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Thread: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom strap

  1. #1

    Default Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom strap

    Malkoff Devices - Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom strap: ( 8 photos )

    (Took these pictures last year, was going to write a big review as I liked the light so much but never got around to shooting beam shots & forgot about it. Rediscovered these pictures in a folder - they were going to accompany the original review. Just thought I would post them anyways).

    The short review is this
    : I work with quality tools everyday and I love this flashlight - the end. Simple, powerful, rock solid, ultra reliable, superb beam & color temp. Long (love u long time) run time too with two 2900mAh 18650's. It's always great when you buy something and it works out perfect.

    btw - I needed more lumens on the low setting than the stock Wildcat low setting of 45 lumens so I called Gene, before ordering, and he was able to adjust the low setting to 120 lumens. (high is approx. 750).

    (BELOW):
    I added a grip over an MD4 body, and it couldn't have worked out better if it had been engineered by Nasa. It fits and feels like it was designed to be this way. Highly recommend you put a grip on your Wildcat. The 'tack' of this grip is so crazy good that you can use a 'cigar' grip a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e on it and have a grip equal to or better than any dedicated plastic, metal, rubber grip ring.
    The grip also provides excellent cold weather protection for your hand if you have to take gloves off. Without the lanyard ring the grip gives more than adequate electrical contact insulation when working around voltages. For duty officers the grip has many advantages but if they put it in their sap pocket they would pull their pant leg up around their knee before the tack of the grip let loose from the pocket. In the back pocket of jeans you could run a mile and the flashlight would stay put.

    (shown with MD4 battery tube).

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (BELOW)
    I bought a SolarForce belt clip / lanyard hole combo so I could snap off the awkward belt clip & salvage the ring + lanyard string hole. ( I really don't trust these laser cut lanyard rings because I think the edges are too sharp). I used a belt sander to grind off the what was left of the Solar Force belt clip, then chamfered and polished the inside of the string hole with a dremel (was easy so I polished the whole ring). Now that the inside of the ring is polished it's much easier, to slip ring on & off over the o-ring without having to remove the o-ring. Because the Malkoff has a certain compact heft to it, feels like you have a 'sap' in your hand (because essentially you do), I could see it wearing out those little nylon lanyard strings quickly- especially if the string hole isn't rounded off smooth. Alternatively, one of the advantages of the rubber grip is that now you can use a metal lanyard (safety clasp) for quick on / off attachment without worrying about scratching up your finish or excessive rattle. With a metal clip you won't need to bother with rounding or polishing the edge of the lanyard hole either.


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    (BELOW)
    You can see here that grip is fairly thin - only 2.5 mm wall thickness. It also gives you an idea of how cleanly it cuts (if you do it right).
    What's that blue ring inside the tailcap ? The McClicky's conductive tabs bulge out on the sides a bit too close to the chem filmed aluminum walls for my taste. So I very gently compressed them back a hair and slipped on a 1/4" long band of blue heat shrink for peace of mind. It's really not necessary, but since I had it all apart anyways. The Malkoff tail-switches are some of simplest, if not easiest to access - no need to unscrew tail cap from main body, no tools required - just twist off the delrin (now aluminum) end protector and the McClicky switch will pop right out.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (BELOW)
    Check out how well the two sections of cut grip seal back together when end cap is screwed on. They even compress over lanyard ring to hide / enclose it. ( when I took this photo it just happened that I had tightened the two halves to line up perfectly - but it's definitely two separate pieces).


