SureFire 6PX

Review: SureFire 6PX Tactical, Pro, and Defender

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

The SureFire 6PX is a compact handheld flashlight powered by two 123A lithium primary batteries and rated to produce 320 lumens in its highest output mode.  The 6PX is available in three versions, providing switch, output, and bezel options.

  • 6PX Tactical (6PX-C):  Single output version (320 lumens) equipped with a tactical press for momentary, twist for constant-on switch.
  • 6PX Pro (6PX-D):  Dual output version (15 lumens and 320 lumens) with a click-type switch.  Partially press for momentary-on low output or press further, until it clicks, for constant-on low output.  High mode is activated by returning to off and pressing (for momentary) or clicking (for constant-on) again within 2 seconds.  After being off for more than 2 seconds, the 6PX Pro will always return to low mode the next time it is turned on.
  • 6PX Defender (6PXD-C):  Single output version (320 lumens) with a click-type switch and crenelated bezel.

The Tactical and Pro versions have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $90.00 and can be found at retail for less than $70.  The 6PXD Defender has an MSRP of $106.00 and retails for around $75.00. 

SureFire 6PX – Overview

The three versions feature all-aluminum construction, black hard anodized finish, and are similar in appearance.  Visually the Pro and Tactical are identical with the exception of their tailcaps.  The 6PXD Defender uses the same click-type tailcap as the Pro and adds a crenelated bezel.

SureFire 6PXD Defender, 6PX Pro, and 6PX Tactical

(L to R) SureFire 6PXD Defender, 6PX Pro, and 6PX Tactical

The body has machined finger notches in lieu of the knurling used on the 6P Original.  Measuring 1″ in diameter, the 6PX body is compatible with most mounts and accessories used with 1″ tactical lights.

SureFire 6PX

The base of the head features a hexagonal section with large flat areas to reduce rolling on smooth surfaces.  The bezel measures just over 1.25″ in diameter at the front and has a maximum diameter of 1.35″ on the hexagonal portion.  The polycarbonate lens is recessed into the bezel and protected by a nylon bezel ring (Pro and Tactical) or a crenelated aluminum bezel ring (Defender).

SureFire 6PXD Defender

Batteries are loaded from the tail where an O-ring is used for a weather tight seal.  The batteries are supported by springs at both the head and tail, allowing them to maintain electrical contact during hard use.  The 6PX can be “locked out” to prevent accidental activation by loosening (unscrewing) the tailcap a fraction of a turn.

SureFire 6PX Pro

The 6PX has the same general dimensions as the 6P Original and is able to share many accessories with other common lights (Click images for larger versions).

 

SureFire 6PX – Manufacturer’s Specifications

 SureFire 6PX TacticalSureFire 6PX ProSureFire 6PXD Defender
High Output (Runtime)320 lumens (2.5 hours)*320 lumens (2.5 hours)*320 lumens (2.5 hours)*
Low Output (Runtime)n/a15 lumens (45 hours)n/a
Length5.2 inches (132 mm)5.2 inches (132 mm)5.4 inches (137 mm)
Body Diameter1.0 inches (25.4 mm)1.0 inches (25.4 mm)1.0 inches (25.4 mm)
Bezel Diameter1.25 inches (31.8 mm)1.25 inches (31.8 mm)1.25 inches (31.8 mm)
Weight (with batteries)5.2 ounces (147 grams)5.2 ounces (147 grams)5.3 ounces (150 grams)

* Runtime until output drops to 10%

SureFire 6PX – Performance

From a performance standpoint, the 6PX is essentially identical to the SureFire G2X, using the same electronics and LED.  The textured reflector helps the 6PX produce a beam with a well-defined center hotspot which provides illumination out to 200 feet and an even spill beam for good peripheral vision out to 25-30 yards.  The beam has a generally cool tint with a white center hotspot and a slightly warm tinted corona around the hotspot.  As with most reflector based lights, the spill cuts off abruptly at the edges of the beam.

The crenelations of the 6PXD Defender cast faint shadows at the extreme edge of the spill beam but have a negligible effect on output.

SureFire 6PXD Defender

The following slides compare the SureFire 6PX to a variety of other well-known lights to provide perspective of its output and beam profile.  The beamshots can be compared across the full width of the image using the slider and additional images can be accessed by using the navigation buttons in the bottom-right corner of each image.

