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Thread: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

  1. #1

    Default Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    It's official, it's about time I get my hands on a personal light powerful enough to impress some friends and as a self-defense light in general. I have some experience with tactical lights, mostly how to hold a light when using an ASP baton and the like. Well, if all this new technology and innovations around, it's about time I get my hands on a good tact-light.
    I've looked over the line on their website, but it all just kind of runs together. I just need a two-cell, pocket-sized and well-priced light I can carry inside an interior jacket pocket, in a pair of old jeans, just where people won't ask why I'm carrying a light. The Executive Elite seems to fit the bill, but I need to hear some honest opinions before I started deciding on anodized finish and larnyards. I'm quite aware of the 123 battery strengths and limits, and of the general Surefire quality, but is this light decent or should I look at something higher end? The 'Defender' variant doesn't look as inviting, even though this will be a defense light. I think I'll lay my boxing experience and MMA background on the line if it means having a flashlight that looks like a flashlight, I'm not much for the spikes on the barrel and tailcap.
    Any opinions on the Executive Elite, or the personal lights in general?
    Last edited by AlexSchira; 12-27-2005 at 01:37 PM.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* bwaites's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    The E2E is a GREAT light, and the "starter" light, so to speak, when you talk about EDC lights.

    I personally prefer the A2, but it is a little bulkier.

    HAIII is the way to go, holds up much better than the other options.

    Bill
    Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
    Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    If you really want them to be blown away by the lumens-to-size ratio,use a 6P with a P61 lamp assembly (120 lumens) and a pair of Surefire 123A cells.

    Or make yourself a [mostly] Surefire version of the Digilight NT9. Start with a Surefire 6P; replace the P60 lamp with a Digilight or G&P G90 high-pressure xenon (175 lumens); and fill it with two unprotected RCR123A cells. Charge 'em with a $12 DSD smart charger.

    The NT9, I'm pretty sure, has protection circuitry that will cut off curent to your cells before they can be damaged by overdischarge. If you "roll your own" unprotected light, you must be ever-vigilant.

    Or consider using a 6P with a $11 or $12 3.7V xenon lamp asembly and a single Pila 168S or Wolf Eyes 168B cell. G&P's lamp assembly is rated 70 lumens; Wolf Eyes, 80. I think the Wolf Eyes will fit. The only source I know of for the G&P is CPF dealer Emillion. I'm a hotwire, and this is my current 2-cell setup.

    Don't discount one of the 3W regulated LED modules from BugOutGear USA, G&P, or Emillion. At 70 to 80 lumens, they can hold their own with 6V incandescents and appear more blinding when vewed straight on. I have one of Emillion's switcahble 3W/1W modules on the way, and it may replace my 3.7V xenon lamp.
    My lights, all AA, neutral or warm: 3 Fenix TK20s; 2 Malkoff M30WFs; 2 Shiningbeam Romisens (5A); Dereelight XP-G R5 (close enough); UK 4AA incan.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* colubrid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    " I think I'll lay m boing experience and MMA background on the line if it means having a flashlight that looks like a flashlight"

    What does "lay M boing experience" mean? I know what MMA (=Mixed martial arts) is but what does the rest mean?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    Sorry about that, fixed it in the edit.
    'My boxing experience'.
    ...this...is why they make people wear headgear nowadays. The other day I got my hand stuck in the disk drive of this computer.
    I...don't remember how it got there...

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    The E2e is a great light. Very bright for it's size. It is also very adaptable to mods. You can throw a KL1 or KL4 head on it if you choose. All around a great light to start with and very easy to conceal.

    It was my first light and I would have kept it if it wasn't for the sickness of liking LED's.........

    Good luck!
    Formerly known as curbry.

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    Go with the SureFire E2e! Besides it very. . .what's that word again? Modular? You can buy additional "upgrade" parts for it if you so desire in the future as mentioned throughout CPF. The stock lamp assembly is the HOLA that'll run for roughly 60 minutes or so and has an output of 60 Lumens. You can also "step-down" to the LOLA with the 25 Lumen output and a runtime of about 2.5 hours. But I'm sure you already know that. . .So sorry for the babble here. . .The SureFire E2e is a great "entry level" EDC light so to speak as BWaites mentioned above.

