The Streamlight TLR-1 – Robust and Reliable

When it comes to weapon lights, there are two big names in the industry, the Surefire X300, and the Streamlight TLR-1. Today we are going to look at the TLR-1. The Streamlight TLR-1 comes in a wide variety of different lumen models. They range from oh that’s nice to holy hell that’s the light of God! Well, maybe I’m exaggerating (editor note: he’s not). The TLR-1 comes in 300 lumens and 800 lumens. Both have their place and mine is for inside the home, so I went with the 300 Lumen model.

This handgun weapon light mounts to nearly any handgun and Streamlight includes a small set of adapters to fit a variety of different rail systems. The Streamlight TLR-1 is a full-sized light, so it works best on full sized guns. As you can see it’s found its way onto my CZ P09, where it stays for home defense duty.

The Ergonomics and Controls

The Streamlight TLR-1 is a simple design, and it does have three modes and ambidextrous controls. The controls are a rotating switch, so they are slightly different for right and left-handers. The controls are placed perfectly for access with your trigger finger when it’s off the trigger and alongside the frame of the weapon.

The modes are constant on, momentary on, and strobe mode. It’s everything I need in a weapon light. The strobe mode is a little complicated it requires you to double tap the switch into either the momentary or constant on mode. It’s easy with the momentary mode, but tricky with the constant on.

The constant on typically locks the gun into always on. It takes a soft touch to turn the light on without flicking it entirely into the constant on mode. I couldn’t do it under stress.

Attaching and detaching the light is easy, and you don’t have to place your hand in front of the gun to attach the light. That’s a nice touch.

The Streamlight TLR-1 In Use

I’ve owned this light for several years now. It’s been on an extensive variety of firearms. This, of course, includes my CZ P09, your standard AR 15, and even my Mossberg Shockwave. It’s had hundreds if not thousands of rounds downrange. It’s never dimmed, never flickered and never shut off due to recoil or round counts.

The TLR-1 keeps going and its proven to be a reliable and robust choice on a variety of weapons. It runs for over two hours continuously and uses easy to find CR123A batteries. The light weighs only 4.18 ounces and is 3.39 inches long.

The Streamlight TLR-1 is a very robust light, and I don’t notice any forward weight imbalance with a full magazine. With an empty mag you will feel some of that forward weight, but if you are out of ammo, the imbalance is hardly a problem.

The 300 Lumen light is perfect for indoor use. It’s bright enough to fill an entire room with light. The beam is full and does give you a full field of vision, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it lights an entire room up. From wall to wall your have illumination.


One of the significant benefits of buying the Streamlight TLR-1 is the logistics of choosing it. Its popularity makes it easy to find holsters that are light-bearing. The TLR-1 can also be fitted with a rifle kit with a pressure switch. This makes it easier to adapt the light to multiple weapons and to carry the light and a handgun in a concealed way. Their popularity is a significant reason to own them. Also, the TLR-1 is an affordable option, and you can find the basic 300-lumen model without strobe for about a hundred bucks if you shop around.

The Streamlight TLR-1 is an all-around excellent weapon light. It’s perfect for home defense, and even duty use. The light is bright, throws a precise beam, and is ergonomic and easy to use. The light’s sturdy and long lasting as well. I give it a hearty thumbs up, and it’s not my first or last Streamlight product.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.