Mon. Feb 24th, 2020

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

I’ve been a fan of Powertac for a couple of years ever since I started searching for a high output/quality duty flashlight for EDC.  I tested several brands and stumbled into Powertac’s E9R (worth reading for some background on the company and their vision). Extremely tough with industry leading output, I’ve never looked back.  Powertac recently released their newest tactical lights with even more lumens with the highly desirable rechargeable feature.

I’ve had the opportunity to use the E5RG4 and the E9RG4 for the last several weeks.  They are replacing my old lights.  My heavily weathered E9R is going to be my desk light for when I have to get up and check something out.  The E9RG4 with its better performance has become my EDC light.  Its new compatibility with Thrym’s Switchback is another advantage.  The E9RG4 boasts a blistering 2500 lumens. That’s about 1500 more lumens than my E9R.

Personally, I ascribe to the more light is better approach.  There are those that believe a very bright light will blind the user and they’re right if one uses a light haphazardly.  I avoid directly pointing my light at white walls or mirrors and use umbrella lighting. The advantage of the “more lumens” approach is that I have a tool in hand that will assuredly blind an unknown contact allowing me an opportunity to better control a potential situation.  If one isn’t of that school both the E9RG4 and E5RG4 have lower power settings.

The flood on my E9RG4 is a lot wider than my old E9R and the E5RG4.  That allows me to immediately illuminate a wider portion of an area and still have the throw of my E9R. A wide illuminated arc is very desirable in an EDC or duty flashlight.  I also like that I’m keeping the same aggressive strike bezel which especially fits its role as my EDC light.  Another benefit to the E9RG4 is almost an extra hour of runtime at 1150 lumens over E5RG4 due to its higher LED efficiency.

E9RG4 Specs

The E5RG4 is no lightweight. Blessed with a whopping 1800 lumens and built just as tough as the E9RG4, it would serve as an excellent EDC or duty flashlight.  It has two differences though.  The E5RG4 has a much tighter beam offering a throw of over 300m making for an excellent long gun weapon’s light with Powertac’s pressure switch. I bought an offset flashlight mount to mount on an AR.

The second is a relatively minor point. The strike bezel isn’t as aggressive compared to the E9RG4 but is equivalent to most EDC/duty flashlights on the market. One big advantage it has as weapon’s light is that it is rechargeable.  That eliminates the chore of unscrewing the tail end to switch out batteries on most weapons lights.

 

E5RG4 Specs
One can clearly see the difference in intensity of the beam between the two lights. Photos by author.

How do the E5RG4 and E9R-G4 achieve an 80% and almost 150% increase in output respectively? First the LED’s were changed. The E9RG4 went from a XML-2 to XHP-50 LED and the E5RG4 went from a XML-2 to XHP-35 LED.  According to Powertac’s engineers LED manufacturers tend to be conservative when publishing their performance specs.  Powertac pushes that envelope as well as incorporating a “turbo mode” with advanced electronics.

 

The picture doesn’t do justice to the wider flood of the E9RG4 but it does show the difference in intensity. The E5RG4 will push light out a lot farther. Photos by author.

My experience over several years of use with Powertac lights is their toughness is comparable with the very best and most recognized brands out there.  Numerous individuals and US military/government organizations use Powertac lights.  Customer service is prompt and friendly and Powertac backs their lights with a comprehensive warranty covering everything except misuse.

The E9RG4 and E5RG4 utilize a conventional tail button with an instant on capability.  A mode button is on the side towards the rear.  The electronics remember the last mode selected.  Unlike other flashlights that use this approach, I’ve never had the issue of inadvertently changing the mode.  That’s because the side button needs a firm direct press, a tight grip isn’t enough.

I’m enthused that Thrym recognizes Powertac as among the best and most common EDC lights.  Unfortunately, my 2.0 Switchbacks didn’t arrive in time to provide any feedback but both the E5RG4/E9RG4 are compatible. Both lights have a tube width of 23 mm and a bezel width of 25.4 mm.

My initial preference was for the tighter beam of the E5RG4.  It’s changed over the last several weeks to the E9RG4 because of the wider flood while maintaining a blinding output to assist in controlling a subject.  It also makes better sense to have the aggressive bezel on a light where you may find yourself near a subject.

Each light comes in attractive packaging and includes the light, a 18650 3200mAh Rechargeable Battery, Spare O-Rings, Lanyard, Instruction Manual, Belt Holster and a Magnetic USB Charge Cable.  Word to the wise, insert the flashlight tail first.  It’s a tight fit.

Personally, I’m totally committed to using a rechargeable EDC light.  Maintaining a cache of batteries and the physical task of changing them pales against just connecting your light to a charger during down time.  The E5RG4/E9RG4 use a magnetic cable which is super easy to attach and lights up.  When the light is completely charged, the mode switch glows blue.  The only downside is the cable is a proprietary one unlike a common USB based cable.

E5RG4 charging. Photo by author.

Powertac’s latest tactical lights are excellent choices for EDC.  Manufactured tough for duty use and in use by military members and several other government organizations in the law enforcement arena.  Powertac stands behind their lights and address issues immediately and in country. The E9RG4 and E5RG4 put out a blinding amount of light on their highest settings but also allow for lower light settings.  That makes them versatile for any task.  The ability to recharge is a money and time saver.  They are also reasonably priced. If you want to try them out visit their site and use SPOTTERUP to get 20% off.  You won’t be sorry.  For those going to Shot Show, they will be in booth #8203 where you can see and handle their products firsthand.

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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