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If you have spent any time in a well stocked gun shop, you've probably seen a display for the SureFire line of quality flashlights. The company got its start back in 1969 when the foundered started designing industrial lasers. Over the next several decades, progress continued and during the 1984, the LAPD Swat team borrowed several laser equipped shotguns for use at the Olympic games. Eventually, the company developed a weapons mounted flashlight. They have since offered various shield lights, baton lights, and flashlights to the military, law enforcement, and civilian population. The SureFire name has become synonymous with top quality handheld lighting systems and tactical products.
One of the first flashlight offerings was the 6P model light. Since
that model hit the market, a large number of flashlights has been brought to
market. Compared to that first 6P, the newest offerings have come a long
way and provide the user with selectable light levels and strobe mode in a
After doing some online research where I compared features and prices, I opted for the 6P LED flashlight. Where as the standard 6P has a xenon/halogen gas-filled lamp, the 6P LED uses a high-intensity LED for it's light source.
Don't confuse a SureFire LED light, such as the 6P LED, with the LED flashlight typically offered at the sporting goods store. The 6P LED puts out a lot of light for quite some time.
The 6P LED features digital current regulation circuitry that matches the
LED's current requirements to the batteries' output to achieve a consistent
level of light output over the useable life of the batteries. Rated for
several thousand hours of light output, the LED assembly is carefully positioned
in a reflector that creates a smooth beam without the spots or rings.
The 6P model provides a maximum of 65 lumens of light while the battery is
rated for 1 hour. In contrast, the 6P LED provides a maximum of 80 lumens
of light output and the battery is rated for 11 hours. Note that the
batteries do not provide maximum output during the rated batter life. I
believe SureFire considers end of battery life when the light output falls to
just 1 lumen output. Both models use a pair of 3 volt CR123 lithium
batteries. The LED is much more efficient in converting battery power into
useful light. A 5 watt LED upgrade is available that boosts the light
output to 100 lumens but shortens the battery life to 5 hours.
The flashlight uses a modular design and is supplied with an aerospace-grade aluminum body. The flashlight is wrapped in a glossy black Type II anodized finish. Both ends (tailcap and head) are protected with o-ring seals to provide a waterproof enclosure.
The tailcap provides the user with both a momentary on switch
and a constant on mode as well. If the tailcap is fully screwed onto the
body, the flashlight is turned on continuously. If the tailcap is back off
about 1/3 of a turn, the pushbutton switch in the tailcap allows the user to
turn on the light when ever the switch is depressed. Let go and the light
turns off. To prevent the flashlight from accidentally being turned on,
unscrew the tailcap a full turn and the pushbutton is disabled. Other
tailcaps can be purchased and installed which provides a momentary on/click on
Not that bright you think? This was taken during the day in my office with the camera flash turned off. The iris on the camera closed itself down a fair amount due to the bright light from the SureFire....hence the photo looks darker than it should.
Check out the Surefire line of tactical flashlights. I
believe you'll be impressed with what you find. They aren't pocket change,
that is for sure. However, when something goes bump in your house in the
middle of the night, you'll be glad you have some daylight in your handheld
flashlight. Just don't look into the light.....that's for the bad guy to