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Novice looking for the best LED tactical flashlight

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by CANNIBALdinner., Dec 6, 2014.

  1. CANNIBALdinner.

    CANNIBALdinner. Loaded Pockets

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    I recently lost my sure fire light and I'm looking for a new one. Can you guys give me some feedback on the coolest, most indestructible lights on the market? Looking for something super bright with long distance. I'm a fan of streamlight, but with so many lights out there, I have no clue where to start. All suggestions are welcome! Thanks!


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  2. SAKplumber
    • The Omnia Paratus

    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Can of hairspray and a lighter?

    Srsly...there are so many out there and they all say they are designing for tactical use...its crazy:eek: Its enough to make your head spin, I know. Good luck!
     
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  3. steeps

    steeps Loaded Pockets

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    Have you looked at the Fenix LD12, LD22, or PD22?
     
  4. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    I rarely use the word "best;" however, the Surefire product group presently offers what I have empirically discovered to be an excellent flashlight that I would choose over any other WHEN I MUST use use my handgun in a low-light circumstance to defend myself and loved ones: the Surefire Model P2ZX Fury.

    I carried the Surefire Model 6Z for over 20 years prior to acquiring the P2ZX.
     
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  5. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    The 6Z and Z2 are sweet lights, no doubt - and hard to find since they've gone out of production.

    Before I go too far down the rabbit hole, how do you mean tactical? Are you planning on using a weapon in combination with the flashlight?

    Or do you just want really bright, really durable, and really reliable?
     
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  6. Moco

    Moco Loaded Pockets

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    i have the 6px defender, i got at auction basically new, 50 dollars well spent. If i know i will need a flashlight and dont want to burn through my CR123s i use my E35UE also a great purchase i run mine with 18650 batteries.
     
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  7. hal_chase
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • The Omnia Paratus

    hal_chase EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    HDS have the edge on SF for build quality, check them out

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  8. CANNIBALdinner.

    CANNIBALdinner. Loaded Pockets

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    Exactly. Really bright and really durable. I doubt I'll ever need to use it with a weapon.


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  9. CANNIBALdinner.

    CANNIBALdinner. Loaded Pockets

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    Those are some sweet looking lights! Not as bright as many that are half the cost though. Are they worth the money? If so, why?


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  10. hal_chase
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    hal_chase EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Ask around on here and get a feel for what people think. The build quality and reliability is second to none and you said you were looking for the best ;)
     
  11. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    And there goes the can of worms.

    Opinions differ wildly - some people think Surefire is a rip-off, while others swear by the dependability and customer service. You can find brighter lights from overseas companies - Chinese companies, in the main. The trade-off being, customer service is hit or miss and while they may or may not be reliable, they probably don't use the same level of abuse testing that Surefire does.

    For me, I'd trust a Surefire on a deployment; the others - not so much. This isn't to say I wouldn't use them, but I'd keep something I trust as a backup: a Surefire or Malkoff. If the other light broke, I'd be expecting it to, sooner or later.

    0dBm, for example, swears by Surefire as his go-to light for tactical situations - quite literally, tactical situations being the defense of his family.
     
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  12. Blerv

    Blerv Loaded Pockets

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    There isn't a "best"; too much subjective to consider. Even the Grail lights for the average flashlight aficionado don't really excite me (McGismo, HDS, etc). Mine certainly don't excite those people either :).

    What's your budget? The 6P is an iconic pick or one of the many clones. Eagletac makes a great little light too (D25 clicky for example). If you want a quality but less stereotypical pick maybe Armytek would be worth checking out. A Predator with an XP-G2 or something.

    If you want a modicum of throw be sure with the smaller lights (reflector on/about an inch) to look at the XP-G2 rather than the XM-L2. You sacrifice some lumens but the larger LED doesn't have a proper reflector to generate an intense hotspot. Not unless it's dedomed and pushed hard, which no production company would do.
     
  13. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    I own a HDS flashlight product that I purchased about 14 months ago. It took several months to receive it after I made the payment. This is an excellent "boutique" product that I am convinced is manufactured with ample care so as to predicate a purported level of reliability required of the model moniker "EDC LE."

    This product has a variety of activation features and levels of light product output that I DO NOT want on a flashlight that I WILL use when I NEED to use my handgun. The HDS flashlight product is too much like a toy FOR the techno-geek contingent. That is perfectly acceptable; however, when I need a flashlight for a critical application, I want one with a momentary end-switch that will activate one high-level output of at least 500 calibrated-integrating-sphere-verified lumens.

    The HDS products do not have that, and if that company ever offers a single-CR123-powered, single 500-lumen output iteration of its present product lineup at a $100-price point (what I paid for the Surefire P2ZX), I will purchase several.
     
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  14. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    By comparison, you could by a SportTac drop-in, mount it in a SolarForce host, and have a super bright, super reaching throw flashlight for under $100.

    Not that I'd call it tactical, nor use it for anything other than an ice breaker at parties.
     
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  15. CANNIBALdinner.

    CANNIBALdinner. Loaded Pockets

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    The Fenix and Nitrcore lights look pretty sweet too. So many choices!


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  16. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    The thing is that there is no real accepted standard for what a light needs to do to be able to be called "Tactical"?
    I realize we each have certain ideas about this but again there is no real standard.

    So one mans Tactical is another mans Toy depending on what we each perceive to be needed to consider a light worthy of our particular needs.

    So there are lights that are produced at different levels of care and detail and some are really high output and some are not.
    There is so much subjective difference between them it can be tough to compare them in any realistic way as well.

    HDS lights stand out to me as being made to a level of quality and QC that is higher than most but at the same time different features are important to each one of us.

    I would also require a Momentary Forward Switch and single level output(which an HDS can e programmed for)in a Tactical light but not everyone will.
    I also would prefer higher output but so far have had little problem relying on an HDS as an EDC carry light that is programmed to quickly go to full output with one switch press.

    So I think we can oversimplify things when making generalizations about lights when comparing them as there are a lot more features to many of these lights than might it seem at first look.
     
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  17. twoisone
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    twoisone EDC Junkie!!!

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    What do you mean by long range? Are you hunting with it at night? Check out the Dereelight Night Master and such. They are laser beams but are kind of specialized in their application. I love my Fenix PD35 and Surefire E2dl.
     
  18. Frailer

    Frailer Loaded Pockets

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    Indestructible?

    Elzetta.
     
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  19. CANNIBALdinner.

    CANNIBALdinner. Loaded Pockets

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    I'm leaning towards the HDS. They're definitely pricey, but I like the solid and simple look.


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  20. reppans

    reppans Loaded Pockets

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    I'd stick with Surefire, Elzetta, and Malkoff for really durable and personally like Malkoff. HDS makes an awesome light, and I have one in bound, but it's way more complex, and with an electronic clicky, that I think ultimately forfeits durability for extreme programmability and versatility.

    Asian manufactured lights are a tier down from the above US-manufactured lights, but you'll get more output, features, versatility, and of course at a more reasonable price. I'd strongly recommend FourSevens here - this is the one Asian-manufactured light back by a solid US-style warranty and customer service (& location).

    In the end, any of these lights can fail - the big tipping point for me is who will take care of you if / when that happens.
     
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