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Archive | Flashlights

Fenix HM65 Rechargeable Headlamp

Fenix just released the details on a new headlamp, the HM65 Rechargeable Headlamp, that is loaded with interesting tech and features. The most prominent feature is the use of dual emitters with one optimized for throw and one for flood light.

It boasts a 1000 lumen turbo setting along with other, longer running modes including a 130 lumen settings that run for 48 hours+ according to Fenix (actual real world runtimes can vary). See the chart below for full ANSI runtime and output ratings.

The HM65 is rechargeable via USB Type C (cable included). It comes with an 18650 battery but it can also be powered by two CR123A primary cells which is good news for those who might take this headlamp into cold environments.

The body of the HM65 is made from a magnesium alloy. Fenix claims that makes it both durable and lightweight.

The head strap design includes a top strap as is standard for single 18650 powered headlamps. It features a perforated design that I suppose would promote breathability.

The HM65 can be pre-ordered. It is not expected to be available until Tuesday, June 25th.

FenixLighting.com

PHLster ARC Enhanced WML Switches

Remember the old the days of building up the switch on your Surefire X-series weapon light with JB Weld to make it easier and more consistent to access? There is now a better way thanks to the PHLster and the new ARC Enhanced WML Switches.

These polymer switches are drop in replacements for the OEM switches found on Surefire’s X300U (A/B/V), X400U (H, RD, GN), XH30, XH35, and XLV2. Each set comes with 3 different size switches all of which are larger than the original: L, XL, and a blank XL for uses who wish to add their own texture or shaping.

You can read more about installation and pre-order at PHLster.com.

Nitecore TIP2

At just 1″ x 2.5″ x .5″, the Nitecore TIP2 may be small but it boasts a ton of features and impressive output. It is small enough to serve as a keychain light but bright enough to do real work.

It can provide up to 720 lumens of light thanks to two Cree XP-G3 S3 emitters mounted behind TIR lenses. It also has 200, 30, and 1 lumen settings. Runtimes range from 15 minutes for the turbo mode all the way to 55 hours for the 1 lumen mode and all that power is provided by a rechargable Li-ion battery.

The TIP2 features a lanyard/key attachment that is held onto 1 piece CNC machined body of the light via strong neodymium magnets allowing it to be quickly removed from the keychain or lanyard for handheld use. This also allows the light to be mounted on any ferrous surface for hands-free use.

I am just scratching the surface of the features and potential applications for this light. You can check it out at Nitecore.com.

Black Rhino Concealment Adds Nightstick TCM-550XL Support

I recently posted a review of the Nightstick TCM-550XL weapon light. In the review, I talked about how this compact light has tremendous potential for the EDC market but I lamented a lack of holster support. That is a major hurdle for any new weapon light to overcome.

Fortunately, holster availability is already improving thanks to Black Rhino Concealment. Their TCS-L Holster is now available for the TCM-550XL. The TCS-L is a convertible holster that can be configured for IWB or OWB carry.

BlackRhinoConcealment.com

Review: Nightstick TCM-550XL Weapon Light

The Nightstick TCM-550XL is relatively new to the weapon light market but it is from a maker that has been making first responder lights for a long time. Let’s dive right into the review to see how it stacks up.

Overview

The TCM-550XL is a compact weapon light from Nightstick, a division of Bayco Products. It is about 2.5″ long, just over 1″ wide, and just over 1″ tall – a size that allows it to sit well inside the footprint of a typical double stack handgun like a Glock.

It boasts 550 lumen output and uses a collimating lens to produce a beam with a relatively wide hotspot. The runtime for this single CR123A light is published as 2.5 hours.

The main body of the TCM-550XL is machined from 6061 aluminum with a polymer back plate. It weighs in at 2.5 ounces. Other highlights include a paddle style switch and lock out bezel.

Observations from Use

I typically shy away from direct product comparisons in these reviews but in this case it feels unavoidable. The TCM-550XL is similar in size, shape, and execution of at least two features (the lockout bezel and rail clamp) to the Streamlight TLR-7. However, I feel that the TCM-550XL actually has a major advantage over the TLR-7 in that its paddle style switch is MUCH easier to operate and it is brighter with better tint than my TLR-7.

Speaking of the switch, it offers constant/momentary operation. The user interface should feel familiar as it has become somewhat standard across many tactical lights – quick press for constant, long press for momentary. This is a system that works fairly well with just a bit of practice.

This brings us to my first criticism of this light. It turns on instantly but there is a delay in turning off, almost as if the light is deciding whether it should stay on or turn off based on your input. It is just a moment (not even a second) but it is noticeable when running drills. Apart from that delay, the switch is actually very impressive. This is a very compact light but the well designed switch operates as easily as a full size light.

The lockout bezel works well though the detent that indicates the light is locked out can be a little difficult to feel on my example. It is still a thoughtful feature and there are markings on the bezel to indicate where the lockout exists.

