August 07, 2020
By J. Scott Rupp
Streamlight is always pushing forward with its products, and this year is no different. There’s a lot going on in Eagleville, Pennsylvania, and I wanted to focus on what I think is a big deal: the company’s new A-series switches.
I’ve had a TLR-8G light/green laser mounted on my bedroom gun, a Smith & Wesson M&P9 2.0 Compact, for about a year, and I’ve been happy with it except for one thing: It’s not easy for me to operate the unit’s side-mounted switch.
I can do it, sure, but it requires readjusting my hands from a true firing grip. My wife, who has longer fingers, doesn’t have the same problem, so I’ve just trained with it to the point it doesn’t pose an issue.
Now this same light/laser is available with two new rear-mounted switches: one low and one high, both of which are ambidextrous.
They’re packaged together in the new TLR-8A G Flex ($450 suggested retail), and they’re easily changed by removing three screws on the back of the unit and swapping one switch with the other.
The company sent me a high-switch version of the TLR-8A G to try, and it turned out to be a game changer. I can easily activate the unit with my support-hand thumb or the tip of my trigger finger.
Streamlight also sent the new TLR-9 Flex ($240) for use in our upcoming season of “Handguns & Defensive Weapons.” The TLR-9 is a 1,000-lumen weapon light for full-size pistols—one with a wide beam designed for clearing rooms, searching alleys and such.
I mounted it on my Springfield XD Tactical and installed the low switch on it (Flex package units come with the high switch installed). The low switch doesn’t suit my shooting style as well as the high one, but it will for some people.
The Flex package is also available for the TLR-7 and -8 (red laser), and both of these—as well as the TLR-8G— will still be available with side-mounted switches, and that make sense because plenty of people like that type of switch. Note you can’t retrofit the A rear switches onto non-A series TLRs. The new TLR-9 will be solely a rear-switch light, so there won’t be a separate A series for it.