CQG Bullet

CQG BULLET

*Flashlight supplied for review by WallBuys.com

CREE XP-G R5 4C 300LM 5-Mode Neutral White LED Bullet Shell Flashlight-Silver(1 x 16340/1 x CR123A)

Product Description from Wallbuys.com
Brand:               CQG
Model:                –
Material:             Stainless Steel
Color:                 Silver
Emitter Brand:    CREE
Emitter Type:      LED
Emitter BIN:        XP-G R5
Emitting Color:    Neutral White(4000K)
Total Emitters:     1
Brightness:         300LM(manufacturer rated)
Runtime:              –
Beam Range:      50m (max)
Modes:                5, High-Mid-Low-Lower-Strobe
Switch Type:       Tailcap clicky switch
Lens:                  Glass lens
Reflector:            Aluminum Textured / OP Reflector
Voltage Input:    3V – 4.2V
Waterproof:        Yes
Application:         Outdoor/Lighting/Hunting/Riding/Camping
Battery-Powered:  1 x 16340/1 x CR123A (not included)
Dimensions:       62x18mm(not included)
Packing List:        1 x EDC Flashlight and 1 x 16340 Battery
Price:                   $22 USD (free shipping)

*As with all of my reviews, each picture can be clicked to view the original full resolution version.

OK…let’s begin by introducing the CQG Bullet.  Now where did I put it…

Hmmm…that’s not it!  That’s my Olight S20 Baton.  It’s one of the smallest 18650 lights made but it’s not the Bullet.
Ahhh…Here it is!

I knew I left it somewhere for safe keeping.  My, now that’s a crappy photo.

Here we go.  Much better. =)

My CQG Bullet arrived in perfect condition inside the larger of the two bags pictured below along with the smaller bag.  This was shipped inside a padded shipping envelope.

The CQG Bullet comes with 5 spare O-rings and one spare lens.

This light is deceptively small.  I love the look and feel of it.  This is the smallest 16340 light I’ve seen that uses a tail clicky switch.It is like carrying a spare 18600 cell in your pocket.  In fact, the bullet will fit inside of the battery compartment of an 18650 flashlight with room to spare.

The tail section is gorgeous!  I love the machining, the design of the base, and the stainless steel switch button.

Seen from the side you can see why it’s called the “Bullet”.  It looks like a cartridge with the nose of the bullet sliced off.

The MOP reflector is quite pretty and, in spite of it’s diminutive size, throws very well thanks in no small part to the XP-G R5 emitter

It’s hard to tell if the lens is A/R coated or not.  Sometimes I think it might be, other times it doesn’t look like it is.

Very pretty view from head on.  One of the shiniest orange peel reflectors I’ve seen.  The beam is very smooth and lovely, especially for indoor use thanks to the neutral 4C tint of the XP-G.

The tail gives plenty of options for lanyard attachment.  The stainless button fits perfectly in the tail and the reverse-clicky switch has lovely feel when being clicked.  It also tail stands perfectly.

PERFORMANCE
Output tint is very beautiful and neutral.  Beam quality is very smooth with no artifacts and a smooth hotspot.  The light gets very hot on prolonged use in Turbo.  There is no thermal or timed step down so you will want to limit runtime on the higher output levels when using a 16340.  Output is also far less than the claimed 300 lumens.  I managed to get only 220 peak OTF lumens at initial turn on.  Output with a CR123A primary cell is abysmal, as you will see below in the output results.

One look at these beam shots will tell you all you need to know as to how it achieves such nice throw with such a small, MOP reflector.  The hotspot is very defined and the spill is super smooth.

The tint in my photos is off.  It’s not blue in real life.  If it had any tint shade to it’s creamy neutral goodness I’d say it was slightly on the pink side like the Nichia 219B emitters.

The tests below and the resultant OTF lumen output numbers were achieved using my 16″ diameter calibrated Integrated Sphere.

Output with fresh 16340          OTF Lumens
Turbo (initial)                            220
Turbo @ 30 sec                        199
High                                         115
Medium                                    12.4
Low                                          3.8

Lux Measurements
Lux @ 2m                                 2100 lux
Lux @ 1m (corrected)               8399.9 lux
Throw distance in meters        91.65 meters

With a 3v Primary (CR123A) the results were all over the place.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  I used two different cells and checked twice with each.  Totally inconsistent outputs between cells and tries in not just one level but all levels.  Simply crazy shit!  Needless to say, primaries should be used only as a last resort or emergencies.  I won’t be using them that’s for sure.

CR123A cell #/test #      1/1       1/2       2/1       2/2
———————————————————————
Low                                1.38     0.49     1.29      0.49
———————————————————————
Medium                          3.78     1.70      3.83     1.64
———————————————————————
High                             11.68    11.89    30.59    12.91
———————————————————————
Turbo                            22.7      22.2      28.71     25.1
———————————————————————

Output over 6 minutes using 16340 cell
I ran an output test for 6 minutes until the light was too hot to touch and I didn’t feel comfortable running it any longer.  The battery was 47 degrees Celsius when I stopped.  I couldn’t get a reading from the light itself using my IR Thermometer.  Stainless steel tends to reflect the IR and give highly inaccurate results.  The light was not held and there was no air circulating over the light during the test.  The room was 68 degrees Fahrenheit.  Real world use where air would be circulating and hand contact would keep the light much cooler and delay the inevitable heat buildup in the small stainless steel host.

