Category Archives: Flashlights and Lasers

Discussions of various flashlights and lasers used – both handheld and weapon mounted.

How to Upgrade Mini Maglites to LED, Replacing the Lens and Adding a Switched Tail Cap

Okay, I have to admit it up front – I’m nostalgic.  When I was a teenager in the 1980s Maglites were a big deal.  I had a four D-Cell unit and a friend encouraged me to get a Mini Maglite probably in the 1985-ish timeframe and I have used it a ton.

I also bought a Mini Maglite with remote switch and shot gun barrel adapter for my dad.  He would slip out the door at night to see what the dog was barking at and would often take a firearm with him – often an old reliable 16 gauge single shot Iver Johnson.  It really creeped me out.  It wasn’t until years later that I understood how my dad viewed that having both grown up on a rural farm in New Hampshire and serving in the 6th Infantry in Pusan at the end of WWII (Yes, we had troops in Korea towards the end of WWII to prevent the Japanese from returning).

At any rate, I bought my dad a Mini MagLite with a remote switch for that old Iver Johnson and installed it.  Years later I would find the shotgun and the light separate – I suspect my dad never really needed it.

At any rate, I wound up with both my old light and my dad’s sitting next to each other and figured it was time to upgrade them and return them to service.

For me, researching is part of the fun so I dug around on replacement tail caps, LED upgrade units and lenses.  So, I wound up with the following pile on my work bench:

I bought two of the LED upgrades but had already installed one before it dawned on me that I better get a picture 🙂

The  LED upgrade is from TerraLux and is their TLE-5EX MiniStar2 Extreme.  They claim 150 maximum lumens for four hours.  I can’t speak to the duration but they are definitely bright – brighter than my 80 and 100 lumen lights for sure with a really nice solid coverage.  I bought both from Amazon and they are very easy to install.

They also sell a two-pack if you are interested:

Basically, you unscrew the head from the camera body and while you are at it, remove the lens cap also because you will replace the old lens with a new one.  If you see any stretched, torn or missing O-rings, then replace them while you are at it.

Here are the old and new reflectors and lenses:

The old bulb just pulls straight out of the body.  You don’t need to do anything else – just pull it out.

Now the LED module’s legs just go in where you removed the old bulb.  Have batteries in the light because you need to find out if the module is plugged in the right way or not.  What I mean by this is that the polarity does matter.  If you plug the module in and it will not light then turn it the other way so the legs switch the power holes they are plugged in to.

Notice how the reflector that comes with the module has a much wider hole to accommodate the LED.  You can save your old bulb and reflector if you want to.

The module will sit on top of the housing.

I got lucky – the light worked the first try.  If it did not, I would have removed the module and exchanged holes the legs were going into.

At this point, it was just a matter of reassembly.  I installed the replacement lens and the LiteXpress swiched tail cap.  Here are the units I bought off Amazon:

The tailcap has a nice switch.  What I like is that I can adjust the lens how I want and just turn the unit off and on at the tail cap.  If you were packing this, you can still turn the light off the old way and reduce the odds of it turning on.  Lastly, the cap has a perk – it has a lanyard ring on the side and it will prevent the light from rolling off a surface.  On one hand you can’t stand the light up and run it like candle but on the easy on/off switch and elimination of rolling are nice bonuses.

So that’s all there is to it.  I’d say it took me 5-10 minute per light and I satisfied my nostalgia by keeping them and have far, far brighter lights.  I’ve been using one of the lights for almost two months as of writing this blog without any problems at all.

Now, before I end this post, let me point out that LiteXpress lights are solid.   They are a German company that does their own engineering and the products are made in China with their oversight.  I own about six of them of varying models and ages.  For the most part, they have held up.  I busted one somewhere along the line and LiteXpress said they would replace it but I just haven’t had time to do so.  If you are looking for a solid new LED light, you might want to take a look at them.  Both of these have performed solidly for me without any trouble:


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed. Doing so will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 

Not Happy With EBLCL LED Upgrade for My Ryobi Worklight Either

Okay, I ordered the EBLCL CE ROHS FCC PR P13.5S 18V 247 Lumen CREE XP-G2 S4LED upgrade for my 18 volt Ryobi worklight.  To make a long story short, like the Jomitop, it too throws an irregular crescent shaped light that I don’t like.  This unit is sold by a number of vendors on Amazon so buyer beware.

