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Thread: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

  1. #1
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    Default Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Is anyone in to sign a petition if it were to be drafted?

    Surefire, please bring back the design language of your glory days (mid-late 2000ís)

    HA III Nat - Sometimes it was green, sometimes it was gray but it was always beautiful, and Iíve yet to see another manufacturer replicate it.

    Flats - Iím talking *flat* flats.

    Knurling - I should be patching pants pockets every other week

    Back then, no flashlight looked or felt like a Surefire in hand. And not just cause they would get sued, or because overseas manufacturers hadnít quite nailed down precision and q/c (many still arguable donít). Your lights were truly special back then. Please take a good look at any of the following lights for reference that you surely have laying around

    (gen1 HA Nat)
    A2, L1, L2, E2o, E2e, E1e, C2, C3, M2, M3, L5, L6, M4

    And of course the 6P, 9P.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Sadly, all I can hear is the sound of your words falling on stony ground.

    Which is a shame, as you are completely correct.


    Good luck with the petition.
    P
    Last edited by peter yetman; 06-26-2020 at 12:27 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    I would say Surefire's glory days were mid-90's to mid/late-2000's.

    This is when most models that people like nowadays were made. I prefer the early 2000's lights for the most part. 2000-2004.

    Surefire could easily bring back some of their older lights in limited production in a "legacy" line, or a "classic" line, where the serial could be designated with a certain prefix.
    ampdude

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    The good ol' days where they had regulated flatter curve runtimes, not these huge steps down that they all seem to have now... and you could actually trust their runtime specs in those days too, not anymore. They used to be known as "under quoted, over perform" or something along those lines.

    They should also bring back the Outdoorsman series.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by ampdude View Post
    I would say Surefire's glory days were mid-90's to mid/late-2000's.

    This is when most models that people like nowadays were made. I prefer the early 2000's lights for the most part. 2000-2004.

    Surefire could easily bring back some of their older lights in limited production in a "legacy" line, or a "classic" line, where the serial could be designated with a certain prefix.

    Sadly have to agree. The glory days are over. The Tactician is nice. The E2DL in constantly updated emitter form is still around, ironically. Much of the rest of the current offering.... I have a SureFire Stiletto and the Stiletto Pro. Both want to squirt out of my hand like wet fish each time I go for the tailcap switch. Ironically, the lesser priced Stiletto is a bit less prone to doing so than the more expensive Stiletto Pro.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    I stippled my Stiletto with a soldering iron, it's now the grippiest light I own. I'll look for photos. As far as the petition, sign me up...
    The TK20. Yes, it still rocks- WoodsWalker

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    Sadly, all I can hear is the sound of your words falling on stony ground.

    Which is a shame, as you are completely correct.


    Good luck with the petition.
    P
    I really think that Surefire listens to the needs of the civilian consumer market. 2 years before the 1st E1B backup was released I remember sending Surefire an email saying they should make an e1d defender, and I'd really like to believe that they listened to me haha. Can't find the email, gmail seems to have wiped everything pre-2010.



    Quote Originally Posted by GoVegan View Post
    The good ol' days where they had regulated flatter curve runtimes, not these huge steps down that they all seem to have now... and you could actually trust their runtime specs in those days too, not anymore. They used to be known as "under quoted, over perform" or something along those lines.

