The Glock 42 is less than a year old, but it is already a very popular model in the Austrian company’s catalog. In just the few months since the gun was introduced, nearly every manufacturer is now making a holster for the pistol and so far two companies are making a laser aiming device for them. This article is a review of the recently introduced LaserLyte TGL.
Your feedback on this laser is as important to readers as the review is itself. If you own one, please leave your thoughts on it in the comments section at the end of this article.
Relatively simple in design, the TGL mounts to the front trigger guard of the little gun. The Glock 42 does not have an accessory rail that might normally be used for mounting a laser, so LaserLyte had to come up with an alternative way of mounting their device.
The unit housing has two buttons for activating the laser – one on each side of the unit. Those are the only external controls on the unit.
Shooters can choose between a constant on and a pulsing laser mode. Pressing the activation button once will turn on the unit. Pressing and holding the button will change the TGL mode from constant to pulse. Press and hold the button again to return to a constant on mode.
The plastic housing is lightweight, and it should be durable enough for the vast majority of people. It is not as rugged as a metal bodied unit could be, but I’m not sure that a really tough body is even needed. I doubt that someone carrying this in a pocket or IWB holster will ever come close to damaging the unit beyond some surface scuffs.
The bottom of the TGL body did have what appeared to be sprue from the manufacturing process. While I have seen these imperfections on many polymer products, it would be nice if there was a little more attention to detail given and they were cleaned up prior to shipping. A few minutes with a fine grit sandpaper will take care of this cosmetic imperfection.
The batteries can be accessed and changed without removing the laser aiming unit from the Glock pistol. On the right side of the unit is a small cap that screws in and out to allow you to swap batteries. LaserLyte ships the TGL with a second set of batteries, which I found to be a very nice addition to the package.
The following specs are provided by LaserLyte unless otherwise noted.
- model # – UTA-YY
- laser color – red, 650 nm
- power output – 5 mw
- modes – pulse and constant on
- auto shutoff – yes, 6 minutes
- power source – three 392 batteries
- run time – approximately five hours constant, 10 hours on pulse mode
- body material – polymer
- weight – 0.75 oz
- MSRP – $104.95
Installing the TGL
When it arrives, the LaserLyte TGL is separated into two halves. It comes with a set of screws, a button and several hex keys. The package also contains simple instructions for assembling the unit.
To install the TGL onto your Glock 42, follow these simple steps:
- Ensure the gun is unloaded and the magazine is removed.
- Take the extra button and install it into the proper hole on the unit half that does not have the electronics.
- Snap the two halves together and over the front edge of the pistol’s trigger guard.
- Tighten the three screws to hold the two halves together.
- Test the unit by turning it on and off from each side.
Assembly is very simple, and it should take you less than two minutes to do it right.
How To Video
The following short video shows the exact process to follow when installing the TGL on your G42 pistol. The video is direct from LaserLyte.
How Bright Is It?
Red lasers are typically considered unusable in bright daylight conditions, and the TGL is no different. In full sunlight, the red dot is nearly invisible and far too hard to see to be of any use in a self-defense situation. In lower light situations – early evening or indoors, for example – a red laser is very useable. Of course, in near total darkness, a red colored laser will be exceptionally easy to see.
I found the TGL laser to be useable at all times indoors and during less than full daylight conditions outdoors.
I also found that the laser seemed less bright than other red lasers I had on hand with which to compare it. While the LaserLyte laser was certainly bright enough to use, it was not quite as bright as the Streamlight lasers I had on hand. In this photo, I compared the Streamlight TLR-4 to the LaserLyte TGL. The TLR-4 (left) was visibly brighter than the TGL (right) both in person and in this photo.
Even though there are other lasers that are brighter, the TGL is one of the few that will fit the small G42 pistol. Considering the TGL laser is still bright enough to be easily used, I would say it is a fair trade.
On the Range
After mounting the light and getting used to it with some dry fire drills, I took it a nearby indoor range. My TGL was shooting pretty low left, but after a little adjusting with the included hex key, I had the laser point of aim in line with the pistol’s sights at about seven yards.
At the range, I wanted to see if:
- the laser would hold zero,
- the laser would be rugged enough to withstand repeated shooting, and
- I would have any problems with activating or otherwise using the laser.
On all of these concerns, the TGL proved reliable.
In reverse order, I had no problems of any kind with running the laser. Tapping the button on either side reliably turned on the laser and the rest was up to me.
I put 200 rounds of 95 grain FMJ ammo through the gun to see how well the laser would take the relatively high (for a .380 ACP) shot count in a single session. The laser worked as well on the first shot as it did on the last. For those that are wondering, I was shooting the Perfecta ammunition made by Fiocchi and sold at Walmart. I rarely shoot .380 pistols, so I didn’t mind zipping through four boxes of the stuff to test the laser.
Lastly, the laser held its adjusted point of aim throughout the shooting. I could not perceive any movement of the aiming point, and made no adjustments or corrections after the initial adjustment.
Glock 26 Laser Coming Soon
LaserLyte has announced that they will be introducing a TGL-type laser for the Glock 26 and Glock 27 pistols in the near future. I would expect to see one of these at the 2014 NASGW Show, but certainly by the 2015 SHOT Show. There is not any word on pricing or exact configuration, but I would expect the overall design and cost to be very similar to the TGL for the G42.
I was impressed by this unit. It is inexpensive and works as intended. With a street price of less than $100, you might pay less for the TGL than you do for the holster you carry it in. (note: I’ve got a complete list of G42 holsters here.)
A green laser would be a better choice, in my experience, for use in a wider range of lighting conditions. The problem is that green lasers are much more expensive, and they tend to require larger housings. If someone could get a reliable green laser into the size of the TGL housing, I would be willing to buy that. However, I do not expect to see that happen for a few years.
Bottom line: this Glock 42 laser is a solid performer, and it is also the least expensive laser currently available for the gun. If you want to add a supplemental aiming device to your G42, the LaserLyte TGL deserves your consideration.
If you are looking for different iron sights for your pistol, take a look at the night sight list I’ve put together for the G42.
Since I originally wrote this article, Glock released a 9mm pistol called the 43. Although there are dimension differences between the two pistols, this LaserLyte unit will fit on both guns. Having a G43 for review, I tested the LaserLyte and confirmed it fits and works. I also tested the Streamlight TLR-6 that combines a light and laser into one unit. You may want to read my review of that unit here.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of reviews of gun products on the internet and in the magazines that are heavily biased due to the influence of advertising and free products. In the interests of full disclosure, I would like to share with you my relationship with LaserLyte.
First, no money or other consideration were given or offered to do this review.
Second, the TGL was sent to me free of charge from LaserLyte. I did not request it, and I just happened to have a G42 on loan from Glock for another project I was working on. So, I can’t even benefit from the laser if I wanted to.
Third, I have no relatives or friends working at LaserLyte, nor do I have any business interest in the company. I’ve met several of their employees at the SHOT Show and other trade shows, but I don’t think I’ve even swapped e-mails with them in the past. Earlier this summer, I did attend the Make Big Noise event sponsored by Laura Burgess Marketing. At that event I did meet one of the LaserLyte employees, and the company provided laser training kits for all of the attendees.
Fourth, as stated elsewhere on the site, links to Amazon are affiliate links. This means that I earn a small percentage of the sale price of the product if you decide to purchase it. The percentage varies, though on electronics it is typically 4%. The affiliate earning does not alter your price, and it helps pay me for the upkeep of the site, range time, ammo to test guns, etc. Buying anything through one of my Amazon links really helps me out.
If anyone has any questions about anything related to disclosure or bias, feel free to post your concerns in the comment section below.