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Thread: My very first Mini-Mag light

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Party My very first Mini-Mag light

    Hello CPF'ers -

    I'm 53 years old, and i am a Flashaholic.

    Twenty-two years ago today, on 11/14/1984,
    I received my very first Mini-Mag light.

    Appeared in the new Eddie Bauer catalog (Christmas edition).
    Had to mail-order it, of course. Since NOBODY would have it in STOCK !

    Was already familiar with the fine line of Mag D-cell flashlights.
    Had a collection of 3-cell, 4-cell, and 5-cell lights.

    But the catalog listing sounded VERY interesting . . . .

    Here was a 2-AA cell aluminum, heavy-duty pocket flashlight,
    which (it was STRONGLY stated)
    is as POWERFUL as a conventional 2-D cell flashlight !

    I thought about how much i LOVED my big Mag-Lights . . . .
    and decided that this new Mini-Mag light (if true),
    would be IDEAL for an EveryDayCarry !

    -- (sidenote)
    For the prior 8 years, i had been carrying the Eveready 2AA chrome penlight (model 9215), in left side trouser pocket.
    This unit certainly *was* quite useful, but had many shortcomings:

    Exposed, protruding bulb (#222) vulnerable to damage
    Rather inelegant stamped-steel construction
    Pocket clip would loosen, and eventually pull-out
    Switch mechanism would get dirty/dusty, and require cleaning
    Ended up replacing light perhaps every year
    -- (end_sidenote)

    So i took a chance, and ordered this new Mini-Mag pocket light.

    Don't remember the price, but was probably close to Twenty Bucks.

    Ordered two twin-packs of spare bulbs, also. Always prepared.

    Can't remember if the nylon holster came standard, or was extra.
    Regardless, i got that too.

    And it all arrived at my house exactly Twenty-Two years ago today !


    Loaded the batteries, and turned it on . . . .

    Couldn't BELIEVE how a "dinky little 2-AA light" could be so BRIGHT !


    The claims in the Eddie Bauer catalog were true.
    It was indeed as bright as a normal 2-D cell flashlight.


    And the rest, my friends, is History . . . .

    I carried that same Mini-Mag light (and later, its replacement)

    virtually Every Single Day for the next 22 years ! ! !

    Wore out several belt holsters.

    Changed lots and lots of "blackened bulbs".
    (they still worked, but didn't wanna' risk it)

    And the Mini-Mag served me well.

    Always very helpful, convenient, and comforting.
    (i'm sure you all can relate to this !)


    Now, earlier this year (2006), i finally decided to try one of those
    *Fancy New LED Upgrade Modules*, which i saw on the Internet.

    Decided on the TerraLux TLE-5 MiniStar2.

    Well, Dang, if that didn't simply make my *good* light even *BETTER* ! <grin>

    -- No more worries about changing Bulbs.
    -- Gives even MORE light. Brighter and Whiter, too !
    -- And the batteries last longer.

    Woulda' probably continued using this new combo
    happily fer' the rest of my life, except that i stumbled onto a Website
    called CandlePowerForums.

    Now, (late 2006), i've upgraded my beloved Mini-Mag to their new 2AA-LED model.

    And I also carry a Fenix Civictor V-1

    And a Nuwai X-3

    And a Photon Freedom-Max Yellow (covert nose)

    And a Fenix E-0

    And a Fenix E-1



    Used to feel *confident and well-prepared* by carrying my Mini-Mag flashlight.

    Now, i feel practically NAKED if i only carry a *single* flashlight.

    (gee, what's wrong with me, Doc ?)


    Anyway, thank you to my Mini-Mags, for 22 years of very faithful service.
    Always came through, and never failed me.


    Just wanted to share this with my fellow Flashaholics.

  2. #2

    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    lol, jeez, that's one long EDC...

    that ought to be EYC, lol.

    Nice story!

    Lightmania
    light-ma-ni-a [lahyt-mey-nee-uh] (noun) a compulsion to switch on any form of lights; a fascination with illumination and nigritude.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Concept's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Good one. I have had an old Mini M@g rip off for the last 11 years and until I frequented thi place I had only one small LED light. Now I'm hooked aswell.
    Concept

  4. #4

    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Same here... Mag was my flashlight of choice. I had one or two others and that was it. Then I came across this site & others and all hope was lost!

    Now I'm up to an Arc-P, Dorcy AAA LED, Inova X1, Pak-Lite, Pelican Supersabre Lite, Pelican Mitylite, Petzl Tikka Plus, Photon I/II/III/Freedom, Surefire G2, Surefire E1L.

