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Flashlight Review: Maglite ML300L 4D-Cell LED

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When I started my law enforcement career 41 years ago, my very first duty flashlight was an old 6D-cell Rayovac that had belonged to my grandfather. Though it served me well as a part-time deputy, I found it wasn’t quite up for the stresses of full-time police duty. My field training officer recommended the Maglite brand flashlight to me. I purchased a 6C-cell model, which served me well for a number of years. Though Maglite no longer has the 6C-cell available, there is the ML300L 4D LED Long Running flashlight.

ML300L 4D LED Flashlight Features

The Maglite ML300L 4D LED flashlight is a perfect blend of old-school, quality American construction and updated technology. Maglite’s founder Tony Maglica has been unwavering in his commitment to build his flashlights in America. I highly recommend reading the Maglite story under the “Building an American Icon” section of the website if you have the chance.

Removing the requested sample ML300L from the packaging was like becoming reacquainted with a trusted old friend. The exterior of the aircraft aluminum ML300L is indistinguishable from the Maglites of the 1980s. While some Maglite flashlights are available in a variety of colors, currently, the ML300L is available in black only. The body is smooth except for the central portion, which features knurling to provide a non-slip surface. Maglite imprints each light with the model designation and an individual serial number.

The ML300L operates from one pushbutton switch that is in a traditional position and controls different function sets. Set 1 is the default setting. Pressing the switch cycles the light through high, low and eco levels. Outdoor, law enforcement or tactical settings are also available. I selected law enforcement — set 3 — which cycles the switch through momentary, full and eco.

LED Power in the ML300L

The amalgam of old-school construction and modern technology is most apparent in the LED lamp and operating system of ML300L. Two of the key design features of the ML300L are its long run time combined with its 1002 lumen output. On its high setting, the ML300L can run for 5 hours. In eco mode, it can run for 18 days! Maglite’s patented LED Heat-Sink technology delivers the long run time, the website states.

The ML300L’s pure white light beam throw is 558 yards. To adjust the beam from a tight spot to a slightly wider one, just turn the light head. This is a change from the old lights that allowed a very side spotlight adjustment. I never liked the wide spot as it wasn’t intense enough, especially on the older incandescent models. I always taped the head in place with black electrical tape to maintain a tight spotlight beam — critical for nighttime traffic stops. Taping the head isn’t necessary with the ML300L.

Active Use

No longer being an active officer, I decided to try out the ML300L as a utility light for my pickup truck. On a recent trip, I slipped it into the map pocket at the rear of the passenger seat where it would be in easy reach in an emergency. On a recent trip, the ML300L found its way into the cabin with us. The 1002 lumens were just the right amount of light for utility and illuminated a large area. The eco setting is good for close-range use.

I wish the Maglite ML300L had been available when I was a young officer working third shift. It would have been great to have this much lighting power at my disposal on a traffic stop or area search.

The MSRP of the Maglite ML300L is $89.95.

Sources:

Maglite: Maglite.com

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