Many years ago I was introduced to a company called Pelican Products when I was looking for a camera case. As most of you know, the company makes heavy-duty plastic cases for guns, cameras, and other equipment that can literally survive combat.
So when Pelican branched out awhile back to make duty flashlights, I knew that if they were as tough as the company’s cases, then you could use them for hammers. Granted, this is not a suggested use for a flashlight, but it’s nice to know that a light can really absorb the shocks that you give it during your duty day and keep on shining.
Pelican’s best known flashlight is its full-size Black Knight police model. But the company also makes a fine selection of smaller lights, including three models of the M6 that can be used as handhelds or attached to long guns.
The M6 series includes the Model 2330 1-watt LED with an output of 41 Lumens, the Model 2390 3-watt LED with an output of 61 Lumens, and the Model 2320 Xenon with an output of 74 Lumens. These babies throw out enough light for searching a warehouse without blinding their operator.
Several features of the M6 lights make them stand out from the crowd. The light bezel and tail cap have several flats on them. This keeps the light from rolling if you set it on a car hood, roof, trunk, or a sloped surface. Granted, most lights will survive the tumble from a car roof, but your dignity won’t survive chasing the damn thing down the street.
The body of each light in the Pelican M6 line is machined from high-grade aluminum alloy so it is lightweight and tough. To ensure the operator has a firm grip, the light barrels have a diamond-knurled pattern. I found this grip very stable with wet hands and while wearing gloves, whether they were wet or dry.
Another feature that sets the Pelican M6 lights apart from others is the tail cap switch. To turn on the light, all you have to do is push it for momentary or constant on. One nice touch on the M6 lights is that it doesn’t make a “click” sound when you push the tail cap switch to constant on. At night a click can sound like a firecracker going off. Of course, the amount of stealth that this affords you is likely going to be undermined by the bright light in your hand, but it’s still a nice touch.
Since LED technology has come so far in recent years, I was most curious about the Model 2390, 3-watt LED. The reason for my interest in the LED light is easy to explain; the current crop of high-output xenon and halogen lights use batteries at an amazing rate. By contrast, LED lights sip energy, so the batteries last much longer.
The Model 2390 3-watt LED light is really bright and it seems to run forever. Hard-use LED lights reportedly have an intermittent run time of several thousand hours. And if you run this light in constant-on mode, the batteries should last for more than four hours.
Finally, I have to mention one more thing that I really like about the M6 lights. Each one comes with a sheath. This is a really great touch. And I’d love to see more manufacturers of tactical lights adopt it.
Overall, I found each of the M6 lights to be good tools. They are bright, well designed with great ergonomics, and they are so durable that they are on duty with our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Scott Smith is a disabled veteran who served as an active-duty Army MP and in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard as a security policeman.
M6 Model 2390
Length: 5.5 inches
Bulb: 3-watt Luxeon LED
Output: 61 lumens
Run Time: 4.5 hrs constant on
Barrel/Bezel Material: High-grade aluminum alloy
Switch: Tail cap with momentary and constant on
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