Admit it. You want a laser-light combo. We all do, I mean they’re right in that sweet spot of cool and practical. Anyone who’s gone shooting at the range with a laser knows how useful of a training tool it is, and anyone who’s LARPed around their house at night knows how practical a weapon flashlight is. Or I suppose if you carry a handgun for your job, you know how functional both are. Enter the Streamlight TLR-2G.
Operation and Installation
Installation and operation of the light are relatively straightforward. Out of the box you:
- Open the rear battery housing by flipping up the latch (pictured below).
- Install both (provided) batteries according to the handy labels on the side. Using these batteries, you get about 2.5 hours of simultaneous laser-light use or 17 hours of just the laser.
- Close the battery housing. To get it to close correctly, you have to angle the side closest to the selection lever down.
- Use the small silver lever to choose the mode. Flipped to the left is laser only, the middle position is light-only, the rightmost is laser and light together.
- Open the rail attachment. See on the above photo the large screw directly above the “2” in TLR-2G? Unscrew that. I used my fingers, but a coin will work too. It will not come out but will stop turning when fully extended.
- Attach it to your rail.
- Use the rubber on-off switch. Pressing down on the left side turns on the light, releasing turns it off. Pressing down on the right lever is the more traditional on/off toggle, requiring you to flip it back to the start position to turn the light off. Double-tapping and holding the left side turns on a strobe function.
Near-Universal Rail System
The TLR-2G is a pistol sized laser-light combo that works with pretty much every rail type you can imagine. It does this with Streamlight’s exchangeable rail adapter system. I admit, it actually took me a little bit to figure out how it worked. Once I got it though, I was impressed with how well it worked.
Seen here is the stock configuration of the light, which has a Glock rail adapter in it. However, the TLR-2G also comes with adapters for 4 other rail systems.
The system works by inserting a hex nut into the base of the adapter.
And then using a provided hex-key to screw in a bolt.
Home Defense or Duty Light
More than a training or LARPing tool, though, the TLR-2G shines as either a home defense or duty attachment. The light is rated for 300 lumens and 12,000 candelas. At 50 feet, the light is at approximately 51 lux, or roughly equivalent to a modestly lit living room’s brightness.
Seen here at a distance of ~15 feet, the light is concentrated for the most part where it’s being aimed. In addition, there’s a sufficient radius to the light to illuminate the room. With the lights off at night, my apartment living room is very dark, even in the middle of the city. With the light on, as you can clearly see, I could see very clearly.
The most fun part of the laser-light combo, the laser. I specifically chose the green laser for this review, because green lasers are better than red. And I’m not saying that because green is my favorite color (it’s blue for the curious) but because there’s plenty of science to back that up. The human eye can best see wavelengths of light that are about 550-565nm. The TLR-2G laser is 510-530nm. It’s not smack in the middle of the optimum range, but it’s pretty close. And boy, it is easy to see.
Alright, I know that’s not the highest quality picture. But it gets the point across. This laser is VERY visible.
Zeroing the laser is a bit finicky. Because the laser is mounted below the bore, a zero distance has to be chosen by the user. This is done by using another, smaller, hex-key.
This makes zeroing a pain as you have to adjust your grip each time you adjust the zero. Still, as problems go this is fairly minor. It’s not an issue that will come up with any frequency, just when you need to re-zero.
Streamlight has made an excellent offering with its TLR-2G. It’s water-resistant, looks good, and performs exceptionally well. My only complaint is that it won’t fit all compact or subcompact handgun rails, but then it’s not designed to. That’s the TLR-4Gs job. The TLR-2G requires at least 1 7/8″ of space from the trigger guard to the end of the rail.
The switch is intuitive when attached to a handgun, although slightly biased towards right-handed users (though this is something that as a southpaw I have just come to accept). I was unable to get a good picture of it, but the laser is very visible even when the light is on.
In my opinion, if you’re in the market for a light for your nightstand or duty handgun, the TLR-2G would make an excellent contender.
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