JETBeam BC40 high power LED lamp review
Have been thinking about trying a new lamp type for both Rabbit and Fox use and have thought about the ND3 lasers that are out there but the expense just seems to be way too much for a lamp. Have also heard a lot of negatives about them not working in sub zero temperatures etc etc. However I do like the idea of having a lamp that has a nice tight beam, is very light without any wires attached and of course.......no big heavy battery to carry around. Obviously when you have a lamp man its much easier but more often than not Iím finding that Iím out on my own and donít always have the luxury of a chap to lamp for me. I have also had a few problems in the past with reflection of light back off the moderator and into the scope. This is a common issue especially with very wide moderators such as the T8 (which I use on my 6.5 X 55). I wanted a tighter beam that would not spill out all over the moderator and cause me a problem at that critical moment.
So, I decided to take the plunge and try a couple. First off I tried a cheap LED lamp that I modified to fit on the scope and although it ticked most of the boxes it was only really useful out to 50 - 60 or so yards and didnít have a remote switch attachment. Having read many reviews on the internet and shooting forums I then came across the JETBeam range of LED torches. I called them up and discussed the options with the team there (who were very helpful indeed) and decided to try the BC40 with weapon mount and remote switch.
I placed the order and received the delivery 2 days later. On first inspection the packaging and the quality of the lamp were at a very high standard. The lamp was very light and compact and looked very solid and rugged in construction. The parts came apart easily and were very solid. The pack also came with spare ĎOí rings which seal both ends of the tube against the ingress of moisture. The weapon mount is a very nice bit of kit which locks onto the lamp and can be slotted onto a weaver rail very quickly by pushing a small button. Release the button and it locks into place. The lamp can then be easily tilted left or right by pushing forward, moving into the new position and releasing to lock. To get mine to fit on my scope I bought a figure of 8 mount which has a weaver rail on the top (apx £7). Can buy them here:
Once I got the battery fully charged I couldnít wait until dark to give it a try. Decided to take it out on a local rugby field first(obviously without the rifle!!!) which I know is covered in Rabbits at night just to get a feel for the range etc. There are 2 settings medium power and high power. On medium I could clearly see Rabbits out at 100 yards and the light seemed crisp very similar to the type of light you get from a Xenon head lamp. When I switched to full power I couldnít believe how powerful it was. I could clearly see Rabbits at 200 yards + and the far hedgeline which I have ranged at 260 yards was visible to the naked eye. The beam width at 100 yards was apx 15m and at 200 yards was apx 30m. I lit up the Rabbits at 100 yards and walked over to them slowly, none of them moved until I got close enough for them to hear/wind me. I then compared the range against my Cluson shootalite lamp which I currently use on my scope. The JETBeam matched it pound for pound, the light was much more white compared to the yellowish colour that a halogen lamp produces and the bean was much tighter and controlled.
Out in the field
I got back home and set the lamp up on the scope for a bit of Rabbit shooting with the HMR. The weapon attachment is an excellent well thought out piece of kit that the lamp slots into nicely with a small button that can be depressed to release the lamp. The unit then slides easily onto any weaver rail. I bought a figure of 8 adaptor which clamps over the scope (25mm or 30mm) and has a weaver rail on the top. This worked perfectly and felt solid on the rifle. I then attached the remote cable which is an easy job and attached it to the stock with a piece of Velcro.
Once at the permission I got set up and checked the beam through the scope, it was very clear and on full power I could make out fence posts at 200 yards with ease. I slipped the lamp off the mount and back in a couple of times to check that the bean remained on zero with my scope. Perfect. Once in the field I had a scan and picked up eyes instantly. The beam is much tighter than a normal lamp but I had no issue trying to locate the Rabbits. It took seconds to re-attach the lamp and it was a very quiet process. I acquired the Rabbit in the scope very quickly and left the lamp on medium power. Job done, Rabbit identified and shot easily at 80 yards. I continued around the land and shot a further 6 Rabbits before returning home. The Rabbits on this particular piece of land are slightly lamp shy but they didnít seem bothered by this lamp at all considering I didnít have a filter on. I decided that my next outing would be for Fox.
2 nights later I went out with a mate of mine to try to get a fox that had been eluding us at a local sheep farm. This fox had been lamped once previously and was not very keen on hanging around. On that particular occasion we had used a Lightforce 170 with Amber filter. We decided to spot with the Ranger NV, get the fox in range and then light it up. After apx 2 hours of intermittent calling with the Foxpro my mate spotted a fox coming in from around 300 yards. We decided to get it somewhere in the region of 200 yards (which is where the 95g VMAX is zeroed at) and then light it up. We were standing on a raised platform that the farmer had built for us so I was ready with the lamp and safety/trigger. Once I got the nod from my mate I switched the lamp on, on full power. He had signalled the rough position of the fox and it took me a couple of seconds to get him in the beam. He looked up and then carried on walking forward. I tracked him in the scope until he settled at 150 yards and sat up. Bang, dead fox. I had no problem seeing the fox at any point during this and he didnít seem bothered at all by the piercing white light. Its always possible that this was a different fox but since that fox was shot the farmer has not been bothered and none of our bait stations have been touched. I have been out since to another piece of land and shot another fox, this time at 180 yards. He too was not bothered by the light at all.
What about the cold?
Ive heard some negative reports about the ND3 laser and some very expensive LED torches not performing in cold weather. I lamp all year round and last year experienced -10c on some of my outings. I obviously want a lamp that wont let me down. Obviously I am unable to take this lamp out at below 0 temperatures at the moment so........I put the lamp in the freezer for 10 mins, 20 mins, 40 mins and 1 hour periods. The lamp performed perfectly every time. I think a standard household freezer will go as low as -15c to -20c so thatís pretty conclusive to me.
I have fed back to JETBeam how pleased I am with this lamp and have suggested that they work with their manufacturers to develop a similar filter system to the Cluson Masterlite for those Rabbits and Foxes that are very lamp shy. They have taken this on board and are currently developing this. The measurements of the Cluson Masterlite are very similar so I am thinking about purchasing a set of filters to try. In the meantime I have made a couple of filters from coloured plastic which seems to be working well. I have also mentioned that I am a member of Stalking directory and that I would write a review for them. They have said that for Stalking directory members they will knock off 10% from any orders on their site. All they ask is that you spread the words on how good these units are. They have set up a separate discount page here: http://www.jet-beam.co.uk/SPECIAL/PROMOTIONS.html which is only available though this link and not through the main home page.
If you are looking for good value for money, a compact cordless scope mounted lamp that will exceed expectations and be suitable for both Rabbits and Fox then look no further. This is a cracking piece of kit that I would recommend to anyone.
Here is the main site link: http://www.jet-beam.co.uk/
If you have any questions drop me a PM. All the best Steve