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Revealed Might 11, 2023 11:41 AM

Pistol lights are extra than simply an adjunct—they show you how to shortly determine targets at midnight which permits for extra correct pictures. And whereas holding a flashlight and working a handgun could be executed effectively on the similar time, these strategies require repeated coaching to stay proficient. Plus, you may have extra management when gripping your firearm with two arms.

A top quality flashlight hooked up to the firearm can simplify issues, permitting the shooter to maintain their complete concentrate on management and set off self-discipline. With that in thoughts, listed below are our high picks for the perfect pistol lights being made as we speak.

How We Picked the Finest Pistol Lights

When deciding on the perfect pistol lights, we thought of many alternative elements for every providing. Since there are such a lot of several types of handguns getting used as we speak, it is smart there’s a spread of flashlights for firearms to match. We seemed on the following elements when deciding the perfect of the perfect:

  • Lumens: Simply how vivid is that this flashlight? Is the facility adjustable?
  • Throw and flood? How far can this gentle illuminate? Can it gentle up a large space?
  • Weight: How heavy is the sunshine? Does it cut back recoil?
  • Building: How rugged is the sunshine? Is it constructed to resist the heavy vibration of as we speak’s bigger handguns?
  • Different Options: Does the sunshine have ambidextrous controls? Does it have a number of gentle depth ranges?
  • Worth: How does the worth evaluate to the sturdiness and brightness of the sunshine?

Finest Pistol Lights: Opinions and Suggestions

Finest General: Surefire X-300U-A

Finest General

Key Options

  • Lumens: 1,000
  • Candela: 11,300
  • Run Time: 1.25 Hours
  • Size: 3.76 Inches
  • Weight: 4 Ounces


  • Dependable
  • Extraordinarily vivid
  • Ambidextrous operation


At $324, this is among the costliest pistol lights available on the market. Nonetheless, you get what you pay for. The X300U-A is a lightweight trusted by legislation enforcement and safety professionals. The sunshine’s 1,000 lumens are a few of the strongest out there. The IPX7 waterproof ranking makes this perfect for any who works or shoots in moist climate. The controls are additionally ambidextrous, making it simple to function for anybody. In the meantime, the TIR lens helps focus the sunshine the place you want it with out changing into overbearing in your peripheral imaginative and prescient.

This gentle’s greatest draw back is the issue of mounting it. There are some reported points with the included screws. Watch out to not strip them when putting in the sunshine. Others additionally report the sunshine rattling after set up. Nonetheless, one other reviewer and the producer notice this drawback stems from not utilizing the proper plate throughout mounting. The “U” plates are a common design meant to suit the rail of firearms like Glock. In the meantime, the “P” plates are meant for different mounting platforms. So be certain that to not rush via set up.

Finest With Laser Gentle Combo: Streamlight TLR-2

Finest With Laser Gentle Combo

Streamlight TLR-2

Key Options

  • Lumens: 300 – 1,000
  • Candela: 12,000 – 20,000
  • Run Time: 2.5 Hours (Gentle) 48 Hours (Laser)
  • Size: 3.39 Inches (300 lumen mannequin)
  • Weight: 4.72 Ounces


  • Suitable with an enormous number of rails
  • Rugged development
  • Glorious battery life


  • Just a little bit heavy
  • Price ticket

Streamlight’s signature pistol gentle makes our checklist merely for the bevy of choices out there to shooters. This gentle is manufactured with purple and inexperienced lasers, and with variable illumination ranges relying on the person’s wants. The “S” mannequin contains an adjustable strobe, whereas the “HL” model cranks the depth of the sunshine as much as 1,000 lumens and 20,000 candelas. Streamlight contains keys for becoming the sunshine to Beretta, Glock, Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, and customary picatinny rails with a clamp system. Consumer evaluations rave concerning the simplicity of the paddle swap and the brightness of the concentrated beam.

Nonetheless, the draw back to this gentle is the general dimension and weight. This is among the heaviest lights available on the market. Whereas that’s nice for recoil, it does make discovering a holster tough. Moreover, the $300 plus worth is likely to be larger than most shooters want to spend. However, when speaking about the perfect lights with a laser, this one is tough to beat.

Finest Price range: Sig Sauer Foxtrot1X

Finest Price range

Sig Sauer Foxtrot1X

Key Options

  • Lumens: 100 – 450
  • Candela: N/A
  • Run Time: 1.5 Hours
  • Size: 2.4 Inches
  • Weight: 2.47 Ounces


  • Light-weight
  • Nice worth level
  • Adjustable brightness


  • Works greatest with Sigs
  • Stiff buttons

The Foxtrot1X flies below the radar a bit as a finances choice for handgun house owners who don’t really feel like dropping $300 on a high quality pistol gentle. Probably the most attention-grabbing characteristic is a swap that permits the customers to regulate between 100 and 450 lumens, thus making the sunshine barely extra versatile for various eventualities. It additionally has an IPX7 waterproof ranking that helps shield in opposition to water and particles. Sig made this gentle’s mounting system appropriate with Picatinny 1913 and Sig’s personal proprietary rails. Regardless of the low worth level, person evaluations reward the sturdiness, as one reviewer wrote after a particularly lengthy session on the vary: “On the finish of the train – the sunshine was nonetheless mounted rock stable, the lens cowl was nonetheless on tight.”

Some person evaluations point out the buttons generally is a little stiff. And this gentle does mount greatest on Sigs. Nonetheless, this gentle is well one of the vital reasonably priced available on the market, usually coming in below the $100 mark throughout gross sales.

