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The world of ‘tactical’ (read: black, brawny and brighter than blazes) flashlights is almost as crowded as the Venetian hotel’s food court. PowerTac illuminated us on their entry into the field; we’ll be putting several of their models to the test in the coming weeks to see if they’re as drop-proof, waterproof and headache-inducingly bright as the company claims. Meanwhile, let me shine a little light on their designs . . .

The PowerTac Cadet (above) is a thumb-sized LED light cranking out an amazing 300 lumens from a single CR-123 lithium battery.  The barrel is no thicker than your thumb, but the bezel is exactly 1″ (or so I’m told; I’ll get out the calipers when I get home) which will clamp perfectly into any standard weapon light mount.

The PowerTac Warrior is an altogether more manly piece of kit with gnarly strike bezels at both ends. [ED: I bet you say that to all the boys.] It cranks out an advertised 650 lumens for 90 minutes at max brightness. The unit also offers a reduced-power ‘moonlight’ setting that’ll run for a claimed 13 hours. It is also weapon-compatible, with a barrel diameter of 1″.

The Warrior (MSRP $179) ships in a padded hard gun case. It includes a spiffy Kydex duty holster. The $85 Cadet includes a soft holster, although it carries very comfortably in pants pocket.

Both lights have strobe settings. I’m not usually a fan; strobes usually involve complex Semaphore switching patterns on the tail switch. The PowerTacs may avoid this potential pitfall. The tail switches are strictly on/off affairs. All strobe and power settings are controlled either by twisting the bezel (on the Cadet) or using a secondary non-tailcap switch (on the Warrior.)

We’ll see if the Rabbi approves of this arrangement . . .

I promised prez Borencio Darden that we’d torture-test his lights. We’ll drop them, drown them, freeze them and run the batteries dry to see if they live up to their specs.  I also promised that we wouldn’t shoot them with a .300 Winchester Magnum, although that might have given us some good video. Oh well. A promise is a promise . . .

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    • You can give yourself a splitting headache in a hell of a hurry if you point it at a piece of white paper. I won’t make that mistake again…

  1. the cadet has been my cary light for about 2 months. It is one great carry light, easy to switch modes, very even beam great hotspot and nice spill. I like how the strobe is on anytime you loosen the bezel. No click click click to get to anything just lightly loosen the head and its always in strobe mode. The only thing I am not in love with about this light is the head up carry and the position of the clip on the light I like to carry tail cap up in the pocket and not have the bezel catch on anything and stick out. Other then that its one great light. 300 lumen output is at the emitter not out the front but it seems close to the output of my surefire gx2 pro on high.

  2. Looks very impressive. Of course, for the prices they’re offering, I’m assuming they’re made in China or some other similarly liberty-unfriendly locale.

  3. Got a cadet II at the local gun show, it failed the first night, you are supposed to twist the bezel right then left to switch between brightness, from 1lm to 10lm to 30lm to 150lm then 400lm with the strobe in between every cycle. The only thing consistent is the strobe. It’ll go 1lm to 400lm to 30lm or any other value but what is supposed to be. It is completely random what light will be on if you cycle it. I have called them and got voice mail, waiting for a call back. I want a refund, I have no faith in it and certainly wouldn’t grab it if I heard something go bump in the night. It’s my Surefire I will grab, and I think I will just get another Surefire instead. I certainly wouldn’t stake my life on this thing working when it counts.

    • Well wouldn’t you know it, after having to bring their corporate offices into it and having a corporate rep suggest that “it can be a confusing piece of equipment” and I told them I am more than qualified to turn the bezel of a flashlight, the rep finally called me. They wanted me to ship it at my expense which I put a complete halt to. Of course now it works perfectly, so I started reading all the fine print. Designed in the USA in big print on the box, but made in China in the small print in the instructions. Now I understand why it works the way it does.


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