March 4, 2022

Streamlight TLR 7 SUB vs. Olight PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie

Little guns are all the rage. Firearms like the SIG P365, the Springfield Hellcat, and the half dozen other micro-compacts on the market have closed the gap between the subcompact pistol and the full-sized fighting pistol. Along the way, accessories for the little gun market have done nothing but grow. Two particular accessory families that have grown are optics and lights. Today we are looking at two of the latter for small guns, the TLR 7 SUB, and the PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie.

These two little lights were designed for small, subcompact firearms. They are aimed mostly at the small gun market. Today we’ll take a peek at both and determine which rules the roost of little gun lights.

Power and Performance

The Olight PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie is a little gun light that promises 600 lumens of light. The Streamlight TLR Sub promises 500 lumens. Off the bat, it seems like the Valkyrie wins, right? Well, maybe not. When you read the fine print, you realize that the Valkyrie is 600 lumens for a very, very short period of time. Those 600 lumens of power only last for a few seconds. In about a minute, the power has stepped down to 60 lumens. That’s less than the power of most penlights.

That step down limits the Valkyrie’s power. The Streamlight TLR 7 SUB provides a consistent 500 lumens of white light until the battery drops down to nearly nothing. The consistent lumens outperform the inconsistent Valkyrie every time, as far as I’m concerned.

Outside of lumens, we also need to look at candela. Candela provides useable light. Useable light translates to the ability to propel those lumens. The Streamlight TLR 7 SUB packs 5,000 candela. On the other hand, the Mini 2 Valkyrie pack only 2,500 candela.

The Streamlight provides more useable light with a longer effective range. The little Mini 2 Valkyrie prioritizes short-range power and spill, which sounds fine for close-quarters combat. However, the lack of candela also results in less capability to beat photonic barriers created by external light.

The double the candela the TLR 7 SUB provides deals double the damage and shines brightly. The little SUB isn’t a duty light but does a great job of sending light forward and beating back photonic barriers.

Durability Ratings

Carry guns get it rough. They can be abused, sweated all over on, exposed to the elements, and hopefully, they should be used a ton in terms of practice and training; as such, durability matters. From a recoil and shooting perspective, I can say both lights are rock solid. They perform extremely well, and I’ve had neither fail attached to a firearm.

I’ve done multiple drop tests with both optics, and each light can take a drop, fall, and toss without complaint. Both the TLR 7 SUB and the Mini 2 Valkyrie took fall after fall without clicking off and failing.

What about water? Well, the Olight Mini PL Valkyrie 2 has a rating of IPX6. The IPX6 rating allows the light to withstand heavy jets of water from all directions. It’s not just rainproof but capable of withstanding a lot of water tossed at it at once.

The TLR 7 SUB does one a little better and grants shooters an IPX7 rating. This means the light can be fully submerged in water. In fact, you can sink down to a meter for 30 minutes, and it doesn’t mind. The TLR 7 SUB outperforms the Valkyrie when it comes to water encroachment.

Size Matters

Little gun lights mean the light should be little, right? Adding bulk to a carry gun can be tricky. Most carry prioritize being thin and easy to carry IWB, or even pocket packed. It’s wise to consider the size of the lights before you toss one on.

The PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie is smaller than most compact lights, but is it the smallest? Let’s look at the specifications. The light comes in at 2.07 inches long. It’s not huge and likely will fit most subcompact-sized pistols without adding to the length of the weapon.

The Valkyrie weighs 2.57 ounces, so it doesn’t add much weight to the weapon. The real downside is the 1.28 inches width it adds to the weapon. Most of these compact handguns are only an inch wide or so, and adding over a quarter inc can create a hassle.

The Streamlight TLR 7 SUB is a little skinner but still wider than an inch at 1.16 inches. However, the width is primarily at the point where the light attaches to the rail. The TLR 7 SUB is much thinner all around and much more compact.

The TLR 7 SUB is longer and is 2.51 inches long overall. Weight wise the gun comes in at 2.39 ounces total. It’s lighter and thinner, at the cost of being a little longer than the Valkyrie. Ultimately, a smaller optic is more concealable, and the TLR 7 SUB is more concealable.

Who Wins?

To me, the TLR 7 SUB wins when compared to the Mini Valkyrie. It’s more powerful, more consistent, and more compact. It’s a capable weapon light and is currently the best weapon light available for subcompact pistols. It’s the clear winner and, by comparison, the Olight is lacking.

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