Thursday, April 14, 2011

Browning Alpha Max Flashlight: every defensive firearm should be accompanied by a quality flashlight

I have owned a lot of flashlights over the years, and some of them were certainly better than others. Some of my favorites, which are usually the brightest and most durable, aren’t even name brands. So when I started on a mission to find an everyday carry flashlight that was bright, lightweight, and would fit easily in my pocket, I searched everywhere - I considered every brand, every style, every price point. I even checked online with flashlight experts, hobbyists, and gurus, and finally I settled on the Browning Alpha Max.

When most people think of Browning, they think of firearms or knives, not flashlights. But the fact is that Browning makes one heck of a good flashlight! The Alpha Max is small but not too small, lightweight but durable, bright but not battery hungry. And it boasts a 100 lumen output on 1 AA battery that runs for 3.5 hours!

The first weekend after I got the light I was sitting around a campfire on a moonless night, and wanting to check just how good this new light was, I shone it over on a hill. As luck would have it, there was a little gray fox sniffing around and I caught his eye shine. He eventually scampered off but I was amazed that I was able to identify a gray fox at such a far distance with such a small light. How far of a distance? Well right then and there I paced it off, and two of the guys I was with paced it off, and we all three came to the same conclusion: 96 yards

This little light has not left my pocket since I bought it, and I have hiked in the snow with it there, rock-climbed with it there, instructed hand-to-hand courses with it there, and instructed at least a dozen firearms courses with it there, most of which involved working from the ground in the dirt and the muck. Not once has it budged from its spot, and there is not one scratch on the lens that Browning claims is “unbreakable”. Well so far, I believe them!

In addition to having a flashlight that is always handy to identify possible threats, use as a blunt weapon, or assist me in engaging targets under low-light conditions, I’ve found that it is also very convenient to have a light in case I need to look for my keys in the tall grass or find a Barbie shoe under the couch. And since this light runs on 1 AA battery and will stay bright for up to 3.5 hours, I’m not worried about the cost of expensive batteries every time I use my light for everyday ordinary tasks.

Every defensive firearm really should be accompanied by a flashlight, especially the one by your bedside and the one that you carry every day. And since you aren’t going to strap a 3 Cell Maglite onto your hip, you need to find a light that is small enough to carry but bright enough to get the job done. I highly recommend the Browning Alpha Max, and at the cost of around $45, it easily compares to lights twice that price. I bought mine locally Sportsmans Warehouse, and online I was also able to find a great price on

Stay Aware, Stay Safe, Train Hard.
-Glen Stilson