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Thread: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

  1. #1
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    Question Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    I have several LED flashlights - HDS, Fenix, Arc...

    I would like to get a flashlight that is compact and throws really well, decent spill.
    I would carry this flashlight when walking at nigth, and would use my HDS or Fenix for normal use, but in case I want to spot something far (animal etc..) I would use this throw flashlight.

    I am considering Surefire 9P with either P90 or P91 lamps. (is P91 much brighter in real life use?)

    I want something with significantly better throw then the HDS.

    My question is this my best bet, or what else should I consider, I want to spend around $100 or less, but would consider a bit higher if it makes sense.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    what's the biggest you want to go?

    I have a 9p and the difference between the p90 and p91 is very noticeable, especially in throw... as is the runtime difference... Are you aware of the similar 9v bodies with their 9v lamps such as the digilight etc... they fit most of the same lamps etc however they are cheaper in price...

    surefire does have the warranty and quality down though... you can use 2 x 17500 cells for rechargable use as well, with the p91 itll be worth it...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    You are on the right track. 9P or C3 for sure. 110 yds. with beautiful spill. This with the P-91. I have very little experience with lower power bulbs. My personal opinion would be the C3. Spend just a little more for the extra features. You won't be sorry. Belt clip, tappered body, HA III. This was one of my first Surefire lights, and is still my favorite for the "most light in the smallest package". I think so much of it that I am upgrading it with an M2 shock-head, a Z-58 clickie utility tailcap, and a slimline F-70 beamshaper tipoff filter. As you can see by my signature line, I have some basis for comparison. With 2 generations of KL-3 LED heads plus the KL-5, as well as the turbohead option, it will take you about anywhere that you want to go in the future.

    Hope this helps.
    A flashdark is a device that projects a black circle upon (thereby obscuring) anything which is visually offensive. Surefire: E1e/KL1(2), E2L, E2e, E2C/P-61, KL2, KL3(1,2v3), KL4, L1-RD(1), L1-WH(1,2), L2(1), L4, L5, L6, G2, C2, U2, K2, M2, C3, M3, M3T, M6. Milkyspit: ML-1, MilkMite. Photon: Freedoms(WH/RD/TQ).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    Well if you're comparing surefires- from opticshq:
    you can get the 9p for $63 shipped
    you can get the c3 for $105 shipped

    Is the HAIII, rogers grip and clip something you think is worth 40 bucks? If so then go for it...

    Also LAPolicegear has the d3's on sale for $69 shipped... basically a 9p with a clip... still $36 cheaper than a c3 but it lacks HAIII and the rogers grip...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    It sounds like you're pre-sold on the SF, but I have to say that when I see "throw" I think: TL-3! And well under $100.00.
    Fenix L2P, P1 and L2T on order, SF 6P (w/P61 and G&P 3W), SL Scorpion, Jr. Lux, TL-3, Batonlite, Inova X5, PT Attitude & Eos, Dorcy Super 1-watt and Metal Gear, RR 1.5 2AA, Mini-Mag w/NI 3-led, Energizer LED Penlite, more to come...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    Yup the TL3 is a hard thrower for less $$$

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    TL-3 is the best bang for the money. Cheaper and more throw than the 9p/c3 with either bulb configuration p90/91. Cant beat it. As far as the p91 goes, I see a difference over the p90, but not what you would think with almost twice the lumens. Youre eye perceives about a 25% increase in output. I never use it while on-duty(Chicago police) given the diminished run-time and slight increase in output. If a situation needing more light presents itself I use my m4 devastator with the 225 lumen bulb. Nonetheless, they are both great lights.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    TL3 is an interesting choice, how does it compare in size and weight to 9P or C3?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    I have both. I have used CR123's with both and I am currently using rechargable li-on's with both. I think the the TL-3 throws slightly better than the 9P. However, the 9P's beam is much much smoother and even than the TL-3. You can adjust the TL-3's beam from flood to spot but you will get artifacts in the beam and it never ever becomes as smooth and even as the P90 or p91 beam.

    Regarding the P90 vs P91: I will say that the P91 bulb is brighter but does not throw better or more than the P90 bulb. The only difference is that the P91 gives a much bigger hotspot and lots of sidespill.

    I think that the TL-3 is a great deal for it's price. It may be one of the best buys for the performance it gives. I recommend it. I really love mine. I personally prefer the beams of Surefire lamp assemblies and am willing to give up a little throw for it.

    You can probably find a TL-3 for $50 to $70. A new 9P will cost $65 to $75. If you already own a 6P just buy an A19 extender for $22 and the P90 bulb for $22.

