Surefire P3X Fury – Overview
Take one of the most popular SureFire flashlights, make it a little bit longer to accommodate an extra battery and you have the SureFire P3X Fury, SureFire’s first compact handheld light to reach the 1000 lumen plateau. Powered by 3 lithium 123A primary batteries and equipped with a Cree XM-L emitter, the new P3X is available in two versions:
P3X-A-BK: Single output version equipped with a standard press for momentary, twist for constant-on switch.
P3X-B-BK: Dual output version with a click-type switch which allows the user to partially press the switch for momentary-on low output or press further, until it clicks, for constant-on low output. The high output mode can be accessed by returning to off and pressing or clicking again within 2 seconds.
Both versions are constructed of high-strength aerospace aluminum with a Mil-Spec hard anodized finish and are available only in black. MSRP for the P3X is $250 with actual retail prices beginning at $175.
This review is based upon my experiences with the two-mode P3X-B-BK Fury.
SureFire P3X Fury – Impressions
From a design standpoint, the P3X Fury is styled similar to the previous P2X Fury with six deeply machined finger notches replacing the extensive knurling found on older SureFire handheld lights. The matte black anodized finish is smooth and even with no obvious defects while the laser engraving of my one sample is slightly less crisp than on my P2X Fury.
As with the 2-cell version, the P3X Fury has a 1.37″ (34.8 mm) bezel and is able to use the same beam filters, diffusers, and covers as several of SureFire’s LED weapon lights. The head also has six machined flats around its circumference to help keep the light from rolling when placed on a flat surface.
The head of the P3X Fury is not intended to be (easily) removed by the user and is secured to the body using a thread-locking compound. A gasket at the head and o-ring at the tail provide a weatherproof seal.
The tail threads are very smooth and the P3X can be “locked out” by unscrewing the tailcap just under one-quarter turn to prevent accidental activation. Springs are used at both the head and tail to maintain reliable contact under hard use.
The switch button protrudes approximately 3/8″ beyond the tailcap, is easy to access, and provides an audible click when constant-on mode is triggered. Spring resistance increases as the switch is depressed reducing the possibility of accidentally activating constant-on mode when using the momentary function.
The Cree XM-L emitter is housed behind a coated, tempered glass window. Output is focused by a micro-textured reflector.
The textured reflector of the P3X Fury is smoother than the one in my early P2X Fury
SureFire P2X Fury / P3X Fury Comparison
500 lumens (1.5 hours*)
1000 lumens (2.25 hours**)
15 lumens (46 hours)
15 lumens (60 hours)
5.40 inches (137 mm)
6.8 inches (173 mm)
|Weight (w/ Batteries)||
5.7 ounces (162 grams)
7.2 ounces (204 grams)
1.37 inch (34.8 mm)
1.37 inches (34.8 mm)
* Runtime until output drops below 50 lumens ** Runtime until output drops below 10%
SureFire P3X Fury – Performance
There’s no two ways about it, the P3X Fury puts out a lot of light. The large 22,000 candela hotspot is very well defined and is surrounded by a bright spill beam for peripheral vision. When used in high mode, the center beam is easily capable of reaching a few hundred feet and even the corona around the hotspot can provide illumination well over 100 feet away. The near spill is also very even and bright all the way to the edges of the beam. The 15 lumen low mode is more than adequate for up-close or medium range tasks and provides much longer runtime.
The beam itself is very white with a slight cool tint which is more noticeable in the spill portion of the beam. Compared to my P2X, the beam from the P3X has essentially the same profile but is brighter, whiter, and has a tighter center hotspot.
The following slides compare the P3X Fury to a variety of other well known high powered lights to provide perspective of its output and beam profile. The beamshots can be compared across the full width of the image using the slider, while additional images can be accessed by using the navigation buttons in the bottom-right corner of each image.
The following lights were used in the comparison:
- SureFire P2X Fury (link to review)
- SureFire EB2 Backup (link to review)
- Malkoff MD3 with M91A drop-in
- Elzetta Charlie with AVS head (link to review)
- SureFire M3LT
- SureFire UB3T Invictus
- SureFire M6LT
- Malkoff Hound Dog V3 (link to review)
- Malkoff Wildcat V4 (XP-G2 version) (link to review)
Beamshots – 30 Yards to Wooden Swing
Beamshots – 40 Yards to Wooden Swing
The P3X Fury can be powered by three 123A lithium primary batteries or three LFP 123A rechargeable cells. Runtime tests were conducted with both types of batteries.
