I've long been a fan of CrimsonTrace, ever since I was first introduced to the company's Lasergrips by Todd Jarrett at Gun Blogger Summer Camp. Their innovative designs mean when you grip the gun, the laser comes on. No switches to fumble with and no extra steps introduced when you should be focusing on firing your pistol. Your regular draw stroke will activate the laser and, to me, that makes them the only choice for adding a laser to your handgun. All of my handguns, save one, are equipped with Lasergrips or Laserguard units.
Crimson Trace has applied that same instinctive activation to a handgun-mounted light called the Lightguard. No switches, gizmos or doo-dads to muck up your draw stroke. Just grip the pistol normally and you activate the "on" switch, emitting 100 lumens of light—more than enough to light up your living room and temporarily blind anyone who happens to be on the receiving end of the light.
The Lightguard is not, however, a substitute for a flashlight. Rule 2 still applies—do not let the muzzle cover anything you're not willing to destroy. As tempting as it may be, do not use your weapon-mounted light to find your car keys in the parking lot at oh-dark-thirty. That's a recipe for disaster, so keep your flashlight handy. Using your handgun as a light can be deadly.
The Lightguard was the perfect addition to a project house gun, which is the firearm I keep handy for when things go bump in the night. My choice for the house gun is a full-size Smith & Wesson M&P9 equipped with a Crimson Trace Lasergrip.
The unit is lightweight and installation is a breeze. Snap the two ends together and tighten two bolts with the provided hex key. I don't notice any additional weight and when firing the gun, I didn't notice any change in ergonomics or recoil. Unsurprisingly, the unit stood up to the more than 200 rounds I put through it without a hiccup.
There's a master switch on the front of the unit to disable the light completely. Battery run time is two hours of constant use. Changing the battery is simple as well—remove the bolts, remove the unit and change the battery.
As for light, the unit easily lights up my whole basement, and even my backyard. I'm very pleased with a Lightguard combined with the Lasergrip as a home-defense tool. Now I'm just waiting on a holster that can fit it…