Let There Be Light - Top 7 Rail-Mounted Handgun Flashlights
“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out” - J.R.R. Tolkien
If you’re using your gun in dark places, then you should read on. Mounting the right flashlight on your pistol can make a big difference. It will not only make you better at acquiring targets at night, but it will also let you protect yourself better in any low-light environment. However, choosing the right light can be a long and tiresome process. To make it easier for you, I’ve put together a list of 7 top rail mounted tactical flashlights for your handgun. So, without further ado, let there be light!
TOP 7 RAIL MOUNTED HANDGUN FLASHLIGHTS
No 1 on our list just has to be by Streamlight, probably the best known tactical lights manufacturer. The 800 lumens you’ll get from this pistol light can match the power of a lighthouse, so be sure you’ll never get lost in the dark with it. The ambidextrous toggle lever for momentary and stay-on modes is a great feature and I’m sure it will convince many lefties out there.
StreamLight TLR-1 HL is your ideal solution for both compact and full-sized handguns. What’s great about this light is the fact that there are versions that also come with red or green lasers, that you can get here. So, if you want to go with the most trusted brand out there, get your StreamLight TLR-1 HL now on Amazon.
- Ambidextrous controls
- High lumen output
- Often gets hot
- No extended switch
You must be thinking: “What a StreamLight fanboy this guy is”. To be honest, you aren’t wrong. And I’m not the only one. Many gun users are fans of the second tactical pistol light by StreamLight. It’s mainly due to the fact that it’s a combination of tactical light and laser, so you get 2 products in 1.
The lumen output is much lower than with TLR-1 HL, but the presence of a laser makes up for it .Although the price tag on this handy little thing is a bit higher, you can choose between green and red laser. So, if you are in need of both light and laser for your pistol, StreamLight TLR-2s is one of the best 2 in 1 options currently available on Amazon. Don’t hesitate and get yours now.
- Light+laser combo
- Trusted brand
- Lower lumen output
- Price tag
Time to shed some light on other tactical flashlights brands. This pistol light was designed by Olight, a tactical flashlights company you can read more about below. Baldr Pro is definitely the leader on the mounted tactical flashlights market when it comes to the performance as the 1350 lumens it boasts is extremely impressive.
This extremely durable and powerful flashlight is one of your best options. Although you wouldn’t be able to use it underwater much, it’s still waterproof to splashing water from all directions. So, if you are looking for a high intensity rail flashlight, Olight Baldr Pro is your go to option and you can get yours now on Amazon.
- Impressive 1350 lumens
- Run time on max
- Waterproof only to splashes
- Not as compact as most lights
Sure thing, the next one on our list of tactical flashlights has to be Surefire, one of the leading brands on the market. Surefire X300 comes with a TIR lens, which creates a smooth, tight beam with enough surround light for peripheral illumination. Moreover, it features an easy-to-use one-finger touch system that makes it easy to turn it on and off again.
Although the lumen output isn’t that high, this flashlight compensates for it by being waterproof to 1 meter for more than 30 minutes. You can also install it on any handgun with both universal and picatinny rails. It’s also lighter compared to most lights on the market, so you won’t even feel you’re carrying one. If you are looking for a compact pistol light for almost any tactical situation, you can get your solution now on Amazon.
- Ultra lightweight
- Extra power by TIR lens
- Slightly longer
- A bit pricey
Don’t tell me you didn’t see Crimson Trace making it onto our list. This brand must be mentioned when it comes to anything related to gun optics. The Rail Master 420 by Crimson trace is an ideal solution if you are looking for a versatile tactical flashlight. It will let you easily utilize various brightness levels, so you can adjust it to any surroundings.
Although Crimson Trace Universal Rail Master 420 is outperformed by many tactical lights when it comes to the lumen output and battery life, its universality compensates for it more than adequately. So, if your budget is restricted, but you still want to get a decent and reliable tactical flashlight, get this one by Crimson Trace for only $77.88 now on Amazon.
- Great budget option
- Also fits most rifles and shotguns
- Lower lumen output
- Lower battery life
Another brand that focuses on production of tactical gear is Laspur. A great benefit of their Sub Compact Tactical Rail Mount Flashlight is USB rechargeable, so you don’t have to shop for extra batteries. You can recharge it conveniently through the magnetic charging area, so you can charge it easily even at night, when it’s difficult to plug the USB cord correctly.
