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Old November 30, 2000, 05:52 AM   #1
navaho
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The best flashlight for CCW is a SureFire 9P. Man, that thing is BLINDING, yet its so tiny. Like the size of a medium carrot.

This is THE FLASHLIGHT TO END ALL FLASHLIGHTS!

Use a regular flashlight when you're outside in the dark, and you feel like you're going blind. You look directly into the flashlight, thinking, "crap, maybe the batteries are going dead". But use a SureFire 9P, and you feel like a sun god! The amount of light it puts out is itself a friggin' weapon! "Please, please, stop shining the light in my eyes! I'm dropping my gun now, just for the love of God, turn off the light!"

(Seriously though, I've heard LEO's talk about how they can use their SureFires to "temporarily blind and disorient a perp". I guess it's the next best thing since rubber hoses, because it leaves no incriminating evidence at all for those pesky IA guys to find. )

Anyway, back to the 9P. The other major plus it has is that besides being "bright", the light the 9P flashlight puts out is AMAZINGLY UNIFORM. No dark spots, no rings, nada. I'd heard people say that, but I always thought "yeah, whatever man". But seeing is believing. It really does makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE.

I did a comparison with a monster 2 million candlepower flashlight (it's the size of a child's Snoopy lunch box), versus a 9P, inside a dark 30'x30' room. The 9P kicked ass! It was only about 90% as _bright_ as the 2 million light, but it was a lot more _useful_. Ie, I could see a much larger area with the 9P. The 2 million candlepower puppie had all sorts of light spots, dark spots, rings, etc., so I had to move it back and forth to really see. But the 9P you could just hold still, and see the entire area, because it was "smooth" light, with no spots, rings, etc. They must've spent a lot of computer time designing its parabolic reflector and lens....

The SureFire manual actually explains the difference between "lumens" and "candlepower", and explains why a candlepower rating is what manufacturers tell you when they have a sucky flashlight.

Okay, where do you get this 8th Wonder of the World?

Botach. Being a cheap SOB, I spent a lot of time trying to find the cheapest possible price. Botach was significantly cheaper than anyone else. (If someone finds a cheaper source, please let me know!)

But the real sweet part is... Botach just put all of their SureFire's ON SALE, so they're even cheaper!!!

I almost fell out of my chair. I immediately ordered another seven, yes SEVEN, of those 9P's. Hey, one for the nightstand, one for the car, one for the wife's car, three or four for Christmas presents -- crap, maybe I should've got MORE than seven...

The Botach 9P sale price is $64.00:

http://store.yahoo.com/botach/surfir9p9vol.html

Yea, $64 is an insane amount to pay for a flashlight. :barf:

I thought. That's why I only bought one 9P initially, and I debated with myself for nine months before I even got that one. I thought it was part of the 'tactical' hype surrounding so many other LEO/SWAT/SEAL/ninja-wanna-be products. Boy was I wrong.

After comparing the SureFire 9P to all my other flashlights (3-D Maglight, 2 million candlepower monster, etc.), there's no contest.

By the way, if you _do_ want to impress your ninja friends, then you'll want to get the SureFire 9Z. It has some funky body shape that allows you to grasp it in some wierd way that some people now think is more 'tactical' than the way cops have been holding their 9P's. :barf: It is the successor to the 9P. And it costs more, of course. And it's called a "Combat light", whereas the 9P is called a "Personal light". Hell, you may as well wear a dress if you're going to carry a 9P like a girlie man

SureFire's ad says that a 9P is as bright as seven (7) 2-D cell maglights. I now believe them.

Hell, the 9P seems to be as bright as my friggin car's headlight! I sh*t you not. Okay, so its a small Japanese car. But still!

The 9P takes lithium batteries, which I soon discovered are obscenely expensive (like $6/each at Safeway, and the 9P takes three of them!). :barf:

But then a buddy clued me in to an "industry secret" (shh, don't tell or the JBT's in the black helicopters will come get you), which allowed me to get Duracell Litium Ultra batteries for $2.50/each!

Here's the scoop: SureFire has a contract with Duracell, because each SureFire flashlight ships with Duracell batteries included. Duracell wants to maximize their own profit, so they forbid SureFire from selling Duracell batteries directly to customers as replacement batteries: any Duracell battery shipped from SureFire has to have a SureFire flashlight with it.