    Hope you find what you're looking for and Enjoy!
    LUX'Ottica

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* NikolaTesla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    E2D is same light output. Only costs a little more. It can stand up on end and be a temporary room lamp if need be.

    Makes a nice cat scratcher to if you have a cat. They love it.
    NikolaTesla
    A Xenon Arc is the Spark that Rules the Dark.
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  9. #9
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    The E2E is a great light. The only way to put a lanyard on the E2E is by attaching it to the pocket clip. I prefer lanyards attached to the tailcap myself so I like the E2D. I would also say get it in HA finish.


    Steve

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    You can also get one of McGizmo's tailcaps found at The Sandwich Shoppe.
    LUX'Ottica

  11. #11

    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    i just got my own first surefire light. i must say whatever light you choose, im sure you will enjoy it. I opted for the hard anodizing III treatment and am very impressed with it thusfar so far my C3:Centurian has been dropped on ceramic tile and concrete with NO i repeat NO visible damage to the light. not even a scratch, a big change from my mag lights that really show how they have been treated. you might want to look at the C: (combat light series) i dont know if you will be carrying a gun or any other instrument in your main hand but the grip ring and square battery housing of my C3 is really usefull. im not sure about the size of your pocket but you might want to go to a surefire dealer and compare the size of a 2 and 3 cell light. the difference between 65 lumens and 105 lumens for one hour is a significant difference. and for only about 1 more inch on the light it might be worth its heft (which is quite minimal i might add) i carry my C3 clipped to the inside of my left jeans pocket every day and it isnt intrusive and extreemly handy at times. honestly though find a surefire dealer neer you and pick up every light and put it in your pocket, practice removing it from your pocket. think about how it would be used and what you are willing to compromise on. personally i like having a 6D cell light in my pocket as opposed to a 3D cell but if legnth is an issue for you by all means grab that E2E! great lights all around i must say!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    I own a small collection of SureFire personal lights. E2L, L5, U2, both winelights (E2E and E1E) and a 6P, I also have a M3T but its hardly a personal light. Anyways my latest purchase was a E2L off of a tradeshow rep for 53 dollars last week. This light has blown me away, i had fiddled with one of these before and it didnt impress me but once I got it out in the dark I was very impressed. It doesnt have much spill as im used to coming from the L5, U2, etc. But whats really impressive is the throw and perfection of the beam. Its a very intense beam and the symmetry is perfect. I have become a big fan of the TIR lenses now. The flashlight feels good and light in your hands and the 6 hours of runtime really appealed to me coming from these other lights where your lucky to get a full hour out of a new set of batteries. Since I got this my other lights still have their purposesand get used but this is my EDC for now. I would highly recommend this or the E1L as a first Surefire light. Hope this helps.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    One thing for sure, I'm looking into the Hard Anodizing.
    The E2D is starting to look a bit more tempting, ten more dollars than the Ha Executive. But is the black finish on the E2D the same as the gray/green stuff on the E2E? That 'Sawing through lesser flashlights' thing sounds...well, it sounds plain out tempting, and I'm wondering if the E2D has the same HA on it. I'm pretty active in martial arts, and we never stop making fun of the soccer moms who buy kobutans, never learn how to use one, and just swing them and flail their keyrings at a guy when he goes up to ask for directions. The Defender, looks more like a flashlight with a rollguard, and I like that. I've trained and experienced realistic self defense scenarios, and I don't mean 'Grab his arm, twist laterally, scream that he is invading your personal space....', I mean I know how to break a kneecap and run before I get sued. Currently not carrying a gun, I prefer ASP sticks.
    So, is the finish the same on the Defender? Or is the glossy black something else? I haven't made any decisions yet, just wondering.
    Last edited by AlexSchira; 12-28-2005 at 08:35 AM.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    The E2e is not only a good light, but it is a benchmark that will change how you look at lights.

    While any of the lights will work well in a jacket pocket, the E2e is significantly thiner, making it much better selection for jean pockets which are typically somewhat tight.

    I would suggest the HAIII hard anodize, it holds up very well to use.

