I'm in the market for a pistol mounted light to attach to my G34 that I use as my primary home pistol. I know there are more powerful & expensive lights out there but I have narrowed it down to Streamlight models TLR-1 HL or the newer TLR-9. Both are rated at 1000 lumens, both use CR123 batteries and both weight nearly the same so technically they are the same on paper. I know the TLR-9 is a newer model with better on/off switches with high or low switch location options. It won't be carried in a holster so I'm not worried about holster availability with the newer light. I guess my biggest question is.... why one over the other ? Thanks.
|Failing to prepare is |
preparing to fail.
For me, I like the TLR-1 HL as it has the switches that I am most familiar with, plus I do not like the looks of the TLR-9. It looks like the 1 has a wider beam vs. the 9's concentrated beam. For me, on a pistol, wider is better. Also the 1 has strobe whereas it does not look like the 9 has that feature.
"Don't mistake activity for achievement." John Wooden, "Wooden on Leadership"
|Frangas non Flectes|
No experience with the 9. The big advantage I’m seeing is being able to change the batteries by unscrewing the lens and not having to remove the light from the weapon and fiddle with their questionable door design. I broke the battery door on my 800 lumen version TLR-1 HL, even knowing that’s the weak spot in the system and being careful.
Looks like it’ll be about flush with the muzzle of the 34, maybe extend a hair past. Slimmer profile is up to your preference. Being able to use a 18650 cell rather than two CR123A’s also may be nice - an option you don’t have with the TLR-1. Seems to have a bit less throw, but more spill than the TLR-1. No experience with this, but the switches in the newer designs seems at a glance like they might be a bit more rugged as well.
You couldn’t go wrong either way, I think. I have two TLR-1 HL lights and could se myself buying a TLR-9 to add to the mix.
I believe in the 25th amendment.
Whichever you choose, there's one thing you need to be conscious of- 1000 lumens indoors can be a bit much. Dark accommodation aka dark adaptation is a function of the eye. After about twenty minutes of having your eyes closed in a darkened space, healthy eyes adjust fully to lower levels of light. If you go bouncing a bright light off of nearby surfaces, you're going to end up with a temporary dark spot in your vision, known as a scotoma. We've all experienced this. Be careful with this latest generation of floodlight-bright WMLs and flashlights. Out in your yard, 1000 lumens is a great advantage. Indoors, though, be careful. I'm not suggestig this causes any damage to your eyes, not at all, but a huge scotoma in the center of your vision (which will slowly fade over a period of a few minutes) is not to your advantage in any way in a defense scenario.
I don't like the rotary switch on the TLR-1. You have to put pressure normal to the main axis of the gun, and the momentary/constant are in two different directions.
The TLR-9 has the same switches as the TLR-7A, which I have mounted on a Glock 19. I much prefer pressing forward, in-line with the weapon's main axis, with my support thumb to activate the light. I previously preferred the Surefire X300 over the TLR-1 for this reason, along with the X300's constant-on being whichever direction you preferred.
Edit 2: I forgot you can hold down and release for momentary.
I would greatly prefer to not have any strobes, different modes, settings, etc when it comes to a weapon light. Accidentally double tapping and going into strobe is the absolute worst thing about lights with that feature.
|Frangas non Flectes|
No momentary? This a big negative in my book.
I believe in the 25th amendment.
|War Damn Eagle!|
The TLR-9 DOES have momentary on.
At about :25 seconds...
They are both good lights. I even have a TLR-1 on my Glock 34 in the safe right now.
What it really boils down to which switch method do you prefer - the rocker-style of the TLR-1 or the Surefire-style push of the TLR-9.
Might consider checking local gun stores or the like to see if they have display models to handle.
Also, spill is your friend indoors.
"It pays to be a winner."
Yes, I forgot you can hold the switch for momentary. I stopped using it like that and only toggle.
Edited my response.
Thanks everyone, great info. Para, appreciate that insight.... makes me think a 500 lumen TLR-7 might be a better choice for in house use. I have a 3500 lumen Streamlight PROTAC HL 5-X USB retina melter for outside use.
I’ve pretty much standardized on the TLR-7A. I even have it on my duty gun. Seems to be fine indoors and outdoors. I never feel underlighted.
Not minority enough!
I have the TLR-1 HD that I have attended several high round count instructor courses with, on both 9mm and .45 Sigs. I have been impressed with the durability of these little lights-with thousands of rounds fired they just keep on ticking.
