Klarus        
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 32

Thread: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

  1. #1

    Default What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    While I'm sure that there are a wide number of lights in use by all the branches of the armed forces, I would be curious to know what some of them are, and if some of them can also be purchased by the general public?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    I know HDS Systems has a military contract. According to the company president, "The military contracted for the HDS Systems EDC Ultimate 60 with a few customizations. They are now purchasing our EDC Tactical units" (link). You can buy these lights directly from HDS and various dealers. They're a bit pricey but worth every penny (I have a high CRI EDC Clicky).

    I think Surefire lights are also popular with the US military, though I'm not sure exactly which models. They're also fairly expensive, but people swear by them.
    Last edited by the.Mtn.Man; 05-02-2011 at 06:39 AM.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,336

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Surefire
    HDS
    Fulton
    Gerber
    Smith & Wesson
    M@glite

    That's about it. The military largely quit comissioning flashlights (like the Fulton), and now just buys what the market offers, as long as it's built to certain mil-specs. Special units still request certain things, and usually buys them with unit funds...

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    PALight /safelight
    have a contract with the US military

  5. #5
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cranston, RI
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    does Polarion have a contract?

  6. #6
    Flashaholic Erzengel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Germany, Bonn
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    The Streamlight Sidewinder is issued to the US Marines
    http://marinesmagazine.dodlive.mil/2010/01/04/moonbeam/

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The Lone Star State
    Posts
    916

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    A few of my coworkers are Iraq/Afghanistan vets and most of them have told me that they used Surefires. The M600 Scout seems to be a particularly popular weaponlight.
    Last edited by Imon; 05-02-2011 at 11:44 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    The military can buy whatever flashlight is needed. I'm sure all brands have been used. My shop uses LED Lensers for inspections of large Acft and they work really well. Some use surefire, pelican etc... it all really depends on who has the sections "credit card". Some places have contracts and others use a Gov't card to order stuff like flashlights, for whatever they require.

    We have the Surefire U2 Ultra's here and they suck for what we do. I don't know how it's rated at 100 lumens and $300. Just rediculous. I know I bring up my headlamp alot in discussion but why does a 4 year old $45 Petzl XP Head lamp with only 40(60 with turbo) lumens out shine this thing at 60 feet looking at a T-tail? Surefires are way over rated and overpriced for what you get. If they were cheaper, they'd be good lights but for their price they should be top dog and they're not. I believe the throw on the surefire is better but not by much and the area covered is not really usable compared to the light mine gives me.
    Last edited by DivineStrike; 05-03-2011 at 04:06 AM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,336

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Ask Bin Laden ...

    I'm sure if he was still alive, he'd say "Surefire"...LOL!

    Such as the M910x and 66x seen here...



    And another M910 seen here...



    Last edited by angelofwar; 05-03-2011 at 08:12 PM.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    993

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by Beatkeeper120 View Post
    does Polarion have a contract?
    Polarion Night Reapers are used as crew-served weapon lights along with the SF Hellfighter. I don't think the handhelds are officially adopted in any way.

    The Surefire V-series weapon lights (basically the V2 Vampire head adapted to weaponlights) are official issue, along with there probably being a bunch of the older weaponlights still in the system.

    If you search FBO for solicitations you'll be able to find anything light-related. You'll just have to know what to look for. Be aware that the military refuses to call a spade a spade. An LED flashlight might be 'illumination, handheld, electronic, diode'.

    https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportun...=core&_cview=1 Polarion NR
    https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportun...=core&_cview=1 SF HF
    https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportun...=core&_cview=1 SF HF again

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* mrlysle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by angelofwar View Post
    Ask Bin Laden ...

