The Streamlight TLR-4 is a rail mounted white light and laser aiming device that is specifically designed for most compact and sub-compact pistols on the market. The unit also works with most full-sized handguns, but is not meant to replace the company’s full-size TLR-2 series light/laser units.
If you are not sure why you might want a laser aiming device on your pistol, take a look at this training video by Rob Pincus at the Personal Defense Network. Pincus makes a few very good points about lasers, and how they can work for self defense.
Mounting takes just a few minutes and requires only a coin or other simple tool to lock the light into place. While mounting and removal is easy, it would not be reasonable to expect to “snap” the TLR-4 into place when an armed encounter is anticipated. You definitely want the unit mounted prior to carrying. If you have mounted any of the Streamlight weapon lights, the technique for the TLR-4 is exactly the same.
A bright LED light and a red laser are both built into this single unit. The light and the laser are controlled from a pair of switches. The first switch is a three-way toggle that can set the TLR-4 to white light only, laser only, or both light and laser when activated. The second switch is ambidextrous, and allows for momentary or constant on activation.
The light is rated at 110 lumens and 5,000 candela. In this Streamlight TLR-4 review, I found the light performed very well, illuminating targets at up to 15 yards clearly. At interior room distances, the TLR-4 was more than adequate at lighting up the targets and disorienting a subject on the wrong end of the gun.
This unit uses a single CR2 battery which has a published run time of 1.5 hours when using the LED light and laser. Using the laser only increases run time to 11 hours. A battery is included with the light.
The TLR-4 is water and impact resistant and is designed to work in temperatures from −10 F to +120 F. While I wouldn’t stick it into an oven, it certainly seemed to work fine in the hot, humid Florida atmosphere.
I attached the Streamlight TLR-4 to my Smith & Wesson M&P and carried it off to the range. The unit mounted securely to the pistol’s rails and stayed snug after repeated firing. I found no problems with the durability or reliability of this unit during my limited testing.
Initially, the laser needed slight adjusting to sight it where I wanted it. Adjustments were easy to make, using the windage and elevation screws. Once dialed in, the laser did not move or need readjustment after firing. It simply worked as you would expect it to.
Like other Streamlight illumination tools, the TLR-4 comes with a limited lifetime warranty. It is offered for sale for a suggested retail price of $215. The weapon light is available at much cheaper prices through online retailers. Amazon, for example, currently has the light for less than $105.