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Thread: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

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    Flashaholic Brownstone's Avatar
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    Default An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    Periodically discussions come up here about the desirability of CR123 versus AA batteries from an availability point of view. It is often noted that because the military is able to control its own supply channel, military users don't perceive any downside related to the availability of CR123 batteries.

    Fair enough.

    But I've noticed something interesting recently. L-3 EOTech, a maker of combat optics for the US military, has been introducing new models at the specific request of the US military that differ from old models only in that the take AA batteries instead of CR123.

    Just an observation...

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    Flashaholic* Black Rose's Avatar
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    That is interesting.

    They have a lot of products in the military section of their site that utilize AA alkaline or lithium cells.

    I wonder what the reasoning is for this, since there are numerous Made In USA brands of CR123 cells now.
    Providing Made In USA cells is one the requirements for military suppliers.

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    Flashaholic SnWnMe's Avatar
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    Because you can be in the middle of Bumpaqistan and chances are you can find AA batteries if you didn't have any spares.

    This is the reason why my digital camera uses AA and all my gadgets take a mini USB cable (save for my iPod, but that's pretty much a world standard too)
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    AA cells are a lot more common when you're out in the field. You can buy them anywhere as well as scavange them from remotes, etc.

    It's just more convenient for certain military groups.
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    I don't think this is about being able to buy CR123A in the warzone, batteries like everything else will be supplied by the logistics chain. I'd guess its more about making the supply chain more flexible.

    The US military probably represents a significant part of the market for CR123A cells. Now lets imagine they decide they need to double their order because they're on deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan and supplies are stretched. If they're a large part of the market and the increase their demand the market will take time to adapt i.e. to increase production capacity.

    AA cells are used in lots more consumer products than CR123A, how things does Walmart sell that uses CR123A compared to AA cells. If the military switched completely to AA cells it would have very little effect on the overall market because its already so large.

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    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    With the advent of efficient LED lights and boost circuits, the original need and benefits of CR123 cells has disappeared. You can achieve everything they could 20 years ago with CR123's with much cheaper alternatives today. If you need extended storage or cold/hot weather performance, you can still turn to Li-MnO2 (AA Lithium primaries)

    I have also heard of a number of instances where servicemen have stopped at their local Iraqi Quick-E-Mart for supplies because it was not possible to go back to base for something as simple as a pack of batteries.

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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    ..
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marduke View Post
    With the advent of efficient LED lights and boost circuits, the original need and benefits of CR123 cells has disappeared. You can achieve everything they could 20 years ago with CR123's with much cheaper alternatives today. If you need extended storage or cold/hot weather performance, you can still turn to Li-MnO2 (AA Lithium primaries)
    Well double the voltage and around half the length to the noted.

    Plus AA flashlights would need a special gunmount instead of the standard 1 inch size because of the skinnier size.

    They could make AA flashlights thicker but it would mean unecessary extra metal.

    But I do agree with the recent advances in technology AA cells can really hold their own.
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    An unnecessary politically-oriented post and 2 replies to it have been removed. If you wish to make political comments, please go to CPFUnderground.

    Please keep this thread on topic. And it is in the wrong forum anyway - I'm moving it to the Batteries section.
    Resistance is futile...

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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    I wished Eotech would do something like Surefire's Saint headlamp

    either two AAs or 3 CR123s
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    Flashaholic* abvidledUK's Avatar
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    I think an ideal torch that would use either 2AA's side by side, or one CR123 form factor.

    Without interchangeable tubes to be lost, just put in 2x AA or 1x CR123
    Batteries, batteries, I need more batteries ........

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    Flashaholic* csshih's Avatar
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    I wish, we would need some sort of spacer/piston to keep the 123 in place.

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    Flashaholic* abvidledUK's Avatar
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by abvidledUK View Post
    I think an ideal torch that would use either 2AA's side by side, or one CR123 form factor.

    Without interchangeable tubes to be lost, just put in 2x AA or 1x CR123
    Possibly two / three adjacent tubes, a bit like a collapsed tripod, possibly with one short leg.

    Switchable between power sources.

    Or ... three movable equal lengths legs, which acts as a led mount !

    With the LED head replacing the tripod bush.

    Something like this:



    Last edited by abvidledUK; 11-06-2008 at 02:36 AM.
    Batteries, batteries, I need more batteries ........

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    Flashaholic SnWnMe's Avatar
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by KowShak View Post
    I don't think this is about being able to buy CR123A in the warzone, batteries like everything else will be supplied by the logistics chain. I'd guess its more about making the supply chain more flexible.

    .
    You give too much credit to the military's logistics chain (I work in it)
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by shomie911 View Post
    AA cells are a lot more common when you're out in the field. You can buy them anywhere as well as scavange them from remotes, etc.

    It's just more convenient for certain military groups.
    I really doubt that's even part of the thinking. US logistical chain has always been the best in the world.

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    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    abvidledUK,

    Take a look at the Stanley tripod. There are 3 versions, one splits into 3 lights.

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    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by abvidledUK View Post
    Something like this:


    I keep one in my car. The LED array is very old tech and not super bright, but it has three brightness levels and can run a long time on the up to 9 AA cells in its three legs. It would be better if it were brighter, but it is a fair attempt at a practical roadside light.

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Happy View Post


    I keep one in my car. The LED array is very old tech and not super bright, but it has three brightness levels and can run a long time on the up to 9 AA cells in its three legs. It would be better if it were brighter, but it is a fair attempt at a practical roadside light.
    That's the one. There is the 9xAA version with multiple 5mm's, there is a newer Luxeon version, and a really new version which actually splits into 3 separate lights also.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* abvidledUK's Avatar
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    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marduke View Post
    abvidledUK,

    Take a look at the Stanley tripod. There are 3 versions, one splits into 3 lights.
    It wasn't about the tripod, it was about multi battery type operation.

    But it's a similar idea.
    Batteries, batteries, I need more batteries ........

  20. #20

    Default Re: An observation on the military and CR123A versus AA batteries.

    Quote Originally Posted by etc View Post
    I really doubt that's even part of the thinking. US logistical chain has always been the best in the world.
    I've personally witnessed a unit that bought some EOTech's through the contracting process. They specified a AA based model over a 123 based model. Ability to resupply through local purchase, if needed, and having a common battery with their night vision were their justifications for the battery choice.

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