Here’s a photo of the EBLCL unit and the beam it projects:

I’m going to just leave this unit installed and look for a new worklight … I may even just put a replacement bulb in the unit.  I use these things quite a bit and I would rather have a decent wide area of light vs. these oddly shaped beams.

Bottom line, unless you like the shape of the beam shown above, I can’t recommend it.

 


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed. Doing so will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 

Not Happy with Jomitop P13.5S LED Replacement Bulb for Ryobi 18 volt Work Light

Okay, some guys sneer at the Ryobi power tools but I have gotten my money’s worth from their 18 volt drills.  I bought one of their 18 volt sets years ago and have two drills, an impact driver and a hammer drill that I use all the time.  One drill has done 3-4 decks and the other at least two.  I burned out one hammer drill a year ago and replaced it and the others are going strong.

Along with the tools came an 18 volt work light that I have used a ton especially while working on cars.  I’ve replace the incandescent bulb probably at least three times over the years.  As luck would have it, I dropped the light the other day and busted the bulb.  Rather than buy another replacement bulb, I decided to move to an LED unit.

I did some digging and bought a Jomitop P13.5S from Amazon – two of them actually as I have two of the work lights.  Now I wish I could say the upgrade went great but the resulting light is a weird crescent shape – even when it is just the LED by itself with no lens or reflector.  Both LEDs did this.

I plan on returning these two units as defective and have ordered two more models from other sellers on Amazon.  So, for now, pass on the Jomitop P13.5S model.  I’ll post on what works later but wanted to get the honest review out.

I hope this helps you out!


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed. Doing so will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 

Streamlight Microstream and Stylus Pro Lights – Quality Brilliance in Small Packages

I recently needed to find new small LED lights that had four key characteristics – reliable, acceptable brightness, decent battery life, and small size.  Let me explain the reason for them:

  • Reliable – to be honest, a lot of the “miracle” lights that are advertised are total pieces of crap.  Everything from poor switches, low quality soldering and, believe it or not, weak springs that break down with use and no longer make reliable contact with the battery.  When I need a light, I need a light.
  • Acceptable Brightness – there is a trade-off between brightness and battery life.  There always has been and always will be.  Now LEDs have really helped push that envelope but even they have trade offs.  For most use, you’d be surprised just how bright 45-100 lumens really is and the cheap lights are misrepresenting about what they put out anyways.  Americans especially seem to think that brighter is better.  Well, for me, I really need to figure out the balance.  I’ve found that 45-100 lumens is pretty darned good for stuff within 100 feet.  No scientific studies were done – I just walked outside and shined different lights around.
  • Decent battery life – I needed a light where the battery would give me at least two hours of light per battery set.  This magical number is based on having easy access to replacement batteries.  Out in the Styx, you may find decent priced AAA batteries but not CR123As for example.
  • Small Size – I need a flashlight that fits in my pocket and does not weigh a ton.

So, armed with this, I started digging around.  I have no affiliation with Streamlight so when I tell you I like their stuff, I actually like their stuff.  I have been using their TLR weapons lights for a number of years now and never had one fail.  Armed with that, I started looking at their small lights and decided to get both the Microstream (single AAA battery) and the Stylus Pro (two AAA batteries) to try out.

Now the specs are pretty good for both.  Look at the battery life relative to Lumens:

So, I installed the supplied Duracel AAA batteries and spent some time playing with both.  The switches are solid, no rattles, and the light is pretty good.  This is me running the lights side by side at a fence about 30 feet away.  The Microstream did surprisingly well compared to the bigger light – it seems to be a tighter beam vs. more of a flood from the Stylus Pro.  The Microstream is on the left and the Stylus Pro is on the right.

Bottom line, both seem like they will meet my needs.  I’m going to carry the Microstream for regular use and the Stylus Pro when more light is needed for a longer time.

2/22/2018 Update:  These lights have held up great.  I even accidentally put one through the clothes washer without any problem -nothing happened to the finish and no water got inside!  I actually have four of the little single battery Microstreams and they are pretty much my every day carry when working in the shop, travelling, etc.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed. Doing so will help us fund continued development of the blog.



