Review Streamlight TLR 7 Sub Pistol Light [First Impression]

glock 43x with streamlight tlr 7 sub

In this review guide, let's check out the NEW Streamlight TLR 7 SUB compact weapon light

It's been a VERY long time for something like this to release to the market for conceal carry sub compact guns, so Let's check it out


Core Specs - Streamlight TLR 7 SUB 

Max Output — White Light500 Lumens / 5000 Candela
Runtime~90 Mins
Length2.51"
Weight w/Batteries2.39 oz
Batteries 1 CR123A

Sold In 3 Separate Models

(GL, M1913, P365)

Or Compare Deals:

 OpticsPlanet


What's Included In The Packaging

streamlight TLR 7 Sub box
streamlight TLR 7 sub unboxing

Image Features M1913 Model

The Streamlight TLR 7 Sub comes in a standard Streamlight packaging that includes:

  • Streamlight TLR 7 SUB
  • 1 CR123A battery
  • Mount Keys (Different for GL, M1913 & Sig P365)
  • Streamlight sticker
  • Mini Streamlight catalog
  • Retainer clip remover

What Is This Light Best Used For

streamlight TLR 7A tree up close
streamlight tlr 7a in low light warehouse

The Streamlight TLR 7 SUB works for subcompact and some full size pistols (With plenty of M1913 rail slots)

streamlight tlr 7 sub held in hand
streamlight tlr 7 sub on kimber 1911
streamlight tlr 7 sub on Fn 509 LS EDGE

Currently it's best for the following pistols (Sold separately):

  • Railed Glock 43, 48
  • Smith Wesson M&P Full Size, 9/40c, 2.0
  • Sig Sauer P365 & XL
  • Springfield Hellcat (Slight modification required, Learn more here)

The TLR 7A's upgrade toggle switch has made it a standard for next generation TLR 7 and TLR 8 lights, and people love them.


TLR 7 SUB Core Features

Size & Weight

streamlight tlr 7 sub sideview


streamlight tlr 7 sub top view


streamlight tlr 7 A vs sub

 Side By Side - TLR 7 Sub VS TLR 7 A

streamlight tlr 7 sub vs A flex

 Side By Side - TLR 7 Sub VS TLR 7 A

streamlight tlr 7 sub m1913 vs glock

 Side By Side - TLR 7 Sub VS TLR 7 A

TLR 7 Sub

  • Length - 2.51"
  • Weight - 2.39 oz

TLR 7 A

  • Length - 2.58"
  • Weight - 2.4 oz

Only 0.01 oz lighter and 0.07" shorter than TLR7 A. The weight difference is almost unnoticeable.

You can read our TLR 7A review on our site and see how much it has improved from its first generation design.

Streamlight TLR 7 SUB is basically a TLR 7 A with a smaller body.

Same battery, Same LED size, Same Switch Module

Modes Of Operation

  • Single click - Constant on
  • Press & Hold - Momentary
streamlight tlr 7 sub toggle switch
streamlight tlr 7 sub side view

NEW TLR 7 SUB features the same ambi toggle switches that gives the shooter better control with the firing hand and the support hand.

Operating the light with one hand is very doable without exerting any finger pressure compare to other lights on the market.

It's reachable for shooters with various hand sizes, and it gives very positive click feedback.

Lumen & Candela

streamlight tlr 7 sub front side view
streamlight tlr7a led light bulb removeable

The TLR 7 Sub can output up to 500 lumens & 5000 candela on a fully charged CR123A battery, and it's best used for illuminating targets of interest in low light up to 7-40 yards with maximum light beam brightness & hot spot.

The 500 lumens can lit up everything nearby, but at a distance of up to 70 yards max the user wouldn't be able to clearly see besides the dimmed silhouette.

streamlight tlr 7a weapon light beam warehouse 30 yards
swampfox red dot sight low light
streamlight TLR 7A outdoor

About 150 feet to the second shack

Lumen intensity is important, but Candela is king when it comes to identifying targets at longer distances.

Under ambient lights or fog, the most effective light can reach roughly about 16 - 20 yards.

