Streamlight TLR-7A Vs TLR-7 Sub

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Hey there, fellow shooters! Today, I’m diving into a hands-on comparison between two popular red dot lights: the Streamlight TLR-7A Vs TLR-7 Sub. 

I’m not just talking specs here; I’m looking at how these bad boys perform in the field. Let’s get right into it and see which one is on top!

Overview of Streamlight TLR-7A

The Streamlight TLR-7A is a compact yet powerful tactical weapon designed for both full-sized and compact firearms.


  • Lumens: 500, with a beam distance of 140 meters.
  • Runtime: 1.5 hours.
  • Construction: Anodized machined aluminium; IPX7 waterproof.
  • Switches: Ambidextrous rear switches, with high and low options.
  • Mounting: Rail grip clamp system for quick, tool-free attachment.
  • Safety: ‘Safe off’ feature to prevent accidental activation.
  • Dimensions: 2.58″ Length; 1.18″ Width; 1.27″ Height.

Overview of Streamlight TLR-7 SUB

The Streamlight TLR-7 Sub is an ultra-lightweight, compact light specifically designed for subcompact handguns.


  • Lumens: 500, with a 141-meter beam.
  • Runtime: 1.5 hours.
  • Construction: 6000 series machined aircraft aluminum.
  • Switches: Ambidextrous operation with rear switches.
  • Mounting: Quick snap-on/tighten interface, avoiding muzzle front.
  • Compatibility: Designed for select 1913 railed short subcompact handguns.
  • Waterproof: IPX7 rating.
  • Dimensions: 2.51″ Length; 1.16″ Width; 1.24″ Height.

Streamlight TLR 7 Sub VS 7A Specifications

Features: Streamlight TLR-7A VS Streamlight TLR-7 SUB

1. Design and Ergonomics

Streamlight TLR-7A

The TLR-7A is a testament to ergonomic design. Its ambidextrous rear switches, customizable for high and low positions, cater to different shooting styles. 

The low-profile design avoids snagging, and its rail grip clamp system enables quick and safe attachment. The light’s robust construction features anodized machined aluminum and a Borofloat glass lens, enhancing its durability.

Streamlight TLR 7 SUB

Tailored for subcompact handguns, the TLR 7 SUB is ultra-lightweight and compact. Its design focuses on ease of use in tight spaces, with an ambidextrous operation and a one-handed snap-on interface. 

This model, though smaller, maintains the same rugged aluminum construction and high-impact glass as the TLR-7A.


TLR-7A stands out for its versatility and adaptability to various shooting styles and gun types, making it the winner in this category.

2. Light Output and Beam Quality

Streamlight TLR-7A

This model impresses with a 500-lumen output and 5000 candela peak beam intensity, projecting up to 140 meters. Its engineered optic creates a concentrated beam with excellent peripheral illumination, crucial for situational awareness in tactical scenarios. 

The light operates for 1.5 hours on a single CR123A lithium battery.

Streamlight TLR 7 SUB 

The TLR 7 SUB matches the TLR-7A in lumens and candela but casts a slightly shorter beam. 

Its custom optic produces a narrower beam, optimized for the close-quarters environment typical of subcompact handgun use.


TLR-7A edges ahead with its superior beam distance and broader peripheral illumination, offering versatility in various lighting conditions.

3. Waterproof and Durability

Streamlight TLR-7A

Built for resilience, the TLR-7A can withstand tough conditions. It’s IPX7 rated and waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. 

The high-temperature, shock-mounted, impact-resistant glass adds to its durability. Its extensive live-fire testing ensures reliability under various shooting conditions.

Streamlight TLR 7 SUB 

Matching the TLR-7A in durability, the TLR 7 SUB also boasts an IPX7 waterproof rating and is constructed with the same high-quality materials.

Its compact size does not compromise its ability to endure rough use and extreme conditions.


It’s a tie. Both models showcase exceptional durability and waterproof capabilities, ensuring reliable performance in diverse environments.

4. Mounting System and Compatibility

Streamlight TLR-7A

The TLR-7A boasts a rail grip clamp system that’s a real game-changer. This system lets you securely attach and detach the light quickly and safely, without any tools. 

It’s also incredibly versatile, fitting a wide range of full-sized and compact guns. In my field tests, the TLR-7A mounted effortlessly on different firearms, proving its adaptability.

Streamlight TLR 7 SUB

While the TLR 7 SUB has a quick and safe mounting system, it’s designed exclusively for select 1913 railed short subcompact handguns.

Its compatibility is more limited than the TLR-7A, but it fits perfectly on the specific models it’s designed for. During testing, it snapped on securely to my subcompacts without any hassle.