So some hero at SureFire designed a flashlight that takes twelve (12) Duracell lithium batteries, but only uses $0.25 worth of parts. It's called the Surefire 12B. The "flashlight" is a total joke. But it comes with 12 batteries. Score!!!

Botach even advertises the 12B thusly: "the 12B serves as an extremely affordable source of batteries for OTHER lithium powered flashlights". Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more (as they say on Monty Python).

The 12B was $35, but it too is on sale, for $30, which means $2.50/battery. They have a shelf life of 10 years, so I ordered three 12B's. Forget Y2K, I'm ready for Y3K! The 12B is at: http://store.yahoo.com/botach/dur3vollitba.html

Damn, I've been sending so many people to Botach, they should pay me a commission, so I can get sunglasses like these

BTW, the navigation for the Botach web site sucks ; that's why I posted the exact URL's. Fortunately their web site is the _only_ thing that sucks about them.

P.S. yes, I tried to use every possible smiley in the post. Don't worry, I've got it out of my system now. It won't happen again. I promise.

P.P.S. before I committed to paying the bucks for my first SureFire, I saw a SureFire counter display in a gun store. I turned on their 9P and shined it around, and thought: "Okay, big deal. I'm not impressed. What moron would waste money on one of these?" That's why waited so long before actually getting one. I think SureFire should stop making those displays , because they actually cause people to NOT buy their flashlights. It's impossible to tell how good a flashlight beam is in bright daylight. They all look... flaccid.
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Old November 30, 2000, 09:18 AM   #2
Gopher .45
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I have a Surefire 9Z, the gun-mountable combat version of the 9P and I have several Streamlight Scorpions. For about half the price of the Surefire 9s, you can get a two lithium battern Scorpion. The Scorpion is small, rubber coated, and has lighting almost as bright as the Surefire 9s. Plus, you don't have to worry so much about accidently turning the light on in your pocket like the Surefire. Both have end-cap switches, but the Scorpion's is is a click switch to lock it on if you wish. The Surefire has to have the end-cap twisted down to keep the light on and the spring loading of it's switch is lighter, meaning that it can turn on in your pocket by accident much easier. Trust me, when that light comes on and stays on for a few minutes, your pocket will get very hot!

Replacement of the bulb on the surefire requires replacing the whole bulb and housing, about $15 in this fixed focus light. On the scorpion, they come with one extra bulb and new ones are about $5. Because they are variable focus (flood light to tighter beam light), only the bulb gets replaced and not the entire housing.

Both are exceptional lights, but for the costs, bulb costs, battery costs (uses one less), rubber coating, smaller size, etc., the Scorpion is a much better deal.

Oh, and in regard to flashlights sucking when they are described in candle power instead of lumens, whatever. Personally, I just thought it was a marketing ploy by Surefire to describe their lights different from everyone else so that consumers could not do a side-by-by comparison of proclaimed bean strength. I read the descriptions for both lights. It doesn't matter what they call it, side-by-side tests are what I go by. With both lights, I can illuminate a person at 100 yards well enough to sight them (that doesn't mean I could hit anything at that range, however).

By the way, for those of you wishing to have either light for such duties as house clearing at night, I would actually consider two other options before these lights. The first is simply to turn on the house lights to see better in helping to clear the house. If you think having a flashlight is a tactical advantage and insist on doing it by flashlight, then the Surefire and the Scorpions are both really too bright to use in most houses. There is enough reflected light indoors such that the person holding the light is fairly well illuminated as well. Sure, if you shine the light into someone's eyes, they will be blinded somewhat. If you don't have it shined in their eyes, the tactical advantage will be gone as you are now an easy to see target. Small, double A mag lights with their comparatively wimpy power actually work better because they have so much less reflected light so that the holder isn't lit up clearly. This is second option.

Oh, and Botach has Scorpions as well. As far as battery replacements, surf the web. You should not pay more than about $2 a piece for these. Usually someone has them on sale. Here are a list of sites where I have found relatively cheap prices

http://store.yahoo.com/electronetdis...123alitba.html

http://www.wholesaleadvantage.com/batteries_photo.html

http://store.yahoo.com/botach/dur3vollitba.html

[Edited by Gopher .45 on 12-01-2000 at 02:53 AM]
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Old November 30, 2000, 12:42 PM   #3
Mikul
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I love my 6Z. Everyone laughed when I spend $55 on a flashlight, but I don't care. It's bright; DAMN bright. Then again, they know me as the guy who spent $50 on a rock. I still don't care.

