Streamlight will be showing a new light in their TLR weapon light series at SHOT Show 2018. While the only image we have is a teaser, the light appears to be Streamlight’s response to the trend toward compact handgun lights made specifically for the concealed carry market.
Tag Archives | Streamlight
Flashlights that can be recharged via USB ports are not new. However, Streamlight is taking the concept to new heights with an entire suite of lighting products that can be recharged via USB and a central product, the Super Siege Lantern, that can serve as the charger!
Streamlight’s Super Siege Lantern is great product on its own but by adding two headlamps and a handheld tactical light to their USB rechargeable lineup, the Super Siege is now the central element of an entire concept. The lantern features a large capacity rechargable battery with USB ports that can be used to recharge items like cell phones… and now flashlights. The applications for something like this are broad – hiking/camping, emergency lighting in the home, trade work like construction, and the list goes on.
If you need to add a light to your carbine or you just want to upgrade your existing light’s lumen output, pay attention. For a limited time, you can pick up one of Cloud Defensive’s LCSMK2K Light Control Systems bundled with a Streamlight ProTac Rail HL-X for $150. That is $150 for 1000 lumens and everything you need to organize all those annoying tape switch wires.
Streamlight’s Siege series of lanterns is very useful. The lanterns offer solid output, strong runtimes, and durable cases. They recently introduced two new versions that do more than just light a room… They support The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc.
The both of these lights run on 2 AA batteries and boast the following output and runtimes:
- High for brightest light: 200 lumens; runs 7 hours
- Medium for bright light and longer run times: 100 lumens; runs 15.5 hours
- Low provides extended run times for when less light is needed: 50 lumens; runs 37 hours
The Siege AA Red and Siege AA Blue have a secondary red and blue (respectively) LEDs with the following outputs and runtimes:
- Red/Blue LED High (night vision preserving mode): 0.7 lumens; runs 192 hours (8 days)
- Flash SOS mode for emergency signaling: 0.7 lumens; runs 288 hours (12 days)
Streamlight will donate $2 from the sale of each of these lanterns to a charity – The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for the Siege AA Red and Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. for the Siege AA Blue.
Impact Weapons Components (IWC) produces a huge variety of mounts that are compatible with the Surefire Scout mounting interface. So, when it was announced that Streamlight would be producing lights that would share this mounting interface, IWC had a vested interest in ensuring the new ProTac Rail Mount lights are compatible with their entire line of mounts. They tested the lights themselves and then boxed up a ProTac Rail Mount 1 and 2 for me to test since I already own a wide variety of IWC light mounts.
This article will not necessarily be a full review of the ProTac Rail Mount lights though there will be elements of a review. The main thrust here is how these lights work with IWC’s mounts. I tried these lights on several different light mounts and on several different firearms.
The following mounts were tested and found to perfectly:
- THORNTAIL KeyMod
- THORNTAIL SBR
I will share specific thoughts about each combination below.
SMC and SMCXL
Tested on the following:
- AR-15 with MOE SL Hand Guards (MLOK)
- AR-15 with MOE Hand Guards
- AKM with MOE AK Hand Guards (MLOK)
In my opinion, this is the most exciting combination of mount and light that I tested. The SMC and SMCXL best represent the entire point of the ProTac Rail Mount lights – affordability. These are mounts that do not require a rail in order to achieve excellent light placement which makes the entire combination of hand guard, mount, and light very affordable.
The combination of the SMC light mount with Magpul’s MOE Hand Guards is pretty well vetted at this point. It works. The SMC and longer SMCXL move the light forward and offset it from the mounting point. This serves to clear gripping space on the hand guard and places it where it can be activated easily. It’s not just an affordable option. It’s a very good option that is hard to top with any other mount/handguard combination.
You can spend more on a hand guard, mount, and light combination but you will not necessarily get a more functional setup than what this represents. Additionally, this entire setup (for AR-15s) can be executed in such a way that there is no permanent change to the host rifle which may be attractive or necessary for some users.
Tested on the following:
- AR-15 with Fortis REV 12 Rail
- AR-15 with Parallax Tactical FFSSR KeyMod Rail
The THORNTAIL KeyMod is a unique mount in the IWC line. It mounts to KeyMod and accepts standard tactical lights via a flashlight ring, Scout pattern lights, and rail mounted lights. Like the everything else in the THORNTAIL line, it places the light in an offset position.
Interestingly, the Protac Rail Mount 1, is functionally and dimensionally similar to another light that IWC played a role in developing, Elzetta’s Mini CQB. I compared the two lights directly and while the Mini CQB is certainly the better made light, they are both functional options. The Mini CQB offers bomb-proof quality with a more flexible integrated mount. The ProTac Rail Mount 1 offers acceptable quality, a lower price, and AA battery compatibility.
If you need to place the ProTac Rail Mount light even closer to the rail than the THORNTAIL KeyMod allows, you can check out any of IWC’s inline mounting options. These mounts will mount on a similar footprint but hold the light closer to the mounting surface.
