P10 Tail Cap with Direct To Strobe key (courtesy blogpredatorbdu.com)

“If you are looking for compact and practical,” blogpredatorbdu.com writes, “Nitecore is releasing their new P10 Flashlite utilizing the Keep it Simple Stupid Principle. The flashlight sans batteries comes in at less than 3 ounces with a top output of 800 Lumens. One of the key features honing in on the K.I.S.S. concept is the direct to strobe function with a press and hold of the dedicated mode selector at the tail cap.” Nope not seeing it (so to speak). When adrenalin’s flowing, fingers turn to flippers and mental processingĀ abilities disappear. Your finger’s gonna just jam on the tailcap and . . . that’s all. I’ve got the same operator error worries about the external safety on my 1911. And theĀ opening mechanism on my EDC knife (now an Emerson wave-enabled blade). Laser on my gun? Training only. Home defense shotgun? Semi-auto not pump. How K.I.S.S.-able is your kit?

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44 Responses to Question of the Day: Is Your Gear Simple Enough?

  1. 800 lumens is plenty enough without the strobe. The one I use for work is only 200 lumens and I think it works well. Would buy it for the right price though.

  2. Am I the only one who finds the ubiquitous strobe feature useless? Especially in a poorly designed flashlight where you have to page through all the settings (including strobe) to get to the one you want.

    • You’re not alone. I get pretty frustrated when I have to go through some super complicated click-and-hold pattern just to get to the max output setting. And yeah, the strobe might be useful if you’re some DEVGRU operator blinding Somali pirates, but when I’m trying to find my keys under the seat it’s just annoying.

  3. Home-defense shotgun: double-barrel Stevens, but it does have a tang safety. if I get another, it probably will be a semi-auto (oddly enough, considering my revolver-vs-SA handgun views). Flashlight: 4-cell Maglite, doubles as a bludgeon. SD handgun: DA P-64, safety off, chambered round (again, oddly enough, but it’s what I have, and it works). Knife? Well, I do have a couple of hunting knives handy in the bedroom, but generally all I carry is an ordinary small pocketknife, sometimes a Swiss Army. Those are tools, not so much weapons. I’m just not very “operational”.

  4. Mostly KISS-able, though I do carry a 1911 as it’s the most comfortable and conceals the best for me. I have a lot of practice (~8-9K rounds with it) so the safety is now automatic. Kudos on the Wave-enabled blade. While I’ve got a few Emersons, my EDC knife is actually a Spyderco Delica (or Endura, have both) with the Wave, as I have no problems using a $60 knife to pry at bricks if need be, but am somewhat hesitant to do that with a $250 knife…

    • I like KISS and apply it to all my EDC. My firearm is a XDs45 (with a big dot front sight), my flashlight only has off and on, and my knife doesn’t even fold. I’ve learned, the hard way, being afraid your going to die makes a safety, flashlight modes, and unfolding a knife just too much to deal with. Oddly enough, never had issue with pumping a shotgun though.

      • Ahhh, you’ve probably never messed with a Wave-enabled knife then. Just the act of pulling it our of your pocket opens the blade for use. If you give the handle a bit of a twist as you withdraw it from your pocket allows you to remove it without opening the blade. Most of them are standard lock-backs or liner-lock style knives (strong and sturdy) and if you get a blade under 3″ they’re legal in almost every state. They are not a spring-assist knife so they don’t fall under some of the more restrictive east coast state’s knife restrictions.

        While I do appreciate a fixed blade (hunting/skinning & fishing for me), there are times when it’s difficult or not socially acceptable to carry one.

  5. I’ve always thought 170-300 lumens is just right for a weaponlight. Now for personal light, go nuts, when has anyone ever said “my light is too bright?”

    However, the Princeton Tec “Switch Rail” or whatever it is called is a grand little light for movement and interiors.

    On the KISS subject, too many mofos try to accomplish too much with their gear. Delegate your KISSes, I say. Find your needs, combine/reduce gear if able, and always re-assess. I absolutely love the S&S Plateframe, it is my version of the perfect carrier. 3 mags, hydration, 2 radios, admin pouch, a few other small pouches, no damn molle everywhere, it’s just fine for every situation.

