Pistol lights $$$ what the heck?

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DOC1500
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Pistol lights $$$ what the heck?

I can buy a BLF A6 1600 lumens $21.
So why in the heck are they charging $200-350 dollars for a pistol light that only gives you 400 lumens.
If somebody came up with a decent 900 Lumen pistol light with a momentary switch and can handle the recoil of larger calibers , they would make a fortune if it’s priced right.

A lie is a lie even if everybody believes it.. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.
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Lightbringer
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Because They Can.

Seriously. They got a captive audience.

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spinynorman
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Olight

Lightbringer
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Was thinking… there was one that VOB reviewed that was hella bright and pretty compact. Fiicr what it was, though.

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Enderman
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It’s called supply and demand.
Not that many on the market and lots of people that are willing to pay more for it = higher price.

Enderman
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“If somebody came up with….”
Yeah, IF.

It’s not as easy as you think it is to design and manufacture mass products for retail.

Ozythemandias
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Why do people insist on evaluating lights on a dollar per lumen basis.

I’m not saying you must buy the most expensive Surefire but it’s difficult to make a good wml. I sold two pl-mini’s to an LEO and he hated them, said they feel like what a consumer grade manufacturer thinks a weapon light should be but never consulted with anyone that’s used one in action. Perhaps the PL-Pro is better.

This also brings up the issue of reviewers reviewing things out of their realm of expertise, or dive lights on land, but in typical BLF fashion, I digress….

 

robo819
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Olight PL Mini Valkyrie and PL Mini Valkyrie 2 ….$79 and $89 …….I have the PL Mini and it has been a great little light so far. Momentary on , or constant on , either way and USB rechargeable (magnetic) and takes the recoil of a Springfield .40 and .45 subcompact with around 1000 rounds so far between being on the 2 pistols.

Review of the PL Mini HERE

Click any link to see MY REVIEWS:

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I don’t buy any of the name brand expensive weapon lights anymore. I did at one time. They failed within the first few hundred rounds.

I started getting some cheap junk weapon lights on Ebay. Like fifteen dollar ones. 250 lumens or so (though they claimed 1000 of course) and of horrible tint. It was a light though and that’s what I was looking for. I did nothing to them except taking them apart and using potting epoxy on everything. The light itself held up well, never a hiccup and after 500 rounds was still going strong. What did finally start failing was the mounting mechanism on the light. Close to 1000 rounds and it just wouldn’t stay on the rail anymore and finally gave up the ghost. Light still worked.

So I had those lights on some pistols and pistol caliber carbines for quite a while. I don’t really use my AR-15’s for much so there are no lights on them so no testing with 223/5.56. Also I don’t have any lights on my hunting guns or shotguns. Though I do have a Armytek C1 that I am thinking of mounting on a scatter gun. It’s suppose to be a rugged light so I’ll see how it does.

Utorch came out with that weapon light. Link for it. I bought a few of them just because they were cheap enough and I wouldn’t care too much if they got destroyed and quit working. Looks like they are a copy of the Streamlight TLR1 I think. I have them on a few 9mm pistols, a 45acp pistol, and a KelTec Sub 2000 9mm carbine. Over 500 rounds on each of them and the light is still going strong. No problems at all yet.

I haven’t had them apart so I can’t say if they are potted or not. Regardless of potting or the lack thereof, they are holding up well. Worth the $17.99 I paid for them. The TIR lens in them is great and it’s plenty bright, I’d say 700 to 800 lumens or so. They say they require CR123’s but, I have some 16340 protected Li-Ion cells in them and they work just fine. Check them out and maybe try a few. I don’t buy into the Streamlight and Surefire advertising blitzkrieg they do in gun mags. The ones I had didn’t hold up well and I swore off of them. Maybe I had a few duds, maybe not, not real sure. For the money they charge I shouldn’t have to be worried about them not working.

But, yeah, check out that Utorth and maybe order one and see how it works out for you.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

DOC1500
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Thanks guys I appreciate the info

A lie is a lie even if everybody believes it.. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.
John 3:16 --
2 Cor 5:17

pennzy
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Thanks for your comments on the Utorchs Todd. I was wondering if anyone had tried them out.

