Streamlight TLR-8 G sub
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Let’s face it. Everyone who carries a handgun should carry a light, too. You never know where or when you’ll have to use your handgun in a defensive situation, let alone the lighting conditions you’ll be dealing with. And properly identifying the threat is pretty important.

Some of us carry a flashlight as part of our EDC gear, but a weapon-mounted light is quick, convenient and works well when your off-hand is otherwise occupied. And a compact light like the Streamlight TLR-8 G sub lets you comfortably put a lot of illuminating power — not to mention a green laser — on even your micro-compact carry pistol.

Streamlight TLR-8 G sub
The Streamlight TLR-8 G Sub mounted on an FN 509 Midsize Tactical pistol (Dan Z. for TTAG)

The TLR-8 G sub is powered by a CR123A battery and cranks out 500 lumens. That means it has enough illuminating oomph to be light up any area of your home and to comfortably let you see target out to 25 yards and beyond outdoors at night. 

The compact TLR-8 G sub fits well and is perfectly at home on compact and full size pistols like the FN 509 Midsize Tactical above. It’s almost a full inch shorter than large weapon lights like the Streamlight TLR-2 G so on a compact of full-size pistol, it won’t extend past the muzzle. That will keep it free of much of the carbon that longer lights collect.

Streamlight makes a red laser version, too and you’ll save about $70 retail over the green laser model. Green lasers are not only more expensive to make, but green light is about six times more visible to the human eye. That’s why green lasers are much more readily visible even in daylight.

If you’re one of the growing legion of people who carry a micro-compact, the TLR-8 G sub is made for you. Streamlight makes the light in four models. There’s one for the SIG P365, one for Springfield’s Hellcat, a GLOCK model and a standard 1913 rail version, which is the model tested here.

Streamlight TLR-8 G sub

If you carry a micro-compact, be sure to order the right model for your gun. As you can see here, the mounts for these tiny nines are very different. If you carry a Hellcat, the 1913 version will not fit on your handgun.

The smaller guns Streamlight lists the 1913 model for include the M&P M2.0 subcompact, Beretta Px4 Storm subcompact, Springfield XD-E and similar.

Streamlight TLR-8 G sub
You can deactivate the TLR-8 G sub by rotating the lens housing until you feel it hit a detent. This puts it in “safe” mode and keeps it from being turned on accidentally.

The TLR-8 G sub gives you a lot of ways to customize it. The light comes with high tail activation switches installed, but low switches and a small multi-tool are included as well. That lets you change out the switches by pushing out a roll pin with the multi-tool.

You can install a low switch on one side and a high switch on the other if that’s how you like to roll. You do you, but I like the high switches. They’re ideal for activating the TLR-8 G sub with my support hand thumb.

Streamlight TLR-8 G sub
The Streamlight TLR-8 G sub on a SIG SAUER P320 Compact

Basic activation of the TLR-8 is simple. A momentary tap of one of the switches and the light is on constantly. Press and hold either switch and you’re in momentary mode. The light/laser will shut off when you release the switch.

Streamlight TLR-8 G sub
You can use the included multi-tool to zero the laser.

You can choose to use the TLR-8 G sub’s light, laser or both simultaneously. To change between functions, hold down one of the switches, then press the other one to choose the functionality you want.

Zeroing is straightforward using the included multi-tool. You can zero at whatever distance you choose, just keep in mind the effect of parallax on the point of impact at varying distances. Or, you can do as I do and adjust the beam to be parallel to the bore axis. Then you always know POI will be about two inches over that green dot. Simple.

The TLR-8 G sub has a strobe mode as well. You activate it using Streamlight’s “10-tap” system. Press either switch ten consecutive times quickly (within a quarter second), holding the button down on the tenth press. That will either activate or deactivate strobe mode (the unit comes with strobe deactivated).

Once strobe mode is activated, you can use strobe light with a quick double-tap of either switch.

Streamlight TLR-8 G sub

The TLR-8 G sub has an IPX4 water resistance rating. That means you can’t dunk it in water, but it will withstand being sprayed or carried in the rain. I sprayed mine pretty thoroughly in the shower and with the kitchen sink nozzle, dried it off and it kept on ticking. I also tossed it in the freezer overnight. It’s still working fine.

Streamlight TLR-8 G sub

The TLR-8 G sub gives you literally everything you need in a quality weapon light for your home defense or everyday carry gun. It gives you all the illuminating power most people will ever need, lighting up any room in your house and giving you plenty of visibility outside in the dark as well. And it does all of that in a shorter, smaller package that works with the most popular micro-compact guns.

Specifications: Streamlight TLR-8 G sub weapon mounted light

Output: 500 lumens, 5000 candela
Length: 2.51 in.
Weight: 2.77 oz.
Run Time: 1.5 hours light and laser, 11 hours laser only
Battery: CR123A
MSRP: $477 (retail about $319 with green laser, $249 with red laser)

Rating (out of five stars):

Overall: * * * * *
This isn’t an inexpensive weapon light/laser. You’re paying for the lumens, the build quality, the compact design and Streamlight’s lifetime guarantee. You can save some money with the red laser model, but I’ve found green lasers are noticeably better. Your mileage could vary. Either way, no matter what gun(s) you plan to mount the Streamlight TLR-8 G sub on, it’s a lot of weapon light/laser in a pleasingly small package.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. I know I’m going to catch the “China!” blowback from some here, but I have Olight PL Minis on my handguns. Only $99, rechargeable, and the smallest package I’ve ever seen on a WML.

    (Leans back in chair, waves hand across the room)

    Discuss.

    • don’t worry about the China blowback, and my Olights work fine too and just as well as my Streamlights and other lights.

      • I have Surefire & Olight products, both WMLs and EDC hand helds.. Happy with all of them. Never any problems of any kind.

