The most important part of a deadly force encounter is our ability to identify our threat and react appropriately, a task not easily accomplished at zero-dark-thirty when most of us are in the middle of our workday. This task is even more difficult at distance, a scenario when you'd likely find a rifle in your hands. Streamlight offers what I would consider the best all-around weapon light system on the planet, the TLR series. With a version to fit almost anything that goes boom, these little lights are rock solid and produce a ton of clean white light when you need it the most. The TLR-1 HPL is designed specifically for long gun use and does a fantastic job of lighting up targets at what I would consider a reasonable engagement distance and beyond.
The body of the TLR-1 HPL is Streamlight's standard machined aluminum anodized chassis that holds two CR123 lithium batteries side by side. The rocker switch at the rear works with a thumb or fingertip in either the momentary or constant on position. The most obvious difference between the HPL and other TLR lights is in the lamp assembly. The front bezel is huge and looks like something that would be more at home on a large handheld flashlight. This allows the single LED to crank out 775 lumens in a beam that spans over 400 meters. Unfortunately this power comes at a price. If your rifle has a continuous 1913 rail system you'll have to mount the HPL at the rail's end because the bezel prevents it from being mounted under a rail segment. It is just too big.
The rear rocker switch is easy to operate and, if you've got a TLR on your pistol, very intuitive. If you're used to holding your rifle with your support hand forward this is likely the simplest solution for you. If you are a "magwell hold" kind of shooter you may opt for the long gun kit that features a remote pressure switch and a "safe off" lockout feature to keep you from bumping the light on when you don't intend to.
The 5.6-ounce TLR-1 HPL attaches to your rifle in seconds with the simple turn of a thumb screw. You'll get almost two hours of runtime out of the CR123 lithium batteries and a limited lifetime warranty from Streamlight. That's a great piece of gear that produces a lot of power for the price. In my opinion, you can't go wrong.
A.J. George is a sergeant with the Scottsdale (AZ) Police Department assigned to the Technical Operations Unit, Special Investigations Section.
Streamlight TLR-1 HPL Specs:
- Lumens: 775
- Beam Distance: 438 meters
- Peak Beam Intensity: 48,000 candela
- Runtime: 1.75 hours
- C4 LED technology
- Mounts directly to all MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) rails and weapons with Glock-style rails
- Switch: Standard door switch or remote door switch
- Batteries: Two 3V CR123A lithium batteries (included)
- Length: 4.83 inches w/standard switch, 5.25 inches w/remote switch
- Weight: 5.3 oz with standard switch and batteries, 5.6 oz with remote switch and batteries
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Price: $222.85 with standard switch, $284 with remote switch