View Full Version : Bad News from (for?) Sure-Fire (Laser Products)...

February 16, 1999, 02:09 PM
Hi Folks,

I just accepted delivery on a pile of Sure-Fire flashlights, extra lamp modules, shock isloated bezels etc.

The 3 volt and 6 volt flashlights and lamp assemblies (I test them when I get them) were all "normal", they have a nice small circular "hot spot" that the Sure-Fire flashlights are so famous for.

But I had a problem with the 9 volt lamp assemblies, in the flashlight or the lamp assembly by itself. There is no circular hot spot. Instead the brightest part of the beam is spread into a large oval, or a banana shape! Not good! It gets much worse at any appreciable distance too, as the dispersed beam just gets weaker and weaker. It seems to be just a matter of the bulbs not being in the proper "focal point" for the reflector (especially the banana shaped beam).

So, I called Laser Products, and was connected to a Customer Service person, who kindly explained that was I was observing was true!!

That "for some" reason all the 9 volt lamp assemblies no longer focus to circular hot spot, but have larger, more dispersed, oval beam shapes. And that the same thing would soon be apparent with all their lamp (3 and 6
volt) assemblies, as they sell out of their old ones, and start selling the newer assemblies!!!

The nice Customer Service person said that this started a while ago, and they have received several complaining phone calls, but did not know why the company had "switched" to these new style lamp assmeblies.

If this wasn't the Nineties, I say "unbelievable"!!

Anyhow, I'm returning the whole order (not true, I'm keeping a nice circular hot spot lamp assembly for my 6Z). And I won't be buying any more Sure-Fire products. I am very (_very_) disappointed.

And for what it's worth, the Customer Service person did seem to imply that if the buying public made enough noise about the issue, maybe the company would address the problem! That's one of the reasons I wrote this, as well as to warn potential buyers. Even if the one you buy has a nice hot spot, what are you going to do when you need a new lamp!?!?!



Rich Lucibella
February 16, 1999, 02:15 PM
I learned from a thread on the API list that SureFires are also far from waterproof. At one training class the lights started to go inop in a hard rain. Since then many have confirmed the problem.

One participant volunteered that SureFire is coming out with a fix....at a price! There's a *lot* they might learn from Glock's policies.

February 17, 1999, 10:55 AM
One of the distributors is checking into this too, so I should have more info later.


February 18, 1999, 06:19 PM
Well, the response from the distributor is that about two years ago Laser Products added an "extra filament" to the P90 bulb, and that is responsible for the lack of a circular "hot spot" as good as the 6 volt lamp assemblies.

They say that the degradation of the beam shouldn't be "extreme", however. I would consider the "oval" beam I saw "extreme", but perhaps the "banana" shaped beam is the new standard. It did have a brighter center...

Laser Products is supposed to be sending me two more P90 lamp assemblies, which I will evaluate, and then post my opinions.

I have still received no response about the Customer Service person's comment that the 3 and 6 volt lamp assemblies will also have the same problem in the future. I've asked again.

I am hopeful, but still a little worried, since the base answer still seems to be, "That's the way they are."


March 3, 1999, 06:50 PM
I will have to check the LaserProducts website and literature with regard to the SureFire torches being waterproof or not.

My 9P still has the same lamp assembly that I purchased it with last spring and that bulb performs as advertised. I have a few spare lamp /reflector assemblies.

These less than worthy newer lamps compromise the SureFire as a tactical tool, the reason we put up with the initial cost and expensive replacement parts.

I am disheartened by news of Laser Product's shoddy customer service. I do not think that the company has that wide of a market that it can afford to offend tactically minded individuals and organizations.

This matter must be given further attention.

March 4, 1999, 12:44 PM
I agree with you, Jeff!

The distributor had LP send me two more P90 replacement lamp assemblies.

One of them was DOA. I put it in the 9P, and when turned on, it produced a small dim orange light!? When I looked at the bulb itself, it has a milky coating. Oh well, one down.

The second replacement lamp produces a big oval beam, just like the replacement I had ordered originally. NOT a nice hot round center like my 3P, 6P or 6Z.

So far the original bulb that was in the 9P, with it's banana shaped beam center, has the closest thing to a normal Sure-Fire hot spot! It's not round, but at least it's bright!

I am still waiting for Bill Perches of Street Smart Professional to respond to emails I have sent him regarding their return policies. (He is the distrubutor I bought the 9 volt stuff from.) I don't know why he is "hiding", but he has not responded to two or three email requests about their return policy. I'd like to retuirn all the 9volt stuff I bought, but I'd prefer not to have to pay any 15% "restocking fee".

And I keep meaning to talk to the Customer Service rep, Stuart, who told me the first story. Bill Perches has still not commented on the part of Stuart's story that said the 3 and 6 volt lamps would "soon" have the same problem.

All in all, very depressing and tiring. Why do people think this kind of shilly-shallying is better than just telling the truth? Oh yeah, now I remember! :-)

But on a "good" note, the Z32 "shock isolated" bezel appears to be a good design, that should reduce how much external shock is transferred to the lamp assembly. I wish LP would offer these as an option on your original order, so we wouldn't have to spend so much to have a Sure-Fire so equipped. But I guess they think they'll make more money this way!

