October 1, 2020

Streamlight TLR-7 Review; Viable?

The Streamlight TLR-7 hit the market in 2018 and gained traction like wildfire. I was one of the people that was highly anticipating it due to its size to output ratio. When I got it in for review I already began seeing issues with the light, not in performance, but in function. Below I’ll be going over the specifications of the light and a summarized review of what’s in the YouTube video.

Streamlight TLR-7

Streamlight TLR-7 Review

Breakthrough or Bust?

The Streamlight TLR-7 hit the market in 2018 and gained traction like wildfire. I was one of the people that was highly anticipating it due to its size to output ratio. When I got it in for review I already began seeing issues with the light, not in performance, but in function. Below I’ll be going over the specifications of the light and a summarized review of what’s in the YouTube video.

Here’s the article that explains why one-handed manipulations are important


The Streamlight TLR-7 comes with 6 different rail inserts; 1913-1, 1913-2, 1913-3, 1913-4, Universal-1, and Universal-2. It may come with other stuff, but since I got it 2nd hand with the clam-shell packaging (without the manual) I can’t say that it does 100%.

Specifications:
Body Material: Aluminum
Locking Mechanism: Tension/Plate system
Activation: Ambidextrous buttons
Battery Type: x1 CR123A
Run Time: 1.5 Hours
Bulb Type: C4/50,000 hour life
Lumen Output: 500
Candela Output: 4,300
Overall Length: 2.15 Inches
Width: 1.18 Inches
Height: 1.27 Inches
Weight: 2.4 Ounces
Additional: IPX7 Rated


Overview

Overall, I’m not a huge fan of the Streamlight TLR-7. It’s a poor choice for those with small to medium hands due to the length of reach for the controls. The light that it emits is almost entirely flood. Is there a hot spot that you can separate from the flood? Barely, but yes.

The controls on this light are less than optimal. I have had issues with activating it one-handed with it backed-up all the way to the trigger guard. People I’ve had try the light with Small to Medium hands have had even more issues getting one handed manipulations done with the firearms I have currently.

If the Streamlight TLR-7 came with a pocket clip versus the clamp for railed use and tail cap activation, I’d probably love it. It has a consistent wide hot spot that doesn’t blind out whatever it’s aimed at, and it has flood for days… everything you want for a utilitarian type light but not a weapon mounted light.

I’m being a big baby about the yellow-ish light, but the output and presentation aren’t terrible. That said, if Streamlight could improve the controls I would probably recommend it just because of how many firearms it can fit on. Until that day comes though? Well, as I said in the video. I can’t recommend that you check it out.

Above you’ll see the comparison between the TLR-7 and the PL-Mini. The PL-Mini’s hot spot even at 7 yards it a lot more noticeable than the TLR-7’s; though the camera doesn’t pick it up that way.  The flood on the PL-Mini (V)alkyrie also has more of a seamless edge. Output wise, the PL-Mini may or may not appear brighter to you, but for me it’s a lot easier to identify what the light illuminates compared to the TLR-7.

Above you’ll see the TLR-7 compared to the standard TLR-1. The hot spot on the TLR-1 is brighter, the flood has an obvious seam, but it doesn’t appear to be as bright in the picture as it does in person.

The TLR-7 has a much wider hot spot (which it does at any distance) than the TLR-1, and a more seamless flood. One thing that isn’t displayed by this comparison is that the TLR-7’s usable distance isn’t as long as the TLR-1’s.

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