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