Streamlight NightFighter Review

This is a quickie review of the Streamlight NightFighter.

I received this flashlight as a Christmas gift from my brother-in-law.

It’s my first Streamlight. My other “serious” flashlights are a SureFire E2L (which I always carry) and a SureFire 6P LED Defender.

I had the 6P mounted on the fore rail of my home-defense AR-15, but I’m removing it in favor of this NightFighter. Note, the 6P wasn’t a platform/task-specific choice. I received it as a gift from a friend. I was wanting a light for my AR, I had the 6P, I figured I might as well use it… I’ve got it, it works, and saves me from having to buy another flashlight. So, this isn’t to say the 6P was a bad choice or an ineffective light for that task, just that now I’ve received another gift and I just feel it’s a better fit for the specific task.

Both the 6P and NightFighter put out about the same amount of light. However, the NightFighter’s light… I can’t think of a better way to describe it other than saying the cast light beam comes off as a bit “crisper”. You know how a flashlight will have a more focused intense light in the center and then a circle of dimmer light around it? The NightFigher’s beam just looks sharper, whereas the 6P’s seems all fuzzy. I tried to capture it on film but it didn’t come out well, but lighting up some rooms and people my eyes just preferred the light being cast by the NightFighter. I can also say when you compare the color of the 2 lights against each other, the 6P is a bit more blue-ish and the NightFighter’s a bit more yellow and “natural” looking. I just like the NightFighter a bit more… my own taste here.

I also like the NightFighter’s tailcap. It’s just a momentary button: press to turn on, release to turn off. There’s no sustained on via the tailcap button, unless you screw the tailcap all the way on. With the 6P it’s a click to turn on, a click to turn off. You can unscrew the tailcap slightly and have just a momentary button behavior too. While certainly the 6P gives you more options, my feeling is for the intended use as a mounted weapons light, I’d rather just have the on-off with a simple button that doesn’t have a click and as much travel. If I need a sustained light, just twist the cap. I’m OK with that.

You’ll note in the picture there’s a ring. That ring is there to facilitate using the flashlight with a handgun in the Rogers/SureFire technique. It’s useful being a removable ring, since you can adjust the ring location to best fit your palm. As well, the flashlight comes with a couple different clips you can change out, plus a lanyard, one designed specifically for flashlight retention in a handgun shooting situation. It appears to be a well-thought out package towards being a handgun shooter defensive flashlight.

However, I won’t be using the ring. As I said, this is going to mount on my AR-15.

The 6P was already mounted to the AR with a Viking Tactics (VTAC) Light Mount.

The NightFighter does not fit this mount.

Well, not at least without some work. 🙂

The VTAC light mount is advertised to mount a light with a 1″ diameter shaft, or a 0.8″ diameter by inserting a shim. Guess what? The NightFighter has a 0.9″ diameter. If you insert the light into the mount there’s no way to get it to fit as it’s too loose and the mount won’t clamp closed around it. If you try to use the shim, it becomes too fat to fit into the mount.

The solution? I used my handy Craftsman Variable Speed Rotary Tool and ground away about half of the inside diameter of the shim. Now the shim could slide easily onto the flashlight, and fit right into the main mount.

All in all, I’m pleased. The only thing I don’t know at this point is how well the flashlight can stand up to recoil, but given it’s LED and obviously designed to be used in a gunfighting context, my guess is it will hold up fine.

Now I just need to take her to the range. You know, KR Training is offering Defensive Long Gun on January 23, 2010. Hrm. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Streamlight NightFighter Review

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