Streamlight TLR-7: Compact Lumens!

Introduced in early 2018, the TLR-7 was the next evolution in the weapon mounted lights offered by Streamlight. Designed to fit with compatible conceal carry-sized handguns, the TLR-7 offers professional, competitive, and individual shooters with a steady source of light in an otherwise dark environment.

Compact in design, the TLR-7 was an improvement over the previous TRL-4 models in both appearance, size, and light output (measured as lumens). Its 6000 Series aircraft-grade aluminum housing ensures the light’s robust ability to withstand heavy usage. The switch housing is covered in a rubberized polymer to prevent impact shock. The TLR-7 features ambi-switch controls that allow the operator to select between momentary, ON/OFF, and strobe light control (if activated). The custom light optic produces 500 lumens (or 4,300 candela) in a narrow beam with peripheral illumination that reaches 131 meters before dispersal. In front of the optic, the TLR-7 glass is a Borofloat high temperature glass designed to have a high degree of heat and impact/abrasion resistance.

The TLR-7 is powered by a single CR123 lithium battery that provides the light an average 1.5 hours of continual runtime. The battery compartment is sealed via rubberized gasket to avoid penetration of moisture. A special design feature of the TLR-7 includes a “Safe ON/OFF” design built into the facecap of the lens that prevents accidental activation.

A series of different mounting keys are provided with the TRL-7 that provides platform compatibility across a wide variety of handgun platforms.

The TLR-7 has an overall measurement of 2.15” (L) x 1.18” (W) x 1.27” (H) and an operating range between -40 degrees Fahrenheit, to 120 degrees. It is sealed against moisture thanks to a rubber gasket and enclosed housing to provide waterproofing. It should be noted that the TLR-8 is the laser variant of the TLR-7, with the fame light functionality and “Safe ON/OFF” feature, but in the TLR-8 the laser is an optional red or green.

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): At an MSRP of $225.75 the price online can vary depending on retailer and availability of sales/coupons. At the time of this writing it is available for as little as $101.91 on third-party sites, but take care. Overseas counterfeits of weapon lights proliferate sites like Ebay and Amazon. For the MSRP, the TLR-7 is well below the cost of a Surefire X300 (the closest comparable competitor) and almost half the size.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): Very light. In comparison to other weapon lights that lead the industry, the TLR-7 is almost half the weight and was hardly noticeable on the end of the pistol. There is some debate in the Interwebs about the comfort of the ambi-switch, but it comes down to how you choose to index your support thumb. Those who index high, do not like how far they have to come down and in to toggle the pressure switch. For them, butterfly toggle switches like those on the TLR-1 or X300 are more comfortable because they come down slightly to already be on the switch in the up position. For others who index mid-low along the slide, they will only have to move their thumb less than an inch to be within reach of the TLR-7’s switch. I am the latter and did not denote any discomfort or difficulty in engaging the switch while firing or at the ready.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): Amazingly durable. The course of fire selected for testing the TLR-7 involved 10 magazines, each with 10 rounds, at a 15-meter target. Between magazine changes the light was struck a number of times on the housing and lens cap with the ejecting magazine before a new one was loaded. The process repeated itself until all rounds were fired. At no point did the TLR-7 light flicker or fail in the firing process, nor drift from center mass. The testing did result in some minor (cosmetic) surface scratches, but nothing that would impact the functionality of the light.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): Aside from the traditional ON/OFF and momentary light functions, the TLR-7 has an optional strobe feature that comes from the factory disabled. It was a little tricky to get the rapid nine clicks of the control switch fast enough, then hold the 10th to engage the strobe feature. But once engaged, the strobe easily functioned on the second press of the switch as designed. Disengaging the strobe feature was again little tricky, but after a few tries was successful. The TLR-7 also has a “Safe ON/OFF” feature that has a tangible/audible click at the detent that indicates it is “Safe”. In essence you are unscrewing the battery connection to the point (or detent) that the connection to the battery is seperated. It was a nice feature in application that clearly limited the risk of negligent light discharge when the weapon light is not in use.
  • Weight Good (4/5): Weighing a mere 2.4 ounces (with provided battery) the TLR-7 weighs about one ounce more than the Surefire XC1, but provided 200 more lumens. In comparison, the TLR-7 weighs half of a TLR-1 but also provided 200 more lumens. Thus, when considering the current market of available weaponlights, the TLR-7 was under the average weight of other legacy devices, but comparable to newer models. The weight did not pull the muzzle of the handgun down nor have a notable impact to target acquisition while firing.

Overall Rating – Good (20/25)

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IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.