Nightstick USB-556xl

 Everyone should have a good flashlight, at least in my opinion. Nightstick is starting to be one of my favorites. Recently they introduced a new series of USB rechargeable tactical flashlights. After reading the press release, I asked if they would send one out. Nightstick sent the USB-556xl. The 556xl is a single cell LED flashlight with a max output of 750 lumens.

 The usb-556xl is packed with features. As one could guess, it is USB rechargeable. It comes with a little usb cord also, but not the charger. In today’s world, finding a usb charger is easy enough. Since I am on the usb, the 556xl has a built in micro-usb charging port. The port is hidden underneath part of the handle. One must unscrew the center section and then slide it down to reveal the usb port. It is not the easiest to unscrew because of the o-rings used to seal the flashlight charging port. There is also a tiny light above the charging port. The light is red when charging, and green when fully charged. Nightstick says it takes 4 hours to fully charge, and that seems correct, but I never actually timed it. While I like the usb charging function, the 556xl does use a proprietary lithium-ion battery. Once charged, just slide the cover back on, and screw it closed.

 Since the usb-556xl is a tactical light, it has options that are quite useful. For instance, it uses a push button tailcap. The light will automatically shine on high, momentarily, if you push the button part way down. Of course it then turns off when released. Also, if you push the button all the way in, it turns on, on the high setting. To get it into the medium or low setting, hold the tailcap down while the light is on, then release pressure when it gets to the setting you desire. Once the light is turned off, it defaults back to the high position. This is probably my favorite function. Because when I want the light on, or need it on, having it on the high setting is ideal. The light also has a strobe function. To access the strobe, you have to push the tailcap button all the way down, twice, quickly. It only strobes at the high output, but can be turned on from either low, med, or high while the light is on. I prefer lights without a strobe, but Nightstick doesn’t offer this light without a strobe function. I would like the button to be inset farther into the tailcap, that way one could set the flashlight down on a flat surface, and have it shine upward to illuminate a room or something.

 I seldom use a pocket clip, but the 556xl has one. Mainly the light just gets put in my pocket, but some people find the clip useful. The clip on the 556xl isn’t that great. It works, but is a little flimsy or thin. The clip is easily removed also. One advantage to the removable clip is that it can be turned around. By doing so, it can be clipped to things, letting light shine outward away from it. I actually did this and clipped it to a hat bill. So everywhere I looked, the light was shining. Kind of like a headlamp.

 Specs, everyone wants to know these. First up, the light is bright. On high it is rated at 750 lumens and 9350 candela. Medium is 250 lumens and 2950 candela. Low is 80 lumens and 1115 candela. You get a 1hr/2hr/5hr runtime at the above settings. So pretty good for a 750 lumen light. I loved these, the high setting lights up my backyard better than my porch light. On high the beam wasn’t too wide and the light shines pretty far. I do use the medium setting alot. It is useful for finding dropped screws and such. Not too bright, but not too dim. I hardly use the low setting, it is a little too bright for finding stuff in the car at night. But then again, the low setting works good if you need to see where you are going, especially if there isn’t much ambient light. The 556xl can be submerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes before something bad might happen. At 4.7” in length, it is not too big for pocket carry. It also only weighs 4.4 ounces. The body on the 556xl is 1” wide, and the head is a little larger at 1.2”s. If you like black, your in luck, because you can have any color, as long as it’s black. But, it is a class III anodized aluminum body, so it should last a long time.

Low setting

Medium setting

High setting

 This light has been in my pocket, everyday for almost 6 months. It shows some wear, but not too bad. I really like how it can be charged just about anywhere. At 750 lumens, it is bright enough for anything I need. It doesn’t classify as “all the lumens,” but what can you expect for a single cell light. I’ve dropped it on concrete, in water, and it keeps on working, the lens isn’t even scratched up. Do I think this is a decent tactical light? The answer would be yes, even if it has some minor flaws.

 If you are looking for a decent flashlight, the Nightstick usb-556xl is worth looking into. I really like the usb charging feature. It has good runtime, especially if you don’t use it on the high setting. At around $100, it’s not cheap, but is in the same price range as competing models. Do yourself a favor and go checkout Nightstick, they manufacture all different types of lights.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

USB rechargeable tactical light

Target Market:

Anyone wanting a bright rechargeable tactical flashlight

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 750/250/80 lumen output

  • 1/2/5 hour runtimes

  • 4.7” long

  • 4.4 ounces

  • Rechargeable

  • IP-X7 waterproof (1m for 30 min)

  • 6061 anodized aluminum construction

  • Momentary, constant on, and strobe

  • LED

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

320 and 900 lumen models

Link to other reviews:

None found

Price point:

MSRP = $111.00

Retail = $83.25 on Amazon

I need it now! Availability:

Amazon or Here

Our Rating:


  • Bright

  • Momentary (750 lumen only)

  • Low, Med, High settings

  • USB Rechargeable

  • Lightweight


  • Pocket Clip

  • Proprietary battery

  • End cap (button recess)

  • Strobe function

Score: 7.00 Good


Bushnell Pro 50 Lumen Flashlight

Written by: Zane M.

