Eagletac M3C4 - SST-50 and 3xR5 XP-G - Reviews: BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIMES, and more!

nitric

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Selfbuilt, thanks for the review. i owned the triple xpg version and truly a nice light. the length and weight are just nice in the hand. real bright too.
 

selfbuilt

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That said, of all the eagletacs M3 i think the 3x xp-g has by far the better beam profile.:thumbsup:
i owned the triple xpg version and truly a nice light. the length and weight are just nice in the hand. real bright too.
Interesting how there seems to be such general agreement on the 3x XP-G model having the best beam pattern.

I would have thought people would naturally gravitate to single-emitter versions. They just seem conceptually more elegant (plus bragging rights of saying "just one" when someone asks you how many LEDs are in that bright light you are carrying ;)).

But going all the way back to my Lumapower MVPs, I've always found the 3x versions to give a more useful beam at almost all distances. Of course, there are exceptions (e.g. despite the MC-E dark center, I still like the JetBeam M1X as a thrower). And the SST-based light have a nice smooth hotspot (if a bit broader than typical).
 

brightnorm

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I love my M2's and M3's but why did Eagletac decide to "upgrade" its battery carriers so they are unusable with common flat-tops? I won't use magnets, they are potentially dangerous. Luckily, I had a couple of extra M2 carriers which I now use in my M3's.

Any ideas why Eagletac made this change?

Brightnorm
 
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nitric

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since im a noob and a first timer to use the 18650s, i played safe by using the eagletac 18650s.

i got mine about 2-3 weeks ago but the hard anodized coating was not complete in one small section on the head and i returned it for warranty. The replacement should be arriving be later part of next week. so nice customer support specially from the local dealer in malaysia
 

jaws revenge

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I received my triple xpg today, very happy. I also had to use my own hex tool for one of the screws when I changed it to the clicky.
 

riccardo

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Nice review and nice flashlights!!

Anyway I'm a bit upset, I was waiting these new models since long time and now I see that they didn't come out with new neutrals.

I'd love to have a 3xXP-G R4.... why to stick on old Q4?? :banghead:

Anyway, does anybody know if there is a discount code for cpf members on the eagletac-usa store to use during check-out?
 

HIDblue

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Just received my Eagletac M3C4 triple XP-G and I'm already having some major issues with the plastic tail cap and hex screws. The hex screws are not uniform in size and are very susceptible to stripping.

Of the 4 hex screws that secured the plastic tail cap to the body of the M3C4, 2 of the hex screws were 1.5mm in size while the other 2 hex screws were 1/16" in size. The light comes with a 1.5mm hex/allen wrench, so I'm not sure why 1/16" hex screws were used in the light. Just like selfbuilt, I had to use my own hex/allen wrench to remove the 1/16" hex screws and used the Eagletac provided 1.5mm hex wrench to remove the 1.5mm hex screws.

The Eagletac instructions warn you not to overtighten the hex screws so I replaced the flat tail cap with the clicky tail cap to avoid the parasitic drain and took extra care not to overtighten the hex screws. As cautious as I was, I still managed to strip one of the hex screws and the hex screw head wasn't even flush with the tail cap.

So now I'm stuck with a stripped hex screw in the clicky tail cap attached to the body of the M3C4 and have tried everything to remove it without success...including using various hex/allen wrenches, torx wrenches, and even a damaged screw extractor kit...nothing worked. I can't be super-invasive in removing the stripped hex screw since the tail cap is made of plastic. :confused:

Given that the Eagletac instruction manual states that the Eagletac warranty will NOT cover damage caused by stripped mounting screws, it seems abundantly clear that Eagletac is aware of the design flaw with the plastic tail cap and hex screws and the damage a stripped screw can cause and have included this clause as a CYA.

Unfortunately for me, that means my brand new Eagletac M3C4 will probably be relegated to shelf-queen status as I do not have confidence that the light is mechanically reliable and/or sturdy enough for duty use. It's regretful, to say the least, that I wasted my hard earned money on a light that I won't be able to use for it's intended purpose...i.e. work/field use.

