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Thread: too many "Tactical" flashlights

  1. #1

    Default too many "Tactical" flashlights

    anyone else tired of all the tactical flashlights glutting the market? seems to be the way the market is going (same with knives)......

    i would like to see manufactures (or custom makers) go back to the simple flashlight design of the 50's, (big Jim, etc). Classic handheld torches liek the one below, but made from modern materials, batteries and components.



    or something like http://elektrolumens.com/STELLAR/LUXEON_STELLAR.html
    anyone with me?

    EDIT: and in the spirit of the thread, anyone want to make me a 4" head (spot beam pattern) (like the one above) for a Maglight 4C????? (must accommodate a Malkoff dropin)
    Last edited by Bushman5; 10-04-2007 at 02:21 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    I think tactical lights, extremely collimated lights that can put a very bright spot on the wall a mile away but are useless for finding your shoes in a dark room, digital lights with SOS modes that signal passing airplanes but that you need a pilot's license to operate, are all phases that CPF'ers go through. Eventually you get to the custom lights that have none of that stuff. I think I'll edc my Mule PD for the next few days, it's been a week or so since I've carried it.

    Handheld D cell lights with big reflectors are probably obsolete though, given rechargeable battery systems, LED's, HID spotlights, smaller lights with focusing optics, etc. You might try a 2.5" Fivemega head/reflector replacement? I forget what he calls it.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* MikeLip's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Eh, "tactical" is another word for "black" for many makers. Personally I find the functionality of the new lights beats the tar out of the big old clunkers. Although I do recall with great fondness an old Ray-o-Vac lantern I had. It used a 6V battery with screw terminals, the main head pivoted up and down, an there was a red blinker on the tail that was mounted on a boom-like thing that let it stand up as a marker. Sort of a precursor to the new Streamlight firemans' lights that have the red blinking LED on the back! I often with I still had it, although finding that battery might be a trick!

    At any rate, if you want a good general purpose light, they're still out there! I like my Elektrolumens Tri-Star Phaser as an all purpose light that blows any 50s light out of the water.

    NRA Life Member since 1979

  4. #4

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    oh i know modern light technology blows any 50's light outta the water....i just want that modern tech in a 50's body!


  5. #5
    Flashaholic* MikeLip's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Oh, I hear that! Put a Cree in that old lantern I mentioned!!

    NRA Life Member since 1979

  6. #6
    Flashaholic RadarGreg's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Flashlights like that went out with 25 cents a gallon gasoline and five and dime stores. They used huge D cell batteries and probably put out less light than a mini-mag. "Tactical" is just another marketing block that manufacturers check when selling products. It is even more shameless when they mention "Used by Special Forces, Rangers, Delta, etc".
    RadarGreg
    "If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a Soldier. If you can read this in the dark, thank a Flashaholic."

  7. #7

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    hey some of us still use huge "D" batts...

    come on....lets start the next wave of FLASHOLICISM: modding vintage and antique lights!

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* LEDninja's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    How did you find that link?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bushman5 View Post
    I guess you missed getting Elektrolumens' P4 long throw. (IIRC 3D with a 4" head) I do not think he will make any more. Too much labour.

    At my local Walmart:
    Energizer D NiMH 2500 mAH
    Duracell AA NiMH 2650 mAH
    why D?
    Alkaline Ds have more capacity but alkalines leak.
    I am moving towards LSD NiMH (Eneloop/RayOvac hybrid)but they are available only in AA/AAA
    Last edited by LEDninja; 10-04-2007 at 05:28 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    it was a google search result....

  10. #10

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    if it weren't for tactical flashlights, manufacturers would have very little reason to make our lights smaller and more powerful because nobody would pay a "tactical" price for the R&D
    "With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity."
    ~ Keshavan Nair

  11. #11

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfhound 9K View Post
    if it weren't for tactical flashlights, manufacturers would have very little reason to make our lights smaller and more powerful because nobody would pay a "tactical" price for the R&D
    Don't bet on that .