  If you listen to the podcast, you probably know by now that I’m a fan of having a really bright light. This isn’t one but that’s not it’s purpose. I originally picked up the bushnell pro 50 lumen pocket light for administrative purposes when burning the battery on my 800/1000 lumen light just wasn’t necessary. It uses a single AAA battery and battery life is decent. The light is small, almost too small but is still useable. The light sat in my pocket for a few years and had that been all it done this would have never been written.

  About 6 weeks ago I lost this $15.00 light and didn’t think anything of it. I figured I’d replace it and move on with my life. Then about a week ago I was mowing my gun range and found it, on the ground, packed with dirt. I knocked the dirt out and set it on the shooting bench and finished mowing. Since it was also raining the light got cleaned naturally if you will. For some reason I decided to click the tail switch before I threw it away and it came on. 5 weeks in the elements and this this was still ticking.

  If you’re looking for a cheap admin light for simple tasks this might be the light for you. 




It’s a light. Nothing special 


Anyone who needs a admin task light 


  • CREE LED technology
  • Momentary On switch
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • Pocket Clip
  • Impact-resistant construction
  • Powered by 1 AAA battery (Duracell battery included)
  • Tested to ANSI FL1 Standards: 50 Lumens, 2 hr 15 min Run Time, 32 M Beam Distance, 2 M Impact Resistance
  • Durable and uses AAA batteries 



What others are saying?:

From Walmart.com

Excellent Quality

Average rating:5out of5stars, based onreviews


by Charles

This was a Christmas present to me from my Uncle and I've had for over a year. This flashlight is perfect to carry on you. With it being metal, it lasts longer and the clip in very nice and has a sturdy design, not easy to break. The flashlight is very nice especially because it only takes one AAA battery and you rarely need to change the battery (depending on how often you use it). This f This flashlight has a LED so, you never have to worry about replacing it. It is perfect for if you're looking for something in your car at night or just walking through your house at night. It is very small and can fit in any pocket. I highly recommend it because if you ever need a flashlight, you've got one in you pocket that is very bright and very small.

Price point:

MSRP = ???

Retail = $15.00 - $34.84

I need it now! Availability:

Amazon or Walmart

Our Rating:


  • Durable
  • Cheap
  • Uses a single AAA battery


  • Dim
  • Small 

Score: 7.0 GOOD


SureFire G2X Pro LED Flashlight

The new tactical duo that've been illuminating my life, the SureFire G2X LED Dual Output.

As flashlight technology improves, we start to see entry level lights become more and more advanced with features that used to be reserved for higher end models. Features like LED and dual outputs are great to have for other purposes than high speed low drag operator types. Combine those with a durable body and a pocketable size, and you've got yourself a quality light for everyday carry, that won't kill your wallet.

The G2X Pro runs on two 123A batteries

Enter the SureFire G2X Pro. Its simple light, built to survive harsh use and give the user dual output in a simple tail cap button. Nothing to twist to turn, just an easy to use button that can switch between a low, long runtime settings and a very bright shorter runtime option. The first press of the button delivers 15 lumens at its low setting. With a runtime of 4.5 hours, 15 lumens does seem like a hallway nightlight. Compared to any other light it seems underpowered, but the 15 lumens is great for smaller tasks at night without ruining your pupil's night vision from excessive light splash. Searching the backseat of your vehicle, or checking inside a dufflebag when the power goes out, or not blinding your significant other inside the tent on your camping trip.

The higher output mode of 320 lumens is vastly brighter with a farther reach. Originally Surefire had the higher end capped at 200 lumens, but they have since added another 120 lumens so make a staggeringly blinding light from the LED emitter. This setting is great for outdoor and indoors, especially in a searching or defensive role. This level of lumens is enough to temporarily blind an assailant, so it works great as part of your EDC gear with your defensive pistol or mounted onto your rifle/carbine/shotgun. It's 1 inch body and 1.25 inch bezel make is well suited for a long gun or carbine using any number of mounts. Even for the unarmed dog walker, the higher setting is useful for illuminating objects or hazards at a distance.

Shown on the left is the 15 lumen low setting, and the 320 lumen high setting on the right.

The tail cap button also has two levels of activation, a partial depth that serves as a momentary on position, and a full press that clicks and locks. Its a bit tricky at first to get the hang of the optional press depth as well as the dual output setting, but once you get the hang it, I find it advantageous. Sometimes you only need a brief moment of light, to find your keys on the ground or to clear areas of threats without indadvertedly broadcasting your position with too long of an activation. The partial depth also speeds the time it takes to "double tap" to the higher 320 lumen setting right off the bat. At that point you can either fully depress to lock it in at 320 lumens, or simple maintain the partial pressure until the light is no longer needed and you just release. As far as the flood itself, the reflector is micro-textured and delivers pretty wide beam with generous peripheral spread.

The G2X Pro pairs well with rail-compatible weapon mounts. The FDE matches the Viking Tactics FDE mount perfectly.

If you don't like the dual output function, which is fully understandable, the G2X Tactical model is available at 320 lumens full time all the time for the same price point. I can report that the G2X Pro's time to double click the button can be as slow as two mississippis between presses to still get that 320 lumens mode. Of course double pressing faster than that will still work that higher mode.

