SKILHUNT DEFIER X0 I chose the Defier X0 because I needed a good light source for my long expected first shotgun. (To explain my enthusiasm and long wait here it would be proper to note that I am from a European country and generally to get a license where I live is not that easy. It might sound strange to Americans, but this the way things are here.) What really won me for Defier X0 were the recoil springs that really make it a dedicated gun light. They protect the moving parts – the batteries – and thus presumably extend the life of the circuitry. Moreover it has several features that I would like to have in more of my torches: the round steel bezel, the capability to run on different battery types including 18650, CR123A, 16340. I also prefer the bezel without the sharp edges meant for “tactical” purposes, that is striking, which I don’t think would be useful anyway. I don’t mind that the flashlight has only two modes since I predominantly use my torches on High as it feels more “tactical”. However one or more Middle mode(s) for battery conservation would not be a bad idea at all. The X0 stands out from the rest of the Defier series for its reverse polarity protection system and it is kind of a “second generation” flashlight in the Defier product line. It is also somewhat more compact (142, 5 mm overall length, against the 150 mm of the X1, X2 and XT). Last but not least, it is better priced for its output and features then its Skilhunt cousins. Pictures with some tactical company… SPECIFICATIONS FROM THE MANUFACTURER’S WEBSITE LED: Cree XM-L T6 LED, 50,000 hours lifespan Typical Output and Runtime: High: 550 Lms/1,5 Hours; Low 50 Lms/15 Hours; Strobe 3 Hours Batteries: 2x CR123A, 2x 16340, 1x 18650, 1x 17670 (I tested it with 2x RCR123 AWs, see further) Operating Range: 3V~9V Weight: 130 grams without batteries Overall Length: 142, 5 mm Head Diameter: 36 mm Anodizing: Black Accessories: O-rings, tail-cap switch, paracord lanyard, user guide Other Accessories: Sheath, Filter, Weapon-mount and remote pressure switch Waterproof Grade: IPX-8 Fall height: 1, 5 m. OUT OF THE BOX Here is how it comes out of the box: I opted for the cardboard box, not the gun-case type of packaging, which I believe is somewhat over the top, at least for me. Here is the box with the plastic insert containing only the flashlight, the usual spare O-rings, a button tail cap, and the user manual. No sheath for this configuration, no other accessories. That is fine with me, I would probably buy separately a sheath, but if the light stays on the gun all the time, even that won’t be necessary. All in all, I believe that this is a quite reasonable type of packaging and I definitely prefer it over the “gun case” to which I could hardly find any good use. GENERAL OVERVIEW Out of the box the black anodizing is flawless – no scratches, stains or other imperfections. Same holds true for the fit and finish of the light in general. The bezel, that, as mentioned, I prefer to the sharp-edged ones is stainless steel, well-rounded and removable, giving the product a touch of unobtrusive elegance. The reflector is wide and clear. Here the XM-L T6 is seen: The radiator is marketed as “multi-level dissipating heat design”. It is more abruptly constructed than the rest Defier series radiators. The others feature a more sloping transition. I assume that for a weapon-mounted light this 90 degree angle is to the point since the manipulation of the light would not include holding the body. That sharper transition also seems to protect better the inside of the light if accidentally hit. These are only preliminary thoughts nonetheless, and I need to put the light on the gun to see how it really fits there. What I wanted to note was that for a hand-held light I would go for a more sloping radiator, for instance, like the one on the Skilhunt X2. Here is the casing: One can immediately notice the robust construction of the light and the thickness of the tube. Note also the beefy o-ring: Those of my Olights are considerably thinner. The threading of the rear end is rectangular and anodized, the front one is not. A rear view: The tail button is actually pretty tight and an accidental turning on is relatively difficult. I suppose this is deliberately done since the light in branded as tactical (and it is indeed a very good tactical torch). Pressing the button feels substantially stiffer than on my EDC-type Olights, but that does not bother me the slightest bit. Quite the contrary. Obviously, no tail-stand is possible. The tactical grip ring is thick and it is removable, but if you do so, you would need to replace it with another ring as those on the rest of the Defiers. Otherwise an empty threaded spot would remain. For a tactical weapon light there is no real need to do that, but if one decides to purchase the X0 model and that ring feels bothersome, one should beware that another ring would be needed and the lanyard hole would be lost. There is no other place on the body or the cap for a lanyard. The X0 has a decent clip, skeletonized to reduce weight, strong and tight but not excessively. Here is the rear recoil spring. It is clearly seen how far it can be depressed. The head of the light with the front recoil spring: A size comparison with the Olight T-20: Lengthwise, the difference is not that substantial as I initially imagined. Of course the Skilhunt is thicker and more robust with his larger reflector and heat conduction radiator. GRIPING AND OPERATION All the usual grips for a tactical light are available. It is designed to be held in reverse grip or in cigar style grip because of the position of the tail button and the tactical ring. The light fills the hand and the texturing assures secure gripping. The tactical grip ring also contributes to that stability. Here is the between the fingers way of holding it: And here is how I prefer to place my fingers on the clip and the ring in forward grip: The operation of the light is straightforward: light press for a momentary on, press to click for a full on. Turning the head switches modes. The light switches between Low-Strobe-High and High-Strobe-Low, i.e. the Strobe is activated with a turn of the head to the right, while the Low and High modes are activated by turning the head to the left. BEAMSHOTS I tested the Defier X0 with a pair of RCR123 batteries from AW, fully charged. However for this review I could only take pictures of beamshots within urban relatively well-lit confines and that did not allow eliciting the full potential of the torch’s 550 lumens. In the near future, I hope to be able to take some shots in complete darkness. Also, as it is my first light of this size and type, I have no means to compare it the other Skilhunt Defiers or to the Olight Warrior series for instance. Anaway, here is the Low mode: Then, the High mode: Next, a comparison of beamshots of the Defier X0 and Olight T-10 powered by one Olight CR123A battery: Both are held by my wonderful assistant while I use the camera. Not the fairest comparison since all the batteries are not the same but these were the only ones I’ve got at the moment. Here is the Defier X0 alone. On High again: What follows are some more beamshots reflecting different objects and types of scenery. All are in High mode. A near-by building: An old tree: A winter lawn: Despite the overall robustness of the product and the additional parts as the tactical ring and the recoil springs, the torch feels surprisingly light to me with its 130 grams. Overall it has all the features of a great tactical light that definitely deserves mention and test. Here is a friend of mine testing the Defier XT that has no dual recoil springs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ijh_f41xDs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_9yPsmuBOU It held up quite well. If we both find time we will test the X0 too. I am convinced that this type of testing would be a breeze to the light. Light kindly provided by Skilhunt for review.