All posts tagged Tactical Lights

Streamlight TLR Flashlights, is there such a thing as too much?

Streamlight TLR FlashlightsThat is a question I’ve been wondering about and speaking to several Law Enforcement about it because they tend to do a little more hard use of weapon mounted lights and, from what I’m told, there are rules amongst them to not have more than 2 people using flashlights when doing an entry.   It’s a guy thing to want to accessorize the heck out of your AR15, but unless you might be using your Carbine in an outdoor situation, you absolutely should consider the fact that there is such a thing as too many lumens.   I’ve been very happy with about a 6yr history of using a Streamlight Polytac on one of my LWRC M6A1 Carbines which only had 130 lumens and it suited me well.   Now that LED technology has improved so much there aren’t very many flashlights below 200 lumens unless they have a high and low power setting.  Personally, I’d like to see something like the TLR1 series of flashlights have some type of high and low power setting on them.

What kind of options are there for very simple and lightweight carbine lights?  In my opinion it really comes down to the Streamlight TLR-1s which is a 300 lumen flashlight with strobe, the Streamlight TLR1 flashlights that is 630 High Lumens is the TLR1-HL,  and the Streamlight TLR2 which like the TLR1 is 300 lumens, but is a laser light combo.   For some reason we see a pattern of people using the TLR-HL light more on handguns than the TLR-1S.  There is about 1HR and 25 minute run time difference between the two, but since your average Patrolman is more likely to have a sidearm on them and be outdoors the TLR-HL seems to be a better option,  that could also apply to anyone that is CCWing and might be outdoors.  I would find the 630 lumen output to be an overkill for indoor use.  There is some good information on the Panteao Production Make Ready with Pat Rogers : Intro to the shoot house DVD where Pat, does some very good flashlight demonstrations in outdoor environments so check that out.


White lights, Surefire Flashlights has always led the way

Surefire FlashlightsAll gear has it limits and it’s tolerances and not everyone will push gear to the limits, but in this industry, we have so many different lines of work that report back to us that it’s always part of our job to listen so we can relay that to our customers, as long as it passes our bull shit meter.   You get what you pay for and Surefire Flashlights are not in the “cheap” or “inexpensive” category although their history in the Military is well known and complaints about the cost are the only thing we hear that are negatives.  You have to read the product specs and what a flashlight is designed to do to understand what you are paying for when you are shopping for an LED Flashlight for your M4 Carbine, M16 or Remington 870 or Mossberg 590 Series shotguns.   Having a hi and a low power setting means longer life of batteries and be careful you don’t just buy a light based on the lumens.   A 320 Lumen flashlight is going to burn faster than one that can be set to 15 Lumens and only use what you need to use.

Flashlights, just like lasers are often not used properly and I would also highly recommend getting a red or blue flip up lense at the end of any weapon mounted light because there are more times than none, going to be situations were you don’t want high output because shining a 200 Lumen to 600 Lumen light in low light or darkness is like turning the sun on and it is true that you may more likely draw attention to you which can give a burglar, home invader or prowler or felon a return firing point.   The Surefire Flashlights like the Scout Model went from 110 Lumens to 200 lumens and considering how small and lightweight it is,  I’d highly recommend that you pay attention to the pros and cons of using pressure switches because they do break and it’s also recommended that you keep spare ones close to  you incase of failure.   We’ve seen a big up tick in the sales of the Surefire X300 Ultra due to the fact that this is easy to put on a handgun or a rifle and doesn’t require a pressure switch to activate.


Where to mount a flashlight on your M4?

streamlight flashlightsOk, Ok, I know you might not have an actual M4 Carbine but you do have an AR15 in some sort of configuration.   There are plenty of ways to get a light on a gun and you can always get your own custom mounting system, but there are always do’s and don’ts  when it comes to accessorizing.  The most common thing people don’t do is mount optics, sights or flashlights properly.  I’ve seen so many canted accessories and optics that I don’t understand why anyone would bother to shoot good ammunition when there elevation and windage are going to be off.   When shopping for a firearm, you really should put some thought into getting a quad rail or an MOE system.  I think the Magpul MOE system is a better idea because it lighter from the get go and kind of starts you at a less tactical point in the accessorizing stage.