    And of course, a Mag 3D, AA Mini-Mag w/Nite Ize, Mag Solitaire, and a new 2AA Mini MagLED.

    Now I'm patiently awaiting the new Glo-Toob 123 model, curious to see the new HDS offering, and drooling over other Surefires. When does it all end?!?!

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Good story, Burgess. I guess I followed a similar path. Still have that old (maybe twenty years) minimag. It's had some new life breathed into it with a Nite-Ize dropin and IQ switch. Sits at the ready by the bedside.

    Geoff

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Burgess, I can totally relate. My very first "good" light was a 2AA minimag (black) that I bought somewhere in CO 14-15 years ago. I still have it, it still works (even after a battery leaking event *years* back), and I still love it. I cannot deny that Luxeons (and now XR-E's) have taken most of the "wow" factor off my old minimag, but I still (and always will) love that light. There's something in the lines of the incan 2AA minimag that I cannot resist, nor can I explain (much like the ArcLS screams out *beauty!* in my eyes)

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Manzerick's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    in a world of escalating prices...Mag has been excellent at keeping theirs low!

    I'm still amazed at what $20.00 can get.

    Awesome story!!!

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* WNG's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    I still have my 1st 2AA MiniMag from the 80's as well. It's black with plenty of scratches.
    My 2nd one (silver) got stolen. I replaced it years later with a blue one and finally picked up a purple 2AA/2AAA double pack at Home Depot on sale. They were state of the art quality for their day.
    Not sure if I want to 'upgrade' them.
    Mag lights were the best for most of us who couldn't justify the cost of a Surefire.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Well howdy there, young fella.

    Don't know which of the following would be more appropriate:
    "22 years, is that all?"
    or
    "Gosh! It's been that long?"

    In any case its good to hear that there are people who are aware that the MiniMag was an exceptionally bright lighting instrument when it was first introduced. Certainly not something to be panned like it is these days. On the other hand it's not often that you find something outside of the computer arena that actually costs less now than it did 22 years ago!

    Also good to know that there are still people around who remember Burgess batteries.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and memories.

    Quote Originally Posted by Burgess
    Hello CPF'ers -

    I'm 53 years old, and i am a Flashaholic.

    Twenty-two years ago today, on 11/14/1984,
    I received my very first Mini-Mag light.

  10. #10
    "the Precious..." iNDiGLo's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Burgess,

    Thank you for that emotional story about the Mini-mag that was your companion for so many years. I too carried a 6D cell mag for a long time then later scaled down to a 4c maglight. When i ran across CPF i knew my wallet was in for a beating. I now carry at least 3 led lights on me at all times and usually have 2 or 3 being shipped to me from somewhere.

    The real beauty of CPF is you don't have to impulse buy. Most every light you could imagine has been well researched, reviewed, and evaluated so you can make a well informed purchase.

    Congrats on your new baby and remember spending money on lights is an addiction. But you are among friends here.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* swampgator's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    I've had a minimag (usually on me) since June 1992. I bought my 4D and Minimag (with accessory pack) on the same day. Have had the 4D ever since and a succession of minis. In fact my wife was cleaning out a closet yesterday and found another one. Wahoo! Another light!

    I have a blue mini that I found in parking lot back in 1992. When I was in the Army I painted it black with brass paint. It wore off. Then I painted it OD green. It's flaking off now but my two year old doesn't seem to care. I gave it to him and now it's his night time bedside light.

  12. #12

    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Hi Burgess,

    Thanks for sharing your story, it truly was great to hear about your experience and progression with Lights.

    All My Best,
    John
    *PK etched SureFire Kroma Milspec (K2-RD/BL/IR/YG), *SureFire LumaMax L4 (McE2S 22 ohm Trim Tailcap), *SureFire Executive E2e, *MagLite Magcharger (quantity two), *3D MagLite Incandescent (color Black, quantity 2), *2D MagLite Incandescent (color Black), *2AA Mini MagLite LED (color Black), *2AA Mini MagLite Incandescent (color Black, quantity 3) and *Princeton Tec EOS (color Black)

  13. #13

    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Neat story thanks for sharing. Hopefully I can post a story like yours 20 years in the future with my Fenix P1!!

  14. #14

    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    The Mini-mag use to be my best light, before I found this forum! I had a Madmax engine installed, sapphire lens and more recently a two way switch for it. I even had a custom holster made for it. Now I never use it, but it is still an adequate light for many purposes and I wouldn't want to sell/trade it. It seems so cheaply made compared to all these lights of today!