    Other considerations:
    -The Surefire 9P comes with a lock out tailcap and the Streamlight doesn't.
    -The 9P's bulbs cost 3 times as much as the TL-3's.
    -The TL-3 comes with an extra bulb, the 9P doesn't.
    -The TL-3 has a much larger bezel...better for throw but not as easy to carry.

    Pick the options you think are important to you. I think you will be happy with either.

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    As the others here have recommended regarding the Streamlight TL-3. You could get a Turbo Head kit for the SureFire 6Volt series, but that'll cost you more than $100.00.
    LUX'Ottica

  11. #11
    Flashaholic Wrangler's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    You can also use the TL3 with 17500`s rechargeables.
    I use to clip the TL3 to my pants or the belt with the lamp`s body inside my pants, you`ll hardly notice it`s there!

    BTW take out the bulb and replace it with a Carley 1499 halogen bulb!
    WOW, what a difference in increased lightoutput to an already very good performance!!!
    Litho123 runs a group buy for 1499`s at the mo!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    Quote Originally Posted by NotRegulated

    Other considerations:
    -The Surefire 9P comes with a lock out tailcap and the Streamlight doesn't.
    -The 9P's bulbs cost 3 times as much as the TL-3's.
    -The TL-3 comes with an extra bulb, the 9P doesn't.
    -The TL-3 has a much larger bezel...better for throw but not as easy to carry.

    Pick the options you think are important to you. I think you will be happy with either.
    Just wanted to point out surefire lamp assemblies are rated at 20 hours while the streamlight are rated at 5 hours...

  13. #13

    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    I don't think there are any current-production SureFire lights which are over 80 lumens and offer a completely smooth reflector or an optic. SureFires use a bumpy/strippled reflector to produce an even beam without too many distracting lines. Becasue of this, I wouldn't look at SureFires for anything other then close and medium range usage.

    Here in Singapore, bright street-lights actually make finding a fly-away parrot a bit challenging even for the 500 lumen M6. Such searches would be much easier done in a pitch-black forest. I'm not sure how much better a TL-3 would throw then a C3 or 9P though and how much more useful its beam would be. Only one way to find out! Buy both! You can get a lot of your money back by selling the unwanted light here on the forums unless you're not in the US.

    Perhaps you could do a search for comparions beamshots.
    Last edited by Flea Bag; 05-12-2006 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Wrong Spelling.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    I'm also going to add my vote for the TL-3. Just got it from amazon for $42.97 shipped (using the TOOL10P coupon code).

    My other vote would be a G2 or 6P with a P90(or G90) bulb running off of 2 rechargeable 123's if you want a smaller and lighter package.

    To see the relative size of the TL3, see the 2 pictures linked below. The TL3 is 2nd from the left (sorry, don't have a 9P or C3 to compare it to).

    http://iceknightconsulting.com/ar/inventory_sm.jpg
    http://iceknightconsulting.com/ar/st...ventory_sm.jpg


    L-R: partial (black) 4D Mag, TL-3, (red) 2D Mag, (OD) G2, (black) 2C Mag, (orange) 6mcp spot, (black) 1AAA Mag
    Last edited by vector_joe; 05-12-2006 at 11:03 AM. Reason: added picture

  15. #15

    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    I have both also and although I like the balance of the 9P better, the TL-3 is a great light that is more powerful than the p90. If you go to Amazon.com and order it it is $47.74. I got mine just about a week ago and if you enter TOOLS10P in the promotional code box you save an extra $4.74, not a bad price!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    wanted to throw in another pic with the TL3 in hand to show size.

    Hello, my name is Joe... and I'm a flashaholic.
    Surefire G2-r+: G90 bulb on 2 x R123 + UCL, SL TL-3, Inova Radiant AAA, Inova X1 gen2, RR 1W 1AA, RR 1.5w 2xC, RR .5w 2xAAA, 2c MAG-LED & Lotsa other maglites, Energizer 2-white 1-red LED headlight, BassPro 6MCP spot, several keychain photon clones

    ***My collection***Emergency Communications Primer***

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Flea Bag
    I wouldn't look at SureFires for anything other then close and medium range usage.
    Absolutely. They're not made for throw.

    I'm not sure how much better a TL-3 would throw then a C3 or 9P though and how much more useful its beam would be.
    TL3 has easily double the effective range, especially when you throw in ambient light. At tightest focus, my TL3 throws further than the SRTH with N2 LA, though my "Z3T" does have a larger spot, and puts more light on the target.
    Another pic for size comparison:

  18. #18
    Flashaholic a99raptors's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    Another really compact option:
    Surefire G2
    P90 lamp assembly
    2 unprotected R123
    UCL Lens
    Surefire A2 Aviator: "I Believe....!"