  12. #12
    Flashaholic* LEDninja's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Paulr,
    Nice light. Is it a SPY005 or a later model?

    Bushman5,
    I started a thread on new finds over at Marketplace. I listed all the retail/online info I've accumulated over the years over there. Can not post in your other thread - Dano closed it as I was typing.

  13. #13

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    ^ Thanks LEDninja !

  14. #14

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushman5 View Post
    i would like to see manufactures (or custom makers) go back to the simple flashlight design of the 50's, (big Jim, etc). Classic handheld torches liek the one below, but made from modern materials, batteries and components.
    Why regress? Current flashlight design is better than ever and some of the current form factors have really advanced ergonomics and utility, the first big push in years.

    Look at the current Streamlight Sidewinder or the Zebralight or the Energizer HardCase Tactical. The Sidewinder and Energizer both have pocket clips and rotating heads and can be set down and adjusted to provide hands free lighting, both can also be clipped to the body or clothing and act as a lower mounted headlamp.

    The Sidewinder is small enough to fit in the pocket and has excellent runtime and variable brightness. As far as utility goes the current light designs are better than previous years and are really branching out from the cylinder/head flashlight paradigm that is so outdated.

  15. #15

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by LEDninja View Post
    Paulr,
    Nice light. Is it a SPY005 or a later model?
    It's a Spy 005 with a damascus head, that's Data's picture. Only 4 of them were made. If I'd been really determined, I think I could have hovered over the sale forum and gotten one of them, and I'm somewhat regretting not having done that, but it would have been financially even crazier than buying the ti version that I got, and I had cold feet because of the cost. They were snapped up almost instantly while I was off doing other things.

  16. #16

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    tactical has become a synonym for practical for me.
    i like the form factor and output from most tactical lights, and operating such a flashlight is always intuitive. if i want a larger light, i'll buy a HID, and expect proper output from it. i can imagine you wanting something like that, but which looks like a '50 era flashlight, but i really couldn't care less about looks. actually i like the form follows function design most current "tactical" lights have. and i can't find anything wrong with it.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    I have my share of lights with tactical, clickie and twisty switches on the end or bezel but it sure would be nice to see more modern lights with a simple thumb switch on the body. The only modern light I have that fits that description is my UK 4AA eLED Zoom . I find that this format is still the most ergonomic for me to use.

    Oops. I forgot to mention my Princeton Ted Surge. It also has a body thumb switch.

  18. #18
    Enlightened Siskik's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    I also miss that era of simplicity.

    However, one good by by-product of the ''tactical'' era (correct me if I'm wrong, please), is the ''twistie'' switch which provides the reliability we all for an emergency kit.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic richdsu's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Nostalgic design flashlights,
    Steampunk flashlights , anyone ?

    In my opinion, "Tactical" flashlight means high tech, custom design, purpose built.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic Pistolero's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    I'd rather we get more lights that go down the Runtime & Output road than the Output & Size road.

    Also, how hard is it for mainstream lights to have a variable output?

    How about something in the mag 3d/3c form factor with a bad@ss reflector, high output emitter (or array) and some sort of variable output.

    It wouldn't be a carry light, it'd be one you keep in your closet or under your bed. A low-low "glow" mode that you could use to find your shoes in the dark or illuminate a path to the bathroom, so you (or your night-blind SO) doesn't kill themselves trying to navigate. Or something happens outdoors and you need a manportable star. Well, set your phaser to shake-n-bake and you're good to go.

  21. #21

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by spoonrobot View Post
    Why regress? Current flashlight design is better than ever and some of the current form factors have really advanced ergonomics and utility, the first big push in years.

    Look at the current Streamlight Sidewinder or the Zebralight or the Energizer HardCase Tactical. The Sidewinder and Energizer both have pocket clips and rotating heads and can be set down and adjusted to provide hands free lighting, both can also be clipped to the body or clothing and act as a lower mounted headlamp.

