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Archive | Flashlights

Elzetta Offers a New Well Designed Strobe Tailcap

Strobe lights of sufficiently fast frequency is quite disruptive to those on the viewing end of the light. A flashlight with strobe function can be an invaluable tool to those who have the training to make the most of it. However, the strobe mode on many flashlights often requires a series of clicks or programming to access which can be difficult to do under stress. Enter Elzetta

The new Strobe Tailcap option for the ZFL-M60 series of lights from Elzetta is designed to correct this shortcoming that plagues most lights. When the tail cap is tightened all the way in the closed position, it acts like any other “clickie” tail cap. You simply press lightly for momentary operation or press until the button clicks for constant operation. If you need to access strobe, you simply back the tailcap off a few degrees. Now the operator needs only to press the tailcap button to access a blinding and disorienting 235 lumen strobe.

There is no series of clicks or programming required. Users who prefer the strobe can simply set the light in strobe mode and leave it there. The strobe is only a button push away. Far too many lights advertise the usefulness of the strobe function and then make the user do interactions that would be difficult or impossible to do under stress. The Elzetta design is far more user friendly and easier to operate under stress – just press a button.

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Princeton Tec Byte

Princeton Tec recently announced a new head lamp that has really piqued my interest. It’s called the Byte which is an obvious reference to its small size. It packs some huge functionality into its small frame.

The Byte has a white LED with a reflector that will give you the ability to light up objects at a distance and a small red LED that is useful for maintaining your dark adjusted vision and extending your battery life. It uses 2 AAA batteries to stay very small while still offering some decent output (35 lumens on high) and very good run time (80 hours). The white LED also has a low setting for even longer run times.

I confirmed with Princeton Tec that the Byte does turn on in the red LED setting. This is an excellent feature. Features like this allow the user to turn on their light without completely obliterating their dark adjusted vision and while staying discreet. Kudos to Princeton Tec for adding this feature to more of their lights. However, the light must still be shuffled through all the brightness levels in order to turn it off. Hopefully this can be fixed in a later release.

The street price on this full featured head lamps is going to be around $20 which is a great deal for Princeton Tec rugged construction and quality. I am really looking forward to getting my hands on one of these to try out.

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Tips for Low Light Training – Keep Your Light Clean

Low light training is absolutely invaluable. You won’t be able to use that light on your rifle or handgun very effectively if you haven’t had effective training.

It is not uncommon during low light training for your weapon light to become coated with a dark gray layer of unburnt powder due to the light’s proximity to the muzzle of the gun. This gradually reduces the effectiveness of your light as it becomes more and more obscured by the sooty build up.

The best way to deal with this build up is to prevent it. Put a drop of whatever gun oil that you have on the lens of the light and smear it around with your thumb until it covers the lens. When the lens starts to darken with unburnt powder, wipe it clean and reapply the oil. The oil will prevent the powder from sticking and will make it easy to wipe clean.

If you have build up that will have to be cleaned from your lens there are two methods that have been suggested to me that work very well. You can use a pencil eraser or some tooth paste on a cotton swab. Both can be used to rub the build up from the lens. I have found that the use of oil on the lens before shooting often precludes the need for any serious clean up after shooting.

Get some low light training and keep your light clean!

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Surefire Introduces a AA Flashlight

Surefire has introduced a flashlight that accepts AA batteries. The E2L AA Outdoorsman runs on 2 AA batteries and boasts 2 output levels: 80 lumens for 9 hours and 3 lumens for 60 hours. That kind of runtime, output, and well known Surefire quality makes light perfect for outdoor pursuits.

I know a lot of people have been waiting for a light like this from Surefire.

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Budget Carbine Light: Streamlight's New PolyTac LED HP

The Streamlight PolyTac LED is becoming a popular budget weapon light for use on a carbine. Streamlight has recently introduced a new version which may be even better suited to carbine use – the PolyTac LED HP.

It shares several features with the regular PolyTac LED like a “clickie” tailcap, IPX7 waterproof rating, 3 hours runtime (to 10% output), and durable polymer construction. However, the HP model increases the brightness to 150 lumens (versus 130 on the regular model) and features a wider, deeper reflector. Wider, deeper reflectors capture more of the light from the LED emitter and focus it into a tighter beam which results in a beam with a tight hot spot, more throw, and useful side spill. In other words, it should be a heck of a weapon light.

I have seen them for as little as $40 (give or take a few dollars). You could mount one in the excellent VTAC Light Mount and have a high quality weapon light for $60-70!

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New Surefire Z2-S

Strobing tactical lights have been en vogue lately and, now that Surefire is on board, it is safe to say it isn’t just a passing fad. Surefire has released the new Z2-S, their first tactical light with a strobe function. It is a single output LED light (160 lumens) with a strobe function that is accessible by triple tapping the tail cap switch. This light also features their excellent “Combat Grip” which allows the user to hold the light several different ways while also holding a handgun. I also find that the rubber rings of the Combat Grip help lock your light into your light pouch for an extra measure of retention.

I have the same issue with this light as I do with most strobing tactical lights. Why don’t they make the strobe light the primary mode? Triple tapping the switch sounds like it might be a tall order under stress, though it really isn’t a big deal since you will still have a 160 lumen wall of light even if you didn’t activate the strobe successfully.

