Viridian Releases Latest S&W M&P Shield Tac Light

Viridian claims this is the “first taclight for the S&W shield”. Their latest taclight is a useful offering as it easily fits within the confines of the frame, not sticking out in front of the muzzle. Secondly, it comes readily compatible with Viridian’s Enhanced Combat Readiness (ECR) instant-on holster systems.


Viridian’s current line-up for the Shield. They have options for green or red combo light/lasers or the newly released light only.


The RTL-Shield provides 30 minutes of constant run time at 100 lumens or 50 minutes of strobe at 140 lumens. The light is constructed of high-strength polymer. MSRP is $119, but I suspect it will be sub-$100 through the usual suspects.

As someone who is a proponent that every defensive (if not all weapons) should have a light, this is a welcome addition for Shield fans. With my own subcompact heading back to the factory for repair (story posted soon), the Shield is becoming an even more attractive option.


What do you think, TFB readers? Any experience with the ECR holster system on your handguns?

Full presser below:

Viridian® has launched the world’s first taclight for the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield, giving this popular weapon vastly improved defensive prowess.

The new Reactor™ TL (RTL) taclight packs world-class technology into a tiny package: advanced Radiance™ combat optics, powerful 140 lumen light, constant or strobe, and ECR™ Instant-On technology. Each Reactor includes a free holster and two sets of batteries.

“Demand for this product has been high, especially by law enforcement.” says Viridian President Brian Hedeen. “Officers often carry a Shield as a back-up or off-duty weapon. They really understand the value of a great light.”

ECR™ (Enhanced Combat Readiness™) Instant-On technology ignites the light at the instant of draw, without fumbling with buttons, sliders or unfamiliar grips. Every Reactor comes with an ECR™ Instant-On holster. To arm ECR™, simply turn on the light before holstering. The light will automatically turn off when in the holster. Upon draw, the light instantly activates, giving you the edge. Under life and death pressure, that fail-safe response can make all the difference.

In addition to its game-changing size and sleek design, the Reactor™ TL’s unique Radiance™ wide-beam technology illuminates over twice the horizontal area of standard taclights, for faster discovery and targeting.

High-output constant and strobe functions have the power of far bigger lights — up to 140 lumens – to expose, blind and disorient without weight or bulk. Viridian suggests that users select the constant mode for scanning and searching. Select the strobe mode in a self-defense situation. Being hit by a strobing light can cause the bad guy to experience dizziness and confusion.

Packed with features, the RTL even includes a two-color battery level indicator.

Viridian® is the fastest growing laser sight manufacturer in the nation, responsible for a number of industry-leading product innovations in green and red laser sights, taclights, ECR™ Instant-On technology, TacLoc™ holsters, and shooting accessories. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Viridian® is devoted to utilizing cutting-edge technology to offer compact, powerful self-defense products for the civilian, military, and law enforcement markets. Viridian products are designed and built in the USA.


Update: Corrected photo to Shield and added video explaining ECR.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • James

    The article is a bit confusing. The picture above is the CTL mounted on an m&pc but the actual article is about a new light called the reactor tl. (RTL) I guess the RTL for the shield isn’t out yet because I didn’t see it on the linked viridian page. I’m interested on what it looks like and how it mounts though. If it’s small I might get one… Idk. I’m kinda fine with my TFOs and current holster.

  • mirk

    Looks like it uses the pseudo rail.

  • Found a better picture than the Glock. Now with video of Rob Pincus!

  • Matt

    Like our Reactor products for the LCP and LC9/380, the unit mounts around the trigger guard (it has two halves) and is held in place by three screws.

    Viridian Green Lasers

    • Eurocopter

      Hi Matt.

