Showing posts with label flashlight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flashlight. Show all posts

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Power Outage Fun

At about 8:30 this evening the power went out. First thing I did was grab the Glock that was sitting on the table by me as cutting power is often a precursor to break in's. After 60 seconds of looking and listening i figured that wasn't going to happen. So I walked to the bedroom to grab the unambiguous bedside maglight. Poked my head outside to see the whole neighborhood was dark. Grabbed a battery powered lantern. Swapped the maglight for a headlamp, they are the way to go when doing stuff. Went into the closet to grab the ole Grundig. Didn't need it's capability parse, however since we do not have the boom box of old it was the first option I thought of.

The batteries in it were dead which isn't a surprise, haven't used the thing in over 2 years. Even a trickle of a draw will kill the batteries in that time. Replaced said batteries. Tuned it to an FM station in town. While I did not have power they did which is a pretty good indicator the world did not end.

Waited 20 minutes to see if the power would just pop back on which it did not. Opened up the fridge, pulled out the meat and dairy as well as the beer then closed it. Put it into the chest freezer and then tossed a huge bag of ice in there (minus what went into the bucket with the beer;) to keep everything as cold as possible.

After that I tried using the power source from my new solar setup to power a light. For reasons I am not clear on that did not work. Didn't NEED it. We have a gaggle of battery powered lanterns with an OK stash of batteries (going to fix that tomorrow), plus Coleman lanterns but it was annoying all the same. Not like I spent a bunch of money to have that capability or something.

Decided to fiddle around on the short wave. That was fun. Listened to English Radio Havana for a bit then some stuff out of New Zealand and Lebanon. Obviously all in english otherwise I would not have stuck around. Didn't bother to find my antenna or figure out a ground. Probably could have gotten a lot more stations with that.

Since I knew the world wasn't ending I listened to the radio drinking beer in a slightly dark and warm house for a few hours. It was sort of a nice change of pace. I am going to get back into the short wave, it is pretty fun.

Lessons learned:
-I did not have a light on me. Granted there are plenty in our house and finding one took 30 seconds or so but a light in my pocket wouldn't have hurt.
-Food preservation during the power outage went OK I thought. Didn't really have a plan so much as I generally put the stuff that went bad, plus the ice in the place that would stay the coldest.
-The battery inventory has gotten a bit low through normal use. Maybe I need to inventory it monthly or something. 
-Not sure what the deal was with the power source and light parse. Honestly the only reason I grabbed it was to test it. Well that was a big fat fail. Got to put some more energy into figuring that system out it seems.
-A bucket of beer by my chair is kind of nice.
-Need to keep the radio antenna and ground with the radio.
That is about all I can think of.

Well this was a good little test, I am off to bed now.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Mag Light

I was wasting some evening hours the other day and ended up on Gangland or one of the copy cat shows. It was about the Sons of Silence who are a Colorado based Motorcycle club of the 1% variety.

An interesting thing they do is carrying large flashlights, it looks like the mag light is about the universal choice though some others may be present. The reason they do this is that it is entirely legal as well it's a flashlight but they are a pretty effective club.

For places or situations where you either want a less lethal option in the mix or are banned from protecting yourself this option is worth thinking about. 

Pictured is a 3 d cell mag light and a belt clip thing. Not sure where I got the clip thing but it has a snap to easily slip on and off your belt and does a nice job of carrying the light.

I do not see the need to carry something like this all the time but at night or in certain situations it's a nice option to have.

Little 9000 lumen flashlights are all the rage these days but the good old mag light is a solid performer at a great price that is still useful and relevent. Some folks like the uuber tactical titanium pocket lights but there are times when a good old mag light is the right answer. With a going price around twenty bucks you can afford to have one at the (maybe less than gun friendly) office, another in the car and a third in the house.

They last forever, are cheap and can put a hurting on somebody. What's not to like?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Great Book and a Terrible Light

I have been reading Max Velocity's new book Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises. I am very impressed, the book is downright awesome. Will do a full review but to save you some time just buy it. Onto a less pleasant subject.

The LED Lenser P3 AFS flashlight I have been carrying around. I didn't link to it because somebody might not read this carefully and end up buying this piece of junk. I got the small 1 AAA version which in fairness may be part of the problem.

The only nice things I have to say about this product are that it is small and looks like it's well made. However looks can be deceiving.  This light has a lot of show and very little go. Maybe if they put a bit more energy into making the light actually work instead of making it look like a quality product this review would be different.

The run time could be measured in seconds. Also the darn thing will just run out of batteries spontaneously without even being used. Can't count how many times I have grabbed it to use and found it dead. There are more problems.

The pocket clip has fallen off leaving it floating in my pocket. The darn adjustable front piece somehow worked its way off once. Basically pieces fall off the darn thing randomly.

I would use it as a backup but since it (even turned off) goes through batteries like Charley Sheen through coke and hookers it wouldn't even work to live in the glove box of a car or something.

My expectations would be very different if it was a $15 light but it isn't. This piece of junk cost me about $40 (can't remember exactly) which puts it in range of a lot of many Streamlight and a couple Surefire offerings. Offerings I should have purchased instead. At this price point for a stupid flashlight it should frickin work.

Can't say everything made by these folks sucks thought I will be avoiding it all. In any case I can say the LED Lenser P3 AFS definitely sucks a lot. This is a firm do not buy.

Does anybody have a smallish flashlight with a pocket clip they have been using for awhile that actually works? In a perfect world if would be reasonably affordable.