    They should also bring back the Outdoorsman series.
    Mhmm, Surefire definitely gave in to the lumens arms race with their e2dl line. It's a shame really and ironic, that the needs of the market went in the direction of lumens per dollar because it's the result of mass appeal for flashlights that made things the way they are now. Be careful what you wish for I guess, most of us pre-2010 were probably hoping flashlights would have more mainstream appeal so there would be more choices.
    Last edited by Mags; 06-26-2020 at 09:14 AM.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    I would love to see SF bring back some classics but they could never be like they used to be. No market for them. You me a few nuts on here would buy a low lumen classic like the A2 or C2. But thatís it. Sad reality. But true.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    I can see why they are opting for HA black or Type two black over HA nat. What I don't understand is why SF costs haven't gone down while the quality feels to be going down hill on their newer products...only my opinion. We used to use terms like 'bomb proof', 'indestructible,' and 'military grade' to describe the premier brands and pay hefty sums for them. I definitely don't see those terms to describe SF products often anymore.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Flat body Surefire's look great, but I think the round designs they switched to are much more comfortable. I would like to see their classic OD natural HA being brought back.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by scout24 View Post
    I stippled my Stiletto with a soldering iron, it's now the grippiest light I own. I'll look for photos. As far as the petition, sign me up...
    Sounds fantastic! Would love to see those photos. Thank you.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    I would love to see SF bring back some classics but they could never be like they used to be. No market for them. You me a few nuts on here would buy a low lumen classic like the A2 or C2. But thatís it. Sad reality. But true.
    My biggest issue is SureFire actually listened to those who complained that the checkering was too rough. Then we ended up with lights that were baby smooth. Will never forget that one pic. on CPF from years and years ago of a SureFire sawing through a 2AA Maglite.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    How about Surefire just makes all of their products compatible with 18650s?

    I have looked I want to say the past 3 years at Surefire's products and have only been more and more disappointed. I'd always look at Surefire first when I wanted a new duty light. But I would only come to find that Klarus, Fenix or Streamlight makes something that fits the bill of what I need.

    I really think they are shifting away from what they were good at. Which was well built, solid, simple flashlights.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    After I got my first A2, My wish was an A3 or bigger brother of A2 which is regulated and soft started 2x21700
    Anyone else like to have one?
    Mr Hunt We need your help.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by fivemega View Post
    After I got my first A2, My wish was an A3 or bigger brother of A2 which is regulated and soft started 2x21700
    Anyone else like to have one?
    Mr Hunt We need your help.
    2x21700?
    Are you sure?

    Actually i had this on my mind but more like 2x18500 (my favourite incan format), 4x5mm LEDís and a bit more powerfull bulb. 300-400lm.
    Since i got Streamlight Twintask i also start dreaming of AW-like tail switch combo: press once for secondaries, twice for low or high main. Long press for off. Electronics could be integrated in the head instead of the tail.
    Yeah, dreaming...


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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by Melson View Post
    How about Surefire just makes all of their products compatible with 18650s?

    I have looked I want to say the past 3 years at Surefire's products and have only been more and more disappointed. I'd always look at Surefire first when I wanted a new duty light. But I would only come to find that Klarus, Fenix or Streamlight makes something that fits the bill of what I need.

    I really think they are shifting away from what they were good at. Which was well built, solid, simple flashlights.
    I don't feel any allegiance to 18650's. They are a good size, but the next guy will just come along and say all SF products should be 21700 compatible now. There's nothing wrong with CR123A's, 16340's, or 17500's and 17650's. In fact they have upsides to 18650 compatibility such as being able to use your light in harsh environments that are not lithium ion battery friendly, like extremely hot or cold, or weapon lights that take a lot of jarring. It's also easy to use a rechargeable and keep a bunch of primaries (CR123A's) around for when you need a battery reload. And 18650 tubes are a bit too wide, they cause reliability and flickering issues with CR123A batteries as they tend to rattle unless you use some type of sleeve.
    ampdude

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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by GoVegan View Post
    The good ol' days where they had regulated flatter curve runtimes, not these huge steps down that they all seem to have now... and you could actually trust their runtime specs in those days too, not anymore. They used to be known as "under quoted, over perform" or something along those lines.
    I agree. I still prefer my lx2 for this reason, as well as its throwy 15 lumen low beam. But unfortunately everything is now built to the ANSI FL1 standard, and people would rather buy a light that does 1000 lumens for 1hr 30 minutes than either a light that does 1000 lumens for 20 minutes or one that does 600 lumens for 2 hours. A shame in my opinion.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by ampdude View Post
    I don't feel any allegiance to 18650's. They are a good size, but the next guy will just come along and say all SF products should be 21700 compatible now. There's nothing wrong with CR123A's, 16340's, or 17500's and 17650's. In fact they have upsides to 18650 compatibility such as being able to use your light in harsh environments that are not lithium ion battery friendly, like extremely hot or cold, or weapon lights that take a lot of jarring. It's also easy to use a rechargeable and keep a bunch of primaries (CR123A's) around for when you need a battery reload. And 18650 tubes are a bit too wide, they cause reliability and flickering issues with CR123A batteries as they tend to rattle unless you use some type of sleeve.

