Review: Armytek Predator Pro v2.5 XP-G2 Tactical Thrower

JohnnyMac

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ARMYTEK PREDATOR PRO v2.5
* Armytek Predator Pro XP-G2 was provided by Armytek for review.



I'm going to change up my usual formatting here just because I can't get into the specifics of this light any more than Armytek already has. Therefore I'm going to start with my impressions and my output specs gathered by my meters and Integrated Sphere. The pictures further down will reflect the specs posted from Armytek and I will insert my notes and thoughts on what you are viewing. Armytek lists more specifics and features on their flashlights than any other manufacturer I've seen. They seem to have the utmost confidence in their lights and, having held and used this one for a week now, it is completely justified. Between the details they already provide on all their lights and any pictures I can provide you should be able to make up your own mind on this light. Having said that, let's move on with my impressions...

In a nutshell...
WOW! Save your pennies and get this light! 100% Mac Approved! If I could only have just one light this would pretty much be the one. Those of you who don't like a lot of pictures and don't like reading specs can feel free to head to Armytek's site and place your order. No need to waste anymore of your time.

Build Quality

Simply fabulous. If you've ever seen the Youtube videos were the Predator is being abused and molested in ways that would make you cry if it were any other light, I can assure you that you will understand how it can take that abuse. It is simply the most solid, well machined piece of kit I've held that emits photons. The threads are impeccable, the alloy is thick and tough as nails, the seals (double o-rings at the joints) are so tight you need a firm grip and two hands to unscrew the tailcap or remove the head. Armytek rates these lights as being waterproof to 55yards (you read that right - 55yards!). All threads are heavily lubricated with NyoGel grease.
How tough are these lights? Armytek rates them as impact resistant to 33ft. Armytek rates their HAIII anodizing at 400HV. I've tried searching for an explanation of what exactly that rating means but I can tell you that it loosely translates to "Tough as hell". The stainless steel bezels on the head and tail are titanium coated with a hardness of 2000-3000HV. Check out this Russian made torture test video.. This is a light you can pass down to your kids and grandkids as it will likely out live you.

The first thing one notices after taking an Armytek light out of it's very well made and durable holster is the unique matte finish of it's anodizing. The Ano itself gives it fantastic grip when wet and feels like the light is coated with superfine grit emery cloth. Holding the light makes you think you are holding a stick of chalk except it's not dusty or slippery. It's really the best way I can describe it to someone who hasn't held one of these lights.

Output

This light is a small tactical thrower. If you thought a stock light this small couldn't throw as well as the Predator does with it's XP-G2 and computer designed reflector you'd be wrong. I was amazed at the tiny hotspot and little amount of spill that blasts from the front of the Predator. The hotspot comes from a very focused 5 degree center beam with just 40 degrees of spill. Armytek rates the Predators output at 670 lumens in Turbo mode and 400m of throw (amazing from a light with a head only 1.56"/39.6mm in diameter). The reflector is one of the cleanest and smoothest I've seen and the lens is thick, hardened ultraclear double AR coated with 98%-99% light transmission.

The output is fully regulated and even in firefly mode (0.85 lumen) there is zero PWM. Tint is a pure, creamy white with no trace of blue, purple or green tint in any mode. Output is fully regulated and flat in all modes. I am still trying to figure out the custom programming. The owners manual tells the user how to select between the two default mode groups, or lines, as Armytek likes to call them, but is lacking in custom programming instructions. Fortunately for me, I am quite content with the default mode groups but am determined to figure out the custom programming and voltage readings. All mode and line changes, as well as custom programming, are made by twisting the head 45 degrees (1/8th of a turn). Definitely a two handed operation as the seals on the head make one-handed changes nearly impossible.

The first line, or group, of modes are low, medium and high. The second line has firefly and strobe. All modes stay where you left them until changed. This allows momentary via the forward-clicky switch in all modes.