    BTW, I think the E2d black is HAII, not HAIII. There have also been a few folks who have found the tailguard to be bothersome. Personally, I think the E2e is as close to perfection as it gets.

    -john

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    Another vote for a E2E to start. Good light and very modular. I also like the Kl1 head - good cell life and good throw.

  16. #16

    Smile Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by John N
    ...BTW, I think the E2d black is HAII, not HAIII. There have also been a few folks who have found the tailguard to be bothersome. Personally, I think the E2e is as close to perfection as it gets.

    -john



    Hi John:

    The Surefire E2D is HA III Black. Surefire calls the other black finish "Type II", as with the 6P or Z2, for example.

    HA II doesn't exist.

    oldgrandpajack

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrandpajack
    The Surefire E2D is HA III Black. Surefire calls the other black finish "Type II", as with the 6P or Z2, for example.

    HA II doesn't exist.
    Ah. I always thought "Type II" meant "HA II". My mistake. I guess I extrapolated from their statement about HAIII being "Military Specification Type III hard-anodized"1.

    Interesting that the E2D is HAIII because they are a bit vauge on their sales page: "coated in a super rugged military-specification finish"2.

    -john


    (1) From the SF E2e product web page.
    (2) From the SF E2d product web page.
    Last edited by John N; 12-28-2005 at 10:27 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    That confused me as well. With the E2E, they never stop talking about the anodizing. Then, with the combat-orientated version, they just skim that over and talk about the battery life. I was considering the E2D for the flanges, but looking at it now, it looks...well, like an obvious weapon. I thought the sharp bits could pass as a rollguard, but seeing other pictures of it, this thing could probably nick my hand or clothes. I live in the city, imagine some one bumping up against me in the subway and losing a kidney. The E2E just looks more low-key. It looks like a somewhat stocky Mini Mag. I've carried Mags for years, nobody notices them, nobody cares, it's just a little light. I don't want this thing to scream 'Dangerous, Do Not Make Eye Contact With This Guy', I want it to just sit in my pocket and occasionally ring up a chime of 'Hey, is that a flashlight?'. The E2E just looks friendlier.

  19. #19

    Smile Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    If you are buying your first Surefire, in order to impress your friends, the E2E-HA is the way to go.

    If you are looking for a practicle flashlight, you will carry on your person 24/7, get the E1E-HA. I carry two, and don't even know they're there, until I need one.

    The Surefire E2O is a great compromise. Extremely practicle and useful light, for everyday use. The last E2O's I sold, also had the Z57 clickie switch.

    If you can find a store with old stock, you may be able to get one of the above, with the Z52 LOTC. Very little chance of finding any though. Surefire has declared the Z52 obsolete, and doesn't have any in stock.

    Forget about these lights being used as defensive weapons. Surefire promotes these as tactical lights, when used in conjunction with a weapon. Gives law enforcement and military types an advantage.

    If you need a defensive light, but aren't permitted to carry a weapon, try the 6D MagLight.

    oldgrandpajack

  20. #20

    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    ...I am legally certified to use police-issue nunchaku...
    I...used to have a substance abuse problem...And lived near a Learning Annex.
    But seriously, I prefer impact weapons to the much more sue-happy and more lethal alternatives. Closest dealer is a good forty minutes drive, not sure how their stock is. Worse comes to worse, a stock E2E is nothing I can complain about. The accessories aren't as expansive as I'd like, but a couple filters and a box of 123s should do me. One quick question to the weapon-savy here.
    Let's say...I'm waiting outside a movie theater while the staff cleans it, and a smartass ten year old makes an off-color crack about my boots or jacket, is it legal to just flash this thing into the bugger's eyes just to prove a point?
    Okay, that's just a secret fantasy of mine, but has anyone ever lost control and done that?
    Last edited by AlexSchira; 12-28-2005 at 12:39 PM.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexSchira
    Let's say...I'm waiting outside a movie theater while the staff cleans it, and a smartass ten year old makes an off-color crack about my boots or jacket, is it legal to just flash this thing into the bugger's eyes just to prove a point?
    Point being...? I have a really bright flashlight? I'm a grown man who is unable to shrug off the comments of a 10 year old?

    brad cook

  22. #22

    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    Yes, that and sarcasm. I apologize for the off-sense of humor, I've been working on stifling that for a while.
    Just a question to Surefire owners in general, what's included with the lights?
    Last edited by AlexSchira; 12-28-2005 at 03:15 PM.

