I have used Maglite flashlights longer than any other brand for good reason. Still American-made in Ontario, California, the 2 TL black plain bezel and 2 TM black crown bezel Mag-Tac handheld tactical lights offer the user the best in time-tested features coupled with some practical new innovations.
Though these Mag-Tac flashlights from Maglite look very similar, they were designed for two different purposes. The Mag-Tac 2 TL is best utilized as a utility light, while the Mag-Tac 2 TM is best utilized as a tactical light. However, both lights are similar enough to perform crossover duties as needed.
Both the 2 TL and 2 TM are set up in a traditional compact handheld tactical light format. They are drop-resistant from 1 meter and IPX-4 water-resistant. And, according to the Maglite website, the well-positioned dual barrel grooves are designed to work in tandem and support all firearm and hand-held flashlight techniques. I found the setup particularly good for use with the syringe grip and two-hand Harries grip.
The switching systems for the 2 TL and 2 TM lights are housed in the tailcaps, which are castle-style to allow easy access to the switch while protecting it from accidental activation. The switches click easily and nearly silently through their operational modes.
|Mag-Tac 2 TL Black Plain Bezel||Mag-Tac 2 TM Black Crown Bezel|
|Length||5.31 inches||5.375 inches|
|Weight||4.8 ounces||4.8 ounces|
|Run time||High – 4 hours
Low – 17 hours
|High – 4 hours
Low – N/A
One other feature common to both lights is the use of an optional plastic pocket clip that has a built-in locking system. A special hex screwdriver is included to lock and unlock it. I am not normally one for pocket clips as I carry lights like these in my front pants pockets, but the Maglite clips do prevent the lights from rolling off a flat surface.
Both the 2 TL and 2 TM have been tested and approved by the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA). And both tactical flashlights run off of two CR123 lithium batteries.
Differences in the 2 TL and 2 TM Mag-Tac Lights
Despite all the similarities, there are a few important differences. The first being lumen output. The difference between the Maglite flashlights isn’t large but is noticeable. The 2 TL has an output of 378 lumens as Maglite chose run time over output for that model.
With both lights, the first click of the tailcap switch puts the lights into momentary high setting. Releasing the switch turns the lights turn off. The second mode for both lights is locked on high. But the third mode varies. Third for the 2 TL is locked-on eco, which has a 17-hour run time. This is what makes the 2 TL a great daily flashlight.
The 2 TM, however, goes into strobe mode for its third setting. A bright strobing light can be used against human opponents to disorient them in dark conditions. Coupled with the crenelated bezel for use as a defensive impact tool, the 2 TM ends up being the best choice for tactical use.
Worth a Purchase?
I field-tested the 2 TL during my family’s annual vacation. The light beam size and intensity was perfect for around the cabin as well as bright enough to illuminate the “bear county” woods. And the eco mode came in handy for a number of smaller tasks when the full 378 lumens weren’t needed.
Both the Maglite flashlight models are great. Maglite was smart to create two varying models rather than overcrowd features onto a single unit. And remember, your iPhone isn’t a flashlight. Carry the real thing with you.