The business end of this light is very sturdy.

The biggest selling point to this compact flashlight is its sheer durability. The polymer body is constructed of Nitrolon® and is smoothly sculpted for a comfortable grip and resists scratches, abrasion, and corrosion... not to mention gives a good grip. The high-efficiency LED make the light virtually immune to failure to damage... and since there's no filament to burn out or break, the light will easily outlast more conventional bulbs.

Overall I really like this SureFire. Admittedly the under $100 price point is what got me to give it a try, but after testing two models as an EDC light and a dedicated rifle mounted light, I am am very pleased with the G2X. Its a very solid, minimal light that I will try hard not to lose (hence why I bought two).

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The G2X Pro is a compact yet powerful polymer-body flashlight that uses a high-efficiency LED to provide two light output levels: brilliant & penetrating.

Target Market:  Civilians and Professionals

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Virtually indestructible LED emitter regulated to maximize light output and runtime
  • High 320 lumen 2.5 hour runtime
  • Low 15 Lumen 4.5 hour runtime
  • Two output levels—high for maximum light, low for extended runtime
  • Precision micro-textured reflector creates smooth, optimized beam
  • Tough polycarbonate window resists impact
  • Tough Nitrolon® body, anodized aluminum bezel
  • 1" body, 1.25" bezel
  • Dual-output tailcap click switch—press for momentary-on low, click for constant-on low, return to off then press or click again for high
  • Weatherproof—O-ring and gasket sealed
  • Includes high-energy 123A batteries with 10-year shelf life

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, Desert Tan, Forest Green, Yellow

What others are saying?: "I have older G2's prior to the recessed click tail cap. The ability to activate the light for momentary or constant without having to turn the rear cap is very handy. I also appreciate the 320 lumens over the older 200.  This is a very robust, bright light, with an excellent beam at a great price." User Review

"I've owned a number of the SureFire flash lights. Best darn flash light ever made. The problem I seem to have is every so often it grows legs and runs away. Even though I purchase lanyards they still seem to get away from me. All kidding aside, I love their products and am a firm believer you get what you pay for. I use them day in and day out. So much I wore out and requested a replacement switch fully expecting to pay for it. To my surprise and delight I received one in the mail in a couple of days at "NO CHARGE". Now thats what I call a great company that stands behind their product. Hands down, the best." User Review


Price point:

I need it now! Availability: BrownellsAmazon or many online stores

Our Rating:


  • Very Durable construction for tossing around or pocket carry
  • Can toggle tailcap button or momentary press
  • Works well with weapon-light mounts


  • No provisions for pocket clips or lanyards
  • No Tape switch ability

Score: 7.5 Good

Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast
Hunter of Design

Pelican MityLite 1960 LED

Pelican MityLite 1960 LED

I am by no means a portable illumination connoisseur, but I seem to go through a flashlight about once every year. Either borrowed and never returned, lost, or broken, I never seem to have a flashlight handy when I need one. I'm not one for expensive name brand flashlights either, so you won't find any SureFire torches in my toolbox. That said, I always try to keep a handheld flashlight in my vehicle. Two is even better, with one being brighter than the other. The reason for this is if I'm ever broke down with a dead battery, especially at night, a flashlight is the most important tool to have. If you ain't got it, you're gonna be hurting. Even if I'm just digging around for something in the cab, under the seats, or helping someone under the hood... a light in your hand is your best friend.

Pelican MityLite 1960 LED

The light I keep in my glovebox is the Pelican MityLite 1960 LED. I got this mini pocket light as a stocking stuffer for Christmas a couple years ago. Like the cases Pelican is better known for, this flashlight is watertight and dustproof.

Pelican MityLite 1960 LED

With a runtime of only 3 hours on 2 AAA batteries, this flashlight is really better kept as a emergency light in the glovebox of your vehicle or in your pocket for casual illumination, NOT as an EDC carry flashlight. There are shorter, longer lasting lights with higher lumens that are better suited for checking out what's going bump in the night. However this lights underpowered lens helps in keeping you from blinding yourself when looking for your keys or that missing charger. It's rugged ABS body will take a beating like you'd expect from a Pelican product, so this makes a decent light in a pinch.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: An evolution of the popular MityLite 1900, the 1960 LED brings the latest in LED technology, built compact and lightweight to fit inside your pocket yet bright enough to illuminate with 24 lumens.

