Check Your Lights and Optics, October 2017 Edition

| November 3, 2017 | 7 Comments

October’s “Check Your Lights and Optics” results:

Total dead optics found: 1/10*

Total dead weapon mounted lights: 1/4*

Total dead handheld lights: 0/3

Total dead safe lights: 0/3

Total dead headlamps: 0/3

We had two “special circumstances” this month that are worth noting.

The battery on my Mini Draco vSBR AK47 was strong enough to power the Primary Arms MD-06 optic at the lowest setting (1), but not strong enough to power it at any other setting. I discovered this during an advanced rifle class. I carry spare batteries in my range bag, and the optic ran fine the rest of the day.

We noticed the Nitecore P12 light on The She Shepherd’s stopped working after the advanced rifle class. I thought the battery was dead. I removed the battery, and noticed that the positive contact had been malformed:

I assume this is due to the repetitive, rapid recoil of shooting in the advanced class. It’s a little surprising to me, as these “flat top” batteries have gone through a few rifle classes already.

I put in a KeepPower button top battery, and the light was on “low” mode for a brief instant before powering off. I contacted Nitecore and I’m sending my light in for service. We’ll see what they say.

Going forward, I will make sure there is no space between the battery and the contact.

How’d you do this month?

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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7 Comments on "Check Your Lights and Optics, October 2017 Edition"

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  1. David says:

    I assume the collapsed side of the battery is from a tailcap impact? What kind of contact does the tailcap use? I’ve noticed that some tailcaps use a “pusher” type contact, which seems like it might be more reliable than a spring, but also seems to cause catastrophic battery impacts in a weaponlight scenario.

    While I think that LED lights are generally a huge improvement in terms of reliability over the old Xenon bulbs, they’re not a panacea for good design. One of the things I really, really like about my old Pentagonlights is that the head is isolated from the battery compartment by a cap, which means your batteries aren’t slamming into the bulb/LED all the time on recoil.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Best I can discern, the positive contact on the Nitecore is in a plastic cone (narrowest part at the top, towards the battery). I think that the recoil hammered the battery into the hard plastic over and over again.

      It’s hard to take a picture of the inside of a flashlight, but I might see if there is another way to represent what I’m talking about.

    • Rich says:

      Found a deformed battery stick on the Streamlight rechargeable kept on the wall upstairs for emergency use. It wasn’t the one in the light, but in the spare holder of the recharge mount. Looking closer, not only is the top dented, but the whole assembly is tweaked at around 10* and won’t insert now. Streamlight and Amazon have both been dead ends as far as replacement batteries. Anyone have alternative sources?

      Also, picked up a Coast HX5 for pocket carry. Supposed to be 325 lumens on Li-on AA but so far maybe only seeing 90-120 lumens, so can’t recommend it for more than casual use.

      • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

        Rich, not sure what exactly you’re looking for, but the team over at Illumn is awesome. They may be able to help.

        please tell them Short Barrel Shepherd sent you!

        • Rich says:

          I see you cleaned up my mess for me.Thanks.

          Definitely will talk to them to the folks at Illum.

          Basically getting tired of buying expensive lights that have short lifespans or little support. If I’m paying $200-$300 for a tool that might save my life I expect it to be around a while or at least be supported for more than 5 minutes.
          BTW, have to thank you. The monthly light and battery check had fallen off the normal routine here and on my first re-established check, the wml on the Bushmaster showed up DOA. Ended up replacing the whole light.

  2. Brian says:

    I’ve got a dead Nitecore P12 too, but the US distributor that it was bought through won’t help and Nitecore wants me to send it overseas to them for big $. How are you going yo get your repaired?

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      It sucks that Nitecore and their distributors aren’t being more helpful.

      I bought mine through Amazon, but it turned out to be sold by another Nitecore distributor *through* Amazon. Nitecore customer service helped me find their contact information thanks to the serial number on my light.

      The distributor asked me to try a few things before returning the P12. So far none of them have worked, and I imagine the next step is to return the light.

      I’ll let you know how it goes.

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