My Output Results

My measurements were taken using a Panasonic CGR18650D. Measurements taken in my Integrated Sphere which is calibrated against a few Zebralight models I own as well as a few other lights that known ANSI output specs. My IS has been tested against those of a couple of other IS owners with calibrated spheres and is within 1% variance to theirs using the same exact test light (not model of light, the exact same light).

ModesOTF Lumens @ 30+ secondsInstant On
High463466
Medium96.1
Low4.67
Firefly0.85
Lux @ 1m33,700
Throw distance367.1 meters

You will see that my numbers are lower than those claimed by Armytek. This is because they use emitter output, not OTF output.

Take a gander of these beam shots I took inn the back yard. What you see in the pics is what I saw in person. The center hot spot in High mode slightly overwhelms the camera but the spill and lower modes are dead on.

9073219706_8600505f8e_o.gif


Ergonomics

Removing the silicon tactical ring lets you tail stand the Predator for a candle mode. It can also be removed and replaced with either a flat silicon band (included with packaging) for a smooth body or with the removable pocket clip (also included in packaging). The Predator fits comfortably in the hand and instills absolute confidence that it will ALWAYS work when you click the switch. If my life depended on my light I would feel safe with this on my belt. Armytek lights in general don't have knurling and, frankly, they don't need it. The finish provides excellent grip when wet and the protruding tactical switch can easily be activated with gloved hands. The included holster holds the light snugly and securely while allowing easy removal and insertion of the light.

With my thoughts on the Predator Pro v2.5 out of the way, let's look at the other pics I've taken
and the details and specs provided by Armytek. I will interject my thoughts as well. Click any of the pictures to open the full res pic in a new window/tab.



Items included in the package

  • Flashlight
  • Holster
  • Lanyard
  • 2 spare O-rings
  • Spare rubber button
  • Clip
  • Rubber grip (is put on flashlight)
  • Rubber ring to substitute the grip

The Predator Pro is packaged like all Armytek lights. Custom molded closed-cell foam cradles the light and holds it securely inside the heavy cardboard box. The light is further protected by it's holster. Here is a scan of the UserGuide.


Key Features

  • New powerful Cree XP-G2 LED
  • Impessive light output 670 LED lumen
  • Beam distance up to 400 meters
  • Constant brightness for whole operation time
  • Fully programmable settings to fit your needs
  • Excellent tactical flashlight for Hunting
  • Powered by one 18650 Li-Ion or two CR123A/R123 batteries

Optical Features

  • The reflector of the ArmyTek Predator flashlight has been modeled and calculated in computer software for the design of optical systems that enabled to produce a flawless light beam for a distance more than 400 meters.
  • Ultra-transparent and tempered glass was used with anti-reflective and lens coating, normally used in photo equipment only.
  • The transparency of the glass is 98-99%.
  • The angle of the light spot is 5 degrees.
  • The angle of the light spill is 40 degrees.
  • At the distance of 300 feet (92 meters), the diameter of the light spot is 26 feet (8 meters).

The Cree XP-G2 emitter is perfectly centered in the deep reflector.


Electrical Features

  • The flashlight is designed on the basis of the new-generation electronic driver S-Tek™
  • The current stabilization types are entirely changeable through the user menu: full stabilization (FULL), simple semi-stabilization (SEMI), stepped stabilization (STEP).
  • Firefly mode 0.1 lumens, working for 130 days with ONE 18650 Li-Ion battery.
  • Complete compatibility with one 18650 battery: actually high efficiency, long duration and flat runtimes (graph of brightness which depends on work time) with full stabilization of the current at all modes. Important notice: an implementation of buck-boost technology allowed refusing of standard method to reach constant brightness by addition of second 18650 battery that made the flashlight 2 times more compact and lightweight.
  • Advanced electronic protection from incorrect battery installation, without reducing the efficiency of the driver
  • Constant and smooth light output. Important notice: no irritating flickering effect.
  • Ecological algorithm of the stabilization control S-Tek Green™, which decreases the system power consumption, making the flashlight very effective, completely utilizing the battery power.
  • The S-Tek™ driver, due to a built-in sensor, constantly monitors the temperature of LED and the electronic circuit and will prevent the LED overheating in extreme environments.
  • The driver has a built-in indication of low voltage and high temperature.
  • The voltage supply selection allows using the cheaper batteries without protection board (PCB), for example: LiFePO4 or Li-Ion.

