To UltraStinger or not to UltraStinger...

LEDagent

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Convince me to get one or not to get one. Now that i have a part time job....my tastes have grown more expensive - to say the least.

At about 130 dollars i can get the UltraStinger with a fast charger. But for ABOUT the same price (so whats 20-30 dollars in the big picture?) I can get a Surefire 8ax with a charger and TWO batteries.

I'm hard pressed between the two. They are about the same price and length. But their brightness is different, and they both have their quirks.

I tried out the UltraStinger at a local shop today and found the beam really tight ...which is absolutely fine with me. I just want it to be brighter than my dad's Mag 6D!
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And i'm sure that it is. The US only comes with one battery - another battery would cost me about 20 dollars. Its a little long, but i don't really mind, i don't plan on carrying the 8AX around anyway too. They will both recieve a holster of some sort.

The 8AX i got to hold at the same shop, but it did not have batteries, so i couldn't compare the too. They both have different beams i'm sure, and i KNOW that the US will reach WAY farther than any Surefire rechargeable - exept for the 10x. But the US seemed to fit better in my hands becasue of its skinny girth. I liked the US's feel, i admit it. But watt for watt, who is stronger? What is the wattage for the US and the Surefire 8AX?

ALso another concern is the price for replacement parts. I think we all know that the prices for the two comanies is obviously different. But i heard the 8AX has few mechanical quirks to deal with, such as iffy bulb performance.

Help me decide. I'm stuck.
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P.S. having a job is nice.
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ToddM

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That's a good question. I think my next light purchase will be a ultrastinger with the rapid ac/dc charger.

Not sure if your interested in online/mail order, but www.arizonagunrunners.com has the ultrastinger with both ac and dc rapid chargers for $113 or so. You could add a spare battery to that and still be in the $130 range.

Here's my take on the two.

Advantages to 8AX
- pyrex window
- lock out tail cap
- comes with 2 batteries
- provides a wider beam (more useable at close distances and indoors)
- smaller size
- battery is charged outside of light, so you can use the light with one battery while charging the spare battery.
- can be purchased in hard anodized finish a more durable finish


Advantages to Ultrastinger
- hard to beat it's long distance beam
- includes seperate ac and dc rapid chargers (you get 2 holders)
- Cheaper bulbs, lenses, etc.
- possible use as impact weapon
- adjustable focus, that from what I hear is very smooth from spot to flood
-optional piggy back charger, allows charging of one battery in the light, and one by itself at the same time.

Misc comments:

The 8AX has a ~7.5 watt bulb, the ultrastinger a 10 watt bulb. You can buy 4 ultrastinger bulbs for 1 surefire bulb.

The 8AX runs for 50 min , the ultrastinger a hour.

Larger packs could be made for either they both use nicad sub c cells in 1.8 amp hour ratings. Cheaper to build packs for the 8AX (3 cells -vs- 5 cells).

Overall I think it's a question of use. If I was looking for a smaller light to use indoors or closer distances outside I'd probably lean to the 8AX. If I wanted a longer throw light the ultrastinger is the way to go. The 8AX is something that could be carried on a person easily, the ultrastinger is probably something I'd leave at home, or mount in my car.

That said I've never heard anyone so far be unhappy with a ultrastinger in fact it seems everyone that has one loves it.

I'd see if you could get the shop to charge up a battery for ya to compare the two for yourself.

My choice, the ultrastinger. Course I'm biased since I already have a slew of surefires to use as smaller/personal lights with broad bright beams. It seems to be the ultrastinger is by far the best bang for the buck for a long distance beam.
 

John N

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The Stinger HP or HP XT is still a lot brighter than the Maglite 6D and it is a nice, handy form factor, and it is less expensive (than the Ultrastinger).

Personally I don't think Surefire's rechargables are very compelling at this time with the notable exception of the 10X which isn't in this price bracket.

This might change when (and if) they release the Digital Series lights with rechargable 123A cells.

A lot of this depends on your use. If you really need the power and the size isn't importaint, I'd go with the US - maybe outside with big, open spaces. In most cases I'd probably lean towards the Stinger HP or XT HP with rapid charger.

-john
 

LEDagent

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THanks for the reply people. Its getting late and i want to post this last question before i go to bed.

The piggyback fast charger is stated to work for the Stinger/HP/XT models but not the Ultrastinger.

This is the package i'd like to buy someday:
Ultrastinger
Fast AC and DC chargers
piggyback fast charger
1 spare battery.

WIth this configuration, I can have a total running time of about 2 hours, and charge both batteries at the same time in about 2.5 hours. WOW! But first...is it possible for this package? If they sell the piggyback fast charger for the Ultrastinger, i'd be a happy man.
 

LEDagent

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Nevermind...i answered my own question!

At Arizona Gun Runners, I found the US with AC/DC fast chargers for 112.47, the fast piggypack charger WITH a battery for 49.95, and 9 dollars shipping. It comes out to 170.65!!! WOW good price, and STILL cheaper than the Surefire 8AX.

