My new EDC Flashlight – SureFire E2D

For the past 3-4 years, I’ve carried a SureFire E2L Outdoorsman as my every day carry (EDC) flashlight. I carry a flashlight all the time and at the ready because it’s useful. I didn’t realize how useful it was until I started carrying one all the time — I use it almost every day.

But over the years of carrying the E2L, my preferences have changed and a couple months ago I started on a quest for new EDC flashlight. I’ve hit a milestone on that quest – I’ve obtained a new flashlight, a SureFire E2D LED Defender

SureFire E2D LED Defender

First, it’s important to note this is the LED model; there’s earlier versions of the E2D that were not LED. Second, you’ll note the different tailcap in the above picture; I’ll discuss that below.

Why did I pick this? Because it fit all my requirements.

  • I wanted a higher beam output than the E2L, and with 200 lumens the E2D certainly meets that.
  • It has a better beam quality, but I’ll discuss that below.
  • The first click on the E2D activates the high beam (E2L, the low beam). My needs these days find me needing “most light, right now”, which means I want the first press of the button to give me a solid beam of lots of light.
  • It has a clip, and a clip in the “right” direction for my needs. One of my biggest uses of the clip is to hang the light from the brim of my cap so I can illuminate whatever I’m looking at (hands-free), and of course the beam moves with my head and eyes.
  • High and low beams, because while much of my current needs are “most light, right now”, sometimes I need to read something or see something else, so low beam is good. And no strobe.
  • The form factor is right for my hand, for my carry, etc.. BTW, my existing Comp-Tac flashlight pouch works just fine because the E2D and E2L have just about the same form factor. I did note I needed to tighten up the pouch a little bit for the E2D to fit, but that’s not a big deal.

So… my needs were met, thus.

Regarding the beam quality, from what my eyes can tell it’s actually pretty much the same beam as the E2L. But because it’s more lumens, things just look better. So I reckon it’s not so much the beam as it was the strength. To compare, the Streamlight Super Tac-X I have also has a 200 lumen output, but the beams of the Tac-X and the E2D are different — this is due to the reflector. The Tac-X is designed to really throw that light, so the beam is a little more focused and appears to reach further. The E2D certainly reaches far, but the light is… well, the best way I can describe it is closer to a floodlight than a spotlight, but it’s certainly not some sort of “room-filling” light… it’s still more spot than a ceiling lamp, but I’d just say the E2D’s beam is a little more “spreading/filling” than the Tac-X. That’s fine for my needs, because while I do want the throw, I also need the “fill”. What I’d really like to do is get out in the country where I don’t have the light pollution of the city and really see how the beams compare.

The clip is shorter but VERY strong. It’s tough to get under it, whereas the E2L’s is longer and “looser”, very easy to get under. That’s fine, if over time it means more durability and less chance of accidental snagging of the clip.

In the few days I’ve had the light and used it, it’s worked well and I’ve been pleased. It’s what I’ve been after.

However… not everything is rosy.

SureFire E2L (top) and E2D (bottom)

See the above picture and compare the two lights. Certainly they are cut from the same cloth, the difference being the E2D has this “Defender” styling. That’s a bit of a mixed bag.

First, the crenelation is of course part of the purpose of the thing. But it’s a little sharp. While of course that’s part of the point, when you pull the light in and out of the belt pouch all day AND the light is up against your bare skin well… sometimes I skewer myself. Just annoying.

Second, the this affects the accessibility of the tailcap button. Notice in the picture you can see the E2L’s button but you cannot see the E2D’s. They rise up the same, just the E2D has the “walls” around the button. I found this made it difficult for me to activate the button. When I hold the light and hit the button with my thumb, either I’m holding it wrong or I just don’t have enough thumb meat to get that button depressed. For me to work it, I have to come at the button with my thumb pointing down into the button and use the tip of my thumb – hardly practical for me. When I grab the light, regardless of how I grab it, I should be able to just press and go, but alas, the tailcap doesn’t allow it. Thus why you see the mixed light in the top picture – I just switched to use my E2L’s tailcap. It works fine.

