Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Product Review – Gun Shack G3 Flashlight

The Gun Shack G3 Flashlight with the CR123 adapter and pressure switch tail cap adapter
A few of weeks ago I got an email alert from GearHog for the Gun Shack G3 flashlight for $35; a 50% savings.  I’d been toying with the idea of getting a light for my AR, but didn’t want to jump into the $100+ light pool just yet. Well, when I saw this one for $35, I figured I’d try it on for size. If it didn't suit my purpose, it would become a truck light or a handy light for going to find the dog outside when it’s dark. The light is rated at 140 lumens running off three AAA batteries, and will last an hour. For more staying power, you can switch it over to use two CR123’s and get 160 lumens for 2 hours.

Proper Battery Pack Orientation - This isn't explained well at all in the instructions.
I wasn't really impressed when it arrived in three small plain white boxes, but okay, cheaper packaging means less money out of my pocket, right? I’m all about saving money where I can, so I can live with that. Once inside the boxes, everything was in good condition. The machining and knurling of the aluminum pieces didn't look or feel cheap. It afforded a good grip on the light. All the parts fit together without any problems. All the joints have lubricated o-rings to maintain water tight integrity. I've not seen any data on the water resistance of this light. Since I have to buy my own products, I wasn't about to stick this in the tub, or dunk it into the local swimming pool to test the watertight integrity. We’ll see how it holds up to rain in the future. If it fails, I’ll let you know but I seriously doubt it will.

The light has three modes of operation (high, low, and strobe). All three modes work whether you’re using the tail cap button or the remote pressure switch. I found switching modes very difficult with the tail cap button and worse with the remote pressure switch. It’s supposed to only take a quick tap on the tail cap button to switch from high to strobe, and another quick tap to go from strobe to low. It usually takes me an average of 5 or 6 tries before I can get it off high. Changing modes using the pressure switch takes more time and a lot of finesse. Once the light is on high, you have to just press the switch enough to barely get it to engage and then try to ride that edge between off and on.

I was a little disappointed that the beam couldn't be focused, but after testing the light in a dark hallway and in my backyard at night, I was okay with the beam-spread and pattern. From twenty feet away, you have a cone of light 18 feet wide. In the center is a bright spot about 2-1/2 feet in diameter. Outside at night, I have no problem lighting the fence 30 yards away from my back deck. If anyone is in that area of light, they will be easily identifiable.

The bezel, though not adjustable, makes a formidable weapon in itself.

The removable pocket clip is nice. It provides a firm grip for keeping the light in your pants pocket. I tried to hook it on the outside of my belt and I wouldn't recommend that. First, it’s not well suited for clipping to thicker items. The curve on the leading edge of the clip is too shallow for thicker belts like my A&G Custom Gunleather belt. It works great on denim jeans pockets and shirt pockets. I do wish the clip was reversible so I could carry the light bezel down. I didn't like clipping the light to the outside of a belt or pants pocket. The light is a little too bulky for that in my opinion. Although the clip is pretty strong, it just felt like it wouldn't take much to cause it to pop off whatever you had it clipped on to.

Until the funds come through for a light mount, or Santa drops one down the chimney, this will just be a general purpose light. I've used it around work, and it does just fine in an industrial environment. It’s been dropped a couple of times onto the concrete floor at work and no issues.
Overall, I’d say it’s a good light for the money. I’d rate it a 4 out of 5. It would get a 5 if the modes switched more easily and more reliably.
Be safe.

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