Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week
Pretty color. Anodizing seemed good without any flaws or chips and the colors of the different parts match up pretty well. Machining is good. Threads are a little chalky, but smooth. O-rings at all joints. No flicker and the (kind of loud) clicky works well. The negative battery contact is a little button instead of just a spring, which I like. Doesn't switch modes on its own even if I knock it pretty hard.
The inside of the head is anodized as well. It would be better for heat transfer it it were bare aluminum. There is a nice thick o-ring where the head screws on, but thinner ones were used for the throat and tail sections. The rubber switch cover feels a little thin, but I have extras.
The 501B is a pretty lightweight design, only 73g compared to 93g for the 502B and 96g for a silver 504B. There tail threads are bare, so there is no lockout by unscrewing the tailcap, but that's pretty typical. There is a plastic disk at the front end of the battery tube that will keep the battery contained if you unscrew the head or throat. I took one of these out of a 502B I had, but a protected XTAR 2600 18650 fits snugly lengthwise even with the disk in place, so I might leave it. Width-wise the XTAR fits fine. The head and throat threads are anodized, which will probably stop some heat transfer.
If you already have plenty of drop-ins, this is a decent host to have. It may not be the best for high-power XM-L drop-ins due to the light weight and poor heatsinking, but you can improve the heatsinking if you need to.
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