I need some advice on my first flashlight mod.
I have a MagCharger that I want to modify to the Mag85 configuration. I think I understand what's involved with that from reading threads here. I have a lot of questions, however. I appreciate your patience in reading this thread, and covet any wisdom you can offer me. Thanks in advance for you knowledge!
Let me tell you what I'm shooting for performance-wise: I'm looking for a poor man's M6. I don't need a light that has bragging rights on the M6 or that claims to "blow away anything else." I have no desire to delude myself laughing at the "poor fools" who bought a SureFire. I love the performance of the M6, and I know I can't afford one. I just want to approach that performance as best I can in a relatively inexpensive mod. So, I'm looking for a form factor, output, beam, and throw that are as much like the M6 as I can achieve in my compromise platform.
I really want to base my mod on the Mag Charger because the grab-n-go charging ability would be a huge benefit to me. I enjoy fiddling with batteries and chargers and I have been accused of taking my flashlights apart too often...but I want to be able to grab this fully-charged light at a moment's notice.
I'm left with the following questions:
-If I cut the MagCharger down to 2D length, can I run a Mag85 on an 8AA/2D adaptor?
I have seen posts by at least one individual who built a "Mag85" on the 8 cell adaptor. That would seem to give a much nicer form factor (in my opinion). How much performance will I be giving up by going to the smaller volume? I can handle less output in exchange for smaller size. It might also help lower the bulb temp a little and lessen the tendancy of the MagCharger socket to vaporize--?? I don't want to cut down an expensive host only to discover that I really want the extra capacity. I'm looking for a functional compromise light--not the absolute most raw lumens--but I don't want to produce a "camel" that doesn't satisfy me.
-I'm guessing that there is no easy way to modify the stock battery charger to work with the 8 cell configuration. I don't mind, however, wiring a new battery charger to the Mag bracket. I understand the stock charger takes 16 hours to charge the light anyway--and I wouldn't mind an upgrade that would yield 3-4 hour charge time. It shouldn't be too hard to hook a good charger into the contacts on the Mag bracket, should it?
-How much run time am I giving up by going to the 2D length? Or would I actually gain some because of the lower voltage? I assume I need to bore the light out to accept the 2500ma cells in an adaptor--or does the MagCharger have a different ID? 45 minutes of useful light would be my ideal. Is that at all realistic?
-Can I use one of the HOP or stipled reflectors designed for the regular Mag lights? I want to approximate the wide, smooth beam of the M6. I'd also like to have 250'--300' feet of useful throw...but I don't know if I can achieve both. Again, I'm willing to compromise--but I don't want to create an in-between light that is not useful.
I know this is a long post, and I am asking a lot of elementary questions. I'm sorry about that. You guys have shown me the possibilities, and I'm eager to try my hand at creating something. I want to avoid making dumb mistakes if I can benefit from your collective wisdom. Thanks again for your patience and advice.