The flashlight is a very useful gizmo in the airsoft games world. Probably most of you have used it during games – in dynamic CQB fights or during night games and milsims. There are a lot of applies of the light – from the most obvious like lighting up the road, scanning the sectors, to some more advanced like making distractions or using the strobo mode in firefights. Long story short – a tactical flashlight is just an airsoft must-have you’ll never know when you’ll need it (also in EDC- more here). The best placement of it is on our gun. However, we won’t be talking about the flashlights today, but about one specific model – the Element M952V.
The light is sent in a foil bag with a cardboard tag with information about the model. Inside there are:
- the flashlight with M93 type QD mount
- a pressure switch with cable
- a piece of velcro for the pressure switch
And that’s all. No batteries, no user’s guide (but is there someone who reads them?)
The flashlight is made of aircraft alloy and powder painted in the attractive to the eye Coyote/Tan color. The construction itself is very sturdy and it’s not possible to find any loose parts. All the elements that can be twisted-off are secured with additional rubber o-rings to keep the waterproofness, so no worries in the rain or in the snow.
Like in the original M952V, the Element product also has the special regulation ring with two positions – White and IR. The ring is tightly secured and requires a proper force to be pulled up. After twisting, it locks in the new position with a hearable and feelable click.
In the back of the M952V we have a black twist-off panel with a button and pressure switch port, that is secured with a rubber plug. The cable with pressure switch gives a solid (for a Chinese product) impression. It’s not as soft and elastic as it could be, but it’s fine. The pressure pad is mounted properly and doesn’t tend to fall off in the future.
The cable slot works like a charm – there is no possibility of losing it during games because it requires a proper force to unplug.
The flashlight has the M93 type QD mount. It has two positions – open and closed, that can be swapped with the lever. To move the lever, you have to push the button that locks it in the place, and then move it to the second position. The mount sits on the rails, however, it’s not sitting that tight on my E&L SOPMOD II. The lever can be additionally secured by tightening the screw that holds it.
The first thing that can be spotted when opening the package is the appearance of the long black marks on the body of the flashlight and its mount.
Underneath them, there are engraved markings of the original product. The paint comes off after a subtle touch of the nail cleaner. What’s interesting, there is also the other version of the product available, but with the Night Evolution label – they have their own, unrealistic (but legal) markings.
The light and its modes
The heart of the flashlight is the Chinese CREE Q5 260 lumens diode, which is powered by two CR123 batteries. There are two light modes – the classic one and strobo. In order to change the mode, you need to rotate the ring from “white” position to the “IR”. The light beam is quite concentrated, there is no focus adjustment.
Despite the low power of the light, the M952V performs pretty well both in the buildings and night games. The batteries last quite long if you’re not using it every game (mine are powering the light for about half a year now?). Personally, I miss the focus adjustment of the light beam and low power mode for reading maps etc. However, my favorite M952V feature is the strobo mode, which is incredibly useful during close quarter fights or ambushes. But it’s not flawless – swapping the mode is not that fast and intuitive with the special ring, a double press of the pressure pad would be much faster and more usable method. And these are the functions that we can find in other tactical flashlights on the market in this price ratio. Here comes the most philosophical question in the airsoft world – the looks or functionality?