The output and regulation of the P3X Fury makes for an interesting graph, with a rapid decline in output over the first 2.5 minutes of operation, regardless of battery type. Further testing seems to indicate this is the result of how the driver is programmed, as the decline can be “reset” by cycling the light off and back on again. After the initial 2.5 minutes, the P3X settles into a longer period of fairly stable output governed by temperature regulation.
When used with lithium primary 123A batteries, the P3X maintained this lower level of output for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes before beginning a long taper as the batteries became depleted. Once dropping out of regulation, the light provided plenty of additional runtime allowing a user to recognize the decline in output and change batteries or switch to a backup light.
With the slightly higher voltage provided by LFP123A cells, the P3X was able to sustain a somewhat higher level of output, although for a much shorter length of time. After approximately 45 minutes of temperature regulated runtime, output dropped very quickly as the cells became depleted and the test was ended.
As a result of the programmed step-down and temperature regulation, the P3X runs considerably cooler than the 2-cell P2X. The following chart shows exterior temperatures, measured at the head and mid-point of the body, over the course of a runtime test using 123A lithium primary batteries. The test was conducted while the P3X was secured in a holder at an ambient temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
SureFire P3X Fury – Conclusions
When the P3X Fury concept was introduced at SHOT Show 2013, many were excited at the prospect of a more powerful version of the popular P2X Fury. I was looking forward to seeing the P3X released but I was also very curious how it was going to manage the additional heat produced with the higher level of output. With the P2X already capable of reaching temperatures of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, there wasn’t much room left for temperature to increase and still remain safe or practical. Judging by the methods of regulation used with the P3X, it appears that this was a concern for the SureFire engineers as well.
I have no way of measuring total output (lumens) and do not know at what point the light is actually producing 1000 lumens. It could be as soon as the P3X is turned on, it could be 1 minute after turn-on, or any place in between. Regardless, based on my tests and observations it seems safe to say that it doesn’t produce that level of output for very long and the P3X ultimately ends up with similar output to the P2X Fury after a few minutes of operation. Although the runtime graphs make this level of output look insignificant compared to the initial burst, this is still a considerable amount of light produced for nearly 2 hours. Users who typically use the light in short bursts likely won’t even notice the step down in output.
The longer runtime, more than the higher output, helps SureFire fill a void in their product lineup for a compact high output light capable of sustaining around 500 lumens for 2 hours. In practice this means the user has access to an extremely powerful burst of light followed, if needed, by a long run time. Speaking for myself, I would have been satisfied if the P3X were rated at “only” 600-700 lumens and provided the long runtime, however, it appears that reaching the 1000 lumen mark was one of the design criteria for this light.
As far as actual use of the light is concerned, it has functioned flawlessly over the past week and I see no causes for concern related to durability or reliability. One of the biggest surprises so far is just how well the P3X seems to fit my hand as the extra length just “feels right” with the machined body notches actually lining up with my fingers. Although the hard anodized finish is smooth, it has just enough texture to avoid being slick, and provides a solid grip whether using the light barehanded or with gloves. The smooth design is also easier to pocket carry as it causes less wear on clothing and is easier to insert and remove.
Measuring 6.8″ in length and weighing just over 7 ounces, the P3X Fury is still compact enough to be carried comfortably. With its 1″ diameter body, the P3X is also compatible with a wide variety of leather, nylon, or tactical holsters available from SureFire and other manufacturers.
- Extremely high output at initial activation
- Nearly 2 hours of regulated runtime
- Far reaching beam with bright spill
- Thermal regulation keeps temperatures at a very manageable level
- Available with clicky or tactical switching
- Smooth but not slick
- When used with 123A primaries, provides long tapering output as batteries are depleted
- 1000 lumen rating rings hollow due to short runtime at “full” output
- The two mode version always starts in low mode which may not be suitable for all users
- Extremely bright spill beam can reflect off of nearby objects and back into the eyes of the user
The two-cell version of the Fury has been one of my favorites since its introduction over a year ago due to its combination of output, form factor, and beam characteristics. With the P3X, SureFire has managed to offer a product that provides all the same qualities along with substantially greater output and runtime, although not necessarily both of them at the same time.
Have you ever wanted to know what goes into the production of SureFire flashlights? Check out our exclusive Behind the Scenes look at the SureFire machining and production facilities in Orange County, California.