Flashlight on a handgun

I have mixed thoughts on mounted flashlights. I have one but have decided not to add it to my carry weapon. In a scenario where I was the bad guy who broke into your house, or business and was caught in the act. If I heard someone shouting commands and was advancing on me, my first instinct would be to shoot at the light or a few double taps near the light. It’s like you are giving me a target to fire on.
This is why I left my laser/flashlight in the box it came in stored away in my safe. Does anyone here have a reason to justify using the mounted flashlight? I could see myself carrying a flashlight that has as button that illuminates by a tap and doesn’t stay on, and this would happen with my hand stretched out away from my body as I am moving. Just a thought, maybe just being paranoid as well. Just looking for thoughts or comments that would maybe convince me to mount my light.


Not for concealed carry but for home defense.


As always… this is a matter of training and finding the most efficient and comfortable way to operate the firearm and light.

There are pros and cons for both - having light on the pistol and having light on the other hand.
I personally use flashlight on my hand, knowing that in low light condition I have a small advantage being left handed (light stream comes from opposite side than expected). I’ve been trained and I’ve been practicing using flashlight independently from the firearm, so engaging multiple targets / threats is easier and faster in low light conditions.
But, on the other hand, having mounted light gives advantage to have a free hand if needed. Sometimes you need to take care of other person, take your kid on the arm, move somebody away… and you lose this option, or you lose the light.

If you are not decided, practice both and find what works for you.


I’ve had the same conversation. It’s a matter of balancing “know your target” in the dark vs giving away your position. I choose not to put a light on my firearms. I have very good night vision (when I shoot in the dark, I don’t use lights), and I know my own house better than any intruder would.

That said, I know some folks that are tactically brilliant, and they have lights attached to some of their firearms. I would never question their decision when it comes to using firearms.

Like most things we discuss here, it’s another case of individual preference.



You are not being paranoid. It is a realistic concern with pros and cons. In order for you to make your mind up on what to do in your situation, you have to list all the pros and cons against one another.

The one real pro to having a mounted flashlight is having that illumination when you need it, always there with your EDC. MOUNT IT ON A GOOD QUALITY QD, one that you can just push a spring-loaded button and it slides off. Your EDC mounted light is not just there for the odd bump in the night when you and the Missus are in bed sawing logs, either. You are out late one night and have a flat tire, the flashlight is there. You come up on an accident at night and offer first aid, the flashlight is there. The power goes out in Walmart, the flashlight is there. Having the flashlight mounted means you have it ALL THE TIME without the need for carrying a loose flashlight somewhere it can get lost. That is the pro of it. It is always there when you need it.

The big con, as you stated, is the bad guy will see you illuminating your way through the house or business or wherever you are and can see you advancing. Serious drawback. For that situation a light with a momentary button would be best and adopt a method of Stop, Listen, Light On, Look, Light Off, Move, Stop, Listen, Repeat.

Very wise words there.

Inside your home you should be familiar enough to walk through blindfolded and not trip on the furniture. The kid’s Legos strewn across the floor is a different story. You should also know where a sound is coming from and what made the sound. “That is the Crystal rattling in the hutch in the dining room over that loose floorboard” or “That is the squeaky door hinge to the far hallway door.” Things like that. There should also be enough ambient light in your home from all the digital equipment we have for you to at least see big objects and stray shadows. You know your home. The bad guy does not.

Another con to a mounted light is finding the correct holster to hold your EDC with the mounted flashlight. For my Beretta 92A1, there are no off the shelf options for this weapon and any sort of mounted accessory. I have found a few companies who said they could custom build one and that is an option if I decide to go that route. Currently I do not have a light or laser on my EDC. I do have a flashlight I carry with me in a pocket with a mount I can snap on real quick if I need, but even that is bothersome.

As for my long arms, I do have lights mounted on my HD Shotty and on my Sub2K that travels with me and my Beretta. The mounts on both those are spring-loaded. I think I picked them up from Amazon. Can’t remember. Been a while.

I agree with Ouade on this one too:

Your plan. Your house. Nobody else’s. Plan your work. Work your plan.


You can have it attached, but not use it.

If it’s not attached, you can’t use it. (you could still have a handheld etc)

I generally don’t concealed carry with one, as I don’t see why I would be drawing my gun when out in public unless I can already PID the threat, as a private citizen.