THORNTAIL and THORNTAIL SBR
Tested on the following:
- AKM with Ultimak Railed Gas Tube
- AR-15s with various rails
This is likely the most flexible mounting setup that I tested simply because of the proliferation of mounting rails. This brings the forward and offset light position of the THORNTAIL line of mounts to any firearm with a standard Picatinny rail. I tested it on the usual suspects but it could also be used on anything from a Ruger 10/22 with the right rail to a Marlin 336 with a XS Sight Systems Scout Rail.
I am impressed with these lights and the various mounts that IWC offers (which is why I own so darn many of them). The ProTac line of hand held lights has been used in weapon mounting and CCW applications for years before the release of the Rail Mount lights and seem to be trustworthy at a very attractive price. I think the various combinations represented here offer some very good budget options for shooters who aren’t ready or able to drop the coin on a premium light like a Surefire Scout or Elzetta CQB Mini.
If you are concerned that these may be “knock offs” of the Surefire Scout lights, please read my previous post on this topic.
To see more thoughts on the unique functionality of the Rail Mount 1, please read here (especially if you like the idea of a AA compatible weapon light).
Thank you to Impact Weapons Components for providing these lights for mount compatibility testing. The lights are available from Impact Weapons Components. All of their compatible light mounts may be viewed on their light mount page. You can use the discount code “triggerjerk” to save 5% on your purchase of IWC branded items.
I recently shared with you how impressed I am with Streamlight’s ProTac Rail Mount 1 and its ability to be powered from a CR123A or AA battery. Streamlight has just announced that they will be bringing that same technology to their ProTac handheld lights in the new ProTac 1L-1AA.
The new light will feature anodized aluminum construction, a “unbreakable” two-way clip, anti-roll bezel, and Streamlights TEN-TAP programming to allow the user to choose between 3 different output sets including high/strobe/low, high only, and high/low. The light is also IPX7 waterproof (1 meter for 30 minutes).
The output is basically identical to the ProTac Rail Mount 1.
- CR123A lithium battery output:
- High for bright light: 350 lumens; 6,400 candela; 160m beam; runs 1.5 hours
- Low for longer run time: 40 lumens; 720 candela; 53m beam; runs 14.hours
- Strobe for signaling or disorienting: runs 3 hours
- AA alkaline/lithium battery output:
- High: 150 lumens; 2,750 candela; 105m beam; runs 1 hour 20 minutes (alkaline); runs 4.25 hours (lithium)
- Low: 40 lumens; 720 candela; 53m beam; runs 7.5 hours (alkaline); runs 14 hours (lithium)
- Strobe for signaling or disorienting: runs 3.5 hours (alkaline); runs 8 hours (lithium)
The new light will be on display at NRA 2016 so swing by booth #5391 to see it in person. You can also learn more by visiting Streamlight’s website.
I have been working with both the new ProTac Rail Mount lights from Streamlight for a couple of weeks now. I have spent more time with the Rail Mount 1 in particular. This post should not be considered a full review given the short time they have been in my hands. Consider it something like my initial impressions and perhaps an answer to some common inquiries that I receive here often at JTT – AA battery powered weapon light availability and a more general question about affordable lighting set ups .
These lights were sent to me by Impact Weapons Components (IWC) for the express purpose of testing them with a variety of IWC mounts of which I own several. That article will come later and will have plenty of pictures of the lights on various IWC mounts and impressions of the combinations.
Initially, I have had the Protac Rail Mount 1 mounted in an IWC SMC Light Mount on an Arsenal SGL-21 with Magpul MOE AK Hand Guards and also on an AR-15 with Magpul MOE SL Hand Guards. This setup has proven to be very useful in both cases.
AA Battery Compatibility
I commonly receive questions regarding the availability of AA weapon lights. While alkaline AA batteries are generally less suitable for weapon lights than lithium CR123A batteries, I do understand that gun guys also tend to have a prepper streak. The perceived long term availability of AA batteries makes a weapon light powered by them attractive. I am happy to report that the ProTac Rail Mount 1 can be powered by a single AA battery without modification (the documentation specifically mentions alkaline and lithium chemistries).
The output is reduced to 150 lumens on high for the lower voltage AA batteries but, according to Streamlight, the light will provide regulated output for 1.5 hours on an alkaline AA and an impressive 4.5 hours on a lithium AA. Compare those numbers to 350 lumens for 1.75 hours with a CR123A. That 150 lumen performance for 4.5 hours with a lithium AA may actually be very appealing to those who prefer a light in the 120-150 lumen range (though lumens don’t tell the whole story of what makes a light bright enough or too bright).
Remember that it wasn’t that long ago that 120 lumen LED weapon lights were the bleeding edge. 150 lumens from a single AA battery is impressive especially considering this is one of the very few dedicated weapon lights that can be powered from a AA battery.
