Friday, January 24, 2014

CQG Bullet Shell Review

CQG Bullet Shell is a new miniature stainless steel light from CQG featuring neutral white LED which is very rarely in its price range and at all in most EDC lights.
Excellent machining,very nice design.

Reverse clicky switch on the back covered with metal cap to finish the stainless steel look.The switch is easy to use.
It activates the light by fully pressing and changes the brightness modes by lightly pressing.
There's good options for attaching a lanyard.

Size comparison.
The bullet is really small.
Sunwayman S10R, Yezl S7, CQG Bullet, ThruNite Ti, Olight S10, AA zoom light

The CQG light is supplied by for review.

Here is a Copy/Paste technical info from their website.

Brand: CQG
Model: -
Material: Stainless Steel
Color: Silver
Emitter Brand: CREE
Emitter Type: LED
Emitter BIN: XP-G R5
Emitting Color: Neutral White(4000K)
Total Emitters: 1
Brightness: 300LM(manufacturer rated)
Runtime: -
Beam Range: 50m(max)
Modes: 5: LowLow,Low,Mid,High,Strobe
Switch Type: Tailcap clicky switch
Lens: Glass lens
Reflector: Aluminum Textured / OP Reflector
Voltage Input: 3V
Waterproof: Yes
Application: Outdoor/Lighting/Hunting/Riding/Camping
Battery-Powered: 1 x 16340/1 x CR123A (not included)
Dimensions: 62x18mm(not included)
Packing List: 1 x EDC Flashlight
1 x 16340 Battery

Nice tail-standing.

The light comes with 5 spare O-rings and even a spare glass lens!!

The bullet is designed to be a really small light,but is sacrificed compatibility with protected 16340 batteries,which is required from most of the users(including me,I don't have unprotected batteries). So the only choice is to use unprotected 16340 batteries,but this requires more care to the battery voltage. And here comes the other downside of this light. There is no low voltage protection. This + using unprotected batteries requires more thinking about the battery and when it should be charged.
CR123A batteries also can be used,but other users report that the performance is not good at this low voltage.

All threads are very well made.

There's a spring at both ends. The springs have a copper color.This means they are made of copper alloy and have lower resistance.

Yes,you see right. 2000mAh !?! blue battery is included. This fake label doesn't make me feel calmer when using this unprotected,no brand battery.
Although it is good that this battery is included.This allows the regular user to use the light without additional purchase of battery.

All components are compactly packed.

Aluminum reflector. Brass pill. Because of the thin body,the bullet gets hot quickly when used on the highest mode.

The current driver uses PWM 488Hz on all modes,excluding High mode. The PWM controlling IC is good quality and doesn't produce high frequency noise.
The bullet has no mode memory and should start on the lowest mode every time,but typical for a light placed in the budget price range the time for reset is way too long.More than a minute.

There is a cure for that and if you are skillful,you can fix the reset easily as I already made.
I have some soldering skills and just soldered 10KOhm SMD resistor on the back of the capacitor.
There is a easiest way. Just draw a few lines with pencil over the capacitor and they will act as a resistor. I made this on other flashlight and works just great and is very easy to do.

This is the original look of the driver.

Here is with soldered additional resistor 01C.

Perfectly centered LED thanks to the centering pad under the reflector.
Orange peel reflector for smooth beam.
The bullet uses neutral white Cree XP-G LED. Compared to cool white and warm white LEDs it is really neutral white. The specified bin is 4C (I can't confirm it).
The color rendering is very good as the colors of the objects are pleasant to the eyes. Overall the light is very good,but there is a pink tint in the light which makes the white object a little unnatural. Even though,compared to cool white lights this light is more natural.

This is how a cool light LED and a neutral white LED look under UV light.

CQG Bullet gives very nice beam.Smooth transition from hotspot to spill and quite enough throw for normal EDC use.
The brightness modes are 5: LowLow,Low,Mid,High,Strobe

Now the Beamshots.

1 meter, white wall 1/20sec

CQG Bullet, Sunwayman S10R , Olight S10 L2, and just for the tint- zoom light with dedomed XP-E LED which gives nice neutral beam.

1 meter, white wall, 1/250 sec

5 meters, 1/6sec

Overall this little light is very good idea-very small body,excellent machining,very bright for its size,easy to use,good neutral white beam,but needs a "little" DIY work to make it works properly and is needed low voltage protection or enough space in the battery tube for protected cells.

Thanks for reading!