The Predator takes all 18650 batteries, both button topped and flat. Large brass contact points front and rear, coupled with a heavy spring in the tailcap, provide solid electrical contact.



Ergonomic Features

  • Removable stainless steel clip, functional and easy to use.
  • The ability to use batteries with a flat contact.
  • Indication of battery voltage at user's request (ex.: 3 blinks - pause - 6 blinks = 3.6 Volts).
  • The automemorization of the last used mode can be turned on or off.
  • The ability to save the user's individual settings in the Custom preset.
  • The ability to reset of all settings of the flashlight to those built-in by the manufacturer (Military or Outdoor presets) or to the user's saved preset (Custom).
  • Protection from switching on accidentally (special turn of the tailcap).
  • Strong and easily removable lanyard to avoid losing the flashlight.

All laser etching is crisp, clean and solid.

9022422206_6d10205420_n.jpg



Mechanical Features

  • The flashlight has a strong, difficult to break body, which is developed for a minimum weight with sufficient durability. The design of the body includes element design specifically to prevent the flashlight from rolling.
  • The flashlight is designed with the impact-resistant bezels from both sides in order to protect it from falling and allow utilization during combat situations. In the Gold and Black version the steel bezels are also covered by titanium compounds with a hardness of 2000-3000HV.
  • To ensure functionality in difficult conditions, the electronic driver of the flashlight is placed in a special aluminum capsule and has been completely covered with a durable compound. This actually protects it from both the environment and from mechanical damage.
  • Body cover: matte, anodized. Hardness: 350-400HV. Resistant to scratches and impacts.
  • Body material: aviation-grade aluminum T6061-T6.

The tail switch is a forward clicky and has great tactile feel. The switch boot feels very durable and is easy to find and press even with gloved hands.




Water resistance

  • Water resistance standard: IPX-8 (the highest)
  • Two silicone O-rings are installed at each side of the battery tube of the flashlight.
  • Metric profile thread has been used.
  • An O-ring has been used to increase glass sealing, and well as an extra L-ring of a specific shape.
  • All threads, rubber parts and other parts of the flashlight that experience friction or contact with water are lubricated with a special dense grease NyoGel 760G.

All the threaded points in my Predator are cut super clean, fit very well, and are liberally coated in NyoGel. The tail threads are anodized and allow you to lock out the switch to prevent accidentally power engagement. Not a modders light, all components are fully sealed and have to be in order to provide the outstanding level of dust, waterproofing, and impact resistance the light has. There really is no need to mod it anyway. It's one of the few lights I have no interest in even wanting to improve on.



Light & Optics

Maximal light output:670 lumens
Beam distance:437 yd
LED:Cree XP-G2 R5
LED Tint:Cool White 5500K
Optics:Smooth reflector
Stabilization of constant brightness regardless of frost and lowbattery voltage:Full
Hotspot:5 °
Spill:40 °
Hotspot diameter at 300 feet / 92 meters:26 ft
Impact-resistant glass lens with sapphire and anti-reflection coating:Yes

Sizes & Weight


Length:6.1 inches
Body Diameter:1 inch
Head Diameter:1.56 inches
Weight (without batteries):5.82 oz

