September 5, 2018 at 6:45 am #62382
So if you remember the conversation about the Surefire X300UB and it having 1,000 lumens you might remember me talking about the new Fury.
Well I ordered a brand new Surefire Fury DFT (duel fuel tactical) about 2 weeks ago. I’ve been using ever since and this will be a no bullshit honest review about the light and it’s capabilities, downsides, some tactical light history and how I’ve been using it. I may throw in some other stuff depending on how this shakes out.
So I work a midnight patrol shift at a major police agency in Virginia. Light and flashlights are an integral part of this job. There’s an understanding that the more light you can bring to bare the better.
This was always sort of known in police circles but for a long time there was stagnation in light development. Maglite D cells were the gold standard of police lights for a loooooong time. Then Surefire started making small handheld lights with a whopping 60 lumens! They cornered the market and kept a pretty steady/upward market climb. Maglite saw fit to do absolutely nothing to improve their lights and that was that. Then the GWOT and all of the sudden there was a lumens race. Surefire, Streamlight, Insight, Pentagon (do you remember) Inova, Fenix, Olight etc.
Now it’s about smaller lights, LEDs pushing as much light as possible, longer battery life with rechargeable batteries and some other odd gimmicks.
Surefire was pulling a Maglite until they seem to have seen the writing on the wall and started releasing some very good lights in the last year. Notably the Fury DFT and X300UB. With those pushing 1500 and 1000 lumens respectively.
That’s a massive increase over the old incandescent 60 lumens. That’s where we are now. I remember the old days (2005) and clearing karez and cave systems in Afghanistan with an Insight MX6 and Surefire G2. That was scary shit and I felt high speed with my little 60 lumens.
It wasn’t always accepted that more light was better. For awhile 200 lumens was what everyone thought would be perfect There’s plenty of old articles about back splash and blinding yourself on a white wall and all kinds of nonsense. Aaron Cowan (NOT ME!!!) has been fighting the derp for awhile and seems to have turned the tide. Which is a large part of why were seeming 1000+ lumen flashlights now.
For the last year or so I was using a Streamlight HL-X as my primary handheld light. It’s a fantastic light! Before that I was using a Surefire Fury Pro. The streamlight is the superior light compared to the old Surefire Fury Pro and still has a lot of positives over the newer Fury DFT.
I like the Streamlight HL-X a lot. It’s small, all metal, has a removable bezel up and down clip, has a single 1000 lumen output, takes CR123 and 18650 rechargeable batteries, has a click on tail cap, great battery life, doesn’t overheat and costs $80 give or take a few bucks depending on where you buy it. Solid light. All the way around. Can’t recommend it enough. I love this thing, it’s just in my EDC bag now instead of on my vest.
Here’s how my Surefire Fury DFT experience has been. Started off rocky.
So I got the Fury DFT and immediately tried it out. Using two Surefire CR123 batteries it came with it’ll push 1200 lumens. The packaging and sales material says with an 18650 battery it will push 1500. So naturally I pulled the battery out of my Streamlight and tried it out. I did this because SUREFIRE DOESNT SELL THE LIGHT WITH AN 18650!!!! WHAT THE FUCK SUREFIRE? This is why I love and also hate Surefire. They make something amazing but force you to buy their proprietary stuff. Cough Sony cough.
It worked for about 3 seconds and shut off. I tried a different 18650 and got the same results. I went back to the CR123 batteries and it worked flawlessly but was basically the same as my Streamlight. So I kept using my Streamlight for patrol while I tried to figure out the Fury. I should mention I was using Surefire 18650 batteries. I played with some other streamlight batteries I had and CR123s with mixed results. One Streamlight battery seemed to work perfectly but another didn’t. I wasn’t able to trust the Fury yet.
So I did some research and lo and behold 18650 batteries aren’t all created equal. Most older 18650s are pushing 2600 mAh and 3.7v. Well guess what? The Fury DFT was designed for a newer 18650 with 3400mAh 4.7v capacity. New Surefire batteries are all the more powerful batteries but the ones I had were 2 years old and so basically obsolete.
So naturally I ordered two Surefire 18650a batteries. Yes the “a” is important. I got them in 2 days later, charged them and that night used my new Fury DFT on patrol. I kept my Streamlight in my pocket as a backup until I was satisfied the Fury would perform like a Surefire is supposed to and I could trust it.
With the new battery my Surefire was working perfectly. It pushes out all advertised 1500 lumens. I’ve since used it for all my patrol activities. Searching cars (cutting through limo tint on a suspect car is absolutely vital) searching open fields, clearing structures, blinding people that wanted to fight and looking for discarded evidence on the side of the road. Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
Good: This thing puts out a lot of light! It has a single output which I believe is more desirable than multiple outputs at varying levels and strobe sequences. The tail cap is click on so you can use it as a momentary and constant on light. It takes CR123 batteries and works consistently well with them. It’s all metal and very tough. Thicker than a Snickers and makes an excellent fist load if you have to punch someone. The texture is VERY aggressive so you get excellent retention and grip.
