High, Medium, Low and Strobe
BLACKHAWK! Legacy Tactical Flashlight
By: Steve Tracy
Tactical flashlights have come a very long way since the first momentary switch was added to the tail cap of a handheld light. CR123 lithium 3-volt batteries and LED bulbs have advanced the technology to blindingly high-intensity levels. Various reduced output and strobe settings mean some lights actually require training and practice to reach second-nature operation.
The output level of 200 lumens was a big number just a short time ago, but technology continues to stampede forward. If you leave patrol for a six-month soft clothes assignment, you may return to find your shift mates ridiculing the little light on your duty belt for its puny output.
BLACKHAWK! has an astounding line of tactical gear showcased in their catalog. Officers can equip themselves with everything needed for duty and off-duty use solely from this single company. Well known for their holsters, BLACKHAWK! lists tactical watches, uniform apparel, body armor, belts, entry tools, eyewear, footwear, headwear, gloves, knives, medical kits, and just about everything else a police officer could ever need.
Among all their wares, tactical flashlights are well represented across the pricing spectrum. At the top of the heap, at $119, is the Legacy L-6V Night-Ops model. Anodized in matte black, the light’s aluminum body has anti-roll flat spots and its 1-inch tube fits comfortably inside your closed fist (and is compatible with an offset rifle rail mount).
The 1.26-inch bezel helps locate the light in your hand and works in conjunction with the rotating rear switch to provide a secure hold. The rear thumb actuated, rubber waterproof button works equally well in momentary or clicked-on steady modes, regardless of whether you’re wearing gloves or not.
The 570 lumens output (as measured by ANSI FL1 standards) is well shaped with a powerful throw. It’s perfect for police use and does not have an adjustable focus. The multifaceted reflector, tempered glass lens, and LED bulb will stand up to rough use. I tested the light in my backyard on a heavily clouded night. It was like FEMA set up an emergency operation on my patio. I think some of my wife’s flowers started to grow.
The Legacy L-6V’s settings are chosen via the rotating switch near the end. The full 570 setting is the first notch, followed by 220 lumens, a low-light 20 lumens, a full 570 strobe, and finally a lockout setting to prevent unintentional activation. One-hand operation is readily accomplished with a bit of practice.
The overall length of the light is 6.1 inches and it weighs just 8.7 ounces with its batteries installed. The batteries are included, but make sure you take your time removing the little plastic shield inside the battery compartment that prevents the light from turning on during shipment. Do not let it fall deep inside the aluminum hull because it can be a nightmare to get it out.
According to the manufacturer, the L-6V will run continuously for two hours at full intensity. The medium setting of 220 lumens is plenty for searching the interior of a vehicle, while also causing the batteries to last longer. The low power setting of just 20 lumens is useful for watch, note, or map checking during surveillance without giving away your position.
The heavy-duty plastic holster is adjustable for duty belt width and has multiple mounting holes to allow custom carry of the tactical light at just the right height so it does not dig into your side or push down on your squad car’s seat. A rubber retention strap adds extra security to the snap-in design.
The Blackhawk Legacy L-6V Night-Ops is a tactical light that is up for any duty to which a police officer is assigned. Its easy operation and robust construction will provide many years of service, even if the technology continues to advance at its amazingly rapid rate.