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Ozythemandias wrote:
Why do people insist on evaluating lights on a dollar per lumen basis.

I’m not saying you must buy the most expensive Surefire but it’s difficult to make a good wml. I sold two pl-mini’s to an LEO and he hated them, said they feel like what a consumer grade manufacturer thinks a weapon light should be but never consulted with anyone that’s used one in action. Perhaps the PL-Pro is better.

This also brings up the issue of reviewers reviewing things out of their realm of expertise, or dive lights on land, but in typical BLF fashion, I digress….

This…

 

 

 

CREEXHP70LED
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toddcshoe wrote:
I don’t buy any of the name brand expensive weapon lights anymore. I did at one time. They failed within the first few hundred rounds.

I started getting some cheap junk weapon lights on Ebay. Like fifteen dollar ones. 250 lumens or so (though they claimed 1000 of course) and of horrible tint. It was a light though and that’s what I was looking for. I did nothing to them except taking them apart and using potting epoxy on everything. The light itself held up well, never a hiccup and after 500 rounds was still going strong. What did finally start failing was the mounting mechanism on the light. Close to 1000 rounds and it just wouldn’t stay on the rail anymore and finally gave up the ghost. Light still worked.

So I had those lights on some pistols and pistol caliber carbines for quite a while. I don’t really use my AR-15’s for much so there are no lights on them so no testing with 223/5.56. Also I don’t have any lights on my hunting guns or shotguns. Though I do have a Armytek C1 that I am thinking of mounting on a scatter gun. It’s suppose to be a rugged light so I’ll see how it does.

Utorch came out with that weapon light. Link for it. I bought a few of them just because they were cheap enough and I wouldn’t care too much if they got destroyed and quit working. Looks like they are a copy of the Streamlight TLR1 I think. I have them on a few 9mm pistols, a 45acp pistol, and a KelTec Sub 2000 9mm carbine. Over 500 rounds on each of them and the light is still going strong. No problems at all yet.

I haven’t had them apart so I can’t say if they are potted or not. Regardless of potting or the lack thereof, they are holding up well. Worth the $17.99 I paid for them. The TIR lens in them is great and it’s plenty bright, I’d say 700 to 800 lumens or so. They say they require CR123’s but, I have some 16340 protected Li-Ion cells in them and they work just fine. Check them out and maybe try a few. I don’t buy into the Streamlight and Surefire advertising blitzkrieg they do in gun mags. The ones I had didn’t hold up well and I swore off of them. Maybe I had a few duds, maybe not, not real sure. For the money they charge I shouldn’t have to be worried about them not working.

But, yeah, check out that Utorth and maybe order one and see how it works out for you.

I never had any problems with any of my Surefire WML’s I have had dozens of them. rifle, shotgun, pistol. I would never trust my life to a 18.00 light. To each their own.

 

 

 

DOC1500
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CREEXHP70LED wrote:
toddcshoe wrote:
I don’t buy any of the name brand expensive weapon lights anymore. I did at one time. They failed within the first few hundred rounds.

I started getting some cheap junk weapon lights on Ebay. Like fifteen dollar ones. 250 lumens or so (though they claimed 1000 of course) and of horrible tint. It was a light though and that’s what I was looking for. I did nothing to them except taking them apart and using potting epoxy on everything. The light itself held up well, never a hiccup and after 500 rounds was still going strong. What did finally start failing was the mounting mechanism on the light. Close to 1000 rounds and it just wouldn’t stay on the rail anymore and finally gave up the ghost. Light still worked.

So I had those lights on some pistols and pistol caliber carbines for quite a while. I don’t really use my AR-15’s for much so there are no lights on them so no testing with 223/5.56. Also I don’t have any lights on my hunting guns or shotguns. Though I do have a Armytek C1 that I am thinking of mounting on a scatter gun. It’s suppose to be a rugged light so I’ll see how it does.