  6. I agree with the KISS principle, Im glad my Streammlight TLR-2s was on sale for the same price as the TLR-2 at the time or I would be kicking myself for paying extra for a feature I will never use. You have to bump the rocker switch twice in less than a specified number of milliseconds to get it to strobe. And then it really works consistently in the momentary on setting which is bad because the switch is activated by your trigger finger. You can sort of use the strobe in constant on but it requires enough fine control to hit the switch just hard enough to “bump” the light without it popping past the detent into constant on and then hitting it again quick enough to activate strobe and lock in to constant on. So mine just gets left in constant on, easy enough to do with flippers in the heat of the moment. In the middle of the night I guess I just have to hope 300lumens sucks regardless of delivery. If not hopefully the 230grain HST’s will fix whatever tactical disadvantage the strobe leaves on the table. A big plus to streamlight though, barring the idotic strobe activation sequence, the controls are large and very tactile.

    My favorite light is the Viridian combo light laser strobe, turn it on, set mode, turn it back off, and holster. Next time you unholster it activates in whatever the last selected mode was. If you want to unholster and carry the gun before deploying the light/strobe, the only control is an ambidextrous button, again very flipper friendly, just have to remember to set the strobe beforehand, too bad it was nearly 150 more than my TLR.

    Im not very tactical other than my light.

  7. So … Derringers for everyone? Bonus: they’re the fifth most dangerous gun in america…. šŸ˜‰

  8. Just stick with the Nitecore MT26. Still 800 lumens and with the head tightened down you get two modes; on and off.

  9. This whole when the adrenaline hits you, all you are going to be able to do is flail thing needs to end. Your body reverts back to the training it has received for quick functions, if you never trained it you are probably going to struggle, if you have you can do pretty much anything. Otherwise how would guys be able to give IVs, reload belt feds, call in CAS, manage two nets with multiple assaulting elements.

    • In the handful of high-stress emergency situations I’ve been in I’ve found that my actions become very deliberate and I get super calm as time slows to a near stop. Afterwards my heart is pounding and I’m stammering and mumbling like a lunatic but during it has been very peaceful and clear.

      One of those situations I had training to back it up. For all the others I was totally winging it and either by some divine hand or just stupid lick I did all the right things.

      So, yeah, flailing about hysterically is definitely not what happens even in an untrained situation.

  10. Fenix PD22, 3.5″, 210 Lumens, 1.5oz, $40….carry it everyday and leave it on one setting. Doesn’t get any more simple.

    • +1 for Fenix, I have the PD35 and love it. At max brightness (800+ lm), the reflections off the walls inside my house are blinding.

  11. I believe in keeping it simple, but i do not believe in keeping it so simple that it’s retarded.

    If you have practiced with your weapons and gear enough to be proficient, you will keep that muscle memory when you need it most. If not, you are just jerking on the bang switch.

    Now, as someone else mentioned, i don’t like strobe lights if you have to click to turn it on. A dedicated button is better than pausing to cycle through and having to cycle into a strobe to tun the light off. Could the button on this model be better placed? Yea, probably. It would go back to the muscle memory as opposed to thought of which one you are pressing, but since they have a distinct feel it might not be so bad.

    As with all gear, training with it would make all the difference.

  12. Home defense shotgun is a maverick 88 loaded with 7 1/2 shot. Safety off. No flashlight.

    Carry gun is a RIA Tactical 1911 loaded with 8+1 PDX-1s with 7 more in a spare magazine.

    Simple enough for me.

  13. In regards to the flashlight, an adrenaline dump would affect your fine motor control. Being able to navigate between two small buttons and press the desired one may be challenging.

    As for manual safeties, that is a training issue. First handgun I bought was a commander sized 1911 with extended controls. Thumb sweep on draw stroke has been cemented. All subsequent carry guns have had manual safeties, even if DAO. S&W Shield with its tiny safety took a bit of work to adjust to, current M&P 40C residing on my hip has larger ambi paddle safety which similar to 1911 is hard to miss.

