For most of the outings to the wild places, I have been well serve by a Surefire E2e flashlight (60 lumens) and an Aurora headlamp.
But about three years ago I acquired a shack near a stream in some good black bear country.
Coming back at night or going in before daybreak in the narrow trails, I had some encounter with bears that rob me of some sleep at night.
I promptly got the most powerful flashlight at the time, a Surefire Guardian 500 lumens light, that run in those small 3 Volts 123's batteries.
The Surefire uses six of them for a 20 minutes run.
Although expensive to run, the 500 lumens illuminate the trails like daylight, and I am sure I have avoided some serious encounters, as I don't imagine a bear that can face or miss to get scare by a powerful light like this.
The only problem was to get the beast her feed, as just a 20 minute walk down to the river, was consuming a full complement of 6 cells, at $2.00 for the actual price for each battery, the couple of trips were costing me $24.00
With the help from friends from the flashlight forum, I put together a flashlight based on a very well known "host" in 2 D format, a battery carrier with capacity for 6 cells carry the high current rechargeable Nimhs batteries, this carrier have a charging jack in the back, so taking batteries out is not needed.
A special reflector in thick walled aluminum was needed to cope with the heat of the super bulb, Pyrex lens, and a highly modified switch for the high temperature bulb, completed the flashlight that was to be denominated the Black Bear 720 lumens.
Yes the light throws 220 lumens more than the Surefire M-6, have a run time of 40 minutes on the Nimhs rechargeable batteries (double than the run time of the M-6) and in reality is not that much bigger or heavier than the M-6.
FREE to run and more lumen output, and double the run time on a charge.
What is not to like!
My solution to the battery hungry Surefire M-6.
Here is a picture of the two lights
At top is the Black Bear 720 lumens; it also shows the Rolls Royce battery carrier that uses for the 6 Nimhs batteries. This carrier is made of aluminum and Delrin.
The lower picture is of the Surefire M-6 and also shows the plastic carrier with the six 123's disposables batteries.
This light can be recharged with any camera charger or with a RC charger (used for RC races) without taking the batteries out of the carrier.
A few nights ago, I conducted a shoot-out against my 12 x 8 tool shed at 30 yards distance.
Here are the results.
Surefire M-6 (500 lumens)
Black Bear 720 lumens
Granted that not many members will need a flashlight with this kind of lumens output, still the Black Bear will beat a one million candlepower spotlight, all in a small package of 10 inches and weighting at 23 oz.
I will say that is an ideal light to keep in car or truck, it even fit in my glove compartment. And of course to walk those trails at night where the pesky black bears travel.
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