It's hard to believe that Eagletac would use such inferior materials for the tail cap and hex screws, yet the rest of the M3C4 (head, body, etc.) seems to be well made. The old adage holds very true in this instance, 'you're only as strong as your weakest link,' and in this case, the M3C4's weakest link is the plastic tail cap and inferior quality hex screws used to secure the tail cap to the body of the light.

Prospective buyers should be made aware of this flaw with the Eagletac M3C4. I can't imagine that I'm the only one who's had this problem. :sigh: Caveat emptor.
 
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selfbuilt

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Of the 4 hex screws that secured the plastic tail cap to the body of the M3C4, 2 of the hex screws were 1.5mm in size while the other 2 hex screws were 1/16" in size. The light comes with a 1.5mm hex/allen wrench, so I'm not sure why 1/16" hex screws were used in the light. Just like selfbuilt, I had to use my own hex/allen wrench to remove the 1/16" hex screws and used the Eagletac provided 1.5mm hex wrench to remove the 1.5mm hex screws.
Interesting. There's only a ~5% difference between 1.5M and 1/16", so it's possible it is just a question of poor tolerances in the manufacture (i.e. they intended to do 1.5mm, but got something closer to 1.59mm?).

So now I'm stuck with a stripped hex screw in the clicky tail cap attached to the body of the M3C4 and have tried everything to remove it without success...including using various hex/allen wrenches, torx wrenches, and even a damaged screw extractor kit...nothing worked. I can't be super-invasive in removing the stripped hex screw since the tail cap is made of plastic. :confused:
That really sucks. I've never had much success with screw extractor kits for stripped regular screws - and I imagine you'd have less luck with such tiny stripped hex screws.

Have you tried a 7/64" hex bit screwdriver to try and get it out (i.e. not a key)? I know that's nearly twice as big as needed, but I found that it did the trick for me for the one screw that wouldn't come out. Rather than use a key, I used a jeweler's screwdriver with the 7/64" bit (makes it much easier to apply downward force while unscrewing). This would be my main recommendation to try.

Anyone else have any suggestions for getting that screw out of there?

Given that the Eagletac instruction manual states that the Eagletac warranty will NOT cover damage caused by stripped mounting screws, it seems abundantly clear that Eagletac is aware of the design flaw with the plastic tail cap and hex screws and the damage a stripped screw can cause and have included this clause as a CYA. ... Prospective buyers should be made aware of this flaw with the Eagletac M3C4. I can't imagine that I'm the only one who's had this problem. :sigh: Caveat emptor.
Thanks for pointing that out, I hadn't noticed that warranty statement. I will update the review with this info under the Potential Issues section, as well as the earlier section where I first discussed the screw issue.

Good luck getting that screw out!

P.S.: If all else fails, try contacting your dealer. Even though it isn't covered under Eagletac's warranty, you never know ...
 
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HIDblue

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Anyone else have any suggestions for getting that screw out of there?

I tried a variety of methods, including various hex/allen keys, wrenches, drivers, the damaged screw extractor kit, and even super-glueing a hex key into the stripped hex screw head and nothing worked. Wasn't for a lack of trying...and I appreciated several suggestions by other CPF'ers, some of which you pointed out as well.

P.S.: If all else fails, try contacting your dealer. Even though it isn't covered under Eagletac's warranty, you never know ...

I did just that and Lightjunction, the dealer I purchased the light from, just instructed me this morning to return the defective parts (in this case, the clicky tail cap with the stripped hex screw head attached to the light body) back to them and they would handle the warranty service with Eagletac.

Hopefully, they'll be able to resolve the issue for me. All of my experiences with Lightjunction have been positive, so I'm hoping for the best.

That's why it always pay to buy any high-end light from a reputable dealer.
 

selfbuilt

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That's why it always pay to buy any high-end light from a reputable dealer.
Yes, it's one of the benefits of working through a dealer (especially one with a relationship to CPF). Hope it works out for you - let us know what happens!