TLR-7A takes the lead here. Its broad compatibility with various firearm types and its easy-to-use mounting system make it more versatile for different shooting needs.

5. Operational Modes and Ease of Use

Streamlight TLR-7A

The TLR-7A’s operational modes are intuitive and user-friendly. With its ambidextrous on/off rear switch, you can easily operate the light with either hand. 

The switch positions can be high or low to match your shooting style. Switching between constant on, momentary, and strobe modes felt natural and straightforward in the field.

Streamlight TLR 7 SUB

The TLR 7 SUB mirrors the TLR-7A regarding operational modes and ease of use. Its switches are ambidextrous, providing a comfortable experience for right- and left-handed shooters. 

The switches were responsive during testing, although the right/trigger side switch felt a bit mushy compared to the left.


It’s a close call, but TLR-7A edges out slightly. While both lights are equally easy to operate, the TLR-7A’s more tactile switches provide a better user experience, especially under stress or when wearing gloves.

Pros & Cons of Streamlight TLR-7A


  • 500 lumens with a 140-meter beam for excellent illumination.
  • Durable, anodized aluminum construction; IPX7 waterproof.
  • Ambidextrous on/off rear switches for ease of use.
  • Quick attachment/detachment with no tools needed.
  • Low-profile design minimizes snagging.


  • Screw may come loose with normal use, requiring frequent tightening.
  • Plastic tool provided can break easily, making adjustments difficult.

Pros & Cons of Streamlight TLR-7 SUB


  • Ultra-lightweight and compact, ideal for subcompact handguns.
  • 500 lumens with a 141-meter beam, providing powerful illumination.
  • Ambidextrous operation and easy one-handed snap-on interface.
  • IPX7 waterproof and made with durable materials.
  • Custom optic for narrow, precise beam.


  • “Mushy” trigger side switch may affect operational feel.

Similarities between Streamlight TLR-7A & Streamlight TLR-7 SUB

  • Both provide 500 lumens and 5000 candela peak beam intensity.
  • Ambidextrous operation with rear switches.
  • IPX7 waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
  • Constructed with 6000 Series machined aircraft aluminum.
  • Feature strobe mode and momentary operation capabilities.

Differences between Streamlight TLR-7A & Streamlight TLR-7 SUB

  • TLR-7A is designed for a broad range of full-sized and compact guns, whereas TLR-7 SUB is specifically for certain subcompact models.
  • TLR-7A has a 140-meter beam distance, while TLR-7 SUB’s is 141 meters.
  • TLR-7A includes a rail grip clamp system; TLR-7 SUB uses a specialized clamp and key system.
  • TLR-7A weighs slightly more (2.40 oz) than the TLR-7 SUB (2.39 oz).
  • TLR-7A’s switches offer high and low positions, unlike the TLR-7 SUB.

Streamlight TLR-7A vs TLR-7 Sub – Comparison Videos

Final Verdict 

My verdict is clear after thoroughly testing both the Streamlight TLR-7A and the TLR-7 SUB. The TLR-7A emerges as the winner for most shooters. Its adaptability to a broader range of firearms, ergonomic design, and superior beam distance make it a more versatile choice. 

While the TLR-7 SUB is undoubtedly a top performer for subcompact handguns, the TLR-7A’s overall flexibility and ease of use in various scenarios give it the edge.


What does the TLR-7 sub fit?

The TLR-7 sub is designed to fit select subcompact handguns including GLOCK 43X MOS/48 MOS, GLOCK 43X RAIL/48 RAIL, SIG SAUER P365 and SIG SAUER P365 XL, Springfield Armory Hellcat, and some 1913 short railed models.

Does the TLR-7 sub strobe?

Yes, the TLR-7 sub offers two lighting modes, including an LED strobe mode, each with a 1.5-hour runtime.

Does the TLR-7 sub have a laser?

No, the Streamlight 69402 TLR-7 Sub is a 500-Lumen Pistol Light that does not include a laser.

How big is the TLR-7 sub?

The TLR-7 sub measures 2.51 inches in length, 1.16 inches in width, and 1.24 inches in height. It weighs 2.39 oz with the battery.

Does Streamlight TLR7 A have a high or low switch?

Yes, the Streamlight TLR7 A includes customized ergonomic switches that offer both high and low positions to match different shooting styles.

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Hannah Anderson is a gun enthusiast. She developed a knack for guns and ammunition when as a teenager she started accompanying her grandfather to his hunting ventures. Now, she shares her passion and immense knowledge on the subject with the readers.

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