Low-End Off-Brand Tac Light Review

Low-End Off-Brand Tac Light Review

This is a discussion on Low-End Off-Brand Tac Light Review within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Informal Review Of Compact Tactical Flashlight Manufacturer: Coast Products PO Box 5821, Portland, Oregon 97228. Telephone #: 1-800-426-5858. Website Address: http://www.coastcutlery.com/ Model #: 7438 - ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array RTC1911's Avatar
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    Low-End Off-Brand Tac Light Review

    Informal Review Of Compact Tactical Flashlight

    Manufacturer: Coast Products PO Box 5821, Portland, Oregon 97228. Telephone #: 1-800-426-5858.
    Website Address: http://www.coastcutlery.com/

    Model #: 7438 - Tactical Focus Beam - Coast LED Lenser Optoelectronics

    Lumens: 60.
    Maximum Wattage: 3.44
    Power Switch - In Tail Cap - Rubber Covered - Momentary & Constant On.
    Gold Contacts on all internal battery and switch contact surfaces.
    Batteries: Three (3) Standard AAA Penlight Batteries.
    Battery Life: 85 hours
    LED Life: 100,000 hours
    Length: 5.0 inches
    Approx. Diameter: 1-1/16 in. (barrel)
    1.25 in. (lens hood)
    Included Accessories: Nylon Cordura Belt Pouch, Lanyard Clip, Lanyard Rope, Small Black Carabiner Style Spring-Clip, 3 AAA Batteries installed plus 3 Spare AAA Batteries

    Purchased From: Loews Home Improvement Store

    I was in the market for a small, compact, relatively bright belt or pocket flashlight. I noticed this model while shopping at Loews. The flashlight's hard shell theft-resistant packaging includes a plastic lever enabling you to "test" the flashlight by turning in on. Anticipating that installed batteries have a "shelf life" and the fact that customers may be routinely "testing" the light on the shelf, I thought the inclusion of a new set of fresh, spare AAA batteries was a thoughtful touch.

    I was impressed enough by the brightness of the light in broad daylight inside the illuminated store to purchase it. To tell the truth, I wasn't really looking for a purpose-specific "tactical" flashlight but I think this one may serve the purpose fairly well. Not so much, perhaps, for room-clearing purposes, but at least for temporarily dazzling the eyeballs of a potential Hostile.

    Shortly post-purchase I had occasion and need to wait for someone's arrival in a relatively dark parking lot at night. I was in a position where pedestrians first came into view from an approximate 20-foot separation distance. Eight different people approached before the party I was waiting to meet arrived. In all 8 cases, a brief press of the momentary switch on the tail cap of the flashlight aimed at the pedestrian's faces produced a severe flinch and eyes-squeezed-shut squint in the approaching person - sometimes with eye-guarding by the hands - from 20 feet away. Looking directly into the hand-held beam myself, I did find it quite visually painful.

    The housing appears to be constructed of aluminum alloy, black anodized, with a non-slip, finely knurled section on the hand grip area and a knurled ring on the tail end cap to aid unscrewing it. The rubber-covered tail-cap switch feels to be solid and well-made and functions well in both momentary and constant-on mode. The tail cap threads are water-sealed by a rubber O-ring.

    When the tail cap is unscrewed, the circular battery holder assembly easily slides and drops out of the barrel. The receptacle for each of the three AAA batteries is very clearly marked with a battery symbol, positive and negative polarity symbols, of good size and clearly visible, marked in white print against the black background of the battery holder, making it very easy to quickly insert batteries in correct polarity position even in very dim light.

    The flashlight beam is focusable from spot to flood. In spot mode, the bright-white, slightly bluish tint beam has zero "artificats" or dark spots. When the lens hood is rotated to the variable flood position, there are some "artifacts" (if you want to call it such) but they are extremely minimal and not "spotty". The artificats in floodlight position essentially amount to little more than a hardly-noticeable, slight reduction in the intensity of the beam's brightness.

    My large living room is approximately 20' by 30' and for room-clearing purposes the "spot" mode covered roughly half the room without fanning the pointing direction, and covered slightly more than 3/4 of the room in "flood" mode. Not as "super bright" as some of the high-end tac lights, perhaps, but seeming serviceable enough for general civilian applications. The combined distance across living room and family room den is slightly over 50 feet in length and this little flashlight afforded reasonable enough and serviceable enough illumination for my aging mid-50s peepers at a 50-foot distance.

    There are only 3 "complaints" I could have concerning this light and none of them were enough of an "issue" for me to induce a decision not to purchase: (1) Neither the forward edge ot the lens hood or the tail cap have protruding "skull crusher" ribs on them. I don't consider this an issue because if I'm close enoght for serious H2H combat and skull-crushing I'd probably be resorting instead to the BUG or knife. (2) It does not have anti-roll flats on the barrel housing. Not an issue for me because I don't anticipate much of a need of having to put the flashlight down while lit on a hard surface. I have other means of hands-free lighting if-when called for. Including the neatest little baseball-style cap with bright LEDS incorporated and recessed right into the forward leading edge of the hat's sunshade brim bill. (3) The included belt holster is of the "soft" type, not the rigid, hard-molded type. Hey, the belt holster was an included freebie, and serviceable enough until my spare mag carrier-flashlight holder combo arrives in the mail.

    The flashlight has a Lifetime Guarantee against defects in materials or workmanship for the life of the Purchaser, exclusive of wear & tear, abuse or neglect.

