Monday, September 27, 2010

Review - FOURSEVENS Maelstrom is a Blast!

I just got done testing the FOURSEVENS Maelstrom MMS - Gen2, formerly the 4Sevens Maelstrom G5, and I can say that I am most impressed with this flashlight. In this review, I will share my thoughts about this excellent long-range tactical light.

The "king" of the FOURSEVENS product line, the Maelstrom MMS is the brightest, furthest shining, largest and most expensive flashlight that FOURSEVENS offers. Despite being the largest, however, the Maelstrom MMS is still small enough to be comfortably carried and used. Measuring in at 6.1 inches in length, with a head diameter of 1.5 inches and a body diameter of 0.99 inches (practically an inch), this flashlight is even small enough to use as a weapon-mounted light.

The bezel, as is common with tactical flashlights, is crenulated, meaning that is has small teeth which can be used for striking in self-defense. The grip also features a tactical/anti-roll grip ring. For those who do not want such a feature, the bezel and grip ring are easily swappable for smooth versions (included). The grip has ample knurling which is very functional in making sure that the light does not slip out of your hand easily.

For ease of carry, the Maelstrom MMS comes with a pocket clip and a carry pouch. The carry pouch is especially functional in that it is molded to fit the shape of the light. This makes it so that even if the carry pouch flap is open, the flashlight is still retained. The carry pouch has a Velcro loop that secures the pouch to whatever you're attaching it to. Since the loop is Velcro,
you do not have to remove your belt to attach the pouch. This pouch should
work with a variety of carry options.

The Maelstrom MMS has a crenulated bezel and a smooth reflector.
Now that we've talked all about the externals of the Maelstrom MMS, let's get to the "meat and potatoes" of this review: the brightness.  After all, we buy a flashlight to shine brightly, not just to look pretty (don't worry, this flashlight does not disappoint in either regard).

Powered by two CR123 batteries or one 18650 battery, this flashlight is very bright with a maximum output of 420 lumens. The throw on this light is also very impressive due to its smooth reflector. The light is turned on and off with a tailcap switch that also has a "momentary on" feature that is accessed by lightly depressing the switch. The Maelstrom MMS has seven functional output modes.

The output modes, along with the brightness and runtimes are:
Moonlight(0.2 lumens, 7.5 days)
Medium(28 lumens, 22 hours)
High(200 lumens, 3.1 hours)
Max(420 lumens, 1.3 hours)
Strobe(2.7 hours)
Beacon(30 days)
S.O.S.(8.5 hours)

The Maelstrom MMS has generous knurling and a tactical grip ring.
The output modes are broken down into two sets: regular and special. The regular set includes Moonlight, Medium, High and Max. The special set includes Beacon, S.O.S., Strobe and Max modes. The flashlight locks into either the regular or special set, and rotating the head changes the modes that the set contains. You can switch from the regular to the special set by first fully tightening the head. Then, switch between the primary and secondary modes four times by loosening and tightening the head quickly. The modes set then switches from regular to special or vice versa, depending on which set you were in initially.

Lastly, to aid in its ruggedness, the Maelstrom MMS is waterproof to IPX-8 Standards, which means that the flashlight can go to a depth of 10 meters for 30 minutes and still function. While not designed as a diving flashlight, these lights can still work underwater in a pinch, a feature that I think is just plain cool.

So, overall, the Maelstrom MMS - Gen2 by FOURSEVENS has left me impressed. It is a powerful and versatile flashlight that is still easily carried. Take a look at this light if you are in the market for more power and throw than your average flashlight can offer, for a fraction of the price that other brands would sell for.

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