Now the guy who is buying SEVEN 9P's. That's nuts. $450 in flashlights is a bit much in my book (Hmm, I wonder if he could build a SureFire array?). Whatever you're doing for a living, let me know if they're hiring.

The SureFire Millenium is the way to go for an ultra-cool flashlight and efficient way to blow a nice chunck of your paycheck.
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Old November 30, 2000, 01:23 PM   #4
Mike Baugh
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I also use the Surefire lights and think they are the best available . The 6P is a very hard light to beat for size versus light output , I also have the dedicated shotgun forend on my Marine Mag . I do have a Millenium M2 but think they are overpriced . Good luck , Mike...
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Old November 30, 2000, 02:23 PM   #5
Sport
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Oh, you're good!

Navaho,

That is absolutely, positively the most
entertaining-and informative- product review
I've seen in ages.
As it happens, I'm in the market for a small
tactical light so your review and the the
excellent responses to it in this thread have
all been just what I need to motivate myself into
dusting off the credit card.

In all seriousnes, your enthusiasum is refreshing.

Incidently, can anyone tell me if the 6p, 9p or Scorpion can be used on a shotgun?...Or would the recoil be too
severe?

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Old November 30, 2000, 04:11 PM   #6
CITADELGRAD87
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Hi Sport--

As a matter of fact, Surefire makes a dedicated shotgun mount for versions of their lights.

The shotgun (and subgun, and AR15 versions) are beefed up to take the recoil.

I have one, and it has a collar in the front of the batt compartment to prevent recoil from shoving the batteries into the lens assy. This feature is absent in my non weapon mount lights from them.

They feature various instant on vs master on/off switches, all of which can be operated with a natural grip on the weapon.

They are expensive (some say VERY expensive) but are worth it IMHO.

I upgraded the 6v to a 9v on my house weapon, ant it is BLINDING. I put a dust cover over it to keep it off until I need light.

I take it off when practicing during daylight, but I've heard dealers/instructors tell me to leave it on or take it off depending on who I'm talking to.
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Old November 30, 2000, 04:59 PM   #7
Ledbetter
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Gopher.45 and I agree on the Scorpion

I clamp my Scorpion to my Mossberg 590A1 with a clamp from cheaperthandirt.com. No recoil problems after many slugs and other shells.
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Old December 1, 2000, 02:50 AM   #8
Gopher .45
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We just finished a session on flashlight use and night firing at our local range and we did side by side with scorpions, the 9Z, a 3P, and a couple of regular flashlights. The Scorpions did great. One thing that became really apparent is that such powerful lights can be a problem indoors. With the weaker 3 D battery mag light, you could get a lot of brightness, but not much reflection. With the sure-fires and the scorpions, you got a lot of reflected light meaning the person holding the light was well illuminated...which could be a bad thing. However, for outside work, I would go with either the scorpion or the sure-fires long before I would use my giant, 5 D cells, mag light again.

That being said, I did not know you could mount scorpions until Ledbetter mentioned it. I thought that was the realm of the Sure-Fires.

You can't lose with the Scorpions or the Sure-Fires, unless your goal is to use them as a baton and in that case, they are pretty pitiful. I just think the Scorpions ROCK because they do so well and are so much cheaper.
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Old December 1, 2000, 04:02 AM   #9
boing
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So Mikul, are you going to give us a review of your rock?
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Old December 1, 2000, 06:08 AM   #10
navaho
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Hey Sport,

Thanks for the kind words! That made my day.

------

Hey Mikul,

I'm really interested in your $50 rock. Is it a _tactical_ rock? I'm looking to buy a few of those myself (to go along with my overpriced flashlights)

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Old December 1, 2000, 11:27 AM   #11
Mikul
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Gee, nobody else seemed so interested in my rock.

The rock has a tactical stun mode. People usually say, "Geepers, that's a neat rock." If you use the special, "Yep, and it was $50 at the mall." response, they usually get that deer-in-the-headlights look on their face for about 60 seconds which is plenty of time for me to pick their pockets. Unfortunately, I have poor friends and have yet to make back my $50.

It's a piece of florite about the size of my fist. It is made up of several different size pyramid shapes that meet in the middle in what appears to be some Star Trek transporter accident. With an overhead light (perhaps a SureFire) it gives off hundreds of different hues of blue, green and yellow. It even looks like there's something inside of it due a kind of holographic effect.

