Gas Mask Batteries

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muzzleblast
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Location: Middle Tennessee
Gas Mask Batteries

I have several flashlights that require primary CR123A type batteries. I also have a couple of flashlights that will work with either rechargeable Li-ion or CR123A primaries. The flashlights include my ancient Surefire 6P, a couple of weapons lights, an Xtar WK21 on a keychain, a couple of infrared flashlights used with night vision equipment, etc. The flashlights are not really for any “critical duty.”

I have noticed that there are some sellers (eBay and elsewhere) that are selling cheap Duracell “bulk”, “not for resale”, LM123A (same as CR123A) batteries. These batteries are being offered at roughly half the price of new, fresh Duracell CR123As.

Apparently, these are old stock batteries that were intended for “gas mask service” and are surplus. I don’t have the full story on this. Most of the photos in the listings for these batteries do not show any date code. But, I did note one eBay seller, showing a code of “1K0205”. A bit of Googling suggests the first number is the year, the following letter is the month, and the next two numbers are the date with the last two being lot/factory code. So, the manufacture date for the battery would be 2001 (or 2011), November, 2nd.

I do know that sometime during the past few years Duracell changed their date code process to list the expiration date. But, I do not know when they did that. So, the battery mentioned above could either have been made in 2001, or 2011. A nearly 5 year old CR123A for half price would definately be worth it for me. A 15 year old CR123A for half price… not so much. Would any members have any thoughts on whether these may be 2001 or 2011 vintage? The seller doesn’t know, or, isn’t telling.

Opinions welcomed.

Thanks.

Halo...
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I’d suggest adding Duracell date codes to the thread title.