Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stinger Scorpion X

I know what you're thinking.  "Another flashlight review?"  Yep!  I've had this one for just under a year.  It is the Streamlight Scorpion X.  What an incredible little flashlight this is!  And what a value! 

I paid about $50 for this 200 lumen LED powerhouse.  At first, I thought it might make a good EDC light, but was mistaken; it's a bit large.  The main body itself is narrow, but that giant head, with that anti-roll piece machined into it, make it a bit large for pockets.  Plus, it's a bit on the heavy side for EDC work: 5 ounces.  If you want an EDC light, I'd look elsewhere, but for a utility light, tactical light, or weapon light, it's hard to go wrong with the Scorpion X.

The body is machined out of aluminum and as mentioned, features an integrated anti-roll head to keep it in place.  NICE!  The handle portion is then covered with a rubber sleeve to give this light tons of traction in your hand.  The lens is scratch resistant and the beam is wide with a bright focal point.

At night, I can light up vehicles and people over two blocks away with this little thing and could easily make out license plate numbers and signs from over 4 blocks when used with my monocular.  For close in work, you can lower the light output to 10 lumens, so it is not blinding to you.  The two CR123 batteries will last 50 hours in low mode.  In high mode, they last about 2 1/2 hours.  There is also a strobe feature on the light, for those who wish to have it.

One gripe about this light is the rubber sleeve on the body.  It also covers the button, and I was concerned that with use, the sleeve might rip or get punctured and allow water to get in.  Well, I put it to the test.  I took it out on a rainy night and conducted a series of drop tests from 4 feet, 6 feet, and by throwing it up in the air over 10 feet.  How it landed was purely up to chance.  It took a beating as I tossed it across the yard, let it sit on a flooded drain completely submerged for 10 minutes.  It's also been mounted to my AR15, which was shot hundreds of times.  So, how'd it fair?

The rubber sleeve did tear in a spot on the back of the light.  This allowed some water to seep in, but it did not hurt the light because there are o-rings at the head, which protected it.  I was able to find a retailer that sells replacement sleeves, so I purchased about 4 of them.  I removed the damaged sleeve and installed a new one.  After it was installed, I tested it in my bath tub under about 18 inches of water.  Dry as a bone inside.  As long as the sleeve is intact, this thing is highly water resistant and weatherproof.

Due to it's small size and light weight, I now have this mounted to my AR15 with a VTAC light mount.  The narrow body required me to shim it in order to fit the VTAC.  Instead of using electrical tape or something like that, I utilized the old sleeve.  I cut it to the size needed and wrapped it around the light.  After that, it was a matter of getting it into the mount and tightening the screws.  It looks good there and is solid.  You can't even tell I shimmed it. 

The only other thing I can fault with this light is that it does not tail stand.  The rubber sleeve and the button make it impossible for it to do so.  For that, I don't consider this light a very effective wilderness light, but it makes a good tactical light.

I'm not going to say that this light is as good as something much more expensive like my Stinger LED or a Surefire weapon light, but the Scorpion is a good handheld, or weapon mounted tactical light.  At $50, it is a huge value because you get a lot of light for not a lot of money.  I like to consider this more of a practical light because it will fill a lot of roles nicely and does so at a low price point.  I'd only suggest buying a few extra sleeves and keeping them around.  At about $2 a piece, there isn't any reason not to.  One last thing about the rubber sleeve is that it doesn't transfer heat or cold like metal does.  This makes it very comfortable to hold in cold weather, as well as hot weather.  That's something to think about. 

-James

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