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  1. #1
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    Please Recommend a good pistol light

    Before to me the idea of running a light on a firearm was something I rarely thought about. Then maybe a year or two ago I got an Arisaka light for my SBR. I really have to say after having it on there it's pretty damn handy. If I ever got into a situation where I actually had to identify a threat at night I really don't know what I would do without it.

    I am obviously not claiming to be a tactical ninja clearing houses and stuff like that, but let's just say it's grown on me. I think it's handy as hell. The practicality and utility is much more handy than I ever thought it would be.

    The next logical step is to get a light for a pistol.

    If you guys can kind of school me on weapons lights and give me 3 or 4 good options that will help me a bunch. I don't want to say money is no object but I would much rather save and pay more and get more for a really nice light with good controls that I can manipulate better.

    I guess my initial criteria are quality, bright, long battery life, and control manipulations that I will like. The Arisaka light that I have has a great big momentary button on it. I really like that. It's simple and effective.

    On the few pistol lights that I fiddled with (long ago) sometimes have buttons that are too small, or they have some kind of some kind of 'press the button twice real fast to get a flashing light mode' or whatever, or some other fiddly stuff.

    My weapons light experience is pretty much limited so initially I am thinking something with an easily manipulated momentary switch would be best.

    I'm wide open for suggestions.

  2. #2
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    For handgun lights, the choices are pretty much Surefire and Streamlight, with a few Insight and In force offerings thrown in. They all have momentary switches, and lots of opinions. Stick with the latest model 300U, and TLR and read up.
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  3. #3
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    X300, TLR-1H, APL in that order

    The Inforce has improved from their Gen 1 offerings, but they randomly fizzle out still... way too often for my tastes. Surefire of course is the gold standard, but the TLR series is probably the best bang for the buck.

  4. #4
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    Also consider holster compatibility, if that matters to you. For example, not all of the Safariland holsters take the newer generation body of the X300. That's a very specific example, but you get the idea.

    Beyond all that...get a X300. They're just stupidly durable.

  5. #5
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    Surefire X300 or Streamlight TLR-1 HL. The Streamlight will give you 200 more lumens for about half the price of the X300, but the durability of the X300 is unmatched. There's also the new Surefire XH35 which has 1k lumens and is priced equal to the X300, but I'm not sure if there are holsters for it outside of the Masterfire line of holsters it was made for.

    ETA: If you like watching video reviews, I believe Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics has reviews of all three of the above mentioned lights on his YouTube channel.
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  6. #6
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    I have a few of the Streamlight TLR lights, the latest being the TLR-1 HL. Paddle on each side of the trigger guard ... momentary and "on", easy to manipulate. I think they are good lights for the money spent.
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  7. #7
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    Average Joe carry here... I have a Surefire XC. Significantly smaller and lighter than the X series. It fits my 19 like it was made for it. Runtimes with a single AAA aren't impressive compared to the X series with two CR123s but since I'm not performing any duty related tasks runtimes don't have much value for me. I mean... during the past 20 years my carry guns have remained holstered while carrying.

    Bright? I suppose what's bright enough is in the eye of the beholder. It wasn't that long ago that 100 lumens was considered eye-blistering. The new XC is rated at 300 lumens. Is has a wide beam Surefire calls Maxvision. My EDC light is a Titan+ with the same 300 lumen Maxvision beam I very much like.
    Last edited by ChattanoogaPhil; 20 June 2018 at 09:16.

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys! I have my work cut out for me.

    Next time I hear something or somebody rifling through my barn in the middle of the night and I have to go determine if it's a racoon or an escaped inmate at least I will have options. LOL

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by EO3 View Post
    ETA: If you like watching video reviews, I believe Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics has reviews of all three of the above mentioned lights on his YouTube channel.
    I do like watching "reviews" sometimes because at very least I usually can see someone demonstrating the functions of something without me having to find a store so that I can fondle it myself. For bigger purchases I definitely do hands on first normally but some of the demonstrations about how things work are often very useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by gatordev View Post
    Also consider holster compatibility, if that matters to you. For example, not all of the Safariland holsters take the newer generation body of the X300. That's a very specific example, but you get the idea.

    Beyond all that...get a X300. They're just stupidly durable.
    As for the holster for the gun in question I actually don't have a good holster for it yet. I put suppressor sites on the gun, a new trigger, and have been thinking about a light for a while now so I have put off getting a holster until it's outfitted the way I want. Truth be told though it's kind of more of a range gun that also doubles as a suppressor host and a night stand gun.

