Why is the SureFire 6P so good?

Lucky Jim

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It’s a very versatile platform. I’ve got three in use at present. One old school 6P (with old school case!), a 6P Defender with a Malkoff M60 and really solid (Solarforce) belt clip, and a newer 6P with an LED drop-in and a Surefire tape switch from the old 3P style weapon light.
 

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sween1911

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One thing I'll always remember about the 6P when I finally got to handle one in person was the momentary tailcap. How many people pressed it thinking it was a clickie and recoiled in horror when it didn't stay on... "I BROKE IT!" only to eventually discover the manual of arms for a Surefire lock out tailcap. It was something of a badge of honor in the Surefire heyday to know who you could hand your Surefire to. People would press it and release it and look at it like it was broken. Some people didn't (and still don't) get it.
 

bykfixer

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I really liked the idea of the reliability of the momentary tailcap. But I also liked you could buy a Z49 clicky tailcap from SureFire when my first 6P arrived.... as a bonus a Malkoff tailcap works and allows it to tailstand too if you like that sort of thing.
 

aznsx

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One thing I'll always remember about the 6P when I finally got to handle one in person was the momentary tailcap. How many people pressed it thinking it was a clickie and recoiled in horror when it didn't stay on... "I BROKE IT!" only to eventually discover the manual of arms for a Surefire lock out tailcap. It was something of a badge of honor in the Surefire heyday to know who you could hand your Surefire to. People would press it and release it and look at it like it was broken. Some people didn't (and still don't) get it.
15 years ago I was working in industrial environments surrounded by people who regularly needed to see things well, but none of whom had a light up to the task. Having seen my light, I was constantly being asked 'can I use your light a second'. At the time I was using SL Scorpions, and many had never even used a tailcap PB switch. When I switched to my wonderful Strion incan (which was a momentary only PB), I didn't even bother to find out. (It didn't bother me, as I used momentary ~9X% of the time.) It became totally automatic for me to grab it out of the holster, turn it on, and hand it to them tail first - all in one continuous motion. I did it (all night long) without even thinking.

The momentary-only PB is understandably unintuitive for most humans, although both SF and SL were at the time of that school of thought, and with valid reason. Since then, SL and others have moved on, having optimized the 2-stage progressive momentary / alternate action maintained-on switch sufficiently to satisfy most users (including me), but I guess SF has largely stuck with the momentary-only thing to this day(?). I wasn't even aware that the original 6Ps were momentary-only. I had assumed they were like my Scorps.
 

bykfixer

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The scorpion was streamlights answer to the 6p AZ. Streamlight was nearly ready to fold after losing a patent infringement suit to Maglite for (of all things) stamping the bezel ring on the excalibre flashlight. Yup ole Tony Maglica had patented that idea.

The scorpion was made to compete with the 6p and a government contract was awarded to Streamlight, which provided enough capital for them to keep going.

Early Pelican M6 and Pentagon X series lights were also momentary like the 6p at first.
 

Monocrom

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Early Pelican M6 and Pentagon X series lights were also momentary like the 6p at first.
Unfortunately, the M6 had build quality issues, and Pelican greatly exaggerated what it was capable of (and I mean beyond what is considered acceptable as far as lumens numbers go).

Pentagon was sued out of existence by SureFire. Their hand-helds were nothing too special. (Still have a couple of them kicking about.) But their weapon-lights were eating into SF sales.

What bothers me is that Surefire never won their case against Pentagon. No they simply used the court system as their "Working Girl" to get what they wanted. Judge agreed with SF's lawyers that even though PL wasn't found guilty of anything, the company had to stop selling it's lights until the case was over. Translation = No money coming in to help PL actually fight the allegations. So, despite not actually having won their case, in a sickening way; SF got what it wanted as PL couldn't financially fight to clear their good name.
 

bykfixer

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SureFire had a lawyer team on staff for various reasons. When word got back to owner Dr Matthews that a company was competing for government contracts using patended ideas by SureFire without SureFire permision it has been said Dr Matthews asked the lawyers for their opinion. At first the lawyers said "do nothing at this point". Then when it was learned the Molle was not made from American stuff and Pentagon had won a contract requiring products supplied to the gubment had to be 100% American stuff the lawyers decided it was time to bring a suit against Pentagon for patent infringement and making false statements.

When the suit was settled in SureFire's favor Dr Matthews and Pentagon agreed they would no longer supply lights to the gubment. That decision broke the back of Pentagon financially because they had invested a bunch of money into producing products for the gubment contracts. When they were not allowed to sell product to the gubment and frankly their product wasn't appealing to the masses they could not recover. Pentagon was not playing the long game. And if you go back and read user input here at CPF it was clear their products were deemed decent at best. Machine flaws, dry threads, durability problems etc, they never achieved a "good name".

Back then if not for gubment contracts SureFire would not have been profitable either. They had not reached the popularity they eventually reached during the later PK years. And because Pentagon had produced so much product for said contracts their product can still be found in new, unopened packages to this day.

Pelican was sharing parts with Pentagon. Light modules, and switches are directly swappable. Many of the threads are same as well. Issues with Pelican products are largely the same that would have eventually been a plague to the Pentagon reputation had they continued.
 

