It’s a re-occurring issue every week, several times a week. Someone walks into our store with a gun they just got and want to put a light on it. That’s the easy part, the hard part is finding a holster for it. If you are looking for something other than the Streamlight Flashlights or Surefire Flashlights your holster options are going to dwindle. The Streamlight TLR-1 is brighter than ever but if you have a preference in activating the toggle, the Surefire X300U is another option but it will cost you more. There are plenty of other flashlights you can use, Olight Flashlights, Inforce Flashlights, but you will not find many holster options.
If you are looking for a laser light combination, it’s Streamlight TLR-2 or Surefire X400U and it’s the same old story. Some nylon companies have options but not that many. Blackhawk made a major market mistake years ago by only catering to Ziphos flashlights which nobody used, and finally got around to making holsters that took the Streamlight Flashlights and Surefire Flashlights. Check out Safariland Holsters, holster fit guide before you buy a gun, because they really are the place to go to find out what your options are.
There are so many variations on holsters and it’s a very complicated thing in this industry. Your Police Chief might have standards for your duty gear and dropping $150 on a holster that rides too high or isn’t as secure your leg. We can’t tell you want you are going to find comfortable and guarantee it’s for you. Sure we can give you options but the best references are from people that are using the tactical gear and we aren’t any different than you when trying to find something that works. Safariland’s product listings are very meticulous and there are correct holsters and incorrect holsters with almost identical images and products specs. If you are looking for a holster with a tactical light you should go through the holster fit guides and narrow it down yourself.
Most shootings occur in low light and whether you are CCW or you are a Law Enforcment Officers are on duty, having a TLR-1S or a Surefire X300 on your weapon or knowing how to hold your Strion or Polytac 2L during an engagement might mean not having to shoot. There have been some high profile accidents on firing ranges and on the streets in recent years that could have been easily avoided if the proper training and lighting occurred. Every time you use a device on a firearm it’s another piece of tactical gear that can fail you so buying quality lights like Pelican, Streamlight and Surefire are the way to go. If you are still using Xenon bulbs it’s a good time to retire it and get with the program and get a good LED light, the technology has dramatically improved and lights are far more durable than before.
We often get customers that want us to tell them what will work for them, “is this a quality item” we often get asked and if we sell it to them and there is a problem, it’ll come back on us. It’s very rare that we will endorse a product and as a retail business in the tactical industry, we really can only give you options to choose from. We listen to the operators that are using various optics and weapon mounted lights and they almost always can tell us where the Fail Point is with them. There different levels of durability but no flashlight or electronic devices has a zero failure rate in all conditions. I haven’t used Pelican flashlights but we hear good things about them, but for personal flashlights, CCW flashlights and different grades of weapon mounted lights, we narrow it doesn to Streamlight and Surefire flashlights.
Both manufacturers offer good warranties and we often hear of very good customer service from Streamlight. The Streamlight Protac 2L far outsells the smaller Protac 1L for CCW but besides the Streamlight TLR1s flashlight, the Surefire flashlights get far fewer complaints on weapon mounted lights. Many of our Law Enforcement and Firefighters are using the Streamlight flashlights while Pelican, Surefire and Streamlight lean more towards the Military preferences. It’s not our call, it’s your call on what you want. Stick with the name brand manufacturers and not the high lumen cheap Chinese knock off flashlights you see at Gun Shows for a good price. People will laugh at you if they see NcStar on your M4.
Unless you are lucky to have a really good gun shop that moves a lot of tactical clothing, flashlights and modern gun accessories, you might end up with products that are out dated and not up to modern standards. We pay attention to the recalls on firearms every year and on why certain accessories fail. We’ve seen several Generations of Magpul magazines and accessories and not all of them have been launched with initial success. We have cleared out lots of Magpul Gen 3 magazines in recent months and put a hold on some of their magazines until we are confident they have the manufacturing in order. Some of our distributors have had floods of Pmags coming in but didn’t weed out the faulty production that nobody seems to want to admit to.
In the past 3 months we had to do our own inventory monitoring on Pelican, Streamlight , Surefire and many more products. We’ve seen product flaws with Trijicon optics that were sent back as well as some completely out dated Surefire flashlights as well as Streamlight flashlights. Flashlight technology has grown from 85%-90% with some brands and if you buy a flashlight that has been collecting dust in a gun store that doesn’t move inventory, you might be getting a flashlight that is 2 or 3 generations out dated without knowing it. Not all product codes change from manufacturers when they do the updates to it’s really a good idea to keep an eye on all of the modern specs and get the most out of your money.