You already know why you should carry a quality flashlight and you have already dropped some serious coin on the best light that you could afford. So, now what? A lot of guys know how to maintain their firearms. They may even know how to maintain the knife that they carry clipped in their pocket. But how many Regular Guys know how to maintain their flashlights? That’s right, that piece of absolutely essential life saving gear that you carry so you can see in the dark needs some occasional maintenance.
The o-rings, threads, contacts, and mechanical parts all need some attention once in a while. Parts need to be cleaned and lubed to promote the best function of the light. You may want to consider doing the following procedure at least once or twice a year if you are carrying the same light everyday. If you do this maintenance regularly, you will increase the likelihood that your light will be ready when you need it.
- A flashlight
- Light oil (NO WD-40!!! CLP works pretty well and you probably already have some)
- Lithium grease (I like the dielectric bulb grease that many auto parts stores sell.)
- Cotton swabs
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Replacement o-rings (as necessary)
- Disassemble your flashlight down to its major components. In most cases this will be tail cap, bezel (or head), and body.
- Inspect the o-rings. There will likely be an at least 1 o-ring at each sections of male threads. Replace them if they are cut, torn, or broken. This will keep the light water resistant and pocket lint resistant.
- Wipe the threads and o-rings with a rag to remove most of the old lubrication. Then use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to thoroughly clean the threads and o-ring. Remember, with some lights, the threads are an electrical contact. They should be kept clean for best performance.
- Apply a light coating of grease to the threads and the o-ring. O-rings should always be greased. This will make the light more water resistant and protect the o-rings from wear and tear.
- Clean any electrical contacts with rubbing alcohol soaked cotton swab. This will help clean any oxidization from the contact that may hinder performance. You may also want to look into a product like Deoxit if you have a lot of oxidization on the contacts.
- Place a drop or two of oil down into the mechanism of your tail cap and work the switch a few times. This is especially important on “clicky” style tail caps since they have more moving parts. The mechanism can often benefit from some lubrication and cleaning just like any other mechanical object. I usually just use CLP because I have plenty of it and it contains cleaners as well as lubricants. The switch (tail cap) is just about the only moving part in a flashlight. If your light is going to fail, it will happen at the switch. Do not neglect this.
Don’t forget the more obvious maintenance tasks. Replace your batteries at least once every six months, even if you don’t think you need it. This is akin to doing a tactical reload on your handgun after use and before you holster it. You want you light in the best condition possible because you don’t know what will happen next. If your still using a flashlight with an incandescent bulb, you may want to consider swapping it out once a year for the same reasons. Switching to a newer LED based light is an even better idea.
Taking care of your flashlight really isn’t rocket science. The whole procedure will probably less than 10 minutes. That is time well spent.
Many people own AR’s, but unfortunately don’t know the first thing about the history, functionality or even what spare parts to have on hand to ensure success…
Being a fan of the “Jason Bourne” movies I had high hopes for the coming movie Green Zone. Those hopes began to waver with the release of the first trailers depicting an Army Warrant Officer being “off reservation” and engaged (in a hostile manner) with American SOF. I saw the movie this weekend, and was pleasantly surprised that Matt Damon’s character at least did not directly kill any other American Service Members, because well…he was the hero, you couldn’t have the hero do that, right?
One of the most often overlooked aspects of your training regimen is conflict avoidance. We train and train on how to resolve a violent encounter in the most efficient and (in certain cases such as an attack on principle in a High threat environment, or when someone is trying to kill you in) the Most violent manner possible to end the threat for our clients, our teams and ourselves…
Here is a slick item from OC Tactical: Ear Pro Covers
From OC Tactical:
Got another large batch of multicam covers out tonight so some of you guys that have been waiting awhile should be hearing from Troy soon. For those of you who haven’t seen these yet there’s 3 different sizes to fit either the Peltor Comtacs, Sordin Supreme Pro-X, or the Sordin Supreme Pro. These are made with coated 330 cordura instead of clothing weight material for better wear resistance and I use foam backed Dri-lex on the underside for a little added comfort and moisture wicking capability. The binding on the edges is done with double folded cordura instead of webbing and a 5″ piece of loop can be added on the top for a nametape. They’re currently available in AOR1, AOR2, Multicam, and ACU. Other patterns are also available but require the use of a heavier weight cordura. I’m not currently taking any orders directly for these. All orders must go through “capntroy” on Lightfighter. So far the feedback on these has been great and one even showed up on the cover of the April issue of SWAT magazine.
Show your independent American spirit with gear from the Gadsden and Culpeper shop.
I came across this store several years ago and filed it away in my favorites. Recently, when I was cleaning out my favorites folder, I came across them again and noticed they have redesigned their site and have several new products. The t-shirts and patches are especially nice. Who wouldn’t want a Gadsden flag stuck to the Velcro panel on their chest rig or backpack!?!?