Still unsatisfied....


P.S. On the water-proof issue, I can imagine a big difference in "wet performance" may depend on whether the o-rings are "lubricated", with something like the teflon-silicon lubricant that Walter Welch recommends. While the Sure-Fires may not be truly designed to be "waterproof", you may get acceptable "rainy weather" results with a little O-ring lube!

March 4, 1999, 03:33 PM
I have attempted to give Mr. Haller a call,( a courtesy I did not receive before his post) but his line is busy. The tone of his post is such that the reader comes away with a negative impression of us and I take exception to that.
Mr. Haller was treated with the courtesy and respect he deserved and his order was very promptly shipped and received. He phoned with his concerns, and quite frankly this is the first time I had ever heard of this and it had never been a problem before. We looked into it a gave our best answer. Regarding other models, the answer is, nobody knows. Until this supply is exhausted and the new ones online, we dont know. Not technical, but truthful. In any event, I told Mr. Haller we would do "whatever it takes to make it right" and promptly had replacement units shipped. So far all I see is that we continued to take interest in his case and do what was right.
We are not hiding from anything. The accusaton of such is silly. Our company is a field based operation that spends the majority of time training and performing demonstrations at agencies and organizations. Our last communication was on the 18th and there are no new messages or phone calls regarding the matter from Mr. Haller. I only saw this post upon taking the time out to browse the forums after a few weeks. (very dissapointing)
We are never rude to our customers. However respect is a two way street. His implication of dishonesty or negative connotations upon our reputation are not welcome. Maligning us on a public forum before even bothering to tell us IN ANY MANNER, that our effors to satisfy him were not successful shows poor form at best.
I still maintain we will do whatever will make you happy Mr. Haller, an assertion I have made from the beginning. The 15% you are so concerned about is there to protect us from those who make an "event purchase" and then return the items used after a riot deployment or camping trip. Since my clairvoyant abilities are minimal, I cannot resolve something without any effort on your part to contact me about your continued concerns. If you are concerned about the dime Mr. Haller tell me when you line is not busy, so I can be aware of your current situation without finding out first on the forums.
To all the listers, it is very unfortunate it has come to this. Our reputation is all we have and while we owe everything to our customers, we are not here to be slandered as a result of events that are no fault of our own. I am not angry, just dissapointed in the lack of common (or should I say uncommon) courtesy.
I still stand by our policy, our 30% discount on Sure Fire to listers, and our commitment to courtesy and mutual respect. (It does go both ways) If anyone has questions or comments, I have cleared my schedule to answer mail and calls regarding this matter and Sure Fire in general for the rest of the day as this is not the proper forum for unfortunate stuff like this.

Bill Perches
<a href="http://www.streetpro.com">Street Smart Professional Equipment</a>
[email protected]

March 4, 1999, 11:27 PM
Hi Bill!

I'm sorry I didn't make a long distance phone call before I posted this, but I did ask you two or three times in email about your return policy if I decided to return the 9 volt parts, and you never answered the question. I even sent a separate email asking the same question and didn't get a response.

> "We are not hiding from anything. The accusaton of such is silly..."
> "We are never rude to our customers. However respect is a two way street. His implication " > of dishonesty or negative connotations upon our reputation are not welcome. Maligning us on a
> public forum before even bothering to tell us IN ANY MANNER, that our effors to satisfy him were
> not successful shows poor form at best.

Uh, Bill, I think your overreacting, here. I never said you were rude, and I never implied you were dishonest. I believe I have told the truth, that I have asked you a few questions, more than once, that you have never answered. You lack of response to my direct questions is what I termed "hiding".

> "We looked into it a gave our best answer. Regarding other models, the answer is, nobody knows. Until this supply
> is exhausted and the new ones online, we don't know. Not technical, but truthful."

But you never told _me_ this, even when I asked about the other models. And why can't one of your friends at Laser Products test one of the new models? That sounds fishy.

And you told me the problem with the P90 was an "extra filament" that was added to the 9 volt units to make them tougher. First, any idea why an "extra" filament would make a lamp bulb tougher" I don't see how. So, are they adding these extra filaments to the 6 and 3 volt units? Is that what you are saying? What does Laser Products say?

Anyhow, I don't really want to argue on this forum either. If you had answered my questions in the emails we exchamged, a lot of this would have already _been_ handled.

Bill, you seem like a pretty nice person, and I'm sorry we are both probably looking worse than we should here. You did go out of you way to have replacement lamps sent out (which I didn't ask for), which was nice of you. But I really wanted information. I will send you another email, and we can remove _our_ diagreement from the forum.

But I still think the buying public needs to find out what is going on with these flashlights. The entire reputation of the Sure-Fire (as close as I can tell) rides on their intense focused beam. And in the units I've compared recently, the 9 volt lamp assemblies are not comparable to the 6 and 3 volt lamps, as I detailed above.