So, one thing that many do not know about me, outside of the job, is that I am a huge fan of flashlights, and over the past few years, I have tried almost every kind of flashlight out there but have always gone back to Streamlight. So how about a 3 year review of a series of flashlights?

The first one I will talk about is the Protac HL, HL meaning High Lumens. The flashlight touted a whopping 600 lumens (at least the one I bought, now it is 750), with a high, low, and strobe setting. Of course it is an LED light, powered by 2 CR123 batteries. The body is all aluminum, and take it from me, it takes one hell of a beating, and keeps going. The overall length is just at 5.4 inches, and weighs 5.6 ounces with batteries. I carried this light as a primary duty light for 2 years straight, and a lot of that time, was spent on the railroad, falling off trains daily. Yes, the humidity here is that brutal, and sweaty hands are unavoidable. This flashlight also got run over a few times, because I am a clutz and often dropped it while hauling ass on the kabota (diesel version of a 4 wheeler). I can say that this light, did save my life on more than one occasion, to which I am very thankful for. This light is also sealed for water resistance, 1 meter at 30 minutes is the rating, this is one that I have not tested, outside of the daily hurricanes Florida gets in the summer. Now, the best part is depending on where you buy the light, (got mine on ebay) it costs approximately $60…..yea go get a surefire with the same features for that price….you won’t. The cons to me are no rubber grip option, non rechargeable, and it gets stupid hot on the bezel. I would love to see a rubber grip option, specially for us that live in humid areas, or experience the daily summer hurricanes, and if you aren’t careful, you will burn through batteries like they are nothing. As for the bezel getting stupid hot, that only occurs when you leave it on for an extended period of time, which at that point, you are going to experience the battery drain.

Now, onto my current flashlight that I carry on duty. About a year ago I bought a Protac HL3, which is nearly the same at the Protac HL, except the light output jumps up to 1100 lumens, and an additional CR123 battery is stacked on the rear. This also has the same body construction, flash patterns, etc. The overall length jumps up to 7.1 inches with a weight of 9.3 ounces with batteries. Now, I have to say that the HL3 I have is called the hand held sun, and the Hammer of Thor, and if you hold it at least 3 inches from your skin, you can feel the heat coming from it. The thing I like about this light is that it has the optional rubber grip, however I have yet to get it since I do not feel like getting a different flashlight holder on my duty belt. Another pro to this light is that from a store front I paid $80 for it, and have seen them cheaper online. The con is the battery drain as well, so be sure to have a decent supply of batteries on hand.

So, after talking with the great folks over at Streamlight, I will now have the new Protac HL4 to review, and to blind my coworkers with. Here is a hint…….,it runs on 4 CR123 batteries, or 2 rechargeable 1860 batteries, and has 2200 lumens….yea my coworkers will hate me.


By Jimmy Ogletree

Jimmy is a southern man, raised in a military family with over 24 years of firearms experience. He has worked in the security and Law Enforcement field for over 10 years, many of those years were spent in a car for 13 hours a night on patrol. He is also a former investigator for the Department of Defense. Jimmy is an NRA certified instructor, as well as a Florida Security Officer School Instructor.

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