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Gun Lights Pro's and Con's

This is a discussion on Gun Lights Pro's and Con's within the Gun Gear forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; I never looked favorable on them but then again never had a handgun you could mount a light on until now. Listed below are strictly ...


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Old 07-05-2017, 08:29 AM   #1
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Gun Lights Pro's and Con's

I never looked favorable on them but then again never had a handgun you could mount a light on until now. Listed below are strictly IMHO as I have never owned one but that obviously qualifies me as an internet expert.

Not looking to transition to a Mall Ninja just curious. Your thoughts?

Pro's:

Two hands firmly on the pistol while shooting

Very bright light that can blind the perp temporarily

You can see whats going on



Con's:

They become a target with your head in the immediate vicinity

I'm guessing they make the pistol barrel of front end heavy

Expensive

Make finding a holster problematic
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:54 AM   #2
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while they are offering more holsters nowadays that will accomodate an attached gun light, from my perspective these holsters add just too much bulk to the entire holster. Might get accustomed to it, but i like my guns kind of trim and appreciate the same in holsters. Also, most of the holsters are a little "generic" adding more bulk as they must be built to accomodate several brands/sizes of lights......though a few might be specific. Think of sticking a detective special into a j frame holster......close but no cigar.....less that is a generic one size fits many snub holster.

the attached gun light does offer some advantages. For one thing they are actually purty nice for point shooting..........you can narrow that light beam down a tad to spot instead of flood,......sure, it is a giant huge 30 moa dot......but center mass is center mass when needing to point shoot............

the other thing is that when you are by yourself, they do free up one hand. Countless times i have had to search a building by myself and the struggle of holding a gun in one hand, a flashlight in the other, and needing a third hand to move items or open doors can make things rather distracting.

Having that free hand and working that momentary switch on the gun light as needed was a great convenience and in turn less distracting so i could focus on the task of just "doing it" instead of stopping, adjusting, doing, fumbling with an unattached light, and repositioning again, throw in the occasional use of the radio and things start to become a juggling act.......if that makes sense.

i carried the gun light on a pouch on the belt......therefore i could use a standard holster. This light replaced my mini-mag light on the belt. The streamlight was much better and brighter than any mini flashlight of that time era anyways. IT stayed on the gun belt as an auxillary flashlight and i used it many, many, many more times as a flashlight than as a gun light.

if i needed a gun light for rare occasions, it was just a quick snap it on and get after it. Just as quick to sanp it off the gun and reholster.

the biggest problem i had with that streamlight back then was it had special batteries......can't remember what they were......"N" batteries i think. But when that light went dead it went dead.......no slow fading of the light to warn you. Nowadays, i think most of them use regular batteries more and have gone the route of the LED for even better battery life.

I sold my gun light to a PD officer many years back when i came to the S.O.......the sheriff did not like gun lights for the negative reasons mentioned.

IF strictly for a defensive role, i can agree with the negative aspects about gun lights. But for an offensive role like i had to use it in building searches and such, i think the gun light had a very useful place.....especially when you are by yourself.......they enable on you to focus on your gun and the light and pay more attention to what you are doing....and less on having to focus on your weak hand and its tasks.,

just remember to use that toggle switch and re-learn light discipline for that system....

i do not think the basic gun lights are that expensive........to me they are the price of a better upper end mini flashlight. Streamlight no longer sells the model i had but that have a similar one for around $ 120.

Last edited by deputy125; 07-05-2017 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:00 AM   #3
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I can't find anything to add to your pros and cons, and I agree with them 100%.

To me, the worst point is how they give the perp something to aim at. A cap mount light would be really bad........On the more realistic Hollywood portrayals of cops with flashlights, they hold the gun at the ready, and extend their light arm as far away from themselves as possible. Although the perp could assume you're right handed and still aim to his left. Ouch.

Lights with a strobe setting are supposedly more disorienting to a perp, with the constant flashing.

I would have the light off, and be prepared to flick it on just before I squeeze the trigger, whether it was hand held or gun mounted.

Last edited by bearcatter; 07-05-2017 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:09 PM   #4
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The Streamlight I tried on a 1911 with a rail was very light in weight. Didn't affect balance to any significant extent. Had no trouble adapting to the toggle switch for operation.

I found the light to be very useful to scan the yard at night for animals when the dogs started raising hell. Very bright. That's why we bought it. Not sure about using it against an armed intruder. I can see the negatives on that use.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:20 PM   #5
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This is my PPQ-45 decked out for nightstand duty with Streamlight and night sights. I believe the danger of someone "shooting at the light" is highly overrated. If you've ever been hit with one of those lights in dark room, you'll know it's an advantage for the guy on the dark end of it. By the time the guy recovers enough to even think about aiming at your light, you'll get 3 shots off. I didn't want the strobe. Just as disorienting to the shooter as the shootee, IMO. The effect on the weight of the gun is negligible.

