Personal Combat Torch

Not every item of equipment procured by the British Army ends up seeing widespread issue, some items, despite rigorous testing still end up failing once they enter service which results in a glut of them on the collector’s market, even though most troops never saw them in service. One such item was the personal combat torch that was produced in the late 1990s as a replacement for the venerable US style right-angled torch. The new design was on paper much better, it was smaller, lighter, used smaller and lighter batteries and could be mounted on the side of a helmet. Despite all that, it was found to be underpowered in service and few were actually given out to troops. The torch itself was made of dark green plastic and was shaped like a typical civilian torch:

It was issued in a small polythene bag with external stickers giving barcodes and numbers for stores use:

Inside was a small paper leaflet with instructions on the use and care of the torch:

The torch has a large rotary dial on the side of it’s head:

This rotates a series of coloured filters across the bulb:

Or moves them out of the way to allow the torch to be used in a conventional manner to produce white light:

To replace the batteries, the end cap can be unscrewed, a small cord is also provided to slip over the user’s wrist so the torch isn’t lost if it falls out of your hand:

The NSN number and date of manufacture are moulded into the plastic on the barrel of the torch:

An elastic band was offered which went around the Mk 6 helmet, with two loops so that the torch could be secured and carried on the side of the head. This seems to have been, like the torch, unpopular. The problem seems to have been a combination of poor build quality- it wasn’t soldier proof and broke easily, and the wimpy light the torch produced:

Hardly a torch fit for heroes, is it? After all these years, and all of the remarkable and cheap technology now applied to torches (LEDs, luxeon bulb etc) have they come up with this cheap shit. Its a good enough design, but executed in the cheapest of materials, making it of doubtful reliability. A bit more effort would have made it very good.

I’ve just bought 3 LED keyring torches for a quid in Poundland. All of them are brighter than this Torch, personal, combat

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