This low profile, lightweight and tough flashlight is one of the cheapest tactical solutions. If you buy it, you’ll not only get a sleep and compact design, but also a flashlight that can hide well in many different holsters. It might get outperformed by many other tactical flashlights, but if you are looking for the best budget option, then this one on Amazon is your pick.
- Almost for free
- USB rechargeable
- Lower battery life
- Only 300 lumens
Let’s wrap our list the way we started - with StreamLight. Their TLR-7. It's considered among the best rail lights currently available in its price range. It’s much more compact than most tactical lights and even though it looks fragile, it’s also very durable. You’ll also be able to use it under water, as it’s waterproof to 1 meter for nearly 30 minutes.
Just like the Surefire light on our list, this one also features a TIR lens. Thus, you’ll get an enhanced beam with optimum peripheral illumination. Moreover, it doesn’t matter if you are a rightie or leftie, as it can be operated from both sides. Although it doesn’t offer as many lumens as some other lights, the LED quality is high and it’s your go to option if you’re looking for something small and easily equipped. Get yours now on Amazon before they’re sold out!
- Very compact
- High quality LED
- Only 500 lumens
- Lower beam distance
Tactical flashlights are a piece of electronics, which means you need to power them up. Fortunately, just like No 6 on our list, some of them can be charged up through USB. However, it’s not the case with many others, for which you’ll need extra batteries. I strongly advise you to get at least one extra set. And you won’t even have to look for them, as you can get your CR123A batteries now on Amazon. Just click the button below and always stay charged!
SHOW ME THE LIGHT - OUR FAVORITE PICK
So many lights to select from, so hard to decide, right? Don't worry, you’ll make the right decision if you buy any of the tactical flashlights on our list. However, if you’re not sure which one to pick, then you can go with my personal favorite - StreamLight TLR-1 HL Rail-Mounted Light. This flashlight is our winner mainly because of its power - 800 lumens - which is really enough for most situations. If you don’t mind spending a bit more on high quality, then you should get yours on Amazon now. Once you order it, you’ll need a special holster for it too. However, searching for an ideal holster for your pistol/revolver with a light means even more time spent browsing. But I’ve got good news for you!
You can avoid this completely, just grab one of our TLR-1HL Leather Belt Holsters for guns equipped with StreamLight TRL-1 HL. Not only will you get an ideal fit, you’ll also get a high quality custom made holster specially made for your gun. Just click the button below and get yours now.
BONUS READING - HOW TO INSTALL A FLASHLIGHT ON YOUR GUN?
Installing a tactical flashlight on your handgun is actually fairly simple. This small guide will help you understand the basics needed for a proper installation. As usual, always read the instructions from your tactical light supplier first and then look for guidance on the internet.
STEP 1 - SAFETY FIRST
Before you begin doing any sort of cleaning, maintenance, upgrade, or repairs to your weapon, be sure that you remove any ammunition and only work on unloaded weapons. Many people will read this warning and roll their eyes, but there are too many preventable injuries and even fatalities that result from someone working on a loaded weapon. No matter how much experience you have with a firearm, double check every time to ensure that is unloaded before proceeding.
STEP 2 - CLEAR THE RAIL
Before installing any accessory to a firearm, you want to ensure that you are working with a clean, debris-free surface. Using patches or even a light rag along with sterile alcohol, gently clean the rail mount and allow it to dry for a few minutes.
STEP 3 - INSTALL THE BATTERY
Before you even mount the handgun light, it is recommended that you install the battery. To do this, you need to twist the bulb assembly at the end of the flashlight. Once the top is removed, you will see the place where you place your CR123A batteries. Remember to gently replace the bulb assembly and do not over-tighten or you may cause threading.
STEP 4 - PREPARING THE MOUNTING
You will want to use an Allen wrench for this part of the installation process. Here, you will use the including mounting by placing it on the front rail of the weapon and wrenching it firmly into place. Again, it is important that you do not over tighten the mounting assembly.
STEP 5 - ATTACHING THE FLASHLIGHT
Again, you will use an Allen wrench for this final step in the installation process. You will need to loosen the mounting bolt on the recently attached mount. Then, position the flashlight on the mount before tightening it into place. Once again, you want to take care, not to over tighten the flashlight assembly. It is simple and takes just a few minutes to properly install a weapon-mounted flashlight, but it should be noted that they do require some regular maintenance just as any other accessory. That's it, your flashlight is ready!