See larger image

Additional Images:

Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro LED PenLight with Holster, Black


Features: White C4 LED delivers 90 lumens; 860 candela; 58m beam; runs 6.5 hours; 5.3-Inch (134mm); 1.64 oz (46.9 g), Push button tail switch – momentary or constant on operation; Includes two trial “AAA” alkaline batteries and tear-resistant nylon holster. Best with Polaroid AAA Batteries., NiMH battery rechargeable up to 1000 times; also accepts NiCd battery, Anodized aluminum construction with non-slip rubberized comfort grip, IPX4 water resistant and 1-meter impact resistance tested

Streamlight’s Stylus Pro black LED penlight flashlight with holster features a super bright, high flux, 1/2 watt LED, and has a lifetime of up to 30,000 hours. It consists of a micro optical system which facilitates optimized output and run time. This flashlight is corrosion proof and has waterproof construction with an unbreakable polycarbonate lens as well as a pocket clip.
List Price: $34.00 USD
New From: $17.97 USD In Stock

If you want to upgrade your older 4-6 D cell Mag-Lite, be very cautious about the Terralux TLE-310M-EX MiniStar 1000 Lumen Conversion Kit

Hi folks,

I actually buy what I post about so if something doesn’t work, I’m going to report it.  In 2015, I upgraded my three Mag-Lites with TerraLUX TLE-6EX Ministar5 140 Lumen LEDs.  Those have worked great – they are bright, durable, and easy on the batteries.  A few weeks back, I ran across an Amazon listing for a TerraLUX TLE-310M-EX Ministar31M-EX LED Conversion kit for 4-6 D cell Maglites.  Now that kind of excited me – 1,000 claimed lumens plus I had good luck with their bulb replacements so the upgrade kit seemed like a no brainer.  Unfortunately, I was not so lucky this time because it did not fit either my four or five D-cell lights.

The conversion kit looks well made and is super easy to install — or at least it should be if it will fit the head of your light:

To be fair to TerraLUX, my 4-D cell Mag-Lite dates back to the early- to mid-1980s.  My 5-D cell was bought by my dad for his own use shortly there after.  The 3-D cell I have was bought by my dad at an unknown time.  I just want to point out right up front these are older lights.  To get to the point, the TLE-310M only fit the 3-D cell the way it should but it was not recommended for that few of cells plus was not as bright.

My best guess is that Mag-Lite evolved the shape of the flashlight’s heads over the years.  My 4-D cell’s head actually is curved inside behind the reflector.  The 5-D cell is flat inside.  The 3-D is flat inside too but it look like the stem that holds the bulb sticks up further.  When I screwed the TLE-301M straight onto the bulb stem, WOW.  On my 5-D cell, my Lux meter could not go up that high.  The problem is that the kit would not fit with the head on the way it should.  I suspect the positive contact on the bottom of the kit could not touch the Mag-Lite’s positive contact.

Here’s the 5-D cell taken apart with the conversion kit.  Normally to install the kit, you would just remove the bezel, lens, reflector and bulb.  The kit then screws in place of the bulb.  I had it all apart trying to figure out what was going on.

At this point I was getting a bit miffed.  I did not take a picture of my 4-D cell taken apart but it definitely had a conical shape under the reflector and the kit again would not make contact with the head in place.  if I screwed the kit right on to the stem, it was fine but no-go with the head on.  Note, they say to turn the head for the kit and positive contact to come together – that did not work on either the four or five cell lights no matter how firmly I turned the head.

Here is my 3-D light.  Look at how far the stem is sticking up with the head on! Sure enough the kit installed just fine on that light *but* it had fewer cells than recommended and it negatively impacted the brightness.

Here is the light output measured before (60,500 Lux because the meter is set to the x100 Lux range) and after (119,800 Lux) on the 3-D cell light:

So it did almost double the light out the front but not enough for me to want to spend $50.  When I did the test with the 5D cell with just the conversion kit screwed straight onto the stem with no head, the output exceeded the meter’s 200,000 Lux limit.  Wow – it was bright.  I sure wish it would have fit.

The one plus out of all this is that I did discover my 3-D cell’s light needed a bit of silicone grease on the threads to turn smoother and it had an old plastic lens that I upgraded to clear glass unit from Neutek:

Bottom line, I returned it the conversion kit to Amazon.  I feel TerraLux should have known it wouldn’t fit all lights — shouldn’t they?  So, if you have an older Maglite (say 1980s or 90s), stick with the single bulb upgrade to LED (the TerraLUX TLE-6EX) and you’ll be a happy camper.  If you have a newer Mag-Lite, you may be okay but I do not know that for sure.


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the advertisements.  It will help us fund continued development of the blog.

This is the conversion kit you should be cautious about in terms of fitting an older light – the quality looked very good:

The single LED unit listed below is in use in all three of my 80s/90s Mag-Lites and works great.  No problems yet of any kind!

