Thrunite Catapult V6 SST70 Review & Comparison (2836 Lumens, USB-C, 26650)

Today I have the newest Thrunite Catapult V6 with an interesting LED choice, the SST70 LED. Other updates include USB-C charging and it’s slightly longer in length. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this to me as well as providing a discount code which will be in the description below. Let’s get into that review.

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging is like similar Thrunite products I have reviewed, it comes in a sturdy brown paper box with minimal information on the outside with only the company name, address, model number and LED designator. In my case it was hand checked Cool White. Inside the light was encased in egg crate foam. Accessory wise the light includes a Thrunite branded 5000mAh button top 26650 battery,  2 extra Orings, an extra USB cover, extra inner button rubber, split ring, Thrunite branded Lanyard with split ring, a Holster, a USB-A to C charging cable and a holster. 

 

Construction

Construction of the Catapult V6 is on par with other recent Thrunite lights I have looked at such as the T2. It’s made of nicely machined aluminum and anodized in a black hard semi gloss coating. The tail caps on the Catapult V6 and TC20 look similar. Both are non magnetic and allow the light to tail stand. Each has a small hole for the included lanyard. Its one area where some will want a larger hole for paracord. There isn’t any knurling on the tail cap but I was able to get it off easily. Threads are square cut and lightly lubricated along with an Oring.

The body tube has a large diamond pattern milled around it. This is less deeply milled then the original V6 I have, and that’s not an improvement in my opinion. I prefer the deeper more grippy milling. The body tube is directional but doesn’t have any polarity markings on it for the battery. This light does come into 3 pieces the tail cap, body tube, and head. 

The head is fairly large. The light has a flat aluminum bezel that can be unscrewed with considerable effort according to others on budget light forums. The lens is large and anti reflective coated glass. The reflector is smooth and deep with the LED nicely centered on a large white PCB. It’s a slightly different reflector than what the original V6 had. The head has minimal milled out areas and is slightly shorter then the original V6.

The button is metal feeling and has a hole for an indicator LED underneath for charging status. It’s an electric switch and requires medium effort to use.The PSB charging port cover is the same as the previous V6, but the port inside is different. 

 

Size and Weight

I measured the length of the new Catapult at 137.3mm in length, 33mm on the body and 58mm at the head. Weight with the battery is 303.2g. 

In comparison to the old V6 Catapult the new light is 19.3g heavier, and 6.3mm longer. Diameters are the same. 

 

Retention

The new Catapult V6 comes with the same holster as before. It’s a pretty good holster, with minimal padding and a small Thrunite branding sewn in. It has a fixed belt strap on the back and Dring. 

 

Here is what it looks like in my hand as well.

 

LED & Beam

The previous V6 model of the Thrunite Catapult used the Cree XHP35 HI LED, but Cree discontinued this LED in the first half of 2020, in favor of the XHP35.2 LED series. Instead of going with this LED, Thrunite has chosen to go with the SST70 LED. On paper this is a little of an odd choice on a thrower style light. The SST70 is a domed LED which usually are usually better for more floody applications. So let’s see how it works here. 

 

The SST70 is in cool white only at the moment, but to my eye it’s not an obnoxiously cold cool white. Officially lumens are up, from 1700 in Turbo to 2836 on the new model. In practice this is kind of hard to see I notice it more in the spill with it being more intense then the older light. Candela is down from 140,650cd to 120,000cd and this is hard to see as well. The biggest difference is the hot spot size between the two lights. The new catapults hotspot is slightly larger when I compare the two. There is no PWM visible to the eye here, but my oscilloscope did detect a little bit in low mode only.

 

Heat & Runtime

Turbo on this light appears to have a timed step down at the 3 minute mark, where it steps down to 50% relative output for the next 30 minutes before stepping down to about 45% for most of the remaining 1:28:00 before rounding off and shutting off with LVP at 3.034V. Max heat I saw was at 26 minutes at 50.5C. 

When I compared this to the previous model Catapult V6 with the Cree XHP35 HI I can say the SST70 while making more light is a bit less efficient. They both have the same timed turbo step down at 3 minutes, while the previous model is able to sustain this a little better but remember it’s producing a bit less light. The result is about 30 minutes more runtime with the previous model and during this it’s producing a higher percentage of relative output, but keep in mind the new model light produces more light in all modes, so it’s actually brighter. 

