The T.I.D. a/k/a "Tactical Impact Device"



The TID, which stands for, “Tactical Impact Device,” sure has created a lot of buzz in the knife community with lots of people buying them and mounting them on their Sure-Fire flashlights. The TID for the Inova LED flashlight seems to be catching on and becoming popular as well. Some people call it “The Cookie Cutter.” To me, it resembles a Hole Saw more than a Cookie Cutter.


The Inovas actually have a much greater utility, in my opinion, than the Sure-Fires. That is said with the full realization that the Sure-Fires are brighter than Inovas. I have been carrying Sure-Fires longer than Law Enforcement in my area. I remember one local County K-9 Officer borrowing my 9P Sure-Fire, way back when, to check it out on the range with his Sig-Sauer P-226 duty weapon.


Back to the TID…


From the G, G & G literature:


“…the new Tactical Impact Device (TID) fits easily on the bezel of the flashlight and is secured from removal by four small socket-head screws. Manufactured from 4140 steel, it has a manganese phosphate finish…


…Its sharp, 5-teeth-per-inch pattern surrounds the entire bezel and provides an aggressive, and extremely effective, alternative to lethal force.”


Here are two pictures, two different angles to show you the TID on a Sure-Fire E2e and an Inova X5-Tactical. Another Inova X5-Tactical with the newer body style is shown for comparison.



Doesn’t Ken Cook braid a great lanyard?



Light as a Weapon: Modern Metsubushi


I think that people devalue lights like the Inova, how much light do you need to blind a home invader when their eyes are adjusted to the darkness of your home? I have used a 9P Sure-Fire flashlight to blind someone and then strike them with the flashlight and I have used them so I could strike with a 21 inch ASP Baton. (Both legally on the job) Anyone that thinks that is “stupid” or “nonsense” has never been on the receiving end of such an offensive defense. It does work, works like a charm as a matter of fact.


(I remember Andy Stanford catching grief on an Internet forum for the mere suggestion that you could use a Sure-Fire and an edged weapon together.)


The flipside to that is, Sure-Fire has one hell of a marketing machine and they have some very vocal fans. They have also really pushed the envelope with their flashlights, they keep getting brighter and brighter and that’s a good thing. I don’t think it would be fair to say that they (Sure-Fire) have insisted that light alone can be a weapon. I think it would be more than fair to say that a couple of people closely associated with them and/or employed by them have. Some of the most vocal fans have.


They are incorrect. When light is a weapon, it is a weapon that has to be used in tandem with a real weapon, even a chin jab or kick.


I see “Light as a Weapon” differently. I see it as an aid to using another weapon, as I wrote about in the “Metsubushi” article on this website.


(I know that it might appear that I am contradicting myself, bear with me. I’m not condemning the use of light, I’m just saying you need to rely on the whole spectrum of skills and equipment and not merely light.)


I am not paid by Laser Products, Inc. (this should be obvious) which happens to be the manufacturer of Sure-Fire flashlights, nor should any of this be viewed as a criticism of their products. I love their products and value them greatly! This is just a little discussion about some of the craziness that can surround an excellent product when the ball gets going.


I am also not employed or paid by the folks that make Inova flashlights.


People are coming out of the woodwork on various forums and they are saying things like, “No, THIS light (Sure-Fire) is a WEAPON! It will make someone fold or run away!” If this did happen, I’m betting that the guy you flashed did not really want to fight at all. Or, he might think you are a Police Officer and he’s about ready to get the maximum damage brought down on him (being shot) and he bolts. People that say these things have probably never fought a real hardhead.


I’m talking about the sort of hardhead that will fight three Police Officers over relatively nothing at all. One Citizen with a bright light is of very little concern to them at all. They are dangerous and they’re not easily scared nor spooked.


Real hardheads don’t crumple or shrink away from a bright light and when they do, they will usually crash back in on you. They might see a big, colored spot in their center of vision from the light, that is just a bull’s eye to them.


Between the TV Show “COPS” and the current barrage of war news as of late, everyone knows about Police and Military use of flashlights, they know they are handheld and mounted on weapons. They know they are used…a lot.


