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Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



https://youtu.be/89HuRXzvkeY

Anyone else notice that almost all reviews of Olight's weapon-mounted units are made by people who were sent a free unit? And that those reviews are all positive? That bothers me. Enough to pay for two out of my pittance of a salary:


A PL-2 and PL-Mini


The biggun cranks out 1,200 lumens with a flood pattern so they wash out in distance fairly quickly (does make it across the street a hair better than my TLR-1, however). Lights up a whole room pretty drat well before stepping down to a lower output after 60 seconds of straight use; unlikely to run straight long enough to drop when clearing rooms. Little light puts out 400 lumens for the same time and steps down to 60 after that. Also being a flood pattern, the Mini doesn't throw as far with usable sight picture as a standard TLR-1. Both light up rooms better than a regular TLR-1, however.


Both come set for Glock dustcovers but come with a spare 1913 insert.


PL-2 uses two CR123A batteries while the Mini has an internal rechargeable lithium battery. You can see the USB charger that snicks on as both light and charger pad are magnetic. If those exposed contacts worry you, you aren't alone. I left mine in the rain for a couple hours, last night. It still worked after. Then poured water over the contacts to leave a puddle for a half hour and it survived. Then bagged it in plastic to steep in humidity for a few hours and it didn't miss a beat. My only remaining concerns are longevity, reliability, durability, and whether the contacts will oxidize.

The big light may be less reliable. I fumbled it onto my kitchen floor and it died. The negative contacts on the batteries were dented and it worked fine after I pulled them to look, reinstalled, and closed the hatch. This was a repeatable failure for a few more drops. Until mounting to my Glock 23 and a couple blueguns and dropping. It has not failed when mounted, at least yet.

What now? The PL-2 is going on my Hi-Point 4095 for a while and beat around before moving on to a pistol for a bit. Probably a CZ 75B SP-01. Some time on a shotgun may also be on the schedule. It will return to the Hi-Point if it survives everything.

The Mini has lovely switches for use on long guns and will live on Bumbleglock in both 40 S&W and 357 Sig for some time. I run full power handloads in both calibers so it's in for a ride.

Pemi Valley Arms is going to be kind enough to make a Glock 17 sized holster for each light. I'll loan both rigs and the lights to a local firearms intsructor during next year's low light pistol class to let any G17/19/22/23/31/32 havers play with them on the line. Dude is big on positional shooting so they'll get banged around real good by a bunch of goobers. He's also got new simuitions Glocks and may do some room clearing scenarios with those and I'll insist students use my Olights for that. Why do all this? Because gently caress compensated reviews in the ear. Also so I have them for holster molds. And a side of curiosity.

Anyway, more to come when I'm not getting ready for work. Have some comparisons with a TLR-1 on a Glock 23 and a CZ:









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unknonymous
May 16, 2013



I'm a big fan of all things illumination. You should do some runtime tests and see how they fare. Olight is a bit of a mystery to me. They have a lot of products that nobody seems to really buy, or at least readily recommend.

californiasushi
Jun 6, 2004


i was actually looking at those lights during black friday since they had a nice sale going on but found reviews and decided not to. the runtime before it stepped down was the big reason, along with a couple conflicting reports i read about the pl2 fitting in holsters made for x300/ultras or tlr1s. the mini was really compelling but the fact that the output degraded so quickly turned me off. after 3 minutes it's already at 50% output, which seemed kinda bad since it's a flood like you mentioned.

thank you for the reviews though

ThinkFear
Sep 14, 2007



I'm interested to see how this shakes out. I've had an Olight R20 for a little over two years. It sees daily use, especially in the winter months. Still going strong. Plenty bright, good throw, simple controls, built in microusb with a relatively clever cover.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



To be clear, I don't find the step-down in power to be an issue. It occurs after 60 seconds of constant on. At no point during a low light class did I ever approach that mark. An owner flashing it around corners/barricades would never know about it unless they read the box or pamphlet. Maybe I'm missing a situation where a pistol-mounted light would be left running that long, however. The PL-2 still puts out as much light on low as the Mini does maxed out so it'd be plenty indoors at any time.

Though a unit that could burn steady until the battery drained would be nominally better.

californiasushi
Jun 6, 2004


it's an issue for me because i don't really want to keep feeding new cr123a's into it

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



I'll do a runtime comparison against a TLR-1, then. Noting number of 45 second burns before output craps out will be easy.