For personal defense engagement distance, the TLR 7 can lit up the scene and the user can clearly see the target in low light, and ID what the person is holding in their hands to make the best judgement.

Beam Pattern & Color Tint

streamlight tlr 7a flex light beam hot spot
streamlight TLR 7A car outdoor

The TLR 7 Sub has a balanced focused hot spot & flood beam optimized for close-range handgun light applications up to 30 yards.

It's effective to blind a threat with the hot spot, and use the flood beam to lit up the surrounding for max situational awareness without directly pointing the light at the subject.

The beam is slightly brighter than the TLR 7A, and this time it has a neutral tint for more accurate color rendition in low light (Important for accurate target identification)handgu

Battery

streamlight tlr 7 sub battery compartment
streamlight tlr 7 sub dissambled

The light uses a single CR123A battery that lasts about 90 mins. Any CR123A batteries on the market will work.

To install the battery, the LED head has to be removed first, then insert the battery into the body.

What can be improved ? - As the weapon light technology advances for higher lumens & candela ratings, we are looking forward to seeing the Streamlight TLR 7 evolve into the use of a higher output rechargeable battery for higher lumen & candela output without increase in its overall size.

Safety Mode

The TLR7 Sub features the same safety mode as the TLR7 and TLR8 models. The LED lens bezel can be completely shut off simply by following the detent instruction on the red label.

streamlight tlr7 sub waterseal o ring

Water sealed O Ring included (IPX7 Rated)

Once you're familiar with the feature, you can take the sticker label off.

The main purpose of this feature is to prevent accidental light discharge while carrying it in a holster to prevent battery loss, where the toggle switch can bump into clothing or other things without the user knowing.

Based on our initial impression, this feature can cause the user to forget to turn it back on and get surprised by it in an emergency situation.

streamlight tlr 7 sub held in hand

We highly recommend leaving the safety off and use a good holster so you don't run into this problem.

For light bearing holsters, please check out our friends at MyEDCHub.com for more product recommendations.

Mount & Rail Keys

The TLR 7 SUB are sold separately for 3 different versions:

  • Glock
  • M1913 (Fits more gun frames than subcompact)
  • P365
streamlight TLR7 sub GL vs 1913

The Glock version actually uses the same key #1 from the M1913 version, but the clamp size is different. See picture above.

streamlight tlr 7 sub rail keys

Overall, the light body is the same for all 3 variants, and I believe this is a way to generate more revenue for Streamlight if end users have multiple sub compact handguns.

If you own most subcompact pistols, it can be costly to buy multiple TLR 7 Sub.

Hopefully these rail keys will be available for sell separately in the future.

Durability

g43x with streamlight tlr 7 sub

The TLR 7 Sub is made out of 6061 T6 aerospace aluminum. Under normal use the light will last you a long time.

If you use the light for airsoft or simunition training, the lens will crack upon direct impact.

The lens bezel head has built-in threads that goes onto the body of the light. So in the event that the lens break, the light head can be replaced via Streamlight's Limited lifetime warranty.

IPX7 waterproof to 1m for about 30 minutes, meaning the light can withstand water splashes, but not recommended for water submersion.


Final Verdict

This is an absolutely must have subcompact pistol light for the price. Even though it doesn't come with all the rail keys, the light itself is just like an TLR7 A but smaller.

Overall, the TLR 7 Sub works on subcompact pistols, PCCs and even full size handguns. It's by far the best looking and compact light for conceal carry.

We are excited to see future TLR 8 SUB with laser feature.

Pros

  • Reduced overall size profile for conceal carry & faster holstering
  • Brighter beam than TLR 7A (More netural)
  • Super lightweight
  • Sam beam pattern as TLR 7 for close-range application

Cons

  • Have to purchase a new light for different mount keys
  • Still uses CR123A battery

Compare Deals:

 Amazon

Ying Xu

US Air Force veteran nuclear weapon officer. Aerospace engineering bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas. Experienced as a certified NRA range safety officer. Working as a search engine expert for BadAssOptic.com