Not too long ago I had a package show up here at the Gunmart Blog Test Kitchen form the good people over at ExtremeBeam. Inside of said package was one of their handheld tactical flashlights, the M4 Scirrako.
The M4 Scirrako is a pretty interesting flashlight design. What ExtremeBeam has done with this flashlight is try to address something that I spoke out about recently in an open letter that I wrote to the flashlight industry. What I basically said then was that I really wanted flashlight manufacturers to give up on the Lumen war – I think that we can all agree that tactical flashlights are bright enough already – and focus in on increasing flashlight run time. The M4 Scirrako (and a couple of ExtremeBeam’s other models) is an attempt to do just that. Dial back the Lumens a little bit (230 Lumens for this model) and increase run time in an effort to make the flashlight more of a worthwhile tool for the end user.
Quality of design
When I first opened up the box that ExtremeBeam sent to me I was immediately impressed. Upon first inspection I could tell right away that what I was holding in my hand was a very well constructed flashlight. I would honestly say that the construction of this light is right on par with just about any of the other top-tier flashlight manufactures that are out there, and it stands toe-to-toe with the quality of flashlights that are far more expensive than the $49 MSRP for this light.
The body is constructed of hard-anodized aircraft grade aluminum. It is just under six inches in length and weighs in at 6.5 ounces on my postal scale. The lens and battery compartment are both double (yes, double) o-ring sealed which makes this flashlight waterproof to a depth of 30 feet.
Yeah, I’d say that it passed the waterproof test…
The light output for the M4 Scirrako is advertised to be 230 Lumens for its highest setting. It actually has three settings – high/low/strobe – which you can cycle through in order just like you would with any other tac-light. It also has a momentary on capability as well as a constant on.
About that advertised 230 Lumens… IMO, it may actually exceed that. Now let me be clear here… this is completely based on my personal opinion, and is based entirely on my own eye. I have no fancy testing equipment that will let me drop some crazy-mad science on you. All I can really do is give you my opinion based on my own personal interpretation of what my eye sees.
What I can say is that when I compared this light to several other high-lumen tactical flashlights I actually feel like the advertised 230 Lumens may be an understatement. No, its not a 600 or a 1,000 Lumen beast, but it does easily put out what I would estimate to be along the same lines as what other manufacturers would claim to be in the 250-300 Lumens range. So, even with a conservative estimate… Yes, this light does at the very least perform as advertised.
The beam that the M4 Scirrako puts out is technically “adjustable”. When I first read that I instantly thought Maglite, but nothing could be further from the truth – and thats a good thing. This flashlight has a bit of adjust-ability to it, but its honestly not anything to speak of nor is it anything that has to be worried about.
With the old Maglites the darn thing always seemed to be in the wrong desired position whenever you turned it on. It seemed to always accidentally adjust itself and then when you tried to use it you needed to first turn it on and then twist the head to get it setup how you wanted it. Luckily thats not an issue with the M4 Scirrako. The head is stiff and does not move unless you want it to move… and with as little as it does adjust you will actually be thankful that it doesn’t adjust on its own.
OK, so lets talk about the big selling point of this flashlight shall we… The advertised run time for this flashlight is 7 hours… ON HIGH! Read that again… thats 7 HOURS OF RUN TIME ON HIGH! When you consider that the vast majority of tactical flashlights that are on the market give you a run time of about an hour +/- on their highest setting, its absolutely amazing. Yes, there are many flashlights out there that are much brighter than this 230 Lumen light, but there are also many that are at that same measure of brightness (or less) that still have paltry run times. This light gives you more than enough output and it will go for 7 hours before you need to replace the batteries.
BUT, the million dollar question here is… does it really deliver as advertised? Well, I set it up and tested it… and a brand new set of fresh CR123 batteries gave me a tested run time of exactly 6 hours and 55 minutes. Yep, it only missed the advertised 7 hour run time by 5 minutes… down to the second.
Now I only did it once, so realistically its just one single test with one single flashlight with one single set of batteries… but I am indeed shocked and amazed.
What job is this tool for?
The 230 Lumen beam that the M4 Scirrako puts out is pretty nicely setup to make this what I would call a medium-range light. Its not necessarily a concealed carry light because of the pretty large size of the bezel. Yes, you could holster it and carry it non-concealed, but its a rather large light and IMHO is not really ideal for concealed carry. However, for any job where the light does not need to be concealed or where it can be stored then its going to serve you very well.
The flashlight has a tightly focused center to the beam that is about the size of a human head at across the room distances and then opens up to about the size of a coyote at about 100 yards. The light also has a nice spill to it which nicely diffuses the rest of its light output into a pretty wide area. The spill is also subdued enough that this light works very nicely indoors. Because the beam is so tightly focused and the spill is so subdued you don’t really have any kind of problem with blinding yourself while using this flashlight in tight rooms that may have dry-wall or mirrors.
ExtremeBeam advertises that this light will cast its beam out past 1,000 feet. That may very well be true, but IMHO if you are going to use this light to engage a target or to clearly identify something at distance then you are realistically looking at a workable distance of what I ranged to be about 325 feet.
The light also has a standard 1 inch tube so it mounts up on weapons just fine, and it can be done with just about any standard flashlight mount out there on the market. ExtremeBeam also offers a pressure switch for it too.
Whats the Bottom Line?
Overall I have to say that I was more than impressed with this flashlight. Its a very well constructed light that should stand up just fine to heavy use and adverse conditions. Its pretty much got everything going for it that most of the other high end tac-lights on the market do, but the really big kicker here is the 7 hours of run time at 230 Lumens of output level. Its really remarkable, and when you factor in that this light is only $49 its truly a no-brainer. Go check it out for yourself. You should be pretty happy with it.