And also use this as a flimsy excuse to try out some rechargeable 123s. Since it'll eat up the last of my fresh cells and leave me ordering more.

californiasushi
Jun 6, 2004


that's neat that the olight is rated for rcr123s too since they're usually not recommended for surefire/streamlights. i wonder how that will affect longevity, output, and runtime. thanks for testing all this for sure

unknonymous
May 16, 2013



Should get more output since the extra 0.7V per cell will run the LED harder, but your runtime will go down by something like half. Rough math at 4.8 Watt-hr for RCR123s compared to a CR123 at 9.6 Watt-hr. Someone smarter than me can probably figure out if the extra brightness further reduces the runtime.

Kommienzuspadt
Apr 28, 2004

U like it


I'm curious about these as well. Can you test them on some high recoil firearms ? A 12ga would be ideal if you have one that can accept a picatinny mounted light.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



On a P-07:





Hi-Point 4095:


After widening one of the Weaver-spec. slots and carving out some of the angled reinforcement to clear the TLR-1 with 1913 insert, the Streamlight has served me well on the carbine.


I would need to carve more out of the reinforcement to clear the tail of the PL-2 and gently caress that. With the Glock insert, it fit the standard Weaver slot directly forward of the one the TLR had used and positions well. The switches are less intuitive in this application than the rocker on the Streamlight but seem like they may be less prone to white light ND. That said, it should just be a matter of erasing muscle memory from the Streamlight and relearning that this Olight uses angled push-button-kinda-sorta switches. Range time will tell.


The stiff and narrow switches aren't going to ND in this position with the Mini. However, they are almost but not quite entirely impossible to activate without focusing entirely on doing so.


The switches can be used alright when moved forward a slot. While stiff enough that white light ND isn't a particular concern, especially compared to the TLR, I have concerns all those squared edges would love to tangle in slings/belts/gear/nature. And more importantly, be less shielded from damaging blows from barricades and such.

Now for a list of guns I've so far found that they will NOT fit:

- Beretta PX4 compact

- S&W M&P9c

- Walther PPS

- Piexon JPX

We'll cover function, switches, ease/ruggedness of mounting in the next post.

Kommienzuspadt posted:

Can you test them on some high recoil firearms ? A 12ga would be ideal if you have one that can accept a picatinny mounted light.

I'll grab a cheap clamp-on pic. rail for shotties and bang them both around a little. Gonna do some three-gun with a friend over the summer and will mount the larger one for a match at least. The PL-2 is going on the Hi-Point carbine as it is a direct blowback .40 so recoil is jarring (to the gun, pleasant for the shooter with the weight and springy butt) even if still lighter than 5.56. I also beat the piss out of that carbine in all weather with a lot of bracing and positional shooting. I won't bother with the Mini as the switches are not set-up to be practically usable on most long guns.

Butch Cassidy fucked around with this message at 17:23 on Dec 22, 2017

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



My day off is going to hell and will wind up leaving me housebound

So I vented that frustration by baseball bat swinging a hefty screwdriver at the PL-2 to simulate it slamming into cover. Looks like it already failed:



Or not:



The negative contact on one of the Olight branded batteries is now more cratered than merely dented but it still lit right up once I clicked the button. Momentary, constant, strobe, and both switches still fully functional. I'm half impressed and my doubts are half confirmed. Before going further, let me say that I did hit the light hard. But have hit a TLR-1 harder.

It's nice that it looks like it will work even after enough abuse to pop the battery port. But I wouldn't carry one on, say, a duty gun. Streamlight and Surefire tailcaps are far more securely shut. I doubt it would pop in a holster so that would likely just leave a drawn gun getting dropped as a concern but still. Also, long guns are unwieldy and bang into things so we can probably say that the PL-2 is definitely out of the running for a defensive long gun light. I'm still going to run it on the 4095 to beat it up good and proper and also because a budget light seems fitting on a budget carbine. If it keeps holding up, I'd even say it's likely a great light to stick on a range gun.

Once I get a chance to have people run it on pistols for a while, we'll see if it's a more confidence-inspiring fit there. And I don't mean to make it sound like the battery hatch is defective. It is very convenient to open and swap batteries versus the mild fiddling required with a TLR-1. That convenience comes at the trade-off of security and is looking to maybe not be worth it in some applications.

