By: Fifty Shades of FDE
For my profession in Law Enforcement, a handheld flashlight is a must have tool on a sam browne or duty belt. It’s often is an overlooked piece of equipment and it shouldn’t be at all. Over my years on the job, I have heard many excuses for not having a flashlight and none of them were logical to me and to them after I started with some follow-up questions. The number one reason that I’ve heard the most is that, “working day shift, you’ll never need a light!” They couldn’t be more wrong. A handheld flashlight is for illumination, that helps you with information gathering for your eyes and brain to process when you’re in low light or no light conditions. None of us have the ability to control our lighting conditions in every environment so it’s best to be prepared with your own source of light when you need to find something, someone, directing traffic…you get the idea. In this line of work, you rarely get a heads up about what’s going to happen next. So deciding not to carry a flashlight on your person puts you at a great disadvantage. For those who are fortunate to have a weapon light attached to their duty pistol, that light should only be used when there is a reason to have your duty weapon drawn and not for any other purpose. That is why you still need to have a hand held light on your belt. Having a quality flashlight that has performance to back it up is important too. I see too many home depot and in some occasions, dollar store lights in the duty role and that is definitely better than having no light at all but not much at all. Those inexpensive lights usually don’t have much output and weren’t designed for hard use so relying on these with your life doesn’t seem like a wise choice.
The new ASP Raptor DF (DF stands for Dual Fuel) was designed specifically for duty use. It’s definitely bright and powerful enough to light things up with a maximum output of 1,900 Lumens and has a range of 240 Meters with a runtime of One and a half hours. It also has a low output mode of 15 lumens and a strobe feature with 300 lumens. Those are some really impressive stats for a flashlight. It weighs in at 9.2 Ounces and has a rather large profile with a length of 6.5″ and bezel diameter of 1.57″ making it ideal for duty carry or in a backpack or around your home, it wouldn’t be ideal for an EDC flashlight. As a duty flashlight, it works great, it is easy to grab and takes some features from the ever popular ASP Batons with the foam located at center of body body. The bezel is heavy duty and makes the Raptor DF available as an impact weapon if needed. My sample came with the available Tactical Light Case and it is a nice rotating belt mounted holster that is similar to that of the Baton cases, it allows for an easy draw and reholstering of the light.
The Raptor DF can be powered by the included 18650 Rechargeable battery or two single use CR123s. This comes in handy if your 18650 dies and you don’t have the ability to recharge it. Just throw in some spare CR123s and continue on with the task at hand. Both the Raptor DF and the included 18650 battery have a micro-usb port to charge. It came with a micro usb charging cable but any would work. This is a great feature for duty lights as it gets expensive to use CR123s and having to replace them over and over. Having a more powerful light and ability to recharge the batteries makes it a very practical and cost-effective light. The bezel rotates to uncover the charging port. It has a color led gauge, it blinks red while charging and displays a solid green when fully charged.
The Raptor DF has a unique tail cap that rotates in to three positions. On the far left, marked ‘0’ is for momentary, the middle is Off so there won’t be any accidental activations and on the right, marked with a solid ‘0’ for constant. The push button itself is programmable and I have it on the Maximum Output with the first press and Minimal Output with a quick second press. This works on both momentary and constant positions. There is a strobe mode that can be programmed but I prefer not to use that function on any of my lights. It’s just my preference, however it’s there if you want it.
The Raptor DF is by far, the most powerful hand held flashlight that I’ve used for work. The beam is wide and it has a good sized hot spot that goes far and it does well at illuminating at closer range at the same time with a decent spill. Some flashlights have better throw and be terrible at spill or vice versa, the Raptor DF does a great job at both. Is 1,900 Lumens too much? I definitely don’t think so, the more, the better. If you’ve heard from anyone who has said that there is such a thing as too bright a light and that you’ll blind yourself; to that, I say get some more training behind the use of lights tactically and then come back at me. The more light output you have, the better you can see, which gives your eyes and your brain more information to gather and then react to. For sure the Raptor DF will be blinding to whoever is on the business end, giving you a brief tactical advantage if you are faced with a deadly force situation.
I have had the Raptor DF on my duty belt for a good few weeks of receiving it and have taken it with me while outdoors. It has continually impressed me with it’s raw power and ability to illuminate in low light and no light conditions. It’s like having a portable spotlight without in a manageable size and weight.
The engineers at ASP know what it takes to make hard-use duty equipment and the Raptor DF lives up to the excellent reputation of tools that are 10-8 everyday all over the world. The Raptor DF is a great light that is also very practical and with the rechargeable 18650 battery, it’s also very cost effective. With all of these features, the Raptor DF is the perfect light for your duty belt as well as any other task that requires a good amount of illumination.
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Here are some other reviews on the Raptor DF!