    I guess I should have specified. I would like them to make their lights all rechargeable, or if not the majority rechargeable. It doesn't have to necessarily be 18650s. Having to burn through CR123s with regular use is expensive.

  19. #19
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Just hire back PK. Heíll fix it.

    In all seriousness we need proper rechargeable support. 18650 is the correct and obvious choice, lest I need to remind anybody that the original U2 had native 18650 support and second revision ones had a removable plastic sleeve to step down to 16mm diameter CR123As.

    18650 is the norm everywhere else and has been for years. 18650 cells are in every laptop battery that hasn't switched over to Li-poly flat cells. 18650 cells are in every teenager's vape pen. 18650 cells are used in all of the Tesla S cars. 18650 cells are used in nearly every battery bank. It's a standard, and it's not going to go away any time soon because it's a good size relative to human hands for items handled by humans.

    I would normally tolerate 16650 (which I do use) but there is one manufacturer (Sanyo) that still bothers to make them, and only one company (Keeppower) that still wraps and protects them. I don't even want to get into capacity wars but the 16650 is positively anemic at 2500mAh with a 2C max discharge rate. From March til June this year, 16650s were scarce whereas you could still find 16340 and 18650 just about anywhere online.

    That is not a supply chain I am comfortable in investing my lights budget into (which I already have, for the handful of Surefires I have on ďlife supportĒ). And Surefire would be beyond stupid to think that 16650 is a form factor to base future lights upon, given its relative scarcity.

    The reason 21700 is now the big fish in the battery world is because of Tesla. Tesla wanted higher capacity and higher current than 18650 can handle, physically, so here we are. 21700 is a nice size as well and because it is only 3mm wider and just a hair longer, we get to a funny situation where 18650s work just fine in 21700 lights, though there would be a rattle. But, Surefire is, and always will be, a CR123A company because of military supply chains, and 16mm CR123As without a sleeve are gonna bang around inside an 18650 light to an unacceptable level. And no product manager over at Surefire is going to green light a project that uses 21700s with a sleeve for CR123As so some military grunt can lose the sleeve and make the light useless.

    So, back to 18650 support. It's still going to be a painful path for Surefire. They were always designed around 16mm cells and if they move to 18mm cells as the entire industry has done, the entire legacy Surefire Lego system goes out the window. Not that they were that interested in maintaining it anyway.

    How can Surefire modernize the C series? The C-series gets too thin at the threads where the o-rings are cut to really support 18650 to the durability standards Surefire has for their duty lights. People bore these things out, and if they aren't good at boring and go just slightly off-center they can get too close and bam, paper-thin weak o-ring channels.

    Surefire took a crack at this by widening the body-tailcap interface on the Fury DF. You can see they did a crummy patch job, because the Fury maintains a C-size body size but takes a wider, non-standard tailcap, which looks awful.

    And I believe the Fury uses the "X" series bezels... taken from the G2X and 6PX. The C-series head threads can't be kept, because not having to encapsulate a P60 means the construction is too complicated and too deep for heatsinking with an integrated LED and light engine. So the C-series is dead, all around. The only thing that can stay is the 1" body diameter, which has to, because it's the standard mount size in tactical lights.

    Let's look at the E-series. Surefire hints to us what they're after with the M600DF Scout. Things actually look up here! The E-series cannot swap cells out of the tail because there is an inner collar that narrows the ID of the body. This is again, to make up for what would otherwise be too thin of an o-ring channel. It turns out to be the E-series' saving grace - the tailcap does not care one lick what size the battery is, because unlike C-series, it never tries to wrap around the battery section! So the E-tailcap can stay, although they'll probably have to (externally) get thicker to match a fatter body section.