 

UI

UI is clear and simple to follow. From off a short press starts the light off in low, and short presses will cycle up in modes to medium and high. When the light is on in any mode double click to shortcut to turbo, double click again takes you to strobe. To access firefly long press from off. The light also has memory and will turn on in the last mode accessed except for firefly, turbo and strobe modes. This is unchanged from the previous model.

 

Recharging

The 2021 Catapult V6 has onboard recharging via USB-C which is nice to see. However it requires the use of a USB-A to USB-C cable (included). I did not have any luck with this light charging via USB-C to C cable or via USB-C PD. 

The total charge time from LVP at 3.034V to fully charged at 4.158V took 3:04:09 of the included 5000mAh 26650 battery. Max charge rate I saw was near 2A. The curve does look a little atypical, with a sudden drop to lower charging point as the battery reaches a certain capacity. 

 

Pro’s

  • A bit more general purpose with the increased spill and more lumens then the outgoing model
  • Good build quality from Thrunite
  • Complete packaged light.

 

Con’s

  • Only available with cool white right now.
  • A bit longer and heavier then the previous design
  • Milling in the body isn’t as deep or grippy.
  • USB-C charging requires a A to C cable, C to C or PD doesn’t work.

 

Conclusion

I am not ready to call the Catapult V6 SST70 an all new light. It’s largely the same light as the original V6 but with a different LED and other small tweaks to better optimize the design for this new LED, as well as update the light to USB-C charging while they are at it. 

 

As I mentioned before the LED that was being used in the C6 Catapult was discontinued and the SST70 was chosen in its place. I do commend Thrunite for doing a good job at optimizing the design with a slightly different reflector, slightly longer head design to adapt an LED that traditionally isn’t used for a thrower to a thrower light. The result is pretty close to the old V6 design in terms of throwing performance in the real world even though it doesn’t test quite as well via official numbers. The new light does have a bit more spill and slightly less throw distance but it’s not enough to really notice in my tests. Mode spacing could be a little closer in the lower modes but I have certainly seen worse. 

The Catapult V6 has been a permanent member of my collection and gets used a decent amount because I like the size, feel in my hand and performance despite being cool white. The revised model I reviewed here retains most of that despite growing in length slight and having a less aggressive milling on the body. The increase in lumens isn’t drastic but the increase in spill is kind of nice when using for general purpose tasks. If you don’t have a Catapult V6 in you collection I can recommend whichever model you can get you hands on.

Don’t forget Thrunite has offered an additional 10% discount for about a week after this video is published and you can find that in the description below as well as links to my Social Media profiles. 

 

Pickup the Catapult V6 SST70 at https://amzn.to/3kYpBIL

Get 10% off with the coupon code catapultv6 until 3/13/2021 11:59pm PST.

Acebeam L17 Review (160,801 Candela, 1400 Lumens, Awesome Thrower)

Today I have a new compact tactical thrower from Acebeam. They boast that the L17 which easily fits in your hand will throw out ot 802 meters. It runs off an 18650 and features a Osram LED. Thanks to Acebeam for sending me this new model. Let’s take a detailed look. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

The light does come in 3 different versions, a white or Green LED version both capable of 800 and 820M of throw respectively, and a Red LED version that’s capable of 460M of throw. T

The standard package is a nice retail box with a line drawing of the light and the LED lumen and distance ratings on the box. On the back side there is a lot of stats and detailed info, good for any retailer looking to sell this. Accessories that are included is the light with the clip and tactical ring installed on the light. It comes with a lanyard, spare button cover and 2 spare orings as well as the standard paperwork and manual. You also get a nylon holster that’s branded Acebeam that has a D ring and belt loop with a button. 

Acebeam offers a couple of additional accessories on their website that will work with the L17 but are not sold in the standard version. First is a 10A rated 18650 battery with microUSB charging and a remote pressure switch for only $10 which is a good price. 

 

Construction

The L17 is made from aluminium and is hard anodized in a flat black. In the tail is the e-switch for the light and it’s truly silent. The cover is a rubber boot that has medium texture that sits just under the bezel. Internally, the tail has a single stiff gold coated spring and then an additional contact to the inner tube of the light. Threads are anodized, square cut and smooth. 