I saw enough unintentional activations of the strobe on other students' lights during a low light instructor course that I want nothing to do with the strobe gimmick. Murphy is always present, so I want simple. On, momentary on, and off is all I want in a weapon light.
CMSGT USAF (Retired)
Chief of Police (Retired)
Florida Class K Licensed Instructor
NRA Certified LE Handgun/Shotgun/Rifle Instructor
SIG and Glock and Springfield 1911 Armorer
I have a few pistols with lights.
Glock 19 with Crimson Trace it has a good brightness and doesn't add much bulk to the pistol.
Sig SP2022 has the TLR-1 HL by Streamlight. As mentioned it can be almost too bright, but is good for outside use. If you push up on lever twice it will go into "Strobe mode" and will flash like crazy.
SD9VE has the M3 by Insight. I have had this one for a while it has a yellow tint to it. It is not over powering like the TLR-1 and was pretty reasonable price wise.
LEFT M3 - Middle Crimson Trace - Right TLR-1
NRA Life Member
Sig 229, 220, 2022, 245 models
MPX, 230, 238, 228, 365 models
|The cake is a lie!|
You can always disable the strobe feature on the Streamlights.
I use a Streamlight HL on a G20 at home. In addition to what Parabellum said above about dark adaption, the reflection from a high intensity beam can throw light back at the user, and can actually make it harder to see beyond those objects; this enhances the ability of someone to hide in the shadows. White or light colored walls, or any other surface that can reflect light, will have that effect.
On the other hand, at home, disturbances may occur outside, and have occurred by the house. The brighter beam is a compromise that lights up everything down one side of the house, and is absolutely blinding to someone facing that light.
It's been useful illuminating coyotes and other critters, from time to time.
Among the two you mentioned, the TLR-1 HL is the better pick. The TLR-9 has substantially lower candela and a very floody beam, similar to the TLR-7/7A. More candela means more throw. I know this is an HD gun, but I think having some range capability in your light is worth something.
I own four X300s. The original X300 which was introduced in 2009 IIRC, was 110 lumens. About eighteen months later, Surefire updated the output to 170 lumens, and this is not just a change on paper; the 170 lumen model is brighter.
Sometime after that, Surefire introduced the X300 Ultra, commonly known as the X300U. This model is rated at 500 lumens and, again, this is not just on paper. The X300U is substantially brighter than previous iterations. The earlier models were collimated spots. The X300U has a bright spot, but lots of flood. For a brief time, the X300U was offered at 600 lumens, and the latest version of the X300U is rated at a blinding 1000 lumens. I own four of these WMLS: the original 110 lumen model, the 170 lumen model, a 500 lumen model, and the 1000. So, I have my choice, and the one I keep on my G17 house gun is the original X300, the 110 lumen model. Take that for what it's worth.
|That rug really tied |
the room together.
I have both style switches and the TLR1 switch is my preference. I also think it is far more durable. I think the TLR7/TLR9 switch is pretty flimsy and I don't care for how the momentary works.
My preference on the nightstand gun is the 1000 lumen version of the TLR1 or TLR2.
I have many Surefire and Streamlight pistol lights in the safe, 300 lumen, 500 lumen, 600 lumen, and 1000 lumen and I actually prefer the brightest one. I can see the nightvision thing being a small problem, but I can assure you its far more of a problem for a bad guy when he gets 1000 lumens to the eyes. He WILL be blind for 30 seconds. Its a huge wall of light and you are behind that wall.
It used to be common in the tactical arena to only recommend 100-200 lumens for the house, but lately it seems those same guys are recommending "all the lumens" , as bright as you can get.
Its a personal preference thing... I dont think you can go wrong with 1000 lumens unless you like blasting a white wall right in front of your face.
Often times a very small man can cast a very large shadow
The TLR-1 HD was made to fit on Glocks! Mine is almost too bright if your just waking up, and turning it on.
The first two generations of the X300 had regulated output that was pretty steady over the life of the battery then fell off very quickly until dead.
The Ultras have very high output with fresh batteries but it drops continuously over the battery life. You get 1000 lumens for only a very short time.
Pretty much all lights are like this now. High initial output and rapid continuous fall off and pretty short battery life. So the advertised output is not anywhere near the average output.
The TLR-7A is the best to fit various different guns perfectly with all the insert keys. TLR-9 uses the same keys so it is versatile but it is really long, almost comically so.
|Fighting the good fight|
Yeah... Comically long is a good way to describe it.
The TLR-9 is a bit longer than a G34's extended slide, and nearly as long as a G17L or Government 1911 slide.
I don't foresee it overtaking the TLR-1's market share.
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