Review: KelTec CL43 flashlight

One of the things I picked up at the NRAAM was one of KelTec’s CL43 flashlights.  The folks at the KelTec booth were nice enough to give me one for review.  This particular one was used as a demo by one of the guys working the booth.  When I received it, the batteries were pretty much already dead and needed replacing.


The CL43 is the larger of the two flashlights KelTec makes (the smaller being the CL-42).  Both are rated at 420 lumens, but the CL-43 holds 3 CR-123A batteries, while the CL-42 holds 2.  This obviously causes the CL-43 to have a longer run time (listed at 3 hours 35 minutes vs 2 hours 25 minutes).  Neither of these flashlights have adjustable brightness modes.  You can purchase a gun mount kit from KelTec that will work for both lights.

KelTec went with a rather unique design of having the third battery next to the other two and the power button on that extra lump facing the same direction as the lens.  This means that you end up holding the light like a pistol.  At first, I thought this might be a bit awkward, but it works well.  It makes for a compact package that is pretty comfortable in the hand.  The button is in a convenient place, more so than the traditional end cap button.  It also means that you can hold it comfortably even after the light has been on for a while and the actual lamp has heated up (standard with high powered LEDs).

KelTec claims that the design also allows you to hold the light and your pistol in the standard double handed pistol grip while operating both.  I tried this out briefly.  While it sort of works, I would think you’d need a lot of practice for it to be comfortable and effective.

Of course, this thing is ultimately supposed to do one thing, and it does it pretty well.  The 420 lumen lamp is sufficiently bright for most situations.  For those (like me) that are a little fuzzy on how bright that is, your average 40watt incandescent bulb is 450.  In a small room, it’s bright enough to substitute for the ceiling light if you shine it against the ceiling.

Unfortunately, not everything is wonderful with this flashlight.  First off, the switch for the flashlight appears to be mechanical.  This means that there can only be two modes: on and off.  For a $140 flashlight, I would really expect an electronic switch with multiple modes.

Oh… and then there’s the killer issue with me.  I carried this flashlight in my pocket for a couple of months when this happened:


That’s a penny firmly stuck in the lens of the flashlight.  Apparently the lens is exactly the same diameter.  I’ve tried to pry it out, but so far I’ve only succeeded in gouging the penny.  At this point, I’m thinking it’s either dig through the penny or replace the lamp, since the lamp appears to be a sealed unit (not uncommon).

So… unfortunately, I’d really like to recommend this light, but I just can’t.  As WizardPC stated when I showed him the issue “wow, a $140 flashlight defeated by a penny.”  $140 is also a bit much to drop on a pocket flashlight putting out 420 lumens, but not out of line for a weapons light.

Moar Podcast Goodness!

Episode 3 of the GunBlogVarietyCast is up!

Oh, and now it’s even in iTunes, for those of you who have one of things with technology that’s only 3 years older than what’s currently in Android!*

*I kid, I kid….

Week 2 of K2KC!

So… week two, and here’s a newer picture:

IMG_3629By the way, that’s the one “traditional” kilt that I currently own.

Also, here’s another kilt themed song:

Hmmm…. I wonder if I could find a sombrero and some maracas…

On a more serious note, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year.  Fortunately, it was caught early, and they were able to go in and get it all out.  Unfortunately, many guys don’t go in and get the tests when they should and aren’t as lucky.  That’s what this is all really about.  Making sure guys know to get tested, and research to find a cure.

If you can, please throw a couple bucks towards the cause here.  Please make sure to check off the box that says that this donation is part of a team, and choose “team oddball.”  Thanks.

Why would anyone need a gun at Kroger?

While billionaires with private security who probably haven’t bought their own groceries in 30 years are complaining that the hoi polloi might protect themselves, some very bad things happened in Memphis this weekend. At a Kroger.

Now, if you just read that story it doesn’t sound so bad–maybe like a small-time drug related beating where employees got caught up in it. But here’s the Video (via Breitbart):

“Group of teens” is more like 50. But sure, let’s make sure no one can protect themselves from something like this. It’ll make Bloomberg feel better.

