by Joe W Gorman
My buddy Ernie Traugh at Cedar Valley Outfiters in Marion, Iowa considers a fully-charged cell phone an absolute must to bring along when you are packing for what should be obvious reasons: If you ever have to use your weapon to defend yourself, or if you ever have to even draw your weapon, you'll want to be the first to call 911 to tell the police what happened. And don't forget to mention that you are the victim. Most of us carry a cell phone everywhere, every day, anyhow, so this is an easy one to live with and always remember.
It was also Ernie who first suggested to me the utility of carrying a bright flashlight every day too. He said this in the context of talking about really useful things we can carry in places where we can't carry a weapon. Think of countless situations that occur when you could use a flashlight for mundane tasks from changing a tire to looking for anything in a dark tool shed. I'm sure there are plenty of situations you can think of when a flashlight would save the day, or the night. There are also plenty of situations when a bright flashlight might get you out of trouble.
The Made-in-the-US Maglite MAG-TAC, 2-cell (CR-123 batteries) flashlight is a NTOA certified LED tactical flashlight, about five inches long, weighs less than 5 ounces with batteries, is machined from rugged aluminum, throws a 320-lumen beam about 200 yards and can run 4 hours. This pint-sized powerhouse comes complete with Duracell batteries, a detachable pocket clip and can operate in three modes: momentary, ON, and 12Hz strobe. It's small and light enough that once you slip it in your pocket it's easy to forget about it until you need it.
This little light is plenty bright enough to momentarily blind/disorient an assailant in a darkened environment. In doing some after dark experiments, my son hit me with the beam after my eyes had grown accustomed to the nighttime dark and the 12HZ strobe setting in particular pretty much stopped me from advancing toward him. It was several seconds before I was reoriented to his initial position; enough time for him to simply, "Get the heck out of Dodge." Think about that the next time you're walking to your car in a darkened parking garage.
I rigged the MAG-TAC to a picatinny-rail weapon mount and it worked extremely well on my Mossberg 500, my Colt M4 as well as hand-held with a pistol. As I said earlier, this little guy can illuminate out to 200 yards, as in no fooling 200 yards! So any coyote that creeps onto my property is doomed! I mounted the MAG-TAC to a light holder on the handlebars of my mountain bike and set out on several after dark rides. I had no trouble seeing the road ahead even on the unlit roads around my house.
This light has found a resting place on my headboard at night. It rests next to the phone. Anything that wakes me can be illuminated very quickly. Power outage? No problem, grab the MAG-TAC and I can see well enough to make the generator come to life. During the day it will disappear into my pocket and I can deploy it quickly for something boring like lighting up a dark office storage area or for something exciting like when #2 daughter says she just saw a coyote come into the yard. It has the capability to be utilized as a very nasty kubaton and I can't think of a place that won't let you have a flashlight. Except maybe on a commercial airplane? The TSA agent may think this MAG-TAC looks too scary. If that's a concern for you there's a TAC-LITE with a non-crowned bezel too.
Super versatile, super concealable and super bright when you need it most, the Maglite MAG-TAC is a great tool to take with you every day!