SureFire 8AX question

WaltH

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Why does it say on their website that delivery of these lights is delayed till January due to "Wartime production demands"? I would hope that with the battery/charger problem we would not be putting these in the hands of our soldiers.

This is not meant to bash SureFire. I am one of their biggest supporters. But I am curious if we are in fact sending these into war when we know there's a problem with them.
 

robo

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Maybe they want to drop some Surefire rechargeables over enemy lines to trick them into darkness..?
grin.gif
 

guncollector

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While I cannot disprove it, I believe that "Wartime production demands" explanation to be false. Its merely Surefire's Marketing Dept.'s cover-up of a major design/production fault with its much chronicled B90 NiCd batteries, and possibly its CN400 chargers.

See the following threads which cover this issue at great length:

Surefire 8AX alternative?

B90 battery discussion

Experimental B90 passes 10-day charge-hold test!

do *NOT* BUY a SureFire rechargeable!!! (186 thread)

Do *NOT* BUY a SureFire rechargeable!!! (CPF thread)

Help with Surefire Sub-C Transplant

Lucky #7! The X90 Frankenstick holds a charge!
 

guncollector

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BTW, while I still love Surefire products, and believe them to truly have a "World Class" customer service department, the original "denial" of a B90 problem followed now by this thinly-veiled "Wartime production-demands" cover-up is unforunately quickly degrading my opinion of the company...
 

geepondy

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Called Surefire finally to inquire about overdue promised replacement battery delivery. The guy said that there was a problem (even on his own personal 8AX) and that three engineers were working on it and it would be solved very soon. Each battery now is being tested for three weeks before shipment. He also said there was either or both (I don't recall) a different vendor, design for the charger and that new ones would arrive at the beginning of the year. Didn't sound like a cover up to me and he said to feel free to call about any questions. Also I asked about A2 delivery and he said they were really shooting for the first week in December but did not know what the MSRP would be.
 

guncollector

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geepondy writes:
Didn't sound like a cover up to me and he said to feel free to call about any questions.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">No, tech support usually tells it like it is.

However the info you're relaying only supports and confirms at least a partial "cover up"--or why else does the website say deliveries of the rechargeables are delayed due to "Wartime production demands"?

Are we supposed to extrapolate that "Wartime production demands" means that Surefire is shorthanded in the engineering dept. for reassessing, testing, and re-engineering the B90 NiCd's and CN400 chargers?

It definitely seems Tech Support and the Marketing Dept. are on two different planets...
 

nihraguk

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its been quite well-known that as of late, surefire has stopped offering N-certified lights and has been having trouble filling orders because they've been busy delivering orders for the u.s. military. "wartime production demands" probably means that they are busy manufacturing other products for the military, not sending that particular light to be used.

i would think the military has placed orders that are quite huge and demanding, and they probably have little time for anything else at the moment. that would explain why they've been taking so long to fix the B90 battery problems, and it is also possible that is why they haven't released many of the products promised in the 2002 product catalog.

cover-up? i don't think that was the case. every product manufactured by any manufacturer has a failure rate. the complaints about the battery problems initially, were probably within the failure rate, and hence they said there isn't a problem. when the complaints started increasing to the point where it was no longer within the failure rate, they knew something was wrong. they then halted sale of the problem product, and they're not going to resume selling it till the problem is fixed.

at present, they probably don't have the time or resources to fix the problem. unlike a flashlight body design problem, problems with electronics are not all that easily fixed. my computer motherboard still has some problems that have yet to be fixed, though many are being addressed with each bios update.

if admitting there's a problem with the product and halting its sale and losing potential revenue to fix the problem isn't being responsible, then i don't know what is. "wartime production demands" might not be the sole reason, but it definitely is one of the main reasons.

although some of us might think surefire is some big flashlight conglomerate with huge assembly lines and factories that take up hundreds of hectres, the truth is that they're still pretty small. they cater to a speciality market, hence there's no need or capability to expand. it is very possible that large orders by the military or other organizations involved would choke up their resources to the extent that they have to lay aside other concerns. the recently released led bezels have also been trickling out of the factory, and this is further evidence that they're very busy with other orders.

lets not let out conspiracy theories get the better of our judgement. i think we can rest assured that surefire will release the 8AX for sale once again once they have been satisfied that the problem has been fixed. we have to either wait for the product to be fixed and buy it, or we buy a product that is currently faulty. we can't have the best of both worlds. personally, i'd choose the former.
 

guncollector

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nihraguk-

First, nice sell job...but sorry, I'm not buying it.

First, Surefire has known about the B90 problem since at least May of 2002, and probably long before (this information directly from head of Tech Support back in 5/02--and I was "late" finding out about the B90 problem).

Second, I was informed by Surefire Tech and Customer Service back in June 2002, when the CK-43 "bad lot" was the suspected culprit, that amongst the many returns, the rechargeables (batteries and chargers) of entire Police Dept.'s were being returned and inundating them. I really hope that's not within Surefire's standard or acceptable failure rate.

Third, "cover up" doesn't require conspiracy. Indicating the rechargeables aren't shipping due to "Wartime productions demands" and omitting the "known problems/technical difficulties" is at best a half-truth...I call it a "cover up".

I too hope Surefire gets back on their game and fixes the problem fast.