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Lunal_Tic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    Another vote for the TL-3. I run mine on rechargeables and use it even more than I did with CR123s. While the head is bigger than the SF the body is more slender, over all a very compact throw monster. Also 20 minutes of runtime on the P91 is a deal breaker for most of my apps.

    Also if you look at 2 celled options, the Pelican M6, TACM,and ASP Triad are the throw kings. The G2 doesn't come close.

    -LT
    Last edited by Lunal_Tic; 05-12-2006 at 11:55 AM.
    lunal tic (n)
    a distinctive behavioral trait or quirk directly related to or caused by light [15th cent. Latin lunaris. Ultimately from an IE word meaning “light,”] and [Early 19th cent. Italian ticchio.] see also: moon quirk

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* KevinL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    Try the ROP/LE.

    I dunno how close it is to 'compact', but it has substantially better throw than the Surefire P90/P91 at the expense of size - the larger reflector housing it is a price that has to be paid. The body alone, not counting the reflector, is around 1 cell longer than a 3-cell SF.
    Celebrating the ROP.. 5 years of history

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    I also noticed the Pelican M3 3370, 140 lumen (claimed) flashlight can be bought for under $40.

    Seems too good to be true.

    Does anyone have any experience with it, does it throw well, how does it compare the Surefire 9P or the TL-3.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic Buckeye's Avatar
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    Naughty Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    How about the Wolf Eyes 9D Raider? It is a 3 cell light with a turbo head. It runs $70 at Pacific Tactical Solutions. They have a CPF-only offer in the CPF specials page. They have a rechargeable model for $110. I've had mine for 2 weeks now and it is great. The only light I have compared it to is the LEDBEAM 3C. At about 70 feet the hotspot is 3 times as big and 3 times as bright. It is definitely my WOW light. It is just under 2 inches longer than my G2 and feels about twice as heavy. It is a solid feeling light.

    Doug
    Nitecore SRT7, Fenix L1D RB100, E0, LOD SE, P3D Ol & LD01 SS, WE 9D Raider, XPG 6V w/DRL 3SM 5A Q3, SF G2 & Z2, Tiablo MA6, FM TL-3 2X18650, 4Sevens Quark 14500 NW, Quark RGBNW, Quark 17670 Tac, Quark 2AA S2, DRL CL1H V4 w/XML T6...

  23. #23

    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    Quote Originally Posted by iocheretyanny
    I also noticed the Pelican M3 3370, 140 lumen (claimed) flashlight can be bought for under $40.

    Seems too good to be true.

    Does anyone have any experience with it, does it throw well, how does it compare the Surefire 9P or the TL-3.
    Well, if you go by 'claimed output' the TL-3 is about 200 lumens vs 140 for the M3 and about 105 for the 9P w/ the stock p90 bulb.
    Hello, my name is Joe... and I'm a flashaholic.
    Surefire G2-r+: G90 bulb on 2 x R123 + UCL, SL TL-3, Inova Radiant AAA, Inova X1 gen2, RR 1W 1AA, RR 1.5w 2xC, RR .5w 2xAAA, 2c MAG-LED & Lotsa other maglites, Energizer 2-white 1-red LED headlight, BassPro 6MCP spot, several keychain photon clones

    ***My collection***Emergency Communications Primer***

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    After much research - I Decided to go with : NIGHT OPS FALCATA 9V.
    It comes with a 125 Lumens bulb.

    This is from the same maker as Gladius, and considering how well that throws, I have high hopes for this one.

    I also really liked the holster that is availalbe for this light, so I picked that up too...
    (Blackhawk NIGHT OPS HOLDER)

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* KDOG3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    I've been looking at those Night Ops Falcata series lights as well. I would like to see a review of one though.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* AlexGT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best compact throw flashlight under $100 (Surefire 9P?)

    My first suggestion would be the TL-3 with Lithium ions, very nice light with lots of throw,

    Second would be a ROP Lithium Edition (LE) using a 2C mag body with 2 LI-ion batteries, I use protected 18650 since I only use the LOW bulb for my needs, this light with a low bulb and MOP reflector stomps the TL-3 for brightness and throw! and probably runtime too!

    Very pleased with it

    Cost
    $10 2C mag.
    $15-20 for the MOP reflector
    $8 for the ROP bulbs
    $12 for 2 protected 18650 batteries
    $6 for the borofloat lens
    -----
    $51-56 total price, if you already have a charger for LI-ions.

    HTH
    AlexGT

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