Gun Porn: Bigger, Classier Big Brother

First we had the Bersa .22.

Then we had the Bersa Thunder 9 Pro.

To round off this set (all owned by oddball, btw), here is a absolutely gorgeous Beretta 96




I was with oddball when he bought this, and I lust after it. It’s got Crimson Trace Lasergrips and Meprolight Tru Dot Tritium Night Sights, and if I recall correctly, 6 magazines. My memory may be mistaken, but I think he got it for about as much as the Lasergrips were retailing for at the time. I know it was a steal.

It’s time to break the kilts out of the closet for a good cause!

September is prostate awareness month, and I’m once again participating in Kilted to Kick Cancer.  This year is a little different.  The guys that run it have actually got KtKC registered as its own non-profit and are accepting donations that way.  From what I understand, they will basically be turning around and handing the money to the same orgs that they’ve worked with in the past (who actually get most of their money to actual research), but this helps them keep track of things better.

I’m still recovering from Dragoncon, so I’ll keep this brief.  I promise I’ll have stories, etc later into the month.

So first, there’s this:


This is actually from my wedding last year.  Like I said, I’m still recovering from Dragoncon and I failed to pack my camera, so I don’t have any new pictures… yet.  By the way, the Utilikilt’s tux kilt was worth the price to avoid wearing pants on my wedding day.

I think I’ll also try to post a kilt-related song every week through out the month.  I guess I’ll start with a classic:

So… If you’re interested in donating to this good cause, please click here and choose “team oddball” as the fundraising team.  It is a friendly competition, so I’d appreciate it.  Maybe if we raise enough money, I can get WizardPC to agree to let me publish a picture of him in a kilt.  He knows the one, and I already have a few copies of it.


Gun Porn: Bersa Thunder 9 Pro

Last week’s bigger brother:



This almost happened to me once…

Police: Teens Used Trash Cans To Ambush, Rob Driver

Three teens were taken into custody after police said they used trashcans to ambush a driver and rob him.

A Davidson County affidavit said 18-year-old Eduardo Pizana pulled two trash cans out into the roadway in an attempt to stop cars as they passed. The two other teens acted as lookouts in some nearby bushes.

After an SUV stopped to move the trash cans, police said Pizana walked up to the driver, pulled out a gun, and demanded money.

About two years ago, me and Tactical Dog took the Excursion to a local fast food drive thru at around 8pm, about 3 miles from where the incident above took place. I ordered our food (she used to get french fries, but then she got to be a fatty so we stopped doing that) and when I pulled around there was a cart of bread pallets sitting in the middle of the drive thru.

Not being able to move forward with that in the way, and not seeing any employees who might have left it there temporarily, I got out to move it. The cart appeared to come from a brick-walled storage area behind the restaurant, so I started pushing it back into that area.

As I got closer, I smelled cigarettes, so I figured someone was being a slacker and taking a smoke break while moving the pallets and for whatever reason just left them there. So when I came around the corner and saw two guys on my left smoking, I wasn’t surprised. I said hi, they said “uh…hi?” and I rolled the cart in. I remember thinking that they were probably startled by the openly-carried Glock on my hip which was clearly visible to them because of where they were standing and how I entered the area.

About this time, Tactical Dog loses her freaking mind. I turn around to head back to the car and see a guy running away from the truck with his afterburners on. I got back in, scolding the dog for scaring someone for no reason.

It was probably a half hour later when it dawned on me that the two guys in the storage area weren’t wearing fast food uniforms and the running man didn’t run to a car in the fast food parking lot. So they probably would’ve had me if not for the dog. Well, that, and the fact that the Excursion had remote start so even though it was running, the doors were locked and the keys were in my pocket.

So score one for open carry preventing a crime! Maybe. Possibly. Perhaps.

Oh look! A Podcast!

Sean Sorrentino got me and a bunch of other bloggers in front of a microphone, and now we have Episode 1 of The Gun Blog Variety Cast!

We talk about tactical dogs, triggers, prepping, soft power, Facebook and the NSA, among other things!

Weekend Drive

Mrs. wizardpc got me a slot driving one of the cars from Gotham Dream Cars when they rolled into Nashville