3AA mini mag modded to XM-L2 U2 smoothie micromag.

While browsing Walmart's rather picked over flashlight section I noticed a pair of 3AA led minimags on the rack. I brought home a gray unit to play with and soon had it in a much different sort of configuration. First I built a pill out of 3/4 inch aluminum rod and added an XM-L U2 of unknown tint driven to 3 amps by a 4 mode Q-lite driver. The copper tabs over the 7135 chips are for negative contact with the battery tube.

I finished the pill stack with a 20 degree clear TIR optic from Fasttech and drilled out the mag head with a 3/4 inch drill bit to accept the pill.

Aluminum strips from a soda can are added inside the head to make the pill a tight press fit. Add the optic, screw on the bezel and the business end is complete.

The body was much too long for my taste so I chopped it down to 1AA length via the Human Lathe method and hid the seam under the head. Several unusual effects result from chopping a 3AA mini mag. The first is that the tube must be cut slightly longer than an incan version due to the longer inner tailcap section. The second side effect is that due to the central location of the knurled section, the remaining tube after cutting has no knurling at all.

It's smooth and bright!

Edited to add the beamshots I forgot last night!

Three feet to the wall.

60 yards to the house.

30 yards to the pear tree.

Thanks for looking,


Looks great! I really like the grey/pewter color. :slight_smile:

Nice mod Brian. It certainly does look good in its Mr smooth guise.

Nice work!

I keep seeing these 3AA Mini-Mags turning up on the forum. I’ve been looking for one for a while but the only ones I can find are on eBay for $30.

That was a 3AA LED version? It looks like the deeper, LED head.

The reason I like the 3AA, LED version is with 3AA NiMH I can drive an XM-L, with the deeper LED head there’s room to use a P60 pill and cut down reflector.

I need to get to Walmart more often.

Color’s great, and I kind of like the lack of knurling, very clean.

Does look nice, the smooth body makes it unique. That LED head sure is looooong!

Nice work, particularly like the minimalistic copper chip cover for the contact points. Nice!

Very good mod! You do exception work with these little Mags. I know, I got two of them 8) !

…however your use of TIRs makes me uneasy :stuck_out_tongue: . (I’m just not a TIR guy.)

Nice! How well does that TIR optic do on throw?

Any wall shots? How hot does that little guy get running at full power?


I notice that you like to keep the wire leads long and wrap them around to the other side of the pill/emitter. Is there a reason you do that? I tend to keep my leads as short as possible, running leads from the driver up through the pill and cutting them off just long enough to reach the pads. If a driver has to come out, I de-solder the emitter.

When someone comes up with a set of 22mm reflectors and AR lense we can stop using TIRs.

Edit Nice Minimag. Did you save the rest of the tube?

This thing is beautiful! I love the smooth body. Consider me a fan of your work. :beer:

How is the beam pattern with TIR? How long on high before it gets too hot?

I know the market for mini Mag mod items is SLIM. Personally, I have always thought the stock incan reflectors do decent? Definitely not perfect, but they provide a much tighter spot than a TIR.

…sorry for thread dumping.


Keep in mind TIRs come in lots of different angles.

Yes this was the 3AA LED version. I did actually build it for 3 eneloops first but just love these micros. I would be surprised if Walmart was getting any more in as they looked like old stock.

I added beamshots for those asking. As for throw I think there is only so much one might get out of an XM-L and the head space available. I do have visions of XP-G2, noctigons, and reflectors in the back of my mind for a more throwy micro mag. I'll post if I come up with something useful. Did you read that edeekeos? Reflectors! Maybe...

The head of this unit will indeed get hot but seems to do well enough in the hand. This TIR provides a nice defined round hot spot with a square spill pattern and minor artifacts on the edges. I like it with XM-L but have never really been satisfied with its performance with XP-G.

I don't always wire my pills this way and this configuration is temporary depending on when my silicone wire order comes in. Short and thick is indeed the way!

Rufusbduck, I did keep the rest of the tube. Why do you ask?

Thanks all for the kind comments,


It’s not easy but you can trim down a P60 reflector and install it pill and all in the LED MM head.

I built this one with an XR-E and OP reflector. If I ever find a 3AA LED host I’d like to do an XP-G2 with a smooth reflector.

Send it to me for postage and I can make a 2x 14650 maxominimag
MT-g2. I ream the insides of the tube parts and sleeve them over thinwall brass tubing so it doesn’t matter that the end threads are gone.

Thanks for adding beam shots. This light would make a great EDC. Nice work.