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Old 07-05-2017, 03:28 PM   #6
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Good info here and making me rethink it for the nightstand. Will have to find a holster to fit though as I won't leave the trigger exposed until I plan to use it.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:47 PM   #7
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I vote for night stand use only. I wouldn't need a holster.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:40 PM   #8
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this is the one size fits all that i am familiar with.... https://www.midwayusa.com/product/13...lster-lt-nylon

that is a velcro wrap around flap on the lower half that you can take up or let out so whatever gun/light combo you use you can adjust the holster to fit it properly..........no jiggle or wiggle.

i know a couple of officers that have some brand of hard polymer holsters for gun with light.....they look bulky and the guns have some jiggle and wiggle while in the holster.

i like holsters based off the UM84 universal holster design....make it a thumb break, change to a flap, or convert it other ways.....i had the flap on my um84.....a slow draw for sure.....but the gun was protected and very secure.

Last edited by deputy125; 07-05-2017 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:11 PM   #9
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I won't have a light on my gun. Don't want to indicate where I am looking or pointing. I carry the gun close to the body when checking a dark house or shop and prefer a separate light. Deputy's system sounds most useful and flexible, though I still prefer separate.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:15 PM   #10
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How easy are the lights to put on and take off? I haven't checked them out but my use would be just nightstand and cc would be in a Crossbreed Supertuck I have on order without any attachments. I'm guessing a couple of set screws or thumb screws almost like scope rings to a base.

It sounds like something worthwhile to have a look at. Would want to put my hands on them first. I saw them at the Sig Pro Shop so a good place to check out then buy on line. I'll be getting spare mags there so will check out then.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:19 PM   #11
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I've been debatin on whether or not to get one for around the house too. Wouldn't carry it. The TLR-3 is pretty small, and has one thumb screw, that can also be tightened/loosened with a coin.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:09 PM   #12
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As GJ says, very easy off and on a gun with a rail.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinist View Post
I won't have a light on my gun. Don't want to indicate where I am looking or pointing. I carry the gun close to the body when checking a dark house or shop and prefer a separate light. Deputy's system sounds most useful and flexible, though I still prefer separate.
+1 .................... The light below is cheap and has blinding light . One push button control it all it modes . If you want a 2 hand hold on your gun , it will let you do it since it is small and you can hold it super easy in your fingers .

" One handed operation of momentary, variable intensity or strobe mode. Perfect light for everyday carry and ideal for Law Enforcement, Military, EMS, and Concealed Carry Permit Holders. "

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/91...aluminum-black

Last edited by tx gun runner; 07-06-2017 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:09 AM   #14
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On the Con side, having the light attached means always pointing the gun where you are looking which could be a plus depending on circumstances. I like the light in my off hand so I can scan holding high or as a rest for my strong side hand.

I hear you on the batteries Deputy, I have and old Stearmlite, batteries are spendy and hard to find.

Last edited by 44s Rock; 07-06-2017 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:50 AM   #15
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I've got a Streamlight Stylus that I was given at work. Skinny penlight. It takes three AAAA batteries. I don't know anywhere local that has them. Triple A would have made a lot more sense, might have made it 1/8 inch bigger ???? Naturally, you can order AAAAs from Streamlight...

My best lights are a three pack of Tasco XR5 I got at Sam's Club for all of $ 20. 250 lumens, which is bright enough to light up a big patch of my backyard. Low, high, and strobe, with a spot / flood setting as well.

I still have several Mini Maglites with the Xenon bulb. They're only something like 80 lumens, shorter battery life than LEDs, but about indestructible. I keep them because I have a box of parts that a local hardware clearanced for pennies on the dollar.

Last edited by bearcatter; 07-06-2017 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:42 AM   #16
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Here is the way I hold a flashlight and shoot in combat match . That streamlight I posted use 2AA battery nothing special about them .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-G2OJODlZw
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:18 AM   #17
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TGR seems like it would take a fair amount of practice to do that naturally especially if someone kicks in your front door waking you up.

I am leaning toward the streamlight TLR 3 but need to cool my heals a bit and let my checkbook catch up. Until then my $ 25 small flashlight with the Dewalt brand name on it will have to make do. It takes two AA's and casts a bright light. I bought it on impulse at an AOC in Bay City, TX when I was getting a propane tank filled 3 years ago. It is a fine little metal cased light with a rear on/off button.
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Old 07-07-2017, 07:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tx gun runner View Post
Here is the way I hold a flashlight and shoot in combat match . That streamlight I posted use 2AA battery nothing special about them .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-G2OJODlZw
Never seen it done that way, I'll have to give it a try.
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry_P View Post
TGR seems like it would take a fair amount of practice to do that naturally especially if someone kicks in your front door waking you up.

I am leaning toward the streamlight TLR 3 but need to cool my heals a bit and let my checkbook catch up. Until then my $ 25 small flashlight with the Dewalt brand name on it will have to make do. It takes two AA's and casts a bright light. I bought it on impulse at an AOC in Bay City, TX when I was getting a propane tank filled 3 years ago. It is a fine little metal cased light with a rear on/off button.
Someone kicks my door in I use the point and shoot . NO SIGHT OR LIGHT NEEDED . If you can't sit in your favorite chair or the edge of your bed and close your eyes and hit a person in your door way you need to sell your gun and hire a nurse .............
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:08 AM   #20
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I keep one on my Glock 30S at night, by the bed. I take it off in the morning. One night the dogs were barking, and I found an armadillo in the yard. I simply shined the light on the 'dillo and pulled the trigger. Expect to hit a little high. Too bright a light may cause some momentary blindness if you are in the house, but are awesome outside.
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