This Little Light of Mine Part 3
November 28, 2018 By Dave Young (YoungBuckDave)
This Little Light of Mine: Part 3 Handheld Flashlights
Over the past two months I have talked in depth about the flashlights on both rifles and pistols and told you my three "Go To" flashlights. For the last part of this series I am going to dive into the topic of hand-held flashlights; specifically, three of the flashlights I have had the most experience with and why I like them so much. Just like with the flashlights I talked about in the prior months, none of these lights have the same number of lumens but each one of them has amazing qualities that have turned them all into my favorite options. I will say that the flashlights I am going to talk about are older models and there have been improvements made to at least two of the lights. The fact still remains that even without a few extra bells and whistles the flashlights are good quality and might even have improvements with the newer generations. With hand held flashlights I always like to perform a drop test right away to test the strength and durability of the light because dropping the light on a hard surface is a very real possibility. So, before I carry any flashlight and really any product, I like to run it through some basic tests to make sure I don't encounter any surprises when I need flawless function.
The first flashlight we are going to talk about is the Surefire G2X Pro. If you haven't realized by now, Surefire is one of those brands that, no matter what product you purchase from them, you can't go wrong with anything they make. It's designed to withstand harsh amounts of punishment in the worst environments imaginable and still function flawlessly. The G2X Pro was the first good quality hand-held flashlight I ever bought myself and it still works just as good as the day I got it. It's powered off of two CR123 batteries and gives the user 600 lumens of light on the high setting and 15 lumens on the low setting. The G2X Pro is extremely tough thanks to a lightweight polymer body which protects it from corrosion and increases its durability. Recently I left this flashlight outside by accident and found it a week later after being in the elements, which included a lot of rain and hot humid temperatures. When I finally found it, minus needing to be cleaned and wiped down, the light functioned just fine and sustained zero damage. I expected nothing less from the Surefire brand but it's always satisfying to find out first hand that the product you bought from a company lives up to its name and then some. I've dropped it countless times on dirt, gravel, and cement and the only damage that it received was a few minor scratches and dings.
The second light I am going to talk about is from a brand that I haven't discussed yet; that is the company called Inforce. Inforce makes all types of flashlights for both rifles and pistols as well as a couple of hand-held units. Some of their flashlights also have IR capabilities that can be switched on and off, but the flashlight I am going to discuss does not have those features. That flashlight is the Inforce 6VX. This is one of the lights I mentioned before that is available now in the form of a newer generation that gives the user over 3x as many lumens. The model I have, the 6VX, runs off of two CR123 batteries and gives the user 200 lumens of light. The flashlight also has three settings which are high output, low output, and a strobe feature. Even though the 6VX is only 200 lumens it is extremely bright and disorienting without using the strobe feature. I never left this light out in the elements for extended periods of time, but I have beat up on it quite a bit, dropping it on various surfaces and various heights to test its strength and durability. I was pleasantly surprised that it sustained no damage. I carried the 6VX light (and still do occasionally) for a couple years because the shape of the light fits perfectly in my pocket and is able to illuminate any area I need. The 6VX is still one of my favorite lights even though Inforce came out with a new generation of lights called the TFx Lights that deliver 700 lumens. I'm still very pleased with my 6VX and haven't seen any reason to stop using it just because a newer generation was introduced.
The last light I am going to talk about I must admit was a brand I had never heard of until I joined the OTOA (Ohio Tactical Officers Association) back in Ohio. This light is from a company called Nightstick. I know that the OTOA only associates with companies that make reliable products to be used and abused in the field, so I was excited to give this flashlight a try. The specific Nightstick flashlight I have is their Mini-TAC Pro. The first thing that caught my attention with this light was that it was much smaller than the previous lights I have discussed. The Mini-TAC Pro runs off of one AA battery and gives the user 120 lumens of power. This is another one of the lights that has come out with a newer generation than the one I have, but the one I have still gets the job done without issue! The newer version has high, medium, and low brightness settings along with a strobe, while mine just turns on and off. Even though this flashlight has the least number of lumens out of the three, it still shines brightly and is surprisingly disorienting when shown in someone's eyes. Due to its smaller size this light has become one of my favorite lights to carry, especially when I am dressing up and don't have cargo pockets. Just like the other two flashlights, I dropped this light on various surfaces ranging from concrete to gravel and from various heights. It functioned very well with nothing broken and only suffered a few dings and scratches.
When I turned 21 I bought my first gun and fell in love with shooting and both the firearms and tactical industries. So, I dove in head first and learned a few lessons the hard way and they are: not everything is as advertised, and you get what you pay for. Since I wasn't wealthy by any means I always tried to find the cheap, good alternative. The lesson I learned was that there is a good possibility you will spend twice as much money in the long run because the inexpensive products breaks more easily and needs to be replaced more frequently. It's only a matter of time until you just end up buying the good quality product you wish you had bought from the beginning. Because I learned these lessons the hard way I have a box filled with parts, gear, and accessories that are, to be blunt…. JUNK! That's why I wanted to give my in-depth opinion on certain products in hopes of saving anyone reading these articles from making the same mistakes I made and hopefully to stop you from buying junk guns, gear, or gadgets. All of my views on these products are my honest opinion which has been formed from facts based on my experiences.