seems to be; inserting the three dummy cells in first, followed by the live battery. Accepting that Foy has no practical experience, more weight at the other end feels clumsy and (I imagine) less effective.
Metal on the head looks to be thicker even than an L2X. Glass lens is "strengthened ultra-clear" and coated on both sides . . .
Tail cap metal is thicker than other Solarforce products as well. In fact, the Gladiator is thick everywhere . . .
It's about 4.5mm at the tail cap threads.
Hank Hill says, "that's the prettiest inside a flashlight I ever seen, I'll tellyawhat."
Threads aren't square but they feel smooth as silk.
Forgot to take a picture of the holster so, it looks like this.
The only other thing I might mention is; the lifeFoystyle has little-to-no need for an ass-whoopin' stick. You might argue that you don't need something like this until you do and I guess that's true about a lot of things like, say, the Golden Gate Bridge. The thing is, I really like it and I can't find anything wrong with admiring/owning something well made that carrys with it the 0.00001% chance of saving Foy's ass.
Or, the 0.00002% chance of Foy's ass gettin' whooped with his own stick.