 


See larger image

Additional Images:

TerraLUX TLE-6EX MiniStar5 140 Lumens Extreme LED Replacement Bulb for 4-6 C&D Cell MagLites


Features: Bright white LED light, LED never burns out, Extends battery life up to 20 hours on one set of batteries, Ultra focus for long distances, Brighter than original incandescent bulbs

TerraLUX MiniStar5 140 Lumens Extreme LED Replacement Bulb for 4-6 C&D Cell MagLites have a white LED light that never burns out. It has an extended battery life up to 20 hours on one set of batteries and contains ultra focus for long distances which makes it brighter than original incandescent bulbs.
List Price: Price Not Listed
New From: $16.99 USD In Stock

Converting 1980s-1990s 3, 4 and 5-D Cell Maglites to LED – What a difference!!

Back in about 1982 or 83, I saved my money up in high school and bought a seemingly giant 4-D cell Maglite.  That thing has been all over the US with me – camping, in cars, trucks, by the night stand and so forth.  My dad was so impressed he bought both a three and five cell version and used them on the farm.  Fast forward to 2015, my dad had passed away and I had both of his lights plus my old one – the paint was chipped and the old-style bulbs didn’t crank out anywhere near the light of a modern LED flashlight but they were still operational.  Face it, Maglites were built to last!   My Maglight and my dad’s were just sitting on the shelf and I couldn’t bring myself to toss them.

As so many things go in life, I was researching on LED upgrades for Surefire M951 weapons lights and wondered if some kind of upgrade existed for Maglites.  The answer was a resounding “yes”! There were all kinds of replacement and upgrade parts available.  I wound up getting three TerraLUX TLE-6EX MiniStar5 140 Lumens replacement for the traditional bulbs in May 2015.  Because I am writing this almost two years later, I can tell you the bulbs are a great deal – they’re not very expensive, bright as heck, durable and really easy on the batteries.  I was impressed then and still am now.

At any rate, two years later,  zero problems, way brighter and better battery life – sounds like something worth sharing while I drink my morning coffee.

First, the Maglite design is really cool.  You can readily get to just about everything that can wear out.  You don’t need to pull the batteries unless you want to, but you do need to unscrew the head and remove it.  Years ago I had a battery burst in this light so I always check batteries just to play it safe.  This is my four cell that I’ll take apart:

Now, you unscrew the front bezel and that gives you access to the lens.  I am pretty sure I tossed my original because it was so scratched up.  When I upgraded the LED, I also put in a new Crystal Glass upgrade lens in.  I just did it on mine and have had zero problems with it.  When you take the bezel off, the lens just lifts/falls right out.  There’s no glue to deal with.

Now the lens  sits in the body on a shock absorbing system.  I found an old bulb and inserted it so you could see the steps.  The bulb is held in place by a threaded collar that simply unscrews and you can then remove the bulb unit.  In the third and fourth photo, you can see the collar to the right of the bulb.

The LED emitter is a tad longer than the bulb but this doesn’t matter.  Just put it in place of the bulb and then screw the collar back into place.  Just snug the collar – you don’t need it to be crazy tight.  Also, I inspected all the O-Rings and out a light smear of heavy silicone grease on all the threads and O-rings to make everything turn smoothly – you can still change the beam from flood to spot, same as always.  Note, if an O-ring is torn, cracked or looking bad, take it to your local hardware store and replace it.

Next up, the rubber cover on my light’s switch was cracked and oxidized.  You can find replacements for those as well.  They are simply press fit so you can remove them very easily with your fingers or use a small tool to lift the cover up.  The replacement I bought in 2015 still looks like new.

  

The result:  I spent about $30 and have a very bright durable light.  I keep one in my truck and the other big light floats around between my shop and the house.  In the next photo, you can see the LED emitter working.

One thing that is interesting is that the five cell’s LED is not as white as the other two but it used to be.  I’m not sure why – I think it has the original batteries from two years ago.  It’s something else to add to the need to check out when there is free time list 🙂

Would I do it again?  Absolutely.  I like being able to use these lights once again.  There’s a lot of nostalgia involved with both of them.

