Why I believe in battery diversity.

IMA SOL MAN

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 18, 2023
Messages
2,125
Location
The HEART of the USA.
I have read many people advocating for standardizing on AA battery devices for survival/emergency/disaster preparation. Their arguments for it is that a) AA devices are the most prolific, so the supply will be greater, I will always be able to find AA cells b) having all devices taking AA cells makes buying and stockpiling batteries easier and cheaper since you only need to stock one size, and you can buy in quantity and get more for your money. And to these reasons, I say bullsh*t.

Anyone that is in the gun culture remembers the 9mm Luger pistol cartridge shortage of recent memory. 9mm Luger/Parabellum is the most popular pistol cartridge in the free world, huge quantities are churned out by the ammo manufacturers. BUT, when COVID 19 kicked off, and the riots and the hoarding of toilet paper and other consumer goods got started, the 9mm Luger ammo vaporized! People were hoarding it, buying it at Walmart and reselling it online for crazy high prices for huge profits. Well, what about the other pistol cartridges? Not good, but not as bad. You could still find 40 S&W, and some of the less popular cartridges. So, if you had pistols chambered for (some) OTHER CARTRIDGES, YOU COULD STILL GET AMMO AND SHOOT. And THAT is why I advocate diversity in batteries and devices, i.e. especially flashlights.

Okay, I know, in the old west days, the cowboy carried a rifle chambered in his pistol cartridge, so he only had to buy one cartridge. It worked for him. But, what if when he went to the general store, he couldn't get that particular cartridge? Then he would be S.O.L. So in a SHTF scenario, when you deplete your battery storage, or you have to abandon your battery hoard, or it gets destroyed, and you go to the store to resupply and buy "the most popular battery" and they are sold out of it, because it is "the most popular battery" and everyone and their dog came in and cleaned them out, you will also be S.O.L.

Diversify. Have some lights for many different battery sizes, some is better than none when it comes to light. I have read on here that, I think it was during the Super Storm Sandy aftermath, that only 9 volt batteries and coin cells were left in the stores. So, I need to buy some 9 volt lights and devices. Diversify. While my 4D Maglite ML300L starts out over 1,000 lumens (according to Maglite) I know it won't hold that for long, and the D cells are not going to last long on high. Besides that light is big and heavy, my SF Fury DFT puts out a lot of light, is smaller and lighter, but...hmmm, it takes different batteries! Should I sell it and buy AA light to replace it? No way! A AA light can't do what the 18650-fed Fury can do. Diversify.

I'm NOT SAYING to NOT HAVE AA LIGHTS AND DEVICES! No. Diversify. Have some AA devices, but NOT ONLY AA devices. Have devices that take other types of batteries, so that chances are you can find batteries for some, even if you can't find batteries for all. Some is better than none.
 

xxo

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
3,023
That's why I like battery adapters:

OQ8DkS9.jpg
 

aznsx

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
1,872
Location
Phoenix, AZ USA
I agree.

Li-ion is the genie that will not return to the bottle in my (limited) lifetime, so it will increasingly dominate the market (of secondary cells) due to its superior performance characteristics, as well as eroding the market for AAs.

That said, I do however agree with most everything you said, and that's why the Streamlight Protac 1L-1AA is so popular as a great dual fuel primary cell (AA + CR123A) light; in addition to LFP123s, which is what I use most in mine to complete the secondary cell side of things and lower operating cost). That's also why many of the lights prevalent in the market now are 'dual fuel' 18650 / CR123A (although I suppose the 21700 fad is eroding that capability for some).

Diversity (used in this context) is not a 4-letter word, and you're correct that 'single-sourcing' is generally not a good position to be in in most any context / situation.

As an aside, I've been lucky to have maintained at least a decent stock of loading supplies during the aforementioned shortages, which is good, because primers and such also became very expensive and scarce as well in such times. I'm also set up to use and load more than one caliber, so that helps.

EDIT: I do however use more 9 than anything else.
 
Last edited:

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,196
Location
decamped
the 9mm Luger ammo vaporized! People were hoarding it, buying it at Walmart and reselling it online for crazy high prices for huge profits. Well, what about the other pistol cartridges? Not good, but not as bad. You could still find 40 S&W, and some of the less popular cartridges. So, if you had pistols chambered for (some) OTHER CARTRIDGES, YOU COULD STILL GET AMMO AND SHOOT.
In my region all the mainline calibers were unobtanium for ~18 months (although there were numerous documented shenanigans for the last half of that time period). 10mm (and .25ACP) was all I saw with any regularity for pistols; rimmed centerfire calibers were often available in extreme magnum loads; .22LR was cleaned out with great regularity. I basically drew down my stockpile during that time for range days.

