Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bump in the night..... and distributing an early dawn this morning

Something woke me about 2am this morning.  Something that intruded on sleep and flipped a switch I almost forgot existed.  BING!  I'm awake!   Now..... why??

Shortly thereafter, a bump in the night. Not inside the house, but against the house certainly.  Almost a light bang. 

One long arm later, the 9mm with it's chunk of sun mounted under the barrel is in my hand, and a quiet and dark walk about the house is going on. Nothing found.

A look out back, a flick of the switch, and the culprit is identified and targeted. Just a dog, who paused at the tree line long enough for me to light him up.  His tracks in the snow made obvious in the light, he'd been nosing around the back patio for anything of interest and edible.

I'm still pleased with this light.  It works a treat, and it's STILL cheaper now than what I paid for mine last year!  I need one on my new AR..... and I'll have me another.

I've been working towards setting up a pistol as a 'Bump-In-The-Night' house weapon.  When the Taurus PT-809 followed me home one day as an investment, it became a prime suspect for the role.

Now, about 500 rounds later (and a treatment with Slipstream), the Taurus has settled down and become quite reliable.  Having an 18 round (17+1) capacity, a double action that makes leaving a round in the chamber quite safe, and pretty decent ergonomics..... the pistol lacked only a weapon light to fill out the package.

To meet that need, I ordered a Streamlight TLR-1 HL High Lumen Tactical Light.
Like it's older brother, the TLR-1 (300 lumens), the HL is a rail mounted tactical light featuring full on, momentary on, and strobe effect.   Fed by a pair of lithium CR123 batteries, it has a reported run time in excess of an hour.  Since all my pocket flashlights live off the same power source, getting the same in a weapon light is a no brainer.  I'm already buying CR123 batteries by the ten pack anyway.

Unlike many other rail mounted units, the TLR-1 HL has an
interchangeable 'key' setup to the rail mount.  This means the actual part that fits into the notch of the rail can be swapped out to make the light fit better.   The light comes with four different inserts that bolt into place, each marked for a different weapon.  Even though they are so marked, I found it best to try all four for fit before bolting one into place.  Hitting upon the right one was  like the clouds opening and a ray of sunshine beaming onto the weapon in my hands.  The light snicked on snugly, putting the ambidextrous switch tabs exactly under my finger tips where needed to be.  

This particular light is a bit large for a carry pistol, in my view, unless it's carried in a pocket and then snapped into place when needed.  The mechanism for mounting it to the rail is fast, sure fitting, and secure.  When the little knob is screwed down, the light is NOT going anyplace.  All this can be done without tools, in seconds.

On a house pistol, or a long gun..... this thing really shines (Pun fully intended).  It's light output is nothing less than spectacular, blinding to look at even in daylight.  Within it's rugged aluminum body is housed a C4 LED putting out roughly 12,000 candlepower. The conversion to lumens is tricky and beyond this poor old man's ken, but I'll attest to this...... the light is BRIGHT!  Scary bright, if you are on the wrong end of it.

About fifteen years ago I was playing around with building LED flashlights of my own, and a buddy asked if I could build him something that would flat out blind someone on the receiving end.  So bright it would effectively shut down their ability to respond coherently to the threat they were under.   I could not..... and till now when I ran into the TLR-1 HL, I hadn't seen anything likely to fit his wishes.  This light could possibly do that.

Now, it's not all sherry and giggles..... there is a minor flaw to the unit in my opinion.  A very minor one, I think, but it's one Streamlight could work on.

The strobe feature is activated by flicking the momentary switch a couple times.  If done just exactly right the second hit will have the light in strobe mode as long as the switch is held down.  My beef is that it's fiddly to do, and requires a deft touch and a conscious thought... two things that fly straight out the window in a tense defensive situation.  The reality is one can forget using the strobe feature under pressure unless practiced a lot, and I mean an awful lot, until it becomes instinct. 

It would be far better to have the light programmable, with a setting that has momentary either full on or strobe, but not a touchy combination of the two. For myself with this unit, I shall practice using either full on or momentary, leaving the strobe function aside.

Frankly, given the momentary blinding 630 lumen flash, I'm not sure the strobe will be all that missed.

The unit weighs in a little over 4 ounces, which is excellent for it's power.  Still, it will seriously change the handling characteristics of a pistol, no matter how large.  On the somewhat lightweight PT-809, it's a hefty change.  That means more practice..... something I'm not adverse to.

The TLR-1 HL tactical light costs about $130, and that's not a small investment.  Given it's well regarded ancestry, tough build, and incredible power..... the price is not bad at all.  It's nearest competitor in this power/quality range runs well over $200, making this Streamlight offering a scream of a deal.


Bob said...

How well does the Slipstream live up to its advertising?

Long Island Mike said...

As an aside I feed my Surefire with 123 batteries from this shop. Added bene is they also pkg a Pelican case with your order. Customer service is great and the batteries for the last 10 years have been flawless.

Carteach said...

Bob, I am undecided on Slipstream. So far, it's at least as good as any other gun lube, and better than many. That said, I haven't taken the time to follow the directions to the letter, thoroughly de-lubing the weapon before applying the product. That will come soon, as I just assembled another AR and it will be a great candidate for the treatment.

Carteach said...

Long Island Mike,

I buy 123's on Amazon. Tell me more about packing a Pelican case with the order?

Long Island Mike said...

Teach, take a look at their website. Don't know how they do it but you buy 20 or more batteries and you get to select a Pelican case that they ship the batteries in. First time I ran across them I just thought it was one of those brilliant marketing ideas. I have a bunch of these top notch cases now. Bigger order of batteries, bigger Pelican case. Price for the deal is competitive. So I'm hooked. Again their customer service is great. I love doing business with small businesses. Nothing against Amazon but if I can I feel better spreading the wealth around LOL...

Long Island Mike said...

Woops, realized I forgot to mention that the case HOLDS the shipment of batteries. So instead of some cardboard box, you have a watertight place for them. The Otter and Pelican boxes with 20 batteries when your done, are just the right size for holding cellphone or gps. Haven't one, but maybe a good size for one of those Ruger LCPs too?

Long Island Mike said...

Woops, realized I forgot to mention that the batteries ship IN the case. So you have a great watertight place for them instead of a cardboard box. Plus when you finish up with the batteries you have a top notch case for a cellphone or gps. Looking at the Otter or Pelican case it might be right size for one of those Ruger LCPs too?