Flashlight – Life Essential
September 26, 2012
When things go wrong, they go wrong fast. Statistically speaking, bad things happen in low light situations, such as crimes like burglaries and home invasions. Having the right equipment can mean the difference between life or death. This is the reason weapon mounted lights are so important, especially in a home defense situation. I purchased two Surefire X300s (170 lumens) for my Kimber 1911 and my Glock 17, a Surefire Scout Light (200 lumens) for my AR-15 and a Surefire LED Flashlight (80 lumens) on my Remington 870 shotgun. For home defense, whichever weapon I grab, there will be a light on it. I also carry a Surefire flashlight (200 lumens) with me as my EDC (Everyday Carry). Carrying a flashlight every day is very helpful, and I was glad that i was carrying that Surefire flashlight with me during one of my ride alongs where I was helping an officer search for drug paraphernalia (a crack pipe) in a dark location. I may have spent a little bit of money on my flashlight collection, but having the right tools for the job at hand is priceless.
You may think I’m crazy for spending over a thousand dollars on flashlights, but my reasoning is very simple. I want to have an unfair advantage when things go wrong. I have a “prepare for the worst, and hope for the best” mindset. Having weapon lights on my home defense weapons put me one step ahead of my opponents. I can easily illuminate a dark area in the middle of the night and clearly identify my targets. If I haven’t made my point clear yet, I consider flashlights to be essential tools that aid in my personal well being, should any one or anything try to threaten it. However, flashlights can serve many other purposes in addition to self defense.
Although I have never experienced a home invasion or burglary (thank goodness), I still train regularly to make sure I have the muscle memories when I need it. After making sure my weapons are unloaded, I practice my movement, shooting stance, grip, and light manipulation in my house during the night with the lights off. Since airsoft guns are extremely similar to real guns in terms of dimension, operation, and feel, I can practice my skills much more safely using an airsoft gun. If you know me personally, or if you have been following the GITV blog, you would know that I like my training equipment to be as similar to my real firearms as possible. Then the question arise, is it necessary for me to spend 200 bucks just for a flashlight mount on an airsoft gun?
Flashlight in Airsoft
Since I just graduated from college, I am not willing to spend another thousand dollars on flashlights on my airsoft training weapons. Beside, there is no need to have expensive flashlights (such as surefire) in the world of airsoft; plus the fact that there is a huge chance that your lens is going to be shot out during a skirmish. Since I have just graduated from college, I do not have the cash to order another surefire flashlight. So what could I do? Where could I purchase a decent flashlight for airsoft without breaking my bank account, and at the same time, the light will be decent and durable enough to last for a long time?
I could order those 500+ lumens flashlights on eBay for extremely low price. Two problem with that; first, those flashlight are not reliable. Trust me I owned a few of those lights, which the seller claim to be 500+ lumens. Those lights on eBay either break within the few months or it did not meet the 500+ lumens. The second problem is the lumens. Although some lights do meet the 500+ lumens as advertised, do you really need that much lumen? In an indoor setting, especially with white walls, if you shine a 500+ lumen light on to the wall, you will get snow blind instantly. In my most honest and humble opinion, I believe that 80-200 lumens is sufficient, for real guns, everyday carry, and airsoft skirmish.
Flashlight for Airsoft Buyer’s Guide
Using flashlights on your airsoft guns not only is beneficial to your training, it could also put you ahead of the curve in an airsoft skirmish, especially during CQB (close quarter battle). The right amount of lumen can aid you in the battle, by creating distraction and disorient the opposing force. Depending on your shooting/playing style, and depending on what you need, there are certain types of flashlight will fit you better than the other. I have listed few flashlights below to help you selecting the right one for you and increase you lethality on the airsoft battlefield. For easy sake, I have separated them into two types of light, handheld and weapon mounted lights.
Handheld lights can be your EDC (Everyday Carry) light. It is small, compact, and easily accessible when needed. Some handheld lights can be mounted on your airsoft guns depending on its body diameter. Weapon mounted lights can be mounted on your rifles only. It is too big, bulky and has a lot of unnecessary accessories on it which make carrying that light daily very awkward.
G&G GP-II Flashlight Carrying Pack
The G&G GP-II Flashlight carrying pack is a very handy package for your EDC. The flashlight itself delivers 80 lumens which is very decent for your EDC. The light is perfect for searching in low lights environment and it is perfect for airsoft. The light comes with a belt mounted clip which allows the user to clip the light on and off of his/her belt. The belt clip is also rotational, which can be adjust to different angle depended on the user. Constructed with a durable aluminum body, this light can take some abuse.
The light switch is located at the tail cap. This light can be turned on momentarily by pressing on the tail cap constantly. It could also be turned on permanently by pressing the tail cap until it clicks. Since it is not a weapon mounted light, the user can use different technique in conjunction with a pistol and rifle, such as the FBI technique, neck index, Harris Technique, and the Rogers/Surefire Technique. Pricing at $52 at airsoft GI, this light is a tool you must have if you are looking for a basic incandescent flashlight for everyday use.
OE TECH Tactical Flashlight CTL-113
The CTL-113 flashlight by OE TECH is the next flashlight on the list which I highly recommend. Same as the GP-II, the CTL-113 is constructed with high quality aluminum shell. It also has a decent 85 lumens. However, what make this a better flashlight is the fact that OE TECH utilize the light emitting diode technology (LED), which makes the light a lot brighter, longer lasting battery life, and longer lasting bulb. Although this flashlight does not come with a belt clip, it does come with a handy lanyard. This light is perfect for your everyday carry, and it is perfect for the game of airsoft. The user can easily blind his/her opponent on the field, especially in a low light environment, and increase his/her survivability.