Insofar as the topic at hand I've largely settled on AA and 18650. I've some D modified maglites that have seen nothing but parallel AA adaptors for a decade now. The C modified maglites ... I should probably cycle those NiMH cells. I've precious few keychain lights that use AAA. I'm just not going to suffer 9V for daily use. The 123A lights have a stock of primary cells and a couple 16650s that do the daily lifting.
 

SYZYGY

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
328
i only buy a device that requires primaries when there is absolutely no reasonable alternative.

i don't like primaries now, so i am certainly not going to like them when SHTF.

the only difference between now and then is i'll be recharging my 18650s and 21700s with solar (portable), generator (or vehicle while driving), or some other source.

and let's be real... then is probably never going to happen. and if it does, i'll personally be much more worried about water, food, and shelter. ok, well maybe not water. i'll hopefully have that covered for a little while since i have two of these:


won't help with chemical contamination though :(
 

IMA SOL MAN

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 18, 2023
Messages
2,125
Location
The HEART of the USA.
In my region all the mainline calibers were unobtanium for ~18 months (although there were numerous documented shenanigans for the last half of that time period). 10mm (and .25ACP) was all I saw with any regularity for pistols; rimmed centerfire calibers were often available in extreme magnum loads; .22LR was cleaned out with great regularity. I basically drew down my stockpile during that time for range days.

Insofar as the topic at hand I've largely settled on AA and 18650. I've some D modified maglites that have seen nothing but parallel AA adaptors for a decade now. The C modified maglites ... I should probably cycle those NiMH cells. I've precious few keychain lights that use AAA. I'm just not going to suffer 9V for daily use. The 123A lights have a stock of primary cells and a couple 16650s that do the daily lifting.
As you found out during the ammo shortage, having a stockpile can really smooth out the situation. However, sometimes even a stockpile of goods won't help. I think about incidences like the train derailment and toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, OH, or the wildfires in Kalifornia, the flooding of SS SANDY, Katrina, and other cities, when residents only had mere minutes to evacuate their homes/offices. When time is of the essence, you need a pre-stocked go bag, and maybe some caches in strategic places to resupply from.
 

alpg88

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
5,456
LOL, the market for AA isn't eroding, it is as strong as it was 20 years ago, and will be just as strong if not stronger 20 years from now, there is just no evidence to even suggest that AAs are fading away, AA may no longer be as common in flashlights, but flashlights are tiny fraction of the market as far as battery powered devices. average home has maybe 3-4 lights, and dozens of other devices that use batteries, and if you got kids, who's got rc toys. then a lot more.
 

turbodog

Flashaholic
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
6,425
Location
central time
...

i don't like primaries now, so i am certainly not going to like them when SHTF.
...

After living through katrina...

You'll likely be sitting around, w/o utilities of any sort, looking for a battery operated fan to keep reasonably cool.

Battery diversity is a good thing. 18650, 123, and AA make an impenetrable combination.
 

Dave_H

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
1,429
Location
Ottawa Ont. Canada
I'm about as diversified as you can get; partly from intercepting cells prior to recycle and sorting out the good ones. Some are virtually new. I have dozens of name-brand alkaline D's and C's, and boxes or bags of AA/AAA/9v. As a result I have a collection lights to run on just about every cell/combination. Talk about cause and effect. None of them is expensive, if the alkalines leak.

That said, I favour AA's and D's. AAA's have lower capacity and price penalty over AAs (if I were buying them)(which I'm not).

Even 9v are useful, have a few "clip on" small flashlights which are not terribly efficient or intense, but tend to have long run-time at lower brightness.

For Li-ion I mostly stick to 18650 which covers most lights except some smaller ones with built-in non-replaceable cells e.g. USB; and a few 18500's. And then there's a collection of USB charger packs for USB-powered lanterns, small table lamps etc.

Dave
 

nightshade

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 19, 2004
Messages
811
Location
Adrift
I still use a very wide assortment of battery types, in a very limited space, with minimal storage. Never was a battery snob, brand snob or tint snob, etc. It's easy to get locked in the momentum and familiarity of one's existence and assume it's " normal" , and that my way is the best way. I remember back in the early 80's a large retailer telling me that CR123 cells were too odd to catch on and wouldn't be around long. I've traveled to some very remote spots on the globe. Proper planning and preparation prevent p*ss poor performance.
 

nightshade

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 19, 2004
Messages
811
Location
Adrift
Yes there are several versions of the 7 P's. All true :) Heinlein was right, specialization is for bugs. A true flashaholic should know how to light a generic 5mm led from lemons,etc. and dissimilar metals 😆.
 

orbital

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
4,464
Location
WI
+

for me:

aaa
aa
c
cr123
14500
18350
18500
18650
22500
21700
26650


believe that's it.
I have solar & LFP batteries, so recharging indirectly from solar I do all the time anyway.

(mainly use 21700)
 
Top