Author Topic: Olight M20-X Warrior Special Operations Review  (Read 1505 times)

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Offline gearhounds

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Olight M20-X Warrior Special Operations Review
« on: September 05, 2011, 04:16:09 AM »

Along with Absorbing and improving certain lights from the ITP line up, Olight has looked within its own stable and made improvements and upgrades to some of its own products. Among these lights is a redesign of the well known Warrior M20S. While the lights share the same basic dimensions, the differences are soon obvious.

The light itself is a loaner/tester from 4Sevens for evaluation, and came simply wrapped in bubble wrap. I don't know what retail packaging will look like, or what will be included, but I understand that it will include  2 CR123 batteries, a battery magazine, lanyard, holster, white diffuser, and two spare o-rings.

Out of the wrap, the M20-X has not changed at first glance from the previous model. The finish is a glossy black and appears to match throughout with no blemishes evident. The light is of average size for a tactical light, and can be powered by either 2 CR123or RCR123 Li-ion batteries, 1 18650 Li-ion, or 1 17670 Li-ion, for those that still have them lying around. Suggested retail cost is in the mid $90's, depending on vendor.

For comparison, the M20-X appears here flanked by the Eagletac T10L, sibling M21-X, and Jetbeam Jet-III M. Dimensions on the M20-X are as follows:

length- 5.5"/ 140mm
width- 1.3"/ 35.5mm
weight- @122 grams

Starting at the head, The lens is very clear and appears to have an AR coating. The reflector is lightly textured, glossy, and free of fingerprints or apparent defects.

The aggressive looking strike bezel is made of stainless steel, and removable. It is well machined, free of sharp edges and burrs, and slides easily over clothing.

The upgraded Warrior uses Cree's excellent XM-L emitter, which is fast becoming the industry flavor of choice in lights of all sizes.

Writing on the M20-X is clean, well centered, and good looking.

Aside from it's obvious intended purpose as a defensive striking edge, the bezel serves to remind the user the light is activated.

Knurling on the head is the same as the previous model, and is composed of a series of large rectangles that grip easily.

Additional knurling, and a single cooling fin are found at the base of the head assembly.

The head assembly is not glue sealed and is easily accessible. The base of the reflector is threaded, and screws onto the heavy brass pill. Note the thick side walls for drawing off excess heat.

The circuit board where positive battery contact is made is sprung for shock absorption and good contact under impacts.

Threading on the body tube at the head side is standard, smooth, and well cut. They are backed up by double o-rings for moisture resistance.

Knurling on the body tube is a grippy series of rectangular cuts.

A removable clip allows for a head down carry.

At the rear of the light is a "cigar ring" finger rest that also serves to function as an anti-roll device, and to retain the clip securely. It has a single hole for lanyard attachment, and is threaded onto the body.

Threading at the tail is also standard and smooth; well lubed double o-rings are found here as well.

Unfortunately, with the cigar ring removed, it's threads are exposed and the clip no longer secure. A smooth threaded spacer ring from Olight would be a nice addition to the retail packaging.

The tail cap is similarly textured as the body, and has a secondary switch for mode changes. With the light off, it allows a fast strobe to be activated when held continuously. With the light activated in any mode, pressing and holding will allow the strobe function to likewise activate. When the light is on in any mode, quick taps allow mode changes.

The rear momentary switch is sufficiently stiff, and is surrounded on three sides by defensive protrusions.

The interior of the tail cap has a plunger style post which is internally sprung.

The exploded view, showing components.

The M20-X fits well in the hand and allows easy mode changes with little or no repositioning.

This light is a three mode platform (low>medium>high), plus the strobe function. regulation is via PWM on the two lower modes, which is relatively fast. The light must be waved very rapidly before my face to detect oscillation, and there is no detectable flickering when pointed at a white wall. Output as per Olight:

low- 10 lumens/ @85 hours
medium- 100 lumens/ @5 hours
high- 500 lumens/ @1.5 hours
strobbe- 500 lumens/ 3 hours

Due to the nature of the dual switch tail UI, the electronics for mode switching are located in the tail cap, and I am unable to check current draw with my multimeter.

Time to drop a fresh 18650 into the Warrior and turn it on. The light immediately starts on low, and will default to low anytime the tail cap is removed. Otherwise, modes are remembered once switched off. Low is easily dim enough to hold the spot on a white wall at any distance and not cause flashback. It is, however, too bright to look at directly. Medium is easily bright enough for most short to medium range tasks. High is extremely bright. With the medium sized reflector, it is not made for long throw, but it puts out a large quantity of light to make up for it.

Tint on this sample on high is almost pure white within the spot, with an off white fluffy corona, with copious white spill. lower modes exhibit a white spot with a greenish/grey corona, which I have found to typical of the XM-L emitter from a variety of platforms.

All beamshots are labeled

Indoor- to hearth

low 6'

low 15'

medium 6'

medium 15'

medium 25'

high 6'

high 15'

high 25'

high 35' across room

toy room @20'




Garage white wall

low 6'

low 15'

medium 6'

medium 15'

medium 25'

high 6'

high 15'

high 25'

high 50'

high 100'

20' to tree

35' to front of house

@50' to shed closest corner


Overall, I like the M20-X; I was concerned that the XM-L out of a comparatively small reflector relative to overall size would be all wash, but I was pleased to see this was not the case. For a tactical light, where most work is done at close to mid range, it looks to be a good performer. On high, it is very bright, and will not leave the user wanting much by way of output. Low is bright enough for close in tasks without blinding the user off of even pure white surfaces. Medium could be a little brighter, but the trade off for battery life makes it acceptable.

I like the clip and was glad to see it allows carry in a bezel-down position; I also like and tac-ring, but understand that not everyone will. If I could change anything about this light, it would be to include a threaded smooth aluminum, or even plastic spacer ring that could protect the tac-ring threads when the ring/clip combo are removed. It would seem to be an inexpensive way to increase the number of users this light would appeal to.

Size wise, the M20-X easily fits into the tactical light category. It appears to be a tough, rugged option as a patrol belt light, judging from what I've seen. The lumens per dollar is a steal in my opinion.