NightStick Weapon Lights: The Next Streamlight Or Surefire?

Mr. Guns ‘N Gear (GNG) recently ran some of NightStick weapon lights through their paces. He tested several different models, including the 850, 550, 11G, and 170 Scout Light.

Firing a pistol with the NightStick Mounted.

Aside from shooting the lights on weapons at night, Mr. Guns ‘N Gear also shot them extensively during regular range sessions with no issues.

Models

850 XLS

The first model that Mr. GNG covers is the 850 XLS model, which he says is similar in form factor to a Streamlight TLR-1. There are twin, independent toggle switches in the back of the light, which he really likes. Aside from being able to mount this light on a pistol, it could also be mounted onto an AR-15 or other firearm; there are different inserts that will adapt to various rail systems.

NightStick Model 850.
The NightStick 850 XLS can be mounted on pistols or rifles. The toggle switches can be seen at the back of the light. It’s a great system.

The 850 puts out 850 lumens of light (I guess we know now where they got the model number for this light). That’s 15,000 candela. The LED light will run for 1.75 hours on two CR-123 Lithium batteries. The door cap to the battery compartment is screwed on, so it is very secure and will not pop off at an inopportune moment. Mr. Guns ‘N Gear mentions that some people don’t like having to unscrew the door to the compartment, but he points out, “How often do you have to change the batteries in your weapon light?” That’s true.

Rear section of a weapon light.
The battery compartment is secured via a screw, so it’s not going to pop open at an inopportune time.

 

The 850's illumination at night.
The NightStick 850 firing at night. For a pistol light, it’s nice and bright and offers some throw around the hot spot.

 

850 spec sheet.
The spec sheet for the NightStick 850.

The price of this light is around $70 at the time of this writing.

TCM 550 XL

This is a smaller model than the 850 and it is designed for pistols. It has toggle switches that allow constant on, momentary on, and a strobe feature. There are different inserts for mounting to various rail systems. There is also a lockout feature so that the light won’t turn on if you have it in storage. A special version is made for rifles in which there is a different switch system.

550 weapon light.
NightStick’s TCM 550XL throws 550 lumens of light at the target and easily mounts onto a variety of pistols.

The 550 XL puts out 550 lumens from one CR-123 battery and runs for 2.5 hours. It weighs 2.5 ounces, and is 2.5 inches long, so this one is extremely light and unobtrusive.

550 spec sheet.
The 550’s spec sheet.
550 at night.
The 550 XL in action at night.

The price for this light, at the time of writing, is around $80.00.

170 Scout Light

This light is intended to be mounted on a long gun. It will run for 1.5 hours and it reaches out 304 meters with 1,500 lumens. It runs on a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery or two CR-123 batteries, and the interchangeability is nice. The Scout Light is 5.5 inches long and weighs 7.5 ounces. The light is activated via a standard tail cap (a light press gets you momentary on and a press and click will get you constant on).

Scout Light spec sheet.
The NightStick 170 Scout Light offers tail cap activation, which is simple and effective. Also, the spec sheet.

Included with the scout light is a charger for the rechargeable battery.

Aside from the tail cap, there is a tape switch option to control the light. The light will fit on 1913 rails readily.

Tape switch for the Scout Light.
In addition to the tail cap activator, the Scout Light has an optional tape switch.

All NightStick lights are 6061 Aluminum and Type III Hard Anodized finished, so they are durable.  Mr. Guns ‘N Gear stated that he has fired many rounds through weapons with all of these lights mounted and they have held up admirably, with no issues.

Scout Light mount.
There are two mounts that come with the NightStick Scout Light, giving the user versatility.
Scout Light accessories.
There are a host of accessories that come with the Scout Light, including two mounts and a charger for the rechargeable battery.

 

Scout light firing at night.
Another view of the Scout Light in action at night during live fire.

 

Scout Light and tape switch.
Scout Light with a few of the extras that come in the package.

