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Thread: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

  1. #1
    Enlightened
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    Default Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    I am looking at purchasing either an M3, M3T, or M4. I have never used a Turbo Head SureFire.

    How much larger and heavier is a Turbo Head M3 versus a straight M3? Specifically, Diameter of the Head itself. Is balance affected?

    How does beam quality compare? Does the Turbo Head generate a "pencil" beam that has no side light splash? For instance, when walking in a dark parking lot at night, is the beam too intense in one spot? Does it kill your night vision ability to avoid pot holes? How much farther does it shine effectively?

    How does the M4 rate along the same line of questions? Is it too specialized and too much power for "everyday" use?

    I currently carry E2's on my belt and have used a 9Z as well for points of reference. I want a practical light cannon that I can carry daily wearing blue jeans or Dockers.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* DavidW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    I recomend the older versions. Like the SRD3. Or the 6PT/9PT. They're getting harder to find. And command a premium when you do find them. But they're really great for reaching out and touching someone.

    I don't have a newer turbo version to compare to. But I've read here that the newer turbos aren't as good.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* DavidW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    Oh yeah. Anything brighter than an E1 pretty much destroys your night vision. The corona or spill light is about the same as the regular lights. But is overshadowed by the intense spot.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    Is balance affected?
    Anytime the size of any object is increased, balance will definitely be affected. The Turbohead makes the light front or top heavy.

    How does beam quality compare?
    Favorably. The large turbo head gathers the product light output, concentrates it, and provides a more defined projected spot.


    Does the Turbo Head generate a "pencil" beam that has no side light splash?
    It does not generate a pencil beam. That stochastic, aka orange-peel, reflector and the fixed (non-focusable) design will not allow for that very narrow beam. "Side splash" will still be present but not as pronounced.

    For instance, when walking in a dark parking lot at night, is the beam too intense in one spot?
    It depends on what other ambient lighting is available in that dark parking lot. In the sheer absence of street lights, I find that the product light output of any of the Surefire Turbo head models is not overwhelming for my nearly 60-year old eyes.


    Does it kill your night vision ability to avoid pot holes?
    Nothing short of the mighty Maxabeam at 30 feet and less kills my night vision.


    How much farther does it shine effectively?
    Depending on ambient light, expect about a 35% increase in "throw."

    How does the M4 rate along the same line of questions?
    Same.


    Is it too specialized and too much power for "everyday" use?
    It depends on what you call "everyday" use. If you are using it to navigate around a dark parking lot, perhaps it might be an overkill. I you are using it to search for a knife-wielding bad guy intent on hurting somebody, it should be adequate.

    I currently carry E2's on my belt and have used a 9Z as well for points of reference. I want a practical light cannon that I can carry daily wearing blue jeans or Dockers.
    You carry multiple E2s on your belt? One E2 with a 9Z as backup (or vice versa) is quite adequate for most applications. Carrying them on the belt is not difficult. Carrying Surefire turbo head flashlights on the belt requires more thought and perseverance. The larger head diameter WILL necessarily provide more discomfort when seated in an automobile while carrying it on you belt. You will also receive several puzzled looks from the general public when carrying multiple flashlights on your belt. Expect snickers and snide remarks when carrying a turbohead model.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    I like my kt1/UBH combo. I use the M3t HOLA in it, and I get a nice perfectly round beam that is similar in brightness to my Tigerlight. I personally prefer the sf T-heads to the standard reflector because they throw farther, but I live in a rural area where distances are long, so in an urban setting, a standard reflector is preferred for it's small size, and wider beam. Since you state that you would use this in a parking garage, I assume most of your use will be at relatively short ranges (25-50 M.) So a t-head is really not needed IHMO.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    Sid,

    Here are some early tests of the SRTH and others. "Urban throw test" techniques weren't perfected at that time but you may still find comparisons helpful.

    A MAJOR STEP FORWARD: SUREFIRE 2.5" TURBOHEAD


    (Welcome back KT, long time no see)


    Brightnorm

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    In every situation I've tried, the SRTH outperformed all SureFire KT* turboheads.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    [ QUOTE ]
    this_is_nascar said:
    In every situation I've tried, the SRTH outperformed all SureFire KT* turboheads.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Nascar,

    My old review "Surefire Turbohead disappoints" expressed disatisfaction with the KT2. The follow-up review (see above)praised the SRTH.

    PS: Please let us know when your MN21/E2E mod will be available [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Brightnorm


  9. #9
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    Thanks for all your help. I think the larger head size of the M3T and M4 is too much for me. I do think I want something with more power to complement the E2E I normally carry though so, the debate in my head continues.

