Black Bear Borealis

February 23, 2010

What an awesome flashlight.  1050 lumens! And unlike Surefire, they only charge an arm.



February 16, 2010

Surefire is the Cadillac, maybe even the Rolls Royce of flashlights with commensurate prices. I have a hard time believing lights cost more than guns just as some scopes cost more than the rifles they are perched on.

Surefire has been expanding beyond the lights going into knives, pens, supressors, and other tactical products.

Surefire C3 Centurion HA

December 23, 2008

surefirec3anodizedI’m not a lucky person but  I entered my name in a drawing for this flashlight and won! It’s the only thing I’ve ever won that was of significant value.

This C3 was a three lithium battery model with a 100 or so lumen output. Our eyes are funny in that when lumen output reach a certain level, notable differences like 20 to 40 lumens becomes difficult to distinguish.  Comparing it to the output of a 60 lumen light directed against a wall, it took studied effort to determine which was truly brighter based upon the light pattern.

The C3 has a squared body and a ring near the tailcap to facilitate a cigar grip. I’ve never liked the cigar grip, maybe because I have small hands but mainly because it alters and lessens the grip on the gun. Plus it can either scratch the gun or light with a potential metal to metal contact. Also the C3 is too big and front heavy for the cigar grip.

The hard anodized military finish seemed much more durable than standard anodizing but I never deliberately attempted to scratch it.

Surefire as always makes quality products. This one continued to meet quality standards. It should when it costs over $100. But being that this one was free, I have no complaints about price.

Alas, this C3 was sold off as I tried and continue to try to simplify life…More posts on Surefire products to come…

Pelican Mighty Lite

December 3, 2008


This was one of the flashlights I use to carry when I was doing inspections. It’s Class 1, Div II rated so it can be used in flammable liquids room and it was great for use when I had to determine the fluid level in drums.

It didn’t have the throw for determining faint color of objects at viewable only from a distance so its use was limited and eventually I put it in my range bag. This particular light came with an attachment plastic optic fiber so that it can be used as a bore light.

For what the light represents to the average Joe, this light isn’t worth the asking price. For those who want a bore light, the price becomes a little more palatable. For those who need a light suitable for Class 1, Div II environment, this is one of your few choices.

Surefire G2

November 23, 2008


Surefire is considered one of the premiere flashlight manufacturers. Along with that reputation comes exorbitant asking prices for what amounts to be a tube for holding batteries, a lightbulb, a reflector, and a switch.

The Surefires lights are mostly constructed of aluminum.  The G2 differs in that its body is made of nitrolon, a polymer, and for that reason is significantly less costly then their aluminum line. The original G2 as this one has an incandescent bulb with a 65 lumen output. The current G2 lights have a LED light with 80 lumen output. The output can be blinding but my ideal pocket light would be capable of 500 lumen with a good throw….wishful thinking with current technology.

The G2 is well constructed and gives the perception that it handles shock better than a light with an aluminum body. It’s always been reliable which Surefire claims its lights are but then any flashlight I’ve paid more than five dollars for has always been reliable. The light operates with a on-off deadman push button switch. Tightening the end cap sufficiently results in the light being continually on.

Given the broad range of reliable flashlights available, I’ll opine that civilians don’t need Surefires and they certainly don’t need to pay the big money for them. However if you’re the type that wants a BMW when a Volkswagon will do, the Surefire line is what you’re looking for and go for the aluminum models.

Photon or Fauxton Light?

November 9, 2008


Photons lights hit the scene several years back. They are of an innocuous size and one clipped on a keychain would go unnoticed in pocket carry.  I took one look at the over $10 price tag and said no way. I’m not going to pay for a light that costs more than a Mini-Mag. And so I went many years without a light despite thinking it would be nice to have one to check on the car tires in the dimly lit garage every morning. Too many flats…that’s another story.

Through the web, I became aware of the fake Photon or “Fauxton”. They cost 47 cents each when bought in a batch of 10. That’s not a typo – 47 cents! They may not be as reliable or sturdy as a Photon but given its price and how I use it almost daily where reliability is not critical, the Fauxtons are a supreme value.

When the batteries die, it’s cheaper to toss it than to replace the batteries. I’ve been using one for over a month and it still burns bright and it’s worked everytime I gave it a squeeze. I’ll come back to this post and post when the batteries die.