Is a light on an EDC pistol a good idea?

This is a discussion on Is a light on an EDC pistol a good idea? within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Lately my brother and I have been debating at how important it is to have a light on your EDC semi-auto pistol. He thinks it ...

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Thread: Is a light on an EDC pistol a good idea?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Is a light on an EDC pistol a good idea?

    Lately my brother and I have been debating at how important it is to have a light on your EDC semi-auto pistol. He thinks it is imperative. I agree that it would be nice to have, my concern is that it makes the gun too bulky for a holster, etc. when you are going to pack it for every day. Am I exaggerating? Does a light really add that much weight and does it really make holstering more difficult or am I on the right track with this line of reasoning? I would like to add that I do think it's important to have an EDC flashligt b/c you never know when you will need one so I guess in the back of my mind I'm thinking I'll already have a light, why do I need one on my gun - but of course it would be really difficult to hold the flashlight & gun at the same time. Before I wrap this up, I'll add that my G23 already has night sights and I'm thinking about putting a laser on it. If I add a light in addition to the laser that will be on it, is this gun going to be heavy and bulky?? I don't want to go over board and sacrifice performance for the sake of functionality - if that makes sense?

    Any comments, expressed concerns, opinions and or advice on any of this is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

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  3. #2
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    I like my firearm and light separate, but that's me. In any of the SD pistol courses I've taken, we always used a separate light source (from the firearm) to fire in dim light situations...I like it that way.
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    Member Array Medic218's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say it's a a bad idea or a good idea, like most questions people ask on forums like this is all boils down to personal preference.
    You are right about the light being cumbersome in a holster but then again there are holsters made specificly for pisols with lights, usually available from the light manufacturer.
    Also, the lights don't weight a lot...usually 5oz or less. But it all adds up.
    Give it a shot. If you don't like it then take it off. But it's not a bad idea to have one on your night stand gun either.
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    With the proper holster the addition of the light is not a major issue. The adding of a tac light as far as weight goes will not be that much different and can help with recoil.
    Just like everything else there are techniques that you must learn and practice to use a flashlight and weapon at the same time. They are not difficult but you must practice.
    Adding the weapon light will do a couple of things. You always have a flashlight. In the days before small tac lights many cops would not carry a flashlight on their person because A. they were on day shift and B. they were to big and heavy. Secondly since the light is attached to the weapon the techniques are easier to learn and the light easier to use. Some can be set up that simple pressure on the grip is enough to activate the light.
    Nowadays there are lights of all shapes and sizes. The main thing is the holster. You should never, if possible, go generic or one size fits all. Get a holster made for the weapon light combo and the issue of reholstering will go away.
    If you are going to add a laser you could get the light/laser combo and end all the discussion and have the best of both.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Member Array sentioch's Avatar
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    In my opinion it is completely pointless to carry a tactical flashlight on your EDC gun. As you noticed it increased weight and reduces concealability and comfort. What does it aid you? Nothing.

    Perhaps I'm just not imaginative enough, but I can't even imagine a possible scenario in which a BG might attack where a tac light would be useful in SD. Even if you get jumped in the park where there are no street lights you wouldn't need it because if there is enough light for him to see you to jump you, you can see him to shoot him. It might be useful if the thug tries to run away in the park and you want to chase after him and shoot him while he's running away, but that would be illegal anyway.

    If you need a flashlight for non-SD purposes, you'd have to draw and point your weapon to use it, and you should never be drawing and pointing loaded guns around when you don't need to. So, if you're going to carry a light, it makes a lot more sense to carry a separate light. It's most likely to come in handy when you're rummaging around in the attic, with the wires behind your computer, fixing something underneath your car, or walking home through a dark woods, etc..
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    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    A lot of good insight in this post. If I get a laser, I think I'm going to look at a laser/light combo deal if I can get one that's made in the gun (not an extension) but I'm not going to add anything that is going to make the gun larger in size - for concealment/comfort purposes.

    I also like sentioch's point about a tac light on a SD weapon. It doesn't seem to be that important - because I will definitely not be chasing any perps for apprehension...ha-ha...although I do like the idea of having it (a tac light) on a dedicated home SD/night stand gun.

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    The purpose of a Tac light is to allow you to identify the threat and depending on the light they can in fact cause the retina to shut down if shined directly into the eyes giving you time to leave the scene without a shot being fired.

    So if the guy in the park jumps out and you can see him enough to shoot him but when all is said and done he is an unarmed drunk whom you surprised while he was peeing on a tree....oh well.

    The purpose of night sights are so you can see the sights not the target in little or no light you still have to identify the threat.

    You are carrying a Glock 23 the addition of the light will not make it that much bigger or heavier as long as you use the equipment, but to each his own.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    When the light is attached to the gun it could make you a better target if the BG shoots at the light source.

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    Distinguished Member Array Der Alte's Avatar
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    Always gun in right hand and flashlight in left hand which was under the gun. Of course that was a long time ago - I'm not real up to date on todays procedures.
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    There are real-world scenarios where a WML is a distinct advantage. First, I wholeheartedly agree with tacman605.
    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    The purpose of a Tac light is to allow you to identify the threat and depending on the light they can in fact cause the retina to shut down if shined directly into the eyes giving you time to leave the scene without a shot being fired.

    So if the guy in the park jumps out and you can see him enough to shoot him but when all is said and done he is an unarmed drunk whom you surprised while he was peeing on a tree....oh well.

    The purpose of night sights are so you can see the sights not the target in little or no light you still have to identify the threat.

    You are carrying a Glock 23 the addition of the light will not make it that much bigger or heavier as long as you use the equipment, but to each his own.
    And let's concede that no one is suggesting using a WML as a general search light. If searching with a light is needed, then the WML should be detached from the gun or a handheld used.

    WMLs are so light (not heavy) it would be difficult to tell the difference if you were blindfolded. A SF 200X or a Insight Technology M3 weighs just a touch over 3 ounces. There's more difference in weight between a Glock 19 and a Sig 228/9 than 3 ounces. Plus that 3 ounces couldn't be in a better place - right at the end of the muzzle - that helps reduce recoil flip a bit.

    One thing that's always over-looked is that a separate light requires two hands. Are you walking a dog? With a child, a wife, girlfriend? If so you may need to use your off hand to be sure where they are. Do you need one hand free for something else? Say unlocking your car door as part of your escape?

    A second advantage to a WML is it is a second light source. If one fails or you loose your handheld you have a backup.

    As for the light making you a target, there are only two choices - turn the light on and identify the threat or don't and shoot blind. Plus the very same thing can be said for a handheld.
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    New Member Array JB326's Avatar
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    I rarely carry any pistol without a light, unless it is a very quick, low risk trip where I am just going to drop my Kel Tec PF 9 in my pocket and go. I am a LEO and always carried a TLR on my duty Glock 35, and now that I am in a plainclothes assignment I still have a TLR 1 on my Glock 23. I wear it in a Raven Phantom and it dissappears under even a t-shirt. The total package looks huge, but once I put it on it's like it is not even there. There are many advantanges to weapon mounted light, and few if any disadvantages (I really can't think of any, but I've heard some people make decent arguments for a few negatives). In my opinion, it is much better in the end to have and not need than to need and not have.







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    Member Array ASHTXSNIPER's Avatar
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    I carry the light in my pocket and attach it after drawing the weapon.
    Proud houlder of a Texas Open Carry License.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Wow. A lot of good points have been made here. Thanks for posting the pics JB326; it doesn't look cumbersome at all. I also like the idea of having the tac light as a back up; built in redundancy, if you will.

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    Member Array JKPinPDX's Avatar
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    Red face Here is an option for ya...

    Viridian Greenlaser has a combo laser/light setup that is small and compact that fits on ANY model. It just came out. Look up the model C5L.

    That's the one I'm getting.
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  16. #15
    Member Array Jesters Dead's Avatar
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    +1 on the Viridian C5L. It has improved ergonomics over the X5L and will soon be on my and my wife's HD handguns. Love the green laser!

    I don't have a problem with a light on your EDC weapon at all. Light is your friend, especially when it is shined in the eyes of a BG. That can buy you time and distance, possibly avoiding a confrontation and a costly legal entanglements as a result.

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