U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- For the longest time, I resisted attaching tactical lights to my carry guns like the Streamlight TLR-6. Not because they aren’t built well enough or useful enough for consideration, but because I exclusively pocket carry in the summer.
So what? So that makes both concealment, and drawing from said concealment potentially very difficult. Plus, my experience with small tactical lights in the past has been anything but encouraging; the majority are either totally unreliable or so dim to be essentially worthless. In fact, I didn’t change my mind on them until I grabbed one for my SIG P938 9mm handgun – and it totally changed my perspective.
With a 500-lumen tactical light and a fully-adjustable laser, the TLR-6 pistol-specific light offers a ton of functionality in a very small package. Amazingly, this light offers the same performance as the original TLR-1 units that are nearly twice their size! Better yet, this light is designed to stay true to the original size and shape of the gun.
But here’s the thing – other companies in the past have built their own form-following tactical lights that bolt on to the host firearm, and many of them aren’t worth the plastic they’re molded from. Is the Streamlight any different?
In a word. Yes. In two: Hell yeah!
Small things can make a big difference, and that’s 100% the case with the TLR-6. While most clam-shell designs are cheap Chinese toys, the Streamlight TLR-6 uses a combination of three machine bolts and a spring-steel battery cover to create a surprisingly robust compact combination light/laser.
But given its compact size, can the P365 TLR hold its own? Absolutely.
With a somewhat limited 100 lumens of light erupting from its tiny emitter, the TLR-6 casts a wide, but bright beam. This makes sense given the gun’s most likely roles and the limited range concealed carry and home defense shooting occur in.
The reason the TLR-6 isn’t capable of producing more light is the result of two factors – battery and size. (And these are very much connected) Unlike the majority of Streamlight’s products which run on either a CR123 or 18650 battery, the TLR-6 is limited to a small CR-1/3N Lithium battery. Which is where my only complaint about this light rests.
I don’t have an issue with the price or efficacy of the CR-1/3N batteries, but they can be somewhat tough to find in a brick-and-mortar store. Which isn’t a huge issue most of the time. But in those moments when the battery unexpectedly dies and a shooter wants a replacement ASAP, shooters will be stuck tracking down a very over-priced one at either a specialty shop or a pharmacy. Either way, it’s a small annoyance.
Personally, the TLR-6 would be in a league of its own if it used an integral rechargeable battery. But undoubtedly, this would tremendously increase the price of the little light. But enough wish-listing, let’s wrap up by discussing the performance and features of the TLR-6.
First off, it’s available for multiple firearms – but beware, it’s a gun-specific accessory. Shooters who want one for a Glock 43, need to buy one made for that gun. Likewise, my P365XL uses one made for that model. Though in that instance, the P365 model fits both the original P365 and the P365XL.
All models feature a fully-adjustable laser aiming module, allowing shooters to dial in the light to their preferred load and expected engagement distance. This is achieved by turning two small set screws recessed into the body of the light itself with an included hex wrench. In testing, the laser was visible out to 100 yards in darkness, and roughly 20 feet in broad daylight. As far as the light’s performance, the beam did a great job of illuminating threats within 25 feet in total darkness, and an OK job out to 50.
Overall, with an MSRP of $210, the Streamlight TLR-6 may seem a little overpriced, but it’s worth every penny. Plus, a cursory search on the internet will yield prices slightly over half of this MSRP, making the TLR-6 a steal!
About Jim Grant
Jim is one of the elite editors for AmmoLand.com, who in addition to his mastery of prose, can wield a camera with expert finesse. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.
When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.