Nightstick TCM-10 Compact: Bring the Light

I’ve admired Nightstick lights for some time. I hadn’t owned one until recently, but I’d heard good things about their products. I found the company reps friendly and knowledgeable when I talked to them at the SHOT Show in January. Nightstick recently offered me the chance to run and review several of their lights, which I immediately accepted. First up is the TCM-10 Compact, which, I’m happy to report, didn’t disappoint.

Nightstick TCM-10 Compact weapon light
The TCM-10 Compact works perfectly on my IWI Masada. (Author’s Photo)

I initially ran the Nightstick TCM-10 on a Walther PD380, and it now rides on an IWI Masada. It’s been great on both guns, big enough for the larger Masada, but not too big for the PD380. A month later, The TCM-10 has earned my trust and is now part of my system. Let’s break that down after we look at the light’s specifications.

Nightstick TCM-10 Specs

  • High Lumens: 650
  • High Beam Distance: 136 meters
  • High Candela: 4,612
  • Length: 2.5 inches
  • Width: 1.1 inches
  • Depth: 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 ounces
  • Drop Rating: 2 meters
  • Water Rating: IP-X7 Waterproof
  • High Runtime: 2 hours
  • Momentary and Constant-On Modes
  • User-Enabled Strobe Mode
  • User-Enabled Battery Safe Mode
  • Light Source: LED
  • 1 CR123 Battery (included)
Nightstick TCM-10 Compact weapon light
The included mounting plates allow you to fit the TCM-10 to your needs. (Author’s Photo)

Nightstick TCM-10 Features

Nightstick builds the TCM-10 from 6061 T6 aircraft aluminum, so it’s strong and lightweight. I barely noticed it on the PD380 and not at all on the Masada. Let’s look at the light’s features.

A Unique Mounting System

The TCM-10’s mounting system is different from what I’ve previously encountered. My other lights just slide onto the forward accessory rail until they’re positioned where I want them, but that wasn’t the case with the Nightstick.

The TCM-10 comes with five plates, C1 through C5, with each designed to fit in only one slot on your rail. C1 fits in the forwardmost slot, and the numbers work their way backward until C5, which fits in the rearmost slot. The plates are locked in place by four Allen screws, for which Nightstick includes an Allen wrench and two extra screws.

Nightstick TCM-10 Compact weapon light accessories
The TCM-10 comes with these accessories, including the five mounting plates. The C1 plate has already been installed. (nightstick.com)

The light comes with the C1 plate already installed.  But I went with the C3 for the Masada, moving the toggle switches forward just a bit. I don’t like the toggles taking up trigger guard space, and I can still reach them easily. Nightstick says the gap between light and pistol should be as narrow as possible for the best holster fit. The gap on my Masada is fairly wide, but it fits me better. It doesn’t matter either way for me because my two Masadas are home defense pistols, and I don’t have holsters for either of them.

Ambidextrous

The TCM-10 is completely ambidextrous. The rear-mounted toggle switches are easy to reach with either hand. Just make sure you install the right mounting plate to fit your grip. Ambidextrous controls are expected in today’s market, of course, but that capability bears mentioning.

The toggles control the momentary and constant-on modes, as well as the strobe. The toggles themselves are tactile and responsive, as you’d expect. There’s no mushiness, and you can confidently activate the TCM-10 for your specific need.

Focused Beam

Nightstick’s engineered TIR lens projects a tighter bright spot than my other lights while still providing plenty of halo for peripheral illumination. The TCM-10 lights up a room at the low ready position, and the 650-lumen beam helps confirm your target at distance or close range.

Testing it outside, without a pistol, I found the TCM-10 to be plenty powerful. I don’t have an uninterrupted 136-meter space, except the street, which is already lit, but I can go out to about 50 meters. I had no trouble identifying objects at that range, including my human test subject. That’s plenty for me. If a potential threat is 136 meters away in the dark, I doubt I would announce my presence by shining a light that way. However, the rating number is well-taken to show the TCM-10’s capability.

flashlight throw at night
The TCM-10 has a bright, focused beam. The house in the photo is about 50 meters away. (Author’s Photo)

Options

I like that the TCM-10’s strobe and battery saving modes are user-enabled. I don’t need the battery saver, and I don’t like strobes. They can be effective in disorienting an attacker, but I find that they disorient me too, probably because my vision isn’t that great. So, I prefer that capability be turned off entirely. If you want the strobe mode, just turn it on. It’s good that Nightstick gives their customers a choice.

Toughness

The aircraft aluminum body is sturdy and light. It’s also impact and chemical-resistant. The seals are rated as IP-X7 and waterproof to 1 meter’s depth.

Holster Availability

I haven’t run the TCM-10 in a holster because the PD380 was a loaner from Walther, and my Masadas are both home defense guns without holsters. However, I checked out Nightstick’s website and was pleasantly surprised to see that there are no less than 31 different companies that provide holsters that fit the TCM-10. I didn’t check all the gun models, but you can do that if you want.

The TCM-10 will be fine for holster work. The slim, compact body won’t produce extra drag with proper mounting and the right holster.

Nightstick TCM-10 Compact weapon light
The toggle switches are tactile and easy to use. (Author’s Photo)

Nightstick TCM-10 Final Thoughts

I like this light. It works as advertised, it’s tough, and it’s easy to use. I’m not the biggest fan of the mounting system, but it’s fine once you figure out which plate you need. That’s my only complaint, and it’s a small one. The light performs well and is now part of my home defense system. It’s easy to see why Nightstick has become a force in the weapon light market. It’s even been tested and recommended by the National Tactical Officers Association. Formal recognition by professionals is always a good thing. And Nightstick gives you that at a competitive price.

So, if you’re looking for a weapon light for your carry gun, home defense gun, or whatever, maybe check out the TCM-10. Gun Mag Warehouse can hook you up.

William "Bucky" Lawson is a self-described "typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast". He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, "here and there". A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar - preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.

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