P.S.: Actually, I see the manufacturer also responded in the discussion thread HIDBlue posted. If nothing else, hopefully some of the other suggestions offered there may help those with issues.
 
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harro

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Not sure if this reply should be here, but anyway, here goes. Just bought my first Eagletac ( M3C4-3xR5 LOP ) the other day. On unboxing it looked to be everything i thought it would be. All was well until the batteries went in ( 2 x 18650 2400mah protected ), new and charged. Turned it on and wow, what an output. However, one emitter was noticibly down on output compared with the other two! With a piece of white paper over the front, on moonlight, you could only see two emitters running. on max. the three were visible but the duller one appeared to have about the same output as the two good emitters on medium. Is this normal behaviour for the torch? Do Eagletac have a good reputation for warranty? I have since returned the torch to my local supplier to be checked out. In every other respect the torch IMVHO is excellent, and i'm really wanting to be reunited with it. BTW, the same behaviour was observed on CR123's and with the clicky installed too. On a positive note, my end cap screws are all good.
 

selfbuilt

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Written by selfbuilt on 11-02-2010 07:33 AM GMT

harro said:
However, one emitter was noticibly down on output compared with the other two! With a piece of white paper over the front, on moonlight, you could only see two emitters running. on max. the three were visible but the duller one appeared to have about the same output as the two good emitters on medium. Is this normal behaviour for the torch? Do Eagletac have a good reputation for warranty? I have since returned the torch to my local supplier to be checked out. In every other respect the torch IMVHO is excellent, and i'm really wanting to be reunited with it. BTW, the same behaviour was observed on CR123's and with the clicky installed too. On a positive note, my end cap screws are all good.
No, that's not right - there shouldn't be a visual difference in the output levels of the 3 emitters. But this sometimes happens on multi-emitter lights (i.e. a bad single emitter). Hopefully your dealer makes it right for you. Let us know how it goes. No, that's not right - there shouldn't be a visual difference in the output levels of the 3 emitters. But this sometimes happens on multi-emitter lights (i.e. a bad single emitter). Hopefully your dealer makes it right for you. Let us know how it goes.
Written by wwp1 on 11-04-2010 01:30 AM GMT

Love your reviews always over the top with complete info thanks
Written by harro on 11-04-2010 02:14 AM GMT

selfbuilt said:
No, that's not right - there shouldn't be a visual difference in the output levels of the 3 emitters. But this sometimes happens on multi-emitter lights (i.e. a bad single emitter). Hopefully your dealer makes it right for you. Let us know how it goes.
Received my M3C4 back today. The problem has been solved with, i think, a different head. My local dealer has been great and obviously Received my M3C4 back today. The problem has been solved with, i think, a different head. My local dealer has been great and obviously Eagletac care about their customers. Can't wait to try it out tonight.
Written by jsr on 11-04-2010 10:54 PM GMT

Selfbuilt -

Any chance you can do some comparative beamshots gifs between the M3C4 3-XPG and the Sunway M40C?

When you do a ceiling bounce test and in actual usage, do you see a big difference in output between the M3C4 3-XPG and Sunway M40C as your numbers show, or is the difference not so noticeable? From the beamshots in the 100yd comparo, the M3C4 XPG looks a good bit brighter, but cameras don't see what our eyes do. I don't need huge throw (I find the throw of my ITP A6 adequate), but do like high output.

The M40C looks a good deal smaller than the M3C4. Thanks for the great review. Hoping you can do a mini-comparo between the M3C4 XPG and M40C in terms of performance.
Written by wechnivag on 11-05-2010 12:30 AM GMT

Is the triple XP-G and XR-E for that matter using the same triple reflector as sold on DX?

Reason being that is a XR-E reflector. Using it with an XP-G could mean that the emitter is slightly outside the reflector opening to be at the focal point, hence losing some lumens in the gap between the LED and reflector.

