Thoughts about Surefire

recercare

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I have always looked up on Surefire as something fascinating and annoying.

First the rechargeables:
**The 10X dominator is way too expensive. I would not use it in rough conditions because blowing the bulb would cost a fortune. It's an impressive light, a collectors item and a perfect toy, but for me...not useful.

**The 9X, I would not use the 20 lumen lamp, and the 140 lumen bulb.....well, Magcharger is cheaper, brighter and more solid (though with worse beam quality).

**The 8NX, In my opinion a good buy, but Surge with NiMHs will give more value. Still, the 8NX is Surefire's best rechargeable in my opinion.

Now 2 more:
E2 - very nice indeed, but probably not twice as nice as Scorpion/Legend LX as the price should indicate.
C3/D3 - Too expenive to run and buy, and perhaps too big to carry daily as well. However, great selfdefence tools.

All in all... I don't see any reasonable arguments for buying the Surefire models above, perhaps except from C3/D3 because I have not found a better non-surefire selfdefence flashlight.

So why do I still have an urge to buy Surefires? I think the perfect beam makes me blind to the other disadvantages
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Darell

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LOCO is more like it.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by recercare:
So why do I still have an urge to buy Surefires?
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<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Easy. Surefires are sexy. In this case (and maybe others?) you need to PAY for the sex.
 

Size15's

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Hmmm

I consider myself practically blind to other brands, but continue to explore in the hope that something better for my needs will come along.

What I consider SureFire's advantage to be is in compactness, and carryability. The E2 is on me because it is tiny, and have a clip. The LX is $20 I could have spent on batteries, or beer.

The 9AN is tiny compared to the MagCharger. If you don't have it with you, you may as well not have it, and I believe more people are going to carry the 9AN before the MagCharger.

Expense. I believe that to call the running costs of SureFires expensive compared to using Alks is not comparing like-for-like. First, the kind of light that SureFires provide would take several alk lights to even attempt to match.
Second, if you have the light on you, you're going to use it more often.

The M2 and E2 are my carry lights. I spent less on them each week then I do on drink, and my SureFire habit is cheaper then smoking...

What it comes down to, is, the beam quality is such that using other brands is now almost painful.

AL
 

SurefireM6

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And lets not forget Surfire's intended theater of use:Tactical Environment

Long runtime is not SF's goal. The use of 3v DL123 batteries show their intentions: Compact and bright light. People who use that as an argument annoy me, "My Surge runs longer than an M3 and it's cheaper"...... argh I hate that. I've never seen a Surge mounted on a Shotgun for Dynamic Entry that lasts just Minutes, if not seconds. And I wouldn't use my M3 225lm light to walk my dog for an hour either.

SF's are a great value if you consider the on-going Reasearch and Development. SF quality is second to none. If you want the best, your going to pay more.

If you want long runtime, there are other lights better at that. If you want dive lights, there are other companies that specialize in that as well...If you want High Performance Tactical/Military/Law Enforcement lights there is SF.

If you look at the weapons of our Military Special Forces, Law Enforcement's S.W.A.T., F.B.I.'s Hostage Rescue Team, etc.....you'll see a SF light. There's a reason for that folks.

The only complaints I hear about a SF light:

1. Cost
2. Runtime

This can be explained with my opening statement. The End.
 

WarrenI

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I hear you folks and it's funny that this subject keeps coming up. The following is a post I made on another topic here:
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>It's very interesting to see the comments made regarding SF. At one point, I was going to pickup an E2. But, something stopped me! It had to do with the run time (60 - 90 minutes tops). I know many people have boasted about the police, rescue, and security people using it. I did lots of asking and found that not many, but only a few number of these people had SFs. Guess what, when they showed it to me, the batteries were either dead or not installed. Some of them had a broken filament in the bulb (could have broken after a previous fall). These people did not know that their light was in need of attention as they have not used it for a while (months to years). The biggest reason they owned this light as the hype they encountered when they first joined their ranks. Many of the trade magazines boast these lights. To look good for the part, they purchased one.

After their purchase, most of them were not impressed by the beam power. They all thought it had far more power than the largest mag. Granted, it had a better beam quality, but it produced a small beam and only brighter than a mag. They were expecting something way brighter. They laughed when they saw CSI using these lights as they could not remember anyone in the field using these (not even the FBI). The biggest gripe, 90 minutes max run time is just too short to be useful. For the ones with working SFs, they carry these mainly as a status symbol.

These are just my findings by talking to security, police, fire, rescue, military
police, state police, and harbor patrol staff. It came out to about 1 in 10 of these
people owned SFs. Most of the rest did think too much about them. They were stunned that many people were creating a hype about them and they told me that they would reconsider them if SF could get the run time to well over 5 hours and not have to change bulbs that often. Also, they really didn't like dropping the light and having it burn out so quickly.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

They all mentioned that they need something that does not need to change batteries every hour. Has anyone ever seen these people change batteries in the field. If they had to do this every hour, they said that they would decide if they purchased it or if it was issued to them. If they purchased it, it would go into their trunk and the batteries be changed one day. If it was issued, they would toss it. They do not have the time to monkey around with battery issues. The SWAT team has a few SFs, but they are used for only specific applications and does not get general use.
 

