"Tactical" Flashlights

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sprice
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"Tactical" Flashlights

What makes offerings from Modlite and Surefire leaders for defensive use lights? What makes them more durable and reliable?

Are there any competitive offerings for smaller (2x aaa penlight size) rugged lights with >500 lumens and >10k candela, or perhaps similar size/weight with better performance than an okw/plhv2?

turkeydance
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- tactical – is an advertising term
similar to an “unlimited” data plan.

USA
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There are actual “tactical” requirements or hardware designs, eg silent switches, explosion proof switches, weight/anodization requirements, Milspec standards, local police county standards, etc

But the generic “tactical” flashlight is nothing, really.

gravelmonkey
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Not aware of any AA lights that meet your requirements.

Overready and Malkoff are two similar brands you might want to look at though.

raccoon city
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It's a pleasure to know you, sprice!

If a flashlight is black in color, then it's tacticool.  :P

103_milla

zoulas
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I think I am going to have to disagree. A tactical light is typically something the Police would use. It should have a simple UI, instant access to strobe, ability to use in defense or break a glass if needed. Something like an Anstrolux EA01 would not be in that category, Something like the Klarus XT21X would be considered tactical. So in my opinion, being a black light alone does not make it tactical. It does though make it a black light.

bushmaster
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Is the strobe function actually used by police? I’ve never seen it used but that doesn’t mean much.

Keep your nose in the wind and your eyes along the skyline.
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BOO5TED
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zoulas wrote:
I think I am going to have to disagree. A tactical light is typically something the Police would use. It should have a simple UI, instant access to strobe, ability to use in defense or break a glass if needed. Something like an Anstrolux EA01 would not be in that category, Something like the Klarus XT21X would be considered tactical. So in my opinion, being a black light alone does not make it tactical. It does though make it a black light.

Big Smile Big Smile

"America has three cities, New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland."- Tennessee Williams

 

zoulas
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bushmaster wrote:
Is the strobe function actually used by police? I’ve never seen it used but that doesn’t mean much.

Me either but from what I understand, it can temporarily blind and confuse the “bad guy” so they can be hand cuffed. Or that’s what’s supposed to happen.

sprice
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I’m afraid the title might have distracted people from my real question.

I’m looking for a reliable durable light with a simple press for momentary, click for on switch, that either delivers better lumens and candela than similar sized modlites; OR something smaller sized that delivers about 500 lumens and at least 10k candela.

Dkf1998
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This might check your boxes: Maratac AAx2

Scotty321
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500 lumens @10K cd is going to be a very tight hotspot. That usually means either a large head, or well designed optics for smaller heads… probably still 1”+ in diameter from what’s currently available.

You might try a “Hyper Throw” Malkoff head on a single CR123, 2xCR123, or 16650 body (for the reduced body diameter). The first gen 250+ lumen SF ED2 Defender LED (dc’ed long ago) had a very tight hotspot for a high cd rating. I can’t remember what the cd spec was but it throws well for the lumen output and 1” head (I have one).

The ET 18650 Tacical Clicky should get close to that cd rating at 1000+ lumens and is slim for an 18650 body (0.85”). However, the walls of the body are very thin and some think it feels flimsy (after carrying it I like it a lot). The Tactical series clickies have momentary. However the body is still noticeably thicker than a SF E-series body.

Otherwise, you might go for some of the newer 14500 lights with more lumen (1000+) to get close to the 10k cd figure in a slim flashlight, e.g. Klarus XT1A. I don’t like that mode switch for a “tactical” light nor pocket light though. Additionally, that brightness level will probably only last for less than a minute.

If you don’t mind the 1.125” head, the SF EDCL1 is a very handy single CR123 light with simple UI and momentary on (tailcap twist for steady on). It’s listed as 500 lumens @7,600 cd.

Firelight2
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zoulas wrote:
I think I am going to have to disagree. A tactical light is typically something the Police would use. It should have a simple UI, instant access to strobe, ability to use in defense or break a glass if needed. Something like an Anstrolux EA01 would not be in that category, Something like the Klarus XT21X would be considered tactical. So in my opinion, being a black light alone does not make it tactical. It does though make it a black light.

Do police actually use strobe?

I recall reading posts about it on CPF or BLF years ago. Sounded like the cops referred to it as “party mode” and never actually used it in practice.

TIFisher
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Firelight2 wrote:
zoulas wrote:
I think I am going to have to disagree. A tactical light is typically something the Police would use. It should have a simple UI, instant access to strobe…..
.

Do police actually use strobe?

I recall reading posts about it on CPF or BLF years ago. Sounded like the cops referred to it as “party mode” and never actually used it in practice.

joebob4501
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The Convoy M1 with CSLNM1.TG is about the same size as the OKW/PLHV2 but with a bigger head, which gives it over 100kcd (comparing visually to a Noctigon KR1 W2 which is rated 100kcd). Throw in a forward clicky switch for momentary and program it to single mode 100% only to make it like the Modlites.

There’s also the similar but slightly smaller Convoy M2 with CSLNM1.TG that should have a little less candela than the M1 but I’ve heard water resistance isn’t good because of how the o-rings and lens are set up.

