Review: "Black Beauty" Match Mod Custom Mini Maglite AA (3 x XP-G/14500)

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Foy's picture
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Review: "Black Beauty" Match Mod Custom Mini Maglite AA (3 x XP-G/14500)

650 Lumen Rock Star


Not many lights in my humble collection have won such praise and attention, as the last few days I've carried this little finger cannon.  Every single guy that has seen this torch, wants it.  The iconic Mag design cuts a familiar profile but its length invites a second look.  It's a magical moment to watch; when peoples' Mini Mag output expectations are met with 650 lumens thundering from a device barely 3-inches long.  I was completely smitten, upon first seeing it's precision and shine and immediately anticipated it becoming a cherished shelf queen.  Then I discovered how handily it clipped inside my shorts side pocket and how easily it seemed to, simply appear into the palm of my hand at the exact moment I needed a flashlight.  It's uncanny, really.  For my purposes, the way it fills an engine bay or illuminate an entire undercarriage front to rear with neutral white brilliance, is truly amazing.  Also; being the over-sentimental narcissist that I am, I absolutely love owning a Match Mod original and have no current plans to apologize for making waaay too big a deal about it.  The good news is; in terms of build quality, creative uniqueness and sizzling performance, the Black Beauty needs no apologies.


Foyapproved +


Bottom Line:  The Black Beauty triple XP-G is a high performance creation that begs to be used, not just merely admired.  Build quality is superb with no annoying issues or finicky compromises that often accompany a custom build.  It's reliable enough to depend on, is not uncomfortably small and its horsepower commands instant respect.  High quality, heroic output and gotta-have-it good looks, Black Beauty is more than just pretty.  It is pretty damned amazing.


What I like:

- it's a Match Mod classic

- aesthetics

- output

- tint

- beam pattern/profile

- brass tail cap

- clip design

- size

- build quality

- Match's unbelievable generosity

What I do not like:

- battery choosy

- (probably) not waterproof

- run time

- gets a little hot (151ºF)

"Black Beauty" Mini Maglite AA Match Mod Custom Triple XP-G/R2 14500 Flashlight

$70-$90 (est.) from BLF member Match  Light generously provided by Match.

received: 4-24-13

3 x Cree XP-G/R2, neutral white emitters (4000k)

20mm Indus LUXdrive star

7135 Atmel driver (stacked chips, emitters in parallel)

pure/solid copper heat sink milled from 1-inch barstock

20mm Carclo 3-Up UV stabilized polycarbonate tir optic

ascending 3-mode with memory: low, medium and high

uses one unprotected 14500 lithium-ion rechargeable battery

brass tail cap with built-in stainless steel clip (cold welded)

head-twist switch/mode change

79.25mm length

25.75mm head diameter

18.35mm tube diameter

weight: ?


measured OTF lumens

high -       650 lumens @ 2.4 amps

medium - 198 lumens

low -         31 lumens


run time:  21 minutes on high, protected TrustFire flame discharged to 3.30 volts.  Exterior temperature rose to 151º (F) at the head.

This Black Beauty has the fit and finish of a store-bought retail product with a very polished overall user experience.  With battery installed it has substantial heft . . .

Overall length is right at 3.25 inches . . .

Clip is built-in to brass tail cap.  Match says it is cold welded . . .

It wasn't until Match linked me the original build/sale thread that I remembered first seeing this incredible flashlight.  And, remember wanting it very badly . . .

Match stressed the use of unprotected cells and of course, Foy soon learns that all of his 14500 batteries are protected.  Undaunted, I popped each one in just in case Match was wrong.  He wasn't, but the Foyluck prevailed when I dropped in an old TrustFire flame and Black Beauty decided it liked this particular power source.  Foy completely understands, as he is super picky about his source of energy as well.

With a light this sexy, it is nearly impossible to take a bad picture . . .

Apparently, Black Beauty is a well traveled light, having been to Canada and Australia before coming home for good in the City of Sin . . .

20mm 3-Up Carclo tir . . . (Match can correct me if I'm wrong about the specs)

Polycarbonate lens fits snug and perfect under an unmodified bezel.

The XP-G/R2 emitters are in parallel.  The neutral white (400k) tint is wonderful.

Some pictures Match took before clip installation.

(one of) the hand that made these.

(left to right) Nano Mag, Mini Maglite LED AA and Black Beauty.

As Match said, these two guys should stay together . . .

Although Congress declined to establish April 22 (Foy's birthday) as a National day of recognition, it was a holiday in casa de Foy two days later when these arrived.  I don't know if it was inspiration or he knew it was my birthday but whatever it was, Match is a class act in more ways than some of you probably know.

 Every now and then, the flashlight angels smile upon a needy (and poor) flashaholic and all is right in the universe . . .


Thanks for watching.  Tune in next time when another creation from the house of Match gets the full Foy treatment.



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Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:06
Gun's picture
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That thing is awesome :bigsmile:

Very nice review!

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Beauty, especially the little nano sister…

jacktheclipper's picture
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Match really does some impressive modding . Cool

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thanks for the review foy!

Would you mind keeping the wrong flashlight?
Best wish, May
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Soumil wrote:



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Thanks for the review!

Those look amazing. I want one! Smile



DB Custom
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Thanks for the review, I want em both! lol Beautiful lights, awesome output, fantastic mod. Congrats to you and Match as well!

Well Done!

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_the_ wrote:

Thanks for the review!

Those look amazing. I want one! Smile


 Easier to ask .....Who doesn't want one  ??

Hard not to lust after Matchworks


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That is a BLF Classic! I miss Match's mods. He is one of the best, if not the best at this kind of stuff. Excellent mods!

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Slim Pickens
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Foy, you are one lucky guy! Match and his Mag mods…

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Sweet lights and awesome review with good pictures!

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High praise indeed, coming from a man I consider a master at his craft . . .

Old-Lumens original.



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Well, I certainly wasn't expecting this (sterling review, that is...)!

I am however of the impression that Foy's macro photography and meritorious narrative rival that of the subject(s) in question.  

On that note, I hope you enjoy the hell out of em....and before I forget:

***Happy Birthday!***

Here's a toast of some excellent single malt in your honor!

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nice review of some very awesome lights.

I’ve popped my sub 18650 cherry recently so I may have to go for a 14500 minimag build. Just hope I can live up to matches tutoring 8)

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I think I just shed a tear….

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Thanks a lot for the review! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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Where can I get one of these?

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Match, JohnnyMac, and me, though mine are made without a lathe. OL has said he’s not interested in custom builds but it sounds like that may be changing. I’m sure others could or would do it.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?