Third, note the texturing on the body of the flashlight. It’s a bit more aggressive on the E2D. That’s great for a grip, but in the pouch, on my belt, against my skin? It’s sandpaper. It’s not majorly uncomfortable, but there’s enough times when I bend or twist my body just so and get rubbed and it’s annoying.

All in all these annoyances are minor, but I’ve also only had the light a few days. Over time I may grow to hate them or they’ll fade into the background and I will barely notice them. Time will tell.

But for now, the E2D stays on my hip as my new EDC flashlight.

Thank YOU

To you who comes here and reads, for whatever reason you come here and read… thank you. 🙂

Looking for a new flashlight — do you have any input?

For many years I’ve carried a SureFire E2L Outdoorsman. It’s part of my every-day-carry, and in fact I use it almost every day. It’s because of that daily utility that I chose that particular model of flashlight.

However, over the past year I’ve started to have a change of heart. Many new flashlights have come to market, and over the years of carrying I’ve started to find myself wanting… a little more, a little different. And probably too much time hanging out with TXGunGeek, who is also a big flashlight geek.

What’s my beef with my E2L?

  • High-beam output. While my E2L’s high beam is pretty good, there’s better out there now. I’ve found myself in enough situations where I wished for more light.
  • Beam quality. I don’t know how to describe it, but the high beam feels… fuzzy. Maybe it’s my (aging) eyes, but compared to some other flashlights I have, there’s something about the light quality that just doesn’t provide me with the best picture. It’s certainly good enough for most things, but if I can have a little better, since again, my eyes are getting older and anything I can do to help out is A Good Thing™.
  • High first, low second. There’s no question I want dual-output because much of my every-day light needs require a low-beam. Originally I wanted the low-beam to come on first since I figured most of my needs were mundane and didn’t need to blind myself. Now I want the high beam to come on first, because I find myself in more situations where I need a lot of light right now and don’t need to waste time clicking through beam modes. I decided if I needed low beam mode, it would likely not be a “need it immediately” need and I could do something like press the flashlight into my stomach or leg to suppress throwing light, click through to low, then there we go. Besides, when you need a lot of light right now, you need it now and need to be able to just slam the light on and get the light. Yeah I tried many times to just get used to “half click, release, full click” to get as quick as I could over the low mode and locked into the high mode or doing 2 full clicks, but it’s just too error prone, too time consuming, and too loud.

So it’s not much, but it’s enough to motivate me to look for alternatives.

But on that token, some things I would prefer to not give up:

  • Clip. The clip is very useful, especially since I can hang it off the brim of my hat for hands-free use. That means the clip needs to attach near the head and point back towards the tailcap (like the E2L has). So many flashlights have the clip attach at the tail and run towards the head, which can be good for keeping the flashlight in your pocket, but isn’t very usable during use.
  • Dual mode. I need high and low beam. Strobe? Oh please… no.
  • Size. I like the E2L’s size. First, because it means 2 batteries instead of 1 thus more runtime. Second, the diameter feels good in my hands in terms of being able to hold a grip and not lose the flashlight in my hand.

And then there’s one thing I flat out do not want: strobe. This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco. I do not need nor want strobe. I do not want to waste time clicking through a mode that I don’t need, that all too often will accidentally fire because I’m trying to click through to the mode past it. If someone can tell me how strobe is actually useful, please comment. In the dark, it just screws up YOUR vision too, and again it’s too many modes to click through to get it. Enough Low Light shooting classes and strobe never comes up as useful.  But, I will admit I recently found a use for it. While taking Kiddos around the neighborhood this past Halloween for trick-or-treating, I carried a Streamlight Super Tac-X because low beam is good for close-up work (e.g. picking up dropped candy); the high beam is bright, crisp, clean, lots of throw, lots of spread, really lights things up which can be useful when walking around in the dark and well-behind a group of kids that might need some illumination in front of them (throw!). And then… yes… strobe was useful when we would cross the street. I would aim it down at the pavement and let it blink, and saw more than enough cars react to the flashing strobe (vs. other times when I’ve used a plain beam) and slow down. So yeah, THAT was useful. But for my EDC flashlight? No strobe.

