ASP Scribe: While ASP remains best known for its expandable batons, its restraints and flashlights are also revolutionary. Designed by CEO Kevin Parsons, the ASP Scribe looks like an oversized pen and takes two AAA batteries. It features a temperature-controlled LED lamp for a purer, whiter light, and it comes with lithium batteries that last nine times as long as alkaline batteries. The tail cap has a pressure switch that offers momentary on/off control, or it clicks on with a bit more force. The Scribe has a continuous runtime of approximately 100 minutes. For intermittent use, 100 minutes typically means batteries will last six months to a year in my experience. Weighing slightly over 2 ounces, it was the lightest of the flashlights that I tested. Casting 150 lumens, this little penlight has a center spotlight that melts into a large, peripheral sphere. This was more than enough light for room clearings, and I liked the large area covered by the beam.
BlackHawk Night-Ops Ally L-3V: The BlackHawk Night-Ops line of flashlights fit well with the company’s other tactical products. The Night-Ops Ally L-3V flashlight represents exactly what I expect to see in a concealable tactical light. Made from anodized aluminum, it is tough and light. The LED bulb is virtually unbreakable. The small flashlight requires only one CR123 battery, and the momentary or constant-on tail-cap button is recessed, which keeps it from being accidentally engaged. And 150 lumens of brightness mean this light has more than enough power for tactical situations. In addition, the Ally L-3V has a rotating switch that can be set to 150, 65 or 15 lumens or a disorienting strobe function at 150 lumens. This gives you features that most other pocket flashlights do not have.
ExtremeBeam SAR 7: Weighing just over 2 ounces, and the smallest light using one CR123 battery, the ExtremeBeam SAR 7 is another easy-to-conceal flashlight. It has a 130-lumen LED bulb that illuminates out to 220 meters. The orange tail-cap switch is flush with the anodized aluminum flashlight body, which prevents accidental lighting. What sets the SAR 7 apart are the little features that you don’t see. Most of these tactical lights are shockproof to 1 meter. This one is shockproof to 3 meters, and its Anti-Recoil system protects the flashlight from recoil up to .45 caliber. Most flashlights are water resistant. This one is waterproof to 30 feet. Most have Lexan lens covers—this one has glass so it won’t melt. The reflecting cone has extra aluminum to better dissipate heat. The SAR 7 is a powerhouse of features that will keep working for many years to come.
SureFire EB1 Backup: The brightest of these lights is the SureFire EB1 Backup, a light that utilizes a single CR123 battery and boasts a very tight 200- lumen beam and a recessed tail-cap switch. If you release the switch and immediately re-engage it, the LED light output is 5 lumens. It has a 1.3-hour runtime at 200 lumens and a 40-hour runtime at 5 lumens. SureFire also offers Backup models with an exposed tail-cap switch that clicks or offers only momentary-on capabilities. All models are available in matte black and all are constructed of mil-spec anodized aluminum.
Working without a uniform certainly has its advantages, but needing many of the same tools as a uniform cop—and having to constantly conceal those tools—can be a big challenge.
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After my pistol, the next most important tool that I carry is my flashlight. A small, powerful, dependable flashlight with a tail-cap switch remains essential for everything from identifying potential threats and blinding an adversary to simply looking under your car for a dropped set of keys.
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Today, several companies make top-of-the-line lights that can easily slip into a pocket or clip onto a belt and remain forgotten until needed. While there are similarities, each of these lights is a unique and dependable resource to officers who cannot wear a uniform but still require a good flashlight. Having choices means being able to find the tool that works best for them.
Here are a few of the best flashlights available for law enforcement officers.
- ASP Scribe: asp-usa.com; 800-236-6243
- BlackHawk Night-Ops Ally L-3V: blackhawk.com; 800-379-1732
- ExtremeBeam SAR 7: extremebeam.com; 877-579-7878
- SureFire EB1 Backup: surefire.com; 800-828-8809
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by Tactical-Life / Jul 10, 2015