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I researched this some more as well and it's just plain idiotic. This flashlight does NOT take 18650 spec batteries, because the sizing is in the number. 18650 means that the battery should have a 18mm diameter and 65mm length. Unfortunately, this flashlight does NOT work with 65mm length batteries, and therefore is NOT compatible with 18650 batteries.
This flashlight requires batteries that are 69-70mm long as you stated. I see Nitecore sells batteries that are 69.6mm long and calls them "18650". Fucking annoying.
AGREE its just plain stupid...this is the second one of these torches that I got through massdrop ( both presents for Xmas), the first one I could get with batteries, this one the option was not available.