Utorch came out with that weapon light. Link for it. I bought a few of them just because they were cheap enough and I wouldn’t care too much if they got destroyed and quit working. Looks like they are a copy of the Streamlight TLR1 I think. I have them on a few 9mm pistols, a 45acp pistol, and a KelTec Sub 2000 9mm carbine. Over 500 rounds on each of them and the light is still going strong. No problems at all yet.

I haven’t had them apart so I can’t say if they are potted or not. Regardless of potting or the lack thereof, they are holding up well. Worth the $17.99 I paid for them. The TIR lens in them is great and it’s plenty bright, I’d say 700 to 800 lumens or so. They say they require CR123’s but, I have some 16340 protected Li-Ion cells in them and they work just fine. Check them out and maybe try a few. I don’t buy into the Streamlight and Surefire advertising blitzkrieg they do in gun mags. The ones I had didn’t hold up well and I swore off of them. Maybe I had a few duds, maybe not, not real sure. For the money they charge I shouldn’t have to be worried about them not working.

But, yeah, check out that Utorth and maybe order one and see how it works out for you.

I never had any problems with any of my Surefire WML’s I have had dozens of them. rifle, shotgun, pistol. I would never trust my life to a 18.00 light. To each their own.


DOZENS OF THEM ???

That adds up to about $3000 to $6,000 in weapons lights. If they’re that good, why did you need dozens of them ?
unless you have dozens of weapons and put one on each one? Even still there’s no guarantees.
To each his own..

A lie is a lie even if everybody believes it.. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.
John 3:16 --
2 Cor 5:17

CREEXHP70LED
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DOC1500 wrote:
CREEXHP70LED wrote:
toddcshoe wrote:
I don’t buy any of the name brand expensive weapon lights anymore. I did at one time. They failed within the first few hundred rounds.

I started getting some cheap junk weapon lights on Ebay. Like fifteen dollar ones. 250 lumens or so (though they claimed 1000 of course) and of horrible tint. It was a light though and that’s what I was looking for. I did nothing to them except taking them apart and using potting epoxy on everything. The light itself held up well, never a hiccup and after 500 rounds was still going strong. What did finally start failing was the mounting mechanism on the light. Close to 1000 rounds and it just wouldn’t stay on the rail anymore and finally gave up the ghost. Light still worked.

So I had those lights on some pistols and pistol caliber carbines for quite a while. I don’t really use my AR-15’s for much so there are no lights on them so no testing with 223/5.56. Also I don’t have any lights on my hunting guns or shotguns. Though I do have a Armytek C1 that I am thinking of mounting on a scatter gun. It’s suppose to be a rugged light so I’ll see how it does.

Utorch came out with that weapon light. Link for it. I bought a few of them just because they were cheap enough and I wouldn’t care too much if they got destroyed and quit working. Looks like they are a copy of the Streamlight TLR1 I think. I have them on a few 9mm pistols, a 45acp pistol, and a KelTec Sub 2000 9mm carbine. Over 500 rounds on each of them and the light is still going strong. No problems at all yet.

I haven’t had them apart so I can’t say if they are potted or not. Regardless of potting or the lack thereof, they are holding up well. Worth the $17.99 I paid for them. The TIR lens in them is great and it’s plenty bright, I’d say 700 to 800 lumens or so. They say they require CR123’s but, I have some 16340 protected Li-Ion cells in them and they work just fine. Check them out and maybe try a few. I don’t buy into the Streamlight and Surefire advertising blitzkrieg they do in gun mags. The ones I had didn’t hold up well and I swore off of them. Maybe I had a few duds, maybe not, not real sure. For the money they charge I shouldn’t have to be worried about them not working.

But, yeah, check out that Utorth and maybe order one and see how it works out for you.

I never had any problems with any of my Surefire WML’s I have had dozens of them. rifle, shotgun, pistol. I would never trust my life to a 18.00 light. To each their own.


DOZENS OF THEM ???

That adds up to about $3000 to $6,000 in weapons lights. If they’re that good, why did you need dozens of them ?
unless you have dozens of weapons and put one on each one? Even still there’s no guarantees.
To each his own..

