Pistol mounted lights for civilians? [Archive] - Glock Talk


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03-18-2011, 15:31
I do not see the utility of pistol mounted lights for civilians. Yet more and more pistols come with sight rails.

Number one, hard to conceal. And when you point the light at someone you are not only brandishing, but brandishing in a most threatening manner.

I do think an individual light is a good thing for a civilian to carry at night, however.

Am I missing something?

Mas Ayoob
03-18-2011, 16:48

Jack, the link above will give you my thoughts on the matter FWIW, to a greater extent than I can do in the short space allowed here.


03-18-2011, 19:27
Have to admit I never considered a farm or ranch situation. I guess I am a very "urban civilian." But I certainly can understand the utility of a light on a firearm at a farm/ranch. However, even in that situation I would question the utility of a light on a pistol, when you can have a light mounted shotgun or rifle.

Your article did not address how practical you feel it is for a civilian to carry a pistol with light attached. I certainly can understand the utility for a police officer, esp a uniform officer carrying openly. I suppose it would be practical in some cases for a civilian on a farm/ranch to also carry a light on his pistol, esp if concealment was of no concern.

But I believe the real case you make for a civilian having a light on his pistol is for home defense. And here I think the situation gets tricky and a lot would depend on ones skill and ones living situation, esp if others in the home.

Certainly if there was a reasonable chance that bump in the night was from a "friendly" you would want to be very sure of your target, but also would not want to point a loaded gun at a friendly either. Therefore, in a situation with potential "friendly" you would start with a separate light, as you advise.

But if the separate surefire revealed a threat what would you do? If an immediate shoot was indicated would you really be using the pistol mounted light?

If you decided to not fire but tell him to freeze what does the pistol mounted light buy you? I guess you could bring your pistol to bear, turn on the pistol mounted light, drop the separate light in weak hand and bring the weak hand up to obtain two handed grip.

Now when you are 95% plus sure that bump in the night is a threat and bring the pistol mounted light immediately into play I can see its utility. If the answer for you is this would be the norm, because you live alone or will know location of "friendlies" then I can see why a civilian might want a pistol mounted light.

But I do rather like the Andy Stanford technique with separate surefire. Aim the surefire at ceiling and let light bounce off. It seems people will not in this situation turn away from the light, but look at the light. Look at the light on the ceiling. Have you had any experience using this technique?

Mas Ayoob
03-18-2011, 19:55
Jack, I think you and I are on the same wavelength. The beam on the ceiling (which is usually white or off-white) has the effect of turning on a low-watt overhead lamp. I wouldn't be counting on the person in the room to look up.

I do know a very few armed citizens who routinely carry full size pistols with white light attached, as opposed to keeping them for home defense. Look for these folks' numbers to increase as modern white light technology continues its march to smaller, lighter packages.