Bad: It’s expensive. I got mine for $160. That doesn’t include the batteries which are about $15 a pop or the charger which is another $30-40. Now to be fair being rechargeable you’ll save that money on batteries over the course of the lights duty life. Most midnight cops will go through 2-6 CR123 batteries each week, minimum. That’s a lot of batteries. It also doesn’t have a pocket clip. This isn’t a deal breaker as I carry it in a black HSGI pistol taco. However until Thyrm comes out with a compatible switchback you’re shit out of luck if you want to pocket carry it. It’s also a little big for that. Battery life isn’t too bad. I’ll get about an hour and a half out of it. I keep a car charger in my patrol bag and swap out a new battery when I think it’s getting low. I haven’t had it die on me yet (since the new batteries that is) so I’m confident this is the way to go.
Ugly: It gets hot fast. I was searching for some evidence that got tossed on the side of the road and within 5 minutes my light was too hot to hold without gloves. That sucks because for prolonged use it’s not the ideal light. Traffic stops and routine searches take way more than 5 minutes. That means that I have to switch to my other standard light I carry. It’s similar to an old Maglite in size, the Streamlight SL20, also rechargeable. This means I have a larger light with less output. This doesn’t bother me too much as it’s a good impact weapon, has excellent throw and is still very bright. It also lasts longer and doesn’t overheat. I put a bust-a-cap glass breaker on it too.
So what’s the verdict? Well despite the down sides to it the Surefire Fury DFT wins. The pro of 1500 lumen light output alone is worth the other cons. I can turn this light on and see an entire soccer field, aim it at the ceiling or floor and see the entire first level of a house. It cuts through limo tint and lets me see hands immediately and it forces that angry drunk to put his hands up and ask me to turn the light off.
If you’re looking for a good all round light Get the Streamlight HL-X. If you need to turn night into day get the Surefire Fury DFT.
Next on my buy list is the X300UB. I’ll compare that to my old X300U and my issued streamlight TLR 1 and TLR1 HL.
You are what you do, when it counts. -The Masao
Not the other Aaron's in this industry!September 5, 2018 at 2:14 pm #62389Joe (G.W.N.S.)Moderator
I can turn this light on and see an entire soccer field, aim it at the ceiling or floor and see the entire first level of a house.
So as someone who has never used anything approaching this lumen level, is this the method that avoids the so called “back splash and blinding yourself on a white wall” that many seemed convinced of?
The 18650 vs 18650a is a great clarification for those of us not up to speed on this, thanks.
Admittedly since I am a casual; vice professional, user these days I reached a point that 200-300 lumen seemed more than sufficient.
Something for me to think about.September 5, 2018 at 3:50 pm #62391
White wall blinding is a boogeyman. It’s not a real problem. If you flash a wall sure it’s bright but you can still see. There’s not many completely blank pure white walls in real life and if you do flash one it’s either a) empty so not a threat or b) there is a threat and it absorbed the light and you avoid most of the brightness that isint really a problem anyway.
Offset lighting has a couple of advantages. It doesn’t pinpoint you so you can avoid the whole “shoot at the light” scenario. You avoid silhouetting your partners and/or flashing them. You avoid the immediate reflection off of mirrors too. Using a handheld light is nice too because you can light an area and keep your weapon trained on a threat area. Or you can avoid muzzling an innocent with your weapon light and still give them the ability to see so you can evacuate them.
That happened to me while clearing a house with a burglar in it. One of the families daughters was still inside. I found her but was pointing my pistol at her so I could see (it was dark inside). I pulled my handheld and used splash lighting so she could run past me outside while I pointed my weapon at an uncleared area.
Those things happen in real life when you work around innocents.
You are what you do, when it counts. -The Masao
Not the other Aaron's in this industry!September 5, 2018 at 4:01 pm #62392AndrewParticipant
I agree with Joe. Great review and educational to boot. Thanks.September 5, 2018 at 10:26 pm #62405First SergeantModerator
Thanks for the review.
The heat issue wont get fixed for a long time. That is the downside to pushing so much power in a small metal tube.
Signal out, can you identify.
Je ne regrette rien...
Klagt Nicht, KämpftSeptember 6, 2018 at 6:16 am #62407
Yeah thermal dynamics are a bitch and if it was plastic it wouldn’t hold up to what is eventually going to be asked of it on a regular basis. It just means my Sl20 gets more time outside the car!
You are what you do, when it counts. -The Masao
Not the other Aaron's in this industry!
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