Nitecore P16 TAC – Tactical Flashlight Review


Nitecore has a new flashlight in their Precise series called The P16 TAC. This is an upgraded version of the previous P16, and I’m excited to talk today about this particular flashlight.

As you know, Nitecore is an excellent brand that makes high quality tactical flashlights. Of course, they also make flashlight accessories, batteries, battery chargers. All of their products are top-notch. Many flashlight users swear by these products, so when you purchase a Nitecore flashlight, you know you are definitely getting your money’s worth. And of course you can expect the same with the P16 TAC flashlight.

So, just like with my other reviews, I’ll talk about all the features of the flashlight, talk about some things I liked, some things I didn’t like, and then my overall summary of what I think of this flashlight.


So, let’s jump right into it. So, the Nitecore P16 TAC has a CREE XM-L2 U3 LED that delivers 1000 lumens and has a 300 meter beam distance. This tactical flashlight has a very specific focused hot spot, but also has a decent spill, so you can definitely see the area around you.

The P16 TAC features an integrated precision digital optics technology, and this provides an extremely good reflector performance. Now, a lot of the Nitecore flashlights have this, and it’s one of the reasons they are so great.

Before I go further into the features, I really want to talk about the design of this flashlight. As you can see in the pictures, it has a really nice, pretty standard tactical flashlight design. It has the heat dissipation grooves, which is incredibly important in any flashlight. The knurling on it is phenomenal. It does come with that stainless steel pocket clip, which is removable, and that’s always nice. I know some people like the pocket clip, some people don’t really care for them. It’s really up to you. I personally do prefer pocket clips, as I usually don’t use the holster or the lanyards. But every user is different. It also has that tactical ring, or cigar ring, for easy one-handed operation.

But I’m really liking is this crenulated bezel. I really, it’s very thick. I think in an emergency situation it would really serve you well. A lot of crenulated bezels can often be a little too thin, or a little too short. Some can be a little too long. They get in your way. Sometimes you can’t always fit them in the holsters. This one in particular I really like. It’s not so big that it becomes cumbersome to carry around, but it’s also not so small that it’s not going to do any damage when you’re in an emergency situation, and that’s what really important.

Because it’s Nitecore, you can expect high quality materials. The Nitecore P16 TAC is constructed from aero grade aluminum alloy, and it has that military grade hard-anodized finish, which is very important, something you want to look for in any flashlight I would recommend.

I was also surprised to find that it has tail stand capability. I just assumed that the head was kind of too bulky, it probably wouldn’t be able to tail stand. But it does, and that is an excellent feature. I always love when a flashlight can tail stand.

All right. I want to talk about the brightness levels. So, you have four brightness levels. You’ve got high, which is 1,000 lumens, mid which is 240 lumens, low which is 60 lumens, and ultra low or moonlight, which is 1 lumen. Now, running on an 18650 battery, that ultra low mode will last you up to 600 hours. 600 hours. That is mind-blowing. So, I’m really satisfied with the run times on this flashlight. Now, it’s important to note that while this flashlight can run on a single 18650 or two CR123 batteries, the runtimes will be lower using the CR123 batteries. So, in that moonlight mode, you can expect 300 hours out of two CR123 batteries. But, with that being said, 300 hours is still very impressive.

So, along with those four brightness levels, the flashlight also comes with three special functions: strobe mode, SOS mode, and beacon. These are great functions to have because if an emergency ever happens, you have something that could very well be a life-saver. Of course, in any tactical flashlight you’re always going to want that strobe mode, but in the P16 TAC, I realy appreciate all three of those special modes. Each has its own function and I think it’s excellent to have options.

Now, let’s move onto operating the flashlight. It’s a pretty simple operation. You have the tactical tail switch, and of course this allows for momentary on and turns the flashlight on and off. And then you’ve got the side switch that controls the four brightness levels as well as those three special modes that I just spoke about. I think it’s important in most tactical flashlights to have that tail switch. It allows for quickly turn on the flashlight in case of an emergency situation, you’re not fumbling for that side switch. It’s just a great switch to have. I also really like that momentary on. I believe I said this in my other reviews. That momentary on is really important in a tactical flashlight because in an emergency situation, you want to be able to access to flashlight as quickly as possible.

I just now realized I did forget to mention the intelligent memory function, so I’m gonna mention that really fast. It does have an intelligent memory function, and if you’ve followed or read my previous reviews, you know that this is just an amazing function. I love these functions. You’re not going to need that turbo mode all the time. You don’t need 1,000 lumens all the time. There will be plenty of times when a medium mode or a low mode is going to better serve you than the highest mode, particularly in outdoor situations. Let’s say you’re walking the dog at night or searching in your car in the dark, you really don’t need 1,000 lumens. In fact, at times it could be quite blinding to you. Or, to your animal, for that matter, so in certain situations it’s much better to use the lower modes. And with that 600 hour run time, I think you’re going to want to get as much as you can out of that moonlight mode.

So, now I’ll cover a few other features that I feel is important to mention. This tactical flashlight has an impact resistant mechanism built into it. It has dual springs, one near the head, one near the tail, and it prevents the battery from moving around and getting loose. This way you can mount the Nitecore P16 TAC to a weapon and not worry about repeated recoil, or you don’t have to worry about accidental drops. The battery will be protected.

I didn’t mention this before, but I do think the P16 TAC would make an excellent hunting flashlight. It has a lot of really cool accessories that are compatible with it, including different filters, gun mounts, remote pressure switches, everything you could need. So, if you’re looking for a new hunting gun, I definitely recommend looking at the P16 TAC.

It also has an optical lens with an anti reflective coating. So, you’re gonna get a clear shot and a beautifully clear beam. And, like other Nitecore flashlights, it is IPX waterproof, up to IPX8 standards, and impact resistant up to one and a half meters.

Okay, so let’s talk about some pros and cons of this flashlight. So, some things I love about this flashlight. I really love the long run time in the ultra low mode. 600 hours is an unbelievable amount of time. I also like that the user interface is really simple. It’s not going to take too much time to learn it. It’s pretty intuitive. You can pick it up pretty quickly. I believe I mentioned before that I do really like that crenulated bezel. I think it’s the perfect size.

A couple things I’m not crazy about. Now, this is just personal preference, but I like my switches to be together. I would prefer a dual tactical switch or a dual side switch. I’ve never really been a huge fan of the tail switch and the side switch. However, I know some users really like it, so it’s all about preference there. Also, this flashlight is 5.94 inches long, and it’s an amazing tactical flashlight, but there are certain tactical flashlights that have similar features that are a little more compact. So, if you’re wanting a more compact tactical flashlight, you may want to continue to look around.

Other than those couple things, I think this flashlight is amazing. The Nitecore P16 TAC is really an impressive flashlight. The user interface is simple. The flashlight looks amazing. The beam is incredible. It’s definitely something that if you’re in the market for a new tactical flashlight or for a hunting flashlight, I highly recommend you look at the Nitecore P16 TAC.