    The Sidewinder is small enough to fit in the pocket and has excellent runtime and variable brightness. As far as utility goes the current light designs are better than previous years and are really branching out from the cylinder/head flashlight paradigm that is so outdated.
    why regress? sometimes its just nice to use old equipment, classic equipemtn etc. I hunt with a wood recurve bow instead of a fancy carbon fiber compound bow, I start fires when i'm camping with a fire drill instead of matches, etc etc. Dont get me wrong, I love my modern day lights, but its nice to pick up a classic copper or brass flashlight and polish it over a cup of coffee....

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    I miss the fat handlights. If anyone would make a 1D-sized flashlight with a side clicky and a Rebel or a Xenon bulb driven by 4X li-ion, I'd buy on the spot.

  23. #23
    KeyGrip's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by richdsu View Post
    Nostalgic design flashlights,
    Steampunk flashlights , anyone ?
    Yes! Precisely! We need more brass flashlights. Peak can only do so much. (but the do it so well)
    "Et lux in tenebris lucet"

  24. #24

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeLip View Post
    Eh, "tactical" is another word for "black" for many makers. Personally I find the functionality of the new lights beats the tar out of the big old clunkers. Although I do recall with great fondness an old Ray-o-Vac lantern I had. It used a 6V battery with screw terminals, the main head pivoted up and down, an there was a red blinker on the tail that was mounted on a boom-like thing that let it stand up as a marker. Sort of a precursor to the new Streamlight firemans' lights that have the red blinking LED on the back! I often with I still had it, although finding that battery might be a trick!

    At any rate, if you want a good general purpose light, they're still out there! I like my Elektrolumens Tri-Star Phaser as an all purpose light that blows any 50s light out of the water.

    The New York Times asks, "Barack Obama, is he tactical enough?"

  25. #25
    Flashaholic Gizzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by scdaf-@msn.com View Post
    The New York Times asks, "Barack Obama, is he tactical enough?"

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Crackup Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Tactical people.

  27. #27

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizzy View Post


    I know, people overuse the "quote" option, but sometimes it really does help to reference the quoted post...

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* lctorana's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoors Fanatic View Post
    I miss the fat handlights. If anyone would make a 1D-sized flashlight with a side clicky and a Rebel or a Xenon bulb driven by 4X li-ion, I'd buy on the spot.
    Got one.

    It was a mod, though.

    1. Eveready makes the "Eveready One" - a candy apple red 1D with a 1.2v Krypton bulb. Total PoS, tbh.

    2. Eveready made the 4AA LED in the same case - an even worse PoS - it had a single 5mm Nichia with a plastic bi-convex lens. The most horrible beam you could imagine.

    3. There are 4.7v 0.4A Xenon bulbs made for the "Xenon/CCFL" lamp.

    Take the case and 4AA battery carrier from the LED, the lens and reflector/bulbholder from the One, and Xenon or a KPR113. Job done.

    Short, fat and bright. Sits on our fusebox.

  29. #29

    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    I have my share of lights with tactical, clickie and twisty switches on the end or bezel but it sure would be nice to see more modern lights with a simple thumb switch on the body. The only modern light I have that fits that description is my UK 4AA eLED Zoom . I find that this format is still the most ergonomic for me to use.

    Hey Uncle Bob, I agree with you about the superior ergonomics of lights with body switches.

    The UK 4AA eLED Zoom is about my favorite light for walking, hiking, and camping for that very reason.

    I also favor a Mag 2C LED for the outdoors, and several smaller Streamlight models that also have body switches.

    You might want to check out Streamlight's lineup, because they now offer several nice lights with body switches.

    "Tactical" lights work OK for me as utility lights.

    But, I can't abide a "tactical" light for walking or serious outdoor use, because I can't stand a tail switch on an outdoors light.

    .

  30. #30
    *Flashaholic* Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: too many "Tactical" flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeLip View Post
    Eh, "tactical" is another word for "black" for many makers.
    I think "tactical" originated from knurling designs and duplicate styles of weapon like lights.

    the black part was more of a conditional impression of a professional tool...as the first mags came out with no other color as black

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