The Bushnell Pro Series flashlights have features desirable for on-duty or off-duty use. Bushnell is most famous for rifle scopes, optics, binoculars and spotting scopes. However, in recent years they have joined their competition in expanding their product lines to include the accessories most often used by their customers. For Bushnell, this has included tactical flashlights, bore scopes, range finders, trail cameras and even GPS units. Bushnell is owned by Vista Outdoors; which includes popular names like Hoppe’s, Uncle Mike’s, and Blackhawk.
Recently, I purchased a Bushnell Pro 350 lumen flashlight from a large retailer. My decision was based upon several reasons. First, I wanted a flashlight with a decent light output that was actually less than my other patrol lights (500-800 lumens). Second, the price was right! At only around $30 (retail) I would be spending much less then most competitive lights.
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Bushnell Pro Series Flashlights
These Bushnell Pro flashlights are built with aircraft-grade aluminum housings, and are paired with advanced circuitry for dependability and longevity. Like many “tactical” flashlights, the Bushnell Pro flashlights offer lighting settings of low, high and strobe. We have written about the strobe function on flashlights before, and if used correctly, can be a powerful tool in search and seizures on the streets.
Bushnell Pro lights use the latest Cree LED technology, ensuring the flashlight remains bright as the battery discharges its power over time. Each Bushnell Pro light is simply identified by their highest lumen output (my 350L light has a maximum lumen output of 350 lumens). There is an intelligent switch allowing for momentary on and the transition between lighting modes by half presses of the tail cap activation button. Once the desired lighting function is illuminated a full press of the activation button locks in the lighting selection.
The Bushnell Pro Series tactical flashlights offer a wide range of lighting intensity options with similar features. I chose the 350 lumen light because I wanted a light with a little less flashback then the current patrol lights I carry (500 and 800 lumens), but still provide a respectable amount of light power. The Bushnell Pro Series tactical flashlight lumen range include:
- 50 lumens – (1) AA
- 100 lumens – (2) AA
- 225 lumens – (1) CR123A
- 350 lumens – (2) CR123A
- 400 lumens – (2) CR123A
- 600 lumens – (2) CR123A
- 650 lumens – (2) CR123A
- 750 lumens – (2) CR123A
- 800 lumens (USB rechargeable) – (2) CR123A option
- 1200 lumens (USB rechargeable) – (3) CR123A option
- 1300 lumens (USB rechargeable) – (3) CR123A option
- 1500 lumens (USB rechargeable) – (3) CR123A option.
One of the truly beneficial features of the Bushnell Pro flashlights is the electronic lock-out dial located at the base of the tail cap. This lock-out is a slide function, with small tactile tab for easy touch movement. Sliding the lock-out to the locked function prevents accidental activation of the light to save battery life. This is a great feature when officers are sitting in their cars, a time when accidental illumination often occurs.
The machine-textured grip provides a solid gripping surface under many poor conditions, but is also a potential uniform killer. The castle-cut bezel protects the lens, and can double as a window-break surface. The activation button is easily manipulated, but the sharp castle-cut tail cap is unnecessary and can be rough on the thumb during repeated use.
Bushnell Pro 350L Flashlight Features
- Cree LED technology
- Lifetime LED bulb
- Aircraft-grade aluminum housing
- (3) Light modes – low/high/strobe
- Tested to ANSI FL1 Standards
- Momentary on switch with intelligence
- Impact resistant construction (1 meter)
- Lock-out lever
- Pocket clip
- Batteries: AA (lower lumen lights); CR123A (higher lumen lights), included
- High setting: 350 lumens, 3-hour run time, 146 meter beam
- Low setting: 42 lumens, 25-hour run time, 49 meter beam
- Strobe setting: 350 lumens, 4-hour run time, 146 meter beam
- 1-year warranty
- MSRP: $34.95 (for 350 lumen light).
Impact resistance is rated to 1-meter, and the Bushnell Pro lights are tested to ANSI FL1 standards. A pocket clip is included in case your duty belt is too full, or you’re not needing this light for “tactical” purposes. The Bushnell Pro flashlights are powered by AA batteries for the lower-lumen lights, and then transition to common CR123A lithium batteries and rechargeable batteries for the brighter lights. Batteries are included with each light.
My Bushnell Pro 350 lumen flashlight offers a 3-hour run time on high setting, while throwing out a 146-meter (480 foot) beam with a decently focused beam. Peripheral lighting is also adequate for seeing the bigger picture in low-light conditions.
BSD Final Thoughts
The Bushnell Pro flashlights have several nice features, including a lumen intensity range that is fantastic. The aircraft-grade aluminum construction, drop-resistant to 1 meter is very important for duty use, and well built. The advanced circuitry and Cree LED technology is very important for beam integrity and light longevity over the life of the batteries. The beam is concentrated enough to perform well at distance, while still providing adequate ambient light for peripheral vision in low-light conditions. The lock-out lever is a particularly nice feature for carrying lights in open-topped pouches or carriers where the tail cap button can be inadvertently activated. I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me my light was on in its belt carrier, or I felt the heat building up from prolonged run time without my knowledge.
On the negative side there are a few features we must discuss. The machine-textured grip is meant to provide a solid grip under a variety of poor conditions. Though it accomplishes this task without being too rough for the hand, I cannot say the same for uniforms. Any part of the handle left exposed will quickly tear up a uniform shirt (or pants pocket). This alone is almost an on-duty deal breaker for me. The castle-cut tail cap looks kinda nice, but the unnecessary machining creates sharp edges rough and annoying to the thumb during prolonged use. The lock-out function is a great feature, but requires more awareness on the end-user’s part. Active use and manipulation of the flashlight can inadvertently slide the lock to the “on” position, leaving a law enforcement user in dire straights with a light that is temporarily out of service when the need is paramount.
With all these observations in mind, I have relegated my Bushnell Pro 350L flashlight to a back-up light in my go-bag. It’s great to use on crash or crime scenes that are more static and stable, allowing me to keep the tactical flashlights on my duty belt with fresh batteries.
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