Thursday, September 03, 2009

My Mag Lite Doesn’t Work Right!

How to operate and handle your trusty Maglite.
My wife has a thing about having a good flashlight around the house.  So, for Christmas one year she bought me a big old heavy black 3 cell Maglite®.  It felt solid and great when you held it.  It seemed to work well, but the beam seemed weak and diffused.  I tried different batteries and even bought a new krypton bulb, but it didn’t get any stronger.  I thought maybe it was made that way so security guards wouldn’t be blinded by the beam.  My wife said it was broken.

I got new batteries again last night and when I turned it on there was a sharp, well defined and bright beam.  I thought, hey great, maybe you just need new batteries.  Then later when I was walking the dog, I flipped it on so an approaching car would see us and the beam was diffuse again.  Then, I realized what had happened.  I reached down and twirled the front hood part of the light around the light bulb and reflector and discovered it changed the size and intensity of the light beam.  How cool is that?
Another trick you need to learn is how to hold a Maglite.  Security guards who want to shine a light on someone always flip the light up to shoulder height with the tube reversed as shown in the picture below.  There’s a good reason for this.

In this picture you can see how the hand grasps the shaft of the flashlight just below the light housing with the thumb toward the butt of the flashlight tube.

In this picture you can see where the index finger rests on the switch to turn it on and off.  A smart security guard or camp director carries the flashlight this way and turned off to preserve his night vision.  That way, if he surprises something, he can hit it quickly with the light by bringing it up to his shoulder and hitting the button as the light comes up.

When the light is not in use, you carry it like a club and let me tell you, whatever you hit hard with the butt end of a Maglite isn’t like to get back up again anytime soon.  This carrying position lets you switch quickly from the club position to the flashlight position.

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