Here is the reality: If you are going to use “Light as a Weapon,” do not ever think for a moment that this is going to save the day. No, be prepared for battle. Do not pay this lip service and say, “Well, this light is bright, I’ll deal with whatever else happens.”


No, going into this, know that you have solid skills and weapons to back the light up to begin with. Understand that you are not a SWAT member (unless you are!) going into a room to shoot a barricaded suspect or whatever. A street attack and use of the flashlight during same is very different than entering a room with a Sure-Fire equipped H&K MP-5.


As with knives, you will usually not have the luxury of long range during a street attack. It will be in your face, that’s how rapes, assaults and robberies take place.


If you blast someone with your dandy flashlight on the street, don’t just stand there admiring what the light did, defend yourself. If you blast the person who approaches you after you warned them and they are at a distance, you better be moving because if they have a firearm, even if they are dazzled, they can shoot for the light.


This is why Police used to be taught the now antiquated technique of holding the flashlight up above your head and away from your body. They were drawing hostile fire. (Is there any other kind of fire? I think not!)


Criminals saw this so much, or other criminals informed them of it, and they started shooting low and to the side to hit the Officers. (Source: Ayoob) Criminals can fire at the light. You use your light intermittently, even if you have it mounted on something slick like a Benelli Shotgun and you are defending your home.


If someone flashed you with a flashlight and then tried to take your child out of the shopping cart in the parking lot of your local grocery store, would you run away being “injured” by the light? Of course not, you would fight!


Well, most hardcore criminals are like that too; they are serious about their goals just as you are. Remember that the next time you read about someone saying that light is an effective weapon all by itself.


Light will dazzle and temporarily remove someone’s ability to see you. It can disorient you and this is directly proportionate to the degree their eyes have adjusted to low levels of light in conjunction with the power of your personal flashlight you are using to dazzle them.


The light is not a “weapon,” but it is a really good way to get the drop on someone and give them a terrible deficit in a fight, there is no debate whatsoever about that. But it is not a ray gun, OK? Please, don’t buy into all of the marketing hype. If you do, you run the risk of some crafty criminal who is used to being flashed and smashed by Police Officers and he is going to look away or close his eyes. When he does not see bright red, yellow and blue stars through his eyelids, etc., he is going to stick a knife in your face. Don’t buy into “Light as a Non-violent Panacea.” A streetfight can shift in a split second and what you thought was going “right” can go terribly wrong, very fast.


Buy into this fact, if you have a good flashlight, it is an excellent way to draw another weapon or employ unarmed combat. The light is a window of opportunity that you open upon depression of the tailcap or other button, that is all.


Do not repeatedly flash them, they will adapt to that and then you have a problem. If someone is hostile and they are in close proximity, you must Flash & Smash right then and there.


Understand that even very powerful flashlights are basically “One Trick Ponies” and you get one chance that you can bet on in order to do something. If you get another chance, that is because the attacker does not have his game together. As you frustrate a homicidally aggressive human being, they will get even angrier. Understand that they believe they have a right to victimize you and you have no right to protect yourself. They’re twisted that way.


Quite frankly, I don’t understand why people say some of the things they do; it’s not like they won’t fight if some criminal gets their hands on a powerful flashlight. It’s not like you are going to go fetal and start urinating if you get flashed by one. (Are you?)


One word on pain compliance, as many of you might already know from reading some of the articles here on my website, I am not a big believer in pain compliance techniques because of the alarming number of people who ingest mind altering substances for personal amusement. This happens to be the same sorts of people that launch violent attacks for no reason or in any event, very little provocation. (“Why are you looking at me man!”)


There are also people that will let you damage them as long as they can damage you more. Yubi Tori, fingerlocking, is incredibly painful and just as effective in a wide range of defensive scenarios, but it is not a panacea as some people will let you break their fingers as long as they can stick you with a knife, etc. This is a reality that some people ignore constantly in the blind worship of some martial arts and utilization of some defensive tools.


But it is a reality and these people are not rare either.


All of that having been said, if something is going to make someone fall under the umbrella of pain compliance, a flashlight equipped with a TID will do it where other devices, even applied vigorously, might fail.


I guess we need to get the ugliness and negativity out of the way first. That’s usually best.