Target Market:  Everybody and their mothers

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • ABS resin body resists chemicals, corrosion and extreme temperatures
  • 24 Lumens LED
  • 2 AAA Alkaline (Included)
  • Runtime 3 hr
  • Tough xenoy pocket clip and trademark faceted body
  • Clear Polycarbonate lens
  • Rotary Switch Operation
  • On/Off mode only
  • Phosphore Bronze contact, spring & retainer
  • O-ring for waterproof / submersible to 1 meter for 30 minutes
  • Pelican Limited Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, Yellow

What others are saying?: None Found

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Amazon

Our Rating:


  • Small enough for EDC or enclosed space illumination (vehicle cab, engine compartment, etc.)
  • Faceted body so won't roll on level surfaces
  • Dustproof, Waterproof, and submersible
  • The light can be activated with the shroud removed, improvised morse code signal


  • Low Runtime of 3 hours for AAA powered LED

Score: 7.5 Good



Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

Maratac AAx2 Tactical LED Flashlight Review

Maratac 2AAThe Maratac AAx2 LED Flashlight is a compact, powerful flashlight, powered by two AA batteries. The body is aluminum and is 7/8” wide. The tailcap is “Zombie” green, for no apparent reason. It activates by pressing it until it clicks. This means that there is no momentary-on. There are three brightness modes available: High – 620 lumens, Med – 110 lumens, and Low – 5 lumens. There is also a secondary set of modes when you loosen the head by ¼ turn. They are: Strobe, Fast Beacon(flash every 1 second), and Slow Strobe(flash every 3 seconds). To switch betweenMaratac 2AA Button modes, you simply “soft” tap(tap without fully depressing) the button, or quickly click it off, then back on again. There are raised fins around the activation button that shrouds the button from accidental activation. Personally, I believe it makes the button awkward to press. They get in the way, if you don’t position the light correctly in your hand. The crown of the light is crenulated, similar to a lot of other tactical lights, but it is not very pronounced, so I don’t think it would really do much damage if used defensively. Maratac 2AA Sharpie

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Compact and bright LED light

Target Market: Anyone that needs a light

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Bright
  • Compact
  • Many modes
  • AA batteries
  • Cree XP-G2 LED
  • 620 Lumens (advertised)
  • Mode Memory
  • Military Grade Anodized

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: TheMaratac AAx2 Tactical LED Flashlight is only available in black.

What others are saying?: I couldn’t actually find any reviews for this particular model light.

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase this light from County Comm.

Our Rating:

+-Bright +-Multi-mode +-Mode Memory +-Reversible clip

--Awkward button --No momentary on

Score 7.575


Maratac AAA LED Flashlight with Diffuser Review

Maratac AAAThe Maratac AAA Led Flashlight with diffuser is a pretty minuscule little power-house of a light. With an advertised brightness, in Hi mode, of 138 lumens, this is a dazzling little pocket light. The body is all aircraft aluminum that has been anodized for protection. The reflector is orange-peel textured, to provide a smooth, even beam. The reflector is made from an aluminum alloy. The light is powered from a single AAA battery and is reverse-polarity protected. The clip is very sturdy and is reversible to either end of the light. You could carry it with the clip toward the back, which would place the head facing down, if clipped to at pocket. Or, you could place the clip toward the head, which would be useful for clipping it to the bill of a hat, and giving you a makeshift head-light. There is also a very low-profile lanyard ring, for attaching it to a key ring or cord. Maratac AAA Compare

There are three brightness modes: hi, medium, and low. To power on the light, you simply tighten the head. This turns the light to its default level of Medium(advertised 40 lumens). To cycle through the power levels, just loosen and retighten the head. When the light is turned off for over three seconds, it will revert to its default brightness.

Maratac AAA DiffuserIn the package, there are extra O-rings and a glow diffuser. The glow diffuser slips onto the end of the light and spreads the beam, like a lantern. This is very useful for lighting the inside of a tent while camping or for playing card games when the power is out. When you turn the light off, the diffuser will glow in the dark for a few hours. The glow is bright enough to navigate in pitch black and also save your night-vision, as long as you charge it while its under a cover, so you don’t temporarily blind yourself. It is made of a flexible material, which makes me worry that it will eventually stretch out and not stay snug on the head.

All-in-all, this is a great little light for carrying in a pocket. I would recommend it to anyone that wants a small, but incredibly functional, utility light.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Tiny, but amazingly bright

Target Market: Anyone that needs a small light

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Small
  • Bright
  • Twist User Interface
  • Diffuser included
  • Strong and reversible clip
  • Lanyard loop
  • AAA Battery powered
  • 3 brightness modes
  • Diffuser glows in the dark

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: These lights are available in black, stainlesspolished stainless, and copper, though I think all but the black version are a previous generation, so they may lose some brightness and features.

What others are saying?: “So, after 6 months of using this thing clipped to my left pocket every day, even through power outages at work, I can say it's pretty awesome.” - Vicarious_Lee, ZombieSquad

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase this light from County Comm, but their website says that they are out of stock until July.

Our Rating:

+-Tiny +-Bright +-Reversible clip

--Twist U/I (not my preference)

Score 8.5 85

Brite-Strike EPLI Flashlight Review

2014-03-28 20.07.00 By Steve Kirkpatrick

The Brite-Strike EPLI (Executive Precision Lighting Instrument) is a great (slightly larger than) pen sized flashlight.  At 5.125" long and just over .5" wide this is a small yet surprisingly bright pocket flashlight.  I think carrying a flashlight is one of those things that you don't realize how much you can use until you have it.

While I do my share of outdoor activities, my day-to-day routine is in an office environment.  Because of this, I don't want to carry a flashlight that would be much larger in size.  It would be bulky and out of place.  However, with the EPLI, I have it clipped on my left pants pocket almost every waking hour, on jeans, khakis, dress pants, you name it.

