This light also snaps on the duty pistol rail and is easily manipulated with the weak hand thumb or first finger. The 630 lumens really lights up the search area, and there is enough ambient light to see the sights as well when using open or other iron-type sights. I remember searching buildings in patrol back in the day with lights that were the brightest available, but were dismal at best compared to the products we have now.
The amount of light emitted by these new units in such a small package is unbelievable. I lit up an area around where my new shop is going in from 35 yards away with the TLR-1 on a carbine and it made everything in the area stand out as if it were in daylight. The smaller pistol/carbine light brightens up a bigger area than the beam oriented rifle light they also offer. This is great for searching as it gives plenty of peripheral vision around where the carbine is pointed.
Streamlight makes a version of the TLR-1 light in a rifle format. The unit is similar, but the lens is more suited to sending light in a beam for longer distance target identification. They also make it with a green LED for hunting as the green light is less spooky to game. I thought the green light would be less bright as the distance increased but it illuminated my 100-yard target board with ease. The center of the beam is bright and through a scope the target has plenty of light for a shot. Both of these units are extremely rugged and I have abused them both on purpose without a fail. The units take two of the CR123 lithium batteries that provide 6 volts of power behind the LED.
Either of these lights can be mounted on the Picatinny 4 rail forearm in any position that is comfortable to the shooter. I like mine on the bottom. The activation button is ambidextrous, and I use my index finger on the right side to operate the light. This gives me a comfortable grip on the forend of the gun, and I have light when I need it. Streamlight also makes an attachment for the back of the unit that has a pressure switch wired to it so a user can put the switch anywhere else on the gun that suits them.
I haven’t used the green light on game, but the white light version seems to stop coyotes in their tracks. I think they are mesmerized by the brightness of the light. The green light really lights up the area out plenty far for a calling shot as I tested it on my 100-yard target. It’s kinda like using a Generation 1 Night vision scope, but the image is clearer. Both of these lights operate on lithium batteries. The run time on the light at 630 lumens is 1.25 hours and the laser if equipped has a runtime of 45 hours. One thing nice about a battery unit is when batteries start to weaken, it’s just a matter of putting fresh ones in. Rechargeable lights don’t give the operator that option.
I really like both of these lights and I’m sure one day they will even be dim compared to the new fangled creations they come up with in the future. But for now, paired with a good red-dot sight, I feel I have everything I need on my AR to safely defend my home.
Recommended AR-15 Resources
Thinking about buying an AR-15 or decking yours out with all the bells and whistles? Then you need the Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Series Set! Author and gunsmith Patrick Sweeney gives you an in depth look at the modern sporting rifle, helping you get a grasp on all of the AR’s iterations, accessories and advancements. Make sure you get everything you want out of your AR-15 with this series. For more resources on guns, shooting and gun collecting check out GunDigestStore.com.