The downside to buying a $50 rock is that no matter what anyone else pays for anything else, they can always come back with, "Yea, well Mike spent $50 on a rock."
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Old December 1, 2000, 01:15 PM   #12
Ledbetter
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Pros and Cons of Tactical Rock

Pros Cons

Durable Heavy
Reliable Only one shot
Legal in most states Just a matter of time in Kal.
No moving parts Hard to find holsters
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Old December 1, 2000, 01:24 PM   #13
jthuang
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Citadel,

My vote goes to keeping the light while daylight training. A while back I took Insight's General Defensive Rifle class -- during the day shoots, I had the training plug installed on my Millennium 500A. I didn't want the lens to get smashed, etc. hence the plug.

Fast forward to the night shoot. I'm on the firing line when my Surefire goes dark! Diagnosis was that the bulb failed (the 500A was practically out of the box). I was able to complete the night shoot with the MN11 extra bulb.

Moral of the story is that you don't want to find out that your light unit/bulb fails under recoil when it's the real deal. Better to find out during training, when the targets don't shoot back. Besides, you can take training time to accustom yourself to the weight of the Surefire unit on your weapon.

Surefire replaced the MN10 bulb for me free of charge. They said a bad batch of bulbs may have gone out.

Justin
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Old December 2, 2000, 10:32 PM   #14
markmcj
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I recently had an chance to look over several different flashlights at a local shoot and the best lights in my opion
were the surefire lights. 50 to 60 bucks on a light is steep
but I think they are worth it. I ordered a 6z and an extra bulb and 4 extra batteries. Now I have to wait to get it. Thats the only thing that bites about mail order.
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Old December 3, 2000, 11:15 PM   #15
Charmedlyfe
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In the six years I spent clearing buildings with my 6Z, I went through ONE bulb module. When I first got it, I was on night shift. I got a domestic call at a house, and met the female complainant at the front door. She said the male was in the bedroom, and was extremely violent. As I entered the living room, I could see down a darkened hallway to the door of the bedroom. The male came out with something big in his hand, and I keyed on the light as I moved for cover. The light was so bright that he dropped the object (actually a 4x4 about 3 feet long) and covered his eyes with his hands. VERY effective.....and I actually had those kinds of reactions a number of times. I'm off the job now, but my 6Z goes EVERYWHERE with me!!!
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Old December 7, 2000, 11:17 AM   #16
Gus~
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Seems like I've got to have one of these....

Could someone provide a quick rundown between the 6Z and 9Z
, I assume the 9Z is the large version ? What are the approx
sizes ?

Also, what is the distinction between the 6-9Z's vs the 6-9P's ?

Thanks
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Old December 7, 2000, 11:38 PM   #17
jim-alex
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Gus- I just received a 9Z a couple of days ago. It is quite impressive. The 9z/9p use three lithium batteries and produce 105 lumen (quantity of light units) whereas the 6z/6p use two lithium batteries and produce 65 lumen. The Z Surefires have a lanyard and a rubber thing on the barrel of light to allow for a certain type of grip. They are considered "combat lights". The P Surefires have no lanyard or rubber grommets around barrel. Best price I found was at BotachTactical, 9z for $69 plus S/H.

Take a look at their site. It is quite good.Loaded with every detail about every light that Surefire makes. Their online ordering and processing was flawless. They rate a "10".

Regards, Jim
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Old December 8, 2000, 09:43 AM   #18
Gus~
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Jim, thanks for the info.

I have seen their site and was considering ordering from them, but have heard some unfavorable reports on their service. However your experience seems to have been good.

Anyone else have a rating on botach ?
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Old December 9, 2000, 06:19 AM   #19
navaho
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Does anyone have _both_ the 6P/Z and the 9P/Z?

If so, how much brighter does the 9P/Z seem to you???

The reason I ask is because to my eyeballs, the 9P isn't really that much brighter than the 6P!?!

It _should be_ 50% brighter, because it puts out 105 lumens to the 6P's 65 lumens.

The only explanation I have is that maybe human brightness perception is non-linear (like human hearing, as in the logarithmic decibel scale).

Just to make sure I wasn't comparing apples to oranges, I broke out a fresh set of 5 batteries for the two flashlights, and measured them all with my digital voltmeter (they were all 3.22v), and _then_ did several A/B comparisons with the 9P vs. the 6P, both indoors and out. At night, of course.

