Brighter is better

I’m back talking about flashlights. This time it’s backup, off-duty and specialty lights. Once again, I have to work hard to justify talking about flashlights in a Firearms Tactics column. I was going to be facetious about this, but I learned a...

This is a specialty light that belongs in the sergeant’s car, especially if the patrol area is wide open or wilderness areas. The spec for this one says it all: 1,317 lumens. It’s an inexpensive, lightweight searchlight that is actually an array of seven lamps, each a powerful light on its own. If that wasn’t enough, it takes D cells, making a resupply for a wilderness search air droppable.

You know how the instructions say not to look directly into the beam? This one makes itself explanatory. Why, I vaporized a few objects with this one already.

The Coast HP21 is a good agency investment. The head can be adjusted from spot to flood. The area lighting from this product is perfect for a highway Jaws-of-Life operation where timely seamless flooding of the work area can mean victim survival.

The Coast HP21 has a strobing option in the multi switch. I experimented a little with it. It is very disorienting, which is probably why extra bright strobes are currently being tested for crowd control. Since it comes with a shoulder sling, it may be a great tool for civil disturbances.

Your flashlight is part of a complete package. Officers who pay attention to their safety equipment recognize the importance of selecting the light as part of the entire shooting combination.


Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, Calif. He has a BS in criminal justice and an MS in online teaching and learning. Bertomen has taught shooting techniques for over a decade. He enjoys competing in shooting sports, running and cycling events. He welcomes comments at

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