CONSTRUCTION
Measurements:
Overall length                              61.22mm
Outside body diameter                17.8mm
Inside body diameter                   16.61mm
Lens diameter*height                  14.83mm * 1.28mm
Reflector diameter                        14.82mm
Reflector height                              9.00mm
Pill diameter                                  16.83mm
Pill height                                        5.90mm
Weight w/o battery                       26.0g
Weight w/battery                          41.6g
Included 16340 battery diameter  16.5mm

The construction and build quality of the Bullet is pretty impressive.  Fit and finish is very nice, especially at a price point as small as the light itself.  All threads are smooth and clean with no burrs anywhere or metal filings anywhere inside the light.  Let’s take a closer look at the light and it’s components.  The warm incandesent lighting makes the stainless steel components appear brassy in color.  In person it is easy to see the difference between the SS and the brass parts of the light.

First up let’s unscrew the tailcap and see how this tiny tail switch is put together.  The first think I noticed is the low profile copper spring mounted directly to the switch PCB.  The second thig is the very thin but well made retaining ring that threads into the tail piece and holds everything in place.

From the side you can see the very deep yet fine threading used throughout the light.  The thick O-ring provides a nice tight seal between the tail piece and main body tube.

A stainless steel button cap keeps the all metal theme going and give the Bullet a definite touch of class.

Peering down the battery tube towards the head of the light, we can see the rear of the pill and another copper spring.

The threading is wonderful and has almost no slop at all.  Everything fits securely and tightly.

With the bezel unscrewed from the front of the Bullet, we can see another O-ring just in front of the threading.  It too provides a very tight seal and keeps the bezel snugly held.

The reflector drops out from the back revealing another O-ring between the reflector and the lens.

Here is the entire head unassembled.

With the head of the light removed you can see the emitter and MCPCB.  The emitter is mounted directly to the driver PCB.  A bit unorthodox compared to the usual aluminum or copper MCPCB most lights have their emitter mounted to along with a seperate driver PCB, this setup allows the Bullet to maintain it’s ridiculously short length and still manage to transfer it’s heat to the body of the light.  You will see just how in the next few pics.

The emitter/driver board is mounted directly to the brass pill.  The fine threading and it’s tight tolerances (you will see how tight if you try to unthread it from the body tube) allow the heat of the emitter to be transferred surprisingly well to the exterior of the light.  Being stainless steel once it heats up the body things can get a bit uncomfortable for your hand.

A nice centering ring keeps the LED perfectly centered and allows the reflector to sit low over the emitter.

One last shot of the pill and reflector together.

This is the view fromthe front of the body tube with the bezel and pill removed.  The threading here is as lovely as it is everywhere else inthe light.

Let’s have a look at the tail pice disassembled.

Unscrewing the retaining ring allows the switch PCB to drop out.  I haven’t seen this particular switch in any other light.  hard to see inthe pics but there is a silicon cap over the switch button.  It looks like this will keep dust out of the switch but I wouldn’t trust it to be water proof.  The switch button cap is made from a thin piece of stamped steel.

Here is a look at the machining inside the tail piece.  Everything fits snugly with no play or wasted space.  A very impressively
engineered little light.

Here is a breakdown view of the entire light and it’s parts.

Some people who have the Bullet have complained that none of their 16340 cells fit inside the tube.  I found that only protected cells won’t fit.  All of my unprotected 16340 cells as well as my Trustfire CR123A primary cells fit perfectly inside the precisely measured and machined battery tube.  There is no play and the cells slide perfectly into the tube.


I told you this light is tiny!  Here it is with the cells I was able to use in it.  On the far left is the generic 16340 that comes with the Bullet.  The Trustfire Flames in the center are unprotected 16340.  On the far right is a CR123A primary.  The Bullet will ONLY take unprotected cells.  You must monitor the output and recharge the cells used to make sure you don’t over drain them.

Here is the Bullet between a Trustfire Mini-01 and a 16340 cell.  The Bullet is within 0.01mm in length to the Mini-01 if you don’t include the lanyard/split ring tab.  Including that tab makes the Mini-01, a compact twisty, a few mm longer than the Bullet with its tail clicky switch.  Impressive!.

Yes, it’s smaller than an 18650 cell. :)

CONCLUSION:

While the CQG Bullet is certainly not the brightest 16340 lights available it is certainly one of the smallest and most unique as well being extremely well made.  At around $22 shipped it’s hard to say no to something that will really catch people’s attention when they see it.  It’s lovely neutral tint and smooth beam will certainly catch your attention every time you pull it out of your pocket.  So small and easy to disappear in the pocket, if you are like me you will have trouble telling it from the tube of Chapstick in your pocket.  The tail switch in a light that is smaller than most twisty flashlights in it’s cell class is what really sets it apart from all other compact 16340 lights.  220 OTF lumens is plenty for day to day tasks and it’s diminutive size means you won’t mind having with you at all times.  While it’s none too good on primary 3v cells, it runs great on an unprotected 16340 cells.  Fit and finish is fantastic, the matte-like finish provides more grip than you’d think and is far better than most polished stainless steel flashlights.  I have to say it gets a hearty vote of approval from me!

*Should you decide the CQG Bullet is for you, please purchase it from Wallbuys with my link here so they know where you read about it.  Thanks!

Johnny

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3 thoughts on “CQG Bullet

  1. Pingback: CQG Bullet review! | Johnny Mac Reviews

    • I can’t say for sure as I don’t have any. Standard CR123 primaries fit fine and work well. If the po4 cells are 3v or higher then they should perform as well as primaries.

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