Best Gear

7 Best Pistol Lights In 2019

Glock 19 equipped with an Inforce APLc pistol light

If you’re like most people these days, you either already have a WML (Weapon Mounted Light) or you’re looking into it. There are benefits and drawbacks to having a WML on your pistol but personally, I think the benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks.

Pros:

  • The most obvious pro is that it provides illumination at night or in areas that aren’t well-lit
  • Suddenly illuminating an armed intruder/burglar will potentially disorient them momentarily, granting you a slight advantage but I wouldn’t rely on this too much
  • Some slight weight to the end of the pistol will help reduce muzzle flip (although a proper grip will help way more)

Cons:

  • You’ll have to find the right holster that accommodates your WML, usually most holster-makers will charge more for light-bearing holsters
  • Some people don’t like the extra weight or bulk of the light
  • It’s possible that having too many lumens will blind you if used indoors against walls that are painted in a light-color

Now, I’m assuming you’ve already gone over the pros and cons and still want to pick up a WML, which is an excellent decision. Here are our top 7 picks:

1. SureFire X300 Ultra

The SureFire X300U-A light, with the Rail Lock Mounting System visible

Arguably the “king” of WML due to the superior toughness, these are the toughest of all pistol lights. According to SureFire’s website, they are constructed out of “high-strength aerospace aluminum body, Mil-Spec Hard Anodized for extreme durability.” I have never heard of a SureFire breaking down or failing, but then again, these lights cost nearly as much as a pistol. The TIR Lens helps tightens the light-beam to make it reach further while maintaining intense brightness at the center of the beam.

The SureFire comes in two versions, the “A” and “B” series, respectively the X300U-A and X300U-B.

The “A” series uses a Rail Lock Mounting System which makes it easy to take on and off polymer-framed pistol rails. The “B” series uses a T-Slot Rail Mounting System which is primarily for metal-framed handguns as well as rifles with a similar rail. It comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer the crossbolt locking mechanism on the “B” series while others may prefer the easy on/easy off system of the “A” series.

Specifications:
Lumens: 1000
Length: 3.60″
Battery Life: 1.25 hours
Battery Type: (2) CR123A, (Rechargeable Batteries HERE)
Weight: 4.0oz (with batteries)
Approximate Price: $269.00
Amazon Links: SureFire X300U-A / SureFire X300U-B

2. Streamlight TLR-1

The ever-popular Streamlight TLR-1

One of the most popular, if not the most popular pistol light due to the price point and sturdy construction. While the SureFire X300U is renown for it’s unparalleled durability, the Streamlight TLR-1 is an excellent choice for those that won’t be running their guns hard. This light come in three main versions – the standard TLR-1, the TLR-1 S, and the TLR-1 HL. While there are other versions such as the TLR-1 HPL and TLR-1 Game Spotter Light, those are not nearly as common as these three. We will focus on the TLR-1 for this section.

The TLR-1 is 300 lumens so it’s not too bright but it’s enough to provide light where you need it. While there are reports of certain parts breaking off, such as the battery door, Streamlight will quickly place any broken parts. But for a majority of people, they won’t be running torture tests or putting their gun through multiple training courses a year so there shouldn’t be many issues.

The TLR-1S is the same light but it comes with a Strobe function for people that prefer that function.

Specifications:
Lumens: 300
Length: 3.39″
Battery Life: 2.50 hours
Battery Type: (2) CR123A , (Rechargeable Batteries HERE)
Weight: 4.18oz (with batteries)
Approximate Price: $99.50 for the TLR-1, $102.00 for the TLR-1 S
Amazon Links: Streamlight TLR-1 / Streamlight TLR-1 S

3. Streamlight TLR-1 HL

800 lumens packed into a TLR-1 sized package

Essentially the same as the TLR-1 except this version is the “High Lumen” version, which boasts a whopping 800 lumens in the same size package as the TLR-1. Virtually everything else is the same about this light in terms of construction, except it is much brighter and comes in three colors: Flat Dark Earth Brown, Flat Dark Earth and the standard Black. It has a shorter battery life due to having nearly 3x the lumens.

