The Streamlight brand of weapons lights offer users an affordable option when compared to lights from companies like Surefire. The Streamlight series of weapon lights ranges from rifle to pistol lights. My review is specifically on the Streamlight TLR 3. The TLR 3 is a compact rail mounted tactical light. The Streamlight TLR 3 is designed for weapons between the size of the Glock to the Walther PPS.

Streamlight TLR 3 | A Compact Handgun Light

Streamlight TLR 3 Review Specs

The Streamlight TLR 3 is a superbly compact and lightweight flashlight. It’s 2.7 inches long and weighs a mere 2.32 ounces. You really don’t notice the weight attached to the front of your weapon. It mounts perfectly to smaller weapons like the Walther PPS, as well as the full size CZ P09.

Streamlight TLR 3 | A Compact Handgun Light

The light shines a solid 125 lumens and is an excellent close range light. It’s not designed for long-range or long gun use. For home defense or average concealed carry it’s great. It’s not intended to light up targets a hundred yards away in the rain.

Streamlight TLR 3 | A Compact Handgun Light
Blinding at close range

On a handgun for concealed carry or home defense it’s perfect. The unit uses a single CR 2 lithium battery. These small batteries are hard to find and pretty expensive. Plus they only last for an hour and a half. Expensive batteries that barely last kinda suck to be honest. The light is nice and bright while the batteries last.

Durability and Performance

I’ve had the light for about 18 months and I generally don’t carry it. If I am going on a road trip I do equip the light to my handgun and store it in my center console.  I don’t carry the light mounted on my weapon mostly due to the difficulty in finding a concealed carry holster that is set up to be light bearing. My primary use for the light is for home defense. In this role, it is the perfect companion for my CZ P09 which serves as my nightstand pistol.

Streamlight TLR 3 | A Compact Handgun Light
Keep this polymer frame screwdriver free

In this time I have dropped the light several times because I’m clumsy, and it’s been attached to my firearm for at least 500 rounds and the recoil has done nothing to it. It’s even taken a shortfall into a deep puddle during Hurricane Hermine. It turns out the unit is wateproof and can ber submerged a meter for 30 minutes. My spill was a 6-inch deep puddle and was there for about twelve seconds before I swept it out freaking out I broke my light. It was fine and remained fine.

I should clarify isn’t mounted to my gun at this time, I removed it because I needed a flashlight in a hurry in a public location and my pen light wasn’t doing it. My TLR 3 was luckily equipped to my CZ and in my car.

Ease of Use

The paddle switch is an easy and intuitive off and on method for the Streamlight TLR 3. The switch has three total modes, off, continuous on, and a momentary on/off switch. The momentary switch is a nice touch for a compact weapon light. It mounts on and off with ease, and I haven’t had an issue with it sliding on or off my weapons.

When you first purchase the Streamlight weapon light you get a variety of different keys that allow you to custom tailor it for your weapon’s rail system. I’ve since lost those extra keys, but they are a nice touch to include and allow you to easily adapt your weapon to multiple guns.

Potential Issues

I say potential because I haven’t encountered these issues, but others have. The polymer frame is more prone to cracking from being over tightened. This is certainly why you should never torque down this light via screwdriver. I haven’t gone further than hand tightening it, and have never had an issue.

White Light

Streamlight TLR 3 | A Compact Handgun Light
The Nightstand Gun

One of the most important safety rules of using a firearm is know your target and what lies beyond it. The knowing your target part of this means you positively identify your target before you take a shot. For this reason, I’m a major proponent of white lights on home defense weapons. I’m also a fan of saving money, but I hate sacrificing performance for Chinese junk. The Streamlight TLR 3 may not be a perfect choice for the battlefield, but it’s my perfect choice for the home.