As much as I have cheered for Streamlight over the years I've always had one constant gripe; they never really hit the nail on the head when it came to rifle lights. Well I'm happy to say the folks over there must've overheard my whining and have now shut me up for good with the introduction of their new ProTac Rail Mount series of weapon lights.
Over the years I've reviewed just about everything Streamlight has and haven't come across anything I wasn't impressed with. The company's quality and value are unmatched in a very crowded industry. The addition of this new purpose-built rifle light system checks a box not many manufacturers can.
You see, making handheld flashlights isn't nearly as difficult as making weapon lights. The amount of abuse a light takes when attached to a firearm is light years (excuse the pun) beyond what it would experience in your hand. The recoil, heat, carbon fouling, etc., all take a toll on even the toughest lights. Not to mention the physical beating they take getting tossed around the range. That is exactly why, out of 100 light manufacturers, only a select few have the technology and skills necessary to make a true weapon light.
The Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2 is purpose built to take such a beating and perform without fail. Like all of its ProTac siblings before it, the Rail Mount 2 is machined from high-grade aluminum with a clean anodized finish. The lens is impact-resistant tempered glass that resists scratching and protects the single 625-lumen LED diode behind it. Powered by two CR123A batteries, the Rail Mount 2 is good for a runtime of 2 hours on the highest setting. If you don't need the full blast of light there's a low setting that produces 60 lumens and extends the battery life to over 20 hours. And of course there's a strobe setting if you feel the need. All of these options are user-programmable through Streamlight's proprietary "Ten-Tap" system so you can lock down your preferred output and forget about it.
The rail mount on the Rail Mount 2 is machined into the body of the light for maximum strength and attaches to any 1913 rail segment in seconds with no tools required. I snugged mine up a bit with a screwdriver as I've seen way too many thumb-tightened lights come loose after a short time on the range. It also comes with your choice of activation attachments; a simple rubberized end cap or a remote pressure switch. Both are capable of momentary and constant-on modes and swap out in seconds.
If you're in the market for a high-quality weapon light and have been checking out some other, similar looking lights with a much higher price tag, I'd urge you to pick up a Rail Mount 2 and keep the other $200 in your pocket. For a retail price of $190 the new Rail Mount 2 is a screaming deal. Check it out at www.streamlight.com.
A.J. George is a sergeant with the Scottsdale (AZ) Police Department assigned to the Technical Operations Unit, Special Investigations Section.