The flashlight has three settings than can be rotated between by pressing the tailcap button. The first is high (160 lumens), the second setting is low (80 lumens) and the third is a strobe setting.  All three have their purposes and work great! The light is turned on by pressing the tailcap, obviously, but it can be pressed lightly and turns off when pressure is relieved or pressing it harder locks the light on.  When the light is on, turning it off and back on switches to the next setting, whether it was locked on or not.  After a small period of time of the light being off, it will reset to come on at the first (high) setting again. I’ve heard some arguments against setups like this because users may want only one option that always works as expected. I, however, think this is a great setup for an everyday, lightweight light that could be used for many situations. If you’re worried about pulling this in an emergency, possibly life-threatening, situation, you can train to know how many clicks you want for each setting (it’s as simple as 1, 2, or 3 clicks or taps).

This may not be the ideal flashlight for a camping trip or a long hike. I’m sure a heavier duty, longer lasting, and brighter flashlight would be a better choice in a situation where you are certain you’ll need one for a long period of time.  However, for day-to-day use, this is great!  And that’s not to say I wouldn’t trust it for the aforementioned tasks, it just might not be the BEST for them.  Requiring AAA alkaline batteries, the power source is often easily replaced in any environment.  I believe every concealed carrier should carry a light along with their firearm, and I believe this would be a great option for that situation.

Functionality aside, this is a really sharp looking flashlight. The black anodized finish and polished stainless steel and brass bezel look great on this flashlight! The only downside I found with this light is that the paint on the clip chipped within a month and not from heavy use. I wrote to Brite-Strike customer service and they eventually were willing to replace the clip for free, but I would have to pay shipping. Knowing it would be the same clip and likely to do the same thing, I just stuck with what I have, not willing to pay any extra for the same result. It’s tolerable, but not what I’d expect from a light that retails at $80.00. The body of the light itself is starting to show a little bit of wear on the edges, but I would expect that after a year of carrying almost every waking hour. Besides the clip paint chips within the first month, it has held up very nicely.

All-in-all, I love this flashlight.  If I were to lose it today, I’m pretty certain I’d get the same one again. Sadly, these seem to go for $55.00+ now, whereas I was able to get mine for $40 new on eBay in April 2013. Still, for as great of a flashlight as it has been for me, I’d spring for the extra $15 that the price has risen.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Slim and sleek penlight

Target Market: In their own words, “for the warrior whose battlefield is the board room”...in reality, it’s great for anyone looking for a small, easy-to-carry but bright flashlight.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Max Output: up to 160 lumens / Lo-80 Lumens
  • Waterproof and Shockproof
  • Battery: Two AAA Alkaline (included)
  • Length: 5.125 inches
  • Runtime: Hi-(.5 Hours) Lo-(6+Hours) Strobe-(.75 Hours)**
  • Gift Box (included)

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The Brite-Strike EPLI Flashlight is only available in black.

What others are saying?: "the Executive light is indeed a white LED with a focused beam.  Of the two lights featured herein, this one is ‘long and thin’.  The Executive’s size is actually deceptive, looking at it you wouldn’t believe the light is as powerful as it is (220 Lumens) or that it is so stout and well made." - Paul Markel, Officer.com

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase this flashlight from many retailers, including Amazon, Optics Planet, and directly from Brite-Strike.

Our Rating: + Bright + Compact + Small + Lightweight + Sturdy + Functional

  • Could use a more durable finish on the clip

Score: 9.0 Amazing 90 

Maglite XL200 LED Flashlight Review

TJG Maglite XL200 Main I bought this light as my first carry light. I immediately loved it. My plan was to carry it in my back pocket, where I could easily reach it. The next day, while at work, I took it out of my pocket and it never went back in. It was a little too bulky for daily carry, but that’s not to say that it’s a bad light. It is very bright with an advertised lumen output of 172. The reflector is deep, which allows the light to throw the beam very far. I would say that the beam is usable to at least 75 yards. The user-interface is unique, though a bit odd. There is a single button on the rear of the light. To activate it, you press the button once, and it’s on. If you hold the button down, while also twisting the light in your hand, it will dim or brighten the beam(depending on which way you twist it) through the use of an accelerometer. ToTJG Maglite XL200 Button switch to other modes, you have to quickly tap the rear button differing amounts of times. Once for on, twice for strobe, three times for sleep(more on that in a second), four for signal mode, and five for SOS. The strobe have variable speeds activated the same way you dim/brighten the light. The sleep mode is a mode that leaves the light on your selected level until you set it down. Once it is still for a few seconds, the beam will dim to its lowest level. This could be used as a night light and locating the light in the dark. As soon as you pick it up, the beam goes back to your selected level. The SOS mode sets it to blink in the universal SOS pattern(3 long beams, 3 short beams, 3 long beams). The run-time is not great on high. I have never officially timed it, but it just seems to always die or be dim. Another negative would be that the light is completely round, so it doesn’t have anything to keep it from rolling off of a table. You can buy the Mini Maglite Accessory Pack and use the slip-on anti-roll head. This will also give you color filters, if you want. In the end, I would not recommend this light for carry, but as a relatively inexpensive, feature-packed light for all other occasions, I would recommend it.

 Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Compact flashlight that offers five basic, easy-to-use functions and stunning brightness.

Target Market: Sporting goods and general use

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product)

Key Features

  • Compact
  • Bright
  • Multiple modes
  • Motion-controlled power level
  • 3 AAA batteries

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? This light is available in black, red, gray, and blue.

What others are saying? “Leading the Maglite product line both in terms of function and performance, the XL200 is a great multi-purpose performance flashlight.” - Robin Wang, LED Resource

Price Point:

 I need it now! Availability: The Maglite XL200 LED Flashlight is available from Amazon.

 Our Rating: + Bright + Far reach + Somewhat inexpensive + Multiple modes

- Low Run-time - Strange user-interface - Rolls too easily65 - Somewhat bulky

Score: 6.5


Sunwayman V20c Tactical Flashlight Review

Sunwayman V20c

I was turned on to Sunwayman flashlights by a friend of mine who had a similar model. I was looking for a good flashlight and I liked his. When I started looking at flashlights, I had issue with the multiple click programming to change brightness. Then I found the V20c, the button on the back just turns the light on and off. It has a collar behind the light head that changes the brightness from 0 to 430 lumens and strobe. I carry this flashlight everyday, at home and at work. I purchased two 18650 3000mah rechargeable batteries. I try and swap them out the 1st of the month so i always have a good battery. I have been running this light for over a year and have no complaints. I comes with a fairly well made canvass holster with a velcro enclosure. The belt loop is both permanently attached and velcro attached which allows you to put it on your belt without removing your belt.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Innovative, high output flashlights.

Target Market:  Anyone wanting a high quality, variable output flashlight.

FNBs: (features & benefits of this product)

  • CREE XM-LED with a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours
  • Digital Sensor Magnetic Control system - slightly twist the Rotator Ring from left to right to select desired mode from super-low current standby, output ranging from 0.5 to 438 lumens, to strobe function
  • Constant current circuit, constant output
  • Effective range of 300 meters
  • Uses two 3V CR123A batteries or one single 18650 battery
  • Working voltage: 3~8.4V
  • High quality reflector maintains great throw distance and spread with an ideal beam pattern
  • Dimensions: 134mm (length) x 32mm (head diameter) x 25.5mm (tail diameter)
  • Weight: 120g(battery excluded)
  • Aerospace-grade aluminum alloy
  • Military Specification Type III- hard anodized body
  • Waterproof, in accordance with IPX-8 standard
  • Ultra-clear tempered glass lens resists scratches and impacts
  • Tactical forward click switch with momentary on
  • Tail stand capable- can be used as a candle
  • Accessories: Metal tactical ring, lanyard, holster, O-ring, rubber cap

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: This is an aluminum alloy, hard anodized grey finish.

 What others are saying?

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available at stores like Amazon.

Our Rating:

+ Reliable + Comfortable + Easy to use

- Lanyard clip bends and comes off

Score: 8.080 Great

FourSevens Quark X AA2 Tactical Review


FourSevens Quark

The FourSevens Quark X AA2 Tactical (what a mouthful!) is a great light. I chose this light for its relative compactness, its output, and the common battery it uses. Using the AA battery allows it to be much thinner than many other “EDC” lights. Most 123 battery lights are 1 inch in diameter. The Quark AA2 is only .86 inch in diameter. It is relatively close in dimensions to the classic Mini-Mag light, FourSevens vs MiniMagbut with so many more features. This allows you to carry it clipped to the inside of a pocket with much less noticeable bulk. Plus, I use my light so much, that I am thankful for the use of common, relatively inexpensive batteries. The lengthy name can be decoded for easy identification of the lights function. “Quark” is the actual model name. The “X” denotes that is the brighter version of that particular model. The “AA” is the battery used and the “2” is the number of that battery. The “Tactical” lets you know what the user interface is like. There are two interfaces, “Pro” and “Tactical”.  The Pro cycles through each of the modes by simply soft-pressing the tail cap switch. The Tactical is programmable. It only has two readily available modes, but those two modes can set to whatever you want. The way to switch between them is by either loosening or tightening the bezel. As an example, you can set it up as Loose = Max and Tight = Strobe. For such a compact light running off of AA batteries, it has an amazing output. FourSevens advertises 280 lumens on this X model. The standard(non-X) is advertised at 205 lumens. With my normal use, this light seems to have a pretty good runtime. I usually keep it on High, which is 115 lumens, and I seem to rarely change the batteries. The Tactical has a momentary/constant switch. To use the momentary, you soft press the switch. To make it constant on, you just press the switch all the way in. You can also swap the head and tail cap, which lets you choose if you want the clip to carry it head-up or head-down. I had to send my light back to the factory for repair, because I accidentally got water inside of the tube and the head malfunctioned. This was entirely my fault, and not a faulty seal, but FourSevens fixed it free of charge. My only ding against them would be that I didn’t get any sort of ETA when I returned it. Six weeks doesn’t seem like a terribly long time to wait, but when you have no clue how long it will be, that seems like an eternity.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Bright and compact

Target Market: Concealed carriers that want a relatively compact, tactical light.