    As mentioned by another poster, I live in the city and not out in the country so, extreme range is not a key issue for me. Walking in a totally abondoned parking lot at 2am and listening to a cat knock trash can lids around is a little hard on the blood pressure at times. Then you have the irritation of stepping in a pot hole filled with water during the Monsoon season. And that all time favorite, stumbling onto a Rattlesnake at night. I also use my lights for mundane things like emergency lighting in windowless labs, reading 6 point type on ethernet jacks, peering into dark electronic equipment cases and the like.

    Will a standard M3 head fit the M4 without too much heat, melting, etc? I am pretty sure it will physically fit but, is it practical? I think I can live with the extra length and weight and I would like the additional light power without the large head.

    THANKS!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    Sid,

    I'm starting to reconsider the D3 (9P) with HOLA (P91) for you.

    It's 6.5" long (including tail button), weighs only 6.7oz with batteries and has standard SF 1.25" bezel width. This 3x123 light is remarkably close to the M2 in size and weight.

    L - 5.75"
    WT - 6.3oz
    Bez. Dia - 1 7/16"

    So, the D3 is only 0.4oz heavier, 0.75" longer and the bezel diameter is nearly 1/4" smaller. It's also far sleeker and less "bulky" to carry than the M2 and fits into a remarkably slim and small SF holster. I EDC'd the 9P (hexless head, may be unavailable)for several weeks and found that I wasn't even aware of it.

    The sheer amount of light (with P91) issuing from this little light is remarkable, and while it won't give you anywhere near a turbo throw, it will brilliantly illuminate a wide swath at medium close range.

    Another possibility for you to consider: the PILA lights, first used professionally by madecov who gave them glowing reviews. (Search under PILA, MADECOV, etc)

    Brightnorm





  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    Had to drag this thread back up. I've decided that I need one light that will "go the distance" but is smaller than the M6. Was thinking M3T, M4, or the SRD3 from LPS. Since nobody has anything but great things to say about the SRTH - that sounds like the animal to me. Is there a better body to put it on than the D3 of this "hybrid" SRD3?

    I need help here. Never had a serious "throwing" light before. Don't need it for daily use - I just want it for the few times that I want to - as David W. put it - "reach out and touch somebody."

    Don't know why the bug just bit me, but it did. This will be my one and only incandescent light - so choose wisely! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    *** Edit - Ok, not my only incandescent - but my only long-throwing super-light.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/popcorn.gif[/img] Thanks for asking that question i am sorta heading that way myself. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  13. #13
    Enlightened mvario's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    I have an SRTH on a Z3 body. Slim, light, looks cool, and throws a tight beam very far.

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    Hmmm. We've got ourselves two VERY similar threads going concurrently now. Oops.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Darell said:
    ...Is there a better body to put it on than the D3 of this "hybrid" SRD3?...



    [/ QUOTE ]

    Darell,

    For me, "better" means smaller, lighter, more convenient to carry. Judging by those criteria I have to say that the D3 body is the "best". Other bodies may look snazzier, more macho or cool, but for civilian use I believe it's your best bet.

    BTW, after trying more than half a dozen SRTHs it's clear that each has its own distinctive beam that is subtly and occasionally not so subtly different from the others. This applies also to the classic 3" TH's of which I compared four or five. Don't worry; the worst SRTH I tried was still excellent, and the best SRTH was better than the worst 3"

    Make sure you get the N2 bulb. You might not think that "only" 105 lumens would be very impressive. Just wait.

    Brightnorm

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    Thanks for the insight, Brightnorm.

    It is a good point that I really don't need anything "more" than a D3 body. That it accepts a Z49 clickie is a bonus in my book. Now... who has an extra one so I don't have to go buy a new one? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* jtivat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    I posted this in another thread also but if you want an older 3" T-head send me an e-mail I know where they can be bought for a really good price. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* PaulW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    I had an M3 and bought a turbohead for it. The TH did indeed throw better, but not much better. I did some light meter tests. I found that both heads gave essentially the same reading when reflected from the ceiling. This means that the total light output (lumens) was the same, as it should have been.

    In direct tests, the turbo head was brighter, of course -- intensity at beam center for the turbo head was 8940 lux, and for the M3 head was 6550 lux. But that's not a lot of difference -- only 42 percent brighter. I was unimpressed.

    Paul

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    Jt, Email sent.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    PaulW -

    Would you say - knowing what you know now - that if you had the decision to make again, you would not have bought the TH?

    Dan

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* PaulW's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    That's right. In fact, I sold it. One nice thing about CPF -- if you don't like a particular light or accessory, you can sell it to someone who will appreciate it. If done right, everybody wins.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    I guess for some reason, "throw" has been on a lot of people's mind lately?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Your SureFire Turbo-head experiences?

    Agreed - Thanks [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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