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (BELOW)
    I see a lot of summer camp craft braiding (complete with toy skulls) used as lanyards on this site. They always use a thin nylon cord with a synch bead of some sort. I find these to be dangerous. If the light somehow ever gets caught or snagged your wrist is going to receive a nice rope burn or worse it will hold your hand in place as you're trying to pull away from whatever harm (machinery / wild animal / attacker) you encounter.
    I took a nice fat neoprene leash that fits snugly around my wrist and attached it to a ring that clips to the light. The benefits are that you can slip it on with only one hand (pinch fingers together, insert into neoprene loop, expand fingers and the leash slips instantly around your wrist). There is no need to adjust it or use a synch bead. If the light or leash snags on anything it won't leave a rope burn and you can easily pull your hand free because the neoprene will expand. Yet it's strong enough to keep your flashlight secured in the most demanding situations and accidental drops (hand release). It is beyond comfortable and doesn't dig into your skin when you just let the flashlight dangle from wrist to work or walk hands free. And unlike the tangled mess of string style lanyards, the neoprene leash stores and retrieves easily for instant set up. I recommend trying one.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    (BELOW)

    You could cut off end of grip to expose more of already recessed tail switch but I liked the bumper protection so I left it that way. Still is able to stand on end.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (BELOW)
    Battery config.


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    (BELOW)
    The business end.
    Last edited by DM51; 10-09-2011 at 12:05 AM.

  2. #2
    hron61's Avatar
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    hi kraft.
    i have 3 wildcats and would love to try that grip. where is it from? never seen anything like that. very nice. looks like it was made for it, nice job bro.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    now thats a lanyard !!!
    Fenix L2T Mag 6d Streamlite lite box with custom 16 amp 7.2 Nimh racing pack(oldskool but foolproof)UK lite cannon HID UK SL 4 mini q 40 with LED modual,brightstar Dipper 11 24watt hid,fenix TK30

  4. #4

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Yes please source the grip material for us?

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* ^Gurthang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Kraft,

    Your WC is the most professional tactical set-up I've seen, you could sell it as a package for WC owners. Love to know what you used for the grip material.
    ^G When I reply, threads die....

  6. #6

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Hi Guys, appreciate the responses,
    I have the info but need a couple of days to put together the answers (for various reasons).
    btw- grip will work on MD2 thru 4 / Hound Dog / etc.

    back to this post in a few days.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    I'll be watching. Have MD2 with MD3 ordered. Looks great and a little added protection for an already rugged light. Thanks Kraft.
    Deus Vult

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Derek Dean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Great photos and review, and yes, that is one sweet setup.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Hmmm, how interesting. I almost feel like this is a sales lead in here. anyone feel like they are being set up

    Its ok , I really like the grip and lanyard setup and would like to try them out but I feel like a lamb being led to slaughter here LOL!!!!

    Those pics are very professional looking hmmmmmm..........

  10. #10
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    pretty much want that for all my malkoffs now. winter is coming. rubber is nice and not cold.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    That is cool!

    The grip reminds me of a handle bar replacement grip I used to have on my BMX

  12. #12

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    You went full tactical, man.

    I'm surprised they don't offer this one in single mode, as well as the H.D.
    Last edited by leon2245; 10-10-2011 at 08:09 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str


    Malkoff Designs tactical enhancement info / tutorial:
    (aka - too much information)

    ( Had previously offered grip info to another party and needed a couple of days to contact them and see if they were comfortable with my sharing the details. All good. )

    Gotta say the Malkoff 'Keep It Simple' design payed off, lending itself so well to this mod. Also I can not state strongly enough that you will be more than pleased with the results, any effort & time spent will be worth it.

    The grip is of course a bicycle handle bar grip, a 'Track' style grip. The specific one I used is the Charge (brand) 'Plunger' (grip model). 170 mm long. Black. (It comes in clear and other colors, EMS orange etc).
    I chose it while searching the net for it's length, thinness, color, & lack of any printing, brand i.d. or molded in identification.
    There are reasons that I believe it may be slated for discontinuation, but I really don't know. The reasons are - Charge has had some recent supply issues (so I was told) - BTI (the U.S. distributor) will no longer carry the 'Plunger' model - and most sites I have visited including the UK (where I believe Charge is based) only have Clear & Colors available (white too) but no Black.
    It's thinness and fine dimple pattern while being perfect for a flashlight seem to be the reason many online reviews by cyclists don't like it. They prefer a more shock absorbing style.
    http://chargebikes.com/parts/plunger/