With the Magpul MOE system you can just buy a rail, attach it to your forearm and then you you don’t need to worry about buying rail skins or rail covers.  I’ve had rail covers on my 3 and 6 o’clock for years because I never need that  now I’m looking into some of the Streamlight Flashlights like the TLR1S or the TLR2 since the newer 2013 models have 80% more lighting power.    Last years model was 160 lumens and this years are 300 lumens.  I always thought 200 lumens was a great lighting limit but it really depends on whether you are indoors or outdoors.  In most situations indoors you don’t need as much throw as you do outside.  Those are other things to consider when selecting a light on your AR15.


Red dots, laser grips and how to improve your shooting skills!

crimson trace laser gripsI won’t talk to you like your an amateur and need to have trigger control explained to you but there are many people stopping into our store that have lasers on their guns but still don’t understand how to use them in a defensive manor.  All firearms and accessories are tools that you deploy that can improve your ability or impeed on it.   There are plenty of things you can attach to a firearm that  you think might make your more accurate but many of these devices can slow you down if you don’t train to use them.   We have several Navy Seals stopping in our store with their Glock 17 handguns and use Viridian laser light combos and they speak highly of using the green lasers.   One of the main things they talk about is identifying targets in low light.  For instance, 6 guys break into a house to clear it and lasers come in handy as pointing devices.  Instead of hand gestures or spoken words, a tap of a laser on a wall means “shoot here” or “move here”.

You do have to be very careful about attaching lasers, lights and laser light combos on your gun because I’m a big believer in having holsters for every handgun that you use defensively.   I have sold many of the Desantis Rail Dyers to guys that has the Crimson Trace Laser grips on their firearms because in the event they had to use their Glock 17, Beretta 92FS or Sig 226 late at night, being able to easily re-holster your gun gets easier if you use a holster device like this.   Lasers should be used as on/off tools just like white lights, they can give you away in some situations and make you a target, or they can be tremendous assets to help you win a fight.


Flashlights have gotten more powerful but the prices haven’t gone up!

streamlight TRL flashlightsThere’s good news for anyone that is looking for a good M4 Carbine light or handgun light but wanted something more powerful than the Streamlight TLR1 Flashlights.  Well, guess what?!   The new Streamlight flashlights that are coming out in 2013 are almost 80% brighter than the previous flashlights, same model and same price.  It’s very rare that something like this occurs in this industry, it’s almost like when Magpul came out with the Generation 3 Pmags that were actually a few bucks cheaper than the Generation 2 pmags.   We’ve been monitoring several of our distributors inventory to make sure we are only bringing in the new flashlight models.   Xenon bulbs are a thing of the past and LED is getting better all of the time.

I’ve been going back and forth between my quad rail LWRC M6A2 and trying to decide on a flashlight that didn’t rely on pressure switches.   I like the Streamlight TLR Flashlights but I thought that if  my Protac 2L flashlight was 180 lumens why would I put something like the TLR1S that was 160 lumens on my carbine.   I’ve always felt that 150 lumens was about the lowest I want on a firearm which is why the Surefire Scout 110 lumen flashlight didn’t cut it for me when I picked one up for testing.  I didn’t want to drop $500 on some of the Surefire products so Streamlight Flashlights and products were in play.


Weapon mounted lights, handguns, shotguns and Carbines

streamlight flashlights I’m looking at all of the new lights that are coming out in 2013 and I can’t believe the changes that are taking place.  We had a customer that recently told us they picked up a 500 lumen Streamlight flashlight from another dealer and mounted it on their new M4 rifle.  At first I was thinking it would probable be a $500 flashlight and it turned out it was an $80 Streamlight flashlight.  I seriously don’t understand how the heck people can justify some of the flashlights that Surefire and some others have made and I think their is going to be a blood bath in the industry when these new and improved versions of lights hit the market.  I remember the Surefire G2 being a staple for AR15 rifles but not anymore.

I never had much interest in the Streamlight TLR-1S flashlight because I’m not a police officer and and don’t need to carry a large auto on daily patrols.   We have a clear out of the older models of Streamlight flashlights for sale in our Broomall, Pennsylvania showroom so stop in if you want to get some really good deals.  There are still customers that want to smaller Micro-stream AA battery flashlights because they are small and compact and are very EMT and Paramedic friendly.  There are a few guys that run car repair shops and also use various flashlights just so they can in and see the hard to reach stuff.