Friday, November 9, 2012

RE: John Mosby's Notes On Setting Up The Modern Fighting Rifle

John Mosby wrote a great post recently. It is jam packed with sound practical advice. Seriously read the whole post before continuing. What I say here will not make much sense otherwise. Needless to say I have some thoughts on the matter.

As to optics. John Mosby says there really isn't an excuse for not running an optic. I do not think that is exactly true. The one valid excuse I can see is economics. Somebody who scraped up enough cash to get a rifle that is smart and putting money into food, energy, medical, training and such instead of just gun junk might need to save for awhile to get an optic. I have some respect for a guy who is waiting to buy an optic instead of shorting important areas to get one right now.

If there is a serious viable fighting optic available for under $400 I have not seen it. A $140 Walmart red dot is cool for plinking with a .22 or whatever but you get what you pay for. Either these optics fail or they fail to hold a zero or generally just suck. I talked some about specific optics like the Eotech, Aimpoint and ACOG awhile back. Any of those models or some of the new low power variable scopes by folks like Trijicon or Leupold are also very good candidates. Personally I am running an ACOG. I got it because they are what I use at work and it is easy to shoot them well. The new 1x4ish power scopes are a really good option and in 10 years when the ACOG's half life is up I will likely replace it with a Leupold variable power 1x4ish scope.

Running iron's as a backup is IMO absolutely essential for a fighting gun. Modern optics and in particular the Aimpoint CCO/M68 and the ACOG are really rugged and rarely fail. However optics are complicated and relatively fragile all the same. If the scope on a hunting or target gun fails it is an inconvenience or might ruin the day's hunt. In a fight it could conceivably get you killed. I am running the Magpul BUIS simply because of cost.

I am sold on the concept of free floating a rail. Phase 2 of Project AR Upgrade will be a free floating Troy Rail. Assuming the world doesn't end I'll get one in a few months.

Tactical lights are the way to go. They make such a difference in being able to identify targets. Especially considering the realistic real world use for most of our rifles would be a home defense situation lights are very important. Sticking with serious manufacturers like Surefire or Streamlight is probably smart.

Incidentally I had a few bucks that I was trying to decide what to do with for the last week or so. I was sort of at a log jam with a bunch of gear that really needs to be purchased together. After reading John Mosby's excellent article I was reminded that the new M4 needs a light sooner instead of later and picked up a VTAC surefire light and mount combo.

On the topic of slings. The old 3 point sling really came into existence as a viable tactical way to sling an M16 rifle with the old school strap under the rifle musket style hardware. They were fine for what they are but since pretty much everybody is running an M4 or an M4 style butt stock these days it isn't needed. Also because of their excessive webbing and attachments these things can tangle you up like some sort of bondage setup.

I do not like one point slings. For me the rifle hangs too low and is really floppy. I like modern adjustable two point slings. The adjustable feature is important for transitioning to the weak shoulder if needed. Also in a much more practical everyday way it allows you to adjust for wearing a plate carrier or not, winter clothes or even different users.

The only time I run a vertical foregrip (a grip pod to be specific) is at work when I expect to be using my IR laser enough to justify the optional pressure switch. Really this is just to buy me some more real estate. Some folks like them, or an AFG like the Magpul but I am not part of that group.

I think there is way too much potential for fiddling with the AR platform. Rifle, optic, light, BUIS, sling and if you can afford it an IR laser. No real need for anything else all the time. If you are going to be in a support by fire position doing some varmit shooting then stick on a bipod but I wouldn't run one all the time.

As to custom type parts I am generally not a fan. Some parts are just a better version of the original and that is fine. People do the same thing with AR's that they do with 1911's in that they stick a bunch of random parts together, find it doesn't work and say the platform sucks. The issue is that they are not a gunsmith and are stacking tolerances like crazy. Also I do not like products that change the way a gun is operated. Products like the Magpul BAD change the way you run the gun. I am running a BCM gunfighter charging handle but it does not change the manual of arms. You should be able to shoot any rifle that ends up in your hands well not just one specific set up.

Well those are my thoughts on that.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Initial Review- LED Lenser P3 Flashlight

I ordered and recently received in the main one of these flashlights. I do not know the exact dimensions and am not willing to measure it but they are small. It run's on a single AAA battery. The info on it says it puts out 75 lumens of light. If that means as much to you as it does to me it might as well be in Chinese. My informal assessment is that they are brighter than a 2 AA mag light but not as bright as a surefire.

The Good: Very small. Disappears into my weak side front pocket. Affordable so if it gets lost or broken replacement is not a big deal. For a small light with a single AAA battery it is surprisingly bright. The flashlight came with hardware to put it on a key chain, a wrist loop, a clip and a belt pouch. This gives a wide variety of options for carry.

The Bad: The beam adjusts with the front piece which is very loose and moves on it's own accord. This means you really have to take it out, turn it on and adjust it to get the beam you want. I would prefer to be able to set it and have it stay (as with a stiffer adjustment like a mag light or a surefire) though this setup does have the benefit that you can easily adjust it with one hand.

Also it runs on a AAA battery. Better than a CR-123 though I would prefer a AA just for commonality. They may make a model that fits this requirement and I missed it.

Nothing ugly so far.

The purpose I had in mind for this light is to beef up my EDC setup. I have one of those little LED lights on the key chain but it is a backup for a reason. Most gunfights happen in low light conditions so being ready for that just makes sense. Small enough that I would actually carry it was a requirement and this light fits the bill for sure. If you are looking for a small fairly powerful light to carry or keep stashed in a kit at an affordable price I think the LED Lenser P3 would be a good candidate.
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