Kel Tec's illumination choices: The CL series lights

  1. Editor
    As you likely know, Kel Tec has a long and varied line of pistols, shotguns as well as the occasional bayonet. What you may not know is that they also have a passable series of tactical flashlights on top of that. These come in two different models, the light (pardon the pun), handy CL-42, and the more elaborate but no less bright, CL-43.

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    Basic design

    Back in November 2012, KT debuted their two new lights. Each of these is CNC machined from extruded 6061 aluminum, holds a super bright Cree XP-G LED that produces 420 lumens/6400 candela beam, which is visible out to some 160 meters, and is powered, like most tactical lights, by CR123 batteries. (Note the CL-43 also has an optional adapter that adds an inch or so to the overall length but also converts it to use cheaper AA batteries).

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    According to the specs for these bad boys, they are impact resistant for drops up to 4-feet, and water resistant to the same depth. Run time on fully charged batteries is about two and a half hours.

    The CL-42

    This is the basic model and seems to be somewhat of a competitor for the Surefire G2X Single-Mode light. The rear-mounted pressure switch is pretty standard when compared to most Streamlight and Surefire offerings. With its 2-battery on board power supply, it starts to wear down after about an hour. A (removable) pocket clip allows its easy carry in your off hand side while your PF-9 rides on your strong side. They just come in black and OD Green and the only place we can find them is direct from KT for $85

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    When compared to lights like the StreamLight ProTac, which is a 600-lumen beast that runs $130 MSRP, it is both smaller and a good bit less expensive.

    The CL-43

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    This 3.8-ounce taclight is a horse of a different color when compared to its little brother. No really, we mean that literally as KT offers these in just about any shade you could want including yellow, olive drab, coyote tan, red, and safety orange among others and have a Cerakote finish.

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    Capable of holding three CR123s, it is billed as running over 3-hours, which is a marked improvement from the CL-42.

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    Further, it has a forward facing pressure switch that allows easier operation with a handgun-- including the ability to use it in a single-handed grip along with a small pistol (think P3TA).

    However, you have to pay to play, as these run $140.

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    (With the optional AA converter, note the added 1.5-inch overall length to the 4-inch light)

    Downsides

    About the only thing, that I personally don't like about these is the fact that, unlike many of the comparatively priced beams out there, these do not have a programmable strobe or half-light. But then again, there are some who do not like those features on their lights, as they can be confusing to figure out, especially in a high stress situation. Other than that, our only complaint is that they don't come for free with the purchase of a new Kel Tec.

    Are you people listening in Florida? Can you hear me in the back?

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