        I still have an original Surefire 9P that I *still* use regularly every week. But all my WMLs are Olights.

        • “I still have an original Surefire 9P that I *still* use regularly every week.”

          Has your upgrade LED arrived yet?

        • I got the Cree bulb upgrade immediately after you suggested it. Excellent. I now use my “recommissioned” 9P on my duty belt when I serve on my church’s security team.

      • “Olight is trash”

        I’ve heard the same said about Fenix, but every one of the 3 I now own has performed just fine.

        I believe I shall pick up an Olight or 2 and see if they suck as much as Fenix is supposed to… 🙂

        • @Geoff

          In my experience they don’t suck at all. I have been searching for “the perfect light” for decades. KelLights, MagLights, SureFires, Streamlights, Four Seven Fenix and Olights tried ’em all. I have carried a Fenix PD-35 daily for the past 6-7 years with zero issues. likewise I have had an Olight Balder Mini light laser for the past three years with zero issues (don’t try the blue laser – it is hard to focus on and track much more than 12 feet away). The red and green ones work fine. My bedside gun is equipped with a Baldr laser (red). my reasoning is that I may not have time or the presence of mind to don my glasses first in the event of a bump in the night. The bright white light will illuminate target for ID and the laser will illuminate POI (can’t see the iron /tritium sights without glasses at night…just a blur).

          This is my story and I’m sticking to it…also my $0.02 worth.

      • 4.8 out of 5 stars 8,629Reviews
        OLIGHT PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie 600 Lumens Magnetic USB Rechargeable Compact Weaponlight with Adjustable Rail, High Performance CW LED Tactical Flashlight with Built-in Battery

        • I have one on my 19x, zero complaints except finding a kydex holster OWB to fit. I do have a leather Wright that was custom cut, but would like a kydex.

    • I like my Olights and I like this brand as well. I’ve been using them since they started without issues.

  2. (leans back in work truck, takes a nap).
    when we were kids you had ray bans or oakleys, virtually everything else we called “taiwan roc[ks].”
    it is impossible to not own chicom. the effort, however, is noble.

    • huh?

      what does an optics cut on the slide top have to do with attaching the light on the under-the-barrel frame rail?

        • oh ok.

          I use CT laser grips on my EDC and home defense pistols so I didnt think about using an integrated light/laser combo laser for aiming.

        • ^ .40, I have several Crimson Trace combo units; in both red and green. The green is definitely easier to see/brighter.
          I recommend highly.

  3. This is a perfect solution for absolutely nothing. That laser wont hold zero and number of civilian defense gun uses where WML’s were an option but also used as a light is exactly 0.

    • Yeah, laser sights sound like a great idea, until you take them to a target range and try hitting a target with them. They either don’t hold zero (so your shots are all over the place — the ceiling, the floor, the walls of the indoor range, LOL), or if they do hold zero, because the laser is way BELOW the bore axis, they’re only zeroed at one precise range. Zero it at 7 yards for home defense, and you’ll be several feet below the target — yes feet!! — at 25 yards, which is the only distance my indoor gun club has targets, so your bullets will be hitting the floor and ricocheting all around the gun club (a good way to get kicked out of the gun club).

      Having a light mounted on the gun (WML) is a good idea, though. The strobe light setting will disorient an attacker (either disorient him, or make him start disco dancing, and either way is a win!)

      • what are you guys doing to your lasers such that they do not hold zero (assuming they are a correct and quality firearm laser product to begin with) ?

        I’ve got lasers on some of my guns, rifles and handguns and shotguns. They hold zero just fine. I’ve fired thousands of rounds with them over time and never had any of them lose zero.

        on rifles and shotgun I do parallel zero, I hate a laser converging zero on a rifle or shotgun.

        My EDC and home defense pistols I do the crimson trace laser grips. They come factory zeroed at 50 feet and I just leave them like that and although its a converging zero because the offset from bore center is almost 90 degrees (its actually 89.5 degrees) on the EDC and home defense pistols its almost like a parallel zero and rounds impact within 1.5 inches of the laser dot out to about 20 yards.

      • Instead of zeroing it, try making it parallel to the bore axis. It won’t be zeroed until a very far distance, but now you know you’re the mechanical offset below where the bullet will hit +/- rise/drop for distance. You don’t need to figure out how low you are when it’s shorter than zero distance or how high once you’re beyond it.

  4. “And properly identifying the threat is pretty important” Agreed. Weapons mounted lights have there place, I’ve used them on several weapons, both in and out of the military, I’ve used them on m4’s and duty sidearms they can be very effective . For a EDC not so much. Lets say Im walking through a parking lot at 10:30pm, I hear something or barely see something I can’t identify. Which action would open me up to legal problems? Option A) Light up the area with a Streamlight 1000 lumen flashlight or B) light up the area with a weapons light?

    • Why I pocket carry the handheld as well as the WML, both types situations handled, without brandishing being tossed about post the inappropriate encounter of the above.

      Lasers, don’t care unless IR.

  5. I have mine on a Staccato C2 and I love it. I previously had an O-lite and it was crap. I’d have to remount and sight it in after every trip to the range. The Streamlite stays put. Spend the extra dough, it’s well worth it.

    • LOL…I have a NC Star cheapo light on my fullsize gat. Works great and 40 bucks. I don’t carry with it though but it lights up a room & has a strobe. Likely made in the same factory as the other Chinesium stuff🙄

    • “My house is made of mirrors, a lazer is useless.”

      I’m trying to imagine a burrow at the bottom of a drainage ditch in Kansas that is a hall of mirrors inside…

  6. Do you guys put a dab of blue loctite on the laser adjustment hex threads in order to get the laser to hold zero so recoil doesn’t knock the settings?

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