The price point, at the time of this writing, is around $199 for this light. As Mr. Guns ‘n Gear points out, this price point is approaching Surefire territory, so choose accordingly.

TSM-11G

Next up at bat is the TSM-11G, a light specifically designed for pistols. Namely, the Glock 42, 43, 43X, and 48. It will also fit the Springfield Armory Hellcat, Sig P365 series, Glocks 26, 27, 33, and 39. It will fit pistols both with and without the rail.

11-G mounted on Glock 43X.
The TSM-11G fits a wide variety of pistols, making it versatile for many users. Here it’s shown mounted on a Glock 43X.

Not only is the 11G a light, but it’s also a laser (green or red). As well, the unit is rechargeable (a Lithium-Ion battery) and comes with a USB cable for that task.

11-G light and laser live fire at night.
The 11-G light and laser in action at night.

Lumen output of the 11-G is 150 lumens for a distance of 104 meters with a listed run time of 45 minutes. It’s 2.5 inches long and weighs a scant 1.3 ounces.

There is a push button on the side to activate the unit and you can choose from combinations of function: Light Only, Laser Only, or Both.

11-G Mount.
A push button switch allows the user to choose light, laser, or both.

 

11-G charger port.
Charger port for the 11-G light/laser module.

 

11-G activation switch.
Fairly compact, the 11-G weights next to nothing.

 

11-G light and laser at night.
The light and laser of the 11-G can be seen in this night photo. It is obviously not as bright as some of the other lights, but it is a very tiny unit.

As this is written, this model goes for around $85.00.

Function & Reliability

As mentioned, Mr. Guns ‘n Gear has used these lights for extensive firing on his weapons and he has not had a single issue with any of them. No flickering, no dimming. He said he also drop-tested the lights and they came through with flying colors, so that adds to the reassurance.

Day time firing with a NightStick light mounted.
All of the lights were put through the wringer and came through with flying colors.

Overall

In terms of performance, the lights work admirably. They’re very similar to lights from Surefire and Streamlight in their class, so the products are very comparable.

Most of these lights are priced very economically. Mr. Guns ‘N Gear believes that is because the company is building its reputation and wants to become a major force in the market. Compared to other lights in their class, these lights really are priced to sell. The fact that they are extremely durable and dependable makes them an especially sweet value. He also notes that these lights are made in China and Texas.

I’ll throw in my two cents here, as I have evaluated a NightStick TWM-30F weapon light. It’s a 1200 lumen model that runs off of two CR-123 batteries. The run time on this unit is 1.75 hours. I can tell you firsthand that it is very bright, with an intense hot spot and a broad throw, making it very effective for both viewing and identifying targets, as well as blinding them. It has a Constant On, Momentary On, and Strobe Mode. The twin toggle switches at the rear of the light are convenient for activation and there is also a lockout feature, which I like a lot.

Glock 19X with 30F light mounted.
The TWM-30F fits and matches the Glock 19X very well.

The color of the light is listed as “OD Green”, but to my eye it looks similar to the CB finish that’s on my Glock 19X (which is, incidentally, is the pistol that I mounted the light on for testing).

Closeup of the 30F light.
Although listed as OD Green, the author believes the light is finished in more of a Coyote Brown. Whatever the color is, it matches the 19X closely.

These lights feel very substantial in the hand and are sturdy in built. This inspires confidence. So far, I’ve had zero issues with the TWM-30F light, it promises to be a good long-term piece of gear.

Business end of the 30-F light.
Business end of the TWM-30F.

As with Mr. Guns ‘N Gear, my impression of this light is very favorable; it’s durable and effective. My only slight criticism of the light is that I’d like to see a quick mount/detach system like Fenix utilizes. As it is, the light has to be screwed on and off of the pistol rail. Not a huge deal, but convenience is always nice to have. Once I adjusted it to fit my Glock 19X, the light goes on fairly easily now.

So there you have it, a review of a cross section of NightStick weapon lights. For the money, they are good, dependable lights that most users will likely be happy with.

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities.

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