    It was hard for me to imagine that this grip was made only for Charge and some inquiries to Taiwanese mfgs. yielded many, many similar to almost identical looking grips. Some as long as 16 inches (!). But I never found the exact match. I did originally think about marketing them to the tactical marketplace but since I couldn't find the actual o.e.m (I would have wanted them to also cut up grips into preset sections & package them) I decided I couldn't meet the right price point.
    Below is a packaging mock up I made:



    Fortunately there are many other brands of almost identical 'track' grips available to choose from. They all appear to be made out of the same Krayton rubber and any additional wall thickness might not even be noticeable - I just liked how well the Charge Plunger track grip stayed in line with / met up with the taper of the Wildcat head due to it's wall thickness. Recently I found some black Charge grips online at JoyRide-CyclesDOTcom but when I called they were also out of stock - he did mention though that he had another brand, almost identical (175mm / slightly different end design), in black that were on the thin side for about $7 a pair plus shipping.
    (Grips are sold in pairs and you should expect to pay around $7 to $14 retail for the pair plus shipping).

    Cutting:
    Cutting / slicing them is straightforward and simple -
    Slip the grip over an appropriately sized tube (pvc, emt, copper pipe, etc). Secure / clamp tube (not grip) and while holding a razor blade steady in one hand - rotate grip keeping razor blade stationary. For a clean cut use either liquid soap drops or armor-all as lubrication (can't remember what I originally used). Using the uniform dimple pattern molded into the grip as a guide hold the razor blades edge to cut between the dimples (i.e. cut in the valley between the peaks). Don't get greedy. Trust your line, rotate grip slowly and expect to make several rotations / passes before razor cuts through completely. All this is only necessary if you want a very clean cut - other wise I'm sure you could use everything from a sharp knife to a pair of scissors.

    Measuring:
    Remember all info here is based off experience with a single pair of Charge brand Plunger grips. Milage may vary.
    Since the grip needs to expand to slip over 1" diameter Malkoff battery tube expect some shrinkage in length. For my MD4 tube I only had to make one cut leaving one long section & one short tail cap section. But where to cut was a guesstimate. You will discover as I did that a close guess is good enough. Thanks to the characteristics of the rubber used to make these grips and the excellent knurling on the Malkoff's, the grip can be both stretched or compressed to desired length and will stay put.

    Installation: (or - 'How to get the *!#%$! grip onto the #@!%$! battery tube' ) :
    My first and only attempt was a mix of heating grip in very hot water first and as it cooled on battery tube employing a hair dryer to heat / inch it along / heat / inch along - repeat. Hope you have a lot of patience and very, very strong hands if you use this method. I sent the above package, in the photo, to Gene to get his feedback & approval and of course he immediately figured out a much simpler and effective solution. Gene's method was to simply heat the battery tube (perhaps even add a little soapy water -?- I forget) and, with 'some' work, it will slip right on. Once the grip is mostly on you can then use a hair dryer to make fitting adjustments. (I chose not to use soapy water to avoid drying time so I could do immediate testing).
    For anyone who is wondering... NO, the grip will not ever slip off the Malkoff either in hot or cold or wet weather - period.

    Hole for switch access:
    As I mentioned I could have just cut off the 'cap' end of grip to expose the click switch. But I wanted the wrap around protection so I sharpened the inside of a piece of 1/2" copper tube with a Dremel bit and punched out the hole you see in the original post photos. There must be a better way - someone will figure it out and post it.
    (tried using the same punch on the one I sent to Gene but it didn't quite work out the same as before and I butchered it, thereby having to cut off the bumper end.)