In the meantime, I have gone to the trouble of producing my own modified B90's that have proven to hold a charge for 20+ days at last test. A few others have done the same.
 

nihraguk

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well i agree surefire has been sitting on their hands regarding some of the bugs in their products. if i recall correctly, before indicating the 8AXs are not shipping due to "wartime production demands", they merely indicated that they would not be shipping the 8AXs temporarily. perhaps "wartime production demands" is more of a reason for not fixing the problem, as opposed to a cover-up for the bugs in their product. but yes, i agree its a half-truth, and they should be more up-front about the problems with the 8AX. i didn't mean that post as a sell-job though.

i think its precisely why the number of lights returned were not within their acceptable failure rate, which is why they halted sales of the 8AX. i'm under the impression from other posts here that surefire thought the problem was with the batteries, which is why they were sending out replacement B90s which weren't from the faulty lot and it seems that those batteries haven't been giving problems.

also, stating a half truth that the reason for not shipping the 8AXs is due to "wartime production demands" isn't right to me, but it is very understandable. i can't imagine them stating on their website that they aren't shipping the 8AXs due to "severe problems with reliability due to faulty battery packs and other reasons we have yet to determine". anyway in an earlier post in another thread i mentioned that i strongly suspected that it was their battery suppliers supplying them with old stocks of batteries, as the reported problems of the faulty battery packs exhibited the exact same problems as some old NiMH discman and handphone batteries i have lying around.

trust me that i've had my share of surefire "cover-ups" as well. my P60 LA that came with my 6P quit working after i left it on the table, and this was reported by many users here on the CPF and the former SFDB. surefire CS sent me a replacement, explaining that the failure rate was extremely small, and that i was unlucky. i personally felt that a lower-than-reported lamp life would be acceptable, but not lamp assemblies that quit working for no reason. my mags have been more reliable at times, and this is why i'm holding off my M2 purchase until i can be sure it can at least resist water reliably.

personally, i'm fine with whatever problems their products may have so long as they take active steps to rectify them, or at least service/replace their faulty products which is what they've always done. i think it'd be best if we all just waited a while for them to iron out the kinks in their products before lambasting them.

regards,
winston.
 

guncollector

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also, stating a half truth that the reason for not shipping the 8AXs is due to "wartime production demands" isn't right to me, but it is very understandable. i can't imagine them stating on their website that they aren't shipping the 8AXs due to "severe problems with reliability due to faulty battery packs and other reasons we have yet to determine".
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">To maintain integrity, it'd have been better to offer no explanation, rather than suggest the half-truth of "wartime production demands"--which is arguably an exploitation of the war IMHO...
 

nihraguk

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To maintain integrity, it'd have been better to offer no explanation, rather than suggest the half-truth of "wartime production demands"--which is arguably an exploitation of the war IMHO...
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">true, but then again some might see that as a cover-up as well, or a sign that surefire isn't being "open" or "transparent".

in any case, i'm fine with whatever they do so long as they get the problem fixed. on a sidenote, my replacement E2e bezel arrived today, and i gave it the 3 hour sink submerge test and it didn't leak one drop
smile.gif
 

Size15's

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Have you considered that no 8AX's are being made right now because the machines and/or workers are busy producing WeaponLights such as the M900 and M95 ?

Just a thought on my part.

Al
 

guncollector

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What is it with the slavish devotion to defend Surefire's lack of candor (as evidenced by the website misrepresentation) of the 8/9-series/B90/CN400 problem(s)?

It's simple: the website says "wartime production demands", Customer Service/Tech Support indicate "engineers are working on a fix"--no mention of a resource/production shortage. An inside source of mine has confirmed the latter.

Am I the only one who sees the incongruity in the two statements--respectively one I believe to be a facade, the other to be the truth?

Look, I'm not a Surefire basher by nature. I've stated over-and-over that their Customer Service and Tech Support are truly World Class (their words, not mine).

But, the marketing/sales and production/engineering divisions have completely dropped the ball on this 8/9-series/B90/CN400 fiasco.

Like Bill O'Reilly, if a person or entity tries their "spin" on me, I'm gonna call them on it...
 

dano

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Fuel to the fire: I heard that the newest Commander series lights are made overseas, and not in California...Just a thought...

I'm thinking of moving this to Cafe, but it's still on the border-line...

--dan
 

nihraguk

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Ron:

no one's defending surefire's lack of candor. at least i know i'm not. i believe the truth to be neither "wartime production demands" nor "engineers working on a fix". rather, its a bit of both.

as Al said, it could be possible the production lines meant for the 8AX have been retooled to step up production of other lights that have been ordered. is that hard to believe? as mentioned earlier, i think this is also evidenced by the slow production of the new led bezels.

your source mentioned that it was due to the engineers working on a fix, but he didn't mention wartime production demands. did he/she specifically state that it was due to that one and only reason, or was that just one of the main reasons?

it might simply be a case of surefire deciding that (without doubt, of course) there are serious problems with the 8AX lights, so they halted production to fix the problem before resuming production and delivery. since they're not using that particular production line, they figure "why not use that inactive production line to manufacture weapon lights that are on backorder?"

so when they're deciding what to enter on their website as a reason for the halted delivery of the 8AX lights, they have two options: "wartime production demands", or "severe problems with reliability due to faulty battery packs and other reasons we have yet to determine". they could put both, but what would be the better choice? i think 99% of companies in the same position would choose the former.

its definitely not morally correct, but very understandable. surefire might have really great and world class customer service (i fully agree) and they usually go the extra mile that most other companies don't tread. but above all, they are still a company and as such, they have to function as one and that means making decisions that may not always be morally correct, but for the benefit of the company.

so yes, if any of the above scenarios are true, then "wartime production demands" is as you described, a half-truth and i concur. how you might choose to react to that is up to you, and i definitely have no say. just try to be a little more understanding of surefire's position and be patient. i'm quite sure they'll fix the problem and when they do, production and delivery of the 8AX will probably resume, unless of course they're still bogged down by wartime production demands.

i'm more result-oriented, in the sense that i don't care how they fix the problem, so long as the problem gets fixed. my view on this applies to any company, flashlight or otherwise, and not just surefire alone. lastly, i mean no offence to anyone here and i hope i didn't come across as such.

regards,
winston.
 
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