Don’t Be Afraid to Modify Your Gear, Part IV: The Streamlight ProTac Clip

Recently, I acquired a new Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA. I like this new model of the ProTac better than the original for a couple of reasons. First, I think it is a superior light for travel purposes, due to its dual fuel capability. I may not be able to easily source CR123 batteries everywhere I travel, but I can find an AA battery almost anywhere. Light output suffers slightly with the AA battery, but this is an acceptable compromise in such situations. Second, I prefer the light because it’s slightly longer than the original ProTac 1L. This extra length means that the light extends slightly beyond my closed fist, allowing it to be used as an impromptu impact weapon in the event that I get involved in a low-light hands-on entanglement. Despite these positive attributes, I haven’t carried mine much lately due to one big annoyance that I encountered with it.

The pocket clip on the ProTac 1L-1AA is a double clip, meaning that it’s design folds back on itself, allowing the light to be clipped into a pocket either bezel up or bezel down. In of itself, this is a good idea, but I had a problem early on with my clip. Somehow or another, I managed to snag the clip on something while walking and pulled it apart significantly. I was able to take the clip off the light body and try to squeeze it back together with pliers, but the double back design of the clip precluded bending it enough to restore its original spring tension. As a result, the light would not clip securely in my pocket when carried bezel down, and I didn’t carry the light for fear of losing it. Even before this mishap, the light never felt as secure in my pocket as did my original ProTac 1L.

ProTac 1l-1AA Clip
The double clip on the ProTac 1L-1AA. Note the slight gap between the two leaves of the spring clip… I wasn’t able to bend them back together and the light wasn’t secure in my pocket, relying on gravity alone to keep it in place.

The thought occurred to me a few days ago to try out a 1L clip on my 1L-1AA. I was able to order a new clip from www.BrightGuy.com, and I received it in the mail a few days later. (Based on my first dealing with this company, I would not hesitate to order from them again in the future. One of their competitors had a marginally better price on the clip, but wanted to charge me $16 shipping on a $4 part!) The 1L clip fits the 1L-1AA light perfectly, and can be installed to either allow the light to be carried bezel down or up according to preference. As long as you’re willing to settle on one mode of carry (a smart idea for any important self-defense tool), then I think the 1L clip is actually a superior design for bezel up carry, as it allows the light to sit about ¼” deeper in the pocket. I prefer to carry mine bezel down, so I have the clip on the opposite end of the light body as opposed to the original clip attachment location.

So there you have it… one easy and inexpensive modification to make a great light even better!

Thanks for reading our blog, and feel free to comment either here or on Facebook if you have any worthwhile equipment modifications to suggest!

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid to Modify Your Gear, Part IV: The Streamlight ProTac Clip

  1. I put a wrap or two of black gaffers tape around the button end of my small flashlights, like my Streamlight. One, it’s a lot easier on the teeth if you have to hold it in your mouth to keep hands free. And it can be handy to have a few inches of tape available in many situations.

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