    I think swapping between manual safety and no manual safety could lead to issues. Unless you are cognizant to “keep the sweep” when training with non manual safety equipped firearms you may get complacent and get out of the habit. Bump in the night and cocked & locked 1911 on night stand rather than glock could then be troublesome.

  14. LCR for EDC and G17 for primary home defense. No safeties, just a trigger. Have a Fenix PD35 for carry and home defense. It had a second switch allowing you to set and store the brightness. All I have to do is “jam on the tail cap”.

    Whatever you’ve got, practice with it repetitively. When the time comes, that muscle memory kicks in.

  15. My simple setup for EDC is my Beretta Px4 subcompact. It’s as standard as the day I unpacked it from it’s box. The one “complication” is the safety, which a lot of people deride, but I have no issues with. Like someone above mentioned, it’s simple if you train enough to use it properly and rapidly.

  16. If it was about KISS, we’d all be carrying revolvers, driving cars with roll down windows, and using the postal service. But we make conscious choices to accept some complexity for new functionality. Hopefully, we make those choices in a deliberate and thoughtful way!

    I choose to carry a semi-automatic pistol without manual safeties – failure drills are worth the additional capacity, accuracy (for me), and ease of carry. I have a pump shotgun with an extended magazine and light – potential complexity is worth the extra rounds and knowing where my flashlight is in the dark.

    That said, I HATE all the new crap that comes out every day designed by marketeers to make perfectly usable gear obsolete and suck the little remaining money from my wallet. At some point, managing the new flashlight with 42 different flashing modes, the pistol with the new clear plastic metal unobtanium alloy, or the adjustable trigger with five settings (or whatever) is ridiculous and more than a little counter productive.

    It’s up to us to choose wisely…

  17. klarus has the same system also, the customer service sucks but build quality is on par with surefire at a fraction the cost. I carry the klarus for the features, 10-150-600 lumen is often helpful at work. Single output momentary switch surefire on my long guns. The strobe is just fun.

  18. While I understand the merits of the K.I.S.S principle, and I abhor overly-tactical, gimmicky “High-Speed, Low-Drag” prophets, I don’t think that everything you use for self defense has to be a one-switch wonder. This whole premise of this article that no training survives stress and adrenaline is just absurd.

    With the proper amount of training, both live and dry, actions can be committed to memory and performed under duress with efficiency and competence.

    Everyone handles stress and adrenaline differently, some people excel and hold their poise, others, not so much. Pumping a shotgun is the simplest of actions, I’m not dropping my Rem 500 home-defense shotgun because the action of pumping it is too challenging and a semi-auto is to be considered a K.I.S.S. setup.

  19. I practice the K.I.S.S. principle. That is why my self-defense firearms have simple iron sights, no lights, no lasers, and no manually operated safeties. If I have to use one in a self-defense situation, all I have to do is present, aim, and squeeze the trigger as many times as necessary to stop the threat.

  20. I most certainly like KISS…ing…
    My gear really is stupid simple. My flashlight is a one-setting lotta-lumen LED that cost five quid. My knife is a Victorinox Camper, my phone has no password for simplicity, and my home defence is a rounders bat. It’s way simpler to smash the ever-loving shite out of a criminal than shooting them, IMHO. Besides, this IS Britain after all. And having my favourite 9 inch carving knife in my bedroom would look mighty suspicious…

  21. Any good flashlight suggestions? Something that uses two AA batteries, is about 150-200 lumens and has a click switch (I despise having to screw on/off the head of the flashlight).

    Regarding gear I prefer to improvise, laws and such + the fact that criminals in Norway aren’t armed.

  22. I have a couple lights with strobe features that ive used in defensive situations and in a couple of courses ive been through. In my opinion a strobing light is more effective in some situations, like the interior of a building, but a steady beam is more effective in open and spread out areas. Im actually working on a pet project right now for a “throw light” of sorts and hopefully the finished project will be complete in the next couple of weeks

    • I bought my dogs a new Kong ball today. I quickly noticed that my flashlight (Foursevens Quark AA Tactic) fits perfectly inside the hole in the middle. I imagine, if you were to get one of their Minis, it would fit completely inside the ball.

