It’s not often that us guys in the shooting community can all agree on a single thing . I guarantee that all of the trainers, influencers, companies, Youtube personalities and bloggers alike will all confirm that a flashlight and a pistol are like peanut butter and jelly; they just go together. What brand of peanut butter or jelly is better? Well that’s where we all get into a heated debate, like Glock versus M&P or Streamlight vs. Surefire. The point I’m trying to make is that if you’re going to have a pistol on you or in your home, you need some sort of light to accompany it.
Until about a decade ago, the approved way to fire a pistol while wielding a light was extremely awkward. It meant taking one hand off the pistol and performing a myriad of maneuvers with an outstretched arm or crossing over your primary shooting arm. Luckily some smart guy somewhere came out with an affordable light to attach to our guns. We all know how important it is to get as much meat as possible on the grip of the gun, and that old school way of shooting with a light severely hinders follow up shots and accuracy. While weapon-mounted lights fixed this issue, they presented some new ones themselves, including holster fit and use of a light without revealing your firearm.
This is where the THYRM (pronounced “theorem”) Switchback bridges that gap between the best parts of a WML (weapon mounted light) and a tactical flashlight. To break it down for you, the Switchback is a polymer collar that when installed on the correct flashlight, allows the shooter to use a flashlight in a modified but still extremely effective shooting grip. What do I mean by modified? Unfortunately the world’s an imperfect place and in order to activate the tail cap on the light you need to apply forward pressure with your support hand thumb. After shooting my Glock 19 while using this grip and the light, I can tell you it’s a non issue.
Why I like the Thyrm Switchback:
Price. At a mere $16.99 for the small version or $18.99 for the big boy, it’s one of the cheapest accessories shooters can buy.
It’s Cool. Unless you have two grand to shell out for training with Chris Costa, this Switchback (which sports the Costa logo and is endorsed by Chris) is the closest many of us will ever get to the bearded wonder.
It works with some of the best flashlights on the market. The small Switchback aka the Backup, only works with the stellar Surefire EB1 or EB2 lights. Which is fine with me because I’m a diehard EB1 fan. The Switchback Large works with a huge assortment of lights : Surefire G2X, P2X, P3X, 6PX, Z2X, G2ZX–Streamlight Polytac current models–Pelican M6 Series–Nitecore P12, P15, P25, SRT7, MH25–Elzetta Bravo–Klarus XT-11–EagleTac T200C2.
Kill two birds with one stone. The only time you’re going to use a weapon light is when your life is on the line or training in low light/no light scenarios. This means that if you want a light as part of your EDC (Every Day Carry) you’ll have to carry an additional one in your pocket. The Switchback gives me the ability to use the light for regular uses all the while keeping my pistol tucked away nice and concealed. If the situation were to arise where I would have the need to draw my gun, the Switchback is easily deployed and integrated into my shooting grip.
Great to play with. Yeah, you read that correctly. The reason we like to mess around with a balisong (butterfly knife) is because its a fun time waster and it looks cool. I’ve been doing a bunch of different spins and flips especially while writing this blog, that would give me enough reason to justify the purchase of one.
Why I don’t like the Thyrm Switchback:
I wish it was metal. As much as I like polymer, I think when paired with the Surefire EB1, it should match the construction of the light. Heck I’d even shell out considerably more money for a cool titanium version.
It needs better traction. The ability of the end user to deploy the light and activate the tail cap switch, relies on you pressing firmly forward with your support hand thumb. I don’t have the sweatiest hands in the world but in my testing I often had my thumb slip off while shooting. I can’t imagine what it would be like on a hot summer day and a life threatening situation was unfolding. Although a little bit of stippling or some grip tape could quickly fix this issue.
The Switchback large is too big to carry. Maybe I buy different pants than everyone else that’s used or reviewed the Switchback large with a Surefire G2X but I cant justify putting this huge setup in my front pants pockets nor will it fit without a good bit of force.
You need to train with it. As with anything that you plan to use in a self defense situation, you need to train extensively with it. Unfortunately a vast percentage of the people that buy this will become familiar with messing around with it and train rarely if ever while drawing and live fire. I wish that wasn’t the case but we all know that’s the truth.
Overall I think the Thrym Switchback is worth the money. It allows you to use your EDC light as a weapon light and still maintain the proper shooting grip. I personally like the smaller version Switchback paired up with the Surefire EB1 because it gives me enough light and fits in my pocket easily. Your experience with these may differ but for under $20, they’re worth you trying out for yourself.
Would you use one of these instead of a weapon mounted light? If you would and do end up purchasing a Switchback make sure you tell them Jeremy L from GearExpert sent you.