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Quote Originally Posted by bigfoot
    Same here... Mag was my flashlight of choice. I had one or two others and that was it. Then I came across this site & others and all hope was lost!

    Now I'm up to an Arc-P, Dorcy AAA LED, Inova X1, Pak-Lite, Pelican Supersabre Lite, Pelican Mitylite, Petzl Tikka Plus, Photon I/II/III/Freedom, Surefire G2, Surefire E1L.

    And of course, a Mag 3D, AA Mini-Mag w/Nite Ize, Mag Solitaire, and a new 2AA Mini MagLED.

    Now I'm patiently awaiting the new Glo-Toob 123 model, curious to see the new HDS offering, and drooling over other Surefires. When does it all end?!?!
    Jeez! You haven't M*gLEDed a 2,3 or 4 C or D M*g yet.

    You don't have a Streamlight 4AA and/or a 3C LUX yet.

    And you're asking when does it end?

    http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/2640/usflaghalfmastmdwht.gif

    PBJS



  16. #16
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Thanks for sharing that story with us, Burgess! I think it's pretty cool that MiniMags are still selling well these days, even if they are technologically outdated. I'm sure just about everyone here at CPF has one, or did at one time.
    Aren't flashlights cool?
    Carry a flashlight, and you'll have a bright future.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic munkybiz_9881's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Turtle
    Good story, Burgess. I guess I followed a similar path. Still have that old (maybe twenty years) minimag. It's had some new life breathed into it with a Nite-Ize dropin and IQ switch. Sits at the ready by the bedside.

    Geoff
    This is how I was to be doomed as well, darn minimag and a Nite-Ize drop-in.

    Now I have around thirty lights, most boughten in the last three months, this place is horrible...

    J/K...but like all have said ... sure is hard on the pocket book!!!
    out of the darkness comes......well duh

  18. #18
    Flashaholic Bror Jace's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Yep, nice story.

    I had similar experiences having carried a pair of black Minimags I bought from Campmore for around $12 each on my helmet while I served as a volunteer firefighter for 5 years beginning in 1989.

    I kept the lights long after I hung up my gear. One I just recently gave to a ladyfriend but still use the other one, upgraded slightly with a Nite-Ize LED module ... my very first LED light.

    I bought a 3rd Minimag earlier this year, a pretty copper one, equipped it with a Nite-Ize module and gave it to another special ladyfriend. She really liked it.
    --- Bror Jace

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* lightemup's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    I've just ordered 3 2aa maglites, not sure why, partly to have a matching pair with a black and blue 3d maglite, a bit of history, good gifts (especially engraving), and because I could

    Back in the day I used to lug around a 3d maglite everywhere. This was up to and including 3 day hikes for scouts!!! I never had a 2aa maglite, but it would have been a bit more handy
    Last edited by lightemup; 11-15-2006 at 09:20 PM.
    A surefire in the hand is worth two in the bush

  20. #20

    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Still have four MiniMags around that were purchased during the 80s. Two are really beat up, one moderately scratched up, and one is almost pristine because it was misplaced for a long time and found only recently.

    All of them still work, and that says something for Mag's basic design, manufacturing, and quality control.

  21. #21

    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Thanks for sharing that story, Burgess! 22 years is quite a record.

    I bought a AA MiniMag too in the 80s, after reading a AA flashlights review in Combat and survival magazine. I was so impressed with the photograph of a minimag under the wheels of a truck. It was the only flashlight to continue working after the truck test, while other flashlight had cracked or crushed bodies. It came up top in most of other judging factors too. The magazine even called it the "Rolls Royce of flashlight"

    I proceed from AA minimag to various D size Mag lights.

    During a 1988 night hike, AA minimag did very well against other everready lights. It was beaten when one of my friend bring out a D size Pelican diving lights.

    My other experiences with Mag lights were negative. When a light is needed, the Mag always produce a weak, yellow beam and died very soon. Battery leakages had ruined a number of my Mag lights. O rings break due to wear and tear, but unable to get new o ring for replacement.

    Used to have a mag solitaire on my keychain. One day when a light is needed, I reached for my keychain and discover only the tail is attached. The rest of the solitaire had disappeared.

    The above are my Mag experiences which force me to search for better flashlights option.

  22. #22

    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Bought two AAA MiniMags when they first came out in 1987. Didn't use them much for a few years, then EDC them ever since. Actually EDC one of them still, since they now have SMJLED kits in them.

