Surefire 10x dominator rebuilds

ABTOMAT

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 9, 2004
Messages
2,995
Location
MA, USA
That's being kind of hard on Surefire, historically. They had a ton of rechargeable lights in the 1990s, plus kits to convert many of their lithium models. Their systems just never got the kind of widespread popularity needed to keep it going. I think their stuff was just too quirky and expensive to catch on. Like a 9N is a much, much "better" flashlight than a Streamlight Stinger, but I'd take a Stinger 9/10 times just because it's easier to use and not as goofy. And the lights people were having bored out for 18650s were designed before those batteries were common. I think the Strion was the first 18650 light (wrapped in a proprietary shell) and we're already talking 2003 or whenever.

My main beef with SF's rechargeables is how hard they dropped them. If you equipped a few cars with SFs in the mid 2000s you're now sitting on a couple grand worth of paperweights. Those are incredibly expensive flashlights to be left unsupported by a company like SF. Even dead end outfits like Tiger Light still sell bulbs and batteries. Yeah, I know you can get a lot of mods for SFs. Problem with most of those are you're either giving up the original functionality.
 

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
20,775
Location
NYC
Definitely far from a ton of lights. Back during the 1990s, we're talking literally a handful of models. Also, early 1990s is when 18650s first hit the scene. SureFire just wasn't interested at all. But I absolutely agree with you regarding the abysmal lack of support for those older models, today. Streamlight doing a fantastic job of providing parts for their older rechargeable models.

CPF used to have a member back then who owned two surefire models. An L7 and a 9AN. Both rechargeable. He used to work as an usher in a movie theater. Used his two SureFires on a daily basis at his job. Genuinely wondering what he uses now. I know it's not his two SureFires from back in the day.
 

ABTOMAT

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 9, 2004
Messages
2,995
Location
MA, USA
Who was using 18650s in flashlights in the '90s? Outside of laptop batteries I didn't hear about those things until years later.

In 1998 Surefire had the 6R, 9R, 7Z, 8X, 9N, plus turbo head versions of all those lights and various accessory kits and chargers. The 3R had been discontinued recently; they were a few years away from the 8AX, 8NX, 9AN, 10X, and L7. I'd call that a lot. Streamlight had about as many at the time. Mag had one.
 

ebuchner

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
162
I did find their lack of interest in moving beyond NiCd tech baffling since they really did go out of their way to make NiCd conversion kits available at least for their 6V lights with the R60 in the 90s. I'm guessing their later arrangements with Duracell and the armed forces heavily incentivized one direction and not the other.
 

ebuchner

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
162
I just stripped and cleaned out three of these packs, too. Will post some photos if anyone needs them. I have to say, the 10X has quickly become my least-favorite flashlight Everything about this thing is weird and difficult to use/maintain.
I've been toying with the idea of putting together a small project that be a drop-in replacement assembly for the guts (plastic top assembly with contact rings + charging leads+ 6S NiMh pack). That way rebuilding a B20 would be simplified down to "one snap ring, two screws, remove whole assembly, drop new assembly in two screws and one snap ring" which would let a prospective user skip the part in the middle where you curse for three hours while you dismantle all the spot welds, glue, and leaking cells before having to re-solder, and re-glue everything.

It just doesn't seem like *that many* people would be interested in it.
 

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
20,775
Location
NYC
I did find their lack of interest in moving beyond NiCd tech baffling since they really did go out of their way to make NiCd conversion kits available at least for their 6V lights with the R60 in the 90s. I'm guessing their later arrangements with Duracell and the armed forces heavily incentivized one direction and not the other.
That's how business works. Biggest option for making profit, that's the one businesses go for.
 

ABTOMAT

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 9, 2004
Messages
2,995
Location
MA, USA
They must have been making bank off battery sales, or the rechargeables were seriously underperforming. They bailed right when Li-ion lights became practical. Even Mag came out with new models after that.

I think the R1, UDR, and Stiletto were the only later ones?
 
Top