SurefireM6

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My point exactly, Sf's are made for Specific Applications.

SF does make rechargeables however for every day use. And around here I find that the ratio is closer to 8 out of 10 (LEOs) carrying SFs as primary or a small one for backup.

WarrenI,

I've heard that Hawaii is a very expensive place to visit/live. How are the prices over there compared to the mailand? Not just SFs but general living. Thanks
 

Size15's

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I would also add that many of the people using SureFires would have the 6P/Z or maybe the 9P/Z and that SureFires have come along way since they got theirs.
Blow lamps used to be more of a problem, but with the Z32 and Millennium Series, it has been resolved - BUT people are less likely to know about these.

To use an M3 or M4 as a duty light is crazy - if cost was not an issue, the change of batteries in the field is.
Therefore, SureFire rechargeables are aimed at those who I suppose have a car to operate from, and not those who are out on their own for the whole night... Streamlight rechargeables offer the same runtimes.

However, for some, very important uses, SureFires offer the best lights. For use in seconds and minutes, not hours.

Give 100o police officers M2's with P60 lamps. I will personally replace any lamp that dies in a situation I consider it shouldn't, and I expect a lot from the M2 because I have field-testing it to destruction, and been very, very impressed.

Batteries have also improved in the last 5-10 years. I just get annoyed when people write-off SureFires based on their views or even experiences of products that are discontinued!

Al
 

Numbers

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Any chance SureFire would make a light that reaches like the Ultra Stinger but with that perfect beam. I would happily pay for it and dont see why others who want the best would not. I am sure a lot of magcharger or SL users would like to have such a light. Is this an untapped market for SF?
 

lightlover

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Too right there's an untapped market for SF's. Several, imo.
SureFire's are based on meeting the specialised needs of Tactical dudes, that's where they started. The "Executive" E2 is a great departure from their self-imposed constraints.

They may not be *ordinary purpose* lights, but that's what I use them for. The E2 has a superb central/surround light distribution, the M2 w/65 Lu P60 does too. In these two cases, focusing is just superfluous.

Runtimes - I really think that SHOT 2002 will produce something like KT's wished for product. The lack of any long-runtime option is a serious omission for LEO's duty lights. (Although the rechargeable 10X will power the secondary 60 Lu LA for 3 hours.)

I use my SF's all the time, because I love the beam purity. I am waiting for my 8AX with great anticipation.

Meantimes, as for the Lithium models and their running costs: I like to live dangerously ......

lightlover
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lightlover

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KT, I have little faith in "plastics", a historical prejudice I'm afraid.

But the newer formulations will outperform Aluminium. Check out the feel of a Nitrolon model, you will be pleasantly surprised.

They weren't at all what I expected, and better spec. polymers are being produced all the time.

Personally though, I still like Aluminium, 8AX rather than 8NX.

lightlover
 

Joe Talmadge

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>E2 - very nice indeed, but probably not twice >as nice as Scorpion/Legend LX as the price >should indicate.


There are very few products that don't reach the point of diminishing returns pretty quickly. We've had this discussion on various knife forums all the time. Frankly, I feel that once you've spent $40 on a Spyderco delica, you've reached the point of diminishing returns. Yet, I still buy $400 customs? The custom won't be 10x as good, but that's to be expected. Once you reach a certain quality standard, it is extremely expensive to go above and beyond.


So, is the E2 twice the light as a Legend LX or a Scorpion? Maybe not. Is the E2 worth twice what those two cost? Easily. I don't even have to hurt my brain thinking about that one!


It is a constant that eventually, small increases in quality will require big increases in cost. You do yourself a disservice by pretending that cost increases linearly with quality, and use that to justify getting a lower-quality product than you might need.


Joe
 

geepondy

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by *something ridiculous ?:

Personally though, I still like Aluminium, 8AX rather than 8NX.
lightlover
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I found the 8AX dissipates heat much more efficiently then the 8NX.
 

Bucky

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I have a few things to comment on here-

I would be willing to bet that many LEOs are still carrying 6P/6Z/9P/9Z and don't even know about many of the newer SureFire lights which are huge improvements in many ways from shock isolation to improved bulb durability and so on. Of the very small number of brick and mortar shops that I have come across that carry SureFire, I still only see the old SureFire lights mentioned above, almost without exception. As for LEOs or anyone else not being impressed with the beam and brightness of a SureFire: unless they were used to carrying a Maxabeam I highly doubt it.

The law of diminishing returns has been discussed here and on Bladeforums and the SureFire forum many, many times. The "law" applies to basically every type of product ever produced. Joe has hit it right on the head. Is a BMW worth 50K more than a Ford Focus when both may have air conditioning, leather, CD player, etc.? Is a Sebenza or TNT worth several Spydercos? Probably not. But after a certain plateau is reached as Joe has mentioned, then the price of a product gets exponentially larger as you get closer to the "best" product available. It seems to me that most people realize this even if they can't exactly express it. This basically holds true for everyting from irons to flashlights, from clothes to restaurants.