This is the hot button with the TID. It is with most things in the Self-defense realm, isn’t it? What is legal? What is not? What might pass muster in a Court of Law as “reasonable” or “justifiable?”


You have to understand that in some jurisdictions, the TID might be considered an edged weapon because it has points. If you cannot understand that or you simply want to ignore that, do so at your own peril.


I’m not saying that the TID is a “lethal force” weapon like almost anything in the “edged weapons” category, I’m just saying that it is sort of falling into that zone of instruments. It’s obviously not a knife and it has no “edge” in the classic sense of the word, but it has points and points can be enough to place it in another category of tools and weapons. It can be used to maim and that is the problem, hitting someone in the face with a TID is going to ruin their day and probably their face as well. So I would not advise you to target the head, neck or face unless you are justified in using an edged weapon.


The whole "It might be an edged weapon" angle is troubling, but then almost everything is a “weapon” now.

I think a TID on a Sure-Fire dedicated to the nightstand is most certainly something to consider. What you can have and use in your house in Close Combat is alot different then what you might carry - as a regular Citizen - on the street. You may be scrutinized for what you use in your home, but not to the degree over something like this, using it on the street.

I think the main thing I don't like about it is it takes away the "clean" element of using an Inova or SureFire as a Pocket Stick and you automatically jump to maiming the person. It is true that if you hit someone in the face with one of the aforementioned flashlights, it might very well cut them, which has been my experience on one occasion with a 9P. But the cut and tear is not going to be as bad as using a TID and someone could make a lot of noise in a Courtroom over that as if you were carrying it to deliberately maim someone during simple Self-defense.

So, you basically have these situations where you cannot use your light as a Pocket Stick anymore because it does not require the degree of force that the TID will give it.


Because of these realities which I feel are valid criticisms of the TID, I sort of placed it in the category of devices that were well thought out but not really a great idea to bring into play.


Until my good friend Seth clued me in on something important.


The TID gives you the ability, when striking limbs, of penetrating heavy clothing and getting some impact into the target. He also pointed out that there would be no slipping because of the points digging in. This is some definite food for thought and because I routinely carry more than one flashlight…I gave it some heavy thought for a couple of months.


I am now of the opinion that the TID does in fact have a solid, legitimate place in the Self-defense tools you carry. You are just going to have to exercise the discipline required to not go smacking someone in the face when the situation does not warrant that degree of force.


In the home


Using a Sure-Fire flashlight (with a TID mounted on the end of it) in the Harries Position might very well give you a force option in close combat in the home. If you make a mistake, and no matter how highly trained you are, you can make a mistake… If that happens, the TID can definitely be applied in a vicious manner on the home invader.


Your flashlight now has steel dentures mounted on the front of it and you don’t have as many problems explaining the TID to a responding Officer because it is in your home and it is not a prohibited thing to have. On the street, it might be determined that it is in the edged weapons category and you might be in hot water over it.


Let’s say you carry an Inova X-5 Tactical and something like a Sure-Fire E2e, as long as you did not get them confused, yeah, it would be a good force option to have a TID on one of them.


Simple Drills


Always use eye protection when using training knives; don’t let an endeavor designed to save your life end in a tragedy.


With a training partner, use an Inova X-5 Tactical LED Light, preferably with white LEDs and use a Sure-Fire E2e. You will need eye protection, the flashlights and a focus mitt. Use a small training knife like a Spyderco Delica Trainer (Drone) or a LaGriffe trainer from Fred Perrin.


A little light pollution in the area is OK, things like streetlights are OK, working in and out of shadows cast by walls and vehicles, etc., because this is the type of environment that you are most likely going to have to fight someone in.


Don’t look directly at the streetlights. Allow your eyes to adjust to that degree of low level light and then begin. Test the Inova first, if you use the Sure-Fire first, it can lead to skewed results because it is indeed an incredibly powerful flashlight, even in the small E2e configuration.


I’m telling you this so you approach everything with an open mind.


Once your eyes are adjusted, start out at a long distance (in a street attack, it’s different from gunfighting), about twelve (12) feet which is confrontation distance to me, the distance where someone might start giving you some eyes, hands and mouth.


The training partner walks in and you guys/gals have to be honest with each other or you will not get the desired result. If you cover up from the light, you are not going to understand the effect.


