Over decades of firearm ownership, competition and using gear hard – some of our writers have a wealth of experience to tap. When we went around the table, I got a bright idea…
Author disclosure: This author was NOT compensated by Streamlight for this article and purchased all of the products he owns with what little money he has left after alimony and mortgage payments.
There is no shortage of opinions in the gun culture and lights are a very touchy subject. You’re typically either a die hard Streamlight fan or a die hard Surefire fan. I’m a Streamlight guy. All the guys at my old department used to carry them, they worked very well and the warranty support was superb when something went wrong.
Most of the time we just called Streamlight, mailed in the product and got a replacement mailed right back. Seamless and fast, just as it should be.
The venerable TLR-2 gun light isn’t cheap, but they’re bright and they’ll take a beating. I’ve had a number of them over the years attached to pistols and/or rifles and they have all performed very well.
CR123 batteries are just about everywhere, from Staples to Home Depot to the battery compartment of the Magpul STR stock – it’s never a bad idea to have some spares around. I have yet to burn out a set of Energizers on my TLR-2 after almost 10 years of one being mounted on my pistol.
It’s simple and it just works. Not much can be said for it in a Dragnet Joe Friday-esque “Just the fact’s ma’am” way so I’ll color up this article with some personal experiences.
I have suggested the TLR series of lights to all my friends who just want a solid, high performance light, and if they’re not gun owners – there are plenty of regular flashlights, penlights and headlamps that Streamlight produces that all perform well, too.
A few months back, I met a young woman at the gun club who was just getting into self-defense after her soon-to-be ex-husband decided to go completely unhinged.
We got to talking and she asked me what light I had and I suggested the TLR lineup to her. In fact, I knew I had a new spare TLR-3 from an old H&K promotion where if you bought a gun, you got a free TLR-3 after a mail-in rebate.
I’m a big proponent of paying it forward so I asked her when she was going to be at the range next and I threw the light in my trusty range bag and met up with her to give her my spare light.
I was thanked with a big smile and she told me I lit up her life. Heh. I shot right back, telling her that I don’t want to light up her life I want to light up her field of fire.
After some laughs, I mounted the light to her VP9 and she got some practice with it as the sun started going down. The power of today’s modern weapon lights is almost unbelievable.
I remember back in the old days having a rifle and a Surefire M961 and thinking I was Billy Badass. In 2019, the flashlight app on my phone generates more lumens than that thing.
We’ve come a long way. These are tools that help us see what we’re shooting — or not shooting — at and we’re fools if we don’t let the tools do the work.
One other feature of the TLR-2 that I really like is its integrated laser. I am NOT a fan of using a laser to guide gunfire, but I AM a fan of using all available tools to help me teach.
One trick I’ve picked up over the years is keeping a TLR-2-equipped pistol handy and when shooting at paper targets from a static position, I will use the laser to demonstrate the natural arc of movement when holding a pistol and point out specific shot placements.
This beats having to call a line cold, walk over to the paper, take out a sharpie and point. I’m able to indicate what I need to in real time, in between shots if necessary, and the TLR-2 helps me be a better instructor. It delivers a better student experience and a better time at the range.
This is a weapon light that really does not suck.