I am certain that this light will be top notch like every other Surefire products.

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Batuca Battery Cases

I have been using these Batuca battery cases for about 2 years now and they are the best that I have used. They can be used to hold and organize AA and CR123 sized batteries. It splits into two sections and each section is a contrasting color. There are several different colors available. The lid snaps shut securely and opens easily by lifting a small locking tab. They are even made in the USA.

The split sections allow you to tailor the amount of batteries that you need to carry. They can also help you organize your batteries. If you use rechargeable batteries you can keep fresh on one side and spent ones on the other side. There is a ton of organization potential.

These make a great addition to your hiking/camping gear or your EDC gear.

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Surefire KX-4

The Surefire G2L is getting an upgrade. The Surefire G2L has become popular for weapon mounting thanks to it’s quality at a reasonable price and light weight. It is also a popular carry light among those who see the value in carrying a light daily.

Now, with the release of the KX4 conversion head, Surefire is increasing the output to an impressive 120 lumens while still delivering decent battery life. There is also a crenellated version called the KX4D.

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Magpul MOE Illumination Kit

The MOE Illumination Kit is available at dealers now! These will make mounting a light on the MOE handguards even more user friendly. The item that most interests me is the cantilever rail. This rail will allow the user to mount the light slightly more forward on the handguards. This can make a big difference, especially for those who run their hands out further on the handguard (closer to the muzzle).

Hopefully, Magpul will offer this cantilever rail separately someday and get the midlength MOE handguards out to dealers soon.

The Regular Guy Sessions: Jon at Danger Close Consulting

In this installment of The Regular Guy Sessions, we will be talking with Jon at Danger Close Consulting (DCC). Jon is the man responsible for the recently reviewed Low Pro Scout Mount as well as other excellent light mounts (and some pretty hilarious t-shirts). I first found Danger Close Consulting on Lightfighter where he shares his knowledge as a Moderator. I ordered one of his mounts recently and, like I said in the review, it solved a problem for me. That is what I like my gear to do – solve problems.

I have said it before and I will say it again – if you can trust the person who makes the gear, you can trust the gear. That is the point of these interviews. I want people to get to know those who are making their gear. I want to connect buyers with sellers and give people options when it comes time to spend hard earned cash on gear. I think after you learn a bit about Jon, you will certainly trust his gear.

I want to first start out by thanking Jon for his service to this country and for taking time to answer my questions. Thank you, Jon.

Can you tell us about your background?

Jon: I am an active-duty Army soldier.  I have served in Infantry and Special Forces assignments.  I am fortunate enough to have had a wide exposure to the weapons systems used by US Forces and the military forces of other nations.  I have 4 combat rotations overseas and have participated in numerous programs for the development of SOF weapons systems.  I am also an avid participant in the sport shooting arena when time permits.  I have always had an interest in firearms and tactical products, so when I got to a place where I was able to dedicate the time to developing and producing weapons peripherals it was a no-brainer.

How does your line of work influence your product design? How do end users influence your product design?

Jon: I have been afforded the opportunity to receive some of the best tactical and shooting training in the world in my job, as well as a good amount of combat experience.  I also have a network of  peers which is extremely valuable for gaining a huge amount of feedback and guidance.  These are key factors in being able to know by looking at a product or concept and know it’s strengths and weaknesses over a broad spectrum of possible uses.  I can translate this combined information into product gaps, and then I find ways to fill so end-users have what they need to most efficiently do their jobs.

What made you decide to strike out on your own when there are already a TON of light mounts on the market?

Jon: Nobody made an affordable, durable, ultra low-profile mounting system.  I could pick any two of those three traits but not all of them. By pure luck I found an experienced local machinist who could make it happen, and already had experience with making products like I needed.  Our low-profile G2 and 1″ mounts are simply a further refinement of a piece he has been making since 2003.

What makes your mounts different and better?

Jon: Our mounts provide a level of function and value few have been able to match.  I do not want to set a price that would make a Law Enforcement Officer, Service Member, or civilian shooting enthusiast have to save for two months to buy one.  My partner and I both have day jobs to pay the bills, and we produce these mounts because we love making these products.  We are also able to bring a level of expertise in both tactical experience and manufacturing capability that is not often found elsewhere.

As far as I know the Low Pro Scout Mount is the first mount of it’s kind. Where did the inspiration for the Low Profile Scout Mount come from?

Jon: Pat Rogers of EAG Tactical, 100%.  He called me and said, “Why don’t you make an offset Scout Light mount?”  And I did… (We here at Jerking the Trigger think that is probably the only proper response when Pat Rogers wants something!)

Can we look forward to more gear from DCC soon? Can you share any teasers with us?

Jon: We have a solid lineup of new gear coming out, and in addition to weapons parts we are going to introduce some specialized soft goods.  In the near future we look forward to offering a new handstop that offers improved grip, footprint, and value over others on the market as well as some new solutions for attaching slings to popular weapons systems.  I want to expand at a rate that is manageable with my primary job, and also I want to make sure we are not re-inventing the wheel with our products.  I don’t wish to compete with other manufacturers, really.  I want our products to be specialized and truly offer something different from others on the market.  If I can go buy it from LaRue, I will just go do that instead (shameless plug for LaRue, BTW.)

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