First and foremost, I would like to say that I have been a loyal user of SureFire flashlights for many years and consider them the very best flashlights money could buy. While I am not a rich man, I have over the years purchased and owned several of your models and have always said that if I had to trust my life to a flashlight, bar none, it would be a SureFire! Well, sure enough, one of your flashlights actually DID save my life—and the life of my son—a couple of weekends ago!
I live in the beautiful state of Idaho, and my family and I were on our last camping trip of the season in an area known as Island Park. We were camping in our 26-foot trailer, and it was a cold, dark night—one of the coldest of the year. My wife and youngest son had already retired into our trailer, but my six-year-old son and I decided to sit around the campfire until it died out. There we were, sitting in our chairs and enjoying the fire, when my yellow lab, tied up behind us, starting getting really fidgety and began to bark. I told him to stop, so he wouldn’t wake up all the other campers, but he continued. I went over to him, grabbed him, and pointed my SureFire M3 CombatLight into the direction of the woods he was barking at and said, “See, there’s nothing there to be barking at.” Boy was I wrong. Instead of the beam of light penetrating the woods, it illuminated the face of a grizzly bear standing less than five feet away from us!
The bright light from my M3 seemed to stun the bear as I stared in shock at his face, having never been so close to a grizzly before, marveling at how big he was. My son was still sitting by the fire, frozen in fear, and my dog had broken free from his harness and was barking frantically at the bear from behind me. As soon as the bear lowered he head to avoid the piercing beam of light, screamed at my son to run and get inside the trailer while I scooped up the dog and bolted for the trailer, practically throwing my son and dog inside and slamming the door behind us. The scariest part was that, as soon as the light was off of the bear, it was so dark that I had no idea where he was. Did he run off? Was he right behind us?
The next morning, rangers came by to ask questions and let us know how lucky we were. They told us that, that same day, a father and son hunting in Montana, about 60 miles away, had an encounter with a grizzly, and the grizzly mauled the father to death. When the ranger saw my M3 holstered to my belt, he asked if that was the flashlight I’d used and asked to see it. He was blown away at how bright it was and told me he was convinced the flashlight was responsible for saving our lives. “That beam is insane,” he said. “It must have disorientated the bear enough to allow you to get away.”
Just thought I’d let you know that it’s not always military and law enforcement guys that your products save—us civilians have stories of our own. Afterwards, I half jokingly told my wife that we were going to buy a new M6LT, and when I showed her how bright it was, even compared to our M3, she said, “We have got to get that for camping, because I am not going back out there without something like that!” Thank you for making such a great light. This could’ve ended a lot different—as in worse—if I’d been carrying another brand of flashlight.