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.


ProsCons
  • 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

74 Responses

  1. Robin Wang says:

    Paul,

    It won’t damage anything, but you may not get consistent output with the maximum output.

    Robin

  2. Jack says:

    Thanks for the informative review.

    When Surefire states that you can get 500 full charging cycles out of the li-ion battery, does that mean, that you will need to invest in a new one after the 500 cycles?

    Regards,

  3. Robin Wang says:

    Jack,

    It’s rated for 20% capacity loss (industry standard) after 500 cycles. Keep in mind that during normal use, discharge cycles will be more spread out, so temperature and age will cause additional capacity loss.

    I would estimate the battery to last 2-3 years under normal use.

    Hope this helps!

    Robin

  4. Paul Sloan says:

    Robin, is it possible to deplete the R1’s 18650 rechargeable battery to the point that the battery will no longer accept a charge and render the battery effectively dead?

  5. Robin Wang says:

    I doubt it. Have you tried contacting SureFire’s technical support?

    Robin

  6. Paul Sloan says:

    I’ve read the Panasonic spec sheets but I’m not clear if this SF proprietary stick is actually protected. I think it’s time to talk to SF technical support to get an answer to this type of question. Thanks anyway.

  7. chad copeland says:

    i own a local restaurant in the great state of Georgia. recently, someone left a R1 Lawman flashlight in my store. i left it at the store for more than 3 weeks. i just took it home and was suprised to see how great of a flashlight it was. i was amazed. the only problem is, i don’t have a charger for it. i have called surefire and looked at every website i can find, but no one has a charger for it. can anyone help me with this problem. i just don’t understand why surefire will not sell a charger by itself. thanks.

  8. Robin Wang says:

    Chad,

    Spare parts and accessories for new models may be hard to find, so explain your situation to SureFire customer service and they may be able to help.

    SureFire’s OEM AC adapter is a Phihong PSAA20R-120, but it uses a custom DC connector (3.5mm x 1.35mm x 10mm). However, if you get a 12V AC adapter with at least 1.67A output that has the right connector and is center positive (look at the diagram engraved on the side of the light and make sure the AC adapter has the same thing), it will work.

    Robin

  9. John Fallon says:

    Hello All…

    Looking to upgrade my daily carry StreamLight Strion LED recently, I really enjoyed the review and reading all your comments! Thanks so much Robin for putting together such a terrific and well thought out review with pictures, etc! I work as a Sustaining Engineer for a big Tech company and always recognize a well written document that’s all inclusive, good show! 🙂

    I bought a Surefire M3 CombatLight with filters, including IR years ago and have become a huge fan of Surefire products! The Red FM15 filter from the M3 Light was the first thing I put on the R1 and it fits very well…

    Once upon a time, I had a small Surefire E2 executive light that I misplaced, so I can understand how frustrated the owner of Chad’s R1 Lawman owner must be! I do wish it had a Lanyard/Ring like the M3 did.

    With that said, I recently purchased a Surefire Maximus rechargeable HeadLamp and the unit came with the same exact 12V A/C charger AND D/C chargers so now I have 2! 🙂

    Maybe knowing this Chad will be easier to find one, since you can use the Maximus chargers as well in your search. If Surefire couldn’t help you (which is doubghtful since they are usually terrific ) I *might* be persuaded for a reasonable charge to send a set to the great State of Georgia to welcome you to the Surefire users club Chad… 🙂

    Thanks again all for the information and valuable real world feedback! It made my R1 acquisition very easy!

  10. Robin Wang says:

    Glad you found our review helpful, John. Enjoy your R1!

    Robin

  11. Robin Wang says:

    For Paul and others who are asking about lithium-phosphate LFP123A compatibility, I have finally gotten an official response from SureFire. These batteries are not compatible with the R1 (or UNR) and will cause unreliable operation, but they will be supported on future rechargeable lights.

    I have updated the review, and hope this clarifies the issue.

    Robin

  12. samie says:

    the port where the charger is inserted,…does water gets into it? is the flashlight water proof/resistant?

  13. Robin Wang says:

    Samie,

    Yes, the charge port is sealed against water ingress and the light is water-resistant.

    Robin

  14. sammie says:

    does the r1 lawman has a good distance throw?

  15. Robin Wang says:

    Samie,

    Peak beam intensity of the R1 is only 16,000 candela, so this is considered floody. For better throw, you will want to get a light with a higher peak beam intensity (30,000+ candela).

    Robin

  16. sammie says:

    so with the 16,000 candela for the lawman with a peak beam to be considered floody, how many yards in distanse throw is it efective or useful for?

  17. sammie says:

    does their Fury with 500 lumens have a good distanse throw?

  18. Robin Wang says:

    Sammie,

    Peak beam intensity is just one part of the picture, and to determine if a beam is spot or flood, you need to compare lumens and candela (using the cd/lm ratio). Tightly focused beams will have a higher cd/lm ratio.

    Neither of these lights have good throw because they use textured reflectors and are ~20 cd/lm. If you want better throw, consider the SureFire UB3T/UBR.

    Robin

  19. Yoyo says:

    Can this be suitable as a dedicated carbine light on an offset mount?

  20. Robin Wang says:

    Yoyo,

    Due to the effects of recoil on sensitive components, I would not recommend using a rechargeable light as a weaponlight. The lithium-ion battery can be damaged, potentially creating a safety hazard.

    Robin

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