It LOOKS LIKE the 6P is about 90% as bright as the 9P!!!

Sooo, I'm going to tuck my tail between my legs and ship back my unopened 9P's to Botach, and exchange them for 6P's.

I mean, if I can't see a 50% difference, there's no sense in spending the extra $$ for the light, as well as the extra battery $$. (The 9P takes one more battery than the 6P, and both flashlights are rated at 1 hour of battery life.)

So that leaves me with a few 9P's that I had purchased earlier.

Maybe it's "cognitive dissonance" (a fancy psychological term for convincing yourself that you _didn't_ really screw up..., you actually made that choice _on purpose_, and it's the _right_ choice! ), but... I think there is an argument to be made for the 9P's: they "feel more natural" than the smaller 6P's when held in the classic cop gun/flashlight hold. So I'll not an idiot for buying the 9P's earlier

But for the vast majority of my flashlight usage (which is "non tactical"), I think a 6P makes a lot more sense (from a $$ point of view).

Sorry for the bum steer.


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Old December 9, 2000, 04:21 PM   #20
jim-alex
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Navaho:

You are probably correct on the eye perceiving only
"so much" brightness, then your lens shuts down quite a bit.

A question: did you perceive the brightness from behind the light? or did you have someone flash you directly in the eyes?

I have the 9z purely for "household"/"bump in the night" use, I like the feel of it. But for carry purposes, it is quite large. If I purchase another for myself or for my wife, I will get the 6P.

Regards, Jim
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Old December 9, 2000, 06:22 PM   #21
navaho
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Jim-Alex:

"You are probably correct on the eye perceiving only
"so much" brightness, then your lens shuts down quite a bit."

Actually that isn't quite what I meant. What I was trying to say was that I think eyesight brightness perception may be "logarithmic", like human ears are.

For example, for a car stereo, in order to make it sound _twice_ as loud, you actually need _ten_ times as much power, not _twice_ the power. If it only took twice the power to make it sound twice as loud, then it would be linear. Since it takes ten times as much power, it's logarithmic. Here's a URL that briefly talks about this: http://www.iitap.iastate.edu/numaps/poudel/decibel.html

(The reason you don't need to turn the volume control up 10 times to make it twice as loud is because the volume control itself is a logarithmic control, not a linear one like a toaster's darkness control).

So in terms of flashlights... I was thinking that maybe it takes more than twice the lumens for something to seem twice as bright. I don't know if it's a "base 10" logarithm (meaning it takes 10 times the lumens), or "base 5", or some other base, but it appears to be non-linear.

Of course, I could just have mutant eyeballs

---

To answer your question, I perceived the brightness from behind the light rather than having someone flash the light in my eyes. My momma told me not to look into bright lights






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Old December 9, 2000, 07:56 PM   #22
jim-alex
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Navajo:

Understood. I hated logs to whatever base. Fortunate to never had to use them. Possibly the inverse square law of light might explain somewhat. It is a measure independent
of an organ (i.e the eye) where the decibel scale is based upon the receiving organ (ear). The site you mentioned was a good explanation of the decibel scale.

A quick search for lumen turned up something that may have
some application. It is a discussion of light intensity from the "recipient" point of view. in this case however the recipients are museum objects and how a curator might
guess at the "amount of light" falling on an object.
http://www.natmus.dk/cons/tp/lightcd/lumen.htm

In any event, from the "holder of the flashlight" point of view, I doubt there is any important difference between the 6P and 9P if the object illuminated is less than a couple of yards away. If the object has eyes however, there may be a difference, maybe only in how long one sees spots.

Regards,
Jim
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Old December 11, 2000, 03:34 PM   #23
Gus~
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I leave it to you the experts, has there been a determination yet whether the 6 or 9 is brighter, and from what point of view ?

I'm thinking of getting one and need help to decide which ?
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Old December 11, 2000, 05:57 PM   #24
jim-alex
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Gus:
I hope I didn't sound like I was positioning myself as an "expert", I'm not. I would base my decision on the use of the light - home use = 9, carry = 6.

Want to learn more about flashlights than you ever cared to know? see: http://www.uwgb.edu/nevermab/flash.htm

Regards,
Jim
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Old December 11, 2000, 11:04 PM   #25
Gopher .45
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Cool Site!

Jim-alex, I have a pseudo flashlight fetish, if you well, but I never thought I would find a site that catered so readily to it! Very cool information. Thanks.
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