By: Ryan Parker
About a year ago, my dad who is an electrician by trade was helping me with some electrical work at my new house. Standing in the dark, we needed to shed some light on what we were doing, pun intended. As I was leaving the room to get a light, out comes this little flashlight from his belt. It was the Maglite® XL50™ LED Flashlight. I was surprised that such a little flashlight could produce so much light.
He then proceeded to give me a product pitch that would make a traveling salesman proud. After his speech, he hands me the light to look it over for myself. I was immediately impressed by not only the amount of light this flashlight produces, but its overall construction. Immediately after, I ran out and got one of my own.
The XL50™ features:
– rugged machined aluminum case
– anodized for corrosion resistance and durability
– individually serial numbered
– powered by 3 AAA batteries (first set is provided)
– Intelligent Energy Source management- continuously monitors the balance between high brightness and efficient power usage allowing for longer battery life
The overall length of the XL50™ is 4.8″ with a barrel and head diameter of only 1″. The total weight including the batteries is only 3.68oz. This small design of the XL50™ allows for it to easily be stored in either a pocket or on a duty belt. Additionally, Maglite® boasts a 213m beam at 139 lumens from the XL50™. Now here is the kicker, you can pick one up for under $30.
There are three selectable modes available for use with the XL50™, and are activated by the push button tail cap switch.
These modes include: (Pictures taken at a distance of 35 yds with no exterior light present)
– High (see picture below) – activated with one quick click – Estimated run time 6hrs 30mins
– Low (see picture below) – activated with two quick clicks – Estimated run time 33hrs
– Strobe – activated with three quick clicks – No run time given
Now I know that the “tactical” community has this idea that unless the device uses a CR123 battery then it is not worth its own weight. However, I can tell you that the XL50™ is worth a look, if only as a support light. This light is built to be tough and bright! I also like the fact that it uses 3 AAA batteries. They are cheaper to replace and actually last longer. Most of us know that the CR123 batteries do produce a very bright light, but for a shorter period of time. So there will come a time where you may have to change batteries in the dark. I understand that it is an easier task if you are using the CR123s, so if that is your style then go for it. Also, it is important to stay consistent within your lighting platforms to reduce the need to carry too many batteries.
An additional thought on this light. It is 1″ in diameter which means it will fit into most flashlight mounts for a firearm. However, it does not have a shock proof bezel. Which means, it will function for a period of time on said firearm, but for how long it is not sure. So if you are using this in a defensive purpose, I wouldn’t bet my life or safety on it (Its more of a back up light). It would work much better in a defense situation when using a handgun with the application of a Harries grip or the Rogers Technique. As seen below:
Overall I feel that you will not be disappointed with the build, operation, or usefulness of the Maglite® XL50™ LED Flashlight. So get out there and pick up your own XL50™ and show support for another great AMERICAN made product. Until next time, stay safe, have fun, and take someone new shooting!
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Some things to ponder regarding this light. Question: Is this light designed or appropriate to be used as a primary tactical light? Answer: No, its not. First, the light was not designed specifically for tactical situations and secondly, it utilizes the three AAA battery configuration that I personally don’t like for use in the field. However, like many products reviewed here on this site, it is something that the writer is passionate about and felt a need to share it with you our reader. So, here is a great little light that will serve in a support capacity and provide a good light for those situations when you find your rugged combat light out of reach. Also, stop and consider what is going to happen when your agency or department runs out of money to purchase all those expensive CR123 batteries…….. Leave your opinion below in the comments!
About the author:
Ryan is a former Army Sniper and Marksmanship Instructor. He is currently employed as a police officer with a local department located in the midwest.