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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Picked up a Night-Ops Gladius today... UPDATE

UPDATE: Hey all, just like to report that the red lens filter (pop-open type) fit perfectly on this light. I figured it would because I thought the bezels were the same diameter, but I was at a local mil. surplus/camping store today and noticed they had some in stock so I drove home (about 5 minutes) and grabbed my light to bring it in. It fit on the light perfectly and the guy charged me $14 for it, brand new sealed in the plastic!

Also, here's a quote from Ken Good, brand manager of Night-Ops on TheHighRoad.com forum to me:

tater_salad

I am the brand manager for Night-Ops.

Some of the tailcaps are rougher in function than others, something that is not ideal. Overtime we have tightened up the tooling and Q/C.

I have felt a few tailcaps that have that slight hangup in the 3rd channel as you described it.

If it becomes an issue, drop me a line via email: [email protected] and I will ensure you get a smoother tailcap sent to your location.

Best to you.

Ken J. Good
Night-Ops Illumination Tools

Talk about customer service! :congrats:



Well, I got a Gladius today from a buddy of mine that works at a leather place in Milwaukee. (They primarily supply belts/holsters to local police, security, etc. but also are dealers for many tactical companies) Overall, it seems like a very nice flashlight, but this is my first tactical so I have nothing to compare it to. The coating is pretty impressive; I thought it was weak when I scratched it with a fingernail and it left a mark - until I wiped the mark off and realized that it scraped my fingernail with it's coating. :)
Light output is pretty impressive at full power (I have no way to do calibrated tests, but the fact that I'm still seeing spots in a brightly lit room tells me it works just fine.) I also thought the 'strobe' function would be more of a joke then practical, but I'll tell you that it works well. Between the bright light and the strobe action, if it's getting shined in your eyes you either have to shut your eyes or turn away. The dimming function is pretty nice and fairly intuitive too, just hold down the button any time and after 1.5 seconds it starts to dim until you let off or it gets all the way to low (.8 lumen), then it stays at that level. If you need it back up to full brightness quickly, just click the button twice and it's back on full power. There are some other modes for dimming as well including a memory mode, but I won't get into that here.
Some things that I don't like so much about the light are the tailcap and button, they're just cheap (appearing) plastic. I guess I was hoping for rubberized. I also hope there's some gaskets or O-rings in the tailcap area as well as I can wiggle the tailcap around and see about 1/32" gap to the inside, I don't think it will be a problem though as they are waterproof to some depth, and I don't dive. The button is another issue, every now and then it will hang-up halfway depressed, and then if you push a little harder it will make a clicking noise like it was hung up on something and will then depress fully and activate the light. (This only seems to happen for the constant on setting, the strobe and momentary settings do not seem to do this)
Their lockout is kind of odd as well, insted of just making it another click on the rotary dial to lock out, you have to push the button down half-way, and then turn it one more click. (I can understand the reasoning behind it, but every now and then I'll accidentally push the button a little too far and it will be locked out with the light on, and I'll have to take it off lock out, turn the light off, and then do it over again. None of these seem like major problems (save the button hanging up, which I'll call night-ops if it gets worse) just little quirks, which every new product has.
Overall I am very impressed with the light, save a few quirks. I bought this light because It was my first light, and I couldn't decide between a couple lights, which is where I think this light excells. I think that the best thing this light has going for it is that it is a great comprimise between light technologies. At 80+ lumen, it has output that surpasses many 6v xenon lights, and because it's LED it is inherantly more impact resistant and the bulb has much longer life. Combine that with battery output regulation circuitry as well as the ability to dim the light to whatever output you need easily, it makes for a pretty complete package - a great combination of features. It is solidly built and seems like it will hold up well, and the design looks like it would be easy enough to operate under duress. I look forward to seeing future products from Blackhawk/Night Ops.
 

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tater,

Thanks for the report. I've been trying to decide between the Gladius and the Surefire U2. I like the strobe feature of the Gladius and read some good stuff about it.

I'm leaning toward the U2 right now, although not much. I almost ordered a Gladius yesterday and then hesitated and that was that. But today is another day!

I've read that you have to be kinda careful replacing batteries because there's something in the tail cap that has to be positioned just right or it could damage the light beyond use. Does that make any sense to you?

What do you figure a decent price would be for the Gladius?
 

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Yes - price would be useful.

The features sound good and I like the dimming option - so many times we need light but not high intensity.

TRx for the write-up.
 

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So far the best price I've seen are on E-Bay - "Buy Now" for $199 + 13.50 shipping or somethin' like that.
 

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One other thing. If I understand the Surefire U2 correctly, it has a "ring" that selects the brightness rather than holding the tailcap for 1.5 seconds to start dimming light.
 

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Ken Good is a former SEAL and the President of STRATEGOS International. He's also the creator of the GLADIUS. He's partnered with Blackhawk. It's a good light. Ken is our SME for our operating in low-light conditions course.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When the instructions tell you to 'be careful' when you change batteries and to follow their instructions, you do have to take a second to see how the tailcap goes on, but after you do it once you know how it works and it's no biggie. There is a small notch inside the threads on the body of the flashlight that a small dot (for lack of a better term) on the inside of the tailcap slips into to keep the rotary dial in the correct position. The easiest way to do it is just how they say, place the tailcap on the body of the flashlight and grip the plastic part of the tailcap (the rotary dial) and twist it slightly, you will definitely notice the tailcap slide down the rest of the way once everything is lined up and then you just tighten the tailcap up and you're ready to go. (I recommend turning the tailcap counterclockwise to get it lined up, that way if you accidentally put too much pressure on it, you won't catch a thread and strip it out, I think that's what they're worried about.)

