Maglite Generations and threading issues in the head. Malkoff, Magnum Star II, Litexpress Germany and others


Flashlight Enthusiast
Dec 7, 2022
West Virginia, North America
I'm sitting on a sizable Maglite collection at the moment. I tend to purchase the models from before 2003 when they still were marked Made in USA. I feel that the quality of anodising was much better then and after 2006 or so really started to suffer or the ones sold at Walmart in 2007-2012 were factoery seconds that met a price point. I don't know.

Back to topic there were a lot of LED upgrades that went beyond a PR type bulb or a slightly bigger cylinder that fits in the barrel of a Maglite. There is also an upgrade kit from Maglite that allows the incan lights to accept a xenon bipin bulb. In trying these I notice most of my lights don't take these conversions.

We all know that at some point Maglite was a bigger tube that was a commercial off the shelf which they threaded, knurled, machined, and anodised making it into a flashlight body. At some point it bacame smaller, perhaps in the 1990s. The changes don't end there though.

Around 2002 or so there were some changes to the switch. It has different threads or maybe a different depth as some online suggest. C lights weren't all changed at once it seems as I have an 02 package with the old style light without a C letter in the serial.

Having a C or D in the serial is thought to be when the change happened however it isn't the case at all. They had serial numbers in the 1999 packaging but older type switches. It also seems some lights were later packed with old packaging but maybe newer updates. I haven't opened my red 6D to find out yet as I have a 2023 one that fits all mods I have.

I'll have to order the tools dealers had to take these apart and see if a newer switch can go on an older body. I'm sitting on nearly a full rainbow of maglites that can't be brought to 21st century standards and will have to at best be ran with a PR halogen or Xenon bulb.

Anyone know what tools I would buy to measure the threads?

I really wish these upgrade companies would produce upgrades that fit the millions of older Mags that are floating around.


Newly Enlightened
Nov 7, 2012
Mag lights used to be all the rage, at one time the best a person could buy, once they sold out and China took over, they became junk. But that was some time ago as you stated, but now those old lights are sadly far out of date due to lacking the bright LED bulbs they have today.

My last USA-made Mag light was a 6-cell D light. Unfortunately, I was buying Rayovac batteries back then, they were being made in China, they leaked and destroyed the light and a radio I had, no more Rayovac's for me ever again.

I did buy an LED upgrade bulb for it, but it only lasted about 3 months, then it stopped working so I converted it back to Xenon bulb. Xenon bulbs burned batteries faster than the Halogens did, but they were a bit brighter.

Tools, you need a screw thread pitch gauge, they will come with Metric, Imperial and USA gauges, they're not expensive at around $13, get the thread count then find a conversion table online.