I’m a fanboi.
Of lights on guns.
I used to be a super fan of lasers on handguns. Then I shot the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational. After what I learned there, I’m a fan of lights AND lasers on guns – like the Crimson Trace Lasergrip / Lightguard setup. To me, having a light and laser combo on a home defense gun is kind of a no-brainer. Of course you’ll also want a quality flashlight like this one on the nightstand strictly for looking. Having one mounted on the gun also speeds and simplifies target confirmation and aiming.
In fact, with today’s weapon-mounted light offerings, there is no reason not to have a light on your carry pistol as well. The only real drawback is holster availability and/or not being able to use holster you already own.
I got to thinking of reasons to mount a weapon-light on your carry gun, and here’s what I came up with:
1. According to the FBI, the busiest hour for crime is midnight to 1am. Remember what Mom used to say – nothing good ever happens after midnight! Need proof? 93.72% of Lindsay Lohan’s arrests were after midnight.
2. Daylight savings. Or maybe you’re just burning the midnight oil at work. What time do you get home from work? Yeah, I know, later than you want. But is it dark when you get home? At least during the winter months? Might be nice if the gun you have has a light. If Sasquatch is hiding in your dark garage, you want to be ready with more than a Jack Links jerky stick.
3. If you have to use your light-equipped gun in the daytime, who cares? Worst case, you burn some battery, and batteries are cheap when doing a spreadsheet on life and death cost / benefit considerations. If you’re just practicing, the Crimson Trace Lightguard has an on / off switch so you can save your battery.
4. Powerful lights are now really, really small. I’ve got a number of Crimson Trace Lightguards on Glocks and 1911s. They add no width or length to your pistol. The placement just in front of the trigger guard means that there is no real impact on my ability to conceal a Lightguard-equipped gun – even using an inside the waistband holster. You get 100 lumens of light with no additional storage requirement. Why not?
5. Theaters. Remember Aurora? Enough said.
6. Restaurants (where legal) for the same reason. The good ones tend to be all romantic and dark. That’s great for foreplay, but no so good for gunplay.
7. Adding a light to your gun gives you an excuse to buy a cool new holster. Like this one. Or these.
8. Light over 60 lumens has the possibility of temporarily distracting or disorienting an attacker. Don’t count on it, but a surprise flash in the eyeballs just might buy you a couple of seconds of much-needed time. Of course, since the light is mounted on your gun, this scenario only applies if you are in a position where pointing your gun at someone or something is warranted.
9. Even in reasonably well-lit indoor environments, a weapon mounted light will dramatically clarify both your target and your gun sights. Try it.
10. Your carry gun is also your home defense gun. Hey, if your carry gun lives on or near your nightstand while you’re sleeping, you definitely want a light on it. Yes, you want a separate flashlight nearby too for pure “looking” purposes. If you find any bad surprises, you’ll want that light on your gun.
Be sure to check out our latest book, The Practical Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition.
Great write up and all very valid points. I have a light/stobb and lazer on my s&w mp. It’s not as snazzy as the crimson trace set ups but it’s not a bad one. It’s a lower rail attachment and very easy to use. But I would love to get and grip lazer and some how a light aswell I’m my Ruger gp100 357 magnum. I don’t know how that would work as far as a light attachment. Sorry to go on and on. Thanks for the great info and links.
Rail attached lights are handy too. I’ve got Crimson Trace Rail Masters on other guns and they work great. Starting to see more holsters for that configuration as well, which is goodness. Love those GP-100’s, I’ll do a little digging on options for that. Will be harder with no rail of course…
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We have weapon lights mounted on all our Ruger SR9 home-defense guns… and our ARs for home defense… and I carried an SR9 and SR9c for a while with a weapon light… but since I always carry a Surefire flashlight… and I often need just the flashlight… and well, you can only carry so much for EDC before you need to be wearing a full tactical vest… and I’d give up the weapon light rather than my Surefire flashlight… just some thoughts… nothing wrong with CCW and a weapon light… and if you only have one primary gun and are using it for CCW and at home and don’t want to constantly be taking the light on and off… again, just thinking out loud… having tried both ways… good thoughts for your 10 points!
I am a bit skeptical on the use of lights on a home defense weapon as it would give your position fairly quickly. That being said, I have never wielded a pistol with a light on it. I don’t know if the added visibility would counter the fact that they know your position fairly early.
In my opinion (key word opinion) the very last thing I worry about in a home defense situation is giving away my position. I’m not intending to enter a ninja battle sneaking around the house finding evil doers who are doing the same. My home defense plan involves barricading in a room, calling 911 and only resorting to gun and light as a last resort. I value the benefits of being able to see my target far above any possible downside of giving away position. But that’s just my opinion…