Modes & Electronics


Power source:1x18650 Li-Ion / 2xCR123A / 2xR123 Li-Ion
Output levels and runtimes:670 lm (1h 20min)
200 lm (7h)
70 lm (20h)
6 lm (155h)
Number of modes:5
Type of mode switching:Head rotation
Type of clicky switch:Tactical Forward
Momentary activation for quick access:Yes
Runtime for maximal mode:1h 20min
Runtime for maximal mode:130 days
Advanced heat transmission for LED with copper MPCB:Yes
Advanced heat transmission for electronics:Yes
Active thermal management of LED and electronics:Yes
Special spring material for higher efficiency:Yes
Firefly micromode with ultra-long runtime:Yes
Ability to work when the main electric circuit is damaged:Yes
Auto-memorization of the last used mode:Yes
Special signals (Strobe, SOS, Beacon):Yes
Programmable modes:Yes
Ability to save individual user settings:Yes
Ability to reset settings to factory default:Yes
Changeable type of brightness stabilization:Yes
Built-in low battery indication:Yes
Built-in high temperature indication:Yes
Indication of battery voltage:Yes
Battery over-discharge protection circuit for unprotected batteries using:Yes
Advanced electronic reverse polarity protection:Yes
Light output without flickering:Yes
Unprotected Li-FePO4 battery support:Yes
Ability to use batteries with a flat contact:Yes
Protection from accidental switch-on:Yes

Grip is provided by grooves in the body and the fantastic anodizing. The silicon tactical ring is very comfortable to use and is easily removed if you don't like it.


All machining is smooth and free of machining marks. The holster is great. THe nylon is thick and strong, all stitching is solid, and it fits the light snugly and securely.



A handsome light, it's minimal, military look is unmistakably "Armytek"! Not much bigger than a standard p60 light, it positively destroys in output due to obvious reasons such as the larger reflector but does so in a package just as easy to carry as the smaller light.


Sexy, sexy, sexy!
 
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subwoofer

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JohnnyMac, I'm curious about the output measurements you took. I may have missed it, but were they taken with 18650 (in which case which cell was used), CR123 or RCR123? Also did you set the appropriate power sources in the Predator's programming to match (by default the Predator is set to 18650 as the power source).

How are your lumen estimates derived?

When I reviewed and tested the Predator V2.0 ( along with the Predator X - now replaced by the Viking Pro) which is identical to the Predator Pro V2.5, I got the following output figures from my integrating sphere (calibrated using 30 production lights, on all specified output modes, from various manufacturers). These are using the Fenix ARB-L2 18650.

Predator G2 using ARB-L2I.S. measured ANSI output LumensPWM frequency (Hz)
Military (default) High4970
Military (default) Medium840
Military (default) Low50

(High on CR123 was 487lm)

Purely on this set of results it strikes me that your maximum output is lower than I measured, but the medium result you report is higher. We agree on the low :)


Did you find any difference in the initial output on the different stabilisation modes (FULL, SEMI and STEP)? - Currently my sample of the Predator is engaged in an endurance test http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?361620-The-ArmyTek-120-day-Challenge!!! so I cannot carry out any further tests on this light until the challenge has run its course.


It looks like the majority of your review text is copied and pasted from the ArmyTek website, have you tested these claims work properly and that the interface, programming and modes work as specified?

What is your preferred set-up of the Predator? (I keep Line 1 as default, but Line 2 has been increased to 5 modes consisting of the three firefly modes, beacon and strobe, with memory active).
 

JohnnyMac

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JohnnyMac, I'm curious about the output measurements you took. I may have missed it, but were they taken with 18650 (in which case which cell was used), CR123 or RCR123? Also did you set the appropriate power sources in the Predator's programming to match (by default the Predator is set to 18650 as the power source).

How are your lumen estimates derived?

When I reviewed and tested the Predator V2.0 ( along with the Predator X - now replaced by the Viking Pro) which is identical to the Predator Pro V2.5, I got the following output figures from my integrating sphere (calibrated using 30 production lights, on all specified output modes, from various manufacturers). These are using the Fenix ARB-L2 18650.

