The Cobra StunLight Review

According to Universal Guardian, the perfect weapon does not kill, it is safe to use in any environment, and it will not harm innocent bystanders. They say that the perfect weapon is accurate, effective, and will never let you down. According to them the perfect weapon already exists, and they call it the Cobra StunLight. Is it? Let’s take a look…

At first glance the Cobra StunLight appears to be similar to most classic aluminum bodied flashlights, doesn’t it? Well, that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

As can be seen by the packaging, the StunLight is a high intensity police flashlight; it has a red laser aiming device, launches a high-pressure stream of OC chemical agent, and it will debilitate assailants at up to 20 feet or more.

Formerly available only to law enforcement officers, military and professional security, the Cobra StunLight consumer sales program was recently launched. I was sent the XBC, which is the Ultra Bright Compact version. Included in the box are the StunLight, a wall charger, a car charger, a single Ni-Cad rechargeable battery, a canister of capsaicin pepper spray, a training canister of water with a carrying agent, a decontaminating wipe, an instructional DVD, and an operating instruction manual.

Specifications (from manual & website):
Light Source: 3 pcs x 1W LED
LED Lifetime: 100,000 hours, 10 years
Laser Aiming – Eye Safe: 1.2 Red Laser (CE Certified Laser Device)
Battery: 3.6V 2200mAh Ni-Cad, rechargeable more than 800 times
Continuous Illumination: Up to two full hours on a single charge
Lumens: 90+ lux
Charge Time: 10 hours
Canister: ChemStream 37 gram
Shots: 5 to 6 one second bursts
Temperature Range: -4?F to 120?F

The Cobra StunLight measures 12.5″ long; its LED head is 2.75″ across and the textured shaft-handle is 1.75″ wide. It weighs a hefty one pound 15 ounces with battery and spray canister installed. The StunLight’s body is composed of Type II anodized aircraft grade aluminum, which combined with its weight makes for a pretty handy club, if nothing else. There are three bright white LEDs in the torch’s head, as well as a laser light and a center nozzle for the pepper spray. Obviously this is not your average flashlight.

The base of the shaft has an open port for either the wall charger or the car charger…

…it seems like an oversight that there isn’t some sort of rubber stopper over this opening. Accidents happen, and all it might take is a single drop in the mud for the connectors to get corroded and not allow future charges.

The StunLight comes with the battery and the spray canisters uninstalled, so the first step to using it is to take everything apart so that you can put everything together. Unscrewing the base frees the battery compartment. A rubber O-ring on the threads of the base keeps water from entering this end of the shaft.

A plastic battery compartment, measuring 4.5″ long x 1.5″ wide houses the white rechargeable battery.

Negative and positive symbols assist the user in properly placing the battery.

One the battery is installed, arrows pointing to the LED head show the direction in which the battery compartment should be installed. The 3.6V 2200mAh Ni-Cad battery arrives slightly powered, but it should be charged for ten hours to ensure maximum lighting power.

I do like that both type chargers are included.

After the battery has been installed, it is time to install the spray canister. Since I have never used pepper spray and didn’t want to practice with a “live round”, so to speak, it is nice that a training canister loaded with non-caustic ingredients is included.

I should probably note that anyone interested in using pepper spray or a device that utilizes it, should check with their local ordinances to make sure that it is not prohibited. I believe that it is illegal in Michigan, New York and New Jersey, as well as Great Britain and Australia. In San Angelo, many girls age 14 and up will keep a small can of pepper spray on their key-rings, so it is a pretty widely accepted method of self-defense here.

Another consideration would be for those that are planning on keeping the pepper spray loaded in the StunLight and kept in their car. Here in West Texas, summer temperatures can soar well above 120?F inside a closed automobile. I think there might be a distinct possibility of accidental discharge or leakage of pepper spray in a hot car on a summer’s afternoon, but I digress…

3.5″ inches down from the LED head, the shaft unscrews to reveal the spray canister compartment. Once again there is a rubber O-ring in place to restrict water or other grime from entering the shaft’s interior.

The white plastic cap should be removed from the canister…

…and the plastic nozzle will go directly into the reciprocal hole in the base of the LED head.

Once installed, the canister is basically covered by the shaft.

Once the LED head has been screwed back onto the shaft, and after the StunLight has been charged, it is ready for business. First of all, the StunLight is a flashlight. The rubber covered power button is located about 2.5″ under the LED head. Pressing it either toggles the three LEDs on or off.