There’s no question the awesomeness of Fenix Lights, especially that they have such great output, quality, and runtime on ubiquitous AA batteries, all at such a low price. The Fenix lights I presently have are great.  Because of them, SureFire and Streamlight have had to pick up their game. So lots of new and interesting stuff out there. I focused on these 3 companies. I did look at some others, but they either were no longer in business or their lights could all be eliminated from consideration because they had features I didn’t want (e.g. Blackhawk, NovaTac, Pelican).

Streamlight didn’t have anything that would fit my bill. Mostly lost out on the clip front. In fact, on the clip front alone I pretty much eliminated most every flashlight out there. *sigh* The two I found were:

Fenix LD22 (S2)

SureFire E2D LED Defender

The Fenix has a lot of win all around. Many different modes/levels of light output. Cree LED’s. A tailcap switch, but also a side button; so yes, that means there is a strobe mode but at least it’s not part of the tailcap. There’s a clip, but I’m mixed on the fact it’s removable. Sure that’s cool from a sales standpoint, because they can sell it to more people. And I kinda like that if the clip snagged on something it would just break away instead of bend (how many times have I bent my Spyderco Delica clips because of a snag?). But… that also means it can break away, which may not be what I want. I’m unsure about the clip. I think tho the bigger concern is while it’s cool it remembers the last output setting and uses that next time you turn it on, that means if the last thing I did was read a map but RIGHT NOW I need a lot of light, I won’t get it. The Fenix looks good in so many regards, but I’m not sure it will win the “tactical need” test. But it’s only like $60, so I might pick one up anyways because I could see a lot of use for this in other contexts, like camping or hunting.

The SureFire E2D. Funny how things happen. My only beef with this? The fact it looks aggressive. Of course, that’s the point of the “Defender” models, and I’m honestly not bothered by it myself. But as I wrote in my old “why I like the E2L” article I specifically avoided that light for its looks. At the time I was active in Boy Scouts and a lot of parents there did not “get it” and would freak out at the thought, and I just didn’t need the grief. As well, I flew and didn’t want to have some TSA goon take my $150 flashlight. But these days? I don’t fly. I don’t do BSA, and operate my life in a different context. Besides, I’ll still have my E2L in storage and can always pull it out and use it if context changes.

So yes, presently I’m leaning towards the E2D. I even emailed Comp-Tac to see if their flashlight holster for the E2L works for the E2D.

What’s your input?

13-Nov-2012 Update: Comp-Tac replied:

From what I can tell the e2d and e2l have the same bezel diameter. However, the e2d has that crenellated bezel, which adds to the length a small amount.
I would feel comfortable in saying that it would work.

So I figure if I go with the E2D, I’ll get it, try it, and hope for the best. If I do have to buy a new pouch, I reckon the existing one would work well enough until the new pouch arrived.

 

Clearing the backlog

I’ve had a bunch of links backing up in my queue, things I wanted to post about. Just going to clear them all in one fell swoop. It’s a smorgasbord.

What’s Behind The Shocking Collapse in Violent Crime” (h/t LowTechCombat)

A look at the most recent FBI crime statistics, and how violent crime is actually dropping in the US — despite what the media portrays. One possible reason they overlook is the growth of firearm ownership and concealed carry by law-abiding citizens.

TxDPS – Winter Storm Preparedness (h/t TxDPS)

A few simple checklists of things to help you prepare for winter storms. Be it supplies worth having in your car, to dealing with the aftermath of a storm, to helping the elderly.

13 things a man should keep in his car” (h/t ArtOfManliness)

Going with the above winter storm lists, here’s 13 more things that are just good to have in your car all year round. I’ll take odds with #3 – MagLite was a great old standby but flashlight technology has evolved. Look at SureFire or Streamlight (or even Fenix); for a car flashlight I would want it to run on CR123A’s, because those batteries can sit around for years and still maintain power. I’d also look for a model that can either be somehow attached to say a hat brim so you can work hands free (need both hands to change a tire) and/or that can be rested on the ground and used like a lantern/candle to again shine light hands-free.

Read the comments for more suggestions. Certainly a lot of what you keep in your car will depends upon your needs, your particular car, where you are in the world, and how and where you’ll be traveling.