      How well do you test your lasers in cold weather temperatures? My C5 unit does not seem to like it at all. Either it won´t turn on, or it won´t turn of when the temperature gets below freezing. Kind of unacceptable for a 200$ range toy 🙂


      • Matt

        Well, we are based in Minnesota, 15 mi W of Minneapolis 😉 . So the units are tested in cold weather, and we have found some of the same things you have. We recommend carrying close to your body in a holster under your coat until you are ready to shoot to keep it as warm as possible. Green lasers and small batteries are a tough mix with cold weather. And the first thing the customer service girls ask is ‘do you have new batteries in it?’ Drop me an email if you like.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I’m very interested in a light for the shield. However… After taking some serious low light training…

    Having a light that comes on the second you draw from the holster is a terrible idea. It goes against every idea how to actually use a weapon light (light-move, light-shoot-move). There is no need or even a desire for multiple functions, and the light only comes on when you want it to and for short bursts, immediately out if the holster is doing nothing for you.

    I’ll admit before I had any sort of low light instruction, it did sound like a good idea. Now though, no thanks.

    • Great point!

    • Skeptikal_Realist

      This makes sense for a soldier or a cop, but if you are drawing your concealed carry piece in the dark, the jig is up, and the threat is likely within bad breath range. You aren’t shooting and moving. You aren’t taking cover. You have split-seconds to defend yourself, and then it’s over. Automatic light activation makes sense for self defense. Even the illumination of the light itself is a signal to your aggressor, that you are probably not the soft target he expected.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Uh huh…

        What exactly groups, schools, or organizations have you taken low light training from? Who were the instructors?

        • Skeptikal_Realist

          Thanks, but I’m not interesting in online dick measuring contests.

          From your brief description, I made the assumption that your training was police/LEO oriented. If I was mistaken, and it was oriented toward concealed carry low light environments, then congratulations: either way, you have a superior skill set that makes this particular light ill-suited for you. I’d wager that most concealed carriers have not had similar training. This light is for them.

          BTW, I actually agree with you. Please understand that your training has shaped your ideas, and most people haven’t had that training.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            I’ve trained with general mil, SF, police, SWAT, PMCs, civilians enthusiasts like myself, USPSA/IDPA competitors, industry engineers, you name it. I don’t make the distinction between any of them. Most contractors now are concealed carry, many mil guys are moving to IWB holsters, some civilians are moving to carbines and go-bags in vehicles, etc. The lines blur because some things clearly work and some clearly do not.

            I disagree that someone should carry the wrong gear for the reason they lack training. I think there is a fundamental issue altogether of this industry not pushing training enough. Still, no one is going to outright forgo a light on their gun for the reason they lack low light training… But… I can imagine no situation where the light SHOULD come on by itself on draw.

            A weapon light is not a flashlight. You can’t use it as a general light. It isn’t for searching around, I can see very little reason for anything but a momentary setting at all. On draw, I can imagine only point blank direct contact situation that it MIGHT be mildly beneficial for the light to just be on with draw, but now you’re getting into a splitting hairs determination that the time it takes to trigger the light with the strong or support hand is consequential to the threat. I don’t think that’s the case, probably ever. Maybe if all you have is strong hand free and your light can only be triggered by support hand (most X300s on handguns)

            On the other hand… Drawing your handgun and having the light immediately flag and splash off YOU and not the target… Dumb in almost every scenario I can think of. So, I can’t agree that just because you don’t know what you’re doing a the wrong-gear is OK, it only seems to make it worse to me.

          • Skeptikal_Realist

            Excellent points.

            This post contains the information that your first post hinted at, but fleshes out the details that make the argument compelling.

            Consider my first response withdrawn.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Thanks for posting that. Good on you.

  • Anonymoose

    I’ve been wanting a .40 Shield ever since I tried my friend’s a few weeks ago, and this has made me want one even more.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Unless you’re police or are otherwise forced to carry .40, I’d REALLY REALLY REALLY recommend the 9mm Shield.

      If you are for some reason forced to carry 40 in a duty gun, then the 40 Shield at least makes a little sense, but otherwise, 9mm in that gun is far superior.

  • Cory Frost

    I went the XDs 9/Surefire tlr-3 route. Crossfire holster systems makes a nice IWB hybrid for my combo. I can then easily transfer that Tlr-3 to my Sig p226 or others. Botach tactical has the tlr-3 for under $70 shipped and that was also what I paid for my iwb. Love the combo and having a nice removable light on me at all times. The light worked great for frog hunting with the kids a few weeks back (off the pistol).