While completely geeking out on flashlights and weapon lights at SHOT Show a couple months ago, I came across Nightstick lights. Brian, the Nightstick rep I spoke to, immediately pointed out some of the perks of Nightstick lights, which were quality, price point, brightness and function. One of the coolest features he showed me, though, was how the weapon lights turn on/off, but more on that later. After speaking with him for a bit, Brian offered to send me two models of lights to test for you, our readers. A number of weeks ago I received those lights and have been using and testing them almost daily ever since.

Nightstick TCM-550XL-GL and Nightstick TWM-30. (Author photo)

First Reaction

Upon their arrival, I immediately removed the lights from their well-packed external box and laid out the pieces to see what I was working with for the install. Installing weapon lights such as these is fairly straightforward if you’ve ever done it before; but, I did notice the light came with a couple of additional pieces to ensure proper fitment with a variety of brands and gun models, so I took to the Nightstick website for further information.

The instruction manuals were fairly clear, although I had to look up my specific weapon models online to determine which modular rail insert was appropriate for the two weapons used for testing. That process was straightforward and soon I was busy installing the lights onto two guns; a Sig Sauer P226 and a Glock 23. After brief consideration, I decided to place the TCM-550XL-GL (compact) on the Glock 23 and the TWM-30 on the Sig Sauer P226 since the Sig has a longer barrel than the Glock 23 and it has more usable rail space to accommodate the larger TWM-30. Once I had the right rail insert on each light, installation took roughly 2 minutes. Once installed, I did a final tightening on the lights and then it was time for the fun part…using them!

*For ease of understanding and for reading comfort I’ll now be referring to the TCM-550XL-GL as “TCM” and the TWM-30 as “TWM.”

Products, Features, and Materials

The two different models I tested differ in brightness and in the presence of a laser. The TWM is much brighter than the TCM (more than twice as bright), but the TCM has a beautiful green laser and a 550 Lumen light that makes it a strong contender as well. Let’s start first with the TCM.

TCM-XL-GL installed on a Glock 19 pistol. (Nightstick)

TCM-550XL-GL

According to Nightstick’s website, the TCM boasts the following features:

  • 550 Lumens/1,462 High Candela
  • Drop Rating of 2m
  • Daylight-visible Class IIIa 532nm Green Laser
  • Ambidextrous rear-facing toggle switches operate light, laser or both simultaneously
  • Momentary or constant-on flashlight
  • Aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum housing
  • Type III hard-anodized finish
  • Sharp, focused beam rated at 136¬†meters
  • IP-X7 Waterproof
  • Impact & chemical resistant

Additionally, the TCM has the following dimensions:

  • Length: 2.5 in (63.5 mm)
  • Width: 1.1 in (30 mm)
  • Depth: 1.6 in (41 mm)
  • Weight: 2.9 oz (82 g)

When comparing the brightness of the TCM to that of the TWM, it is noticeably different. That said, it also possesses an incredible green laser that functions even in bright daylight (it’s not going to illuminate 100 yards away in full sun, but in tight spaces where deadly encounters often occur, I could see the light even when I shot outdoors on a sunny day.) At night, the laser will easily shine on any target in which you could accurately shoot a pistol.

The TCM-550-XL-GL weapon-mounted light and green laser combo. (Nightstick)

When I shot my Glock using the laser on the TCM, I immediately was impressed with the ease of target acquisition the green laser provided. I’ve shot Glocks for years, but since my police department carried the Sig Sauer P226, my muscle memory is much more tuned in for that trigger pull vs. the Glock pull. I can’t say that I know why, but having the laser seemed to ease my mind of the thoughts of a different trigger pull and my grouping got significantly better when shooting at speed at around 7-10 yards. I give the TCM’s great laser setup full credit for that.

Additionally, the toggle switch used to go between light/laser/off in whatever combination you choose quite simply could not have been more intuitive. When looking for something to add ease/safety/function to your everyday carry piece, what most gun owners look for is how easily they can incorporate that tool into their routine. This light and its controls integrate seamlessly.

TWM-30

TWM-30 installed on a Glock pistol. (Nightstick)

The TWM is an incredible tool in its own right. What I couldn’t help but think when I practiced CQB using my Sig and the TWM, is how much of a value add it would’ve been while I searched houses as a police officer. The worst part about searching houses or ordering people from cars at gunpoint (like after a pursuit) is that without a weapon light you have no free hands. That very significant reality hit me one night when I was doing just that…I was ordering a suspect from a vehicle who had done burglaries all over town and then we had jumped his car and then chased him and his partner in crime all over town. A point of irony in this particular story is that the suspect, while committing his burglaries, decided to steal gas from one of the houses he burglarized and top off his car’s fuel tank. Because he is a criminal and criminals ¬†are for the large part incredibly dumb, he used mixed gas in his fuel tank. Once we were a good bit into the pursuit and that mixed gas hit the engine his car said “NOPE!” and his getaway car – and his brilliant decision to use mixed gas – ended the pursuit for us.

