Nightstick TCM-5B WML Review

A compact light for compact pistols.

by
posted on May 1, 2024
Nightstick TCM-5B

Recently, I had the opportunity to test out the Nightstick TCM-5B, which I paired with my Springfield Armory Hellcat Pro. The C in TCM stands for Compact, so this light is slightly slimmer than its bigger brothers, making it ideal for concealed carry guns. This might be a great option if you’re a fan of adding a weapon-mounted light (WML) to your carry gun.

AccessoriesThe Nightstick TCM-5B is designed to be compact yet powerful, making it suitable for a wide range of firearms. One of the standout features is its 650-lumen output, which provides a bright and clear beam that makes it easier to identify potential threats in low-light situations. During my testing, I found the beam to be well-focused and capable of illuminating targets at a considerable distance, giving me confidence in my ability to assess and respond to any situation. I tested in both low light and total darkness.

I also appreciated the TCM-5 B’s durable construction. I may or may not have accidentally dropped it a couple of times, but it emerged unscathed, with no battle wounds. The light feels solid in hand, and the aluminum housing protects against impacts and recoil. This level of durability is crucial for a weapon-mounted light, as it ensures reliable performance even in demanding conditions.

The TCM-5B also features a user-friendly design with intuitive controls that make operation easy. The ambidextrous switch is conveniently located and responsive, allowing me to toggle between light modes seamlessly, choosing either a momentary burst of light or a constant beam. 

Installing The TCM-5B 

TCM-5B on a pistolAs expected from a product of this quality, installation was a cinch. The TCM-5B proved straightforward to mount on the Picatinny rail of my Hellcat Pro. Once attached and throughout testing, the light maintained a secure fit, further enhancing its reliability in real-world scenarios. No rattling, no screw backing out, no problems. It was a steady performer.

Is a WML for you? Let’s discuss some general considerations and drawbacks regarding weapon-mounted lights. One of the primary advantages of these lights is their ability to provide illumination precisely where you’re aiming, allowing for quick target acquisition and threat assessment. In low-light environments, having a weapon-mounted light can be a game-changer, giving you a tactical advantage and increasing overall situational awareness.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to keep in mind. One concern is the added weight and bulk of mounting a light on your firearm. While modern designs strive to minimize this impact, it’s still something to consider, especially if you prioritize a lightweight setup for agility and maneuverability.

Another consideration is battery life. High-output lights like the TCM-5B can quickly drain batteries, especially if used frequently or in extended situations. It’s essential to have spare batteries or a reliable charging solution to ensure your light remains functional when needed.

Additionally, some users may find that the light’s beam can give away their position in certain tactical situations. Proper training and tactics can mitigate this risk, but it’s something to be aware of when using a weapon-mounted light in stealth or covert operations.

The final big drawback to a WML is it limits your holster selection. Most stock holsters won’t accommodate a light, so you’ll likely have to special order one. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it is something to consider when thinking about carrying a light. More information on the TCM-5B and other products from Nightstick is available at nightstick.com.

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