John Moses Browning didn’t invent this, but that’s OK. Of course if low power LED technology and CR2 batteries were available at Walgreens at the turn of the previous century he would have. All that aside, we think most 1911 aficionados will appreciate having the option of mounting a combat light on a traditional, no-rail, 1911 platform. Even if it was not originally built by John Moses Browning. May he rest in peace.

Close on the heels of the Lightguard for Glock full size and compact pistols release, Crimson Trace is expanding the line with the Lightguard LTG-701 for 1911 pistols.

Crimson Trace has recently started shipping this newest member of the Lightguard family.  It is designed to fit select 1911’s including Kimber, Ruger, and Smith & Wesson – either full size or compact – non-railed models. Bobtail 1911 designs from these manufacturers are OK too according to Crimson Trace. We didn’t have an appropriate bobtail 1911 around to test this however. But we trust Iaian – that new media relations guy at Crimson Trace. As long as he’s not wearing a kilt.

Since we did have a Springfield Armory TRP 1911 Armory Kote (no rail) in for evaluation, we decided to give the LTG-701 a try. Fit on this particular pistol was perfect. However, 1911’s vary, so be sure to check with Crimson Trace to find out if your particular pistol will work with the Lightguard for 1911’s if it’s not on the pre-approved list.

The neat thing about the Lightguard for 1911’s is that it does not require a rail equipped 1911 to mount it. It’s sized perfectly to fit in clamshell fashion, leveraging the trigger guard, and wraps around the bottom portion of the 1911 dustcover.


Like Lightguards for other pistol platforms, installation for the Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911 is easy and requires no modifications to the pistol itself.


As with other models in the Lightguard series, the Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911’s has everything you need for installation – including battery and tools.


The Crimson Trace Lightguard is a two piece assembly. If it’s not already separated, pull the two halves apart and insert the included battery as shown. Be sure to orient the battery correctly. As we all learned from Ghostbusters, crossing the streams is bad. Very bad. While we did not dare to try this, it’s rumored that reversing the battery causes your $3,000 custom 1911 to morph into a Hi-Point. Or so we hear.


The Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911’s fits over the front and bottom of the trigger guard. Install the right half with the battery first. A small ridge will end up inside the trigger guard.


While keeping the battery half in place, snap the left half into position. You’ll need to position the end near the grip first as it has a notched fit.


Using the three included screws and provided hex tool, fasten the two halves of the Lightguard together. Not too tight or you’ll strip the threads.


Not the positive on/off switch on the right half of the Lightguard. This is particularly handy if you do a lot of daytime practice or recreational shooting and don’t want to kill your battery.


The Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911’s has the activation pressure switch on the base of the trigger guard instead of the grip face. This allows you to use a Crimson Trace Lasergrip in conjunction with the Lightguard. With a normal grip, the side of your middle finger will exert enough pressure to turn the Lightguard on. Neato.

Features & Function

The Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911’s was perfectly solid on our test pistol – the Springfield Armory TRP. We shot it with a wide variety of practice and full power self defense loads and experienced no loosening of the mount.

If you choose to carry this configuration, you’ll need a holster sized to accommodate the Lightguard, but other than that, it adds no appreciable weight or bulk to the gun. It’s natural and unobtrusive.

The Crimson Trace Lightguard for 1911’s uses a single CR2 battery. This drives 100 lumens of LED light for just about 2 hours. That’s plenty for all but the most drawn out home invasions. And like the Lightguard for Glocks, we found the light pattern to be excellent. Even and with no dead spots.

Closing Arguments

We recently took a look at the Crimson Trace Lightguard for Glock full size and compact pistols and found it a necessary component for the perfect nightstand gun. If you’re a .45 ACP 1911 fanatic, now you’re set too. Even though the light is mounted forward of the rear sights, and underneath the pistol, we were able to see the sights clearly in pitch dark with the Lightguard turned on.

Our Rating

4 NunsFour Nuns! The form factor is smooth, slim, and elegant – like the 1911. And it will light up your world.
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