One of the fun aspects of being a writer is that it gives me an excuse to constantly acquire flashlights. My wife rolls her eyes and exclaims, “Another flashlight (or gun, knife, etc.)?! Seriously? You really needed another flashlight?!”
“But honey…this one’s for an article!”
And so, Armament Systems & Procedures (ASP) was kind enough to send me one of their flashlights to review. I received the Raptor (Dual Fuel) for test and evaluation. This company offers a number of tactical tools that are useful for folks from every walk of life, whether you wear black, camo, blue, or flannel.
My immediate impression upon unboxing this light is that it’s a beast! Most of my lights are on the smaller side, intended for convenient pocket carry. The Raptor is a bit different, in that the bezel is relatively large.
I wasted no time getting the battery in and seeing just how bright this light is. WOW! In the bright daylight of my kitchen, I shone the light against the wall and was dazzled by how bright it is! Even my daughter, who is rarely impressed with much of anything these days, remarked with surprise how bright this light is.
That said, allow me to launch into the technical specifications and the features that the Raptor offers, after which I’ll report to you how the light works on a practical basis.
One of my favorite features of this light is that it is rechargeable! No more having to purchase boxes of batteries, the user just plugs this light in for a recharge (a full charge takes about five hours, per company literature).
The charging is done via a standard USB cable, which comes included with this light (in a
retractable form, no less). Also included is a wall plug for the cable and a car charger, or the cable can be plugged into a laptop computer. All of these options show a lot of thought by the company for the end-user.
To charge the light, the charger is plugged into a power source, and then the bezel is rotated (partially unscrewed), which exposes the power port, and the cord is plugged into that. There is a window that shows the state of charging (red, yellow, and green) and lets the user know when the light is done charging. Again, this is another nice touch.
If the user does not want to utilize the rechargeable battery, two CR123A Lithium batteries can also be used (hence, the dual fuel).
So how bright is this thing?
Well…1,900 lumens bright! Yeah. That bright! The range of the beam is rated to 240 meters, so it reaches out to an appreciable distance, while still maintaining a broad flood pattern that illuminates a wide area up close. Between the long beam distance and the wide flood, you’re getting a lot of light, and very bright light, at that. The light source is of the LED Cree variety, which maximizes performance and energy usage.
For the times when you might not want 1,900 lumens, a second push of the power button will give you 15 lumens.
It is also water resistant and impact resistant (from a two meter drop).
The runtime rating for this light at 1,900 lumens is one and one-half hours. The information I received with the light did not indicate how long it will run on the 15 lumen setting, but I’ll go out on a limb and wager that it is quite a few hours.
How do you carry the Raptor flashlight?
ASP also included a TLC (Tactical Light Case) with my light, although these are normally sold separately. This hard case mounts on the belt and will carry the light securely both on and off duty. There is also a belt clip already attached to the Raptor, and you can mount it to be carried bezel up or down. There is a locking screw that holds a circular ring in place that can be loosened and tightened with a 1/16” Hex key so that the user can position the clip in either desired position.
The switch to turn the light on is of the push-button type and is mounted at the end of the flashlight opposite the bezel, in the manner of most other tactical lights that are on the market. No surprises here.
A nice addition, though, is a rotating switch that allows the user to lock out the light so that the switch will not turn it on. There are two other options: One is an Intermittent switch, which turns the light on only when the button is pushed, and the light goes off the instant pressure is released from the switch.
The other option is a constant-on mode so that the light stays on when you push the tail switch, and turns off when the switch is pushed a second time. In the Intermittent mode, the first push of the switch gets you 1,900 lumens, and a quick second push gets you 15 lumens (although different levels can be programmed to be activated for that second level of light). Again, options are nice.
The finish of the light is hard anodized in a satin black finish that is attractive and resists scratches. The grip portion is a “foamed vinyl”, according to ASP, similar to that which is used on their Expandable Batons, to give the user a positive grip and also to insulate against the heat of the flashlight. The body of the Raptor is machined aluminum and appears to be quite strong and durable.
Speaking of heat, the light generates a considerable amount of it, given its brightness. ASP warns against storing the light face down on any surface because of a fire hazard. For storage, I’d recommend removing the battery so that there is no chance that the light can be accidentally turned on. The lock out tailcap is also a good option for having the light nearby and ready, but it lessens the chances
that the light could accidentally be turned on and start a fire.
The Raptor appears to be intended primarily for the tactical market, and it will definitely appeal to that crowd. The ability to blind an attacker or subject with 1,900 lumens is attractive and might reduce the necessity of having to use force against the subject.
Aside from that, there are scads of uses for the light, given that it has a lower-lumen setting that will allow for a long run time and a less obnoxious level of light. Camping is another use that comes to mind, as well as deer spotting or use in the hunting field. Just having one of these in the vehicle or bugout bag is another sensible move. The uses for a homeowner, especially in a rural community, would be endless. For a city dweller, the ability to blind an aggressor is an option that’s nice to have access to, as it allows us to get away from danger without having to resort to more forceful means. I’m sure there are a number of other scenarios in which this light would shine (pardon the pun) that I haven’t even considered.
As with their other products, ASP offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty against defects in materials and workmansip.
So how did the light work on a practical level? In a nutshell, very well! The flood aspect of the light gives the beam a very wide throw, illuminating a wide arc. It’s helpful for lighting up rooms or an area that is being searched.
The focused beam lights up objects a good distance away. I’m not sure I’d say it reaches out a full 240 meters, unless maybe we’re talking a firing range with nice silhouette targets that are set up. But it will definitely light up deer in a field well past 100 yards.
The 15 lumen setting is just as useful, and would likely be used even more often than the high setting, by many users. Simply put, we don’t always need to activate the sun just to look for something in the yard at night or navigate around an area, and 15 lumens gives us just enough light to be able to see to walk while not destroying our night vision. It’s just enough, but not too much, and I applaud ASP for including this option in the Raptor.
As I said, this isn’t a light that you slip into a pants pocket and forget is there; it is somewhat large and heavy for that. The belt holster would be a good way to carry the Raptor if you’re in uniform and possibly everyday carry. Clipping it to the pocket of BDU pants or other duty pants, or to a jacket pocket would also be a sensible way of carrying the Raptor.
As a striking weapon for defensive purposes, the Raptor would be useful because the bezel is large and you can gain good purchase on the grip due to that foam-like grip (it’s just a coating, it is not as if the grip is gushy foam). The light is definitely sturdy enough for striking, given it’s all-metal construction. Adding to the defensive nature is the fact that this light will positively ruin an attacker’s vision for several seconds if shone into his face. The brightness factor is off the charts! Blinding an aggressor is a great way to give you the time needed to break contact and get out of Dodge in certain circumstances. It reduces your chances of being harmed and of having to go to court.
In summation, this is a serious light that will give the user top-level performance, both close up and at longer range. To date, this is about the most powerful flashlight I’ve owned, which is saying quite a bit. It is durable and well built with quality parts, and considering that it’s rechargeable, you won’t go broke
feeding batteries to this ASP flashlight. I call it a winner!