There is a tactical ring on the body which serves as a cigar grip point, the lanyard attachment point and adds reinforcement/lock for the clip on pocket clip. Both the tactical ring and pocket clip are removable should you wish. It’s a nice way to add quite a bit of security to the clip without making it permanent. The body tube itself is plain and features no knurling, I would like to see a little more grip here or closer to the head. 

The head itself is glued to the body. The head has some decorative milling around it and it helps dissipate some heat. The bezel is aluminum and has some modest large crenulations for a tactical light. The lens is glass with a Carclo TIR lens inside designed to enhance the throw. 

Size and Weight

I measured the length at 140mm, minimum diameter of the body tube at 25.5mm, and maximum diameter of the head at 40mm. Weight with an 18650 battery is 196.9g,

 

 

Retention

You have a couple of retention and carry options with the L17. It does come with that nylon holster for belt carry. It’s a basic holster but does the job well. You also have that pocket clip. The clip is 1.4 inches from the top of the light so it’s definitely not deep carry. 

LED & Beamshot

Acebeam doesn’t specify which LED exactly is in the L17 only that it’s an Osram. I asked my contact for clarification and they said it was an Osram KW CSLPM1.TG which is a mouthful but good to know exactly whats in it. It’s a very throwy LED that Acebeam has put a TIR optic on top with a glass lens. It’s different looking than your traditional optic and this is designed for all throw. 

The result is a light that has virtually no spill, it’s all focused on the center in a tight pattern. The combination of the optic and LED choice explain the claimed 160,801 candela rating here at 1400 lumens in Turbo mode. Tint here is cool white but I don’t detect much blue in the beam. In my night shots it stands up pretty well to some of the competitors using different LEDs but this has a tighter more focused beam. I didn’t notice any PWM here.

Specs below are for the White Version I have. The Green version throws slightly further. 

  • Turbo – 1400 Lumens – 160,801 Candela
  • High – 370 Lumens – 42,025 Candela
  • Mid – 150 Lumens – 23,409 Candela
  • Low – 50 Lumens – 11,025 Candela
  • Ultra Low – 15 Lumens – 3,600 Candela

 

Heat & Runtime

I did all my runtime and heat tests with the supplied (optional) Acebeam 3100mAh battery that was sent. It’s a 10A battery so keep that in mind for what you decide to put in this light and choose something with at least htis rating. Total runtime was 4:35:00. In my runtime tests I saw Turbo last for 3:30 before stepping down to right at 50% relative output. This is also where I saw maximum heat at 64C (147F) so this definitely gets hot and that thermal protection kicks in to limit output. The light maintained this 50% output for a total of 1 hour before stepping down again to about 4% relative output. My advice would be if you plan to use this light on Turbo for more then once past step down is to wear gloves. It only takes exposures above 60C for more then 3 seconds to get 1st degree burns.

 

UI

The L17 uses a pretty traditional and simple interface. When Off long press on the rear tail switch for ultra low (15 lumen), single click to turn off. Single press to turn on to low, long press to cycle modes. Double click to go to turbo, and triple click to go to strobe. 

 

I will say mode spacing here isn’t super common. Ultra low is 15 lumens and throws really well for not much light. Next is low at 50 lumens, Mid is 150 lumens, high is 370 lumens. Acebeam says this will go 410 meters. Next is Turbo the full 4500 lumens or 160,801 candella. 

 

Pro’s

  • Nice to see colored LED’s being offered here instead of just a filter. I could see this being popular with a hunter with the green tint option. 
  • Very tight and compact beam with great throw
  • A fairly compact bezel which makes this more accessible.
  • Silent Tail Switch & good vibration resistance.

 

Con’s

  • The light gets incredibly hot during turbo before step down. Wear some gloves or hold the back of the light.
  • Big steps between High and Turbo. 

 

Conclusion

I can recommend the Acebeam L17 if you’re in the market for a fairly compact 18650 powered thrower with basically no spill. I am typically not a big fan of tactical lights but the UI on this light is pretty non-tactical so it works out well. 

 

This isn’t the light to take with you when hiking, or for EDC or for walking the dog to see right in front of you. It would be great for a security guard who was needing to point out a specific spot on a house or inspect something from a distance. It’s also just a lot of fun to impress your friends or significant other, it’s a lot of power and so focused. It’s probably the next best thing to a LEP light.

 

https://www.batteryjunction.com/acebeam-l17.html