Predator G2 using ARB-L2I.S. measured ANSI output LumensPWM frequency (Hz)
Military (default) High4970
Military (default) Medium840
Military (default) Low50

(High on CR123 was 487lm)

Purely on this set of results it strikes me that your maximum output is lower than I measured, but the medium result you report is higher. We agree on the low :)


I've updated the OP to explain how my output numbers were derived:


"My measurements were taken using a Panasonic CGR18650D. Measurements taken in my Integrated Sphere which is calibrated against a few Zebralight models I own as well as a few other lights that known ANSI output specs. My IS has been tested against those of a couple of other IS owners with calibrated spheres and is within 1% variance to theirs using the same exact test light (not model of light, the exact same light)."

As I did say in my review, the included documentation gives no instructions on how to program the light aside from the 2 default programming lines and as soon as I get those I will test out the programming. This is something they really should include with the light when you buy it. I tried searching their website for the instructions and come up empty. This morning I spoke with Sandra, from Armytek, and she informed me that if I search for the instructions for the now discontinued Predator V2 the instructions for that are the same as the new Predator Pro v2.5 that we both reviewed. They can be downloaded here.

Did you find any difference in the initial output on the different stabilisation modes (FULL, SEMI and STEP)? - Currently my sample of the Predator is engaged in an endurance test http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?361620-The-ArmyTek-120-day-Challenge!!! so I cannot carry out any further tests on this light until the challenge has run its course.

Once I have the instructions explaining the custom mode programming I will test them out. I am working on a different way to measure output in order to augment just the IS and lux meter results. Hopefully I will have it working soon. ;)

I'm looking forward to your challenge results. Should be fun! :devil:

It looks like the majority of your review text is copied and pasted from the ArmyTek website, have you tested these claims work properly and that the interface, programming and modes work as specified?

In my OP I stated that the second half of my review would be the specs taken directly from Armytek's site along with my photos and thoughts sprinkled among them. You must have missed that when you read it. I've highlighted them in bold so others don't miss it as well as changed the color of the specs so it is more obvious what was taken from their site and what was written by me. I hope that helps you.

I have tested what I could without being able to work the custom programming. Now that I have the instructions I can check them out fully. Based on many, many other reviews I've read on Armytek's lights I have no reason to doubt that any of it is false. Their reputation is as solid as their lights are. My time has been crazy and I am super backlogged with reviews right now so I can't go crazy on every minute detail. I wish I had that kind of time! ;)


What is your preferred set-up of the Predator? (I keep Line 1 as default, but Line 2 has been increased to 5 modes consisting of the three firefly modes, beacon and strobe, with memory active).

My preferred is also the default Line 1. Immensely practical! Once I am able to figure out the programming I will likely have it setup exactly like yours. I'm a big moon mode fan and use them as much as the higher outputs. :thumbsup:
 
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nobletitus

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I have come to really love the programming on the Armytek lights. After getting the hang of it it is really hard to consider other lights that don't give you the same versatility. It's not for everyone but its right up my alley. The only drawback I find is bring unable to switch modes (turn head) with one hand. For example, searching with a gun in one hand and the light in the other. You're stuck with whatever mode you have whereas other lights give you another mode with a double tap. This is going to be my next light.
 

MindToAsk

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Great review. Any words on the warm white version of this light? Is it much difference between the 2 lights?

I upgraded my Fenix TK15 to a Klarus XT11 (I know, can't compare the two - different reflector, led and size, but...) and I'm really interested in this new Predator. Where will it stand between the 2 lights I already have? Will it have a narrower beam (spill and hotspot) than the TK15? Is it (apparent) brighter than the XT11? From the numbers it outperforms both, but is it much difference in real life? Does it worth the upgrade?

