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Old May 13, 2001, 03:58 AM   #1
PaladinVC
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What flashlight is best for all-around use? As a light, as a baton, and as a possible survival tool, what do you look for in a hand-held electric torch? Should it be metal or plastic? Should it be rechargeable or use common batteries? C-cell? D-cell? Straight stick light? Bent neck? Weird shape? Any specific brands? How long? How heavy? I want everything you've got to say on the topic.
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Old May 13, 2001, 05:15 AM   #2
LawDog
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Metal, D-cell, straight stick, Mag-Light/Kel-light/Streamlight.

I prefer the 5-cell varieties. It's long enough to get a two-handed grip for those Texas Caveman shots, but not so heavy and unwieldy for one-hand use.

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Old May 13, 2001, 05:57 AM   #3
Battleaxe
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Flashlights

Ask any maker and they will make it clear a flashlight is NOT an impact weapon. Wasn't designed for it among other things. Many depts are going to the smaller lights for that reason. In 1998 a Detroit cop was sent to prison for beating a prisoner with a flashlight resulting in death and even Ayoob couldn't save his butt. Chicago has had a few as well. It's a "flashlight."
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Old May 13, 2001, 09:13 AM   #4
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It should be something that illuminates well, but is not too large that it will hinder your search or self defense capabilities. Something big enough to bonk a prowler or BG on the head with might be nice, but do you really want to get into a grappling match with someone in the dark? I'd prefer seeing them first and ending with confrontation without a physical altercation, especially at night.
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Old May 13, 2001, 12:26 PM   #5
Recon
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THE FLASHLIGHT IS NOT AN IMPACT WEAPON! Our dept. went to the streamlight rechargable they didn't hold up well to duty use. Put one of our guys in a locked room with 2 steel ball bearings and a hour later one is lost and the other is broken. He has a damn good excuse for both!! We went back to the steel Maglight 5 cell. Sorry but if the flashlight is what is in my hand at the time I have to whack some one I sure as hell am not going to stop to draw the ASP. The Detroit case the guy would have gone to jail over what they did if he had a pillow. They beat the guy to death. If TSHTF use what you have. The 5 cell Maglight, Streamlight Etc. are hard to beat for duribilty and reliablity.
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Old May 13, 2001, 03:41 PM   #6
Battleaxe
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Flashlights

The Detroit case the guy would have gone to jail over what they did if he had a pillow. They beat the guy to death.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
He died? So? A problem? Ayoob didn't think so and tried to defend him. (didn't work). It could also have been an ASP as well or even a gun they beat him with. It still isn't a weapon. Have you asked any flashlight makers yet? Do you think the Detroit cop thought he was in the wrong when he used the flashlight? Do you think death was his intent?
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Old May 13, 2001, 06:17 PM   #7
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Not meaning to pick a fight Battleaxe, but a flashlight is or can be a weapon. If you have a heavy 4 or 5 cell metal flashlight, and you whack someone with it, it is certainly a weapon. And there is nothing wrong with that.

A flashlight is a long, hard metallic object that will HURT when you hit someone with it. An ASP is a long hard metallic object that will HURT when you hit someone with it.

I, for one, am not going to drop my flashlight so I can draw my baton, open the baton, and then strike with the baton. Nope, ain't gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent at this juncture.

I am going to swing away with the flashlight if I have it in my hand. And I am going to use it in the same manner as a baton, striking the same points on the body as a baton. It may not be PC, but sometimes the real world ain't pretty.

And I'm not going to stop to ask the flashlight maker whether it is okay to do this first.

Now, for small jobs I like the Stinger XT rechargable with the tail cap switch. For general purpose midnight shift work I use a 4-C ceell maglight rechargable.

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Old May 14, 2001, 01:53 AM   #8
Battleaxe
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And I'm not going to stop to ask the flashlight maker whether it is okay to do this first.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The other guys lawyer will sure ask. And YOU will be asked if you were trained to use it as such. Then the maker is asked if it was designed as such. Big issue in legal actions (had a few) is, " were you trained to do it and did you follow that training?" If you say, " nope, make it up as I go along," you have some issues.
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Old May 14, 2001, 08:34 AM   #9
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Not necessarily

There are three defenses for using a weapon/technique on someone:

1. It is a trained technique
2. It is a dynamic attempt at a trained technique.
3. It was a survival issue.

Ther first two don't apply. The third can- in any situation where I would try to wrap a flashlight around someone's *insert bodily part here* I can articulate it being a struggle that required immediate strikes, and my flashlight was what I had in my hand.

BTW, a mag light makes a truly horrible, hollow *thunking* sound when it hits someone's head. No, I've never done it, but I was present once when it was (justifiably) done. Unpretty.

Mike
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Old May 14, 2001, 09:38 AM   #10
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what do I look for in a hand-held electric torch?

Compact size, reliable performance and ruggedness. I'm a fan of the "the gun/knife/flashlight you have with you is better than the one you left at home" club, so MagLights and most StreamLights are out for me. I like the looks/size/beam of the SureFire 6P, but even though they have name recognition in tactical flashlights going for them, they just don't cut it for me. I'm clumsy. I drop things. SureFire bulbs are touchy. They don't like being dropped. I don't like paying $25 for a bulb because I dropped my light, so I have TACM3s. http://www.tacm3.com They are approximately the same size as the surefire 6p and they all come standard with shock resistant bulbs. I mean, you can (and I have) throw these little babies on concrete as hard as you can and they still work. I'm also a big fan of flashlights with the on button on the tail cap or pigtail switch. It makes finding the switch a real no-brainer. The only thing I don't like about the TACM3s is they take those doggone 3v lithium batteries.