Start at that “long” distance confrontation and the attacker walks in to menace and give some face or actually assault.


DO NOT flash them on the first time and the attacker must be honest and not cover up. Do the walking confrontation a few times and when it is unexpected, THEN flash them with the Inova. When you flash them, move, use footwork to move and take their flank or…retreat on 45-degree angles…


Do this upwards of a couple dozen times with the engagements and confrontations…the lack of the flash as well as the flash and then reverse roles and do it all over again. Don’t have a set pattern to flash or not to flash, be random.


Sit down and discuss that for a bit and then let your eyes adjust again, let the “spots” fade from the Inova, then go through the whole thing again with the Sure-Fire.


Now, there is no doubt that you will find the Sure-Fire more powerful. What we are looking for is information through honest experimentation and feedback.


TID: Inova X-5 Tactical vs. Sure-Fire E2e – Head to Head


If you are the type of person who thinks, “more is better,” you’re probably going to opt for the Sure-Fire flashlight. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that decision, whatsoever.



We’re talking about the power range of temporary blindness – sight impairment.


I believe, through my own experimentation in the aforementioned low light environments, that the Inova X-5 Tactical will do the job well. That is not a criticism of the Sure-Fire E2e at all.


The strong points of the Sure-Fire E2e are:


·        Very powerful, more powerful than the Inova X-5 Tactical

·        Has a pocket clip


The pocket clip is excellent! However, with the TID mounted on the E2e, it orients the teeth on the TID in the up position, which could bite you as you slam your hand down to access it under stress.


Some Kydex Sheathing might be in order because of this for some people.


The strong points of the Inova X-5 Tactical are:


·        Although it uses the same expensive batteries as the E2e, they will last much longer.

·        The LEDs are probably more shock-resistant than the Sure-Fire’s lamp assembly. Although the Sure-Fire lamp assembly is indeed tough.

·        When using the Inova X-5 for non-fighting tasks, you won’t dazzle yourself during some tasks like you will with a Sure-Fire.


Yes, using a Sure-Fire for simple tasks where the light is striking a lighter background can dazzle you. The degree of light you will get off of a light colored object is amazing. For example, I had to read maps and whatnot all of the time and although I used a Mini-Maglite for such tasks usually, I would sometimes use the Sure-Fire with a flip-up red lens cap mounted on it because I would impair my own vision using the Sure-Fire. When I was sneaking around inside buildings making sure they were clear of any burglars, I often flipped the cap down so I had red light. Sometimes inspecting a point of (forced) entry…


So, I consider the Inova X-5 to be a light with a wider range of utility than a Sure-Fire and it won’t eat batteries so quickly either, both a monetary and tactical consideration as well.


I think a well-executed pocket clip would be an excellent addition to the Inova. It has a lanyard hole already which some might find more useful than a pocket clip. A removable pocket clip on the Inova would be great.


Now we are at the end of the article and I really cannot recommend one over the other if you have the funds for both, buy both. If not, then I would shift my opinion over to the Inova X-5 Tactical with the TID because it would be more useful in a wider range of situations.


Both lights have a great value to anyone interested in Personal Protection and the TID is a valuable addition as well.


G, G & G should receive praise for making something this radical and Professional Executive Protection Specialist Lance Harris should for designing it. If the TID is ever discontinued, it will be one of the most sought-after items for some people who passed it up when it was available.




One more point about the legalities. Some would say it is unethical or immoral to not inform people that they might get in trouble for using something like a TID…or whatever device you are discussing.


They have a point, in a way. However, I don’t feel that it is “moral” or “ethical” to tell you to NOT use something because it might be illegal or might be considered illegal.


The reason I take that stance is incredibly simple.


I don’t believe it is “ethical” or “moral” to tell people that something like this is “unreasonable” for them to defend themselves with, the reason for this way of thought is…what happens when everything is legislated against? What then? Will it then be “immoral” or “unethical” to tell someone they should not be carrying anything to defend themselves with? That’s the destination of the train you ride when you start preaching to people about this sort of thing.


I try to strike a balance and give you both sides of the coin as it were.


Thanks to Seth and Ken for their contributions!


copyright 2004 DonRearic.Com

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