  23. One thing alot of people dont understand is they carry multiple knives and then they have all these gadgets on thier keys and in general alot of things they dont need.
    Some on here may say well, “one is none, two is one” amd i get that. However that particular saying was originally used as a atxhy phrase so people wouldnt do stupid stuff like try to clear a apartment complex by themselves. I think the gun community could learn to adhere to the lone system, which is your 1st, second, and 3rd line. 1st line is bare essentials, second has a little bit more, and third line would be a rifle and a plate carrier for example

  24. An XD and an 870. Can’t get a lot simpler than that. Flashlight? Cheap LED jobber with a tailswitch that has two functions: ON and OFF. That’s not the only kit I have, of course, but this is the stuff I keep close. The frilly stuff with lots of options is NOT what I grab in an emergency.

  25. I think a lot of the industry wants us to Keep It Spendy, Stupid, or Keep It Stupid Spendy, probably the latter. Semi vs Pump? A Maverick 88 or Pardner Pump is a helluva lot cheaper than an 1187. I never did get the whole tactical light with the strobe. Bright as hell and just on/off for me. I’m a manual safety kinda guy because an ND complicates things.

  26. I’ve used a 1911 and my knives enough that I don’t have to think about the manual of arms. Other things just don’t get used enough. My serious business flashlights are on or off. No gimmicks. Their buttons require a far different action than a trigger press, and usually with a different hand. Everything else is as simple as I can make it.

    I’d like it if I had the time to train and practice with more complicated equipment to the point where it was second nature, but reality says that isn’t going to happen.

    “Any fool can complicate things, But it takes a genius to make them simple.” ascribed to various people in various versions.

  27. Flashlights kill me. I still have a six year old non-LED Surefire E2D because it is so damn hard to find a quality light that doesn’t have 10 modes you can cycle through. I just want a light that turns on and off.

  28. I’ve used Streamlight’s Protac series that has you switching between modes and brightness settings by tapping the sole button (quite rapidly) to access different modes and brightness levels. They are good quality lights but the user interface frankly sucks. I’m using the Fenix PD32 right now. The settings are controlled by a separate, easy to index button near the bezel. I leave mine set to full power and it’s ready to go at a touch of the forward-clicky tailswitch. They’ve come out with new models that are brighter but mine is still doing well enough. I like the relatively slender design that can fit in the pockets on girly jeans while still having over 300 lumens on high. If I went back to a career in security, I might opt for a holster and more tactical style. I find Surefires to be overpriced, with a less useful UI. They ARE practically bulletproof though.

  29. Carry 2 lights. One for everyday use and another for SHTF. The everyday light can reside clipped to your pocket, and it’s ok to have multiple modes. You can use this daily and it’s alright to partially drain the batteries with everyday usage. The SHTF light, preferably a Surefire combatlight, should reside in a pouch next to your spare mags and should not have any other functions besides on and off. The batteries on the SHTF light should also be at full power at all times. Yes, Surefire is expensive, and you might even say overpriced. But it’s all the light you need with the least possibility of failure. Besides, when the SHTF, are you going to worry about cost?

  30. Glock 17, Colt ar15a2 in the safe if things get really hairy, and house equipped light switches. Can’t get much simpler than that.

  31. gotta disagree with the idea that a semi auto is a better KISS choice than a pump. Sure, if we’re talking an benelli M4, you can count on the same reliability as a pump. but no other piston or recoil operated semi automatic shotgun i’ve ever fired has made it through a case of shells without at least one malfunction. mossberg 500’s and remington 870’s laugh off thousands of shells without any issues.

  32. Just got an inforce 6vt and am loving it. Very easy to use, fairly compact, intuitive tail cap, and has a ribbed indentation to use in conjunction with a gun. http://soldiersystems.net/2013/01/16/whats-new-with-hsp/
    The one change I made with it is I added a pocket clip, although I am looking at adding a 550 fob when I get the chance.

    Also for those who like “emerson wave” style blades, but don’t like Emerson prices, I’d recommend looking into Cold Steel’s thumb plate folders. Same concept, smaller profile, I’m guessing less wear and tear on your pockets, (I’ve seen annecdotes of waves tearing up pockets.) I have a Rajah III as an EDC blade and it’s a great all around blade.

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