    That means the head interface has to change. The ever-fattening 1.1" E-series bezel has enough meat to take an 18650 without changing the OD, but the ID has to change. On the M600DF, so it did. I don't own one of these guys, but looking at the photos it looks like Surefire did okay.

    So the M600DF looks like the path forward. I think it looks weird, and Surefire doesn't seem to think it deserves a new model designation (the bezel says KE2-DF, so what's the next series, the DF-size?)

    But with all those compromises, and bear with me, thank you for sticking around this long, and I can't believe I still can write this much about a flashlight, Surefire needs to design a new system from the ground up in two sizes. C-series is dead and E-series is chock full of funky compromises so you might as well leave it behind. If you ask me, the 1.1" and 1.25" bezels should share a collar size, which should look just like the M600DF, and I guess we can keep the E-series tailcap, although new ones with thicker walls will need to be made to not have awkwardly skinny tailcaps.

    I relinquish my microphone now.
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  20. #20
    Flashaholic* RedLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    I'm glad I bought all the L1 lights, my favorite SF.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    Just hire back PK.
    THIS. How they ever could have let him get away is completely beyond me. They should have tripled his salary.

    I love my old SureFires, and there are still a few old ones I'd like to track down someday, but I barely track their new offerings anymore.
    Trees don't grow on money either.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by RedLED View Post
    I'm glad I bought all the L1 lights, my favorite SF.

    Yup! Still have my Milky-modded L1.
    Very first single CR123 powered light to hit 200 actual lumens.
    (Took SureFire another 9 or 10 months to release the first production light capable of that.)
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    @Carrot, thank you for providing the answer this thread needs and the proper letter to Surefire!

    My very first "Wow that's bright!" light was a Surefire. I would love to buy a Surefire product again that wows me.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    @Carrot everything you said is true, but isnt surefire already doing exactly that? What with their ďDual fuelĒ series (I lolíd, only for sf thatíd be a headline feature) and their branded usb charged 18650s? As you pretty much explained there just isnt enough room for 18650s and Surefireís flats while maintaining the same form factor, I just see all future sfís to look like their Furies, thicker and more round. I dont find the scarcity or lack of industry development of the 16650 to be that troubling, and the lower current is fine as I dont care for more than 400-500 lumens in the e/l/aviator series form factor but thatís just me, I guess Iíd take form over performance, though personally I hate how lately max lumens and performance are mentioned so interchangeably. Iím still impressed to this day when I pick up my smaller flats surefires, they just handle great and Id love to buy a modern sf that has the same feel. I dont like the edc series as much, they just dont feel right, the e1/2/dls are okay.


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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by carrot View Post
    Just hire back PK. Heíll fix it.

    In all seriousness we need proper rechargeable support. 18650 is the correct and obvious choice, lest I need to remind anybody that the original U2 had native 18650 support and second revision ones had a removable plastic sleeve to step down to 16mm diameter CR123As.

    18650 is the norm everywhere else and has been for years. 18650 cells are in every laptop battery that hasn't switched over to Li-poly flat cells. 18650 cells are in every teenager's vape pen. 18650 cells are used in all of the Tesla S cars. 18650 cells are used in nearly every battery bank. It's a standard, and it's not going to go away any time soon because it's a good size relative to human hands for items handled by humans.

