After-hours hunting – whether by lamping or other nightvision system – is popular with many airgunners. Indeed, it’s often a necessity during the shorter-day seasons. Tactical flashlights are increasingly popular with lampers, thanks to their lightweight, compact designs – meaning they can be easily mounted to a scope, while adding very little weight to your combo. Traditional lamps, however, still have a strong following among the airgunning fraternity. Due to the size of these lamps, and the weight of the external battery packs, night hunters often work in pairs – one acting as the lampman, one as the gun. Here, the benefit of the larger lamps is their greater range and the width of the beam – though much of the skill in night hunting, whatever your source of light, is making sure you don’t spook your quarry with too strong a beam.
So in the torch category, PAO’s Lumenmax 225 is a strong contender, with a 225-lumen output from its CREE XPE Q5 LED, and a battery life of up to three hours on the max setting. The bodywork is nice and sleek, with aerospace, military-grade aluminium confirming the quality of the design. At 218g, it won’t add too much weight to your combo – and it’s ideal on a ratting rig.
However, if you want something really light and compact, look no further than the Clulite MG125. At 88g, this truly is a welterweight flashlight, though its three-watt LED can still produce 125 lumens – nothing to be sniffed at, particularly as you’ll use considerably less over airgunsafe distances.
For the traditional lamper, the Nightsearcher Ranger is a popular choice – offering around five hours’ use powered by a 12v 7amp/hour lead acid battery pack, supplied in a soft case for slinging over your shoulder. Its 110mm dish will throw out 175 lumens on full power. One of the most acclaimed gun lamps around, however, is the ‘best of both worlds‘ Tracer Tri-Star Pro – many professionals’ lamp of choice. This device is small and light, with an equally compact 12v lithium ion polymer battery pack. At full power, its 10-watt 1,600-lumen lamp can throw a beam out to a staggering 300 metres.