    * Wouldn't the rubber grip act as an insulator over the aluminum battery tube thereby trapping heat? I spoke to Gene about this concern early on. The short answer is that while this 'could' be an issue with some other brand of tactical flashlight Gene's overkill machined brass heat sinking used in all his drop-ins and especially the massive sinking used in both the Wildcat & Hound Dog make this a non issue. Gene's summation was something like "I wouldn't worry about it". Gene knew that his drop-ins and Wildcat / HD heads would be used with his modular battery tube system (some tubes are very short) and that the drop-in's and heads alone would have to handle all the heat dissipation.

    (if anyone does try a clear 'track' grip over their Malkoff please post a photo as I would be very curious to see what this looks like).


    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Neoprene Lanyard:

    The 'Fat' Strap I used was a Bowers 1" camera neck strap. (black).
    http://www.bowerusa.com/catalog.php?item=297|197

    I had purchased it on sale for a trip, was about to return it when I realized it's potential as a wrist strap.
    They are a bit pricey but I did a search and if you have a Wal Mart within spitting distance you can save shipping by buying online and having them deliver to your local store for pick up. I mention this because unless your Wife or Girlfriend has a sewing machine plus the patience for your nonsense you will need to take it to a tailor like I did and pay them to turn it into a wrist strap. In my opinion it was worth it - I really like the strap that much. Was tempted to have strap sewn with the Bowers logo inside but they use a softer fabric on the inside so I just took some solvent and dulled out the white logo. (I used one of the 'bronzed' / 'blackened' mini key-rings that comes with it for attachment to the Wildcat).

    I also thought of marketing some sort of simpler neoprene wrist strap as the market for them is larger but I will leave that to someone else now.
    You could use a 'Croakies' or similar brand eyeglass / sunglass neoprene leash and mod it into a wrist strap as well. But just taking an un-sewn strip of neoprene, slitting a hole in one end and passing the other through it will tear from use (fwiw).

    I did recently find something that I think will work for some of you but never having used one I question it's adjusting synch as possibly loosening at the wrong time or under the wrong circumstances. That said, if you get one you could ditch the adjustable synch and have it sewn shut to the correct diameter for your individual wrist size. (slipping your hand through being the more important sizing requirement). I also do not like the dual nylon cords, I much prefer a single flat strap.
    http://www.coolanyard.com/1/wrist-strap-neoprene/#1


    --------------------------------------

    Again, I can positively say, you will really enjoy these tactical enhancements. It's like getting a brand new flashlight once the grip is on. Best of all these enhancements should transfer to any of Gene's new releases as well as protecting your current investment. Win - win.

    (If you do try anything mentioned here, or similar, please come back and post a photo).
    Last edited by Kraft; 10-12-2011 at 12:34 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Wow what an in depth post.

    Looks like it can be sourced with some work?
    Last edited by purelite; 10-11-2011 at 03:39 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Quote Originally Posted by purelite View Post
    Wow what an in depth post.

    Looks like it can be sourced with some work?
    I did say everything was custom.

    I guarantee that you will find an almost identical looking grip in black, in Krayton rubber, with same dimple pattern and size. It may have a slightly different looking bumper end or be 5mm longer but it will perform the same and maybe even look better than the Charge. I just lucked out and bought, what I didn't know at the time, was a soon to be phased out grip. No problem, everyone's brother makes the same-ish grip - i just haven't tried them. But I will have to soon enough because Malkoffs have a way of breeding.

    Anything 170mm or longer is perfect since you need to cut out some length from the middle anyways for an MD3 or MD2.
    Last edited by Kraft; 10-11-2011 at 03:54 PM.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Purchased black track grip from Amazon. Appears similar. Will give it a try on the MD3. Thanks for all the information. I'm sure it'll come in handy when I get them.
    Deus Vult

  17. #17

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Yup bodhran, that looks perfect. Great price too (even cheap shipping).

    http://www.amazon.com/Origin8-Track-.../dp/B0013G3GGK

  18. #18

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Great idea. Just ordered those from Amazon. Shipped for like $8 bucks. I wasn't too particular with it and just used guestimates and scissors to cut them. Probably could have done it better but couldn't find anything to wrap it around that worked. Either way came out pretty nice. Im happy. Seems like a much more substantial light now and feels great in the hand.