Top 10 Secret Features in Mac OS X Lion” (h/t maczter)

I still haven’t upgraded all my machines to Lion, at this point mostly from inertia. But I have upgraded one primary dev machine and am growing to like it. Still, it has some quirks and issues, and this is a nice list of things to help make it a bit more manageable.

Laws over BB gun use could affect your child’s Christmas”  (h/t NRANews)

While BB guns technically aren’t guns, they certainly can do some damage. You should still treat them like firearms, using them responsibly, adhering to all proper gun safety rules, and using them as a great way to introduce kids to firearms in a safe and responsible manner. The respect and responsibility starts here.

 

As seen on Facebook

The Beauty of Pixar

Just watch.

http://vimeo.com/18251660

Updated: Well…. it looks like the original Vimeo-hosted video was deleted. Here’s YouTube… until it’s deleted:

Question from Daughter

“Dad, why do dogs and cats get black eye boogers and we get tan ones?”

This is what Daughter asked me this morning as I wiped the black eye boogers out of the eyes of one of the cats.

So of course, I Googled it. Apparently dog and cat tears contain a pigment called porphyrin, which makes them dark.

Drought + wind = high fire conditions

Most people associate “drought” with “summer”. They think because it’s cold out right now, we don’t have “drought conditions.”

But folks, drought means lack of water. We haven’t had any good rains in Central Texas in some time… we haven’t even had a poor rain. Just no rain.

I watch Sasha run around in the back yard… kicking up dust. If she tries to dig a hole, she’s rifling through loose dust. There’s no moisture.

Couple this extreme dryness with all the high gusty winds we’ve been having? That’s a recipe for fire danger.

I’m saying this because I know people love their fireworks. As we approach Christmas and New Year’s, I know people are going to want to shoot off fireworks.

All I’m asking is for people to think — just a little bit — about coupling fireworks, wind, and extreme dry conditions. Don’t think it can’t happen to you. “Oh, I’m safe” and maybe you are, but shit happens. If you’ve never seen how fast a fire can spread, you’ll just have to trust me that you won’t be able to keep it under control. I don’t want to put a damper on people’s fun, but an out of control fire, someone’s house burning down, getting charged for a crime due to the use of illegal fireworks and things burning… well, that’s going to be a lot less fun, isn’t it?

Be safe.

Shooting at the University of Texas

So today there was an odd shooting at the University of Texas.

I say odd because, at least from reports we have so far, 19-year-old Colton Tooley took an AK-47 (and are we sure it’s an AK?), fired some shots, then went into the university library and shot and killed himself.

Why?

It didn’t seem to fit your typical “I want attention, I’ll hit up a gun-free zone, shoot people until either I’m killed or confronted and kill myself” paradigm. Death by cop. Wants attention. Sucidal. etc.

I am reading lots of opinion and speculation about the matter, and then people getting upset about speculation… and of course, everyone’s personal bias flows through.

At this point the only thing I can say is I’m puzzled, and people need to withhold speculation and filling in the gaps with their own suppositions and conclusions. We need to wait for facts to come forward. Yes, we all want to know “why?”, but we can’t be filling in those gaps with our own guesses and consider it fact. I would like to believe that more information will come to light in the coming days. Just have to be patient.

Stuff from stats

It’s been a while since I looked at my stats and the search terms people are using to get here.

Looks like this one turned into a gun one.

can you reload brass for springfield xd

Yes.

what is the most controllable 9mm

There’s no blanket answer for that as what one person can control (or find controllable) may be different from another.

However, as a general rule, a physically larger and heavier gun is more likely to be controllable. As well, a gun that fits properly in your hand, in terms of getting a good and complete grip on it (with both hands, and the skin of both palms contacting the grip), not having to reach too far (or too little) to get at the trigger, getting all your fingers — especially your pinky — onto the grip. All of these things will help.

how to manage pistol recoil

Technique.

There’s the Todd Jarrett approach, which is “grip the gun 20% tighter”. That is, grip it, now tighten your grip up more. Massad Ayoob calls it a “crush grip” and writes about it here.