 


The exact NeuLux lens I bought is no longer available on Amazon, which is a shame.  I did some digging and Maglight now sells a replacement glass lens that gets very good reviews:

This is the exact switch seal I used:

Now if your end cap or front bezel are really torn up, you do have options.  First, you could get OEM replacements or you could upgrade them.  Here are two neat upgrades that get solid reviews (for the end cap, be sure to get the right size):

The following is a real-time search of eBay for “Maglite Upgrades” – look at what all is available!  Just make sure what you buy matches your model as this list will be for Maglites in general:

TerraLUX TLE-6EXB MiniStar5B, 200 Lumen LED Upgrade Kit for 2-3 cell C

$14.97
End Date: Wednesday Jun-20-2018 8:24:52 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $14.97
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Nite Ize LED Combo Upgrade Kit II for AA Mini Maglite Incandescent Flashlight

$10.18
End Date: Thursday Jun-14-2018 17:15:46 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $10.18
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

NEW GENUINE Maglite Mini PRO LED 2 AA Flashlight + Holster Black 272 lumens

$19.99
End Date: Thursday Jun-14-2018 6:23:11 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

ABN® Maglite Replacement Conversion Kit Upgrade LED Bulb

$15.99
End Date: Monday Jun-18-2018 14:50:55 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $15.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Nite Ize AA LED Single Bulb Upgrade Kit II Fits AA Mini Maglite 30 Lumen LRB2-07

$8.49
End Date: Monday Jun-4-2018 13:45:39 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $8.49
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Nite Lumen Maglite Flashlight LED Upgrade Bulb Conversion 2-6 Cell C

$7.83
End Date: Tuesday Jun-5-2018 15:29:31 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $7.83
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

AA MINI MAGLITE FLASHLIGHT LED UPGRADE BULB & TAIL CAP SWITCH KIT NITE IZE NEW

$9.89
End Date: Monday Jun-18-2018 6:27:56 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $9.89
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Ultra-Bright 350 Lumen Maglite LED Upgrade Bulb 3-6 Cell C & D Model Conversion

$13.84
End Date: Tuesday Jun-19-2018 12:05:08 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $13.84
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Ultra-Bright 350 Lumen Maglite LED Upgrade Bulb 3-6 Cell C & D Model Conversion

$13.90
End Date: Friday Jun-8-2018 6:45:35 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $13.90
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

AA MINI MAG LITE LED UPGRADE BULB & ON OFF SWITCH KIT with REFLECTOR 30 LUMENS

$9.89
End Date: Sunday Jun-17-2018 17:35:29 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $9.89
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


 


See larger image

Additional Images:

TerraLUX TLE-6EX MiniStar5 140 Lumens Extreme LED Replacement Bulb for 4-6 C&D Cell MagLites


Features: Bright white LED light, LED never burns out, Extends battery life up to 20 hours on one set of batteries, Ultra focus for long distances, Brighter than original incandescent bulbs

TerraLUX MiniStar5 140 Lumens Extreme LED Replacement Bulb for 4-6 C&D Cell MagLites have a white LED light that never burns out. It has an extended battery life up to 20 hours on one set of batteries and contains ultra focus for long distances which makes it brighter than original incandescent bulbs.
List Price: Price Not Listed
New From: $16.99 USD In Stock

Remington 870 and Winchester 1200 Riot Shotguns

Ran across these photos of two riot shotguns I built – a Winchester 1200 I bought new in the early 1980s and a Remington 870 Express I got a good deal on from Gander Mountain in the early 2000s.  One thing I learned is that the Blackhawk recoil reducing stocks really make a difference.

 

To be honest, I think Remington makes a lot cheaper guns than they used to and their quality has suffered.  Some years back I picked up a Remington 870 express in great shape but one thing that drove me nuts was that the little orange plastic follower would spring out and jam the action.  I did some quick digging and found a machined aluminum replacement that I installed and never had a problem since.

Also, from a pure “keep it simple” angle, I have since stopped installing anything on a tactical shotgun other than a light.  It took to long to turn on the red dot plus worries around battery life, was it still zeroed, etc.

For lights and lasers, I really like the Streamlights.  I use a TLR-1 300 lumen LED light on my home defense 870 to this day.  They are rugged, simple, easy to operate and durable.  Having had a ton of cheap Chinese imports fail over the years, I only use proven lights and lasers on critical firearms.  To save on the CR-123 batteries, read my post on that topic.

The red fiber optic sight really worked out better than I thought.  It made target acquisition fast.  I eventually ditched the red dot optic, installed a side saddle shell holder and used just that sight.

This is the light mount

The flashlight on the Winchester was a Hellfighter with a xenon bulb.  It was ok but I would only buy LEDs going forward and my preferences are Streamlight or Surefire.

