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cheap flashlight options

Discussion in 'Flashlights and Weapon Lights' started by dieselmudder, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

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    wanting to get a couple cheap flashlights to keep in vehicles. i carry a Polytac daily, so would like to stay with something that can use CR123 batteries and be a 1inch diameter. to fit weapon light mounts i already use. before i dive into the realms of candlepower forums to research, figured i would check here to see if anyone has been down this road and can recommend anything.
  2. blacksmith

    blacksmith .270 WIN

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    367
    More of what you have. Those new Polytacs they came out with this summer are the best thing going. They can be had on-line for about $35. Any cheaper than that and I wouldn't trust it to work.
  3. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    I've steadily been getting away from CR123 lights in favor of AA lights.

    I have one or two of the old G2 surefires if they don't have to be fancy looking. They're used and scuffed and one is even painted in coyote or perhaps it was FDE.
  4. Benson X

    Benson X .270 WIN Supporter

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    I would look at EagleTac too. Inexpensive, bright, and reliable.

    I've had a D25C Clicky (XM-L2 U2) as my EDC for almost 2 years and have had ZERO issues. That little guy is super-compact and puts out over 450 lumens w/ a few selectable modes/cycles and a very dim "moonlight" setting to help keep your night vision if you need to dig around your pack or check out a map real quick. I have (3) rechargeable CR123 batteries for it, but will last me about a month of daily use (probably 10 hours total) before swapping batteries.

    [​IMG]

    I also use a T200C2 as a weapon light. VERY bright and can use either (2) CR123s or (1) 18650 rechargeable.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  5. MikeD

    MikeD I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator "Philanthropist"

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  6. John A.

    John A. I'm "THAT" guy Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    ^ The ones in your first link (Rayovac indestructible AA) are the ones that I am moving to all of my weapon lights now after your initial recommendation.

    They are slightly undersized (less than 1 inch diameter) however, you can wrap some black tape around it a few times to make up the difference in a mount to hold it securely.
    MikeD likes this.
  7. Deog

    Deog .30-06 BANNED

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  8. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

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    where are you finding polytac's for 35, thats a steal. a link would be greatly appreciated. i would be tempted to go that route.


    i was looking at import versions of that 200c2 last night. and at only 10 bucks shipped it would be worth the gamble to give one a try. how much difference can there really be? im guessing the biggest difference is in the electronics and circutry.

    I suppose if i get one and like it with the CR123's i could invest in a couple 18650 batteries and chargers, although i'm not completely sold on rechargeable yet. Granted i have two other streamlights, a strion, and a stinger, that i really like. but theyre not EDC. the strion is at work, the stinger is here at home. I'm just thinking that something for intermittent, or last ditch use. doesnt need to be a high dollar light. but i would like it to be compatible with my EDC.
  9. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Staff Member Global Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    Amazon has the 130 lumen version for $35...

    http://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-88850-Polytac-Flashlight-Batteries/dp/B001S0IN46

    ...and LA Policegear has the 275 lumen version, also for $35...

    http://www.lapolicegear.com/streamlight-polytac-led-flashlight.html

    I have the 275 lumen version. It is "10 Tap" programmable with high/low output and strobe...
  10. nitesite

    nitesite Sheepdog Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    I've seen some fairly decent rugged lights at Lowes that are made by Coast.
    LAZY EYED SNIPER likes this.
  11. blacksmith

    blacksmith .270 WIN

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    367
    [QUOTE="dieselmudder, post: 169533, member: 6247" i'm not completely sold on rechargeable yet. [/QUOTE]

    I've had a lot of experience with RCR123 (LiFePo 3.6). Long story short: they either work or don't work, depending on the light. The polymer Streamlights do really well with them.
  12. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Staff Member Global Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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  13. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

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    2,197
    Ordered a pair of ultrafire WF502B. Less than 10 bucks shipped each. Will drop some CR123's in an give em a shake down.
  14. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

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    2,197
    well that was a bust. granted ive still got two functioning, aluminum bodied flashlights, and they may turn out to be great lights in the long run, but heres my disappointments.
    1) they are 5 setting lights, strobe, S.O.S., high, medium, and low brightness. but every time you click it on it cycles to the next setting. no biggie if your just going to turn it on and use it. but for repeated on and off you will have to cycle through the strobe modes to get a constant light after 3 clicks. and that i could tolerate, as stated these will be just to ride around in consoles, and glove box's, maybe throw one in my duffel bag, or tool box on the truck, even the trunk of the 4-wheeler, but....

    2) they are not 1 inch as advertised, they actually measure at .975, therefore cannot be secured into the light mounts ive fitted to a couple of my firearms. i could probably wrap them with tape or something to make them fit, but thats pretty cheesy, even for my cheap self. lol. plus it would get all gooey and sticky in the summer, and probably peel off in the cold of winter.

    but i still plan to beat and bang them around just a little. maybe leave them in the rain one night, see if they still work. and report back if they turn out to be total crap. probably find places for them to reside in the barn or shed, or one of the dozens of drawers around the house, cause of course you can never have too many flashlights.
  15. LAZY EYED SNIPER

    LAZY EYED SNIPER Overwatch Staff Member Global Moderator Supporter "Philanthropist"

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    21,109
    ...or pick up a short length of rubber tubing from your local hardware store. Rubber will serve well as a non-slip spacer as well as help buffer vibration...
  16. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

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    2,197
    Or maybe heat shrink. Might be tough getting just the right thickness to fall within my tolerances, but worth a try. Dunno why I didn't think of that.
  17. nitesite

    nitesite Sheepdog Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    5,752
    My professional grade lights are simple. They turn ON / turn OFF. No cycling thru different output settings.

    The average price I paid for each of them is way north of $150. There isn't a multi-mode light on a weapon that I could possibly wish for at even twice that price.

    Multi-mode switches are perfectly acceptable for casual use, though. I have about a dozen of them and enjoy them, yet combined they didn't cost nearly as much as just one of my dedicated lights.

    I actually love those $6 Chinese LED 3xAAA clickies I can get at AutoZone or Wal-Mart. And a light that clicks down to about ten lumens is great during a power outage. Love that.

    I am a flashlight snob, and I admit it.
  18. nitesite

    nitesite Sheepdog Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    5,752
    Cut a square of bicycle innertube and experiment by wrapping it around your light. Rubber grabs a LOT better than plastic shrink wrap or other frictionless materials such as electrician tape.

    Use some of the remaining length of innertube to slide over a hickory stick and use it to beat the s%$t out of someone deserving.
    LAZY EYED SNIPER and old mossy like this.
  19. dieselmudder

    dieselmudder .30-06 Elite Member "Philanthropist"

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    I understand the simplicity completely, but i'm not going to spend more than 10-12 bucks apiece on lights that are just going to get left in vehicles, or around the house, in the barns, in backpacks, duffelbags etc which will probably get lost, borrowed and not returned, or forgotten somewhere. I carry my streamlight religiously so my critera fits two purposes, i can either swipe batteries for mine if they go dead, or grab the nearest light and it will still fit the various mounts ive made up, should mine get destroyed. kind of falling back to the double redundancy concept.
  20. nitesite

    nitesite Sheepdog Moderator "Philanthropist"

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    5,752
    Like I said, I have about a dozen of such lights and really enjoy them for things like you mention.

    Take Care.

    Best,

    Dave

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