    I'm sure if he was still alive, he'd say "Surefire"...LOL!
    ROFL!!!!! That's funny right there! I don't care who you are. Thanks funny right there!
    Jeff

  12. #12

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Novatacs are being used as weapons lights as well.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* gorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    The Big Valley, Calif. USA
    Posts
    860

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Energizer Hard Case pivoting head lights
    LaserBrite 2 light sticks

  14. #14

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    I know I came upon a detailed document stating the particulars by which flashlights to be used by armed services had to be certified. I believe there was also a list of many flashlights that complied with this certification (all done by the military). Of course now, I can't find it. If someone comes up with the document or list that would be helpful. I'll keep looking.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,336

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by Potato42 View Post
    I know I came upon a detailed document stating the particulars by which flashlights to be used by armed services had to be certified. I believe there was also a list of many flashlights that complied with this certification (all done by the military). Of course now, I can't find it. If someone comes up with the document or list that would be helpful. I'll keep looking.
    Ther's so many different requirments for different units across the branches, that there really isn't a set standard for any branhc of the military. There are "certified soldier" lights, done by the evaluators at peonet.army.mil. (Soldier Systems). For the Air Force, they don't really care as far as personal lights. "Tactical" Army units, it's left up to the units. They're a little more stingent with weaponlights (field repairable, etc.), which is why SF made the cut in the past.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* LEDninja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Hamilton Canada
    Posts
    4,896

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    The armies of all the NATO countries use a common ordering database. Everything ordered through the purchasing department is ordered using the NATO Stock Number or NSN. So a simple way of finding out if a product is used by the military is ask if it has a NSN number.

    Here is Surefire's list:
    http://www.surefire.com/nsn_ordering

    Here is Maglite's list:
    http://www.maglite.com/publicsafety_mil_nsn.asp

    Fulton's page:
    http://www.fultonindoh.com/images/do...tsBrochure.pdf

    Streamlights with NSN is listed on page 50 of this PDF:
    http://www.streamlight.com/Documents/rpl/10_RPL_std.pdf

  17. #17

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    True, that is the common way to order things officially. But each gov't agency, I'm sure, has a Gov't charge card to use, where they can easily purchase something from a store. Now there are limits as to how much you can spend before there has to be a contract written. At least for the AF, don't know specifically about the other branches, but I'm sure they have Gov't charge cards as well and a limit.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic radioactive_man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by Potato42 View Post
    I know I came upon a detailed document stating the particulars by which flashlights to be used by armed services had to be certified. I believe there was also a list of many flashlights that complied with this certification (all done by the military). Of course now, I can't find it. If someone comes up with the document or list that would be helpful. I'll keep looking.
    This? https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportun...&cck=1&au=&ck=
    Fenix LD01, Fenix LD20, Olight M20S, Jetbeam RRT-0, Maelstrom G5, Maelstrom X7, Quark Tac (2AA, AA, 2CR123, CR123 - two heads and lego bodies), Mag 4D/6D (LiteXpress conv.), Nitecore CU6, Olight M3XS-UT, Armytek Wizard Pro, Spark ST6, Thrunite TN42

  19. #19

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by DivineStrike View Post
    Surefires are way over rated and overpriced for what you get.
    Some folks around here would burn you at the stake if they heard you saying that.

    But I do see your point. I think Surefires are more reknowned for their build quality, reliability, and topnotch customer support than necessarily for the quality of the light they put out (which by all accounts is fairly average considering the price).
    Last edited by the.Mtn.Man; 05-04-2011 at 05:10 AM.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic Rando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Granted, I've been out for 8 years, but when I was in the only light I was ever issued was the standard OD 2-D incan right-angle light. We were allowed to use basically whatever we wanted, as long as it had a red filter and wasn't bright enough to give away your position (kind of a judgement call). I always carried a black 2D Maglite with red filter.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by radioactive_man View Post
    The "Approved Family of Flashlights List"! That's it! I came upon the document by which the standards they were measured was spelled out. From what I remember it's a voluntary thing, so unless the company submits a flashlight and fills out the proper forms in triplicate etc then it wont be tested and wont make "the list".