Oli
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“defensive use lights”? That’s not a thing. I would venture to guess that surefire is popular with police officers partly because they have been sold in uniform supply shops
for many decades. Very basic and simple operation is I’m sure a big part also. That doesn’t mean they’re better. The only way a pen light is going to be tactical is in the movies. Also not from your comments, I can’t see where a silent switch is ever going to be useful unless the bad guy is sleeping and you’re in the same room.

zoulas
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joebob4501 wrote:
The Convoy M1 with CSLNM1.TG is about the same size as the OKW/PLHV2 but with a bigger head, which gives it over 100kcd (comparing visually to a Noctigon KR1 W2 which is rated 100kcd). Throw in a forward clicky switch for momentary and program it to single mode 100% only to make it like the Modlites.

There’s also the similar but slightly smaller Convoy M2 with CSLNM1.TG that should have a little less candela than the M1 but I’ve heard water resistance isn’t good because of how the o-rings and lens are set up.

You are comparing convoy with a state of the art light?

Unheard
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TIFisher wrote:


A turkey mode! Grad

Smile, you cannot kill them all.

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When I’m looking to get a tactical light, I’ll also look to see if it has…

1) Striking bezel around front of light

2) Ability to zoom in and out

 

                                                                                             

joebob4501
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What constitutes “state of the art”? The OKW uses the same CSLNM1.TG emitter as the Convoys and the PLHV2 uses the CSLPM1.TG from what I can tell. Fit and finish isn’t gonna be as good on the Convoys compared to the Modlites but performance wise there’s no special technology that the Modlites have that make them perform better than the M1/M2. I’d even bet the Modlites also use linear drivers based on the lack of CR123A support.

If you’re not looking for a WML I don’t see why a Convoy M1/M2 can’t be a viable alternative to the OKW/PLHV2, if you pot the driver durability should be on par with the Modlites too. The only thing the Convoys lack is US based customer support and McClicky switch.

BurningPlayd0h
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Oli wrote:
“defensive use lights”? That’s not a thing. I would venture to guess that surefire is popular with police officers partly because they have been sold in uniform supply shops for many decades. Very basic and simple operation is I’m sure a big part also. That doesn’t mean they’re better. The only way a pen light is going to be tactical is in the movies. Also not from your comments, I can’t see where a silent switch is ever going to be useful unless the bad guy is sleeping and you’re in the same room.

IDK if I’m missing something but conflating Surefire and similarly designed+marketed brands with “pen lights” doesn’t really make sense to me. Situational awareness (for general safety) and target identification (for any situation involving use of a weapon or deterrent) are extremely important and when it’s dark out, flashlights are a… pretty good solution. Many of these lights are indisputably in a way different size, runtime and output class than “pen lights”.

joebob4501 wrote:
What constitutes “state of the art”? The OKW uses the same CSLNM1.TG emitter as the Convoys and the PLHV2 uses the CSLPM1.TG from what I can tell. Fit and finish isn’t gonna be as good on the Convoys compared to the Modlites but performance wise there’s no special technology that the Modlites have that make them perform better than the M1/M2. I’d even bet the Modlites also use linear drivers based on the lack of CR123A support.

If you’re not looking for a WML I don’t see why a Convoy M1/M2 can’t be a viable alternative to the OKW/PLHV2, if you pot the driver durability should be on par with the Modlites too. The only thing the Convoys lack is US based customer support and McClicky switch.

Surefire and Malkoff definitely have physical aspects of their lights intended for WML use to make them more resistant to shock and vibration over the long term. How much of a difference that makes isn’t really quantifiable but the fact that so many Streamlight, Surefire, etc. WMLs that have seen years of abuse still function is at least a testament to the fact that they can stand up to it. Would a stock Convoy do the same? Maybe. Would one that someone potted the electronics, strengthened the solder joints and locktited the retaining rings of do the same? Very likey. Most people just don’t want to do/don’t know how to do that though.

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I don’t really consider flashlights as defensive tools. You aren’t going to blind or confuse someone with a flashlight. Cars pass me every night with bright as hell lights on and I don’t run off the road or otherwise get thrown into a fit of confusion.

Weapon mounted lights or even hand held lights used in a life or death situation only need to to one thing. Give me light immediately.

Given how my hands may need to move and operate other things I prefer a single mode forward clicky. I keep a Jetbeam Jet-IIM Tac next to my night time weapon and 1 inch mounts and Armytek C1 Partners on my AR’s.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

pennzy
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Only if it is attached to a weapon is it tactical.

zoulas
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There are certain elements that make a tactical light tactical, the same way there are certain elements that make a keychain light for keychain use.

For example, GT Nano is a keychain light, its not tactical.

An FT03 is neither a tactical light nor a keychain light.

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I think you can break “tactical” down into two categories: general purpose and WML. A general purpose tactical loght would be something like an Olight Warrior or Fenix TK16 V2.0. You can mount them on a long gun with mounts or holster carry them as a duty light. A WML is solely meant to be mounted on a long gun (rifle, MSR, or shotgun, or anything with an accessory rail-Keymod, M-lok, M1913 picatinny). The Olight Odin in a perfect example.

Either way, in my observations, professional-grade lights for tactical/duty work have to meet some criteria: Water/dustproofness, shock or impact resistance (like from recoil or dropping, smashing car windows or other things), heavy-duty finishes, simple UI’s (sorry, no Anduril, Narsil, Biscotti or multi mode groups with blinkies allowed), and reliability features, no ultra-high, burn your hand off turbo mode with lousy thermal regulation. There are lots of “tactical” lights out there, but not many real tactical ones.