SureFire R1 Lawman Review

Designed specifically for law enforcement duty, the compact SureFire R1 Lawman is the first of SureFire’s rechargeable LED lights to be released and includes a new high-output LED, high capacity lithium-ion battery for increased runtime, and user-programmable head and tail switches. Maximum output for the R1 Lawman is an impressive 750 lumens and optional medium and low modes provide up to 37 hours of runtime.

Find out more about this performance-packed rechargeable duty flashlight in our exclusive review of the new SureFire R1 Lawman!

Key Specifications

  • Output: 750 lumens high, 150 lumens medium, 15 lumens low
  • Intensity: 16,000 candela
  • Runtime: 1h 45min high, 5h 15min medium, 37h low
  • Battery: Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery or 2 x 123A
  • Length: 8.1″
  • Diameter: 1.6″ bezel, 1.1″ body
  • Weight with Batteries: 10.2 oz.
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime
  • MSRP: $455
  • Actual Pricing: ~$350

Pricing & Ordering

MSRP for the R1 Lawman is $455, and the light is only available in black. Several retailers already have the R1 Lawman in stock, and actual pricing is estimated to be around $350.

In The Box

We received our R1 Lawman in pre-production packaging, but production models will come in a cardboard box with similar contents, including: SureFire R1 Lawman, Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery pack, “Dual Fuel” battery carrier with 2 x SF123A batteries installed, AC adapter with international adapters, 12V car charger, rubber anti-roll ring, and user manual.

Batteries

One of the many improvements that the R1 Lawman received during its development was a new, higher-capacity, battery pack. With Panasonic’s Nickel-Oxide New Platform (NNP) technology, the proprietary rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack has an increased capacity of 2900mAh and is rated for 500 full discharge cycles with a 20% loss in capacity (up to 2000 cycles with partial discharge cycles).

To charge the light, connect the AC adapter to the charge port on the light. When the Fuel Gauge LED turns green, the battery is charged to 90% capacity. Typical charge time until 90% is two hours, and it will take an additional two hours to reach 100% capacity. For maximum battery longevity, as mentioned above with the cycle count, you may want to consider only charging the battery to 90%.

While rechargeable systems are cost-effective and convenient, most can only be powered by the rechargeable battery pack, leaving you in the dark if the rechargeable battery is depleted. With “Dual Fuel” capability, the R1 Lawman stands among the few rechargeable flashlights that can also use regular disposable batteries – in this case, 2 x 123A lithium primaries (rechargeable lithium-phosphate batteries are not supported).

If the battery type is changed, or depleted primaries are replaced with new ones, the Fuel Gauge requires a reset by briefly pressing the tail switch.

The Light

Head
Behind the crenelated bezel are an anti-reflective coated glass window and a textured reflector. Flat areas on the head stop the light from rolling away on a smooth surface.

Raised texturing of the SureFire logo on the rubber cover gives tactile feedback for the electronic head switch.

Body
The body is type-III anodized to resist scratches and corrosion, and aggressive knurling along the body of the light provides grip.

Next to the water-resistant charge port is the Fuel Gauge LED, which indicates battery charge status during use and while charging. Green indicates at least 90% charge, orange indicates reduced battery charge, red indicates low battery, and blinking red indicates that it’s time to charge or replace the batteries.

Tail Cap
On the tail cap is a tactical “press for momentary, twist for constant on” switch. To prevent accidental activation in a tactical situation, the tail switch has a raised border and requires more pressure to activate than a regular clicky or electronic switch.

To activate the lockout tailcap feature, unscrew the tail cap until the light no longer turns on (about a half-turn). The light can still be activated by the head switch if the tailcap is locked out.

Modes

Four modes, which are arranged into three function sets, are available for the user to choose from. If multi-mode operation is selected, the head switch will activate the previously used mode.

High
100% mode for 750 lumens. Always accessible from the tail switch, independent of the head switch.

Medium
20% mode for 150 lumens.

Low
2% mode for 15 lumens.

Strobe (Tail Switch Only)
With three consecutive presses or twists, the 750 lumen strobe is activated.

Function Sets

To change the function set, twist the tail cap for constant on and hold the head switch until the light turns off. Unscrew the tail cap, and the R1 is now in the next program set.

Program 1 (Default)
Head Switch: High, Medium, Low, Off
Tail Switch: High Only

Program 2
Head Switch: High, Medium, Low, Off
Tail Switch: High and Strobe

Program 3
Head Switch: High Only
Tail Switch: High Only

When using program 1 or 2, we found a good balance of output and runtime if medium output is programmed in memory for the head switch since maximum output is always accessible from the tail switch should it be needed.