I think that the great thing about flashlights is that, for the most part, the very best lights can be had by anyone. For instance, the E2 I think is considered the gold standard around here and bladeforums as far as the best small flashlight going. The GM version is available right now at AGR for $48.99. This means that pretty much the best light going is available for under 50 bucks. It is something very unique to the "flashlight world" that the "best" product is available so cheaply. Too bad CRK and Tom Mayo knives can't be had for $50, but I digress
grin.gif
. Anyway, I think it's great that so many very good lights can be had for so relatively little. From the Arc AAA to the E2 to even the M2, 9N, and Ultra Stinger; the top lights available can he had for "reasonable" prices and I think its one of the great parts of collecting and purchasing lights.

Bucky
 

Bucky

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As for SureFire lights themselves, they are unquestionably the brightest, smallest flashlights available bar none. They are not meant for every purpose, profession, and person. They excel is providing intense, flawless light in a very small package for a relatively short runtime.

If this is what you want in a light and are willing to pay a decent amount more than most other lights, than you have found your light. If your requirements are different, than there are plenty of other lights for you to choose from. But don't buy a SureFire knowing the above and then be disappointed when the batteries don't last for 5 hours. The bulbs are considerably more durable now than previously, but the battery changes in the field can be a bother, but you know that going in. It's amazing how many people complain about the downside of SureFires, but you'd never hear someone complain about the beam quality of the 3D Mag, or its enormous size and weight. You know the Mag is big and heavy and has spots in the beam and you know the SureFire has a short runtime and "eats" batteries. It's all out on the table, there are no surpises.

Bucky
 

brightnorm

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WarrenI:
The SWAT team has a few SFs, but they are used for only specific applications and does not get general use.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's precisely the point. The (non-rechargeable) Surefires are not duty lights. They were never meant to replace the magcharger or to have long run times.

They are highly specialized tactical lights, pure and simple.

They perform their design-intended functions as well and usually better than any other lights manufactured today.

Brightnorm
 

WarrenI

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Hey flexmodem; yep, your right! The prices here in Hawaii is a little higher than what you got on the mainland. But, many of the chain stores (Walmart, K-mart, Office Depot, Costco, Sears, etc.) have the same prices. Therefore it does not serve us well to go on shopping sprees in the mainland with this situation.

I mentioned to several people about the improvements of the SFs and they were a little pleased, but still concerned about the 60 minutes of runtime and the cost of the batteries. They love the construction of the lights, but many of them go though about a light per year. They said that these are working lights and they do get treated pretty badly. They get dropped, tossed, and sometimes used as a club. So I guess a great harden finish does not mean too must to the guys here. Yes, they do not care for the beam quality of the mags, but they do settle for something in the middle of mags and the SFs. For brightness, they mostly use 12 volt halogens. As they put it, if you need light, lets not kid around and zap them with this. Smokes any dammed dry cell based handheld by several times over. Some of them use these lights as their secondary bright lights. It lets them see whats going on from afar, before they enter the problem zones.
 

lightlover

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WarrenI,
that's now answered a few points I was curious about, in this here topic. To avoid too much duplication, "across the board", I've replied to your original post (most the same as your self-quoted post on page 1 of this topic) in -
Topic: The Politics of Lights - Legend LX and SureFire E2 @ http://www.candlepowerforums.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=001147&p=2

Can you look over the few questions there, please.

lightlover
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WarrenI

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Thanks something ridiculous;
Most of these people did buy them mainly for the looks. You got to admire a light that looks like no other, and it works pretty darn good. I've seen them use Brinkmans, Streamlights, and even some Mags. They use these for investigations, short distance searches, traffic direction. Many of them pull out 12 volt halogens when they need to look at things at a distance (quarter mile or well over). They either keep it charged in the car or a few of them are limited to running them off their car. I've seen them give chase to suspects and toss their lights to knock someone down (I guess their club was not at hand at the moment). That's why many of them carry more than one light as they many get broken mid shift. Their guns, clubs, and lights are all tools. But, you have to admit that if you really needed to sacrifice a tool at hand, it would either be your club or light (which ever is handy).
 

Lonewolf

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Kogatana you make very good points the most important being a 2% raise that is nothing but a slap in the face. I am not a LEO but have the utmost respect for you guys.

On a different note I bought my first SF tonight and all the praise didn't even come close to doing this product justice. I bought a G2 with a P61 LA and using it tonight all I can say is YES!!!!!!!!!!!! this is a great illumination tool. I have had an LX for about 6 weeks now and the light output may be the same but the SF beam is wasy better quality. Now I am already eyeing up a rechargeable because I want to use one of these lights all the time.
 

txwest

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Originally posted by 5BY5:
Now I am already eyeing up a rechargeable because I want to use one of these lights all the time.
***************
Why not just get what you need to convert your G2 to a rechargable. Then you could go either way. (with the light
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) TX
 
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