I have a few firearms. That is all I am saying about the number. I have never replaced a single one of my weapon lights none have ever had any issues. BTW: Your sig line could not be more true. I like it.

 

 

 

Lightbringer
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Anyone ever consider taking a good host like an L2M, loading it with a ruggedised/potted drop-in, and using that?

The L2M comes with a FC switch, and especially if used in short bursts can easily push out 1000lm. “Standard” size to mount to rails, too.

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As others have touched on, you’re not buying the lumens. You’re buying the confidence that the light will continue working after being run over, dunked in a pool, and smashed through a car window. The other part of the higher price – traditionally they come from companies that build for government / LEO / Military clients.

I just got an Olight PL Mini 2 as part of a trade. I do like the size and price. I’m on the fence regarding the interface. Maybe it’s my familiarity and muscle memory, and maybe it’s having to hit the toggle in a specific way, and maybe it’s the lack of a momentary in one direction and ON in the other…. I do know it took me a minute to figure it out. Physical quality though – it appears to be quite good.

Any Olight folks here? It would be interesting to have a little more runtime and a laser. It’s time the venerable TLR-2 had some good competition. (and why the different magnetic charger cable design?)

Now, to $18 WML / pistol lights vs the bigger brands. It’s a fact of life – to get the price that low, important corners were cut. On a fun gun or one used to check the yearly suburban bump in the night this might be an option. The impact of a door / spring / mount failure is fairly low in that use case.

$50-$75? I’d be really interested to see what could be whipped up by dedicated enthusiasts at that price point.

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I don’t own any weapon lights, but I can see one advantage an inexpensive budget light may have: simplicity.

There simply isn’t a lot to break in a basic budget light with a standard design. To make it sufficient for weapon use, just open it up, check the solder and pot everything in epoxy. Should be good to go.

strayz
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So here is my take on having 4 different WML lights.

1. Surefires rocking toggle switch is a major PITA. I hate it. It is on a secondary bump in the night stick. (HL100 XL, I think it the model I don’t remember as I am at work right now.)

2. Olight I have 2 of these. Valkyrie and Mini. Full size Valkyrie is ok, it checks most of the boxes and it has some issues (feels plastic y, is a different UI). The mini requires to much pressure to activate but it is hella small.

3. L2P from Solarforce. (It is a knock off of surefire, not sure what one but it is of one of them.) I use this on a rifle, so the needs are different. I have had zero issues with it. It is not the brightest, has a single mode, but it has survived a carbine class with out issue. So far so good. Funny thing is that it just seems to work for what I need it to do. I don’t have a pressure switch on it, just the light m-locked to the hand guard. Nothing fancy, just a light that is good for about 50-100 yards.

IMO, you need 150-300 for a handgun, and 600 for a rifle unless you are hunting, and that would take a different light altogether. Again my opinion.* *I am not a tactical operator operating operationally tactical**. I am a father, that has a home, that police response times are in the 15-30 minute time frame if I am lucky. I am not in Mogadishu, Iran, Iraq, or other third world country holding the line against 50-100 rebels from outer space and there invisible deity of choice. My biggest concerns are the moose that just knocked over my new fence, the brown bear knocking over my garbage can, and the meth head trying to steel the propane tank from my BBQ.

The biggest issue with most WML is people want it to work every time and be put through the ringer. They want it to be affordable. They also would like it to “Feel” durable. Even Magpul when they first arrived on the market had a hard row to go when convincing people their mags are as good or better than the old GI aluminum ones.

Accessory items for sale in the firearms world is where most of the money is made in brick and mortar stores, so no one wants to sell a $20 buck item when you can sell a $150.00 item that does the same thing. Also gun store sales clerks, and the gun community are also some of the cheapest people out there that will tear a product down faster than BLF could ever think about. If they don’t feel like it is more durable, faster, more intuitive, save you when the world is about to collapse, call in the cavalry, bless you with +20 accuracy, and have a good tested proven company name behind it. Most likely it will fail. I watched one clerk throw a first gen magpul AR mag at a wall then claim it would not feed (It still did after 10-15 hard throws while fully loaded against that same concrete wall. Never mind the jump stops on the side of it from a 250+lbs over aged man child. Side note most metal mags would not stand up to that abuse either The man child got mad when I pointed that out to him.)