Specifications:
Lumens: 800
Length: 3.39″
Battery Life: 1.75 hours
Battery Type: (2) CR123A , (Rechargeable Batteries HERE)
Weight: 4.18oz (with batteries)
Approximate Price: $117.50 (Black), $129.99 (Flat Dark Earth Brown), $139.95 (Flat Dark Earth)
Amazon Links: Streamlight TLR-1 HL (Black) / Streamlight TLR-1 HL (Flat Dark Earth Brown) / Streamlight TLR-1 HL (Flat Dark Earth)

4. Streamlight TLR-2

The TLR-1, except with frickin’ laser beams

Similar to the TLR-1 except this comes with a red aiming laser. Like the TLR-1, this comes in multiple versions such as the default TLR-2, the 800 lumen version TLR-2 HL, the Strobe version TLR-2S and more.

There’s a toggle switch located at the bottom of the light that lets you switch to Light Only, Light & Laser, or Laser Only. The nice thing is that you can activate the system momentarily or constantly with either hand.

Specifications:
Lumens: 300
Length: 3.39″
Battery Life: 2.50 hours with light-only, 48 hours with laser-only
Battery Type: (2) CR123A , (Rechargeable Batteries HERE)
Weight: 4.72oz (with batteries)
Approximate Price: $255.95
Amazon Link: Streamlight TLR-2

5. Inforce APLc

At 2.43″, this sits flush with a Glock 19 barrel

This company has a reputation of manufacturing lights for “the poors” but we are still adding this because it’s one of the most affordable and compact lights on the market. The body is constructed of glass reinforced polymer to give it some durability. I personally own one, and this light sits flush with my Glock 19 – it doesn’t stick out past the barrel like other lights do.

Since it’s so compact, most holsters made for this light will be slimmer than holsters made for the bigger lights such as the SureFire X300U and Streamlight TLR-1. The ambidextrous light activation paddles makes it so you can use a finger from either hand to turn the light one. You can tap the paddle once to keep the light on, or hold it down to turn the light on momentarily. When you release the paddle, the light will switch off. This makes illuminating & shooting with one hand extremely easy.

Specifications:
Lumens: 200
Length: 2.43″
Battery Life: 1.50 hours
Battery Type: (1) CR2
Weight: 1.87oz (with battery)
Approximate Price: $88.00
Amazon Link: Inforce APLc

6. SureFire XC1-B

Smaller than the X300U but with the same durability

Another super compact light, this is made out of the same material as the X300U so you know it’s super strong. Featuring ambidextrous switches to provide both monentary and constant illumination that can be controlled by your support hand thumb. At 300 lumens, the light output is no joke for such a small light but the downside is that the battery life is around 45 minutes.

There is also a version of this light with a red aiming laser called the XC2. It’s slightly larger (2.46″) and heavier (2.1oz) with a shorter battery life (30 mins) but that is an option for those that prefer lasers. They’re about $335.

Specifications:
Lumens: 300
Length: 2.375″
Battery Life: 45 minutes
Battery Type: (1) AAA
Weight: 1.6oz
Approximate Price: $212.00
Amazon Link: SureFire XC1-B / SureFire XC2

7. Olight PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie

A relative newcomer to the world of pistol lights, Olight has made big waves in the WML game. Featuring an adjustable rail so it’s compatible with most pistols (including subcompacts), this tiny light puts out an incredible 600 lumens with a beam distance of nearly 330 feet. The Quick Detatch Rail System allows you to easily attach and remove this light. The activation paddles are ambidextrous

Powered by a built-in lithium polymer battery, this has a unique charging system that allows the light to be charged via a magnetic charging port. You just stick the charging magnet to that port and it will charge the light – even while it’s mounted to your pistol. The charging cable is a USB cable, meaning you can charge it on the go with a power bank or just plug it right into your computer. The magnet has an indicator light to show you if the light is fully charged or not.

All in all, this is a very solid light despite the company being new to weapon lights compared to other established companies such as SureFire and Streamlight. While the holster selection isn’t as large as the other companies due to the newness of these lights, you can find IWB Holsters from Fierce Defender Holsters HERE and OWB Holsters from R&R Holsters HERE.

Specifications:
Lumens: 600
Length: 2.07″
Battery Life: 1 hour
Weight: 2.57oz
Approximate Price: $89.95
Amazon Links: Olight PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie (Black) / Olight PL-MINI 2 Valkyrie (Flat Dark Earth)

Have any stories to add? Maybe you disagree with this list? Comment below!


Our Amazon Picks:

CR123A Rechargeable Batteries, Li-ion Battery & Charger [750mAh 3.7V 8pack], $46
Enegitech CR2 Battery 3V Lithium 800mAh 12 Pack, $18


Categories: Best Gear

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