But I’ve recently been re-reading my Brian Enos book and he’s not such an advocate of that. He more advocates finding just the right amount of tension that lets the gun recoil then come back to exactly where it was before the trigger was pressed. He says there’s no way to stop recoil, so don’t fight recoil; just let recoil happen and manage it, letting the gun fire then come back to exactly where it started. There’s certainly something to this.

I’ve been experimenting more with both of these approaches. I see merit in both.

airweight snub nose vs steel frame snub

First, let’s clarify. “Airweight” are Smith & Wesson’s lightweight revolvers (e.g 642, 442, 638, 438) whose frame is constructed from aluminum. Thus they are lighter than steel, but consequently can also only chamber up to .38 Special +P whereas many steel can chamber .357 Magnum (e.g. the S&W 640, 649). Then there are the “Airlight” series (e.g. 340, 360), whose frame is made from a scandium alloy. These are even lighter than the Airweight models and can also handle .357 Magnum.

So apart from the above weight and chambering differences, what do you want to know? Well of course, there are also price differences, as the Airlight’s tend to be very expensive. I’ve handled one but never shot one. The Airlight’s are amazingly light, you barely notice it in your hand. Consequently, I can imagine they’d also be painful to shoot, especially .357 Magnum loads. Weight helps to soak up recoil, and weight is one thing the Airlights lack. I mean, shooting .38 +P loads out of my Airweight can sting your hand enough… I can’t imagine less weight and more recoil being pleasant.

The lightweight models are of course designed for carry, so they’ll be comfortable. But the steel really aren’t that much heavier. It’s a personal choice, and depends in part on how much you’ll shoot with it. Some people say to get both: a steel and a lightweight, in a similar form factor (e.g. both “Centential” body style, both “Bodyguard” style) and outfit them with the same setup in sights and trigger and grip and so on. Then use the steel to practice with, since it will be more pleasant to shoot, then carry the lightweight. All depends what you want to do.

corbon dpx or hornady critical defense

That’s up to you. Try both in your gun. If one doesn’t work reliably in your gun, then don’t use it. If both work reliably, pick the one that works better for you. For instance, while presently I use Buffalo Bore 20/20C in my .38 Special snub revolver, I am fortunate that my local Cabela’s carries Buffalo Bore; I know BB isn’t available everywhere. If say you can’t get enough of your desired self-defense ammo, that can play a part into it as well.

my m1a doesn’t cycle the bolt after ever

If your M1A isn’t cycling, you may have problems with the gas system.

When I first got my M1A it was “short stroking” meaning it would fire, but it wouldn’t fully cycle. Sometimes the brass would not eject at all. Sometimes it might eject but a new round doesn’t get stripped from the magazine so the next shot just goes “click” on an empty chamber.

In my case the problem was the gas system. The gas cylinder lock was not completely tightened down from the factory, thus the gas holes weren’t lined up fully and consequently not enough gas was getting into the gas cylinder to operate the action. I was able to test this by field stripping the rifle such that I could see the gas port in the bottom of the barrel. Take a 1/16″ allen wrench and insert it through the gas port into the bore of the barrel. There should be zero resistence when you do this, and looking down the bore you should see the allen wrench sticking up into the bore. If there’s any resistence, if you don’t see the wrench sticking through, then things aren’t lined up. When I called Springfield Armory about this the tech on the phone said I should be able to tighten the lock down another full turn (or 2… surprised it came from the factory that way). Sure enough, one more turn and things were lined up and short stroking no more!

But there can be other reasons for it. Clint McKee has a Q&A on this topic but with a Garand. Still, the M1A and Garand are close enough relatives that the answer applies just as well.

223. semi automatic banana clip

Magazine. Not clip. Know the difference.

minimum caliber for texas concealed hand

Ugh. I hate it when the stats thing cuts off the phrases.

As of this writing, there is no minimum caliber for carrying.

The only caliber minimum is during the taking of the qualifying test, a .32 caliber is the present minimum.

On a related search….

texas concealed carry .22

Yes, you could carry a pistol chambered in .22 LR but you cannot use it to qualify.

is a .223 legal for deer hunting in texas

Short answer: Yes.

Better answer: A summary of the “means and methods” from Texas Park & Wildlife.

So using a single-shot or semi-automatic rifle chambered in .223 Remington without a suppressor, that’s usable for game animals.