    Edit: OK so I've stopped carrying them since discovering CREE and Seoul are NICE! Just wish there was some way to fit those in my old MiniMags...
    Last edited by bfg9000; 04-07-2007 at 11:33 AM.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* TORCH_BOY's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    I also bought a MiniM@g in the 80's, I also stuck in a TerraLux TLE-5 MiniStar2. It was a bit GREEN,So I took the plunge and got the the MiniM@G LED 2aa, Its much nicer than my old 2AA, it blows it away, almost as good as my Fenix L2T

  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Hmmm... I never had a 2AAA Minim*g. I'd be willing to bet that it wouldn't have the one thing that didn't make me mad when I fried the Solitaire LED module....

    I bet the 2AAA doesn't have head wobble to anywhere near the same level!

    Alas though; If I bought one I couldn't afford to LED it and so it would still be yellow and dim.

    I'll stick with LUX'd Minim*gs!!!
    http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/2640/usflaghalfmastmdwht.gif

    PBJS



  25. #25
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    I first saw the MiniMag lights at a Gun Show around 1982; IIRC, they were priced between $20 - $25, and came complete with a "clam shell" case. My best friend and I laughed at them - who would spend so much money on such a light? Who cares if it is made out of aluminum and looks like it's bigger brothers? We both understood that carrying a small light on your person made sense, but we could also buy a "regular" pen light for at least half of what the MiniMag cost. I eventually bought a Dorcy 2 AAA pen light (which I still have), and was happy. A few months later, I went over to my best friend's apartment (at the time he was in the USMC stationed at the El Toro MCAS), and I see a black MiniMag sitting on a table. I made fun of him for buying "that stupid thing." My friend told me that others in his unit had these, and he finally tried one out and was impressed enough to buy his own. I tried it, and had to admit that I was also impressed, but I didn't want to pay the high price for one. I ended up with a clone made by Brinkmann (for around $17.00, IIRC); at first glance, it looks like a MiniMag, but the tailcap was slightly different, and the head's diameter was smaller. The output was even the same. A year or so later, I bought a real MiniMag from a sporting goods store. I still have that MiniMag as well as the Brinkmann clone; both still work and are still stock. Even though I've moved on to better lighting, I would never sell those two lights - they remind me of a better time in my life.

    Mike 208
    formerly Mike 161

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* swampgator's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Quote Originally Posted by firefly99
    My other experiences with Mag lights were negative. When a light is needed, the Mag always produce a weak, yellow beam and died very soon. Battery leakages had ruined a number of my Mag lights. O rings break due to wear and tear, but unable to get new o ring for replacement.
    Well, there are enough mods on this site that you'll be able to get a Mag that produces a strong, white beam. Also O Rings are now available as replacement items. As for batts leaking, I check mine every few days. Not that it would preclude a leakage, but at least it won't be sitting months on end leaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by firefly99
    Used to have a mag solitaire on my keychain. One day when a light is needed, I reached for my keychain and discover only the tail is attached. The rest of the solitaire had disappeared.
    Loc Tite can prevent it from coming loose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike 208
    I first saw the MiniMag lights at a Gun Show around 1982; IIRC, they were priced between $20 - $25, and came complete with a "clam shell" case. My best friend and I laughed at them - who would spend so much money on such a light?
    The first Mini I remember was the one my dad bought my mom as an anniversary present in Aug 1985. All our relatives couldn't believe he would spend that much on a flashlight.

  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Wow -


    More than a THOUSAND views for this first thread of mine !


    Truly an honor that i could share my story with so many

    friendly flashlight-fanatics at CandlePowerForums.


    Gotta' love this place !


    Such a powerful information resource for People Like Us.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* BSCOTT1504's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    My first mini-mag was a grey 2-AA that I've had for a couple years now. I also have a black 2-D mag that I have had for some time now. Until I stumbled across CPF I thought those two mags were all the lights I needed! Man was I wrong...in the past couple of months I have added Surefire's G2, E2L, and U2. Also Luma M1 (cree) and Fenix P1D-CE! I need to slow down and be more thoughtful about my purchases. By the way, I am new to CPF and this is my first post.

  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    Great Story Burgess, I enjoyed reading that. I still have my old mini-mag too. Funny to think that I've had it so long. I remember impressing other kids with it at the movie theaters, I was only about 14 years old then. Now the black anodizing is almost completely worn off and it lives out in my camping and hunting tool box. Maybe I'll go did it out and upgrade it.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: My very first Mini-Mag light

    The great thing about mini mags is that there are so many upgrades and mods for them! I'm thinking if getting together a whole bunch of modded mini-mags, actually.

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