Review of 8 Best Tactical Flashlights: Surefire, Streamlight, Elzetta, Inforce…
It is extremely important to have flashlight on your shotgun. You can’t shoot if you can’s see a target. I have tested many flashlights and decided to make a new post. This post has information about old flashlights and new ones.
I was surprised that some of the inexpensive flashlights are really good, reliable and bright. I still prefer Fad Defense Speedlight because of its compact size and brightness but you may choose one of the other flashlights.
What is a tactical flashlight?
A tactical weapon flashlight is basically a flashlight that attaches to the barrel of your firearm so that you can see your target in darker environments. Some people use tactical flashlights to go hunting at nighttime while others may use them to defend their home after it gets dark outside. Now you may think that a flashlight might scare off your target or eliminate your ability to be discrete, but it is still important to have the light for a variety of reasons. The main reason being that you want to make sure you know what you’re shooting at. There are so many accidents that happen every year with firearms, especially when it comes to hunting. People see something move in the distance and assume it’s an animal when it’s really another person or hunter. You don’t want to end up in this situation for your own sake and the sake of those around you.
The great thing about tactical flashlights is they emit a very bright LED white light that can lighten up virtually any dark environment. The brightness levels on these lights range from 80 lumens to about 200 and more lumens. This makes them perfect for law enforcement and military officers who depend on being able to see clearly while on dangerous missions. Often times, the police have to raid buildings that are dimly lit or have no lighting at all. The only way they’re going to be able to see is if they have tactical flashlights attached to their rifles or shotguns which can brighten up the entire environment. With all the questionable police shootings that go on in the United States, police officers certainly don’t want to take any chances by shooting a person who may not be armed because they couldn’t see them. The military also uses these flashlights in similar circumstances, like when raiding enemy fortresses or small villages at nighttime.
Tactical flashlights usually get mounted to the bottom of the barrel or to the side of the barrel. You can purchase lightweight clamps that are made specifically for mounting tactical flashlights to barrels. Just make sure you purchase the right clamp for your particular weapon model. The flashlights will be able to stay lit for a few hours before the batteries need to be changed. And don’t worry about the recoil, because the flashlights won’t affect your shooting at all. In fact, it will feel like it’s not even attached to your gun.
All flashlights in this review use CR123 batteries. These batteries are easy to find and very common for tactical flashlights. All flashlights were tested on my Remington 870 shotgun and they can work under 12 gauge recoil.
Please note that home defense flashlight doesn’t need hundreds of lumens because light may blind you when reflected from the walls.
Many shotgun owners choose Streamlight TLR-1 flashlight. It can be easily attached to many rails using integrated mounting system. It is compact, light weight and easy to use. This flashlight has several modes: momentary, steady and strobe. Powered by two CR123A batteries.
The main advantage is that Streamlight TLR-1 fits on many rails without any problems.
This flashlight is reliable, affordable and very bright: 630 lumens.
Tactical PolyTac Flashlight by Streamlight
PolyTac flashlight is a light weight flashlight made of polymer. Powered by two CR123A batteries. Has two modes: momentary or constant “on”.
This flashlight is one of the lightest in this review because it is made of polymer. PolyTac flashlight produces 275 lumens.
This flashlight is recommended for magnetic flashlight holders. It is lightweight, so clamp will not move under recoil.
Good as handheld or weapon mounted flashlight. Simple, inexpensive, lightweight and bright.
Surefire G2 or P2
Surefire is one of the most trusted brands on the market of tactical flashlights. That is why they are priced higher but you can be sure about the quality and reliability.
G2X has Nitrolon polymer body and anodized aluminum bezel. This is pretty bright flashlight with 320 lumens. Uses two CR123A batteries.
Good choice as an every day carry or weapon mounted flashlight.
Nebo 6109 iProTec RM190 Firearm Flashlight
Nebo 6109 iProTec RM190 Firearm Flashlight is an affordable flashlight which you can get for your shotgun. It is lightweight and compact, it easily attached to rails using integrated mounting system. Uses one CR123A battery.
This is inexpensive alternative to Streamlight TLR-1/TLR-2 Flashlight. Produces 190 lumens.
It doesn’t look as sturdy as Inforce flashlight or Streamlight TLR flashlight but it costs just $30.
I have tested it on the range and was working without any problems. Installed flashlight on my Remington 870 using CDM Gear BMT Clamp with Rail.
Very nice, compact and lightweight flashlight. It is made of polymer. The light is securely attached and does not wobble and can take some banging around and still stay securely mounted. Inforce flashlight is solid, light weight and easy to install and works as advertised.
Two modes: constant on and strobe. 500 lumens output.
Inforce flashlight has very compact and low profile integrated mounting system like TLR-1/2 and Nebo 6109 flashlights.
Streamligth TLR-2 Flashlight
This is Streamlight TLR-1 flashlight with laser. It is lightweight and easily attaches to a rail using integrated mounting system. TLR-2 is low profile and doesn’t stick out much.
It has ambidextrous momentary/constant switch which is very convenient to use with just one finger of the weak hand. Switch allows you choose one of the three modes: flashlight only, laser and flashlight, laser only.
Shock-proof C4 LED which means that you can use it on your shotgun. Also, LED doesn’t need much energy, so you can use it for several hours on two CR123 batteries.
Streamligth TLR-2 Flashlight has built-in mount, which mounts directly to rail without additional accessories and keeps it low profile.
Integrated laser sight which enables you to shoot from the hip level.
Elzetta is well known manufacturer of flashlights and flashlight mounts for shotguns and rifles. The flashlight is powerful (235-Lumen) and reliable. ZSM Elzetta Tactical Flashlight is made of metal, it sturdy and waterproof.
You can choose 2-battery or 3-battery version, different lenses, heads (low profile, crenellated), tailcaps (strobe, rotary etc.) and even with custom laser engraving.
Flood Lens makes beam very wide which is important for home defense.
Elzetta mount with Elzetta tactical flashlight (especially with flood lens) are highly recommended for home defense use.
FAB DEFENSE Tactical Speedlight Flashlight
Very compact and powerful flashlight. It has 100-120 lumens. Flashlight is very bright for that compact size. FAB Defense Speedlight is made of aluminum not plastic, it is sleek and fits CDM Gear clamp very good.
Uses one CR123A battery which is enough for about 1.5 hour. Tailcap has two modes: press for momentary on, click for constant on.
If you are looking for compact and bright flashlight, I would recommend getting Fab Defense Speedlight.