And those little photon lights are awfully handy critters to have around.

-sarah
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Old May 14, 2001, 03:41 PM   #11
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I know a guy who used to be a bouncer at a fairly rowdy pub - Drunk yuppies for the most part, but hey, you try telling some burb-boy former footballer with a few beers in him that he has to put his pants back on himself...

Anywho, he preferred a six C-cell mag light - Why? It was long enough to hit folks in the legs, like on the hamstrings in back of the knee - Can you say one-shot-stop?

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Old May 14, 2001, 07:58 PM   #12
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surfire 6z combat light
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Old May 15, 2001, 12:02 AM   #13
Battleaxe
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////

Anywho, he preferred a six C-cell mag light - Why? It was long enough to hit folks in the legs, like on the hamstrings
in back of the knee - Can you say one-shot-stop?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
We found something that bullets can't do most of the time? What luck. I've also found that difficult to attempt with a 200 lb drunk on my back going for my body parts.
Often wished I worked where idiots were so cooperative.

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Old May 15, 2001, 01:45 PM   #14
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Well, my bud's also around 6'6", and weighs upwards of 400...

When he whacks you in the hamstring with a big honkin' flashlight, it appears that the entire leg just ceases to function as a means of support and locomotion...

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Old May 15, 2001, 02:18 PM   #15
PaladinVC
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He's a colossus!

Holy cats! A guy like that doesn't need a flashlight. A dirty look would do the trick on me!
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Old May 16, 2001, 07:54 AM   #16
Battleaxe
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Streamlight

My department has treated the Streamlight re-chargable SL-20 as an impact for atleast seven years now. It is identified in policy as an approved impact weapon & we train on it.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
And the manufacturer approved it? I gotta call em and ask.
Also mine is so fragile it would be all but useless. Be interesting to see what the factory says.
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Old May 16, 2001, 09:31 AM   #17
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I'm not a policeman, but used to have a car four cell Maglite, would also toss in suitcase for out of town tricks. I finally got tired of lugging the thing around.

I went back to basic concept of flashlight, to provide light. Now I carry a plastic Everready Industrial. It is light weight, can slip into pants pocket if I need hands free, and provides gobs of light.

I train a few strokes with it as a yarawa (spell?)stick,but really just want to use it as flashlight. No lawyer in the world can say it's a weapon.
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Old May 17, 2001, 07:31 PM   #18
PaladinVC
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For everyday illumination...

I wear a mini-maglite(2 AA cells) on my belt, in a little nylon holster. As many jokes as I get about it, I use it more than any cellphone (which look even dumber, if you ask me), and it balances out my Leatherman Wave on the opposite hip. I've never been disappointed with it's light output or ruggedness, and the one time that it died suddenly (bulb burnt out, right in front of a really cute girl who was looking for her keys!) I managed to make myself look even better by whipping out the spare bulb in the endcap and bringing it back to life in a handful of seconds.
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Old May 19, 2001, 12:17 AM   #19
jdstone
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Streamlight UltraStinger rechargeable.

Streamlight UltraStinger rechargeable. Simply the best -- No bout adoubt it ;-)

--John
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Old May 19, 2001, 04:29 AM   #20
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I was also trained in my academy to use my issued Streamlight SL-20X as an impact weapon. The strikes are the same as if we were using an ASP, OPN or PR-24. From my experience, the Streamlight has proven to be very durable and reliable.
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Old May 19, 2001, 07:35 AM   #21
Jffal
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Flashlights intended as weapons?




Article co-author Peters wrote a book about the use of large flashlights as defensive weapons

LAAW International, Inc. Articles
http://www.laaw.com/flashlte.htm

"But is wasn't until Donald Keller, then a Deputy Sheriff with the Los Angeles (CA) County Sheriff's Department, invented the heavy-duty "Kel-Lite" that the issue of flashlights and force came into its own. By his own admission, Don Keller said that he invented the heavy-duty flashlight primarily as a defensive tool, and secondarily as an illumination device."


When he lived in Ca, a veteran I knew was friendly with street hardened police. He was told that at night, the officers were likely to have a large torch in their hands rather than a baton or firearm. If, for instance, a lowlight car stop escalated into a life and death situation, the cop could ring that flashlight off the threat's skull more swiftly than he could draw another weapon.

Some years back, I found an online Philadelphia Daily News article discussing that city's switch from large to small, light torches to deter beatings and lawsuites. There are still expensive beatings and lawsuites. I suppose "flashglight control" for the police was as ineffective as "gun control" for the people has turned out to be.
Jeff
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Old May 19, 2001, 08:11 AM   #22
PreserveFreedom
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I keep a 5 D cell MagLite in my car. It was a Christmas gift from my mom over nine years ago.
 
Old May 20, 2001, 09:24 PM   #23
JNewell
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Gad, Kel-lites!

Man, that takes me back. I've still got one of them. It feels a lot more solid than the Mag-lites, although I like the momentary-on switch and weatherproofing of the Mag-lite. That flashlight has to be at least 20 years old.
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