The Blackhawk recoil reducing stocks do a very good job but make sure you buy the right model.  They sell stocks both with and without the recoil reduction system.  Also make sure you get the right model – they make them for Winchester and Mossberg.  The following is an automated search from eBay so you need to double check the product and that the buyer has plenty of trades and good feedback.

BLACKHAWK Spec Ops Gen II adjustable shotgun stock

$42.00 (4 Bids)
End Date: Saturday May-26-2018 11:18:06 PDT
Bid now | Add to watch list

Blackhawk SpecOps Stock Gen II MOSS 500 590 835 W/FOREND K07200C

$103.45
End Date: Sunday Jun-10-2018 6:12:20 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $103.45
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

BLACKHAWK! Black SPECOPS GEN II 12-Gauge Shotgun STOCK fits Remington 870 New!

$104.18
End Date: Thursday May-31-2018 12:31:18 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $104.18
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Blackhawk Specops Gen II Adjustable Shotgun Stock K07100-C

$113.10
End Date: Monday Jun-11-2018 13:19:38 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $113.10
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

BlackHawk Knoxx SpecOps Gen II Stock Rem 870 12ga Black K07100-C

$114.61
End Date: Wednesday Jun-20-2018 13:17:59 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $114.61
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

BlackHawk KNOXX® SPECOPS STOCK™ GEN II Remington 870 12-gauge K07100-C

$90.00
End Date: Friday Jun-22-2018 12:35:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $90.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

BlackHawk Specops Nrs Gen Iishtgn Stock Moss Moss 12g Pump Varities - K30200-C

$67.80
End Date: Monday May-28-2018 20:43:55 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $67.80
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

BlackHawk K07100-C Knoxx Specops GEN 2 Remington 870 12 Gauge Stock Black NEW

$99.47
End Date: Friday Jun-22-2018 12:16:27 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $99.47
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

BLACKHAWK K30200C SPECOPS NRS GEN II MOSSBERG 500 7POS STK/FOREND POLY BLACK

$67.49
End Date: Sunday Jun-3-2018 18:13:09 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $67.49
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Knoxx K07100c SpecOps II Recoil Reduction Stock GEN II for Remington 870 12g a

$139.95
End Date: Thursday Jun-7-2018 6:28:54 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $139.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


How to Safely Save on CR123A Batteries for Your Tactical Lights and Lasers

The CR123A battery is very common in tactical lights and lasers these days.  I have a ton of lights that use them and think they are a great battery type and do not have to cost fortune to operate.  There are two tips I want to pass along so you can safely save money.  Now you might be wondering why I put it that way and it’s simple – CR123A batteries are lithium and when they are discharged deeply and rapidly, heat is generated and unless the batteries are properly made, they can literally catch on fire or even explode.  Now this tends to happen with dirt cheap batteries / no-name knock-offs and when they are used improperly such as mixing new and used batteries, types of batteries or trying to recharge batteries that were not designed to be.

Useless trivia for you:  CR123A is a code.  CR = cylindrical.  The 123 means it’s size is a ration 1×2/3rds its length of “A” cell.  Put it together and you get CR123A.

So, to be safe, only use name brand batteries and change them all at a time.  For example, if a light or laser is going dim them change all the batteries at once with new cells of the proper type and I would even recommend from the same manufacturer.  I would also recommend only sticking with name brands from reputable sources.  Yes, cheap knock-offs show up on eBay and Amazon so be very suspicious of deals that seem to good to be true.

In terms of purchasing the batteries, do not go into a retail store and buy a retail package of one or two batteries in the camera department.  You will pay through the nose.  Instead, go to Amazon and buy Panasonic, Surefire, Streamlight or Energizer batteries in bulk packs – usually they are at least 12 batteries.  You are looking for new fresh batteries that aren’t being sold cheap because they are near end-of-life.  Lithiums last, or have a “shelf life” of, about 10 years from when they are made.  That also means that you can afford to buy a bunch at once as they are going to last quite a while provided they are relatively new when you buy them.

Why am I not recommending no-name batteries?  Simple – there is a reason why some of the tactical product companies say they will only warrant their products if you use certain brands – problems do happen.  At a minimum, you may not get as long of life from a cheap battery built compared to something from a reputable firm.  There are good niche batteries out there, but I am going to stick with the big brands.

I am careful to read the description and reviews before I buy on Amazon as there are unethical sellers out there.  Look for listings with lots of 4 and 5 star reviews – the more the better.  Beware of listings with few reviews of any type – no telling how long they will last.