I also spent some time with that same screwdriver and the Mini. The little light has been batted around the house like a baseball, tossed down the stairs, dropped repeatedly both mounted on a bluegun and on its own. No problems. By the end of that, both lights were pretty warm from being run on and off for a while. Put the Mini back on Bumbleglock, and PL-2 on a railed 92 compact bluegun and threw them off my second floor deck. It's 12 degrees and snowing outside and I'll see how they fare after I dig them out of the snow after lunch.

E: Dug down to them and they fired right up when I poked the switches.



Butch Cassidy fucked around with this message at 19:05 on Dec 22, 2017

Frank Dillinger
May 16, 2007
Jawohl mein herr!


For what itís worth, Iíve gone through 4 different Olights this year, but I work on cars and drop them on the ground a lot. (4+ feet onto concrete) so I wouldnít expect them to be most durable. To be fair though, Iíve also broken Thrunite and Fenix lights.

californiasushi
Jun 6, 2004


dang, that doesn't sound very reassuring about the pl2, especially since 800 lumen tlr-1's aren't too much more expensive (albeit not as bright though). how do you feel about the 1200 lumen beam indoors?

are you liking the mini more?

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



I love the flood pattern indoors. Both because it illuminates rooms better and is so far more convenient to use for indirect light when searching. While not suitable to a rifle, it does still light up the lot across the street just fine.

The Mini really sucks outdoors compared to every other weaponlight* in my posession. But it's plenty useful indoors. It's also holding up so far despite going in my pocket a few times to kick the can across parking lots while shopping. The switches are very stiff as it was designed to resist accidental activation. They are also narrowly spaced and small what with it being a compact light. That's fine on a P-07, railed Beretta 92, and other pistols but can bind on Glocks. The Austrian bricks have wide trigger guards and my Mini wedges around it. Kissed the insides with a file and it's better but something to keep in mind. Also, my thumbs and strong hand index finger can activate the light reliably but not my support hand index finger. If you run a Glock and weak-side-only shooting is important to you, may need to get more buff than me.

I don't know if the switches are going to loosen up with use or not. I do know that I love the concept of a rechargeable pistol light, however. High lumen floods for indoor use is another nice concept. The throw-lever mounting is way better than the coin screws in Streamlights for convenience, ease of holster making, and still being secure.

* Yet better than the Streamlight Stylus Pro that lives in my pocket.

Butch Cassidy fucked around with this message at 14:35 on Dec 24, 2017

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



Just got back from doing abusive things to the Olights and the guns they were mounted to. Ear plugs in the muzzles and tossing the guns down an icy range, bracing the guns on a boulder during positional shooting with the lights as contact points, and neither had an issue. Only fifty rounds of ammo through each gun so seeing how they hold up to recoil has just begun. Temperature was 10°F for any that care. Oh, and I've had no white light NDs with either light in live or dryfire so far. Notable as I'd have to be careful about hand placement on the 4095 to avoid the rocker on the formerly mounted TLR. E: So I may wind up being wrong to have called the PL-2 unsuitavle for long guns so early.

The port side protective wing on the front sight of my Hi-Point 4095 snapped off, though. Good thing a replacement is but a phone call away and free. Still need to call about having my defective 10-round CF380 mags replaced, anyway.

Next range trip will be after dark with paired shoot/no shoot targets from 3 to 50 yards. The targets will be plates with either a crude handgun or similar but benign shape penis drawn on. I'll see how far away I can differentiate the two in live fire. Will also bring my TLR-3ed USPc and a TLR-1 as a comparison. I've also got a cheap, railed mag tube clamp in a wishlist to mount the larger light on my Mossberg 590 during some three gun this summer.

I'll also get some fresh batteries in a couple weeks to do that boring run time test between the larger Olight and a TLR-1 I'd promised.

Butch Cassidy fucked around with this message at 21:29 on Jan 14, 2018

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010









The Mini doesn't look as beat and is currently clipped to a G17 bluegun to start blanking for an OWB.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



I don't have anything interesting to say about the PL-2. Took it out to 50 yards, last night. Lit up the range well and I could make out an 8" black target and the orange bull. Not enough for real confidence or speed with irons but plenty for the red dot. The flood pattern was real convenient for identifying things around the target. Also lit a large swath of the range between me and the target. OWLS! and I even dickered about with the strobe setting which is silly that far out but still worked.

