AN OF­FI­CER & A TAC­TI­CIAN

A LEO SAYS THE NEW SURE­FIRE LIGHT, WHICH PACKS 800 LU­MENS, IS AN IDEAL EDC FIGHT­ING LIGHT

Tactical World - - Contents - STORY BY DREW PRUHS | PHO­TOS BY STEVE BAR­LOW (LEAD) & SURE­FIRE

To find out if the mas­sive chat­ter over this flash­light is de­served, we put it in the hands of a LEO. By Drew Pruhs

Sure­fire has long set the bar when it comes to bombproof, in­no­va­tive, bright lights that will work when your life de­pends on it. When they first wowed the world with the 6P’s 60 lu­mens, Sure­fire started a rev­o­lu­tion in the flash­light world. Since then, Sure­fire has taken ad­van­tage of tech­nol­ogy to bring more op­tions to their flash­lights, in­clud­ing more lu­mens, mul­ti­ple out­puts and var­ied bat­tery op­tions.

Over time, Sure­fire has fur­ther en­trenched its name in the world of il­lu­mi­na­tion by con­tin­u­ing to build hard-use lights that of­fer ex­treme spe­cial­iza­tion. They now of­fer a myr­iad of lights with no­tably multi-lay­ered op­tions whose ca­pa­bil­i­ties al­low for ex­tremely spe­cific re­quire­ments for unique mis­sions.

The Tac­ti­cian was one of the most talked about items at the Sure­fire booth at SHOT Show 2018. Tak­ing a page from the old-school lights, Sure­fire has cre­ated what might be the ul­ti­mate, spe­cial­ized light in the form of a sim­ple, straight­for­ward hand­held gun­fight­ing light.

DE­SIGN FEA­TURES

Pur­pose-built from the ground up, this light was de­signed from its in­cep­tion as the ul­ti­mate, ev­ery­day-carry fight­ing light by James Yea­ger. James has spent the last 20 years teach­ing classes that, at their core, are fight­ing classes. There­fore, he has been able to de­ter­mine what is needed in an im­pro­vised weapons light. As a re­sult, the Tac­ti­cian fea­tures ev­ery at­tribute that a light for se­ri­ous use should have.

First and fore­most, you get 800 pow­er­ful lu­mens ac­cen­tu­ated by Sure­fire’s new Maxvi­sion LED. The Maxvi­sion beam needs to be seen to be be­lieved. While tra­di­tional LEDS typ­i­cally have a bright cen­ter hotspot ideal for throw, and thus iden­ti­fy­ing a spe­cific threat, the sur­round­ing corona has vary­ing util­ity in check­ing the sur­round­ing area. The Maxvi­sion LED uses a spe­cial faceted re­flec­tor that shapes the LED into a smooth, seam­less wall of light ideally suited to max­i­miz­ing area aware­ness.

As for ap­pli­ca­tion, where the cur­rent trend is a “clicky” tail­cap switch, the Tac­ti­cian fea­tures a rar­ity among to­day’s flash­lights—a mo­men­tary on/ off switch (no click) that is ideal for use un­der stress.

The ben­e­fit—one press gives you the max­i­mum light avail­able to iden­tify what type of threat you may have in front of you. “Clicky” tail­caps are great for util­ity use, but of­ten end up with

“… IT’S OP­TI­MIZED FOR USE IN THE RANGES WHERE IN­TER­PER­SONAL EN­GAGE­MENTS AND GUNFIGHTS OC­CUR.”

the user fum­bling to turn the light on or off once ac­ti­vated un­der stress.

Sim­i­larly, mul­ti­func­tion or “gas pedal” tail­caps are great when look­ing for mul­ti­ple light­ing op­tions, but less than ideal when the adren­a­line is high.

Two ad­di­tional light­ing op­tions are avail­able. By un­screw­ing the bezel a quar­ter turn, you get a 5-lu­men util­ity light, ideal for the more mun­dane, ev­ery­day tasks. Both light­ing op­tions ben­e­fit from the mo­men­tary-on tail­cap, or with a quar­ter turn of the tail­cap, you get a con­stant on.

With an over­all length of 5 inches, the Tac­ti­cian fits well in the hand and can be used as an im­promptu im­pact weapon. The bezel mea­sures 1 inch in di­am­e­ter, and the bar­rel it­self is slightly smaller, like Sure­fire’s other “E” se­ries of­fer­ings.

The en­tire body is made of lightweight aerospace alu­minum and is knurled to im­prove grip. The mil-spec hardan­odized fin­ish pro­tects against abra­sion and cor­ro­sion.

Of in­ter­est to Sure­fire fans is the new, heavy-duty pocket clip. A vast im­prove­ment on pre­vi­ous of­fer­ings, it is an ideal length for pocket carry, and it is long enough to sit se­curely in the pocket and strong enough to stay there. Prior of­fer­ings wore out over time or were so long that they of­ten caught on seat belts when worn in the front pocket. The new clip is eas­ily the most ro­bust pocket clip of­fered by Sure­fire, and one I hope finds its way to other mod­els.

The Tac­ti­cian is lan­yard ca­pa­ble, a handy fea­ture that is quite no­tice­able when ab­sent. Like the ma­jor­ity of Sure­fire’s lights, it runs on two CR-123 bat­ter­ies.

TEST TIME

With an un­der­stand­ing of the pur­pose be­hind the de­sign of the Tac­ti­cian, I was ea­ger to get my hands on one. It im­me­di­ately re­placed my prior EDC Sure­fire franken-light (an old E2C with a KE2 Scout head­lamp with a clicky tail­cap). Any mod­ern pocket flash­light util­ity can­not be de­nied when car­ried on a day-to-day ba­sis.

What is as­tound­ing, ev­ery time, is the beam pushed out by the Tac­ti­cian’s Maxvi­sion LED. It sim­ply fills up the dark­ness and is able to flood the space in front of you. Sim­i­larly, the lowout­put op­tion comes in handy when you need a light for close tasks and you don’t want to blind your­self.

For a truer test of the Tac­ti­cian, I was able to use it at a low-light pis­tol class. The de­sign is sim­ple, straight­for­ward and im­me­di­ately in­tu­itive. The tail­cap en­sures that you have light when you need it, and it goes off when you don’t. What stood out and was no­ticed by other shoot­ers on the line wasn’t how well the Tac­ti­cian lit up my tar­get, but how well it lit up their tar­gets flank­ing mine, as well as the area be­hind in gen­eral. As ex­pected from a Sure­fire light, the Tac­ti­cian per­formed flaw­lessly and stood up to the mi­nor dam­age in­flicted upon it from train­ing.

THIS IS THE ONE

Sure­fire has a light for just about ev­ery mis­sion, but the Tac­ti­cian is the light for when that mis­sion needs an EDC fight­ing light. Bright enough to be a force op­tion unto it­self and long enough to be an im­promptu im­pact weapon, it’s op­ti­mized for use in the ranges where in­ter­per­sonal en­gage­ments and gunfights oc­cur.

Weigh­ing in at a mere 3.5 ounces and boast­ing a truly ro­bust pocket clip, the Tac­ti­cian can be worn with­out weigh­ing you down and will ag­gres­sively hold onto your pocket un­til you need it.

If you only buy one light, this should be the one. If you are more of a col­lec­tor, the Tac­ti­cian de­serves to be a cen­ter­piece of your func­tional light col­lec­tion. TW

“THE MAXVI­SION BEAM NEEDS TO BE SEEN TO BE BE­LIEVED.”

The au­thor, a LEO, said the Tac­ti­cian is bright enough to be a force op­tion and long enough to be an im­promptu im­pact weapon.

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