Should You Mount a Light to Your Concealed-Carry Gun?

by
posted on August 9, 2017
weaponlight-should-you-mount-one-flashlight-defensive-handgun-f.jpg

One of the greatest aids to personal protection in recent years has been the advent of tough, compact, high-intensity flashlights we generally call defensive lights. Back in my law enforcement days we wagged around those big old flashlights that were great in a donnybrook but, otherwise, just got in the way. Nowadays, I seldom go anywhere without my little SureFire flashlight stuck somewhere about my person. Compact, handheld flashlights are useful, and I like them a lot.

However, I think installing a gun light on your concealed-carry gun is a mistake. It changes the balance of the gun while making it heavier and more difficult to conceal.

Folks will eventually get used to the change in balance, but this business of weight is another issue entirely. The most common complaint I hear about concealed-carry guns is they are heavy and uncomfortable to carry for extended periods. While I have carried a .45-ACP Government Model 1911 or a Commander all day, every day, I hear this complaint so often that there must be something to it. A lot of people who are not used to wearing a gun all day long just seem to have a difficult time getting used to that weight. So, why would you make it heavier by adding a light?

Concealment is also an issue with gun lights. It is more difficult to find suitable holsters that accommodate a defensive light. That light and a bigger holster add to the bulk that one has to conceal under one's clothes. Yes, it can be done, but it requires a lot of experimenting, trial and error.

It is much easier to carry the defensive light separate from the pistol yet still on your person. You can then use it, or not use it, as the situation dictates. There are several simple techniques for using a handheld light in conjunction with a pistol, and with practice, you're sure to find a method that works for you.

Defensive handgun trainer Louis Awerbuck put it so eloquently when he said, "Don't hang stuff on your pistol!" Actually, he used another word that begins with "s" instead of "stuff," but I think you get the picture.

However, there are exceptions to every rule. I think a handgun-mounted light makes a lot of sense when installed on a designated car gun or house gun, because these are not being worn and concealed all day long. We don't care what they weigh and, in fact, when the balloon goes up you won't give a moment's thought to the issue of weight.

Of course, you are responsible for your own safety, so you should do what you think is best. Just don't follow fad for the sake of being stylish. Give your gun light some thought, and fight smart.

Latest

Reloading for beginners
Reloading for beginners

Handloading from a Novice’s Perspective

What happens when a novice learns to handload with the help of experts?

The Keys To Successful Speed Shooting

Learning effective speed shooting means learning how to do the basics on-demand as efficiently as possible. 

First Look: Primary Weapons Systems Suppressors

Known for their modern sporting rifles, PWS is now branching out into the suppressor market.

Why A Shotgun Is Best for Home Defense (And All Sorts Of Other Things)

Have you lost that lovin’ feelin’ for your scattergun? Here’s why it should be a go-to choice for home defense.

KelTec Sub2000 Carbine Selected for School Resource Deputies

KelTec's Sub2000 carbine has been selected for school resource deputies in Brevard County, Florida.

First Look: Smith & Wesson Model 350 Revolver

Smith & Wesson brings the 350 Legend cartridge to its X-frame revolver line.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.