    The price cost was $49.97 plus sales tax. Perhaps a bit "pricey" for some, for a 60-lumen light? Well, the way i look at it, I'm a civilian, not LEO, so my needs and desires are dictated accordingly. Frankly, if there's one thing I'd hate, it'd be having to lay out a large sum of $ for the "famous maker" tac lights whose bulbs have high heat, ridiculously short usable life-spans and be additionally locked into constantly purchasing pricey specialty batteries and-or sustaining down-time during battery rechargings.

    I love the idea that I can buy a brick of standard AAA penlight batteries at cheap cost. or, (most significant to me), find AAA penlight batteries at just about any supermarket, hardware store or convenience store countrywide when I'm out and about traveling.

    I can say this much . . . while I'm not as "flashlight fanatic" as some, I detest laying out $ for junk and am highly appreciative of a well-made, serviceable product. I had merely misplaced, but thought I had lost, the first one of this model flashlight I'd purchased. I missed it enough that I bought another one for carrying on the person. That one usually resides in the pocket of a cover garment usually worn when I'm riding a motorcycle, which is 90% of my transportation year-round here in FL. Then just the other day I yielded to one of those be-good-to-myself impulses and bought a second one just to keep & have in the pickup truck at all times. Then, I located the original one I thought I'd lost. This first one had an appreciable amount of use on the installed battery set prior to being musplaces, and when found again months & months later, it was still serviceable, indicative of minimal battery drain even after an extended period of non-usgae.

    So now I have one usually included in the daily-wear load-up, one for the truck, and one for bedroom nightstand to supplant the humongo 5-D-Cell Maglight baton for yard & property searches. In other words, I wouldn't have bought three of 'em if I didn't think it wasn't one of the best, handiest little general-purpose and low-end 60-lumen tac-light I've come across thus far.

    I admittedly have little experience with the high-end famous-maker tac-light products, simply because low bulb-hour life, pricey batteries and recharing down-time goes against my grain & preferences. So, in short, this Coast product "works for me". FWIW, and YMMV.

    Apologies for lack of pics, but i've not yet subscribed to any web-based pic-hosting site and seem to be having some trouble embedding or attaching pics to a thread posting.

    I imagine you can eyeball a pic on the manufacturer's website. By the way, the little products pamphlet included in the packaging indicates that simply by visiting their website, you can obtain a FREE Coast keyring flashlight, and they claim to share personal ID or address info with NO ONE.
    Last edited by Captain Crunch; November 10th, 2007 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Added live link
    "He who allows another to take his life, who hath no authority for that purpose, when it might be preserved by defense, is guilty of Self-Murder, for God hath enjoined him to seek the continuance of his Life, and Mother Nature teaches every creature to defend itself".


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Good review. I carry a Coast Tach Torch every day. I use it at work and I always have it on me. It is a very bright little light and works well for general use.

    I also have a Surefire G2 and the two are very similar in brightness as long as the batteries in the Tach Torch are fairly new.

    I bought mine at Lowes as well about a year and a half ago, and I believe it was about $40.00 at the time.
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  3. #3
    Member Array Arizonut's Avatar
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    great review, thanks .
    well written and a good read, you're hired :)
    Guns don't kill people , compounded interest kills people

  4. #4
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    Pay the man.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array MilitaryPower's Avatar
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    Yes, Coast LED lights are pretty nice. Glad to see you like it. Take a look at Fenix-store.com for even brighter lights at about the same price.
    Gun control can be blamed in part for allowing 9/11 to happen.
    "Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum" (Latin)- "If you want peace, prepare for war".

  6. #6
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    Good Info...thanks RTC!

  7. #7
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    Let me get this one part straight - you were shining the light into the faces of random strangers as they came around a corner? All I can say is that it's a good thing I wasn't one of those random folks...you and I might have exchanged some words.

    Other than that, though, good review. The SureFire G2 Nitrolon is, in fact, about 20% cheaper, but your other complaints (battery costs, battery life, etc) are certainly justified.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  8. #8
    Member Array RTC1911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Let me get this one part straight - you were shining the light into the faces of random strangers as they came around a corner? All I can say is that it's a good thing I wasn't one of those random folks...you and I might have exchanged some words.

    Other than that, though, good review. The SureFire G2 Nitrolon is, in fact, about 20% cheaper, but your other complaints (battery costs, battery life, etc) are certainly justified.
    Point well taken, as long as you have "gotten it straight", and haven't made any erroneous assumptions, absent given information upon which to formulate your stated and inferred conclusions . . .

    including one that I'd be either that stupid or that rude to what you, (not me), describe as "random strangers". But your mistake, admittedly, is my own fault.

    I suppose I should have clarified that the location I was waiting for arrivals at was a private property location, where no one except people very well known to me would have had any business being there. (If "random strangers" appeared, we would indeed have exchanged some words, initiated by me).

    As far as my "lighting them up", I did say "brief", as in momentary, and in retrospective hindsight I suppose it wasn't the "politest thing in the world" but amongst close friends, it was no "big deal", so no one was upset.

    And to tell the truth, I figured that being amongst friends was the actual "best way" to do that which we do with all our "tactical" equipment before we "rely" on it for anything - as in, making sure it functions well enough as intended and desired.

    Thank you for your thoghts, and thanks to all who responded to the thread.
    "He who allows another to take his life, who hath no authority for that purpose, when it might be preserved by defense, is guilty of Self-Murder, for God hath enjoined him to seek the continuance of his Life, and Mother Nature teaches every creature to defend itself".

  9. #9
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    Apparently, I didn't have it straight - my apologies. Thanks for "shedding some light on the subject," as it were.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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