When it comes to choosing an everyday-carry flashlight, most people are stuck with factory setups and whatever's on the shelf. For users who want a specific kind of setup, it can be a long search before settling on the right light. Luckily, the Elzetta Alpha 1-Cell Modular Flashlight can be customized with a number of different options, allowing users to build the light they want.
Elzetta offers three separate product lineups in its collection of flashlights for tactical and everyday use. Shooting Illustrated received one of the models in the company's Alpha 1-Cell design, which is built with a compact anodized-aluminum body that houses a single CR123A battery and provides an output of 415 lumens from a light that fits in the palm of a hand.
When examining Elzetta's website, users are provided a number of build choices through a three-step procedure, the first of which allows users to choose either a standard, smooth bezel ring or a crenellated bezel ring for personal-defense use. The second step provides two lens options: standard or flood. The standard is designed for general-purpose work, while the flood lens provides total area illumination at close ranges.
The final step in building the Elzetta Alpha 1-Cell Modular Flashlight allows users to choose between six different tailcap activation switches, from a rotary momentary/constant on to a 12-inch remote tape switch that can be mounted easily on a rifle. For this particular light, we chose a crenellated strike bezel to optimize our self-defense potential, a general-purpose standard lens and a High-Low Tailcap, which can be rotated to provide high or low output when the tailcap switch is activated.
With the tailcap fully tightened down onto the body, the light provides a full 415 lumens upon pressing the activation switch. Light pressure provides momentary-on capability, while pressing it down fully until it clicks provides constant-on operation. A 15-lumen mode is activated by backing the cap off the body a 1/4 turn, and the light remains in this low-lumen mode until the cap is tightened again.
The light housing is machined entirely from 6061-T6 aluminum and features fine diamond checkering on the body and bezel of the light, ensuring a solid, secure grip. The crenellated strike ring features a number of sharp edges that can be used as a striking tool or to twist into an assailant's body at close range. Be warned, though: these sharpened edges will wear away fabric easily if carried in a pocket. For those looking for a pocket light, the standard smooth bezel ring may be a better option.
Spec-wise, the light measures a scant 4.1 inches long, 1.15 inches wide at its widest point and features a run time of 56 minutes. The light is completely waterproof, thanks to the potting compound used to encase the electronics, and it can withstand a tremendous amount of punishment, thanks to its durable construction.
We've been carrying the Elzetta A313 Alpha 1-Cell Modular Flashlight for a couple weeks now and have been impressed by its durability, compact size and modularity. The light can be used with a wide variety of parts and accessories, all available on the company's site. One thing to note is that there's a bit of vertical play when the tailcap is loosened to activate the low-lumen mode. This isn't anything to worry about, as all of the light's components are waterproof, but it's a noticeable change from when the tailcap is tightened fully.
Each Elzetta flashlight is made in the USA. The Elzetta A313 Alpha 1-Cell Modular Flashlight retails at a suggested price of $155. Custom engravings can be added for an additional $10.