The firearms industry is a very cruel mistress, for every 500 products that try 2-3 will succeed in market to make it to common availability. (I still do not know how keltec is still in business…)

Sorry for the wall of words.

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If you attach an A6 to your firearm I don’t think it would still work properly after a couple dozen rounds. It’s more about reliability and consistency than just the output.

Olight’s valkyrie series have tremendous value when compared to other weapon lights, most of which still use CR123s and outdated emitters.

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No one knows flashlights/Torches better than this community. What makes a flashlight able to be reliable under recoil? Is it the potting and double spring set up? What else am I missing?

Give me thrower or give me pizza.

texas shooter
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Why is critical equipment so expensive? Your running a professional company that has bills with their research and development. Quality employees with pay checks and benefits. If it fails you get sued. Anyone need a cheap Chinese pacemaker guaranteed to work 99% of the time?

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LarryLumens wrote:
No one knows flashlights/Torches better than this community. What makes a flashlight able to be reliable under recoil? Is it the potting and double spring set up? What else am I missing?

You don’t want components to go flying off because of recoil. You also don’t want the cell to go sledgehammering into the driver and busting it. Solder needs to be more malleable than brittle.

At least potting the components helps keep them from flying off, and helps brace the driver.

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A6 isn’t 1,600 lemons.

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Hugh Johnson wrote:
A6 isn’t 1,600 lemons.

Well IDK how many lemons they are, but you start mounting them to a 300 Blackout, .308, 5.56, .338 Lapua mag etc, and your gonna have a lot of lemons really fast. Of course my .338 Lapua Mag does not have a light on it. No WML is appropriate for a sniper rifle that feels good at 1,500 yards+.

 

 

 

DOC1500
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Hugh Johnson wrote:
A6 isn’t 1,600 lemons.

U right it’s 1600 lumens

A lie is a lie even if everybody believes it.. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.
John 3:16 --
2 Cor 5:17

texas shooter
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I’ve got four of the Olight weapon lights, three PL2 Valkyrie and one discontinued Olight PL1 II Valkyrie. For myself it’s the closest to budget I get on weapon light. They so far have worked flawlessly but for only a few hundred rounds so far. I had a SureFire X-300 but found that Streamlight TLR-1 HL just as good and cheaper. This can be had for $115 on Botach or $120 on Amazon.

Eth90
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It is about proven reliability, not brightness. My blf x6 is broken now after not much use,good thing it wasnt pistol light. If you can’t afford surefire there is streamlite that is proven tough, olight as well.

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passive101
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Because lives are on the line with weapon lights. It’s also not as big of a market. Supply and demand.

DOC1500
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Eth90 wrote:
It is about proven reliability, not brightness. My blf x6 is broken now after not much use,good thing it wasnt pistol light. If you can’t afford surefire there is streamlite that is proven tough, olight as well.

If it’s all about reliability and not about brightness, then why are you buying high-end flashlights and got away from the maglites they are proven reliable.
Why did I get away from the Walmart and Ace Hardware flashlights? Because I didn’t know any better , I didn’t know about high-end high output flashlights. And the only reason I found out about high-end flashlights was because I was looking for a weapons light for my AR pistol and discovered these high-end flashlights.
I’m not a flashaholic,
( if that’s your thing more power to you). I’m not a Leo, just an average guy searching for a bright flashlight for home defense to keep my family safe.
I just wanted something very bright that wasn’t the size of a milk jug.
I’m not the type of guy that follows the rest of the crowd,trendy this, name brands just to have a name brand , or buys what’s popular, I’m always thinking out of the box , that there must be something else out there just as good or better for a lower price.
If somebody wants a weapons light they’re not going to go to Walmart or Ace Hardware to buy one, they will probably go to a gun shop and most gun shops only sell what’s popular and they don’t want to spend extra money to give the customer a variety to choose from because that cost them money.( inventory cost, I get it).
Concerning the name brands ie. Surefire and Streamlight ( which is about the only pistol light that gun stores sell, I’m sure we can find a number of people that have had theirs fail.
I’m not in a hurry for a pistol light,
so I’ll just keep looking.
In the meantime I’ll just hold my A6 or klaris in one hand and my pistol in the other for something that goes bump in the night.

