Worried you might not be able to shoot targets accurately during emergencies? Check out the best pistol light to help improve your accuracy and precision in various situations, no matter how rushed or panic-stricken you might be.
5 Best Pistol Light Options Every Handgun Shooter Should Know
1. Best Overall Option: 69261 TLR-2 HL by Streamlight
The TLR-2 HL is pistol light and laser mod measuring 3.9 inches long. It’s a lightweight, compact addition you can attach to a wide range of handguns, from compact pistols such as the Beretta TomCat to full-size options such as the Glock 34.
TLR-2 HL features a 20,000-candela beam C4 LED bulb that can project a maximum of 1,000 lumens. There are dimmer variants that only project 200 to 800 lumens. However, we suggest getting the 1,000-lumen option for maximum efficiency.
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1,000-lumen bulbs not only completely brighten up dark spaces, but they can also temporarily blind your opponent—which is especially useful in close-quarters combat. Although, bear in mind that 1,000 lumens might also cause the user harm in small, tight indoor areas. Just be careful.
Meanwhile, nervous first-time shooters can rely on its accurate laser for precise shooting. The last thing you’d want in an emergency situation is to accidentally shoot something you’re not supposed to and do more harm than good.
Perhaps the only disadvantage to Streamlight’s 69261 TLR-2 HL is it’s quite pricey. You’ll find retailers selling these pistol light and laser addition at around $320 to 350.
2. Best for Concealed Carry: APL Compact by INFORCE
APL C by INFORCE is easily the best pistol light for Glock 45, Berreta TomCat, Ruger .327 Magnum, P365 Sig Sauer, and other compact pistols. It’s a lightweight option ideal for concealed carry applications.
What makes it a good concealed carry pistol light? First, it’s lightweight. The APL C weighs only 1.87 ounces. Trust us, you wouldn’t want a heavy pistol dragging down your pants whenever you go outside with a concealed weapon.
Second, it features a 200-lumen bulb. 200 lumens is the magic number when looking for a pistol light you can safely use indoors. Bright bulbs are great for blinding opponents, but newbie shooters not used to pistol lights might accidentally hurt their eyes as well if they’re in a tight, small space.
On the other hand, you can safely use a 200-lumen bulb in most types of indoor crisis situations. Whether you’re stuck under a crawlspace or trapped inside your vehicle, rest assured, your APL C won’t shine on anything other than the target in front of you.
Lastly, it doesn’t attract unwanted attention. Not all emergency situations require one to draw attention to him/herself. There are cases where the victim would be in more trouble if they used something extremely bright and flashy like a 1,000-lumen pistol light.
Although, APL C’s weak 200-lumen bulb might not be the best option for outdoor self-defense, especially in cases where you’re in a wide, pitch-black open space such as a forest. Be careful as well because this pistol light isn’t 100% waterproof.
3. Best Value for Money: PL-MINI 2 Olight
Shooters looking for the best pistol light on the market without breaking the bank should check out the Olight PL-MINI 2. It’s an affordable pistol light that matches compact handguns like the Ruger .327 Magnum and Berreta TomCat. You can order one from their site for under $90.
Now, there are plenty of other cheaper options available. However, we’re not just looking for the cheapest, we’re looking for a reliable modification you can count on to assist you during emergency situations. Ditch the flimsy, unreliable additions.
What sets PL-MINI 2 by Olight apart from other pistol lights within its price range is the high-quality features it offers. First, it’s very compact. It’s a 2.5-ounce unit that measures a meager 2.07 inches—which is just about as long as a small car key.
Second, it has a high-quality bulb. PL-MINI 2 by Olight comes equipped with a 2,500-candela bulb with a maximum capacity of 600 lumens and a beam distance of 100 meters. Meanwhile, other options within the same price range only offer weak 100- to 200-lumen bulbs.
Lastly, the pistol light itself is IPX6 water, which means it can withstand mild to heavy sprays of water.
The only downside here is that the PL-MINI 2 has a relatively short battery runtime. You’ll have to recharge the batteries after just 90 minutes of continuous usage.
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4. Best Compact Laser and Pistol Light Combo: TLR 8 by Streamlight
Streamlight’s TLR-2 HL features a great pistol light and laser combination, but it’s a bit bulky. The heavy frame makes it unsuitable for concealed carry application and daily use.
If you’re in the market for something similar yet more compact, try TLR 8 by Streamlight. It only weighs 2.64 ounces and fits perfectly on a wide range of compact handguns and pistols. You can easily carry an equipped pistol around your waist.
Despite its small frame, the pistol light’s capable of a 130-meter beam distance thanks to its powerful 500-lumen bulb. The 4,300 peak candela bulb also supports long-range laser targeting.
One downside, however, is the pistol light might not suffice when it comes to outdoor self-defense. A 500-lumen bulb cannot illuminate a pitch-black outdoors area like a forest. Plus, you can only use the battery for five hours at a time.
5. Best for Daily Use and Abuse: X300 by SureFire
When it comes to durability and toughness, the X300 by SureFire easily tops the list. It’s a waterproof, shock-resistant pistol light that can withstand being submerged in water or getting dropped from a relatively high surface. Plus, it has a long-lasting battery that can go on for hours.
The X300 is so durable military personnel and law enforcers rely on it for their tactical lighting needs. Shooters won’t have to worry about cracks and defects from daily wear-and-tear damages.
The only downside to the X300 is it’s quite pricey. Although, $250 to $300 for a pistol light is not a bad deal considering the outstanding durability and excellent full range of features you’re getting.
Installing pistol lights is one of the best modifications shooters of all levels can do on their self-defense handguns. It reduces the risk of inaccuracy during crisis situations transpiring in a dark setting where fear and panic compromise your overall shooting precision.
There’s no one-size-fits-all pistol modification strategy. The best pistol light/laser to equip your handgun with is one that matches your specific needs. Go with an option that will help you aim at targets better without compromising portability—especially for concealed carry applications.
In your opinion, what’s the best pistol light? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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