The photos of the emitters in the reflector seem to suggest there is a gap, and the fact that the lumen difference is not that big between XP-G and XR-E could be due to the lost light in the gap?
 

selfbuilt

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Written by selfbuilt on 11-06-2010 10:00 PM GMT

jsr said:
Any chance you can do some comparative beamshots gifs between the M3C4 3-XPG and the Sunway M40C? ... When you do a ceiling bounce test and in actual usage, do you see a big difference in output between the M3C4 3-XPG and Sunway M40C as your numbers show, or is the difference not so noticeable?
No, I don't really see much of a difference in overall output. The beam battern is just slightly different - the 3-XPG version has a greater corona around the hotspot, while the M40C has a wider and dimmer spill. No, I don't really see much of a difference in overall output. The beam battern is just slightly different - the 3-XPG version has a greater corona around the hotspot, while the M40C has a wider and dimmer spill.

If you check out my 100-yard round up and open the high res shots in different tabs of your browser, you should be able to switch back and forth and get the same effect as an animated GIF. Even better actually, since they are in Hi colour as well.

And yes, the M40C is quite small. The difference is certainly noticeable.

wechnivag said:
Is the triple XP-G and XR-E for that matter using the same triple reflector as sold on DX?
Definitely not - this is a custom reflector for the M3C4. There's no actual gap - the reflector wells seem well suited to the XP-G. Definitely not - this is a custom reflector for the M3C4. There's no actual gap - the reflector wells seem well suited to the XP-G.

As an aside, even the M2C4 had a custom reflector for the XR-E - it's different from the triple XR-E lights sold on DX. I've tried one of those lights, and it was pretty poor at consolidating the beams.
 

selfbuilt

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Written by HIDblue on 11-07-2010 10:30 AM GMT

Hey selfbuilt, do you happen to know the dimensions of the tail cap screws??? I know it should be a 1.5mm x (?).

I want to order some better quality hex screws to replace the ones that came with the light.

Thanks a bunch.
Written by HIDblue on 11-07-2010 11:29 AM GMT

I am happy to report that I just received notification thatEagletac has agreed to send me a replacement M3C4 light body and tail cap. :party: :thumbsup:

All the credit goes to Ethan over at Lightjunction who handled the warranty service on my behalf with Eagletac, and kudos to Eagletac for agreeing to send me the replacement parts so I can actually enjoy my M3C4.

It always pays to buy your lights from a reputable and authorized dealer like Lightjunction and this is proof positive of that.

Thanks to everyone for your creative suggestions and comments. If you purchase the M3C4, please take extra precautions when you remove/install the hex screws in the tail cap to avoid the problems I encountered.
Written by selfbuilt on 11-07-2010 01:06 PM GMT

HIDblue said:
Hey selfbuilt, do you happen to know the dimensions of the tail cap screws??? I know it should be a 1.5mm x (?).
Well, 1.5mm refers to the width of the hex opening portion (i.e. the width of the allen key). Well, 1.5mm refers to the width of the hex opening portion (i.e. the width of the allen key).

I just measured one of mine, and the overall head width is 3.7mm, the overall length is 7.7mm, and the width of the actual screw thread region is 1.9mm. But of course, the threading dimensions are what you would need to know (i.e. how many threads, how deep, etc.). I'm not equipped to measure that - you would have to make sure that any replacement matched those characteristics.

Glad to hear the dealer took care of your return.
Written by jsr on 11-07-2010 05:08 PM GMT

Metric screws go by wrench size by threaded length. From selfbuilts description it sounds like you need a 1.5 x 5mm hex screw. Go to RC hobby shops, they have good quality steel screws. Get SS ones since you don't want them to rust. Should be really cheap. I buy tons of metric hex screws for my RCs.
Written by HIDblue on 11-07-2010 09:21 PM GMT

jsr said:
Metric screws go by wrench size by threaded length. From selfbuilts description it sounds like you need a 1.5 x 5mm hex screw. Go to RC hobby shops, they have good quality steel screws. Get SS ones since you don't want them to rust. Should be really cheap. I buy tons of metric hex screws for my RCs.
Thanks jsr. Thanks jsr.
Written by nitric on 11-10-2010 11:08 PM GMT

An update to my warranty claim (not related to tailcap /screws problem but imperfection on HA coating):

i was informed by the local distributor of Eagletac in Malaysia that he has received the replacement M3C4 XPG which he sent back for warranty few weeks back. Surprisingly, ET sent him a whole new torch including pouch & accessories. So im going to get a second set of accessories + pouch.