The following lights were used in the comparison:

  1. SureFire 6PXD Defender
  2. SureFire 6PX-A (older 200 lumen version)
  3. Malkoff MD2 with M61 drop-in (Review)
  4. SureFire E1D LED Defender (Review)
  5. Malkoff MD3 with M61SHO drop-in
  6. SureFire P2X Fury (Review)

Beamshots – 30 Yards to Garage

Beamshots – 40 Yards to Swing

Runtime

Runtime tests were conducted using the SureFire 6PX Pro with Battery Station 123A lithium primary batteries and K2 Energy LFP123 rechargeable cells.

SureFire 6PX with 123A and Rechargeable batteries

The 6PX provides nearly 90 minutes of regulated runtime with two 123A primary batteries, folloewd by more than 3 hours of declining output as the batteries are depleted.

Rechargeable LFP123 cells give approximately half the regulated runtime with an abrupt drop in output as the batteries are depleted.  With both battery types, the bezel of the 6PX becomes slightly warm, but not hot, during continuous operation.

SureFire 6PX Runtime

SureFire 6PX – Conclusions

The 6PX, in its various forms, is the least expensive aluminum-bodied light available from SureFire but that does not mean it feels cheaply made.  Fit, finish, and function of all parts has been fine going back to the first 6PX I purchased almost 3 years ago.  When compared to the earliest versions of the 6PX, the current models offer more than 50% greater output, a warmer beam tint, and better recoil/impact resistance due to the addition of a spring for the positive battery contact.  Unlike the earlier models, the current 6PX is suitable for weapon mounting.

The 6PX is small enough for me to easily carry it in a pocket but can also take advantage of the many clips, lanyard attachments, and holsters that have been designed for the very popular 6P Original.  This compatibility ensures there should be no shortage of carry options and accessories available from SureFire or other manufacturers.

From the standpoint of performance the 6PX, with its rated output of 320 lumens, may seem underpowered due to the large number of “tactical” lights boasting double or triple the output.  However, unlike many of those other lights, the 6PX remains comparatively cool during extended use and is able to sustain its rated output for almost 90 minutes without any substantial reduction in output.  Output vs. runtime always requires compromises and the 6PX provides a longer running alternative to those who don’t need the most powerful light available.

SureFire 6PX

The 6PX body provides adequate grip in most cases and is comfortable to hold in overhand, underhand, or cigar-grip positions.  Although I don’t consider the 6PX to be slippery by any stretch of the imagination, the grip is not as secure as with a knurled body, such as on the 6P Original.  Also, upgrades are mostly limited to exterior attachments or the tailcap as the head is secured with thread locker and is not intended to be removed.

All things considered, the 6PX represents a nice value for a solid general purpose light with its retail pricing below $70.00.  It may not be suitable for every task but it will do a lot of them extremely well.

Strengths

    • Reasonable pricing
    • Useful and stable amount of output
    • Three versions available with different switching and bezel options
    • Compact design is easy to carry and use
    • SureFire’s “No Hassle” Guarantee

Concerns

    • Only two output modes may not be enough for some users
    • Body is comfortable to hold but does not provide the same level of grip as other lights

For more information on the 6PX family of lights, visit the SureFire product pages for the 6PX Pro, 6PX Tactical, or 6PXD Defender.  The 123A primary batteries used for runtime testing were provided by the good people at Battery Station.

Have you ever wanted to know what goes into the production of SureFire flashlights?  Check out our exclusive Behind the Scenes look at the SureFire machining and production facilities in Orange County, California.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssyoutubeinstagramFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssyoutubeinstagram
Posted in Flashlight Reviews, SureFire Reviews and tagged , .

5 Comments

  1. Hey Jim, quick question. If I remove the head off my 6px pro and remove the bezel ring, will a P60 drop in fit in there and work? Thanks for your time buddy.

    • Hi Darren. The 6PX head is designed differently than the older heads and isn’t made to work with P60 drop-ins. It is possible to do it with some modifications, as demonstrated by a couple of members over at CandlePowerForums. You can see one example here.

  2. I work in law enforcement and I have a 6PX Defender I love it and it makes my job easier at night, but 2 days ago while making my rounds it stopped working. I have replaced the batteries and checked the end cap with a friends surefire and the cap does not seem to be the problem. Can you give me any suggestions ?

Share your thoughts!