It was all the way back in October of 2004 when I wrote my first review of a new and revolutionary flashlight that had just come onto the market: The Gladius from BLACKHAWK! Night-Ops. The light was the result of the combined efforts of BLACKHAWK! and Strategos International - the premier training organization for low-light operations. About a year later I had to do an update because those involved weren't sitting on their laurels but where constantly striving to improve the product - plus, I'd done more testing. Now, here I find myself again: the now named Gladius Maximis is better than ever - and more improvements are coming!
Shown to the right, the Gladius Miximis is an evolution of the Gladius which was an evolution of... nothing. It was new and totally unique into the market when it was introduced. The original Gladius was the result of engineers trying to figure out how to give operators what they wanted rather than telling the operators what they could have.
The three most notable and prominent features of the original Gladius were its light output from an LED lamp (85 lumens), it's four-position tailcap that allowed for versatility of function, and the fact that it was waterproof and divable. Now let's consider those items...
The LED lamp pushing 85 lumens was quite impressive at that time. However the new Gladius Maximis is pushing 120 lumens from the same light, same batteries, etc for the same run time: 90 minutes at full power.
The four position tailcap controls the digital circuitry and how you manipulate your light. There is a lockout position so you don't have accidental discharges (ADs) because that much light fired off at the wrong time might give away your position or blind you - both unintentionally to be sure and neither having a positive impact on your operation. The next position allows for you to turn the light on and off as well as dim it up or down. That way you don't have to use 120 lumens to write tickets or read a map - you can dim it down and you can program it to come on at that lower level of light if you want. The next position is the strobe position. The use of strobing light has proven effective in disorienting suspects and opponents as well as helping to conceal your position and movement when you're searching. The fourth position is touch pressure only.
Now, let me make a few observations that are the same today as they were when I first made them: