At SHOT Show in Las Vegas, we visited the good guys at Bayco Products – manufacturer of the NightStick brand of flashlights.  If you haven’t been to SHOT you can’t comprehend just how many “tactical flashlight” booths there are.  And they all claim to be the best value for the money.  My first request was an explanation of how to read the ANSI panel on the box.  You can read that article here.  Marty Robbins followed up our visit by sending us two of their flashlights to evaluate:

Nightstick NSR-9612B

  • 220 Lumens Cree LED
  • Beam distance rated at 345 meters
  • 3 brightness levels plus strobe
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery 4.5 hours
  • Waterproof
  • Aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum

Nightstick TAC-550B

  • 200 Lumens Cree LED
  • Beam distance rated at 210 meters
  • 3 brightness levels plus strobe
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery – 3 hours
  • Waterproof
  • Aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum
The first thing you notice about both flashlights is the build quality.  These are lightweight but tough units.  O-rings on the tail cap and head unit provide a watertight seal.
Like most people, the first thing I look at is Lumens.  Remember the old Q-Beam One Million Candlepower spotlights?  Bayco educated me on the other factors – specifically reflector design.  Beam Pattern, Distance, and Intensity are as important in the field as Lumens.
So, I decided to put the two Nightsticks up against two formidable opponents.
  • Streamlight ProTac Ten-Tap 600 Lumens
  • Xenide AEX15 1,000 Lumens
What, you thought I would let these guys off easy?  No way!  I want to see how the Nightsticks stack up against flashlights with several times the raw Lumen power.
I tested the flashlights on a dark night out at our farm.  The first thing I noticed is that all four lights are quite capable of pretty much anything you would expect from them.  The Xenide AEX15 Personal Searchlight’s 1,000 Lumens are quite impressive.  However, it is also a heavy, $300 flashlight.  The Streamlight ProTac Ten-Tap has a wide beam pattern as you can see in the pictures.  How did the Nightsticks compare to the “more powerful” lights?  Quite well, actually.  The clever reflector design delivers a more focused beam allowing these 200-220 Lumen flashlights to effectively deliver the same experience as flashlights with three times the Lumens.
We now carry the NSR-9612 in our hunt vehicle.  The package included a cigarette lighter charger so we always have a fresh, powerful flashlight available.
by Mike Coker
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Publisher of Tactical Gun Review. Managing partner of Coker Tactical. I love hunting for Texas whitetail deer, wild hogs, and high-volume Argentina dove. When not hunting you can find me fishing along the Texas Coast or on a wild Colorado river.
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