Monocrom

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SureFire used the court system the way a John uses a Working girl.
The fact of the matter is, a judgement against PL was never reached. Just allegations that SureFire had not proven in court. All they managed to do was get the judge to side with them. And, they got what they wanted. It was obscene, and quite frankly the judge should be disbarred.
 

bykfixer

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So you don't think when somebody steals your idea to compete against you then lie about the products thry provide to compete using cheap replacements of the expensive parts they should be punished?

To say "they used the courts like a john does a working girl" shows a complete misunderstanding of what really happened. SureFire didn't have to win, they just needed the company lieing and stealing to compete against them to stop lieing and stealing to compete against them. And so it was. They probably would have won btw but the owner of SureFire offered to settle before a decision was reached. A decision Pentagon agreed to. They knew they were caught and happily agreed to settle and not face large fines too.

It's why there's patents in the first place and why the Made in America clause was in the contracts both strived to win. Streamlight competed and won some contracts too, but they didn't lie and steal ideas in order to gain the contract. They built better pistol lights than SureFire using their own ideas.

I'm a fan of Pentagon products. I own way more Pentagon products than SureFire but I also understand Pentagon screwed themselves by going the low road for quick profits from a rival company. And they got their arse kicked for it.
 
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Monocrom

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My main point is this, when SureFire initiated the lawsuit against Pentagon Lights; they hadn't proven a thing. Lawsuits take time to progress forward. I think we can both agree on that. In civil suits, the attorneys from both sides get a chance to present their evidence, and argue their points before an impartial judge. Again, takes time. During all that time, attorneys need to be paid. Not just attorneys, but the various employees at the different law firms who do the grunt work of receiving and organizing every piece of evidence that the attorneys present in court.

My issue is, before all of the evidence could be presented and looked at by the judge; SureFire's attorneys filled a motion to prevent Pentagon Lights from being able to continue to sell to their products. And the judge said "Yes" to that. In essence, completely financially crippling PL from being able to pay their attorneys to fight SF's claims. SureFire got exactly what they wanted before all of the evidence could be presented. They got a defacto victory before actually winning their lawsuit! What the judge did was a procedural mishandling of the case. It was actually disgustingly obscene because the judge was clearly biased.

My issue isn't regarding PL's actual guilt or innocence. My issue is that SureFire used the court as their "Working girl" to get what they wanted. (Although honestly there's another world beginning with W that would be far more appropriate.) And bizarrely, the judge allowed it!

Instead of saying something along the lines of, "Hold on. You haven't proven your case, yet. Among other things, you're claiming that this company has stolen your intellectual property and is using it to sell its products. That's what you're claiming. And, you'll have an opportunity to present your evidence. Once presented, if your claims are found to be true, I'll grant the injunction. But as of right now, you haven't proven anything to this court." The judge simply said, "Okie dokie!"

Judge should be disbarred over his horrendous procedural misconduct. That's the huge issue I have with the lawsuit. Unable to pay its attorneys, the only smart move by PL was to agree to a settlement. Imagine if the rest of the Justice System worked that way? Sue someone you don't like, you have massive amounts of more money then they do, get your lawyers to freeze their assets so they have to surrender. Have to settle. Their guilt or innocence isn't even an issue at that point. Wage your War of Attrition. Still counts as a victory! So what if it's a disgustingly obscene way of doing things. A win is still a win. Of course it is.
 

bykfixer

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I completely disagree. I think the court did exactly what it was supposed to do given the circumstances. It was not some simple "sue somebody you don't like" act. It was something along the lines of Ford putting a Chevy engine in a car, calling it a Chevy, and winning NASCAR races with it. And Chevy showing pictures of their engines inside of Ford cars to a judge and asking the judge to make them stop. Of course the judge would say "hey Ford, stop making cars like that" until Ford could prove they weren't actually Chevy engines.
 
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Monocrom

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I'm sorry but you missed the point completely. You can't just say, well; now that the trial is over and all of the evidence has come out. We KNOW that Ford was guilty of putting Chevy engines into its vehicles. So.... The horrendous procedural misconduct by the judge was perfectly okay! No. No it's not!

Yes, evidence and guilt are important. No denying that! However, while a trial is occurring and the judge himself has not seen all the evidence, and guilt or innocence therefore hasn't been determined; proper judicial procedure must be adhered to. Otherwise, if it's not (and clearly in the SF vs. PL case, it wasn't) the people are going to lose faith in the system. Why even bother showing up to court if you know you're not going to get a fair hearing that is going to be conducted in a proper way, with your attorneys being able to get your side heard and considered?

If we're talking one individual suing a neighbor in civil court, the one being sued could easily decide "Screw it! I'm going to go hold court in the street, and take care of this myself!" Grabs a gun or a baseball bat and goes over to his neighbor's house for something other than a conversation. People need to have faith in the civil court system to help resolve disputes in a civilized manner. They lose that faith, you're going to get chaos.

Honestly, it just seems as though you're excusing the horrendous procedural misconduct, solely because evidence existed proving PL's guilt. Again, undetermined during the start of the case. I've made my point and can't expand upon it further. I'm going to hit the railroad switch and set this train back on track before it veers closer to getting derailed.
 

bykfixer

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When somebody steals your idea, lies about it and takes your job because of it you may not feel that way.

The 6P was a great flashlight, simply because.
 
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