Flashlight bleg

Mrs. Ahab’s place of gainful employment has a strict no weapons policy, which includes things like pepper spray and .25 ACP handguns.  She and I spoke the other day about some sort of force multiplier that she could carry with her that would have some sort of distance deterrent effect, as well as be a viable last ditch striking weapon.  We came to the conclusion that a good tactical flashlight with a strike cap on the end would be ideal for this.

One of the things they talk about a lot on The Best Defense is the “stand off” ability of a flashlight.  While I’d personally prefer the the flashlight be backed up with 10 rounds of 147 grain JHP, we don’t live in a perfect world.  However, being able to light a potential attacker up at a distance can serve as a deterrent in some cases, because it lets them know that you’re situationally aware, which means you’re not necessarily an ideal target.

The reason I want to get her a light that has a strike cap on the end is that my wife has tiny, tiny hands.  Seriously, her index finger is the same size as my pinky finger, and I don’t exactly have big hands.  I spent the better part of 15 years in competitive martial arts, and if there is one lesson I learned, it’s that striking a human being with your bare hand sucks real bad for your hand; so if Mrs. Ahab were to get in a worse case scenario, I’d want her to be able to have a decent striking weapon.

So let’s see, what are my criteria?

  1. Brightness: I want this light to straight up blind a person (read: BRIGHT)
  2. Size: Think “roll of quarters” for the size of the handle, something that a person with teeny tiny hands will be able to get a solid fighting grip on.
  3. It has to be activated by an end-cap switch
  4. Must be designed for striking, so shock resistant, with a cap on the end for hitting folk.
  5. Must be small enough to fit in a sexy Banana Republic purses.

Tam actually had a really good light at the last blogmeet, with some kind of wicked strike cap on it that was crenelated and nasty looking.  But I forgot to write down the name of the thing.


  1. A carry a Surefire E2D which has crenellated bezels at both ends, and a kubotan on my key ring, and both pass post-metal detector inspection several times a week. There’s also a sharpened credit card in my wallet.

    I’ve noticed, though, that a number of people tend to dump stuff on their desks at work, to include keys, flashlights attached to keyrings, small pepper spray cans attached to keyrings, etc. so when the poop hits the fan the tool that might prove useful is three floors away. You have to carry the tool to be able to use it.

    As for the crenellated bezels, I regard them as secondary to a bright white light.

  2. Fenix TK10 or TK11. Crenellated bezel, “cigar” ring and 225 lumens. Very, very bright.

  3. Look at the inova L.E Tactical series. The T1 and T2 would be the best choice. They also make a key chain light that has a strobe feature. You can get the civilian series at Target. Then buy her a big brass whistle.

  4. Surefire E2D as has been mentioned – although in the “bright” department, Surefire leaves a lot to be desired.

    I’ve been a fan of the Olight brand for some time. 250 lumens out a single 3w cree LED. and for well under $100.

    I have two of the T20 series and an M20. Both are blindingly bright, have a strobe function (actually multiple functions) controled by the bezel rather than the tail cap, tail cap with momentary and constant. The M20 has a nasty crenelated bezel and is heavier but also bulkier.

    Good luck…

    Oh, BatteryJuntion is a great place to deal with.


  5. While the SureFire E2D is certainly a standard for this sort of thing, sometimes the crenellated caps can raise eyebrows. I’ve heard TSA has a problem with them (unconfirmed).

    Something like the SureFire EL1 or EL2, L1 LumaMax… these still have a slight crenellation but don’t come off looking so scary. Plus they’re reasonably functional too.

    I carry the EL2 with me everywhere because it can work as a “tactical light” but most times you just need a plain old light and the EL2 works great for that, especially since you can get a “dim” light out of it as well, which is useful for just looking about (e.g. you dropped something in the dark parking lot and wish to pick it up without blinding yourself too). And even tho it’s a “dim light” it’s still not fun to get it zapped in your eyes.

  6. I have carried my Surefire E2L Outdoorsman for the last 2.5 years on the job as a boiler inspector. it fits your criteria.


    it is extremely expensive and basically the only reason i have one is my brother’s best friend was a Surefire sales rep and gave it to him to give to me. i’m pretty sure that if i bashed someone upside the head with it they’d stay bashed.

  7. I have been very happy with my Olight T20, and while it does not have a striking bezel, I have found from experimentation that careful use of rims is just as good as an outright bezel. That said, the Olight folks just released an M20 flashlight with a mean little bezel…

    Before that, I carried a Surefire 6PD, and was very happy with it as well. Interesting note – flying with the 6PD was no problem at all.

    Aside from those, and the ones already mentioned, I have heard good things about the Porcupine Flashlight, but all the ones I list are probably too large. No way you cannot get a good grip on any of those, though.

    Otherwise, LEDs, and especially CREE LEDs, are highly recommended.

  8. Another vote for the Fenix TK series. I have a bunch of Fenix lights and have been pleased with all of them.

  9. Leupold’s modular flashlight system is a good bet. You can design your own and then search to see who has it. They can come with LED or Xenon lamps. I’d go with the LED for it’s indestructibility, brightness and battery life. You can also get them with tailcap switches.


    Cabela’s sells them, but not in the configuration I wanted.

  10. Surefire E1b light. Smaller then the E2 series and as bright. Carry one next to my wallet every day.

  11. I like the E2D, but when I traveled to Britain last year I picked up an E2E (no crenellations) so as not to freak out Customs.

  12. For just self-defense…I would suggest only getting one that has flash ability.

    This can temporarily stun an opponent. Potentially giving you those few seconds needed to flee to a safer area.

    It doesn’t sound like she’s planning to use this to search the bushes, or house sweep. Rather as the best she can do to defend herself with a non-weapon.

    In which case, I’d say “bright” & “flashing” are top priorities.

Comments are closed.