TLR-1 stops .38 round at Point Blank

An officer with the Bensalem Township Police Department in North Carolina was possibly saved by the Streamlight TRL-1 mounted on his Glock stopping a .38 caliber round from a criminal’s revolver. Apparently two officers were searching a house, opened a small closest and the criminal pointed his revolver up at the officer and discharged a few rounds, one of them striking the lens of the TLR-1 and thus destroying it. For the angle shown, the officer must have had his Glock pointed directly at the criminal. The officers immediately retreated from the house, called for back up and a SWAT team entered the house and took everyone inside into custody, with one of the criminals committing suicide instead.

I’ve always thought of the Streamlight TLR-1 as an extremely rugged weapon mounted light, much more so than the Surefire X300 of their competition. From the choice of metal, to the locking bracket that they use, the thing has always just seemed like a tank to me. Now I know that Surefire’s lights are brighter with intensity but as for just extreme ruggedness, I’ve always gone for the TLR-1 lights. This news story is solid evidence and a testimony to that construction, and possibly saving the life of the officer.




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  • mosinman

    pretty impressive for a flashlight to do that, .38 special isn’t the most powerful round out there but it’s nothing to laugh at either

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Im guessing for the rest of his life that cop puts a bullet into every closet door he opens.
    Probably going to piss off his wife.

  • RockChucker

    So….. how did this cause the glock to be “disabled”…. I don’t have any personal experience with a flashlight being shot but I have had a glock come out of a backpack on a streetbike at a high rate of speed…. Asphalt surfing at 110, ran over by an 18 wheeler… Sights were sheared off but functions check and test fire had no issues. I’ve probably got 5-6 thousand more rounds out of that weapon since this. Just not sure how this disabled the glock. Tupperware haters commence in 3, 2, 1……….

    • Ben

      The only thing I can think of is the slide was knocked out of battery, and the frame was too bent for it to return. It certainly looks operable though.

    • Kelly Jackson

      Bro do you even physics?

      You’re talking about something 1/3rd of an inch wide moving at a high rate of speed, vs. a heavy vehicle spreading out it’s mass over a wider surface area.

      • Jwedel1231

        Hey! Get your load per area and your logic and get out!

    • Kivaari

      Look at the dust cover the light is mounted on. They flex, and probably caused the slide to go out of battery. That’s one lucky cop. It’s a good to have a back up.

  • Frank

    Streamlights more durable than Surefires? Uh. I’m going to say no.

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      Seconding this.

    • I’m not sure about that. I’ve carried Streamlights of various types since 1979 and never had a problem with them. This includes the light in the article and SL-20,SL-35 and a few smaller lights. Those SL lights took a real beating!

      • Treyh007

        I agree Streamlights are great products, proven time after time! I’d take 2 or 3 over a Surefire any day!

    • Beju

      Eh, I’ve broken handhelds from both brands. Surefire has the better warranty, but you can typically buy 2-3 Streamlights for the price of a Surefire.

      • Frank

        Streamlight barely make any of their lights in the US anymore. There’s a good reason they’re cheaper.

        • Beju

          In my experience, those reasons are lack of domestic manufacture and less comprehensive warranty, not durability.

        • Peewee Sierrafour

          Whereas sf still makes theirs in good old Mexico.

          • supergun

            That 38 bullet must have been made in china.

        • Our local Sheriffs officers used to issue Magcharger Maglites until they started carrying Streamlight Stingers in early 2000. I got one as a gift from my dad (who served on the force) and it’s a fantastic light. None of the cops ever complained about them breaking. They’re not as good as the new LED ones for brightness or run time. Yes, they’re more affordable than Surefire, but they have an excellent warranty too. I’d feel good with either, but I’m not rich so I’d go Streamlight if I wasn’t issued one.

          • Frank

            Stingers? New those aren’t cheap. Around $75 min. Even more for the rechargable ones. For that price you could get a P2X Fury or a Malkoff MD2 with some rechargeable Li-ion cells. Both of which would be much more rugged lights.

  • Thomas Gomez

    I have had nothing but success from Streamlight and Surefire products. Currently I am testing some Olight products. So far they are holding up really well.

  • notalima

    This officer should never leave the house again. He has used up all of the luck for the remainder of his life 😉

    • iksnilol

      He should save his sick days and call in sick for the last couple of weeks before retirement

      • supergun

        He should throw a 2 week party.

      • Libertarian1911

        He should play Lotto. With luck like his.

    • supergun

      Time for a job broadcasting football.

  • Bensalem is in PA, just north of Philly. It’s not in NC as this story reports. The linked press release is clearly from Bensalem PA.

  • SH

    “An officer with the Bensalem Township Police Department in North Carolina”
    Bensalem is in Pennsylvania. The suspects had warrants from (and were possibly from) North Carolina.

    • valorius

      Yep, been fleeced by bensalem cops many times.

  • Cymond

    I’m honestly surprised. I managed to break the hinge on the plastic battery door on my TLR-1S. Fortunately, Streamlight sells replacement parts.

  • Don Ward

    Harry Callahan: A 357 magnum is a good weapon, but I’ve seen 38’s bounce off of StreamLight flashlights. No good in a city like this.

    • Perfect reference, well played sir.

  • Peewee Sierrafour

    Good save streamlight!!

  • valorius

    I would imagine any gun mounted light would perform similarly. No way a standard pressure .38 is going to penetrate the lens assembly, the entire length of the battery, and out the tail cap of the light IMO.

  • jng1226

    Surefire brighter than Streamlight? Not when it comes to pistol-mounted lights. The TLR “HL” series are tested to the FL-1 Standard at 750 lumens output. Probably too much for a handgun in CQB, especially indoors, but far more than any Surefire pistol-mounted light available.

    • Frank

      HL series are more floody beams. Surefires are TIR which are more focused on spot. So the candela on Surefires tend to be higher. That’s apples to oranges as far as usefulness, but the surefires are going to appear brighter because they have a more light focused in the center.

  • whskee

    If this happened to me I’d want to mount it in a case on my wall as-is. That’s incredible luck he wasn’t injured/killed in that volley. Seems to me the light may have saved his life twice, blinding the suspect before catching the round?

  • Don Davis

    The suspect who killed himself was responsible for murdering an elderly couple, as his car had broken down on road outside their home. He was on the way to a drug deal and needed transportation……hey, two murders, but he needed the wheels. Then he and girlfriend went on a multistage drugstore robbery spree (gotta have that daily high) before ending up in PA. Bensalem cop was really lucky!