  19. #19

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Tommygun45 - They look awesome. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said how the flashlight is perceived as being more 'substantial' (and how comfortable it is in the hand). I'd be curious about your feedback using a one hand 'cigar-grip'.

    RE: the cutting of grip. I should have pointed out that (if a super clean cut is desired) any tube used just needs to be smaller than the inside diameter of the grip. It only needs to act as a cutting surface (backer). That way the grip can spin freely for the optional stationary razor blade method. (But your scissor cuts look pretty damn good from the photos).

    fwiw -When grip gets dirty a little soap and water + toothbrush and it will look new again. Another tip for getting the grip mounted faster is to warm it up a bit and roll it back on itself, then butt the rolled up end against the battery tube and unroll it over the tube. It should give you about an inch to inch & a half to start things off.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Tommygun45....thanks for the pics. Was curious how it would look with the MD2 head. My grips arrived in the mail today and will go on my MD3 with MD2 head. Better get off my you know what and get to work. Of course a big thanks to Kraft for sharing this with us.
    Deus Vult

  21. #21
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Came out very nice. Trimmed back the end where it meets the head so only the first, smaller ridge/ring is left. I think this gives it a cleaner look. Excellent grip and a comfortable, solid feel in the hand. In picures the grip appears gray, in real life it looks great.
    Deus Vult

  22. #22
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Ordered orange grips on ebay

  23. #23
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Orange grips? Now that would be interesting to see.
    Deus Vult

  24. #24
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Wow, awesome write up. A couple years ago I really got into track bikes. Some of the best track grips are the Japanese brands "Strong" and "Champ" and they come in delicious colors. These guys have the best selection IMO http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...&cPath=146_230

  25. #25

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Quote Originally Posted by bodhran View Post
    Tommygun45....thanks for the pics. Was curious how it would look with the MD2 head. My grips arrived in the mail today and will go on my MD3 with MD2 head. Better get off my you know what and get to work. Of course a big thanks to Kraft for sharing this with us.
    Lets get some pics up!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Quote Originally Posted by bodhran View Post
    Orange grips? Now that would be interesting to see.
    I always wanted a orange malkoff but ended up with a black md-2 + md4. One of them has a triple xp-g. Visible in snow and helps my cold fingers. Dont know if it will look good or not with a black head, but I think it will be helpful.

    Hairspray is supposed to work well when installing rubber grips. It helps lube, then it gets sticky. Remember someone mentioning it for a tip for mounting a spare rubber grip on a fenix tk20 and make it stick.
    Last edited by jorn; 10-20-2011 at 03:04 PM.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Tommygun45..*lol* Luckily have better luck with flashlights than computers. Have no idea how to post a pic here.

    Jorn...though the fit is snug, I had no problem getting the grip on with nothing but a little elbow grease. I did roll the end back as suggested by Kraft to start it. I have the M61HCRI in mine with UCL lens. I have used hairspray to put grips on my motorcycle.
    Last edited by bodhran; 10-20-2011 at 03:21 PM.
    Deus Vult

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    The orange grips has arrived. looks better in real than my crappy piture.
    Last edited by jorn; 11-02-2011 at 01:42 PM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Nicely done, I like the orange. I have a bunch of cerakoted stuff coming back, 4 Surefire hosts, a couple of them might be in just that color! I was using my md2 and md4 outside last night and they were quite nice to hold. It was about 25 degrees out and my Solarforce L2T was freezing! These felt good though.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Malkoff Wildcat with Neutral Tint / Custom low setting / Custom grip / Custom str

    Jorn - those orange grips make a lot of sense and go well with the lights. Makes me wonder if anyone makes a GITD track grip (?). (I like what you did with the Solar Force too).

    Benzz - great link to 'benscycle' - interesting to see grips from 1mm to 4mm plus all the extra colors. Maybe someone will try out a two-tone (end cap one color and body another).

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