FNBs: (Features & Benefits of this product)

Key FeaturesFourSevens Quark Pocket

  • 280 Lumens
  • Compact
  • Many modes to choose from
  • Uses 2 AA batteries

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

The Quark only comes in black.

What others are saying?

“Quality of fit and finish is excellent throughout the Quark AA2 Tactical and I anticipate all the Quark lights, including this one, to be lifetime lights.” - nutnfancy

Price point

I need it now! Availability:

Readily available from many retailers, including Amazon.

 Our Rating

+ Compact + Bright + Uses common batteries + Can use rechargeable batteries + Momentary and Constant on - Repair customer service was relatively slow and kept me in the dark

Score 9.5





I was in the market for not just an EDC (every day carry) flashlight, but something that would also come in handy during a night time home invasion.  You see, I'm not into weapon mounted lights on my home defense handgun.  I know there are a lot of great arguments out there to have one on your gun, but I don't want to point the muzzle of my weapon at something/someone that I don't intend to shoot.  With a weapon mounted light, that is a scenario that does happen.

After reading a lot of reviews and doing some homework of my own, I decided to purchase the 5.11 Tactical ATAC A1 flashlight.  5.11 took the time to design this light with feedback from law enforcement officers and tactical operators to bring to the market a product of reliability, durability and utility.  The ATAC A1 uses a smart Cree LED bulb to throw 103 lumens on high/strobe up to 50 minutes or 28 hours on low (11 lumens) from 1 AA battery.  The tail cap switch of the flashlight allows you to move from high, low or strobe with no auditory sound.  In addition, the ATAC A1 also allows you to do a momentary on for a quick blast of light.

Last but not least, I truly am a fan of the pocket clip attached to this flashlight.  I know that sounds weird, but I hate when I'm trying to pull my pocket knife out and the clip gets stuck on my pants.  The pocket clip on this flashlight is smooth and has not yet gotten caught on any of my pants. "Happy Happy Happy"

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: An all purpose built tactical flashlight.

Target Market: Police, security personnel and the every day people.

FNB's:  (Features and Benefits of this product)

  • Regulated circuit and CREE LED
  • Waterproof
  • Machined aerospace-grade aluminum
  • Multi-function tail cap switch with momentary-on (high/ultra low/strobe)
  • Anti-roll ring
  • 103 lumens for high and strobe, 11 lumens for low
  • 1 AA battery (included)

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Black is the only color choice that 5.11 offers this light in.

What others are saying?:

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Readily available online at stores like Optics Planet, Amazon and or 5.11 Tactical.

Our Rating: + Multi-function tail cap switch + Machined aerospace-grade aluminum + Break-away lanyard included + Pocket clip does not get caught on pants making it easy to access + Waterproof

Score: 9.090

Jared prefers Simon Peter Sport Company for all his FFL needs.

Simon Peter Sport banner

Surefire G2ZX Combatlight


 surefire G2ZX Combatlight

I got this Surefire G2ZX Combat light in about a month and a half ago, I use it on a daily basis as part of my EDC, at first I was worried it was going to be too big for my pockets because I was used to an old E2D defender I’ve used since my first deployment in Iraq in 2006…But thats not an issue, fits perfectly, which leads me to why I chose Surefire over a competitor.  Surefire make solid products, but yes sometimes companies who make great products get so proud of them that they price themselves right out of business.  I think this was becoming true for Surefire and they had the due diligence to see it and came out with a new line of awesome polymer bodied lights that also come with increased battery life, more powerful LED lamps with increased lumens over the exact same lights they had a couple of years ago.  So thats enough for my rant, here are the specs and first impressions I have with this light.

The G2ZX Combatlight takes 2 cr123A lithium batteries, has a powerful 320 lumens with a 2.5 hour solid runtime and comes with a rubber ring for using the “Surefire” method when shooting a handgun in low light (which is my preference and found it works VERY well for maintaining a good grip on the light in your non-shooting hand, while also using that hand as support for the handgun.  Momentary pressure switch, with an option to turn the rear section for constant on.  It also comes with a steel lanyard ring and black lanyard.  The lamp head is made from Surefire's quality aluminum, and the rest of the body is very high strength polymer.  Overall length is 5.2 inches, weight is 4.3 OZ.  Very bright!  I shined it across a field and could see the trees pretty clear that were about 150 yards away! (and I have poor eyesight)  This is a great light, I would recommend it for anyone including Military, police, fire & rescue, and the everyday CCW holder. REMEMBER even if you are “just a ccw” holder, its very important to have a light.  Don’t be that boot who gets into a sticky situation where you cannot clearly see or identify your target.. it may mean your life, the life of a loved one or land you in the slammer if you take a bad shot.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Great for unattached light for pistol shooting.

Target Market: Great for police, military, fire/rescue and or CCW holders.

