Streamlight TLR-7 and TLR-8 Review

Streamlight’s BEST Pistol Light Yet!

I have been unsatisfied with weapon mounted pistol lights. Though I’ve got quite the collection, I have 4 MAJOR REQUIREMENTS the pistol light must satisfy. My hope is that the Streamlight TLR-7 and TLR-8 has ended my search. Scroll to the bottom for product links, compatible holsters, and a video on these lights.

Here is a quick overview of the flashlights and then I’ll get to my requirements.

  • The Streamlight TLR-7 is a tiny pistol light with a lot of power. It pushes 500 lumens off 1x CR123 battery for a run time of 1.5 hrs. The controls are ambidextrous and can are located on the side. You can choose between constant on or momentary on.
  • The Streamlight TLR-8 is the TLR-7 with a laser added to the bottom. You can quickly program the light to use only the red laser, the white light alone, or both together.

laser and flashlight for handgun pistol

  1. Extremely Bright – My end goal is to have the power of the sun in the palm of my hand (yes, Spiderman movie reference — that just happened). Blinding power in a tactical situation is a big win because it can aid in psychologically incapacitating your opponent as well as blinding them. Just ensure you are careful to not blind yourself in CQB settings (this can be mitigated with some low light training). The TLR-7 and the TLR-8 are extremely bright considering their size.
  2. Reliable – Streamlight has a solid name for reliability that I trust. I wasn’t a big fan of some of the cheaper looking/feeling TLR lights that came after the TLR-1 and before the TLR-7, but these lights seem to take the size of those lights and add a much more sturdy construction like the TLR-1. The controls seem like they will last, the housing seems tough, and so far I cannot make the light foul up even as I bang it around and put it through the paces. Good so far.
  3. Small – My needs for pistol mounted flashlights have changed. I carry concealed in front at the appendix (AIWB), and so having a big flashlight jabbing into my business is, well, lets just say ‘uncomfortable’. I will carry a small light provided it meets my other prerequisites, or I’d carry no weapon-mounted light at all and just rely on my handheld Streamlight Protac 2L-X. I have found the Streamlight TLR-7 and TLR-8 fit the size requirement I need without sacrificing the brightness I’m also looking for.
  4. Ideal Controls – Ideal flashlight controls mean that I can quickly turn the light on and off without changing my normal grip. Furthermore, the light controls should not be overly sensitive or large so the light is prone to negligently discharges. These controls should be easy to find and activate in the dark, under stress, and even one handed. Lastly, the controls should allow me to keep the light on with a button, or have intermittent use so it is ‘on’ and ‘off’ with no hesitation (push/release). As with the other 3 requirements, the TLR-7 and TLR-8 meet this requirement as well.

The laser feature of the TLR-8 needs special attention to review as well as another set of ‘requirements’ that I have for lasers. If you would like to read about lasers and the TLR-8, click here.

Get the Streamlight TLR-7 or the Streamlight TLR-8

Concealed Carry Appendix Holster for the TLR-7 and TLR-8

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