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Thread: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    The other day I realized I hadn't been active in the flashlight scene for a while, and people from half a decade ago were still waiting for pics of some of the lights I owned. So, to kill two birds with one stone, I've started photographing my entire flashlight collection for the entertainment of CPF.

    I'll be slowly posting them as the get the photos taken, and have the time to resize and upload them all.

    Kel-Lite 26" Batonlite. These lights use 5C cells plus an aluminum spacer rod. Without the spacer, this one holds 12 C-cells:


    Kel-Lite 22" Batonlite. The silver bezels are made of solid stainless steel, for durability:


    Mag-Lite 7D. They stopped making these in 1989:


    Kel-Lite 7D. Medium head models were a late-'70s addition:


    Bianchi B-Lite 7D. A post-Kel-Lite Don Keller design:


    New Products Development Co. Tru-Grit 7D. Each knurled section unscrews to vary the length. I believe these guys ran afoul of Kel-Lite's lawyers around 1972:


    Pro-Light 6D. Another Don Keller design:


    Mag-Lite 6D. Recent production:


    Streamlight 7C. With a surprise...


    Trouble with unruly suspects or hippies? Well...


    Out pops an ASP baton! It takes up four cells' worth of space in the light:


    Streamlight 5D. Streamlight made a whole raft of D/C-cell flashlights in the '80s based on late designs they got when they bought Kel-Lite:


    Brinkmann 5D. I believe Brinkmann's series of similar lights use a design originally from LA Screw Company's Code-4 models:


    Mag Instruments Vari-Beam. This was an '80s Mag-Lite sold through industrial suppliers. Designed to be hard to lose in dark shops:
    Last edited by ABTOMAT; 04-26-2010 at 06:09 PM.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Collection

    It's probably pretty obvious, but I should mention the focus of my collection is vintage police flashlights. Most of them are from the 1968-1984 period before the market shook itself out.

    Kel-Lite 7C with Judo Head tailcap:


    Same light, tail end. Designed to make it hard for an attacker to grab. Or something. They used the same form for a yawara stick:


    Streamlight SL-35. Early production:


    Mag-Lite 6C:


    Brinkmann 5-3-2. It unscrews into segments of various lengths:


    B-Lite 5D. B-Lite used two main head sizes on their D-cell lights:


    Kel-Lite 5D. This has some wild stories from the original owner:


    Kel-Lite 5D. Covina-era:


    Pro-Light 6C. Pro-Light often used a lot of plastic in their lights. This one has a metal barrel with plastic ends:


    Streamlight 5C:


    Kel-Lite 5D:


    Kel-Lite 5D:


    Kel-Lite 5D:


    Mag-Lite 5C:
    Last edited by ABTOMAT; 04-24-2010 at 10:17 PM.
    Do something alone and it's weird, do it with others and it's a club.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Collection

    Longtime CPF members'll notice I'm not using the famous leather couch any more. Collection outgrew that for group shots.

    Gem-Lite 2D. As far as I know, these were either made on contract by Bianchi or used leftover B-Lite parts. This one has a surprise, too:


    A canister of Curb tear gas fits into the tail end:


    Detail of the spray itself:


    Kel-Lite 6C:


    B-Lite 4D:


    Kel-Lite 4D with a rare rechargeable tailcap:


    Pro-Light 5C. This one's all-plastic:


    B-Lite 4D:


    Kel-Lite 5C. This one has a storage tailcap--uncommon on C-cell models:


    Pro-Light 5C. I made the replacement tailcap on my lathe:


    Streamlight 4C:


    B-Lite 5C. For some reason, they sold many fewer C-cell than D-cell lights:


    Safariland Polaris. Bet you haven't seen one of these recently. It's a poorly made, all-plastic rechargeable that uses a magnetic reed switch. Probably waterproof. I'd guess designed to compete with early rechargeable Pro-Lights and Streamlights:


    Kel-Lite 4D. Very clean:


    Kel-Lite 4D:


    Kel-Lite 4D. Very early production. Probably pre-Covina. San Dimas, maybe. This was the first vintage police flashlight I ever bought:
    Last edited by ABTOMAT; 04-24-2010 at 10:19 PM.
    Do something alone and it's weird, do it with others and it's a club.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    What a great collection-My compliments! Do have a "in" for vintage police lights? You just don't see most of those heavies often(or ever!).

  5. #5

    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Wow! Sick collection! I love the Mace light. Thanks for sharing these photos. I read the other thread were you guys broke it down on the history of these companies. I now stop a yard sales and ask if they have old school flashlights and they look at me all wierd.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by boss429 View Post
    What a great collection-My compliments! Do have a "in" for vintage police lights? You just don't see most of those heavies often(or ever!).
    Thanks. No "in," just a lot of time and work. I stopped a while back since I don't have the resources of other collectors.

