Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Handheld Tactical Light Recommendations

       The tactical light is used primarily for two reasons.One to illuminate your surroundings for the purpose of identifying and get a clear visual on possible threats and secondly to blind the opponent or otherwise interfere with the vision(especially night vision)of a assailent.In the case of the two flashlights pictured above they also add impact weapon capability as well.

The Surefire E2D LED Defender is a Dual-Output flashlight which puts out a scorching 200 Lumens(the old ones were 120!)on High and 15 Lumens on low.Runtimes are 2 hours on high and 76 hours on low.Many will say Dual Output is not desirable in a Tactical defense Flashlight.This is mostly true when it comes to a light used solely in conjunction with a firearm and especially a light mounted on a firearm,but for me the E2D serves the role of an everyday carry light that is used for routine tasks as well as a Self-Defense/Survival role.The benefit of the dual output is that you can use the lower 15 lumen setting for lighting your path,reading a map the dark,use it to help you see to unlock your house and have a powerful Self-Defense weapon already in your hand.That is better than having two separate lights(one high output/one low output)and using the lower output for routine tasks and getting jumped by a bad guy & the high power "tactical" light is in your pocket or on your belt.200 Lumens is really too bright for up close utility tasks and will be blinding to you if you try to read a map etc. with it.

The E2D Defender has a Crenellated Strike Bezel which adds a lot of impact power with it's strike bezel which is somewhat sharp(screwdriver sharp not knife sharp).Tailcap is a clickie and you can read the details of function on the Surefire website.I find the scalloped tailcap to be unnecessary and replaced mine with the Z68 tailcap which is the same talicap without the scallops since I carry the flashlight bezel down(I put on a different clip that simply snaps on very sturdily from another flashlight) and the scallops tend to rub against my side.These tailcaps are nice since they act like a shroud as well as giving the E2D the ability to tailstand which is nice for an overall survival light.They also make for a very effective tailcap "cigar hold" should you need to use in conjunction with a firearm and need to change mags/rack the slide etc. Surefire partnered with Viking Tactics & made a single output E2D that has the Z68 tailcap and the 200 Lumen single output KX2C head which is just like the E2D Defenders Head,but without the sharp bezel.You can only get this light through Vikings Tactics.Surefire/Viking Tactics Flashlight.

The 6 D-Cell Maglite is a massive flashlight that is nearly 20 inches long.It makes a very effective makeshift defensive weapon and can be used as a baton, but is a bit heavy and awkward to be used like a regular nightstick would.It can be, but recovery from swings and control are very limited and two hands may be needed.For me I look at the big 6 D Mag as more of a thrusting and blocking tool in cases where you are assaulted with someone using a bludgeon type weapon such as a tire iron,baseball bat or ax handle.It's too big to carry around with you,but easy to keep in the car in case you have a flat,emergency or otherwise need to get out of your car,need a light as well as a weapon in your hand.Depending on your size and the length of your forearms,you might be able to get by with a 4 or 5 D Cell flashlight if you find the 6 a bit too heavy or long for your preferences although you will obviously lose some reach and blocking surface.

The best method for measuring the light is to grab the light in a natural grip to where you can operate the switch with your thumb and then place your elbow on a table.The light should be as long as your elbow or longer(meaning you can't put it on the table).This is so that the lights body would give full support and coverage if used in a reinforcing block manner.Malkoff Devices makes some higher output LED drop ins and even a strike bezel that can enhance it's defensive effectiveness.