We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, December 15. 2010
Readers know that we are fans of SureFire military and tactical flashlights. They are useful for blinding and illuminating a bad guy, or for illuminating a distant detail - or for finding a fox, beaver or owl at night.
The problem with them has been that the battery drain has been so fast that they were not useful for any regular flashlight use (for which they were not designed anyway - they were first designed to incapacitate and illuminate a human target).
They have now come out with a line of LED flashlights, some of which may not meet the same tactical specs but which have a longer battery life, and still should not be used in anybody's face unless you wish to disable them. A MagLite on steroids.
Also, Insty informs us that Amazon has deals on knives. Practical knives, not the fancy ones. Except when boarding a plane, a guy needs a knife in the pocket.
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I used to wear one of those forehead LED's when I took the dog out, so as to be able to see where she was in the (unfenced) yard, when it was important to enforce any infraction of the no-crossing-boundary-line rule on the spot.
It wasn't really great for finding a black dog at night, but it sure found cats, raccoons, owls, and other things with reflecting eyes, that then reflected exactly into your own eyes.
A better deal for the dog was a PupLight, that you hang on the dog, in the end. I guess that makes her able to spot raccoons, cats and owls. I haven't seen them since the policy changed.
Was the dog a little uncomfortable with that light in its end? :-)
Believe me I held my breath when I forked over almost two c-notes for a Surefire. But they will blind an opponent and if you take that extra split second you can grab your buddy and use him as a human shield. Works like a charm except with really high powered weapons..
I'm confident a Democratic Party government will outlaw them.
Always the practical man Habu... not sure I'd want to be your buddy though... a certain sincerity appears to be lacking in your use of the term... :-)
Candlepower forums have been touting basic Surefires like the 6p with a drop in Cree Q5 LED module. The better drop ins improve battery life, while amping up the light output by a factor of 3 or 4. A 'stock' xenon bulb 6p goes from 65 lumens to 230-270 lumens, depending on which Cree you use (and some of the mods the CPF boys suggest). Even with the better battery life, tho, the CR123a batteries still suck down fast and make me reserve these for 'tactical' use - by the bed, by the front door and as backup unit in the glovebox. Those spendy CR123 batteries may burn up quickly in use, but unused their shelf life can be up to 10 years. Excellent for long term storage in bugout bags, gloveboxes, hunting cabins, etc...if you're interested in the dropins, visit candlepower forums and search on
Q5 drop in for 6p
For daily use or I keep inexpensive Princeton Tec brand Tec 40(AA) or Rage(AAA) hanging by the doors as well. Waterproof plastic 'dive lights', they're bright, cheap batteries, small, lightweight to carry. An AA Princeton Tec beats the AA maglite hands down, for me. I use a headlamp if there's any real work to be done outside, or if I'm riding my bike after dark, etc...
If we'd managed to improve autos the way we've improved Flashlights in the past 30 years, we'd all be flying in our rocketcars at 4000 mph on solar rechargable cells.
Thanks for the link! My Marine son bought me one of these and some goblin stole it. I didn't want to admit that it was gone so I could buy a replacement. It is the best flashlight I've ever had.
Oh YES! I have one--it is wonderful-always, always ready. I have the 90. Thanks for your post today--it reminds me that I intend to buy one for the daughter.
I have a kerosene lantern that I duct-tape to the top of my head for night walking. it makes you careful because if you break into a square dance or something it'll spill all over you and set your head afire.
Speaking of Surefire and soldiers. If you go to:
You will find quite a few requests for Surefire flashlights. The guys are asking for the kind that will clip on their rifle. It is heartbreaking to hear the guys who are doing house to house in Iraq or Afghanistan writing out to ask the public for these very important tools/weapons. You can donate and send one over if you like.
Buddy dear ... Surely you jest, tee-hee! Please don't set your head on fire....
The problem with so many of the better flashlights is their construction of aluminum or similar metals. Try using them to walk the dog in the dark on a blustery night at ten degrees Fahrenheit and see if you can even hold the thing without frostbite. The thermal transfer is awful.
Surefire has a very reasonably priced G2 Nitrolon model with a polymer body, that solves the problem right there. Haven't tried the G2 LED model yet, the incandescent model is nice but has short battery life.
I do have and like a new Streamlight PolyTac LED light, similar to the G2 Nitrolon but a little lower priced. I can use it as a mini-spotlight for spotting deer and coyotes across the fields at night, or as a pocket carry for dog walks.
There is a lot of innovation and quality in the market these days for handy sized serious lighting.
I can't personally vouch for this, but my state trooper son can. We bought him the Z2-S LED CombatLight and it definetly helped him take down a 300lb bubba on crystal meth on a routine traffic stop.
I don't own one myself - I'm strictly a Maglight guy, but from what I've read andheard about the Surefire lights, they are excellent lights. I know there are better flashlights than Maglights out there, but I'm one of those brand loyal types. :>)
I love flashlights (lanterns too). But to date Maglights have been my top of the line.
Just curious, but I have a question for those who aren't police officers or soldiers or otherwise "tactically" employed. How often, and under what circumstances, do you use a flashlight that can blind someone to the point of "taking them down"?
My favorite flashlight for nighttime dog walking is a Stanley something or other a red light option. I can see without blinding myself or the dog. But I don't like the size of that one so I typically carry a low end LED light that easily fits a pocket. And if it is cold enough that my hand might stick to cold aluminum I'm wearing gloves.
Like I said, I love flashlights and lanterns but $60 to $200 for a flashlight? I don't get it. I have flashlights everywhere but I haven't spent $200 in total over my entire adulthood and never have come anywhere near needing to use one as a weapon.
Oh, yeah, and in the normal course of my dark hours dog walking I will frequently come upon a retired policeman. He has a thoroughly hateful habit of shining a much too powerful light into people's eyes. He's been cursed by much nicer people than me about it. If he does it to me again after the dressing down I gave him last time I just might bop him on his noggin.
Tom Francis, if you want to make your son's day, get him either a Streamlight LED Stinger, or a Streamlight Strion. Both use a very bright C4 LED, and if you double click the tailcap, the light goes into a strobe pattern, that is very disorienting for the one you use it on. I carry a LED Stinger on my duty belt, along with a SureFire G3 LED, and my duty weapon has an Insight Technology light made for the rails on my HK USP45F. Like most night shift LEOs, I love flashlights. I keep a SureFire M6 in my patrol bag, a 2 D cell size light, with the light output of an aircraft landing light. You never know when you might have to make a Felony Traffic Stop.
Knucklhead, you must be patient with him, old habits die hard.
I bought 2 tactical lights recently. Wife carries hers in purse and the other is in the nightstand. We also carried them to Europe this summer. I had great service from a supplier called Brightflashlights.com, super prices and nice folks.