Another surprise is that the previous m3 had LOP reflectors and i was informed that the new one has smooth reflectors (should have a better throw) and the hotspot is more intense. So i can't wait to get it tomorrow.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx

received the m3c4 xpg in good condition. Great warranty service from the local distributor and thanks to ET for being generous.

Smooth reflectors and with distinctive donut effect on the hotspot when the distance is more than, perhaps 2.5meters (very very rough estimate). Hotspot is tighter and more intense compared to OP reflectors but OP didn't have the donut effect.
Written by LichtAn! on 11-12-2010 11:53 PM GMT

@selfbuilt

Great review as always. :twothumbs

How did you actually got the AWs to work now? With a magnet? And isn't it possible to remove the plastic ring to make flat-tops work without using any spacer?
 

selfbuilt

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Written by selfbuilt on 11-13-2010 08:06 AM GMT

LichtAn! said:
How did you actually got the AWs to work now? With a magnet? And isn't it possible to remove the plastic ring to make flat-tops work without using any spacer?
I haven't tried, but the magnet spacer should work (and be reasonably safe if the plastic ring is still there). Or you could try removing the ring (should be doable if you are really careful). But all my runtimes are done on the earlier 2200mAh capacity button-top AW cells. I haven't tried, but the magnet spacer should work (and be reasonably safe if the plastic ring is still there). Or you could try removing the ring (should be doable if you are really careful). But all my runtimes are done on the earlier 2200mAh capacity button-top AW cells.
 

selfbuilt

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Written by HIDblue on 11-22-2010 08:21 PM GMT

Happy to report that I finally received a replacement light body for my M3C4 directly fromEagletac, Hong Kong. That completely explains the shipping delay...not bad actually considering it only took 2 weeks to get from Hong Kong to California. Eagletac even pre-installed the clicky tail cap for me. The hex screws look a little different than before...

For a brief moment, I actually contemplated switching back to the flat tail cap for the tail-standing capability...I even had the hex key in my hand, but I didn't think I should tempt fate one more time. :duh2:

Perfect timing on the delivery too, I'll be out in the field tomorrow night. The M3C4 will definitely come in handy.

Many thanks to the folks at Lightjunction for facilitating my warranty service and much gratitude to Eagletac - Hong Kong for standing behind their product. Thank you all very much! :thumbsup:

Now to put this light to good use.
Written by Helmut.G on 11-23-2010 04:27 AM GMT

is the lanyard clip thing still as weak as the M2 series'?

I broke mine very soon, others reported the same back then.

do the diffuser and the filters fit the old M2 head?
Written by sfca on 12-03-2010 04:33 PM GMT

I see the XM-L M3C4 pre-order is up on f..&..g.com
Written by nitric on 12-07-2010 02:38 AM GMT

sfca said:
I see the XM-L M3C4 pre-order is up on f..&..g.com
what is the XM-L M3C4? any link? what is the XM-L M3C4? any link?

by the way, i just finished installing the tail clicky switch and glad to report that the bundled alien key fit nicely on the screws and switch is now online without any unwanted problems.
Written by Helmut.G on 12-07-2010 03:18 AM GMT

the XM-L is a new high power LED by Cree. I think it should behave similar to the SST-50 in this light.
Written by nitric on 12-08-2010 04:27 AM GMT

i already checked with the ET distributor in malaysia and he told me that the xml version is supposedly 20-30% brighter than the sst-50. type of reflector is still unknown. ET has yet to provide the actual specs.

