Last fall I picked up a Streamlight ProTac HL flashlight to use for the Day-Night-Day match, since at the time I didn’t have a suitable flashlight. I had more than a little trouble with the light during the match, and afterwards I considered making some modifications to it, but just couldn’t bring myself to start hacking on (what at the time was) a $100 flashlight.
Fast forward a year or so, and I’ve actually been enjoying the ProTac HL as a EDC flashlight during the months of the year where it gets dark earlier. Having those 600 lumens have come in handy a time or two, although I still wish the light had a mode that would put out about 200-300 lumens instead of just the really dim 33 lumens, or too-bright-most-of-the-time 600 lumens. In the past year it’s been used, dropped, and scratched to the point that I decided it was alright to modify.
Beyond the light being too bright sometimes, my biggest complaint when using it paired up to a handgun was the switch. Around the button, Streamlight added 3 bumps, which allow the light to stand on end, however being that it has a big, heavy bezel on the other end, it’s not real stable, and I can’t say that I’ve ever stood it up on end while using it in the past year.
When attempting to use the light with a handgun during the Day-Night-Day match last December, I found that these bumps around the switch made using the light with a syringe grip nearly impossible. I couldn’t get the button pushed into the palm of my hand hard enough to activate the switch unless it was in just the right spot, and I would have to re-adjust after every shot fired. No bueno.
After some careful consideration, I set to work with the Dremel and a cutting wheel, and very carefully cut all three bumps off of the tailcap around the switch. Extra caution was taken not to bump the rubber switch with the cutting wheel, and I made a decent cut all the way around.
What I’m left with is a switch that isn’t as “out there” as some of the Surefire lights, but it seems to be just about right for what I need. I’m hoping to make it to the 2014 Day-Night-Day match later this month to give it a try.