Here are some examples to help you get started and I listed them in the order of what I would select – meaning my first choice would be the Surefire batteries and the second are the Streamlights.

If you just search for CR123A batteries on Amazon, you will see a ton of products for sale with different brands, quantities and so forth.  Shop smart and you’ll save big time.  I hope this helps you out some.

 

 

 

How to upgrade Surefire M951 Weapons Light with a $10-20 LED Reflector

I really like Surefire weapons lights but they can be very expensive.  If you haven’t noticed it, there are some great deals on new in the box Surefire M951 weapons lights on eBay.  Now hear’s the thing – they are new old stock – they have the old Xenon bulbs with them but these things are often unused or lightly used and include the picatinny rail mount and pressure pad.  Here’s the thing – you can upgrade them to an LED for often less than $20 for both a brighter and longer lasting light.

To find the Surefire M951, the trick I found is to search for one of the many “kit” packages that are for sale.  The light I purchased was a “Surefire M951 Kit02” to be exact.

The M951, and a number of other Surefire lights used the P60 Xenon bulb.  There are a ton of LED upgrades out there and I opted for one from Amazon.  Here is the LED reflector I used – I just had to remove the external spring (it pulls right off) and put it in my M951.  We’ll see how it holds up with use but so far it is wickedly bright:



Surefire sells replacement heads for the M951 but they are pricey – $45 and up.  It held up fine on both a 9mm and 5.56 AR.  I eventually sold the light as it was fairly large and heavy.  It was a cool project though!

Now here is an automated real-time search of eBay for “Surefire M951 Kit” be sure to check what they are selling and that the seller is reputable.  You’ll notice some sellers get sneaky with putting words in their listing so stuff that is not legit shows up such as cheap third-party flashlights, accessories, etc.

Surefire Model M951 KIT02 Tac Light Combo Kit New Sealed In Bag! Free Shipping!!

$150.00
End Date: Saturday Jun-23-2018 8:29:09 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $150.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Surefire Universal Light System M951 X With Bag Blue Red Filters Batteries Kit

$289.95
End Date: Monday May-28-2018 12:33:09 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $289.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

NEW SureFire KM2 LED WeaponLight Conversion Kit IR/White Tan M951 M952 M961 M962

$199.95
End Date: Friday Jun-8-2018 7:45:45 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $199.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

OLDGEN Surefire M951 Rail Mounted Weapon Light w/ SW02 Tailcap Painted NSW

$199.95
End Date: Friday Jun-15-2018 6:09:03 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $199.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Surefire M951 USGI Tactical Weaponlight With A.R.M.S # 17 Tri-Lock mount

$129.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday May-27-2018 13:04:46 PDT
Bid now | Add to watch list

SureFire M951Kit02 Millennium Universal Light System Kit w/ IR Filter

$195.00
End Date: Tuesday May-29-2018 6:29:36 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $195.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Lot of 2x Copper Conductive 6" Kits For Surefire LED Upgrade Bulbs 6P,Z2,G2,9P

$8.95
End Date: Sunday Jun-17-2018 22:53:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $8.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

18cm Custom Paracord Flashlight Lanyard BK for Surefire SolarForce

$0.99
End Date: Tuesday Jun-5-2018 20:04:33 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $0.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

4pcs TrustFire 6V Xenon Bulb 180 lumens Lamp Reflector for Surefire P60 P61 Lamp

$11.39
End Date: Friday Jun-1-2018 20:27:52 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $11.39
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

3pcs Tactical G2N Remote Pressure Switch for SureFire G2 6P 9P Flashlight Black

$13.29
End Date: Friday Jun-22-2018 1:44:12 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $13.29
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2pcs Remote Pressure Switch for SureFire G2 6P Flashlight Torch Black

$9.49
End Date: Friday Jun-22-2018 1:28:25 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $9.49
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

4pcs TrustFire 180 Lumens 6V Xenon Bulb for Surefire P60 P61 6P G2 Z2 Flashlight

$12.34
End Date: Saturday Jun-2-2018 2:20:49 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $12.34
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Tactical Remote Pressure Switch for SureFire 6P 6PX G2X Flashlight Weapon Light

$15.99
End Date: Tuesday Jun-5-2018 19:16:54 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $15.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2pcs Tactical Military Remote Pressure Switch for SureFire 6P 9P G2 M2 M3 Black

$12.34
End Date: Tuesday Jun-12-2018 3:04:02 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $12.34
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