    And moving on...

    Mag Vari-Beam 3D:


    Streamlight SL-20. This was the flashlight that basically put everyone else but Mag out of business. Totally new technology and design:


    Kel-Lite 5C. The Illinois State Police bought massive quantities of these things. You see them everywhere. Probably the most common Kel-Lite size:


    Kel-Lite 5C:


    Streamlight SL-20. Well-used:


    Pro-Light rechargeable. While all Pro-Lights were designed to be rechargeable, this one was designed _as_ a rechargeable, along the lines of a Streamlight SL-20:


    Pro-Light 3D. Hazard color scheme:


    Gem-Lite 3D:


    Streamlight SL-15. Smaller brother to the SL-20, all plastic, not made for as long:


    Mag-Lite 3C. Need to replace the switch cover:


    Kel-Lite 3D:


    Stud-Lite 3D. What's a Stud-Lite? It's a Kel-Lite made for sale to truckers. Dunno why they were so specific, but they were trying to branch out from police sales at once point:
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  7. #7
    Flashaholic* swampgator's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Great thread!

    A couple of questions now come to mind.

    Given a certain large company has a well known reputation for using litigation to protect their patents, how is it that their head is almost the same shape as the Bianchi?

    Also how many companies was Keller directly involved with?

    When did Kel go to the internal push button switch?

    And the last, did the Streamlight SL series pre-date their acquistion of the Kel-Lite brand?

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by swampgator View Post
    Given a certain large company has a well known reputation for using litigation to protect their patents, how is it that their head is almost the same shape as the Bianchi?
    I'm not up on my legal details, but I'd assume that wasn't something Bianchi cared about. And going the other way, Mag's issue is typically with the lettering around the heads and not the shape itself. They took down Streamlight and Brinkmann over that.

    Also how many companies was Keller directly involved with?
    Off the top of my head, Kel-Lite, Bianchi, Pro-Light, Mag-Lite, ASP, and Brinkmann. Maybe Nordic, dunno.

    When did Kel go to the internal push button switch?

    And the last, did the Streamlight SL series pre-date their acquistion of the Kel-Lite brand?
    The pushbutton Kel-Lite was from somewhere around 1982-83. Right before Streamlight bought them. Streamlight's SL series started in the mid-late '70s. They only made rechargeables until the Kel-Lite buyout.
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  9. #9
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    When I get around to it, I also have a bunch in their boxes, plus all kinds of odd accessories and paperwork.

    Kel-Lite 3D. This one was painted at one point:


    Kel-Lite 3D:


    Kel-Lite 3D. Another early production one. You can tell these by the thin switches, no tailcap markings, and "KEL-LITE" directly behind the switch:


    Mag-Lite 2D. This is very interesting, for a Mag-Lite. A 1980 production model before they finalized the design everyone knows. Has a very different switch with a large button, and says "PATEN PENDING" (misspelled) on the side:


    GT Price Code-4 2D. GT bought the basic design from LA Screw as far as I know. This one has a movable red filter for night use:


    GT Price Smoke Cutter 2D. Fireman's model with an anti-glare lens:


    Pro-Light 2D:


    B-Lite 2D:


    Kel-Lite 2D:


    Kel-Lite 3C:


    Pro-Light 2C:


    Kel-Lite 2D:
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  10. #10
    Flashaholic N10's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    the 2D Mag you have looks shorter than the present production one..like a cutdown....very nice(impressive) collection!

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Thanks. I think that's just the angle of the photo--my 2D Mag is within 1/4" of the current one.

    This the last of the used lights. I'll see about getting photos of the new ones and the other stuff when I have the time.

    Kel-Lite 2C. With a Judo Head tailcap:


    A view of the tail end. Before I got any real ones like this, I made one of these tailcaps myself from photos online. Turned out pretty well but I botched a couple of the machining steps.


    Kel-Lite 2C:


    Kel-Lite 2C. This one has a polished front bezel. I've never seen another:


    Kel-Lite 2 1/2D. The smallest Kel-Lite made. It was designed to use two 1/2D-cell batteries, but many people call it a "1D" light for simplicity. These days you'd be better off getting a 3AA adapter and a brighter bulb. It's also another very early production example:


    Two Streamlight 2C. I don't have very many details on these. The bodies and tailcaps are machined like an early C-cell Kel-Lite. I'd guess Streamlight wanted to use the tooling for something and cranked out these simple lights. Twist bezel to turn on/off:


    Same lights, other ends:


    Healy Coach Works 2C. It's nearly identical to the Streamlight 2C but with Healy markings, shorter head, and longer knurled section. Made under contract, I assume. Missing the reflector assembly:
    Last edited by ABTOMAT; 04-26-2010 at 06:09 PM.
    Do something alone and it's weird, do it with others and it's a club.

