Like most gear enthusiasts I have a problem not putting the “best” gear on my rifle. What is the best? Gear that is used and vetted by only the most accomplished/published gunfighters in the business. For the longest time, I’ve only trusted Surefire lights on my weapons. They’ve never failed me at home or abroad and it’s what is issued to me as well. Plenty of warfighters before me have trusted Surefire weapons lights to work when they are needed. When I was building my latest rifle I decided to break with tradition and take a look at a different weapon light. Not a newcomer but rather one that has been proving itself time and time again.
Streamlight has been used in rough and tough conditions for a long time. Many have said that the Streamlight is every bit of light that the Surefire is but at less than half the price. I decided to order a Streamlight Protac Rail Mount 1 with Arisaka mount through Arisaka’s excellent website. My particular Arisaka mount is the inline keymod mount which I can’t recommend highly enough.
What impressed me upon receiving my Streamlight ProTac was the amount of stuff that came with it. Pressure pads, zip ties, tailcaps, and other misc items. It was a very convenient package with everything needed to mount it to a rifle. The ProTac “Rail Mount 1” is 4.25 inches in length and can accept either a CR123A, AA alkaline or AA lithium. Pretty nifty though somewhat unnecessary as CR123A’s aren’t particularly rare. Though it certainly adds redundancy to the system. To my untrained boot stomping brain the Streamlight ProTac looks very similar to my SureFire M300 Mini Scout though is it slightly longer.
The Streamlight once mounted felt and looked good on my rifle. The pressure pad felt better than many of the pressure pads I’ve had the pleasure of trying in the past. The pressure pad features a button at one end that once depressed puts the light into a constant on position. It has solid powerful light when I compared it to my SureFire M300 Mini Scout. The Streamlight ProTac is rated at 350 lumens compared to the SureFire at 300 lumens. I will say that they are very close, but I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen from the Streamlight ProTac thus far. I was mildly irked when first trying it out and discovering it had a strobe function. However a quick read through the manual and I was able to put the light into a different mode on the first try (high output only). Though there are several other modes available.
I’ve done only limited testing with the light thus far. The light performed well in cold and warm weather, specifically moving from one to the other suddenly. The light while attached to the rifle was used in several shoot courses that went indoors at various times. The Streamlight has felt approximately 300 rounds of 5.56 thus far and will experience many more until my mind is made up. I will say this, what I’ve seen so far has impressed me. The quality of build, performance of the light in adverse conditions and it’s output have almost made me a believer in the short week I’ve had it so far. Time will tell how it does long-term.