Questions about affordable versions of this or affordable versions of that are some of the most common questions received here at JTT with weapon lights being a frequent topic. I like to point out that you must also consider the price of not only the light but the mount and hand guard in that discussion. Additionally, your weapon light must be useful regardless of how affordable it is or isn’t. If you find a cheap hand guard but it requires a jerry-rigged mounting solution to work with a light, that isn’t a good value. If you have a high end hand guard but you are limited by your light’s integral mount (or lack their of), the usefulness of the total package can suffer.
This is where I believe these lights can really stand out due to their use of the Scout Light mounting system. The lights themselves are affordable and are compatible with a variety of affordable, high-quality mounts that can be mounted to affordable, high quality hand guards.
You could add Magpul MOE Hand Guards to you rifle (AR or AK), use an SMC Light Mount, and a ProTac Rail Mount light. Add a vertical grip or IWC hand stop if you are so inclined. All of these items are quite affordable but this isn’t just an affordable light mounting option. It’s a very good option. The light falls right where it should for easy operation. It is relatively lightweight. The hand guard is cleared for establishing a good grip. This is just a solid front end set up for your AK or AR that is all made possible by the compatibly of the ProTac Rail Mounts with existing light mounts.
In general, I have been impressed with these lights over my short time with them. There is certainly no replacement for time and repetitions over a large sample size when it comes to establishing the reliability of something like a flashlight so these impressions are very preliminary. On the other hand, the Streamlight ProTac handheld lights are fairly well vetted at this point.
The Rail Mount Lights use a large collimating lens in order to shape the lumens that are pushed out the front. The lens itself is quite large compared the reflectors found on the ProTac handheld lights (about the size of the lens found in the Streamlight TRL-1 HL). The beam shape is very good with a nice hotspot for good throw and a wide corona for taking in a wide view of your surroundings.
I am impressed with the value that these represent much like the Streamlight TLR-1. These lights come with an integral mount, a tape switch, a tail cap, and various other items for mounting and routing the tape switch. The Rail Mount 1 comes with both a CR123A and AA battery. The quality is on par with what I have come to expect from the ProTac line (I own several of the hand held lights). Part of the value is also Streamlight’s customer service which in my experience has always been excellent with quick responses and satisfying outcomes.
I will continue testing and trying different mounts. In the mean time, you can check out the ProTac Rail Mount lights and various IWC light mounts at Impact Weapons Components. They will be offering combo deals on these lights with their mounts soon so stay tuned. Remember to use code TRIGGERJERK at checkout to save 5%.
You may remember Streamlight’s SHOT Show 2016 announcement of the expansion of their ProTac line to include new rail mountable versions of these popular lights. The internet took one look at them and cried bloody murder about them being a copy of Surefire’s Scout series of lights. The opinion was likely based on the similar rail clamp and it did, in fact, turn out that the lights were compatible with Scout mounts.
From the initial announcement, I have never thought of these lights as copies. In fact, I think that the opinion that these are copies of Scout lights is actually very shortsighted. I have now been able to handle a ProTac Rail Mount 2 and I have some of the lights inbound for my own testing. This has confirmed my opinion that these lights are not copies.
The lights themselves are very different from Surefire Scout lights. You would never confuse one for the other. The Streamlight products are very much like Streamlight’s current ProTac line which many people (including Frank Proctor) have been using successfully on rifles for years. The family lineage is obvious.
The rail mount is extremely similar if not identical to Surefire’s Scout Light mounts. This may be the source of much of the consternation but I look at it as a very strong positive. This could signal a move toward an industry standard light mounting interface. We already have a host of aftermarket light bodies on the market that use this same mount interface and no one is crying about those. End users now how the choice of Surefire Scout Light, various after-market Scout compatible components, or the new ProTac Rail Mounts with all of these options using the same wide selection of mounts. This, I believe, is very good for the consumer.
The Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount Lights are not copies at all. They are a budget oriented light option that makes use of what is hopefully becoming an industry standard mount.
Streamlight just introduced two new rail mounted lights that appear to be intended as competition for the Surefire Scout series of lights. The ProTac Rail Mount 1 and ProTac Rail Mount 2 are single cell and double cell (respectively), rail mountable version of Streamlight’s popular ProTac lights. Both lights feature integrated rail mounts, anodized aluminum construction, a tempered glass lens, and tape switch or push button tail cap compatibility. Both lights are also user programmable with a choice of three operating modes: high/strobe, high only, and low/high.
The ProTac Rail Mount 2 boasts 625 lumen output for 2 hours. The ProTac Rail Mount 1 can be run off of a AA battery or a CR123A and, because of the differences in voltage, it has a different output level depending on the battery type. It boasts 150 lumens for 1.5 hours with an alkaline AA (4.5 hours on a lithium AA battery) or 350 lumens for 1.75 hours with a CR123A.
Streamlight’s new TLR-6 adds white light and laser capability to Glock’s popular pocket rockets, the 42 and 43. SHTF Gear has just introduced their excellent ACE-1 Gen 2, a hybrid IWB holster, that accommodates the G42/43 with the TLR-6 mounted. It looks like it would make a very compact and capable carry combination. Check out the ACE-1 Gen 2 Holsters at SHTF Gear.