Performance

Using the same high-performance Cree XM-L LED found in the P2X Fury, the R1 Lawman raises the bar once again with its maximum output of 750 lumens, equivalent of a typical 60W incandescent bulb. This combination of a large-die LED with a textured reflector produces a smooth, flawless beam that will light up just about anything.

Due to the electronic head switch and memory feature, the R1 Lawman has a standby drain of 200 µA (or 0.2 mA). Even though this is a fairly significant standby drain compared to other lights, it will take 1.6 years to drain the 2900mAh battery, so we don’t expect it to be an issue. For long-term storage, it is recommended to remove the battery pack.

Runtime

If you haven’t read our article about runtime graphs and the ANSI FL1 Standard, please click here.

SureFire uses tactical and total runtime, which are not necessarily consistent with ANSI FL-1 Standard specifications. For the R1, maximum output runtime is given as tactical runtime (50 lumens = 7%), and lower output runtimes are given as total runtime until battery exhaustion.

When using the rechargeable battery, the R1 reduces output to 500 lumens after a 2-minute burst of 750 lumens. Due to non-linear brightness perception, the reduction during actual use is not as noticeable as the numbers seem to imply.

Accessories

Almost everything that you may need is included with the R1, including a variety of charging and battery options. One unexpected item was the anti-roll ring, which gives the R1 even more stopping power when set down on a smooth surface.

Conclusion

Whether the intended use for your flashlight is tactical or not, the SureFire R1 Lawman is guaranteed to perform in any situation where an illumination tool is indispensable. SureFire has taken a while to get the R1 Lawman just right, having gone from the original 300-lumen prototype announced at the 2011 SHOT Show, to the 700-lumen model with a one-hour runtime shown at the 2012 SHOT Show, and finally settling on a 750-lumen model with a 1.75 hour runtime for production. By combining multi-mode operation with memory and a medium output of 150 lumens, the R1 Lawman is not just extremely bright, but also convenient and practical for many uses where runtime may be preferred over output.

One aspect about the R1 Lawman is still lingering, and you might have guessed it already – price. It shouldn’t surprise those who are familiar with SureFire products, but the price is indeed quite steep compared to other rechargeable lights. That being said, the R1 Lawman has introduced a new standard for rechargeable flashlights, leaving current models comparable only to the R1’s medium mode, so there’s definitely a cost associated with all of this new technology. There’s no doubt about the R1 Lawman when it comes to features and performance, but we can’t say the same about the pricing as we did with the P2X Fury. While the SureFire R1 Lawman could be the best rechargeable flashlight that money can buy, we’ll have to leave it up to your budget or equipment allowance.


Pros Cons
  • Maximum output of 750 lumens
  • High, medium, low, and strobe modes
  • Mode memory for head switch
  • Direct access to maximum output
  • Dual Fuel capable (Li-Ion or 2 x 123A)
  • Fuel Gauge battery charge indicator
  • Dual user-programmable switches
  • Smooth beam pattern
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Difficult to press tail switch
  • Expensive
  • Did we mention expensive?

Related Links

SureFire R1 Lawman Product Page

Rechargeable Flashlight Comparison on LED-Resource

72 Responses

  1. Alex says:

    Can you recommend a holster that will fit the R1 Lawman?

  2. Robin Wang says:

    Alex,

    You can use open-top Pelican 7060 or Streamlight Stinger holsters with the R1 Lawman, as the lights have the same barrel diameter.

    Personally, I use a Pelican OEM nylon holster, but it has a bit of wiggle room because the nylon isn’t as rigid as leather.

    Hope this helps.

    Robin

  3. jmscl23 says:

    Hi Robin,
    Thanks for the awesome review! I have a similar question to one listed above and it is the only thing preventing me from buying this light immediately. As an aspiring LEO will dropping this light in a puddle or having it submerged any amount of time cause irreparable damage to it? I know the charging port is weather resistant but all other SF lights I own can be totally submerged so wondering if you could offer some input. Thank you!

  4. jmslc23 says:

    Great review! I was just wondering if this light be submerged for any length of time?

  5. Robin Wang says:

    I will check with SureFire and see if I can get a more specific answer for you.

    I have washed my R1 with soap and water, as well as filled the charge port with water specifically to test for ingestion, and it didn’t have any problems.

