The Nitecore MH40GTR is a long-range hunting flashlight with an output of 1200 lumens, which is good for a kilometre — and it changed the way I hunt under a light.
It has plenty of features: four brightness levels; two special modes (strobe and SOS); two programmable output modes that you can quickly select by turning the head left or right; and a built in charging port that is sealed against dust and water.
Constructed from aerospace-grade alloy, it utilises a Cree XP-L HI V3 LED which is responsible for that 1200 maximum output and the long range.
Length is 257mm, weight is 374 grams, the head diameter is 70mm and the main tube diameter is 25.4mm (1”).
Batteries included are couple of 3500mAh rechargeable 18650 Li-ion units with a run time ranging from 140 hours in low mode, to two hours in ‘turbo’ mode.
Nitecore calls this a ‘dual-fuel’ light because it will also run on four CR123A batteries.
We tested the MH40GTR Hunter Kit, which comes packaged in a lockable plastic carry case and includes the flashlight with batteries fitted, AC power adaptor, 12-volt cigarette lighter adaptor, lanyard, RSW1 remote switch, holster, tactical ring, spare O-rings, spare tail switch cover, instructions and the all important scope mount.
After a full charge up, my initial review was two nights camping. Wow, it certainly lit up a campground. Campers were probably wondering who was spotlighting the area.
The kids certainly enjoyed it, although be careful pointing it at people’s eyes — it certainly penetrates! Thanks, kids.
On a more serious note, I set up this light with the supplied mounting clamp atop my .223 and used it out the window of my 4WD, shooting roos under permit.
My first thought was that the light would get in the way and be too cumbersome. It was fractionally slower than normal getting off a shot, but didn’t affect the outcome of the night’s tally.
If anything, it made my life easier. I run a normal handheld spotlight to find game — an older, non-LED spotty because I can’t afford thermal gear — and once I find an animal, we usually flick it off as I drive a bit closer. When in range, the light gets switched back on and offsider has to find the animal I want to shoot. Depending on distance, this sometimes involves lots of “left, left, up a bit, not that far, back down,” etc, which all takes time and is often long enough for the animals to hop off.
With the Nitecore, I changed tactics. We found the animals with the handheld, switched it off as we drove closer and the offsider’s job was then done.
With the MH40GTR on top of my scope, I was in control of the beam and when I turned it on I could find and pick off animals much quicker than normally, partly because the barrel and the light beam always point the same way.
The Nitecore’s beam on turbo mode was basically like shooting in daylight, especially when you view it through your scope.
The other big advantage of this setup is that you can easily go spotlighting by yourself.
I tested this setup on foot, wandering around quietly without the drone of a diesel to alert game.
Every 100 metres or so, with the output mode alternating between high (which travels a claimed 533m) and turbo.
I would scan in high mode, find animals, sneak closer, turn night into day with turbo mode. Bang, bang and it was all over.
The light atop my scope, when I slung the rifle over my shoulder, did not pose any problems.
I was suitably impressed with this light. It changed the way I handle my night-time jaunts around the paddocks.
The Nitecore appears to be built extremely strongly and will survive pretty rough treatment. The O-ring seals feel very snug.
For peace of mind, the MH40GTR comes with a 5 year warranty. Supplied as the full hunting kit, its recommended retail price (as of 2023) is $289.95.
You can find it in, or order it through, most gun shops, or you can find it online.
The distributor is TSA Outdoors.