    I would normally tolerate 16650 (which I do use) but there is one manufacturer (Sanyo) that still bothers to make them, and only one company (Keeppower) that still wraps and protects them. I don't even want to get into capacity wars but the 16650 is positively anemic at 2500mAh with a 2C max discharge rate. From March til June this year, 16650s were scarce whereas you could still find 16340 and 18650 just about anywhere online.
    I think saying the early U2's had "18650 support" is stretching it a bit. The early U2 bodies were made just wide enough to allow an unprotected 18650, which were generally at the time pretty slim in diameter compared to the 3400 mAh protected monsters we have now. Probably closer to the diameter of a protected AW 17670 type cell. I could be remembering this wrong, but I don't remember there being any factory Surefire sleeves that came with U2's. Some people said it, but it didn't seem plausible to me and I never saw one like that, whether Luxeon 5 or Seoul emitter. There were aftermarket options, some of the earliest I remember being the UBH kit so you could sleeve an 18650 light and use CR123A's with no rattle. Surefire tightened up the tolerances later on in the run so that the U2 would only accept CR123A's. I have a later U2 that won't even come close to accepting an AW protected 17670, or 17500. All of the older E-series two flats, two cell bodies will accept protected AW or Keeppower 17500's and 17670's just fine with even a little bit of rattle! Same with the Vital Gear lights as well. 17mm rechargeable cells were very popular for quite awhile, I'm surprised they don't seem to be nearly as popular these days.

    Surefire tightened the tolerances up on many of their bodies in the mid to late 2000's. If anything batteries are moving to smaller form factors. 18650 is a good battery size, but I'd rather have my legacy Surefire system with CR123A primaries that I can rely on for serious things, and last forever, and use 16mm or 17mm rechargeables for free lumens or general use. I never did understand the whole 16650 thing, but then most of my lights will accept 17mm rechargeable cells and IMR16340's have been available for a long time and serve my rechargeable needs in two cell flashlights with tighter spec bodies. Otherwise I'll use the different variations of 17mm cells for my rechargeable needs.
    ampdude

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Quote Originally Posted by ampdude View Post
    The early U2 bodies were made just wide enough to allow an unprotected 18650, which were generally at the time pretty slim in diameter compared to the 3400 mAh protected monsters we have now. Probably closer to the diameter of a protected AW 17670 type cell. I could be remembering this wrong, but I don't remember there being any factory Surefire sleeves that came with U2's. Some people said it, but it didn't seem plausible to me and I never saw one like that, whether Luxeon 5 or Seoul emitter.
    I have a few Surefire U2 lights, one of them is a very early one. The serial# is in the low 2000 range if I remember correctly. This light works perfect at least with older 18650 cells. I never checked 3500mAh cells, therefore I do not know if it will fit. My U2 did not have a sleeve. I have two Luxeon V U2 flashlights and both works perfectly with a 18650 cell and both do not have this sleeve. There should also be some late models with Lux V having a body that has a smaller inner diameter
    The SSC P4 Models of the U2 does not have the capability of the 18650 usage. From what I know there are no early models that had a diameter that makes it possible to use 18650 cells.

    Btw. the U2 bodies are compatible and are interchangable, also Kroma / Kroma MILSPEC Bodys are fitting. But the Kroma lights also does not have 18650 capable bodies. At least I never saw someone saying this was ever existing..
    Still looking for Surefire G2 in Orange.
    If you have one you don't like please PM me.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    16650's are great for those Surefire's that won't fit an 18650. I ran a 16650 in a Kroma and it fit and functioned perfectly.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Carrot, thank you for sharing all that.

    ampdude, I have 2x U2 lights that will take older 18650 cells (AW 2600 mAh protected). One of the bodies had the plastic sleeve glued in. I must have bought the tube separately and swapped parts with another gen2 U2. In any event, I followed another CPFer's advice, put the battery tube in a baggie, and put it in the freezer (and forgot about it for awhile). All I needed to do after that was to wedge in the tip of my index finger, give it a quarter-twist, and the tube came right out, on my finger. Saved it as a future potential sleeve.

    I would love to have an A3 Aviator that would take 2xLi-ion cells. Even 2x14500 would be an improvement over the 2x AW protected 16340 cells that I sometimes use now (with a Koala ring). Bonus points if it would take a larger diameter cell than the original A2.
    Last edited by novice; 07-18-2020 at 03:05 PM.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Yea, I believe the A3 was in the prototype stage at one point and I'm guessing the lamp would have been designated MA03.

    It would have been nice to see along with an E3e w/ MN04 lamp assembly.
    ampdude

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Dear Surefire, please bring back HA III Nat, knurling, and flats

    Totally agree.
    The old knurling and flats, so beautiful, IMHO.
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