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The Latest in Weapons and Handheld Lights, Part 2 of 2

Written by Kevin Davis

Nightstick® 

A new company, Nightstick-Bayco has developed some innovative products, which it displayed at SHOT. These rechargeable lights feature LEDs facing forward and LEDs facing downward. They are perfect for crime scene techs or other police or rescue personnel for whom lighting up the ground in addition to what’s ahead of them is important. The 9850 model provides 300 lumens of flashlight and 400 lumens of searchlight. The design is completely self-contained, so they can be used in hazardous conditions such as meth labs or similar combustible environments.

Pelican™

The polymer body model 7060 LED light from Pelican has been chosen as the issued flashlight of LAPD and others. Producing 190 lumens of light for six hours on a full charge, the 8060 is not a small light. It is 12.67 inches in length. A well-designed light with both side and end-cap switches, this rechargeable light is very rugged.

New for 2009 from Pelican is the model 7060. This light produces 130 lumens for a 1.5-hour runtime at full charge. The difference is that the length has been reduced to 8.65 inches at less than half the weight. Pelican has produced a solid design for today’s street cops and safety personnel.

NovaTac®

Founded in 2006, NovaTac is a relative newcomer, but it has developed some rugged and bright LED flashlights. The Storm® is a small (3.3-inch) flashlight with integral pocket clip. The Storm uses one 123A battery and puts out 120, 10 or .3 lumens. The Classic model is a two AA battery flashlight that produces either 120 or 10 lumens. The Special Ops uses two CR123A batteries and produces either 120 or 10 lumens.

All three of these models can be programmed for different brightness settings. The 120E, 120T and 120M all use one 123 battery and yet produce peak light levels of 120 lumens and can be adjusted via the switch for reduced lumen / power output. The single battery NovaTac models provide a superior amount of light from a very small package.

Streamlight®

Streamlight showcased its new polymer Polystinger® LED and Polystinger DS™ LED rechargeable lights at the SHOT Show. According to Streamlight, the C4 powered LEDs in these lights are rated at a 50,000 lifetime. With new multi-function push-button switches that can be cycled through: high (up to 185 lumens), medium, low and strobe functions. The lights will give 1.75 continuous hours of light at the high setting.

The difference between the two lights is the DS (Dual Switch) now offers the user an end-cap switch. This switch design is conducive to many of the pistol / flashlight holds taught by progressive trainers nationwide. Both of the Polystinger LED lights use sub-C NiCd batteries that are rechargeable up to 1,000 times. Steamlight has also introduced the two battery CR123 powered Polytac® and Polytac® LED flashlights this year. The Polytac is a Xenon bulb polymer body flashlight that puts out 72 lumens with an adjustable beam. The Polytac LED produces 120 lumens of light for three hours.

The Night COM® comes with either green or red LEDs and a Xenon bulb. The light can be used in three settings: single colored LED, two LEDs or a single white Xenon bulb. In weapon lights, the company has introduced its new TLR-3 rail-mounted light. The C4 LED has a peak beam intensity of 90 lumens and is powered by one 3-volt CR2 battery. Manufactured of a combination of polymer and aircraft aluminum, the TLR-3 has an ambidextrous momentary and constant on rocker switch.

SureFire®

SureFire started 2009 in a big way with its new line-up of illumination products. With 11 settings, the UB3 Invictus™ is a variable-output LED that can go from a 2-lumen light-up to 350 lumens with a turn of the selector ring. The Invictus has a Combatgrip™, which allows the light to be used in innovative light / pistol holds while providing a secure grip. New to the SureFire line, the Invictus has a “fuel gauge,” which goes from green at full power through yellow and finally to red when new batteries are needed (even though the light is rated at a max runtime of 140 hours on a set of three 123A batteries.)

The new A2L Aviator® has been redesigned using all LEDs. Available in red, green, blue or all white LEDs, the Aviator puts out 10 lumens of light as you first press in on the end-cap switch. Continue pressing and a 120-lumen bright white beam is produced. The new AZ2® incorporates the dual light design of the Aviator. Twenty-five lumens of light are produced by four LEDs. A continued press produces 120 lumens of tight beamed light. The SureFire CombatGrip is incorporated into the AZ2 design so that it can be used in the syringe pistol / light hold.

The V2L Vampire™ is a white LED and Infra Red illumination tool. From the same LED head, you can select from 10 to 70 lumens of white light to IR capability with a tail-cap mounted momentary press switch, which can be rotated to lock it on. In the weapon light category, SureFire has brought out the V-series, which is LED powered. The new LU10L 4-Die head provides up to 350 lumens of light. The M900V and M900L are integral vertical fore-grip light systems, which produce 70 and 350 lumens of light respectively. In addition, these grip lights have thumb-actuated buttons that produce low-powered LED navigation lights in white, red or blue.

The SureFire LED trend is continued with the integral forearm lights for the M-4 Carbine, the M500L and M500V. Integral forearm lights for the shotgun and HK MP-5 are also available in LED.

Conclusion

This is just a brief glimpse of the large number of new and veteran flashlight manufacturers that previewed new lighting instruments at the SHOT Show. Competition has reduced price to the consumer and driven high-tech design improvements and innovations. How small and how bright can handheld and weapons mounted lights go? Only the future will shed light on that question.

Kevin R. Davis is a full-time officer with 25 years of experience. He welcomes your comments at kd1@advancedtacticalconcepts.com.

Published in Law and Order, Apr 2009

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Nightstick-BaycoNovaTacPelicanStreamlightSureFire
 

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FlashlightsHandheld LightsWeapon-Mounted Lights
 

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