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FIRST LOOK: Streamlight Protac HL 4

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The Streamlight Protac HL 4 is not a dainty flashlight and it's certainly unobtrusive.

That was, in fact, my very first impression when it arrived in the mail.

“Holy crap this thing is big,” I thought.

RECOILweb FIRST LOOK: Streamlight Protac HL 4

What it lacks in compactness, however, it makes up for it with over 2,000 lumens [2,200 to be precise] and what tentatively promises to be a rugged build.

RECOILweb FIRST LOOK: Streamlight Protac HL 4

Fire It Up

The first thing I did with the flashlight was take it into a windowless room in my house, turn the lights off and turn it on. The room was instantly flooded with light, every recess and cranny illuminated. Granted, it was hardly an auditorium, but the size of the beam and the spill ensured there was no part of the room I could not see sufficiently to clearly and readily distinguish details.

This would make searching a wider area with the Protac HL 4 smooth and expedient, which later field use will (presumably) confirm.

RECOILweb FIRST LOOK: Streamlight Protac HL 4

Initial Impressions

I took my first hard look at the light's build only after the initial function test. It is crafted from anodized machined aluminum (to mitigate corrosion), and it's designed with anti-roll facecap that has — no doubt intentionally — sharp edges. They will definitely do some damage if circumstances compel the light be used as a striking tool. There's a rubber sleeve they call the “Sure Grip”, giving it a ruggedized feel that makes it easy to maintain a positive grip. The Protac HL 4 is activated with a tail-cap that can be clicked on or off, or depressed for momentary light. It is TEN-TAP programmable, which allows for selection of three different operating programs; high at 2,200 lumens, medium at 600 lumens, and low at 60 lumens.

TEN-TAP is a feature of many Streamlight brand flashlights. Find more details on there here.

RECOILweb FIRST LOOK: Streamlight Protac HL 4

Keeping it Lit

The HL 4 uses four 3V CR123A lithium batteries (included), or two Streamlight rechargeable 18650 Li-Iion batteries. They call this feature “Duel Fuel” and it is definitely an advantage to be tallied on the plus size. Battery life using the CR123A lithium batteries is 90 minutes on high, four hours on medium, and 40 hours on low; battery life increases by fifteen minutes on high and medium, and by three hours on low when using Streamlight's rechargeable batteries.

RECOILweb FIRST LOOK: Streamlight Protac HL 4

Not Exactly Discreet

The Streamlight Protac HL 4 is not a compact flashlight that you can stick in your pocket or purse, at least not easily. However, it is definitely a flashlight that I'm happy to have in my arsenal for its many utilitarian functions. It's a good flashlight to keep around the house for use in power outages, tornadoes, hurricanes, or if anything goes bump in the night, and it's not so large it couldn't be stowed in a courier/messenger bag or other EDC pack, perhaps even a travel carry-on.

Thus far I've kept mine in my vehicle in case it breaks down or if I needed to search for something. That will change as my evaluation continues; I'll likely get out on the range and attempt to shoot with it, but that would only be for an emergency anyway. There are many other lights far more suited to on-body EDC carry or tactical use.

RECOILweb FIRST LOOK: Streamlight Protac HL 4

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this flashlight's early performance and look forward to seeing how it holds up to abuse in the future.

If interested, you can order on online right here for $175, or find a dealer near you on Streamlight's website.

RECOILweb FIRST LOOK: Streamlight Protac HL 4

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