The light cast by the LEDs is quite bright, as evidenced in this photo taken while shining the light down my 37′ long hallway.

But of course, this torch is not only a light – it is also a weapon. Located directly under the LED head is a flip-lid that is labeled with “Caution Tear Gas”.

To the right are the warning labels for the bright red laser beam…

…which is activated the second the flip-lid is raised.

The red laser beam is very broad and quite intimidating. It’s also a great aiming tool should the user need to take things to the next level.

Under the flip-lid is a very serious looking red rubber covered button. The entire contraption is reminiscent of the buttons depicted in movies for detonating atomic weapons. Luckily the results of pressing this button are not quite as serious.

It is very easy to flip one’s thumb under the flip-lid while holding the light. If there is a threat present, the combination of a red laser beam and the shouting that I would presume the flashlight bearer would be doing might be enough to scare off a would-be assailant.

If not, pressing the red button will release a stream of concentrated pepper spray from the nozzle in the center of the LED head.

According to the Cobra StunLight FAQ, the pepper spray can be aimed up to 20 feet away. Obviously variables including temperature, angle, the number of previously fired “shots”, and perhaps even wind will effect the distance the spray will travel.

According to the FAQ, there are up to six full blasts per canister. However, canisters should only be used once. For instance, if you surprise someone breaking into your car, you could spray him (or her) up to six times if needed. But before storing the flashlight, that canister should be discarded because it is no longer good.

So how did my “real world” testing go? First of all, I was surprised that the blast of liquid was more like a shooting stream with a definite arch than the straight shot of a powerful water gun I was expecting. I guess this is why a practice canister is included – it dispels preconceived notions! From 20 feet back, the arch of liquid dropped well below the red laser beam that I was using as a guide and it did not hit my target – a row of bolts at eye level on our garage door. I stepped up to 15 feet, and it was slightly better, but my best aiming results were at ten feet. I realize that I was using water, and that if I had been using pepper spray, hitting anything in the vicinity of the assailant’s face or clothing would have probably been effective. I was able to get seven powerful streams, and liquid was still coming out at nine pumps – although it was only about a foot’s worth of stream. I suspect that had it been pepper spray, having it so close would have been just as traumatic for me as it would be to an attacker.

I showed the Cobra StunLight to my good friend Grabb Davis, a detective with the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Department. After wiping the drool from his chin, he told me the only fault he could find with the entire package was that the shaft handle was a little bit thicker than he would like. Evidently there is some special combination flashlight and handgun hold that policemen do, which is more difficult when the flashlight has a thicker shaft. Other than that, he said that the StunLight would be a very effective means of stopping someone. I had to sit through at least 30 minutes of “cop stories” while he told me about the effects of pepper spray on a determined perpetrator. I finally made him stop by promising I would give him the StunLight after the review was finished. 😉

I asked Grabb what his thoughts were on a “civilian” owning a product such as the StunLight for self-defense. His reply was that he is “100% for pepper spray, the reason being that the next morning, when everybody gets up, everybody will be all right. If there is a mistake made, then nobody is permanently hurt. Knowing the public’s disdain for shooting another person, even if that person is attempting to harm them, people can comfortably use pepper spray because it is not lethal.” He also felt that the StunLight is one of the greatest devices that any walker could carry. He said, “Pepper spray was intentionally designed to stop grizzly bears, so the average neighborhood dog will stop attacking when given a dose of pepper spray. You won’t have the walker injured, and the owner of the dog won’t be as upset if FiFi is dosed with pepper spray, when the alternative would be the dog being shot or determined as a dangerous when the owner has to pay doctors’ bills, legal bills and other damages from an unprovoked dog attack.”

Obviously the Cobra StunLight does not have the range of a pistol or even a taser, but in the end it may be a safer weapon for all involved. Hopefully you and your loved ones will never be in a situation where this type weapon would be needed, but it might provide necessary peace of mind for those that are always conscious of “just in case” scenarios.

The Universal Guardian Cobra StunLight is available directly from the manufacturer. Accessories as well as refills are also available here.
MSRP: $249.00
What I Like: Heavy duty flashlight combined with the deterrent of a red laser beam and the protection of pepper spray
What Needs Improvement: Shaft handle is a bit thick for those with smaller hands, or those that are holding multiple items at the same time. It seems to work best from about ten feet back. There should be a rubber grommet over the charging port.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.