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Thread: What "reach" is expected in general from a carbine light?

  1. #1
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    What "reach" is expected in general from a carbine light?

    Here at the ranch I often have to check things out after dark and like to throw a bright light beam ahead of me with enough distance that I have time to anticipate contact well before I get there. Initially I use the truck's headlights to reveal the bogeyman hiding in the bushes, but sooner or later I have to go out on foot to check out certain areas due to the terrain.

    Unfortunately, I'm increasingly frustrated that the "reach" of my old school Surefire G2 with LED conversion is maybe 35-50-ish yards at best. I know the terrain doesn't help as the hills and dense brush cast shadows when hit by the bright light.

    I see ads like this for lights with a throw of over 1,000 yards and realize the G2's are really, really obsolete--but is that distance needed in a carbine light?


    https://www.olightstore.com/javelot-pro.html


    I'm getting to the point that I'm wondering if I'd be better off with a really low power light to illuminate my way and for use inside the house and not expect distant targets to be illuminated outside. (Was I expecting too much all along)?

    I'm probably not explaining this too well, and it's something I keep forgetting to ask about until I have a reason to go out after dark.

    Just what is a reasonable standard for the "reach" of a carbine light when outside in the pitch black?
    Last edited by Doc Safari; 06-20-19 at 13:54.

  2. #2
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    To throw as far as my naked eye can PID hands.

    At least 100-150y, minimum.

  3. #3
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    Check out Malkoff devices. Even if you don’t buy one they explain how far each light or conversion head will throw and illuminate


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Advertising, gotta love it, expecting a hand held light to have a throw of 1000 yards is same as believing that $20 walki talki at Wally World will have a range of 75 miles because it says so on the package. Reminds me of the guy I worked with who asked me one day if the $4.95 binoculars in the magazine ad could really see 20 miles, I simply walked him outside pointed to the mountain range that was 30 miles away and told him "I bet you could see them through those binos, just not sure how clear."
    “The Trump Doctrine is ‘We’re America, Bitch.’ That’s the Trump Doctrine.”

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack7.62 View Post
    Advertising, gotta love it, expecting a hand held light to have a throw of 1000 yards is same as believing that $20 walki talki at Wally World will have a range of 75 miles because it says so on the package. Reminds me of the guy I worked with who asked me one day if the $4.95 binoculars in the magazine ad could really see 20 miles, I simply walked him outside pointed to the mountain range that was 30 miles away and told him "I bet you could see them through those binos, just not sure how clear."
    While they may have inflated their numbers, I'm not sure it's all that crazy to have that kind of throw in a handheld. It's got a pretty deep reflector, and a reasonable raw output. It can definitely have some serious throw, enough that you could use it with magnification. You might have shit spill, but that's the nature of the beast, it's a zero sum game for the most part.
    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    老僧三十年前未參禪時、見山是山、見水是水、及至後夾親見知識、有箇入處、見山不是山、見水不是水、而今得箇體歇處、依然見山秪是山、見水秪是水。

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defaultmp3 View Post
    While they may have inflated their numbers, I'm not sure it's all that crazy to have that kind of throw in a handheld. It's got a pretty deep reflector, and a reasonable raw output. It can definitely have some serious throw, enough that you could use it with magnification. You might have shit spill, but that's the nature of the beast, it's a zero sum game for the most part.
    That is correct. They would be called out on it immediately by the flashlight junkies. The Warrior X they released not too long ago was actually found to be underrated. Fancy that in this day and age huh. The people who doubt the ability to achieve these numbers are usually stuck in the "Stone Age" with the flashlight world. Their Surefire 6P is still the hotness.

  7. #7
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    My goto rifle currently wears an Elzetta Bravo. This is a two cell LED light, and mine has a flood lens rated to 76 meters. Lumen rating is 650. There is a throw lens available rated at 190m. My partner (who is a credible user of weapons and lights, and well qualified to estimate range) and I just checked on the manufacturer claims. I did not tell him beforehand what distance the light is rated for, or anything about it. The conditions are overcast, 2130, and we just had a downpour with lingering mist. There is ambient light from our station, but not where we were pointing the lights. We are in an area we are familiar with, and have been here ~76hrs a week for two weeks in 24+hr stints, and intermittently prior to that. So we know this neck of the woods quite well.

    We separately verified that we could see objects clearly enough to reliably determine an overt threat at 75m. I can pick out a human form that is not hiding at perhaps a little more than 100m. I could see some objects clearly enough to be able to hit them at 150, depending on target color.

    I also have with me a Surefire G2X handheld rated at 600 lumens. Results were about the same at 75m, with a little less spill, and the throw seemed to fall off a slightly quicker past 75m. It seemed just as bright at 75m, so I don’t understand why it fell off a little sharper beyond that.

    Just some points of reference. I’m not claiming these lights are the best for the OP’s requirements. But I might consider an Elzetta Bravo with clear lens, or perhaps a similar Malkoff equipped light, such as Arisaka offers. I went with the flood lens on my Bravo because I’m using it at fairly short ranges.

    Separately, I have some thoughts on the Elzetta switches if you choose to buy one of their lights.
    RLTW

    “That is why there isn't an AK chart.” -SteyrAUG
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  8. #8
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    I currently run a Streamlight TLR-1 HL. I can see easily out to 150-200yds for a good shot.


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  9. #9
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    Chances are you could see the light at 1000 meters.... by an observer. Not seeing something with the light that's 1000 meters away.

    I have 2 thoughts.... one "flood" for a home distance, and one "throw" of about 100 meters for outside work. I like about 2-300 lumens indoors, but even 400 lumens can go quick if it's real dark.

  10. #10
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    I’ve got several Surefire G2X Tactical lights mounted on rifles. On a clear night I’d estimate I could identify a target at about 70-80 yards or so. That’s ok for my uses. They’ve held up well too.

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