A lie is a lie even if everybody believes it.. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it.
John 3:16 --
2 Cor 5:17

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DOC1500 wrote:
Eth90 wrote:
It is about proven reliability, not brightness. My blf x6 is broken now after not much use,good thing it wasnt pistol light. If you can’t afford surefire there is streamlite that is proven tough, olight as well.
If it’s all about reliability and not about brightness, then why are you buying high-end flashlights and got away from the maglites they are proven reliable. Why did I get away from the Walmart and Ace Hardware flashlights? Because I didn’t know any better , I didn’t know about high-end high output flashlights. And the only reason I found out about high-end flashlights was because I was looking for a weapons light for my AR pistol and discovered these high-end flashlights. I’m not a flashaholic, ( if that’s your thing more power to you). I’m not a Leo, just an average guy searching for a bright flashlight for home defense to keep my family safe. I just wanted something very bright that wasn’t the size of a milk jug. I’m not the type of guy that follows the rest of the crowd,trendy this, name brands just to have a name brand , or buys what’s popular, I’m always thinking out of the box , that there must be something else out there just as good or better for a lower price. If somebody wants a weapons light they’re not going to go to Walmart or Ace Hardware to buy one, they will probably go to a gun shop and most gun shops only sell what’s popular and they don’t want to spend extra money to give the customer a variety to choose from because that cost them money.( inventory cost, I get it). Concerning the name brands ie. Surefire and Streamlight ( which is about the only pistol light that gun stores sell, I’m sure we can find a number of people that have had theirs fail. I’m not in a hurry for a pistol light, so I’ll just keep looking. In the meantime I’ll just hold my A6 or klaris in one hand and my pistol in the other for something that goes bump in the night.

I am an X-LEO myself and I would have loved to had the Olight PL Mini Valkyrie back when I was on active duty. (1992 thru 2002 and stayed commissioned from early 2002 , although not working , until I finally let my license go in 2009)

On the sub compact pistols such as my Springfield XD-S .40 or the XD-S .45 they are great little lights that can be activated from the right side or the left side , with a press and hold of the button (right beside the trigger guard) for momentary or just a click flick of the switch for constant on. The switch (es) are easy to reach with your index finger , or your thumb , depending on how your grasp the pistol or hold it. Not the brightest light I have by any means at 400 lumens . but it IS reliable and easy to use with only the 1 mode constant or momentary. Enough to light up any room well indoors and enough to let you see clearly to at least 40 yards for positive ID on animals or human alike outdoors.

For the price of the PL Mini or the Mini 2 ($79 and $89) , I personally feel they are well worth the price and also very reliable. I have shot at least 1000 rounds of ammo between the .40 and the .45 Springfield pistols with this light attached and it was also drop tested from shoulder height 10 times onto the simulated hardwood floors in my house when I was testing for my review of this light , before it was used in the real world. I have not seen a hiccup as of yet from the PL Mini that I personally own , although this does not speak for every other one out there. It has been proven time and time again , no matter what brand , or how good that brand is……..THERE WILL BE FAILURES no matter if it is a $20 light or if it is a $500 light.

I feel the little PL mini’s would probably hold up well on a shotgun or high powered rifle , (although limited distance for the high powered rifles) I have not tried it on either in testing the light myself. I can’t shoot a lot at one time with any rifle or shotgun now days , due to the back and neck problems. I have (severe spinal arthritis and 3 compressed disc in my neck to go along with the arthritis) Not asking for any sympathy , just giving the reason I have not done testing on the heavy recoil rifles and shotguns.

Anyhow that is my 2 cents on the Olight and if you decide you want to try one , great…..if not , then good luck with your search for the light that suits your taste. Whatever you do decide on , I hope it is what you been looking for in the end.

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