Flashlight Review - ExtremeBeam SX21R-M
I recently obtained an ExtremeBeam SX21R-M Tactical LED flashlight to review. I got mine from a gun store in Houston. And, should you want to purchase one without going mail order, I can give you their address.
This LED light, the SX21R-M, is a 2 cell CR123 battery LED light. It's widely known that this size is fairly typical of "tactical" flashlights, and you will find most lights used for this purpose to all be very close to the same size. And, because it is this size, I checked and discovered that the flashlight body also fits inside of a 1" diameter scope ring. This means that any type of Surefire compatible flashlight mount will fit this light, should you decide to mount it to along arm.
This ExtremeBeam light comes packaged in card packaging (see the photo below). Two CR123 batteries are included in the packaging, which is nice. This saves you the trouble of having to go out and get a set of batteries as soon as you buy your new light... Upon opening the package, simply unscrewing the tail cap and dropping in the set of batteries is really all that's needed to get going. Reattach the tailcap, and you're good to go. Finally, a nylon belt holster is also included (should you want to do belt carry)
The ExtremeBeam SX21R-M flashlight has an aluminum body, and it's covered with a very nice matte, black anodizing over the surface of the entire light. It also just so happens that the nylon lanyard string already attached to the light very closely matches my favorite style of flashlight lanyard. In the past, I've bought a ton of these type of lanyards separately - to attach to my various lights. It was nice not to have to worry about that with this particular light. The lanyard is removable, though, if lanyards aren't your cup of tea.
When it comes to function, the light has a tactical clicky tail switch. Many will like that the light can be activated momentarily by just pressing the switch down partially. Then, let up on the switch, and it's off. This is in addition to the normal activation of completely depressing the switch for "on," and then pressing it again to turn the light off.
Now, on the outside of the card packaging - a sticker is attached that states the light is rated at 320 lumens, with a 1000ft range. I normally go out into my rear alleyway to see how far down I can see. Each yard is 60 feet wide, and there is a wooden fence all the way down on each side. Rear driveways are also on each side, and these provide an intermittent break in the fence line.
I like to compare my various lights by seeing how far down each one shines down the alleyway and provides USABLE light. The very end of the alleyway breaks out into a "T" intersection, and then there is a fence visible all the way at the end. I have about 660-675 feet of straight space to see how far I can shine a light to see what's down the alleyway.
Unfortunately, my digital camera takes horrible night shots, and I have to mount it on a tripod so it can longer than normal duration shots to see anything at night. Because of this, I can't include any night shots. I will say that I noticed that the ExtremeBeam SX21R-M will shine visible light ALL the way to the end of my alleyway. And, as I stated, it's around 660-675 feet. If someone was standing all the way at the end of the alleyway, I could easily see them with this light!
So, the SX21R-M is a thrower. For a two cell, 123 light, the throw on this light is impressive. It is more of a thrower than a pure "flood" flashlight. I have some other LED flashlights that I have been carrying with me in the past. When compared to the SX21R-M, they do put out more flood light to see from one edge of the alleyway to the other side. However, even with the XM-L lights I normally use, they won't shine all the way to the very end (with actual usable light) like this ExtremeBeam light does.
Therefore, if one needs to see over long distances, the hotspot on this light will produce. The LED does produce the standard "rings" around a hotspot that a smooth reflector typically produces. Some lights have "orange peel" style silver reflectors, but that tends to cut down a little on the throw. The SX21R-M has a deep "smooth" finished reflector that assists in the throwing ability of the light.
Finally, the packaging on the light states that it has a 2.5-3 hour battery life. I will admit that I have not run the clock on it to completely drain the batteries yet. So, I can't comment on useful battery life yet. I'll have to check that in the future. But, overall, I think this light is very well made. and, it really gives some impressive throw for the size of this light. If you need to see over long distances instead of up close flood, this light would make a good choice.