Hear the words SureFire Vampire and there’s a good chance that the mind will quickly default to a different image than that of a compact handheld flashlight designed to save lives.
That’s certainly understandable. Fueled by folklore from many cultures over several centuries, mythical vampires are essentially all the same — blood-thirsty undead creatures who prowl the night, seeking to put the bite on their next victim. One of the more popular accounts of the vampire’s origins is based in Greek mythology. As the story goes, the first human to become a vampire was an Italian adventurer named Ambrogio, who ran afoul of the Greek gods and was cursed with the idiosyncrasies that prevail among most vampire legends today. With powers ranging from extreme stealth to the ability to see in the dark, vampires are equipped to rule the night.
But the same is true of SureFire’s V1 Vampire line of multi-spectrum handheld tactical illumination tools. Available in two distinct models, these Vampires are equally capable of defying darkness, although their service is counterculture to their mythical namesakes. In fact, it’s fair to suggest that they would be the ideal flashlights for hunting vampires if the latter truly existed. SureFire Vampires are the real deal.
With roots that lie in the SureFire Aviator, the groundbreaking V1-B Vampire is a combat-ready, dual-output flashlight that provides 100 milliWatts of infrared illumination (IR) that’s invisible to the naked eye but perfect for use with night vision devices. With a simple twist, the user can instantly switch from IR to 250 lumens of tactical level white light. The V1-C Vampire’s LEDs offer the option of 4 lumens of low-level visible red light or 100 milliWatts of IR. The visible red LED output minimizes beam detection and preserves night-adapted vision when reading a map or navigating in darkness.
SureFire’s proprietary Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens focuses the LED output — from either spectrum at any level — into a user-friendly beam with ample reach and surround light. To switch between white-light, infrared, and system-disable mode (to prevent accidental activation), simply twist the self-locking bezel selector, which is knurled for a secure grip. Once the light spectrum has been set, partially press or click the tailcap switch to activate the visible light or 100-milliWatt IR. The V1-B also offers the convenience and energy-saving capability of low output in both spectrums — providing a 5-lumen white light or 5-mW IR beam. Regardless of whether high or low output is selected on either model, SureFire’s sophisticated electronics maximize output and runtime. The V1-B provides 1.5 hours of high output white light or 6 hours of high output IR, while the V1-C provides 100 hours of visible red-light output and 8.75 hours of IR. Both use a single SureFire 123A lithium battery for power.
V1 Vampires feature ultra-compact bodies constructed of lightweight aerospace aluminum that’s Mil-Spec hard anodized and O-ring/gasket sealed for maximum durability and weatherproofing. For sheer versatility, portability, visible light and infrared capability, they’re second to none.