Oh boy...i know what i'm buying next. I'll post a review and pics when i get it. (HAH now i'm obligated to get one now.)
 

ToddM

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Heh

I hate to do this to ya but I love making things harder.
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Cutlery shoppe for whatever reason has not raised thier prices on surefires as of yet (I think this is because they are out of stock on most stuff and are allowing backorders at old prices)
www.culteryshoppe.com

Their price on a hard anodized 8AX with 2 batts and rapid charger is $130. I'd almost bet they don't have any in stock but will backorder them at that price. I ordered a 9AN for $154 from them last week.

That said I'd still go for the ultrastinger. However if your going to buy the piggy back charger and you don't need the other chargers you can get just the ultrastinger and battery from AGR for $68 + the $50 for the piggy back charger and a spare battery and still be around $120 shipped.

Todd
 

LEDagent

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I thought the piggy back charger needs a fast charger base to attatch to, hence "piggy back." But if that is the case...120 dollars sounds MIGHTY fine!

My local shop sells the US with the slow AC/DC charger for 120!

EDIT...Oh wait...it looks like you can't use the piggy back charger on DC...or can you? I hope you can. I'd like to fast charge in the car too.
 

redbird

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SW lower Mi USA
I have both the US and the 8x. I have noticed that if the 8x is not used frequently the battery dies QUICKLY
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.

On the other hand the US will hold a charge for weeks at a time.

My vote is for the UltraStinger for the above reason alone.

I have several batteries for the 8x and find they all suffer from the same problem...
 

Big Tex

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The US is the right choice. Mine is great. My 8nx batts are a problem and they have been replaced once already.
 

ToddM

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NV
That's a good question. I'm not sure if the piggy back charger requires that you have the single charger and it attaches to it. I guess that would explain the "piggy back" name.

I will check into that and see what I find out.

Todd
 

BuddTX

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I do not own either, but I have read alot about them, so here are my thoughts:

You can't beat the "sex appeal" of the SureFire. Kind of like, "I don't care if I am only getting 8 miles to the gallon, it's a HOT ROD!"

US is reliable, long lasting, and bright and replacement bulbs are not too expensive.

Consider another option:

The Streamlight SL-20x with the SL-35x bulb/reflector.

From all I've read, (and look at the specs below) the SL-20X with the SL-35X bulb would be ok in weight and length, but it would be BRIGHT and put out a wide light that would also give some distance! I personally do not want a narrow beam that can project for a thousand feet (or whatever). I want MORE LIGHT in the 0-500 foot range.

US Bulb - 10 watt - 30 hour run tim
SL-20x - 10 watt - 100 hour run time
SL-35x - 20 watt - 100 hour run time

So you loose some run time with the SL-20X/35X combo. But Hey, it's rechargable! And the SL-20X does have a 1.5 hr run time vs the 1 hour run time of the US. So, just guessing, you get .75 to 1 hour of light with the SL20X/SL35X combo

Just a thought!

(hey another thought, why not buy one of Lambda's 2-D / 3-C 4 Luxeon mag-lights? Just think, you could have pure, bright brilliant white light, in a small case. You have to admit, that the pure, white, even, non yellowing light of the Luxeon LED is nice.) AND, (and this is soo cool too), you could say that you own the brightest LED light in the world, and it was custom built for you. You can tell people "I know this guy!"
 

ToddM

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Streamlight just replied to my email asking them about the piggy back charger.

According to them the ultrastinger will not work with the piggy back unit due to the length of the battery. Seems AGR shouldn't have the piggy back listed as a option in the ultrastinger section.

Doh.
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
i'd recommend the US over the 8NX. I have both and i also notice that the battery of the 8NX dies quick if not used quickly.

I don't worry at all about the 'yellow' effect of the light because Streamlight, like Sure-Fire, i've noticed have very very bright white lights. It is not until the very end does the US get a bit yellowy, but so does the 8NX.

I'll be honest though, i really like the US more then the 8NX because its cheaper to replace the parts, and also i just like to have a lot of flashlight to hold onto
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D

**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
well I guess you can say "US" (did you hear? we're shying away from acronyms at the board, for the sake of clarity) since the topic uses "Ultrastinger" twice..and for anyone still in the dark, that's made by Streamlight..and I like it too, 'cept I found the tail cap is difficult to get a good grip on to unscrew -- so I wrapped a 3/8" piece of the 3M no-slip stuff (black) around the outer diameter, and now it comes off in a jiffy..
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
Another thought. I bought 2 UltraStingers. Use one while the other is charging. Not only that, but now you have an entire spare light in case something goes wrong. Or like last night when the power went out, I had two lights to use at the same time.

The cost isn't that much more than what you are looking at with the piggy back charger, which doesn't sound like it is going to work for you anyway.
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
oops! My bad. I missed that part about shortening up names. I guess i thought i saw someone else write it that way. Won't do it again
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