Anyway, as I ordered the suspect from the vehicle, I had my pistol in my right hand and my flashlight in my left. I quickly realized with that setup I couldn’t grab and handcuff him without dropping something or putting something back in its holster. It was a weird, uneasy feeling when it hit my thought process in that second. From that moment on I became a huge proponent of weapon-mounted lights.

If I would’ve had the TWM that night, I could’ve had my pistol and flashlight drawn with a single hand and I could’ve used that free hand to do anything I needed, based on the suspect’s response. I guess all’s well that ends well, but dang if I don’t wish I would’ve had a free hand that night.

The TWM-30 1,200 Lumen weapon-mounted light. (Nightstick)

Nightstick’s website says of the TWM, “This weapon light features new enhanced single-motion ambidextrous switches that operate the momentary-on and constant-on lighting modes. It also features user-selectable strobe and battery safe modes, easily enabled or disabled with two unique, simultaneous switch actions.”

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Much like the ease of use on the TCM above, this light has the same easy and intuitive controls and quickly incorporates into muscle memory.

Additionally, the TWM boasts the following features:

  • 1,200 Lumen LED technology
  • Enhanced single-motion switches
  • User-selectable battery safe and strobe modes
  • Momentary or constant-on flashlight
  • Sharp focused beam for distance illumination
  • Aircraft-grade 6061-T6 aluminum housing
  • Type III hard anodized finish
  • Beam distance rated at 194 meters
  • IP-X7 Waterproof
  • Impact & chemical resistant
  • Serialized for personal identification
  • 2 CR123 batteries (included)
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Additionally, the TWM has the following dimensions:

  • Length: 3.75 in (95 mm)
  • Width: 1.5 in (38 mm)
  • Depth: 1.5 in (38 mm)
  • Weight: 5.4 oz (155 g)

After putting this light through its paces, I really cannot overstate its usefulness in tactical situations. The intuitive, ambidextrous on/off switches are as good as or better than those on any weapon light I’ve ever used. The on/off toggle switch quickly becomes as seamless for your finger to find as the trigger itself, and in no time the light becomes part of your everyday carry muscle memory.

Pitch black rooms and deep corners are rendered virtually irrelevant with the brightness the TWM-30 provides. (Author photo)

The light output it provides with 1,200 lumens easily lights up entire rooms and all but ends shadows in those deep corners; whether searching houses for bad guys in the dark or illuminating subjects in alleyways when something goes sideways in town. If you have the TWM-30 installed, you can say goodbye to darkness.

BONUS REVIEW (TSM-13G)

The TSM-13G installed on a Sig Sauer P365XL. (Nightstick)

While I was testing out these lights, Brian at Nightstick was kind enough to supply me with one additional light that specifically fits my Sig P365X. It was the TSM-13G.

Upon its arrival, I charged the light (it comes with a super handy magnetic charging port and USB cord) and installed it in minutes. For anyone installing this light, take it from me to just remove the three screws (like it says) and don’t try to install it without doing that. It doesn’t work. But that was just me being stubborn. The install was as easy as for any light I’ve done.

I was originally concerned that the lower lumen level (150 Lumens) might be too dim for me since I’m used to 1,000+ Lumen lights. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The light was more than adequate and I even thought to myself while using it how pleasantly surprised I was at its output.

The TSM-13G installed on a Sig P365 illuminating a dark corner with light and laser. (Author photo)

You have to remember, the light for this weapon system is specifically designed for close-up target identification and tight CQB. Add to that the green laser that I sighted-in in under a minute, and Nightstick has clearly given consumers an excellent light/laser choice for their small carry weapons.

The TSM-13G weapon light with the MAGMATE charger showing on the bottom. (Nightstick)

In all, I was originally impressed with the light systems Nightstick showed me while attending SHOT Show, but now that I’ve gotten some usage time and trigger time with their products, I’m a believer in this brand. No longer is the day when the consumer must spend $400 to get a weapon light that is both bright and functional, nor is it the day when one brand has full market monopoly. Brands like Nightstick are revolutionizing the weapon light industry by making equally high quality, but significantly more cost efficient products for its firearm consumers. For that, they get my full endorsement.

Check back in soon for my review of the new Nightstick shotgun forend light…you for sure won’t be disappointed with the performance on this absolute tank!

Here’s a teaser preview of this beast…I will be putting this guy through the test of 12-gauge slug recoil over the next week or two and then tell you all what happens!!

The SFL-13GL Remington 870 Shotgun Forend light. (Nightstick)