  22. #22
    Flashaholic radioactive_man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by Potato42 View Post
    The "Approved Family of Flashlights List"! That's it! I came upon the document by which the standards they were measured was spelled out. From what I remember it's a voluntary thing, so unless the company submits a flashlight and fills out the proper forms in triplicate etc then it wont be tested and wont make "the list".
    The test procedure is specified here: https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&m...4c388&_cview=0

    Quoted from the site: "Please submit a total of 48 flashlights to be retained by PM-CIE along with instructions to the following address by 30 July 2008: [snipped]"

    They don't do all the testing on the same light, and only 4 out of 5 are required to pass each environmental test. Weak.
    Fenix LD01, Fenix LD20, Olight M20S, Jetbeam RRT-0, Maelstrom G5, Maelstrom X7, Quark Tac (2AA, AA, 2CR123, CR123 - two heads and lego bodies), Mag 4D/6D (LiteXpress conv.), Nitecore CU6, Olight M3XS-UT, Armytek Wizard Pro, Spark ST6, Thrunite TN42

  23. #23

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by the.Mtn.Man View Post
    Some folks around here would burn you at the stake if they heard you saying that.

    But I do see your point. I think Surefires are more reknowned for their build quality, reliability, and topnotch customer support than necessarily for the quality of the light they put out (which by all accounts is fairly average considering the price).
    yea true, but what good is reliability if you can only use the light for an hour, 2 at best with most of their lights and have to carry around a bunch of extra batteries? I understand the use for it as a weapon light and is probably worth the money then if you depend on it like that. Reliability/durability (especially if you've gotta hit the deck and survive some good knocks) matter's more there than using it as a search or insp light. And duration of the battery matters less as well seeing as you're only using it momentarily to clear a room etc...having said all that though, I'm really only against having surefire as my primary/first good light.

    Later down the road when I find my self wanting a light i know will last forever and will work, incase I ever absolutely need a light to work, then I'll buy one. Just not going to spend the money on something I don't need. The Olight will due the job just fine and better for my needs.
    Last edited by DivineStrike; 05-04-2011 at 05:10 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    I remember seeing a few photos of US Army Soldiers with the M952V on their weapons on MP.net

    Quote Originally Posted by DivineStrike View Post
    yea true, but what good is reliability if you can only use the light for an hour, 2 at best with most of their lights and have to carry around a bunch of extra batteries?
    E2L runs at 6hours with 60 lumens, 100hours on low. Most of the lights with 2hours runtime are designed for tactical use which is very short bursts for short periods of time, if you are going to be using light for longer than an hour in the night you you would probably be using Night vision goggles or the issued Mark I Moonbeam.

  25. #25

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger999 View Post
    I remember seeing a few photos of US Army Soldiers with the M952V on their weapons on MP.net


    E2L runs at 6hours with 60 lumens, 100hours on low. Most of the lights with 2hours runtime are designed for tactical use which is very short bursts for short periods of time, if you are going to be using light for longer than an hour in the night you you would probably be using Night vision goggles or the issued Mark I Moonbeam.

    you assume all military are in the field carrying a weapon. Seems to be the consensus of this thread. There are other uses for these lights than being on the end of a weapon. 60 lumens should be adequate, but from my experiences with 60 lum surefires, maybe alittle more, it doesn't shine well enough for acft maintenance inspections. Especially when other lights are "better" for what the user needs and can be had for much less. The E2 line and the g2 lines are fairley decently priced compared to some of the others, it's not as bad. Most are under $200 and under 100, which I think is reasonable for the light if your using a surefire for what it's designed for...which is being a combat light; G2 lines, on paper, seem to be ok for a general use.

    IMO and partial fact...the military primarily uses Surefires for combat uses primarily. Reason being, American made and their reputation for being high quality and durable. The same reasons why I will probably buy one in the future. Just not now, like i said better choices for the $ right now. Even when/if I do find myself wanting a surefire, it'll probably never be my primary light.

    60 lumens for six hours isn't that great. the olight that I'm waiting on is rated 340 for 3-4hrs, 115 for 12 hrs (almost double power and duration) then for 600hrs on low (5lm). Granted you will probably never see that 600hr mark, as it'll never stay on that level for ever unless your lost and are only going to use it for navigating/maps or whatever. But still paper vs paper most surefires are half the light for double/triple the price. And for the equivelent price a third or quarter of the light.