Finest for Subcompact: Crimson Hint LTG Lightguard

Finest for Subcompact

Crimson Trace Lightguard

Key Options

  • Lumens: 110
  • Candela: N/A
  • Run Time: 1 Hour
  • Size: 2.75 Inches
  • Weight: N/A


  • Function-built fashions for various handguns
  • Extraordinarily compact
  • Inexpensive


  • The on/off swap place is awkward for some customers

Crimson Hint’s Lightguard sequence of lights are purpose-built not only for full-size firearms, however subcompacts too. These lights are designed for particular makes and fashions, which helps guarantee an ideal match for smaller handguns just like the Glock 42 and 43, Smith & Wesson M&P Defend, Sig Sauer P238 and P938, and the Ruger LCP II. The extraordinarily small profile of the sunshine permits customers to proceed having fun with the light-weight nature of those firearms. They provide ambidextrous operation and are available at an reasonably priced worth too. This isn’t the brightest gentle available on the market, however of all of the pistol lights out there as we speak, these look essentially the most like a pure extension of the firearm.

One of many greatest reported points is the uncomfortable button placement. As one Amazon person, Mark H. wrote: “The issue I’ve with this product is the odd design of the controls. The set off finger instinctively rests on the spherical CT brand, which is the place the activation swap must be. I’ve to bend my finger at an odd angle to activate.” After all, as he notes, that is the sort of factor one can prepare themselves to do, however that’s an additional funding of time on the vary that not everybody can afford.  

Finest Compact Gentle: Streamlight TLR-7A

Finest Compact Gentle

Streamlight TLR-7

Key Options

  • Lumens: 500
  • Candela: 5,000
  • Run Time: 1.5 Hours
  • Size: 2.58 Inches
  • Weight: 2.4 Ounces


  • Extra strobe perform
  • Ambidextrous paddle switches
  • Extraordinarily vivid


The TLR-7A pairs properly with widespread compact choices just like the Glock 19, Sig Sauer P229, Springfield XD, and the Taurus TH9c. The low profile (2.58 inches and a pair of.4 ounces) design makes for a light-weight addition to already gentle handguns. Streamlight additionally gave this gentle an ambidextrous paddle swap that may be very simple to function. Streamlight affords the TLR-7A in black and a flat darkish earth colour, making it simple to match it up along with your handgun of alternative. Similar to the Surefire, there are stories of customers having issue mounting this gentle. The TLR-7A comes with a complete host of inserts for the rails that make it appropriate with quite a lot of firearms.

What to Contemplate When Shopping for Pistol Lights

A pistol gentle may look like a easy accent, however identical to choosing the perfect handguns, there are lots of elements to think about when buying one. The burden of the sunshine can have a constructive impact by lowering the quantity of muzzle flip and felt recoil. There are many different elements to think about as properly, largely associated to the first use of the gun.

Lumens and Candelas

Most pistol lights will embrace the lumens when describing the flashlight’s energy. Nonetheless, some will even point out candela. The distinction is that lumens signify the quantity of radiated gentle, whereas candelas describe the depth of the sunshine at a distance. Lights with larger candelas are higher at a distance. Lux is usually thrown into the outline too. That merely describes the depth of the illuminated space of sunshine. For shooters anticipating pictures at a distance, go for a lightweight with a better candela.

Whereas some shooters may really feel the necessity to choose the very best depth gentle they will afford, it’s not at all times a sensible alternative. Excessive depth lights can typically blind a shooter’s imaginative and prescient. Not a perfect situation. Particularly while you flip the sunshine on immediately in pitch blackness. In shut conditions, a super-bright gentle may blind the shooter. Take into consideration the conditions you’re getting ready for, and the distances of the anticipated pictures when selecting a lightweight. Extra importantly, take a look at the sunshine at midnight environments the place you propose to make use of it. It will assist determine any points with a lightweight that’s too vivid.


Q: What number of lumens ought to a pistol gentle be?

Most self-defense consultants advocate no less than 120 lumens, however most of as we speak’s high choices are a lot brighter than that. Flashlights of no less than 300 to 500 lumens are usually the norm for handgun-specific lights today. Though there are choices of 1,000 lumens out there. Contemplate the way you’ll be utilizing the sunshine. A brighter gentle is best for outside or daytime eventualities the place it is advisable to see extra of the surroundings.

Q: Do pistol lights cut back recoil?

Sure, the burden of a pistol gentle can cut back the recoil of the firearm. Nonetheless, the quantity of recoil diminished relies upon totally on the burden of the sunshine. Some lights are going to cut back the quantity of recoil or flip greater than others. A great pistol gentle may help make a heavier caliber like .45 ACP or 10mm way more manageable.  

Q: What does throw and flood imply when describing a pistol gentle?

These two phrases are simple to know. Throw refers to how far the sunshine will attain whereas flood refers back to the width of the realm illuminated. Simply keep in mind that a floodlight illuminates a bigger space, and it’s simple to tell apart between the 2.

Finest Pistol Lights: Last Ideas

In the end, the brightness and rugged dependability of the Surefire are what helped it win the perfect general award. Though it was a really shut race with lots of the different contenders on this checklist for greatest pistol gentle. On the finish of the day, it’s laborious to go improper with any of the choices we’ve highlighted as we speak.

Why Belief Us

For greater than 125 years, Area & Stream has been offering readers with sincere and genuine protection of out of doors gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outside, and that zeal comes via in our product evaluations. You may rely on F&S to maintain you updated on the perfect new gear. And once we write a couple of product—whether or not it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cowl the great and the dangerous, so you recognize precisely what to anticipate earlier than you resolve to make a purchase order.

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