The light switch is located at the tail cap; the light can be turner on permanently by pressing the tail cap until it clicks. The light do not have a momentarily on function, however, if you keep the tail cap depressed, the light will go into the strobe mode. Just like other handheld flashlights, this light is perfect for the light/pistol technique, especially the FBI Technique. Pricing at $58.79, this light is really more bank for your buck. The strobe function is also great for clubbing and disco.
Weapon Mounted Flashlights
There are a lot of different types of weapon mounted flashlight which could be mounted directly on to your airsoft guns. Obviously it has its pros and cons. Although it is more convenient to operate the light when it is attached on the gun, the light will add more weight to the gun. Also, you have to point your gun wherever your flashlight is pointing at, which make safety a primary concern. But like I have mentioned before, it does have an advantage when you have a weapon mounted flashlight on your airsoft guns.
AIM Sports 150 Lumens Flashlight
As the product name described, this tiny flashlight produce a powerful 150 lumens beam right out of the box. The AIM Sports 150 Lumens flashlight is designed perfectly for your pistols. This flashlight also uses the LED Technology, which makes both battery life and bulb life extremely long. Obviously this flashlight is not designed to be your everyday carry light; however, it is a great accessory to go on your pistol, and even rifle. As long as the airsoft gun has a rail, mounting this light is no problem. Plus, it adds a “tacticool” look to your airsoft guns.
There are no tricks to activating this light. Once the light is mounted, there is a switch which can be pushed to the left and to the right. The light is activated when the operator pushes the switch to the left, and the light will turn off when the operator pushes the switch to the right. There are no momentarily on function on this pistol light, but hey, the light only cost $37.83. The light also comes with additional 3 color filters, which can aid you on different situations.
Bravo Weapon Mounted Flashlight
The Bravo Weapon Mounted Flashlight is definitely one of my favorite because it is very bright, and it makes my airsoft gun look like a bada$$. Obviously, the Bravo Weapon Mounted Flashlight can only be mounted on rifles with 1913 picatinny rail, and it can only be mounted on the bottom. This light also acts as a vertical grip, which is like kill 2 birds with one stone. The Bravo Weapon Mounted Flashlight uses 3 LED bulbs, one main battle light and 2 navigation lights. The main battle light is 500 lumens and the 2 navigation light is just bright enough to see a few feet in front of you.
There are a lot of button and pressure switch on this light. This makes sense because there are 2 lights. The main pressure switch, which is ambidextrous, activates the main battle light momentarily. There is a knob which the operator can turn to the left and to the right, when it is to the left, the light is off. When the knob is turned to the right, the main battle light will stay on. There is a little button on the back of the vertical grip, which when pressed, it activates the navigation light. The navigation lights can only be turned on momentarily. Pricing only at $80, this is an excellent battle light for multi-scenario airsofters.
UTG SWATFORCE 2 in 1 Xenon Light and Laser Combo
Although laser serves almost no purpose in the sport of airsoft, it is just so cool to own one. The UTG SWATFORCE 2 in 1 light and laser combo provides a decent flashlight with a laser build in. The light itself uses an incandescent bulb which delivers a decent 126 lumens beam. Although it is an incandescent bulb, this light is durable and reliable. The laser’s output 2.5-3.1 mW red laser, and the windage and elevation could be adjusted using a small flat head screw driver.
The light and laser use separate switches to activate. The light can be activated momentarily by pressing the tail cap. The laser is activated by pressing the tail cap of the laser until it clicks. The unique thing about this light and laser combo is the fact that UTG includes pressure switches to replace the tail caps, both for the laser and light. Pricing at $58.50, this is a must have if you are in the market for a weapon mounted flashlight and laser. And did I mention that your rifle will look super cool?
UTG LED Long Distance Flashlight
The UTG LED Long Distance flashlight is a very unique flashlight. It is too big to be an EDC, but it is good for a lot of other purposes. This flashlight is perfect for backpacking, camping, crime scene searching and other outdoor activity beside airsoft. For airsoft, this light is just like a handheld flashlight which can be use in the airsoft battlefield. It has 5 modes, which are high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS mode. However, what makes this light extremely versatile is the fact that UTG included a different body, which can be swapped out easily. The second body is attached on a mount, which can be mounted on any airsoft guns with picatinny rails. When mounted on Airsoft rifles, it could be hard to activate the light using the tail cap. To solve this problem, UTG included a pressure switch, which comes in handy.
There is something I do not like about this flashlight. The ability to switch between 5 different modes is great, however, it could be fatal if the operator does not know what mode is it on. To select different mode, in my opinion, UTG did a poor job in this department. You hold down on the tail cap to access the current mode, however, if you let go for less than a second and press it again, it will switch to another mode. I believe UTG should redesign this and perhaps consider using a separate switch system to change light mode.
Well here it is, flashlights are one of life essential which is ignored by most people. It comes in handy when there is a power outage, outdoor camping, searching for evidence, or even in combat situation. Like I have mentioned before, my EDC flashlight saved my butt numerous time. That’s the reason I have a flashlight on every home defense weapon I own. I have also listed few flashlights in this article to help you select your flashlight, whether it is for your EDC or weapon mounted lights. Check out the flashlights at www.airsoftgi.com. I am Andrew, stay safe, and get out and play airsoft!