But home defense I do have lights, the threshold to justifying having a gun in my hand in my own home is so much lower than drawing in public. Plus, I have long gun home defense guns that don’t work readily with a handheld the way a handgun might

One thing I firmly believe is objectively superior: For WML, I believe you want “all the lumens” (and a lot of candela)


Thank you all, very valuable information here. I will mount the flashlight on the Beretta PX4 Compact for home use and keep the Baby Eagle 3 for my EDC.
Thanks again to all the replies.


I feel exactly like you


But also I have much better than average night vision I freak out my wife all the time


For home defense use, I carry both a weapon mounted light(s), and one in the hand. I have practiced with both, including shooting. They each have their spots, and the techniques differ to a degree, in my view.


Woe to the barefooted burglar who wanders into my house at night. :rofl:


John C over on ASP talks about this in a few of his videos. Mostly applies to LEOs. He says if you get one get one with a high candela rating. That way your light plows through all the “white light” to see into the dark recesses. John leaves it up to what the person feels comfortable with having.


I just finished a Sig Sauer Academy class where the instructor with beaucoups experience that included stints as the AG’s guard, the FBI and other impressive LE armed jobs, told the class that lasers mounted on firearms were only good for training and should not be relied on in real world circumstances. They are not very visible in daylight and the thought that a bad guy would stop when a laser dot appears on his chest is just fantasy. Instead, he recommended a red dot.


Interesting. Thank you.


I like this guy already

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, go to classes with BTDT guys or just take professional level classes or courses in general, or pick the brains of legit men and women…you will be hard pressed to find any of them using or recommending lasers. Likewise go to competitions, where allowed by the class rules, they are going to be using red dots


I think mine has a bright strobe when you flip the switch one way or another. If I remember right, it is quite distracting. Not sure how I would like that setting, it may make everything seem in slow motion from my side of the strobe. I will find out tonight though I just got home so I will pull it out of the safe, check the batterys and mount it on the rail.
Thank you for sharing.


I put one on my shotty and my home defense pistol.
As the old adage goes better to have it but not need it, than to need one.
Just because it is there does not mean I instantly use it. It would be a tactical decision.
I do need to take the pistol to the range and practice with it though. It was a recent purchase and haven’t tried out the balance on the pistol yet.


I don’t think of my light as illumination. I look on it as a disorienting tool. If u don’t think you are going to be momentarily dazed/disoriented by a 2000+ lumen light being flashed into your eyes you are either already blind or being dishonest for the sake of argument. All of my primary type (shotgun, pistol, AR rifle) have a high lumen light attached. If you are so unfamiliar with your home that you need a light to get around in it, you can bet badguy_001 isn’t getting around your home any better.

A WML is a tool to give me an advantage.

As far as the obvious of what of badguy_001 has NODS to get around your home, random badguy_001 is even more screwed if light hits them while wearing NODS.


@ Zavier_D

I see your point and it is a valid point. No argument. Every tool in your box gives you an advantage.

My point with a mounted flashlight is kinda the same as the sound of someone cycling the action on their HD Shotgun Dejour. It will do two things, one bad, one good. The bad thing is it will let badguy_001 know EXACTLY where you are. The good thing is it lets badguy_001 know you just open up a case of Whoop-A**. It is a trade off.

As far as badguy_001 having NODS? I don’t see that happening in most home invasion situations, but I can only go on the research I have done in my community. The criminal elements around here, Thank God, are not that intelligent nor are they very well equipped. They will attack in groups of 3 or 4 brandishing whatever cheap handgun they bought from the crack dealer on the corner. They also typically scatter like roaches at the first sound of a weapon being discharged. A Shotgun blank on a trip wire would work well in that situation, though not specifically legal for in-town use.

I do not have shotgun blank trip wires in my home.

Edited for spelling.


There are certain forum posters who thrive on coming up with the most outlandish “what if”? So that was the most outlandish I could reasonably entertain in regard to random badguy_002 roaming my lights off home knowing their way around my home better than me.

I use a WML on my HD firearms, I don’t see a downside to them. Some do, some don’t, some will, some won’t. I might. I think a WML is an advantage especially on a HD Rifle or HD Shotgun.