    Again IMO for surefires to be sold at the level they are they need to up the light output/duration. They don't need to be the level at which other brands are because they have excellent quality/durability/reputation etc. But adding an hour of extra light for 200 lumens isn't much to ask from such a quality light.

    and maybe i'm not giving Surefire enough credit on output because I haven't used any of their lights over 100 lumens, but at those levels it's definitely not enough.

  26. #26

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by DivineStrike View Post
    60 lumens for six hours isn't that great. the olight that I'm waiting on is rated 340 for 3-4hrs, 115 for 12 hrs (almost double power and duration) then for 600hrs on low (5lm). Granted you will probably never see that 600hr mark, as it'll never stay on that level for ever unless your lost and are only going to use it for navigating/maps or whatever. But still paper vs paper most surefires are half the light for double/triple the price. And for the equivelent price a third or quarter of the light.
    The M20 gives 2 hours from 2X CR123A cells, not the advertised 4 hours. Most manufacturers over rate output, Surefire often under rates it.

  27. #27

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Good thing they don't advertise the m20 using cr123's then. They advertise using the 18650 2500mah which is advertised....but most reviews i've seen on the m20 is 3+ hrs for ex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYiBv...eature=related. granted i'm sure it's not "max" output but it's still runnin. Now it'd be great if the surefires were designed to be used with the same rechargeable battery. and in my experiences with surefires, i've gotten no where near 2hrs life.

    Tell ya what tho, actually saw a review for the S model of my light that uses pwm instead of current. And i had no idea what it meant till i saw the vid...may have to return it for the non S model we'll see when i get it though i guess.
    Last edited by DivineStrike; 05-06-2011 at 03:15 AM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Quote Originally Posted by DivineStrike View Post
    and in my experiences with surefires, i've gotten no where near 2hrs life.
    I'm guessing your experience with Surefires have been the incandescent lights? If so, they don't claim 2hours runtime on those.

  29. #29

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    i've barely used the incan's and yes they are definitely on the very low end of duration. Really don't understand why people buy a light that last 20 min??? but the light we got rid of at our shop and switched to a $30 AA Pelican 2360 light is the u2 Ultra, yes it has other modes which allow it to last longer but the only mode we use is max, the 100 lumens (this light at it's price range should at least be over 200lum) on this light is barely enough to inspect an airplane with an almost 60ft t-tail, and it's barely enough light to see stuff under the wing in detail. Granted this isn't really what surefire designed the light for and the pelican is rly maybe minimally better if at all and it's runtime is probably the same except it takes AA's. For the $ the pelicans are a better deal in this instance (I personally would not have chosen them, would have spent a little more for something better) primary reason they chose them was cost...cheaper light and cheaper batteries for about the same package.

  30. #30

    Default Re: What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

    Really don't understand why people buy a light that last 20 min??? but the light we got rid of at our shop and switched to a $30 AA Pelican 2360 light is the u2 Ultra, yes it has other modes which allow it to last longer but the only mode we use is max, the 100 lumens (this light at it's price range should at least be over 200lum) on this light is barely enough to inspect an airplane with an almost 60ft t-tail, and it's barely enough light to see stuff under the wing in detail.
    I feel your pain. The new generation of 200 lumen plus LED lights really make a difference when doing an external inspection of a large aircraft at night. Sure, in the past we used dimmer Maglites with those free D-cell batteries but times have changed. I do see more on an aircraft with a brighter light. Popped rivets, hydraulic seepage, frost starting to form, a missing static wick, etc.

    The U2 is a great light, I have several, but as you point out it is easily outperformed at the high end in runtime and brightness by inexpensive more modern LED designs. Perhaps the U2's were ordered for your shop as a legacy of the DARPA light program years ago.

    Check out the 'new' Surefire G2X and 6PX lights. They are definitely in the 200+ lumen class and have a useful low level setting.

    As you know, don't put your name on the light in case you should lose it and FOD that $11 million engine.

    And, thanks for wearing our nation's uniform!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •