I have been eyeballing the Maglite MAG-TAC flashlight sitting in the warehouse since we got them and trying to justify pulling the trigger on one. I already have enough lumens between my Surefires and Streamlights to burn a hole through the atmosphere, so the MAG-TAC wasn’t a priority. Well a few weeks ago, I got a wild hair and snagged one. I am happy I did.
There are many pros to this light—my favorite being cost. If you haven’t noticed from my previous posts, I love cheap. That’s just the way it is. Cut costs wherever you can, so you can drop the proper funds into the things that need them most. This Maglite cost me less than $50 out the door, and frankly, that’s a steal for a good light. All lights are not created equal, so quality for that price is great.
Currently, my daily carry light is a Surefire 6PX Pro. While I don’t think the MagLite is going to take the cake as a replacement for it, it’s definitely something I am going to keep in my car for when I forget my Surefire. It will easily fill the role as a back-up light. I’m not knocking the quality of this Maglite, it’s just that I refuse to give up what has worked for me for so long…cue the people still carrying a 1911.
Without getting too technical, as I don’t have the proper equipment to test the output of the light, I compared it to lights that I have on hand with almost a similar output such as the Surefire G2X and the 6PX. The two Surefires have only a ten-lumen difference from the Maglite. The Mag-Tac definitely held its own, as you will see in the pictures.
There are three settings for the light—the first being a momentary one that lasts for about a second. Click the cap two times for constant on. Three rapid clicks are going to give you a low-light setting to save the battery.
What really struck me as great about this light is the knurling on the body. Based off Mag-Lite documentation, it is excited about the knurling as well. It’s not the fine knurling that feels like sand paper in your hand. This was built for the worker who really needs something to grab a hold of. The Maglite Mag-Tac’s deep grooves allow you to grip the body even when it is caked in mud.
The lens covering the LED is plastic, which did have me concerned. I feared an extended run it would cause it to melt. We decided to put it to the test. I installed fresh CR123 batteries, turned it on, and walked away. I checked on it every so often until the batteries were dead. All I ended up with was a hot light and a hole in the wallet from wasting batteries. The lens was fine.
I can’t say for certain if it is truly waterproof. However, it is defiantly water resistant. It took an accidental dunk in the lake during a recent fishing trip and came out just fine.
Now we’re down to the one thing that I do not like about this light. This is entirely my fault, as I have said before, I will break anything. To install the pocket clip, you have to insert a 2.5 mm hex wrench (supplied) into the clip to turn a cam. Once the cam engages, it is installed. The down side to all of this is that the hex wrench has a plastic body, which in the turning of the cam I torqued too far and snapped the wrench inside. I guess I am never taking the clip off! I could rib Maglite about this, but let’s attribute it to my gorilla-like strength and failure to read directions.
Overall, this is a solid light and for the price, it’s a worthy investment. If you are looking for something to add to your everyday carry or to mount to a rifle at a sub $50 price, this is an option you definitely need to consider.
Specifications and Features:
- 310 lumens
- 182 meters beam distance
- 1 meter drop resistance
- IPX4-rated water resistant
- Machined aluminum housing
- Momentary, full and Power Save modes
- 17 hours run time low
- 1.050-inch head diameter
- 5.275-inches long
- 4.8 ounces with batteries
- 2 CR123 batteries
- National Tactical Officers Association-certified
What is your favorite cheap go-to light? Tell us about it in the comment section.
Kyle has been very active with firearms since a young age when his father gave him his first .22 and a brick of ammo. This led on to deer hunting in southern Illinois to doves in west Texas. He is Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and is currently working as a product tech for Cheaper Than Dirt!