The Surefire G2 on my AR didn't do as well. Far worse, actually. It barely let me see a faint black circle and didn't make the orange center visible. I'll likely start nosing around for a spunkier light to replace the G2 come summer.

It's looking like I'll be eating crow. The Olight Pl-2 is doing very well despite initial concerns banging it around un-mounted. The original batteries still have life after all the screwing around I've been doing. So runtime tests will still have to wait.

E: One interesting thing, actually. We were shooting 180 grain Tula and could see the bullets as streaks zipping downrange. Both as bystanders and as shooters through the red dot. Felt like launching angry bumblebees downrange.

Butch Cassidy fucked around with this message at 00:03 on Jan 29, 2018

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



Mounted the PL-2 on the top rail of the AR and left the Surefire G2 mounted in its IWC thingy.



Took some 7-ish inch plates the kids drew on and had two shoots and two no shoots at 10 paces and another couple pairs at 20 paces. It is snowing fairly heavily and I shot kneeling, monopoded on a Magpul D60, urban prone, and standing.



It was a nightmare. To start, gently caress the Primary Arms 1-4x scope, a red dot is going back on this rifle. At 20 paces, I had to dial the magnification up to see through the snow and the eyebox was unforgiving. So identification took place over the glass before dropping into it to shoot. Glass is getting set aside for an eventual Ruger 'Murkin in x39.

Anyway, the lights were comparable at 10 paces and shooting was a breeze other than forgetting to hold over. But the PL-2 was decidedly brighter. At 20 paces, the PL-2 lit up way too much falling snow to quickly differentiate happy faces from angry with all the white streaks between us. The lower intensity and tighter focus of the Surefire was easier to work with, reflecting off less falling snow.

PL-2 was running on the batteries it came with. Still. A fresh pair of cells went in the G2 before heading out. Still no problems with the PL-2 while mounted to long guns. Going to move it on to a Glock from here. And also start putting the Mini through some paces.

Drav
Jul 23, 2002

We've come a long way since that day, and we will never look back at the faded silhouette.

I tried to tell you guys you can't see poo poo through PA variable optics.

Also have you tried the Malkoff LED bulb replacement for the G2? Worked wonders for me.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



Output looks similar to the stock LED. What's it do to be worth doubling the price? You have me curious.

Drav
Jul 23, 2002

We've come a long way since that day, and we will never look back at the faded silhouette.

Butch Cassidy posted:

Output looks similar to the stock LED. What's it do to be worth doubling the price? You have me curious.

Oh that I don't know. Mine was so old as to be incandescent lol.

Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

durr
i have a hole in my head
durr


If you just want to play around there are tons of higher output LED modules on amazon. I got a 500 lumen one ages ago for an incandescent surefire and had to swap it out for something around 200 because of how silly it was.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



A buddy returned my Mini, today. He'd been running it on a Kel-Tec PMR30 and really liked it. No reported problems. Despite my best efforts, the charger even still works like a charm. I blinked myself and it's still a bright little thing.

He liked the size and easy charging. Had no trouble with the switches.

As for the PL-2, still great on the 4095. It's taken some more hits with none of the battery hatch problems I'd initially expected.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



Left the PL-2 on my 4095 through a carbine course. It still works after 500 rounds in one day with plenty of banging on barricades. My assigned shooting partner noticed a couple white light NDs as it was shining on the ground when slung. But those likely would have happened with a TLR-1 and were quickly addressed. Moving the VFG back one slot would also help keep my fingers away from the switches and I may do that.

Stupid thing refuses to give me any bother after I poo poo on it with my initial impressions.

As for the Mini, going to try talking a buddy into running it on his gun during a couple 3 Gun matches. It's also still doing its thing with the narrow spacing between levers being the only issue and even then only on some Glocks.

glynnenstein
Feb 18, 2014



I hung the PL-2 on my Glock 17 and put 250 through it this weekend with no issues. Glad I grabbed this on the recent deal!

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my turn in the barrel
Dec 31, 2007



I just got a mini in the mail they sent me to review on my YT channel.

Looks pretty slick and the magnetic usb charger is a nice feature for a nightstand gun.

I've never been a big flashlight guy and have never owned a weaponlight before so I'm interested to see if it is a gateway drug. Will try it on a few pistols and my pc carbine.

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