Updates on 14/12/10:

M3c4 XM-L T6, C3000 circuit, smooth reflector, 39840 lux at 1 meter, 930 led emitter lumens at 3A, 5/65/192/404/748 lumens.

all info taken from the brochure provided by ET.
Written by LorenzoL on 12-20-2010 06:14 PM GMT

Thanks for the review.

Now for the stupid noob question: aren't these flashlights advertised as being made in the US (Arizona, I believe)? Why did HIDblue's replacement have to come from HK?
 

selfbuilt

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Written by selfbuilt on 12-21-2010 10:41 AM GMT

LorenzoL said:
Now for the stupid noob question: aren't these flashlights advertised as being made in the US (Arizona, I believe)? Why did HIDblue's replacement have to come from HK?
No, they do not avertise "made in the USA". Rather, they identify themselves as a US-based company, or sometimes refer to the lights as "designed in the US". The lights are manufactured in China. The principal owners are based in Arizona, I believe (although I've also seen a Washington state address for them). No, they do not avertise "made in the USA". Rather, they identify themselves as a US-based company, or sometimes refer to the lights as "designed in the US". The lights are manufactured in China. The principal owners are based in Arizona, I believe (although I've also seen a Washington state address for them).
 

selfbuilt

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Written by LorenzoL on 12-21-2010 02:30 PM GMT

Let's say that the way they word it is very ambiguous -and confusing-.

From their site:


"
EagleTac is an Arizona U.S. based company that designs and produces precision tactical flashlights commonly used by professional, law enforcement, search and rescue teams and military fields."


From PTS:

"
EagleTac is a Washington U.S.A based company that designs and produces precision tactical flashlights commonly used by professionals, First Responders, Law Enforcement, search and rescue (SAR) and military."

I want to stress that I have nothing against quality Chinese-made products, I just like to know what I am buying. I have several JetBeams and I was wondering how EagleTac could produce flashlights in the U.S. at a better price point than JetBeam.

Written by nitric on 01-01-2011 06:05 PM GMT

Lorenzol, i think the fact that ET has fulfilled their commitment towards customers (specially on warranty issues) had proven that its reliable, which to me is the more important aspect rather than the manufacturing country. ET has never mentioned that their products are manufactured in US but it is a US based company. the "made in china" is clearly stated on my m3c4 box but it doesnt matter to me as long as the product and after sales service is good and reliable.

well, this is just my point of view
Written by brightnorm on 01-01-2011 06:38 PM GMT

sfca said:
I see the XM-L M3C4 pre-order is up on f..&..g.com
Mine has been shipped from Light Junction. I'll give a comparison report when I receive it. Mine has been shipped from Light Junction. I'll give a comparison report when I receive it.

Brightnorm
Written by selfbuilt on 01-01-2011 09:06 PM GMT

brightnorm said:
Mine has been shipped from Light Junction. I'll give a comparison report when I receive it.
FYI, I'm working on a review of the M3C4 XM-L right now. Should be up in a couple of days ... FYI, I'm working on a review of the M3C4 XM-L right now. Should be up in a couple of days ... :whistle:
Written by brightnorm on 01-02-2011 02:08 AM GMT

I'm eagerly awaiting that review.

Brightnorm
Written by Twiz_ on 02-22-2011 10:23 AM GMT

After reading your review, i bought one with 3xR5 XP-G. Might not be the best for "whitewallers", but using it in real environments in the woods or so is absolutely great.

Great Review - Great Light. Thanks

http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=....abload.de/img/eagletac-m3c4-34payh.jpg[/img]

And here with my good old EDC PD30:

http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=....abload.de/img/eagletac-m3c4-15lna2.jpg[/img]

By the way. I did not install the clicky, i just lock out the head, if not in use. I really like just controlling the light with my thumb. Not using it in an "tactical grip" up next to my ear, but holding it normal in the hand.

Regards.
 
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