Cold Steel Brute 7aa flashlight

bykfixer

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So I get this PM from a flashaholic who says "hey I have a light you might like". I say "cool, thanks". A short time later this big ole box shows up at my door. I mean like bigger than a bread box box.

I reach in the box full of styrofoam peanuts and start pulling out a bubble wrapped tube. I pulled, and pulled and pulled some more. I'm thinking world record sized minimag. Close but in reality it was a shiney new looking, genuine Cold Steel 7aa Brute.

While pulling the Brute from those peanuts an altoids tin falls out. Inside of that was 3 Brute replacement bulbs and a Maglite PR base 7 cell bulb.

I had 6 new double a batteries in my stockpile. This evening I had a new supply so fire that mutha up.

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The obligitory beam shot.
Nice spot, no donut hole.

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The privacy fence is about 200 feet away

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Three doors down before

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3 doors down with the Brute shining on it.

So with that out of the way

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Brute vs a vintage 1960's 6D cop light

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Brute vs a vintage 1960's 7D search & rescue light

It's a thick wall aa light. I mean thick. Like 8mm or something. Springs at each end. One on the shock resistant bulb holder, one one the push button tailcap.

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The fancy bulb holder

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The tailcap

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A nicely polished alluminum reflector

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The spare bulbs
 
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ampdude

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Oh my god!!! That is so cool and exactly what I've been look for, for years. Really nice beam, I love it!!!
 

ampdude

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Very nice. Whats the actual overall length on this? I guess I could line up 7 AAs to get an idea but im lazy, sorry.

No prob. C's are the same length as AA's. So I imagine it would be similar to a 7C Mag, though I don't think they ever made of one those, only 7D. So I think a 7AA Mag would be like a 7C Mag... in length, not diameter, so a bit shorter than a 6D, but not by a huge amount. I really, really would like the 6C Mag to come back because I always felt that was the perfect proportion of reliable high quality light compared to a lot of other lights out there that can also be used as batons. I suffer with the 4C's and mostly 4D's these days. Since they don't make anything larger anymore. But I typically only use large lights while patrolling certain dead spots of my condo building. The 4D is kinda better than the 6C in some ways, but I would prefer the 6C most of the time. 6D is a bit large IMO for certain corners.
 
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bykfixer

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A Maglite would be longer since it has a switch between bulb and battery. The 7aa is about as long as a Maglite 5D light.

So the story behind this one is that it came from a military surplus supplier called US Calvary in the 1990's. Like other police and military item suppliers of the time Cold Steel knife company made flashlights in California for a time. When they stopped making them all product was sold to US Calvary. By then this flashlight that was produced in California was not allowed to be sold in California. So the original owner, a California resident bought it from US Calvery and had it shipped to his mom's on the east coast. Music City to be exact. A cross country trek was set upon to retrieve the flashlight and see the folks back home in Arkansas and Tennessee.

It seems as though when it was time to clean out a closet mr aznsx thought the light would be a nice addition to the bykfixer museum. Strangely enough I agree. 😉

There were reportedly two versions made. One using a 9P type module and the second using a PR bulb method. From what I read the P90 reflector is too big however to fit in the PR version. It has also been said the tailcap was the achilies heel of the Brute due a design involving two separate springs that required contact with one another and if dropped sometimes separated from one another.
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The two springs separated

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Combined

The Brute bulb was reportedly made by Carly with a frosted tip, which really cleans up the beam while not really affecting throw very much (it seems).

Thus far I haven't found a lot written about these so if anybody can add some details please do so.
 

bykfixer

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Nicely designed.. Heavy duty.. Knurling at either end.. Totally Brutal!
One cool feature is the head and tail can screw onto either end. When I had it disassembled I thought "I wonder if?" and sure enough .... it worked.

Speaking of brutal
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Their 1992 ad
Photo borrowed from an old CPF thread and reversed to thwart google crawlers from boosting it.
 

ampdude

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I love this!!! Cool back story too!! Someone needs to make these again. Maybe improved tailcap design and one version for PR and one version for Surefire D26 lamps. I'd be happy with either, (I'd buy both actually), it would be a winner. Hopefully it wouldn't be a bi-pin.
 

aznsx

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Nicely designed.. Heavy duty.. Knurling at either end.. Totally Brutal!

Make no mistake, the ever-colorful and intrepid Mr. Lynn Thompson (Cold Steel founder) had this light designed to be a very serious fighting weapon when called upon for such duty, which is something he apparently knows a thing or two about (as well as a useful flashlight of course).


I ordered one of these specifically for a good friend with whom I worked at several companies in 'The Valley' (the silicon one) back in the day, who had some considerable training in such things. When I delivered it to him, as soon as he pulled it 'out of the wrapper', I saw him immediately do things with that light like I've only seen in done in movies. In the right hands, it is quite capable of being useful. He looked like he'd been training with it all his life. In my hands, it's just a cool flashlight that's capable of making an impression. Sometimes the sight of it alone can be enough to be useful, maybe de-escalate a situation, or at least provide someone like me extra time to access a weapon the I actually know how to use! I believe @ABTOMAT has commented that it's the 'hardest hitting' flashlight in his collection, and that's probably by some margin. Edit: It's probably the 'best handling' one as well.
 
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aznsx

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Reading on... in 2016 Gall's Police Supply bought US Cav assets. So, the plot thickens..

Yeah, Galls did acquire U.S. Cavalry at some point. Something tells me you may not find a stash of these anywhere though, although one never knows. Stranger things have happened.
 

bykfixer

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Eh, ya never know. One fateful day at eBay in 2016 a whole bunch of SureFire 6P's showed up for $30.
In other words if the US military had a batch made there may be a connex full somewhere on a base just waiting to be auctioned off.

I reached out to Cold Steel about the Brute, mentioning the California Cop Light thread and how I'd like to chronicle facts about it there. I also asked "any plans on doing an LED version some day..... if I hear back I'll post the results.
 
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sween1911

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DUDE. That's awesome Mike! Great piece of flashlight history. I'm asking you as a flashaholic, please be careful of alkaleaks in that baby.

I remember this from the old Special Projects catalogs from my teenage years I used to paw at until they were dog eared. Use it in good health.
 
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