I’ve had bad experiences with cheap LED flashlights before. They’re plenty bright out of the box, but seldom last more than a year and almost invariably die right as the house’s power goes out. The last thing I wanted to do was slap a cheap bargain-brand LED light on a gun that I might need to rely on to protect myself and my family. That said, I also didn’t have hundreds of dollars to invest in a Surefire. After doing a little research and taking a gamble, I found the Streamlight TLR-3 fit the bill perfectly.
What’s possibly the TLR-3’s biggest appeal is its price point: You’re getting a reliable light for just upwards of $70.
Easy to install
The TLR-3 features a quick-attach rail clamp that snaps on and tightens with only one hand, and an included key kit for mounting the light to a variety of weapons (right).
I was pleasantly surprised at how compact and lightweight this light is: Constructed of polymer and aluminum, the TLR-3 weighs only 2.3 ounces, and it measures a miniscule 2.71 inches long.
Simply put, the TLR-3’s 125 lumens make for one hellishly bright beam. A simple, easy-to-reach paddle on the light’s rear end allows the operator to command bursts of light or continuous-on with just a flick of a finger.
With a Borofloat high-temperature glass lens, impact-resistant polymer body, and an anodized-aluminum facecap, this little light can withstand plenty of abuse. Streamlight claims the TLR-3 can function in temperatures ranging from -40°F to +120°F., but I’ve no intention of putting that to the test. I have, however, put the TLR-3 through multiple range sessions without it loosening from its mount or losing functionality. I call that a win.
Opening photo courtesy of Streamlight.