Thank you.
 

spc smith

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MindToAsk,

The Armytek Predator Pro is a whole notha class of light and functionality. In terms of throw ie being able to see an unlit target at night the Armytek Predator WILL DESTROY the klarus XT11 hands down. I have the older XT11 and its total center spot light intensity with 1X18650 is rated at 9,500 CD (candela). That matched against the newer armytek predator pro 33,700 CD, is clearly no match. Plus if I am not mistaken, I think it puts out 550 OTF lumens with the newer XPG2 emitter.


SPC Smith
 

RetroTechie

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I've had the Predator Pro "warm" (in NW, that is) for a few weeks now. Tint on the NW version is very nice, much more daylight-like than the usual cool white LED light. Some comments:

Cons:
  • I'm not a fan of the anodization used. Yes it has a uniquely 'rubbery' feel to it. It also tends to collect dirt faster... :( I've also managed to put a minor scratch or two on it, so it may not be as durable as advertised.
  • The clip is too strong to be of practical use imho. It's possible to clip into a coat pocket (and surely it'll stay there), but takes too much effort to do so.
  • Tailstanding requires the tactical ring which you may not keep attached. Not a dealbreaker for me, but still... tailstand capability is useful, so any compromises there are -1 in my book.
  • The programmable features of the "Pro" versions (both Viking and Predator) are a pain to use. Documentation that comes with the light, is user documentation, how to use programming features can't be found on ArmyTek's site. :scowl:
  • This is not an EDC light, period. Car glovebox, coat pocket: possible. Pants pocket: unpossible.

Also I'm not a fan of the head-twisting UI. But that may be different for you, I suppose.

Pro's:
  • Throw - amazing for a 1x 18650 light.
  • Did I mention throw?
  • Built very solid. I'm not too sure how it would fare as a 'duty' light (maintenance personnel, law enforcement etc). But I can envision a special forces dude landing on foreign soil with this baby strapped to the body armor... :)
  • Very unlikely to leave you in total darkness. Even set to fully regulated and running @high, an empty battery will drop the light into a 'firefly' mode, which is still enough to locate a spare battery, navigate around a room, etc. This firefly mode lasts effectively 'forever', so will go on for a good amount of time even with depleted battery.
  • Programmable features are a pain to use but they do work. So you can set # of modes, brightness in each mode, low battery voltage etc, etc.
  • Very flexible in battery options.
 

pebbles

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Yes, the twisty user interface has its drawbacks; I break out the 760g Nyogel and think about what modes I really want in each line. A thorough wipe-down of the threads between battery changes is probably a good idea...

Frankly, the default military is pretty good. The temptation is to program the heck out of this because it is definitely a strength, but I am thinking that keeping it practical and simple is a good move for me.

I have the military default in line one, and I swapped out the tactical strobe in line two for the beacon. I really like the beacon for putting in my campsite while I forage for wood and water with headlamp.

This is an absolutely beautiful light. A BIG reflector for its overall size ensures tremendous throw. 33,700 cd and Packable. Tell me what is better for an ultralight camper that wants to spot an owl from a hundred yards.

Take the cigar holder for tail-standing, if it's an issue. The clip is fine, really; anything weaker and I wouldn't trust it. I use neither, presently.

The website, if you check the specifications, says this goes down to 50 meters underwater. Has anybody used it for night diving? The double o rings suggest it is possible.
 
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Swedpat

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I really like the Predator Pro. So much I then ordered also the Viking Pro and Barracuda! :) I really love the matt unslip surface. Regarding low mode of Predator and Viking: I am very convinced that the lowest firefly mode is WAY lower than 0,85lm. I think closer to 0,01lm! It's surely ~20times dimmer than 0,2lm mode of Quark 123: I can hold the light directly close to the eye and stare into the beam without any discomfort, not even beeing dazzled!
 
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kj2

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Is there anyone who has the Predator Green led version? Am interested in that one, but want to see some beamshots first :)
 

Swedpat

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I would like an Armytek 1AA thrower in the same design and performance as Predator but smaller and thinner. Would be awesome!
 
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