As far as price goes, the lowest you'll probably find is around $180 shipped, I've seen many on eBay at this price, and that's what my dealer said they paid for theirs - which I in turn got for the same price.
 

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I think the Gladius is very interesting and would like to have one. Maybe with my tax refund I'll be able to get one. :)

clipse
 

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You've gotta be kidding!

Tangle said:
So far the best price I've seen are on E-Bay - "Buy Now" for $199 + 13.50 shipping or somethin' like that.
Somebody post a pic! My God, $190? I thought that SureFire was outrageous. How many lumens for a flashlight costing $190? We talking lithium batteries here? What's the run time per set of batteries on average?
 

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The Gladius uses two CR123 batts and runs about 90 minutes at 80+ lumens. The Gladius uses a 3W LED where the Surefire U2 uses a 5W but the Galdius is a little more sharply focused than the U2 and could appear to be about the same brightness.

After using the Surefire L2 (LED with relatively broad beam) I have found the broad beam is significantly better for peripheral illumination like in a room, and the more focused beam is better for longer ranges and seeing less in the periphery.

The Surefire X200A and X200B have this same beam issue; the A is more sharply focused and the B is more broadly focused.

Either beam is capable of that blinding effect we all probably over rate.

Oh yeah a pic:
 

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ExSoldier762 said:
Somebody post a pic! My God, $190? I thought that SureFire was outrageous. How many lumens for a flashlight costing $190? We talking lithium batteries here? What's the run time per set of batteries on average?
I think that's outrageous too - just never had the courage to say it out loud before. :embarassed: Ridiculous comes to mind too. :mad: But, the market seems to suffer the price.:frown:
 

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ExSoldier -- did you take a look at the review I posted? It answers all those questions and has a photo.

Street prices have come down a little bit since I wrote the article.

How outrageous a price seems is directly related to how much money you have. ;) Plenty of people around here probably have $350 pocket knives (like the Sebenzas). If you think about it, you will get a lot more use out of a $180 flashlight in your everyday life than a $600 carry gun. And, a flashlight can be just as much of a lifesaving device as a gun.
 

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DDGator said:
ExSoldier -- did you take a look at the review I posted? It answers all those questions and has a photo.

Street prices have come down a little bit since I wrote the article.

How outrageous a price seems is directly related to how much money you have. ;) Plenty of people around here probably have $350 pocket knives (like the Sebenzas). If you think about it, you will get a lot more use out of a $180 flashlight in your everyday life than a $600 carry gun. And, a flashlight can be just as much of a lifesaving device as a gun.
I agree with your input, don't let cost drive your decision. However it is an innovative light but too many features? I want a light to be clean & simple too many options can make it hard to properly discriminate your target. Just some thoughts...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Optr23 said:
I agree with your input, don't let cost drive your decision. However it is an innovative light but too many features? I want a light to be clean & simple too many options can make it hard to properly discriminate your target. Just some thoughts...
I also agree with your point. I think that this is definitely a tactical light in the purest form, in the sense that it's mostly only useful to combat troops and law enforcement - me being the former with a decent tax return, I was able to justify the purchase ;) For a very nice review and more information on this particular light, check out the review by flashlight reviews here: http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/night-ops_gladius.htm
 

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I think the Gladius is a quality light. The strobe feature seems to be a definite asset. But after a lot of consideration, it is my opinion that the Gladius is too complicated to be operated reliably under stress. It has a multifunction tail cap switch plus a multi-position ring switch to select various functions and operational modes.

IMO, a tactical light needs to be simple to operate for times sake and reliable operation in stressful conditions. For example, I have a SureFire L2 LED handheld. The L2 is a dual intensity light. If you press tail cap lightly, the low intensity comes on. If you press it harder, the high intensity beam comes on. Sounds simple enough, right? It's not simple, it's complicated. It proves to be difficult to keep the tail switch pressed so that the low beam stays on. There is a tendency for your thumb pressure to change and flash on the bright beam or let the light go off. If it flashes up to bright when you are reading a map or building floor plan in the dark, it messes up your night vision.

If I'm doing something I find it difficult to maintain that steady pressure on the tail cap. I can only imagine what it would be like in a stressful situation.

Of course one saving factor is that if you are in a stressful situation, you'll probably want the beam on high and you'll have more than enough pressure on the switch to maintain the high beam.

I like the Gladius and its features, but IMO, it's just too complicated for stressful situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I wouldn't say that its abundance of features is a detriment. There is nothing keeping the user from only using whatever features they want to use or need. For example, most people could probably leave this light on the 'constant on' channel and still benefit from the majority of this light's technology (high output led & long runtime, very simple adjustable dimming/brightening, heat protection, battery run-down circuitry/protection, etc.) If anything this light probably has the most simple design as far as dimming/brigtening of the light, most lights do not even have this feature or have a 2 bulb system that is not very adjustable.
While it's not the best light out there, I don't think there really is one 'best' light out there, otherwise everybody would know about it and everybody would buy it because it's the 'best.' All lights are going to comprimise somewhere, and that's probably this light's biggest comprimise, you get a lot of technology and features, but that's all packaged into what's still just a flashlight.
I bought it MAINLY for the fact that it was an LED which is inherantly tougher than xenon and lasts a lot longer. Not only that, it has output that surpasses 'most' xenon flashlights of it's size with over twice the runtime. Add to that the fact that I can adjust the light output to whatever I need and it's a winner in my book.
 

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tater,

Well said, and I agree. I consider the Gladius as one of the best.
 
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