The beam profile is very good. It has a wide hotspot with plenty of spill. The TCM-550XL balances throw and spill very well for a compact light. Those 550 lumens do a good job is filling a room with light or extending the range at which you can ID a target outdoors.

I am very impressed with this light. It has standout ergonomics among compact lights, a compact footprint, and good output for a single CR123A light. It has a lot of potential but it shares the same stumbling block to that potential as any new weapon light – lack of holster support. This light has what it takes to be a great CCW light but as of right now, it will be hard to find a holster for it. Safariland has this light listed in their holster finder but all of the compatible holsters are more suited for duty carry, not CCW.

Wrap Up

The TCM-550XL has the size, weight, output, and ergonomics that I look for in compact weapon light. The switch in particular stands out among a lot of compact weapon lights. It ticks all the boxes but until there is holster support, it will be hard for it to reach its full potential.

Nightstick.com

Review: Streamlight Microstream USB

I’ll spoil this review right up front. I really, really like my Streamlight Microstream USB.

Overview

The Microstream USB is an extremely compact LED light. It features a tail switch, a two way pocket clip (that is removable and replaceable), and two output settings (250 lumens for 1.5 hours and 50 lumens for 3.5 hours). This light is USB rechargable via a USB-C cord (included). It is less than 4″ long, barely wider than a AAA battery, and weighs a little more than 1 ounce.

The Microstream USB is available in a number of anodized colors but I recommend the FDE version because it is the only one that gives you the high output mode on the first click. The other colors (Black, Blue, Red) activate the 50 lumen mode on the first click.

Observations from Use

I normally prefer single output lights for EDC but the Microstream USB gets a pass. Streamlight designed it so that you could only access the 50 lumen low mode with a very fast double click. You can execute typical low light techniques without ever dropping into the 50 lumen mode. The user interface is dead simple and well designed.

The power to weight ratio on this light is incredible. It is so small and so lightweight that you will never leave it at home. It still has large light features like 250 lumen output and a tail switch in spite of that small size.

I typically carry a USB backup battery both at the office and on the trail. That makes it easy to keep this light up and running no matter where I am.

The light is recharged by sliding the bezel up to reveal the USB-C port and a small charge indicating LED (red for charging, green for charged). This sliding collar is o-ring sealed and it seams to do a good job given that my light has been through the wash with no ill effects. Still, this is the source of my major criticism of the light. I wish that this was sliding collar was threaded so that it had to be screwed down over the o-ring. This would make it even less likely to have water ingress. As it stands now, the user will have to keep a sharp eye on the o-ring to ensure that it is in good shape.

Wrap Up

This light is a tiny power house. I have larger lights with more output that I can can carry but this light is so small, lightweight, useful, and cheap to operate that I often carry it as a backup or even my primary light. It’s affordable too (less than $30)!

Have I said that I really, really like this light?

I had trouble finding the FDE anodized version when I bought mine last year. Now they are much easier to find. I purchased mine at Amazon who happened to be one the only places that had them in stock at the time: Streamlight Microstream USB on Amazon

Cloud Defensive – Cloud Optimized Rail

Cloud Defensive’s new COR (Cloud Optimized Rail) is designed from the ground up with light and laser integration in mind. The COR mates closely with the Cloud Defensive OWL giving a nearly integral feel. The CORv2 features a recessed channel in the middle of the top rail that is optimal for remote switches like the Surefire SR-07 and DS-07.

The COR series of rail also feature M-LOK compatibility, integrated QD sling sockets, and makes use of BCM’s barrel attachment system. You can see the full line and learn more at CloudDefensive.com.

Review: Streamlight TLR-7

Streamlight’s TLR-7 is their first entry into the compact, EDC weapon light market that has come about recently. Most of the lights in this space are giving up something in terms of output, runtime, and ergonomics to their full size counterparts. The best lights try to balance all of these factors. How well does the TLR-7 balance all of these considerations? Let’s dig in.

Specs:

  • Weight: 2.41 ounces
  • Length: 2.1″
  • Width: 1.2″
  • Output: 500 lumens
  • Runtime: 1.5 hours
  • Battery: 1x CR123A

Observations from Use

I will say up front that I really like this light with one caveat. Unfortunately, that caveat may be a big one for some shooters.The TLR-7 is the right kind of compact. It is built around a single CR123A battery and closely matches the width of many popular modern handguns. It isn’t just easy to carry. It’s very comfortable to carry. By matching the width of most handguns, Streamlight has made a light that can actually make your handgun MORE comfortable to carry. The holsters for this light, with something like a Glock, are often very flat and slab-like which seems to reduce hot spots… for me at least.