FNB's (features & benefits of this product):

  • Very bright 320 lumens
  • Long lasting LED lamp
  • Uses 2 common 123a lithium batteries
  • Rubber combat grip ring for using the “surefire method”
  • Very tough Nitrolon polymer body
  • Anodized steel lanyard ring with lanyard
  • Momentary pressure rear switch or turn for constant on
  • 4.3 OZ

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Black

What others are saying?:

  • Would Expect Nothing Less
  • This is my third Surefire and the G2ZX is what I would expect from Surefire. Superb quality and a precision piece of equipment. I use this one as my nightstand light since it has a higher output than the others.Reviewed by R Capiola (Posted on 1/5/14)
  • Amazing!
  • One of the best illumination tools I have ever used! Extremely bright and goes very far too! It really is a handheld spotlight! I would choose nothing else for my lighting needs than surefire!Reviewed by Dunaj (Posted on 10/24/13)
  • G2ZX
  • Surefire is not a flashlight it's like holding a piece of the sun. I'll never own anything else after having my Surefire.Reviewed by Jerry (Posted on 10/12/13)

Price Point

I need it now! Availability: Optics Planet has them listed as discontinued by the manufacturer but LA Police Gear has them in stock.

Score: 90

LRI Photon Freedom Micro-Light Review

Photon Freedom

This light may look like a last-minute grab at the gas station check-out counter, but it is far from that! The Photon Freedom has proven to be an excellent light. It is very small and light, plus can be activated with one hand by a push button on the top. It is offered in the regular version and the “Covert” model. The covert model adds a shield around the LED to prevent spilling of side light. I chose the Covert model for that reason. Unlike most key-chain lights, it has an actual on/off switch, rather than just a momentary on. It is not incredibly bright, but very usable, when you need it. It will even dimly light up my neighbor’s yard from 

Photon Freedom Magnetabout 40 yards away just enough to make sure my dog isn’t wandering. When you hold the activation switch, the light will start on a very dim setting and ramp its way up to its max output. Once there, the light will flash once, to notify you that it is in max. If the light is on, it will do the opposite and get dimmer, once again, flashing when it’s at its lowest setting. Continuing to hold the button past the flash will start the light into its specialty modes. You can choose slow beacon, fast beacon, strobe and auto SOS by releasing the button once on the desired setting. You can even set it to momentary by rapidly pressing the on/off button 6 times. The light comes in many beam colors including white, red, blue, purple and even infrared. It also comes with a mount that has a clip and magnets for nearly unlimited hand-free placement options.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: U.S. Made, feature-packed Micro-Light

Target Market: Anyone and everyone! 

FNBs: (Features & Benefits of this product)

Key Features

  • Small & light
  • Multi-mode
  • Varying light output
  • Uses 2 CR 2016 batteries

Key Benefits

  • One-handed activation
  • Easy battery change
  • Comes with hat clip\magnet mount

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

The standard Photon Freedom comes in black and pink, but the Covert only comes in black.

What others are saying?

“A great little pocket light - put it on your keychain and you'll always have a light with you when you need it.”  - Flashlight Reviews

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:

Widely available! I purchased mine from Amazon.com

Our Rating For its intended purpose (always there EDC), this light is amazing

+ Small + Light + Always there + Multi-Function + Feature-packed + Easy battery change

Score: 8.585

FourSevens Preon 2 Review

Preon 2 Main

The FourSevens Preon 2 is a great everyday carry light. Powered by 2 AAA batteries, it is very slim and easy to carry in the pocket. It is about the size of a standard size Sharpie marker.

Preon 2 with Sharpie

The advertised output is 160 Lumens. It has a very shallow reflector, so it does not project the beam very far, but the light is still usable for seeing movement out to about 50+ yards. The light has 3 output levels and 4 Special modes. The modes are Low(2.2 lumens), Medium(22 lumens), High (160 lumens), Strobe, SOS, Beacon Hi and Beacon Lo. The light turns on in low mode and to access other modes, you can either “soft” tap the tailcap switch, or turn it off and back on within a second. Once you cycle through Low-Med-High twice in quick succession, you will start to cycle through the special modes. The light has a beautiful anodizing that feels almost like velvet to the touch. It holds up very well, except around the hard edges, like the bezel. The tailcap activation switch is very positive and easy to actuate, but it’s almost TOO easy. If you carry this light in your pocket, rather than clipped inside of your pocket, you are sure to activate. One way around this is to purchase a flat tailcap from FourSevens. It is the tailcap that comes standard on their single battery version. With the flat tailcap installed, you must twist the bezel to activate the light. Another way is just to unscrew the bezel. It will work just like having the flat tailcap, except you will have to make sure the clicky switch is on at the same time. The lights are a little pricey, for their size, but very much worth it, in my opinion.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Ultracompact and incredibly bright!

Target Market: Anyone who needs to carry a flashlight with them, which, in my opinion is EVERYONE!

FNBs: (Features & Benefits of this product)

Key Features

  • Slim, sleek design
  • Simple interface
  • Bright

Key Benefits

  • “Always there” compactness
  • Runs on AAA batteries

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

There are many colored anodizing options available including black, red, blue, gold and satin titanium/black 2-tone.

What others are saying?

“For its excellent ergonomics, longer burn times, and attention getting brightness level, I prefer the Preon 2.”  - nutnfancy

Price point

I need it now! Availability

Readily available from many retailers, including Amazon.

Our Rating

+ Compact + Bright + Simple interface + Many finish colors

- Possible inadvertent activation - Pricey to some (worth it to me!)

Score: 990