    It's not my EDC gun but I will definitely give the holster thing more thought. As for now I have a soft pouch that I keep it in and that's been working well until I see something better.

    Eventually I might upgrade or change my EDC gun to include something with a light and all that but that's up the road a bit.

  10. #10
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    I've been using a Streamlight TLR-6 on my Glock 43 for a couple years. It's been reliable so far, and plenty bright.

  11. #11
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    Just for HD use, I'd recommend one of those new XH35's or a streamlight TLR 1 HL.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by voodoo_man View Post
    Just for HD use, I'd recommend one of those new XH35's or a streamlight TLR 1 HL.
    If you have any suggested reading for the correct use of a pistol light in various situations I am all for it. Doesn't matter to me if it's directed more at a Military or LE audience or not. It could give me good ideas either way.

    I see a benefit to having an EDC carry with a light, but I also see a benefit to carrying an SBR As a civilian purely in a 'get off me bro' application I don't know if having a full blown heavy rig will be a benefit or a penalty. I am all ears. I am a shorts and TShirt kind of guy so some big tactical rig might not be the best for me. I am not really sure. It would be nice to learn about more options and choose based on my habits and use.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by alamo5000 View Post
    If you have any suggested reading for the correct use of a pistol light in various situations I am all for it. Doesn't matter to me if it's directed more at a Military or LE audience or not. It could give me good ideas either way.
    I would look at doing a class once you pick the light and holster. And sometimes the holster doesn't have to be for practical use, but to do training with.

    I found after doing both a low-light class and then being able to practice what I learned in a low-light environment, some stuff I read on the internet didn't work the same for me, ESPECIALLY as a non-combatant/non-LEO. Seeing how a bright-ass light on a really dark night can actually make it hard to aim was valuable. Also seeing how in city lighting, once a target is identified, I may find turning on a light makes things worse. Etc, etc. Couple some handheld light use in there, as well, and it's a valuable exercise.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatordev View Post
    I would look at doing a class once you pick the light and holster. And sometimes the holster doesn't have to be for practical use, but to do training with.

    I found after doing both a low-light class and then being able to practice what I learned in a low-light environment, some stuff I read on the internet didn't work the same for me, ESPECIALLY as a non-combatant/non-LEO. Seeing how a bright-ass light on a really dark night can actually make it hard to aim was valuable. Also seeing how in city lighting, once a target is identified, I may find turning on a light makes things worse. Etc, etc. Couple some handheld light use in there, as well, and it's a valuable exercise.
    I would LOVE to do classes. I have a number of them that would be useful. Of course life has gotten in the way but they are definitely on the agenda. Classes have been on my radar for a long time already.

  15. #15
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    OK I did a quick glance at two of the models suggested. The Surefire X300 and the Streamlight TLR-1HL.

    Between those two, and I have no concrete reason to say this yet, but I kind of prefer the Surefire. The specific model I am looking at is the X300U-A. For now it will go on a P226.

    https://www.surefire.com/illuminatio...rail-lock.html

    So far that's where I have my eye, but I will find a stocking dealer nearby and play with them and maybe try to go a little bit deeper into the various specs.

    I am basing my bias at least partially on the idea that they are nearly bombproof according to you guys. I place a higher priority on that if everything else was equal. That Rail Lock mounting system looks interesting although I am not quite sure how it works exactly. Other models like the Streamlight look like they have a thumb screw attachment.

    Is one attachment method more secure than the other?

    My current light is the Arisaka 300 Series. The website says it throws 300 Lumens. The Surefire page though says it throws twice that---600 Lumens! Is it really that much more bright? I guess if you need to blind somebody for a second that would come in handy.

    Also on my Arisaka light the light cone seems to be pretty good. It has enough to spill over so I can say bounce the light off the ceiling and it will light up a small room. If the light was focused too narrow it would be more like a laser which I don't think I would like that. I want to see what I am doing not really use it as an aiming tool.

    I don't know what the light cone is on the Arisaka light but let's say for discussion sake it's 30 degrees. Something similar on a handgun light seems like it would be good. I don't think the light cone on them are adjustable but I could be wrong.

    I know I am getting kind of deeper into this here but any information about your preferences or knowledge will help.

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