  23. #23
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    If you're referring to the SureFire E2e, E2d—2 SF123 Lithium batteries, the flashlight itself, that's all that comes with the package. The others such as SureFire M3, SF.M6 come with two LAs as an example + lanyard for the SF.M3. I have the first generation SureFire M6 so I don't know if a lanyard is now included since mine did not.
    LUX'Ottica

  24. #24

    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    Thanks for the help so far, one last question. I've seen the G2, and the rechargable adapter, and I've started wondering if the size and durability factor of the E2E has anything over a rechargable-converted G2. From what I've seen, any Executive series would probably outlast a G2 because of the Nitrolon compared to HA-3 Anodization. Is thirty bucks a year for batteries worth the size and style factor of the E2E? My tightwad alter-ego is telling me to just get a G2 and make it recharge, but this E2E sounds like something I can take through hell and back. I'd hate to end this with a coin flip, so what are some advantages of the Executive over a converted G2?

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* John N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    I think they will both hold up fine. The G2 will probably show it's age more than the E2e HA, but they will both hold up to heavy use.

    The main difference in these is the size. The E2e is much skinnier and as such easier to carry in jean pockets or whatever.

    That said, I don't really feel like SF does a good job with rechargable lights (SF 10X excepted) and personally would avoid the G2 rechargable conversion.

    -john

  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    From what I hear, the G2's Nitrolon body is exceptionally durable, so I wouldn't discount it just because it's plastic -- I own one, and it feels like, aside from the fire in Hell, I could take it there and back.
    [gearcarrot.com] Collector and distributor of (mis)information.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    I'm not dissing the plastic, just being realistic on long-term wear and tear. I'm simply pitting a very high-end polymer against an extremely high-end aluminum anodize. So, eliminating the recharge converter due to quality, it's the G2's price vs the E2E's anodizing, often complained about clip, lockout switch, and somewhat smaller size. Now, if I consider the amount of holsters and straps I have on this very desk as I type, I can compensate for the shortened clip. If it comes down to lumens, G2 has five more, but of course the equal cut in runtime. That's not counting bulb replacements.
    Price vs size. I'm a part-time comedian, there should be an easy joke for that, but I'm too busy rubbing my chin and looking at comparison charts. Now, if I had a less active lifestyle, I'd go with the G2 without a second thought. But as it is, I carry quite a few tools and gadgets with me even when traveling light. All my jackets have deep pockets and interior pockets, some of which would warmly accept a G2, but I need a year-round light that I can carry when the weather changes. It's the 28th, and today, outside Chicago, I saw a bunch of geese coming back from their month-long migraton down South. This is going to be one warm winter.
    It's official. E2E.
    Thanks for all the help, guys, I'll be sure to report back after I get my hands on it!

  28. #28
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    Well if you're "worried" about the clip and all, there's a Kydex holster with tritium insert that Tad Gear sells specifically for the SureFire E2e that really looks "executive" looking and not some disheveled looking piece of plastic. The Nitrolon is very tough on abuse. I use one at work on a construction site. I've used MEK to clean the body off of the SF.G2 when it gets covered with 2-part epoxy and all. It sure does stand up well. Aside from dropping aluminium bodied flashlights and getting dings and what not, that's not a common thing with the Nitrolon.
    LUX'Ottica

  29. #29

    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    I have a couple of E2E's a C2, C3, and Z2. I always carry an E2E. Batteries from batterystation.com for CPF'ers are $1.00 each so there is no big deal in their expense. Given all the options I EDC an E2E.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Buying first Surefire. need opinions

    the one thing that i would warn you about the G2 is that, yes it is a surefire, yes it is made exceptionally well but YES it does look like somthing that you purchased from target. Either way you are getting a great flashlight but if you do want somthing that is impressive and will make people ohhh and ahhh, grab that executive! i look at my C3 all the time and say, damn that thing looks cool. the G2 just looks like a flashlight, not a surefire. (until you see the beam)

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