The Facts on Handgun Lights

handgun lights

There is a lot of information out about handgun lights. You can read about all sorts of different types you can mount on your home defense pistol. 

I came across a great post by Massad Ayoob on The Daily Caller. It covers the mandatory discussion of lights you can mount on your pistol but it also covers something that I learned back in the military about house clearing – you don't want to clear with the light on your gun.

The thing every user has to bear in mind is, it is dangerous to use the gun’s light for “routine” searches! This is for the simple reason that everything the light points at, the gun points at.

Another reason is that it illuminates you and if you are like most people you are carrying the weapon center mass which is right where someone hiding in the dark is going to shoot.
Much better is to have a light on your gun and a handheld light. The handheld is for searching and held off to the side. The light on the gun only comes on when you are ready to engage a threat.
Check out the post by Massad Ayoob which covers some more of the finer points.
Let us know in the comments what you think of handguns and lights.


  1. “…everything the light points at, the gun points at.”, “Another reason is that it illuminates you…”

    You’re doing it wrong. Those are both commonly held misconceptions about weapon mounted lights but they stem from a misunderstanding of how the light should be used. In short, the light (and the weapon) should remain pointed in a safe direction and only the “splash” from the light used to illuminate your surroundings. It should also not remain on; you should only strobe it enough to see your surroundings and negotiate through the structure. Brief flashes every few seconds. If you identify a target and decide to fire, the weapon comes up and you strobe their face as you’re moving laterally. This is to give one last chance to be sure of your target. If they are indeed a threat and you decide to fire, the light comes on one final time just before you press the trigger. If it is done correctly, the bad guy may attempt to fire at where he saw a light but you’re not in the same place the light was anymore.

    This is a more detailed and better articulated explanation of the CORRECT use of weapon lights:

Leave a Reply