    Robin

  6. Robin Wang says:

    Here’s the official answer: The charge port is not completely sealed.

    That being said, I don’t think it will have any problems with small amounts of water, which is unlikely to completely immerse the light or have sufficient pressure to cause ingestion.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Jmslc23 says:

    Thanks so much for you help!! I plan on buying this light as soon as the tax man pays me 😉

  8. JR says:

    Robin-
    Thank you for the review. I just recently bought the R1 for duty. My question: Should I charge it to 100% for the first charge?
    Thanks

  9. Robin Wang says:

    JR,

    It would be best to fully charge the battery before initial use.

    Robin

  10. Mike says:

    Robin
    I have read some of your reviews about the charge port and water,I recently bought the r1 and washed it with soap & water, some water got inside the charge port and the light came on automatically I had to pull the battery to turn off the light….the box claims waterproof to one meter, could you give me some insight, your response is greatly appreciated

  11. Robin Wang says:

    Mike,

    I didn’t get my R1 in retail packaging, so I’m not sure what the box says. According to the product manager, the charge port is not completely sealed, so the light is not fully submersible.

    This question is probably bit too technical for the product manager, so I’m going to give you my best guess. Since the R1 was originally designed to be user-programmable, it is probably sensitive to low voltages (for signalling purposes). If the R1 is sensing voltage on the charge port, ions in the water could be sufficient to cause undefined behavior.

    I’ve washed my R1 with soap and water several times, and what you describe happens quite often (tapping the tail switch should be able to turn off the light, even though the head switch is disabled). It also happens if I touch the charge port with metallic objects, and my box cutter is an even more notorious offender than water.

    I don’t think this is caused by water ingress, so unless washing your R1 is a daily routine, it shouldn’t be a problem.

    Robin

  12. Mark Grebler says:

    I want to purchase several Lithium Phosphate rechargeable Batteries. Where can I get these batteries as additional backups?

    Thank you for your kind expert informative assistance.

    Regards,
    Mark Grebler
    Equalizer18@me.com

  13. Robin Wang says:

    Mark,

    You can get them from SureFire, here are the links:

    http://www.surefire.com/batteries/sf2r-kit01-charger-kit.html

    http://www.surefire.com/batteries/2-pack-lfp123-rechargeable-batteries.html

    Keep in mind that they will not work properly with the R1.

    Robin

  14. Anthony says:

    Mark,
    I just received my lawman yesterday, and the charging head does not fully insert into the port with the wall or the car charger. Also, I can’t tell if the flashlight is charging. Is the fuel gauge indicator supposed to be illuminated if the product is charging?
    Anthony

  15. Robin Wang says:

    Anthony,

    There will be a small gap, which is normal. The Fuel Gauge LED will light up when charging.

    Robin

  16. JR says:

    ** Found a Duty Holster ***
    It works well.. Just used it for the first time yesterday! It is a Hero’s Pride Flashlight Holder. Size Xlarge. It will fit Surefire R1 Lawman as well as my Pelican 7060. Just wanted to pass that on

  17. Joseph says:

    When charging, what does a blinking green LED mean? How do I know when the light should be unplugged from the charger?

  18. Robin Wang says:

    Joseph,

    We’ve gotten a couple questions about a blinking green LED, and it seems that this indicates a full charge. I’ve reached out to SureFire and will let you know when I hear back.

    This may have been a running change mid-cycle, as older models had a solid green LED to indicate full charge. Your light should be fully charged when the LED is blinking green.

    Robin

  19. Darlene Reck says:

    I resently acquired a POLYSTINGER DS Led (76813)flashlight.
    Model No. 75100 (DS 168418).

    I cannot attach the two power Connector plugs, located inside the Power Connector, to the two plug holes located in the charger.
    The two Charger openings do not fit the two Power plugs. Cannot connect the two together because they do not line up to each end.

    This problem was noticed when I opened the box after acquiring the flashlight brand new.

    Please advice how can I get this problem repaired?

    Regards,
    Darlene Reck

  20. Robin Wang says:

    Darlene,

    Can you repost your comment on our Streamlight review? We have one for the PolyStinger DS LED: http://www.led-resource.com/2011/03/streamlight-polystinger-ds-led-review/

    Streamlight has a standard power connector (most, if not all, use the same type), so it’s unlikely that you got the wrong type. You may need to wiggle the connector into place the first time, as it can be a tight fit.

    If you’re still unsure, feel free to email me a picture and I will be able to tell you if it’s the correct cord.

    Robin

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