3pcs 6V Xenon Bulb 180 lumens Lamp Reflector for Surefire P60 P61 Flashlight

$10.44
End Date: Thursday Jun-14-2018 0:25:15 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $10.44
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Tactical Remote Pressure Switch for SureFire 6P M2 Z2 C2 Flashlight Weapon Light

$15.99
End Date: Tuesday Jun-5-2018 19:17:36 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $15.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

3pcs Xenon Bulb 6V 180lumen Lamp Reflector for Surefire 6P G2 P60 P61 Flashlight

$9.49
End Date: Wednesday Jun-20-2018 19:42:24 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $9.49
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Surefire flashlight Replacement O-ring kit - C2 6P Z2 M2 9P etc Buna-N SF

$1.68
End Date: Tuesday May-29-2018 9:40:40 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $1.68
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Tactical Remote Pressure Switch for SureFire G2 6P Flashlight Weapon Light Torch

$5.69
End Date: Tuesday Jun-19-2018 20:59:40 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $5.69
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Tactical Remote Pressure Switch for SureFire 6P G2 P2X C2 C3 M2 M3 Flashlight

$6.64
End Date: Thursday May-31-2018 2:11:19 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $6.64
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

 


 

If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


A Suprisingly Affordable Flashlight: LiteXpress LXL439001 – Impressive Quality & Cool Rotary Model Selector Switch

I use a lot of flashlights and the problem is that I tend to lose them.  Thus, while I like and appreciate high-end lights, they can be expensive to lose, crush, etc.  As a result, I tend to try and find decent lights at a low price.  In my recent trolling of Amazon I was intrigued by the LiteXpress LXL439001.  You might think I was trolling for lumens but I am way over that – I want something in the 40-100 lumen range with good battery life, is LED, and rugged yet affordable. If I lose it, I don’t want to have an awful sense of loss.

I also prefer AA or CR123A batteries, which I buy in bulk.  You guys may know this already, but shop for CR123A batteries on Amazon plus Walgreen’s Alkaline batteries are great and very affordable.  When it comes to the CR123As, buy brand name and check reviews – all the major light manufacturers warn against the no-name cheap import batteries due to the risk of fire.  I check brands such as Surefire, Energizer and Streamlight for volume deals on Amazon.  The price savings are huge compared to local stores.

At any rate, what attracted me wasn’t lumens or some tacticool styling feature – it was the little rotary switch on the tail end and it stopped me dead.  I loathe the “click and try to get it right” 3-5 mode lights.  Seriously, they drive me crazy.  I want something simple and predictable.  I’m not even a huge fan of low-high-off but can deal with it.  I’m sure you’ve seen the lights where they have all kinds of features – typically low, high, strobe, SOS, etc.  You know what I really want – on and off.  The LiteXpress has an on/off switch and the genius in in moving all the features to the rotary with symbols – I can go straight to whatever mode I want and if I hold the on/off button down, then the intensity can drop down from 122 by 10% increments.

You see, the LiteXpress is designed in Germany but built in China.  There is an attention to design in this light that frankly surprised me so much that I bought it and decided to write about it.  When the Amazon box arrived, I opened it up and found the light secured in a plastic blisterpack shell.  Of course, I had to snap a few photos to share with all of you:

DSC_0025 DSC_0017 DSC_0018 DSC_0022 DSC_0023 DSC_0016

Features:

  • 122 lumens max but can decrease to 10 lumens
  • Push-button on/off on the barrel
  • Rotary selector switch on the tail end.  The modes are lock, high, flash (strobe or SOS can be selected), and temporary on/off.  Pretty cool.
  • Three color filters that firm slide over the output end of the light
  • LED battery indicator: green = 100%, Yellow=approx 50% and Red=approx 10% remaining
  • It came with 2 Duracell CR123A batteries
  • Aluminum case

I have been using it a few days now and really like it.  It’s higher quality than I expected and you’ll find it hard to beat for $23.  If you are looking for a decent flashlight, you might want to check it out.

Update on 7/1/14: We lost power last night and this flashlight was fantastic.  I used it last night and this morning after the powerful storm went through.  It worked great the whole time and even after at least 45-60 minutes of ontime the batteries are reported as “green” by the power indicator.  We may well not have power tonight either and I will be using this more again if that happens.

I am so very impressed by this flashlight that we are now selling it!  It’s in our online store at:  http://shop.roninsgrips.com/LiteXpress-LXL439001-X-Tactical-101-Flashlight-LiteXPressXtactical101.htm