The output (500 lumens) and runtime (1.5 hours) are great and Streamlight nailed the beam shape. Some compact weapon lights have beams that are obviously very slanted toward illuminating objects at close range. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but Streamlight has developed a very balanced beam pattern for the TLR-7 that offers a broad and bright hotspot with a generous spill beam. It is a great compromise between an “across the room” beam and an “across the parking garage” beam.

The TLR-7’s mounting system is solid, low profile, and adaptable. It comes with a variety of cross bars to accommodate just about any handgun. The locking disk can be turned with a flat blade screwdriver or an improvised item like a coin.

I especially like the lockout bezel feature on the TLR-7. Most light makers just tell you to back the bezel off the light in order to prevent accidental activation during storage or transport. Streamlight actually installed a tactile detent on the TLR-7 so you can feel when you hit the lock out point and the bezel is then less likely to back itself off any further during transport.

And now for the caveat… Streamlight designed this light to be compact and as you might expect, it’s activation paddles are also compact. Unfortunately, some users will find them too compact and difficult to reach. I lock the support hand wrist which places my thumb forward and high. Reaching the paddles and pushing them forward is not difficult for me with my medium sized hands… but it definitely isn’t as easy as a full sized weapon light. If your hands are smaller or your grip places your thumb further back on the grip, you may have difficulty operating this light.

I strongly recommend getting your hands on one these lights before you buy to ensure that it will work for you. If it does, I think you will be really pleased with it. I have just over 1200 rounds through my G19 with this light mounted with about 450 of those while actively testing the light. The light is working like second-nature to me with minimal adjustment to my grip but it is easy to for me to see how this might not ever work for some people.

Wrap Up

The TLR-7 offers a LOT of performance for a compact weapon light. The output and beam shape are excellent. The lock out feature is well executed and clever. If your grip and hand size will accommodate this light, I think it is a fine choice.

Streamlight.com

Best Tactical & Outdoor Gifts – Proven Arms & Outfitters

ABERDEEN,N.C. – (December 2018)- Proven Arms & Outfitters is excited to announce more holiday savings!  Whether you are shopping for yourself or that special tactical/outdoor someone, Proven Arms& Outfitters (PAO) has just the thing! Check out the vast assortment of AR15 parts and components from Geissele, Aero Precision, Magpul, Anderson, and many other popular manufacturers.  Tactical bags, packs, and firearm cases are always a great gift, and there are plenty in-stock from FirstTactical, 5.11 Tactical, Blue Force Gear, Pelican, and many other great brands.

Don’t miss PAO’s current special on Sig Sauer P320s!  Buy a full-size P320 and get a BlackPoint Tactical holster for $529.99 or K Rounds holster for $509.99.

Perfect stocking stuffers for the holidays are still available:

•    RE Factor Tactical Body Stacker Tees for $23.50

•    Streamlight Lights, Lanterns, and Headlamps for 45% Off

•    Thyrm Products for $17.59 to 26.39

•    Smith & Wesson M&P Mags 3 for $78.00

•    Magpul PMAGS on sale – 30 round for $8.99, 40 round for $14.99 and 60 round for $94.99

Each store location has a full assortment of ammo from Hornady, Sig Sauer, Federaland more at low prices.  Ammunition is only available in store; we do not ship ammo.

ProvenArms & Outfitters is proud to have a large variety of QualifiedProfessional Programs where law enforcement, military, first responders andmore can purchase firearms and essential gear at deep discounts.  PAO holds programs with SureFire, Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, FN America, Springfield Armory, Berretta, and IWI.  For more information on Proven Arms & Outfitters programs, visit ProvenOutfitters.com/Programs or call a store near you.

Check out our stores in Tacoma, WA and Woodbridge, VA or shop online here.

Stay tuned and look forward to more exciting announcements coming from Proven Arms & Outfitters soon! 

About Proven Arms & Outfitters:

ProvenArms & Outfitters is a leading supplier of apparel, tactical gear, outdoor gear, optics, every day carry products and firearms to Enthusiasts, LawEnforcement, First Responders, and Military professionals. We have the PROVEN selection of products designed to help you perform at your peak.  For a complete and current outfit for your weapon, build out existing kit, or gear up for your next adventure, choose us for our practical knowledge, experience, extensive selection, and exceptional customer service.  Visit one of our two Proven Arms & Outfitters locations, find us on the web at ProvenOutfitters.com, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram @Proven_AO, and Twitter @Proven_AO

CDM Gear CHS Light Mount

CDM Gear is set to release a number of new items and an improved website in the coming weeks. The CHS Light Mount is one of those new items. This rail mount is designed to work on the bottom of Magpul’s M-LOK Forends for shotguns where it gives the user the ability to cantilever a light forward of the forend. This places the light in a location where it leaves room for the user’s hand, can still be operated with the support hand, and acts as a handstop.

The CHS Light Mount will be available soon. Check out CDMGear.com.

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