Semi-Impromptu Weapon: The Black and Decker Flashlight

I’m a believer in a small flashlight as a great combination of a useful tool and a semi-impromptu weapon.

Remember, a semi-impromptu weapon is a weapon that fits in your environment, and that you have chosen for its suitability as a fighting tool. For instance, although the single battery flashlights are more compact, I give them a pass because they’re too short to be effective as weapons. The semi-impromptu weapon is strategically placed (or carried) so that you have access to it.

The personal flashlight comes in handy at the movie theater. You may think you can get by in a darkened theater just fine –until you drop your keys or cellphone.

As a teacher I’ve had the power go out at school. In a room with only one small window in the corner, a flashlight comes in handy. I drive to school in the dark, and have had to put oil or coolant in the car in the early morning in the country, where there are few street lights.

I bought this Black and Decker flashlight at Wal-Mart yesterday for less than 10 bucks. Ideally, I’d buy one of the nice “tactical” flashlights (like the Surefire Defender), but my budget is not cooperating. The flashlight is a little on the long side, but I find that good if I have to strike with it.

The flashlight also has a clip on it, which may come in handy. I also like a push button on/off switch. One aggravation of the mini-mag lights is that you have to twist the light on or off, which makes it a two-handed operation.

Another neat feature of the Black and Decker is that you can press the light on, and then back off on the pressure so the light goes off. This means if you stumble across some hoodlum with a pistol in your garage, you don’t have a flashlight stuck in the “on” position.

When buying a flashlight, look at lumens, which is a measure of a flashlight’s power. My flashlight is 60 lumens, which isn’t bad. Some I looked at had lumens in the low teens, which is pretty much useless.

Black and Decker Flashlight

Now some might say, “No thanks, I have a gun; I don’t need a flashlight.” Don’t be so sure. In my next post I’ll talk about the role the flashlight plays in defensive pistol use.


P.S.  As a side note, the other day at MacDonald’s I saw a guy wearing a fanny pack and a small flashlight (like a mini-mag) in a holster. I would have bet several hundred dollars there was a gun in his fanny pack. Luckily I wasn’t about to pull an armed robbery.

If you carry a concealed pistol, can you be less obvious?

Do you really need a fanny pack to conceal a pistol in record cold temperatures?


7 Responses to “Semi-Impromptu Weapon: The Black and Decker Flashlight”

  1. I too am a huge fan of the small flashlight. I agree, the “tactical” ones are really nice but way overpriced. besides, everything these days is “tactical” which just pisses me off. It has become too cliche…but I digress. Any small, sturdy light will do and the cheaper in $$ the better. You can pack a lot of hurt into loaded hammer-fist strikes with one of those. If you have an edged weapon in the other hand and a flashlight in your alive hand, you have a pretty good set-up for anything in-close.

  2. I have a small a S & W LED flashlight…got it as a gift, probably not more than 25 bucks..good product and a nice impromptu fist load and nose smasher….It works well and won’t break a mans wallet.

  3. I have a Surefire but with CR123 batteries you have to order them by mail order or pay like $10 per batter at walmart. Best to stick to AA batteries.

    I did pick up a singe AA flashlight at a hardware store that is very bright and cheap $12 but mine stopped working while the GFs still works. Can’t seem to fix mine.

  4. Tommy,

    I also like the two-handed method. Yes, and the “tactical” bit just seems like a code word for “overpriced.”


    I was looking into flashlights and encountered the same issue you did –some of those lights need fancy lithium batteries.

    I’ve had second thoughts because I’m looking for a flashlight I can take to the Philippines, where blackouts are common and light non-existent out in the countryside. Try going down hill, following a goat trail in the dark on a rainy night –not fun. So I’m looking for something with standard batteries.


    Smith and Wesson seems to have a lot of good offerings (reasonably priced yet sturdy) in both the tactical flashlight and pen categories.

  5. If you don’t mind E-Bay you can score CR123 from sellers in HK or China. Batteries, literally like 10 for just a few bucks. If the buyer has positive feedback and you have patience for long delivery times 10-20 days. Then really cheap is possible. No kidding.

    • Hi all, in reference to the last post, here’s some info. By the way I too am a flashlight junkie. So I ordered 4, 3.7V CR123’s a 2 battery charger, the full price with delivery was $8.78.

      The reason was, I also bought a 300LM flashlight, with a CREE R2 high-power LED with a 100,000 hour lifespan. Price, are you sitting,,,$.01 $12.99 S/H for a total of $13. Bucks. Not too bad, for $21.78. it’s all coming from Hong Kong 10-25 days by mail. For me it’s worth the wait. Peace.

  6. The problem with S&W is that they really don’t make knives and flashlights, they just put their name on them. Fenix is a good brand and I’d rather buy a light you know comes from China rather than from an American company just slapping their name on it and riding on the coat tails of their well known gun brand.

    Fenix sells 1 and 2 cell models in AAA, AA, and CR123.

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