Current "Best" RCR123 Batteries?

Spyder333

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In 2022, what do you all recommend for RCR123 (16340) batteries?

I've been out of the flashlight collecting space for several years, but I remember AW 16340 batteries being highly recommended like 5 years ago. It seems those are no longer made?

I was looking at the below battery as one option. Is this a good option? I like that the length is only 34.8 mm, so it's not much bigger than the standard 34.5 mm. When these batteries get up to 35.5 mm or larger I tend to not like them since they are too tight of a fit in some of my lights.

 

Olumin

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RCR123s & 16340 are a little different since the former will be closer to 3V while the latter are regular 3.7V li-ions.

Keeppower makes 3V RCR123s which Ive found to be quite good. Worth knowing about those is that they are a bit longer so they may not fit into every light (especially multi-cell lights, as the extra length adds-up).

For 16340s Ive been using a set of Efest 850mAh for years now without problems. I dont think they make these anymore though. I get all of my Li-ions from Keeppower these days to keep things consistent, so Id start there.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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RCR123A and 16340 are the same cell. One describes a rechargeable CR123A cell and one describes the dimensions (16 mm X 34 mm and round). Different brands may use one term or the other. You have to look at chemistry. Regular lithium ion will be 3.7 volts (4.2 max.) and lithium iron phosphate will be closer to 3 volts and a better direct voltage replacement to a disposable CR123A cell with poorer power density but potentially more cycle life. Make sure you know which voltage (chemistry) you need so you don’t fry your light. Let’s assume you want regular lithium ion from the Nitecore battery link.

As for the best batteries, I’d go with Orbtronic 880 mAh cells if they will fit in your light. If size is that much of an issue, Nitecore does make decent batteries, as does Klarus, Fenix, and Olight. However, those cells will be in the 650 and 700 mAh range.
 

Spyder333

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RCR123A and 16340 are the same cell. One describes a rechargeable CR123A cell and one describes the dimensions (16 mm X 34 mm and round). Different brands may use one term or the other. You have to look at chemistry. Regular lithium ion will be 3.7 volts (4.2 max.) and lithium iron phosphate will be closer to 3 volts and a better direct voltage replacement to a disposable CR123A cell with poorer power density but potentially more cycle life. Make sure you know which voltage (chemistry) you need so you don’t fry your light. Let’s assume you want regular lithium ion from the Nitecore battery link.

As for the best batteries, I’d go with Orbtronic 880 mAh cells if they will fit in your light. If size is that much of an issue, Nitecore does make decent batteries, as does Klarus, Fenix, and Olight. However, those cells will be in the 650 and 700 mAh range.
Unfortunately, the Orbtronic will not work based on them being 35.65 mm long. I had previously tried the below Fenix batteries, and they were very tight at 35.50 mm.


So I am looking for something probably not longer than 35 mm.
 

ilikeguns40

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Keeppower 16340 800mah are great. The new ones are the exact same size as a standard CR123. Protected as well and won’t cause strain on springs
 
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louie

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I went with Keeppower after AW disappeared, they seem fine although I don't obsess over my single 123 lights - they all seem underpowered compared to 18650. My Keeppower RCR123 are labeled RCR123A, 800mA, 3.7v, 2.96Wh.

I also figure brands will change their OEM suppliers on a whim, so YMMV.
 

ChrisGarrett

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RCR123A and 16340 are the same cell. One describes a rechargeable CR123A cell and one describes the dimensions (16 mm X 34 mm and round). Different brands may use one term or the other. You have to look at chemistry. Regular lithium ion will be 3.7 volts (4.2 max.) and lithium iron phosphate will be closer to 3 volts and a better direct voltage replacement to a disposable CR123A cell with poorer power density but potentially more cycle life. Make sure you know which voltage (chemistry) you need so you don’t fry your light. Let’s assume you want regular lithium ion from the Nitecore battery link.

As for the best batteries, I’d go with Orbtronic 880 mAh cells if they will fit in your light. If size is that much of an issue, Nitecore does make decent batteries, as does Klarus, Fenix, and Olight. However, those cells will be in the 650 and 700 mAh range.
Only dimensionally.

Try charging an RCR123 on a charger meant for 16340s.

Not going to bode well.

Conversely, try using a 16340 cell, or two, in a light that has a 3.0v/6.0v driver.

Poof.

Chris
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Only dimensionally.

Try charging an RCR123 on a charger meant for 16340s.

Not going to bode well.

Conversely, try using a 16340 cell, or two, in a light that has a 3.0v/6.0v driver.

Poof.

Chris
Get a charger that will switch between li-ion (3.7 volt) or LiFePo4 (3.2 volt) and you don’t have a problem either way. Again, 16340 is the same battery as RCR123A. Some companies use RCR123A for lithium ion (3.7 volts), some use 16340 for lithium ion (3.7 volts). For Orbtronic, Klarus, and Fenix, it’s 16340. For Olight and Nitecore it’s RCR123A. It’s the same sized 3.7 volt lithium ion battery. Some companies like Surefire make LiFePo4 cells (3.2 volt). Same size, different voltage. Check chemistry and nominal voltage and match it with the appropriate charger. Many chargers will work with both chemistries.
 

mark125

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I have a old Brinkmann max fire that is xenon bulb that uses 2 lithium 123a batteries.I buy the surefire 3volt 1550 mah batteries but they work great but get expensive replacing all the time.I compared a 18650 battery but it was bigger around would not fit.I wondered if there is any of these new rechargeable batteries that would work 16340? I wondered if there was a good battery rather than the surefire 123 ?
 

ilikeguns40

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You will probably fry your bulb running two 3.7v 16340s. I’ve had excellent results with Surefires rechargeable CR123 3v batteries, only downfall is the runtimes aren’t that great. You might be able to use a dummy CR123 paired with a 3.7v 16340, or one 3.7v 16650 battery (16650 is same size as two CR123), but I’m not sure what that lights voltage can handle.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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I have a old Brinkmann max fire that is xenon bulb that uses 2 lithium 123a batteries.I buy the surefire 3volt 1550 mah batteries but they work great but get expensive replacing all the time.I compared a 18650 battery but it was bigger around would not fit.I wondered if there is any of these new rechargeable batteries that would work 16340? I wondered if there was a good battery rather than the surefire 123 ?
Just use the Surefire LiFeP4 rechargeable batteries that match the voltage of 123a primaries. Using two lithium ion cells at 4.2 volts max each will blow out your bulb instantly. Using one lithium ion cell and a dummy will be about 2 volts too low and be dimmer. Same with using a 16650. Might also not be good for the bulb running it out of normal operating voltage range. Better yet, get a new light that will accept 16650, 18650, or 21700 so you can avoid the expense of lithium primaries and the low capacity of rechargeable LiFeP4 R123A cells.
 
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