What flashlights are in official use by the US Armed Forces

Wurkkos

Bill. Tokyo

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While I'm sure that there are a wide number of lights in use by all the branches of the armed forces, I would be curious to know what some of them are, and if some of them can also be purchased by the general public?
 

the.Mtn.Man

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I know HDS Systems has a military contract. According to the company president, "The military contracted for the HDS Systems EDC Ultimate 60 with a few customizations. They are now purchasing our EDC Tactical units" (link). You can buy these lights directly from HDS and various dealers. They're a bit pricey but worth every penny (I have a high CRI EDC Clicky).

I think Surefire lights are also popular with the US military, though I'm not sure exactly which models. They're also fairly expensive, but people swear by them.
 
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angelofwar

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Surefire
HDS
Fulton
Gerber
Smith & Wesson
[email protected]

That's about it. The military largely quit comissioning flashlights (like the Fulton), and now just buys what the market offers, as long as it's built to certain mil-specs. Special units still request certain things, and usually buys them with unit funds...
 

Imon

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A few of my coworkers are Iraq/Afghanistan vets and most of them have told me that they used Surefires. The M600 Scout seems to be a particularly popular weaponlight.
 
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DivineStrike

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The military can buy whatever flashlight is needed. I'm sure all brands have been used. My shop uses LED Lensers for inspections of large Acft and they work really well. Some use surefire, pelican etc... it all really depends on who has the sections "credit card". Some places have contracts and others use a Gov't card to order stuff like flashlights, for whatever they require.

We have the Surefire U2 Ultra's here and they suck for what we do. I don't know how it's rated at 100 lumens and $300. Just rediculous. I know I bring up my headlamp alot in discussion but why does a 4 year old $45 Petzl XP Head lamp with only 40(60 with turbo) lumens out shine this thing at 60 feet looking at a T-tail? Surefires are way over rated and overpriced for what you get. If they were cheaper, they'd be good lights but for their price they should be top dog and they're not. I believe the throw on the surefire is better but not by much and the area covered is not really usable compared to the light mine gives me.
 
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angelofwar

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Ask Bin Laden :crackup:...

I'm sure if he was still alive, he'd say "Surefire"...LOL!

Such as the M910x and 66x seen here...

seals-vbss.jpg


And another M910 seen here...

_52471435_seal_getty.jpg


:devil:
 
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jellydonut

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does Polarion have a contract?
Polarion Night Reapers are used as crew-served weapon lights along with the SF Hellfighter. I don't think the handhelds are officially adopted in any way.

The Surefire V-series weapon lights (basically the V2 Vampire head adapted to weaponlights) are official issue, along with there probably being a bunch of the older weaponlights still in the system.

If you search FBO for solicitations you'll be able to find anything light-related. You'll just have to know what to look for. Be aware that the military refuses to call a spade a spade. An LED flashlight might be 'illumination, handheld, electronic, diode'. :hahaha:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportu...5a1ea0b6269d649467a8f708976&tab=core&_cview=1 Polarion NR
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportu...b17b130d1d9ed1a756fce6f7be0&tab=core&_cview=1 SF HF
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportu...a4511c95cf643e764abeb957988&tab=core&_cview=1 SF HF again
 

Potato42

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I know I came upon a detailed document stating the particulars by which flashlights to be used by armed services had to be certified. I believe there was also a list of many flashlights that complied with this certification (all done by the military). Of course now, I can't find it. If someone comes up with the document or list that would be helpful. I'll keep looking.
 

angelofwar

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I know I came upon a detailed document stating the particulars by which flashlights to be used by armed services had to be certified. I believe there was also a list of many flashlights that complied with this certification (all done by the military). Of course now, I can't find it. If someone comes up with the document or list that would be helpful. I'll keep looking.

Ther's so many different requirments for different units across the branches, that there really isn't a set standard for any branhc of the military. There are "certified soldier" lights, done by the evaluators at peonet.army.mil. (Soldier Systems). For the Air Force, they don't really care as far as personal lights. "Tactical" Army units, it's left up to the units. They're a little more stingent with weaponlights (field repairable, etc.), which is why SF made the cut in the past.
 

LEDninja

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The armies of all the NATO countries use a common ordering database. Everything ordered through the purchasing department is ordered using the NATO Stock Number or NSN. So a simple way of finding out if a product is used by the military is ask if it has a NSN number.

Here is Surefire's list:
http://www.surefire.com/nsn_ordering

Here is Maglite's list:
http://www.maglite.com/publicsafety_mil_nsn.asp

Fulton's page:
http://www.fultonindoh.com/images/documents/Government&MilitaryLightsBrochure.pdf

Streamlights with NSN is listed on page 50 of this PDF:
http://www.streamlight.com/Documents/rpl/10_RPL_std.pdf
 

DivineStrike

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True, that is the common way to order things officially. But each gov't agency, I'm sure, has a Gov't charge card to use, where they can easily purchase something from a store. Now there are limits as to how much you can spend before there has to be a contract written. At least for the AF, don't know specifically about the other branches, but I'm sure they have Gov't charge cards as well and a limit.
 

radioactive_man

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I know I came upon a detailed document stating the particulars by which flashlights to be used by armed services had to be certified. I believe there was also a list of many flashlights that complied with this certification (all done by the military). Of course now, I can't find it. If someone comes up with the document or list that would be helpful. I'll keep looking.

This? https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=0546be6bf7dd14626279d6a3840a965c&tab=core&_cview=0&cck=1&au=&ck=
 

the.Mtn.Man

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Surefires are way over rated and overpriced for what you get.
Some folks around here would burn you at the stake if they heard you saying that.

But I do see your point. I think Surefires are more reknowned for their build quality, reliability, and topnotch customer support than necessarily for the quality of the light they put out (which by all accounts is fairly average considering the price).
 
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Rando

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Granted, I've been out for 8 years, but when I was in the only light I was ever issued was the standard OD 2-D incan right-angle light. We were allowed to use basically whatever we wanted, as long as it had a red filter and wasn't bright enough to give away your position (kind of a judgement call). I always carried a black 2D Maglite with red filter.
 

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