  12. #12

    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    What is the Vari-Beam maglite, was that the first focusable maglite or just a special name for the color combination?

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by 3000k View Post
    What is the Vari-Beam maglite, was that the first focusable maglite or just a special name for the color combination?
    Just that color combination. The modern Mag-Lite design had been around for ~3 years before. Might have been the first non-black Mag, though.
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  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Niteowl's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Awesome collection. My favorite is the B-Lite 5C. I've got my 4C sitting here on my desk.

    Any chance for a group pic?
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  15. #15
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    I keep them in an upstairs room full of books and stereo stuff, so it doesn't make for a very good photo.
    Last edited by ABTOMAT; 04-27-2010 at 05:38 AM.
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    Flashaholic* RedLed's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    I have a 3 D cell Mag Lite in the blue like yours, and bought it in a truck stop in 1982-83 or 84.

    Still have it. Put an lED in it, and it serves as an emergency light in my studio, clipped to my production bench with the mag clips.

    Looks like new. I think it cost $25.00 then.
    Last edited by RedLed; 04-28-2010 at 03:40 AM.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Thanks for posting the pics.
    I really like that pair of Streamlight 2C's near the end of your last post.
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  18. #18
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    Party Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    My favourite is the GT Price Smoke Cutter 2D. Great collection.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Moving on...

    Mag Magcharger. This is probably the best flashlight Mag ever made, and it's still my favorite police rechargeable. Came out around 1982 to do battle with Streamlight's SL-20. It's a beautifully engineered light, and incredibly durable:


    Now a few of the new lights.

    Bianchi Super B-Lite 2D. This was Bianchi's final flashlight design, from right before they left the market around 1984. Shows some Streamlight influence, but a little more compact:


    Super B-Lite 4D. Funny story: A surplus company was selling these things at discounted prices a few years ago. I mentioned to a fellow collector I was planning on buying one, then mysteriously the next day their entire inventory had been bought by someone with his initials.


    Spec-Lite 6D. The Super B-Lite designs from when Bianchi bailed out were bought by an outfitting company and produced as Spec-Lites in the 1980s:


    Grendel Grendelite A-2 8AA. This is the weirdest and one of the rarest flashlights I have. Grendel was an '80s firearms company known for high-tech but poorly designed and built handguns. What you have here is a high-tech but poorly designed and built flashlight. It takes eight AA batteries, and has two brightness settings via a resistor:


    One of the switch end:
    Last edited by ABTOMAT; 05-10-2010 at 05:44 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Buttrock Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    The Grendel Grendelite A-2 8AA must have been the inspiration for the Fenix TK40 Can it fit the standard cup holder in a car and was designed to do so? No matter what the reason for the design I like it.
    Last edited by bla2000; 05-10-2010 at 10:48 PM.

  21. #21
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    Rolleye11 Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    I have one of the Grendel P-30 pistol / 22mag-30 round clip (FACTORY) would luv to get one of the lights, it sounds kick a-- like the 30 rounds of 22-magnum. It lost out in the 94 band on hi-cap magazine sort of like the high velocity flashlights did in the late 70's (hippie tamers) - very nice collection, letting all the CPF'ers see what the good old days were like...

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Solscud007's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Do you not have the Surefire 3BL and 6BL?

    You are also missing the ASP baton light.
    Collecting is not about what you have but rather what you DONT have . . . yet.
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  23. #23
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    CR123 lights are outside the scope of this collection. I'm aiming for 1968-1984 or so.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    huuugggeeeeeee collection!
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  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Solscud007's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by ABTOMAT View Post
    CR123 lights are outside the scope of this collection. I'm aiming for 1968-1984 or so.

    ahh I see. well that makes sense. I thought you were just collecting police lights.
    Collecting is not about what you have but rather what you DONT have . . . yet.
    ABTOMAT: "Newer Surefire lights strike me as the result of CNC programmers saying to each other "Hold my beer and watch THIS."

  26. #26

    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    That Grendel is really ahead of its time if you look at the details. A crenallated bezel ring, head down pocket clip. Can anyone say there is an earlier flashlight with a crenallated bezel? That is a very cool light.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* sween1911's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    WOW! Thanks for sharing all those pics and taking the time to put them all together and label them! I love that old school cop gear!
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  28. #28

    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Awesome collection

  29. #29

    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Holy Sh*T !!!!!

    Nice lights, i love them all



    especially those with batons or for clubbing ....

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* ABTOMAT's Avatar
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    Default Re: The ABTOMAT Police Flashlight Collection

    Oh darn, I forgot about this thread. Need to photograph more of the collection.
    Do something alone and it's weird, do it with others and it's a club.

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