Stocking Streamlight dealer

We carry a large selection of flashlights, from concealed carry lights that are small and bright, to keychain lights and rifle and shotgun lights. Not everyone needs a flashlight for the same thing and if you don’t need to spend $200 on a flashlight, why would you? There is such a thing as having too much light and features like strobe can be as much of a liability to use as an asset if not employed properly. The Strobe feature on many flashlights can buy you a second or two of reaction time and that can be extremely helpful to law enforcement.

Finding a flashlight in your price that has a history of holding up reduces the competition to virtually zero.   Most local police departments use Streamlight flashlights and the TLR-1S is the primary Glock pistol light. While some may wants more than 160 lumens, these flashlights can be reliable attached to modern handguns with rail systems. There is a reason so many big name firearm manufacturers are making handguns with rails from, Glock, Sig Sauer and Springfield XD. The Streamlight TLR flashlights are our number one selling weapons mounted flashlight.


LED Flashlights for firearms

Flashlight technology has advanced more than most other items in the last few  years and LED technology really should make the average home owner, Concealed Carry holder and average citizen think about cleaning out the house and tossing  your older Mag-lite flashlights.   You can get far more out of a CR123 than you  use to get from several D batteries and the same flashlight that you use to take camping is the same one you can mount on your M4 Carbine.

LED technology has advanced so much in recent years that it truely is time to clear out your old flashlights and replace your home and traveling white lights. Fore handguns and Carbines we highly recommend Streamlight Flashlights for home or street defense.  The TLR-1 is one of biggest selling handgun tactical lights and is easy to mount and easy to use. If you are looking for a light and laser combo, the TLR-2 tac-light is what you’re looking for. The Streamlight Scorpion PolyTac is a good companion for traveling or for mounting on your M4 Carbine.


Concealed Carry Flashlights, this time we’ll tell you what to buy

We always get asked for advice from customers about sizing and durability, but like many things, it really is mostly about preference and the job you need to perform that drives the gear you want to use.   There are so many options out there for holsters and firearms and at points, the New Products that we see come out really stress us out because it means adding them to inventory, having to learn about them, and waiting to see if they are any good and people actually buy them.   The new .380 pistol rave is still going strong and we have had to pickup new product lines just to stay on top of the holster buying.  The Smith & Wesson Body Guard seems to have almost caught up with the Ruger LCP.

One of the most common questions we get when customer walk in our stores is do we carry knives and flashlights.  The next most common question is do we have any flashlights like the Streamlight Flashlights available that they can hold in their hands.  I personally prefer the Streamlight Professional series flashlights and we keep them around the store for customers to hold and try  out.  The best feature about them is the hi and low power option.  For concealed carry it is nice to have a flashlight that can really light things up, but you don’t always need that much power to find the car keys you just dropped or to find the keyhole in your backdoor.


Surefire Vs. Streamlight

I guess that sounds like the beginning of a gun forum post but we get asked about this all the time.  There are many things that I prefer to not divulge to customers because so much of this is about preference and the job at hand.   If you are going to be using a flashlight for any length of time, and you have access to a charger, then you obviously want a flashlight that is rechargeable and has the appropriate battery packs.  Most of the Police around here are using the Streamlight Strion and Streamlight Stinger because they can charge them in their vehicles or the office and know where they are starting from, unlike batteries that have been in the flashlight that are already diminished.

If you have serious use of a flashlight, the differences between having a flashlight at 80% vs 100% is considerable.  If you are using streamlight flashlights for more than 8yrs, you’ll be able to relate to the improvements that have taken place with LED technology.   I originally had a Streamlight scorpion with a xenon bulb that only lasted a few battery changes before it need to be replaced.   I’ve had every ready Radio Shack flashlights that were tougher than that, but things have changed.   Surefire came in stock because of all of the requests for Carbine and Shotgun lights.  The Streamlight TLR-1 Flashlights are still king in this business, but Surefire has the hold on most AR15 and shotgun mounted lights.   We are actively monitoring requests for Veridian lights, but we’ve had very little experience.

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