SECURITY

Weapons Light And Universal Barrel Mount

Lets talk about the weapons light. I would like to share with you a few of my own setups, some of the potential reasons why it may be advantageous to have a weapons light, and a simple inexpensive way to attach one to most any firearms barrel:


 
A weapons light. There are some really nice lights out there and there are many choices compared to years ago. Their specifications have improved dramatically too (lumens-brightness output).

 

Weapons Light Price Breakdown

If I had to separate the weapons light choices into three price categories, it would be the following:

The most expensive and one of the best is the SureFire X300.
SureFire X300 Ultra LED

The most popular and a great choice for most is the Streamlight TLR-1.
Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL

A great value from a respectable company is the UTG Compact LED Weapon Light.
UTG 400 Lumen Compact LED Weapon Light

 

The Weapons Light Advantage

The primary advantage is of course, to see a potential target when it’s dim or dark!

A secondary tactical advantage is to blind and disorient the target with bright (or even strobing) light, enabling target acquisition during those critical seconds.

I currently have a weapons light mounted on one of my .22 rifles, one of my handguns, and on my AR’s.

 

.22 Rifle Barrel Mount For Weapons Light

One of my .22’s (pictured above) is designated for coyote guard duty during nighttime “potty duty” for my little 14-pound mini-Dachshund. I have attached a weapons light to the barrel using a simple and inexpensive universal barrel mount (providing a short 2-slot Picatinny rail to attach the light) to “light up” any coyote looking for a nighttime snack here in the woods.

UTG Universal Single-rail Rifle Barrel Mount, 2 Slots

Note: The UTG universal barrel mount linked above will fit any barrel diameter ranging from .51 to.78 inches.

 

Handgun Weapons Light, Smith & Wesson M&P 45

A number of handguns today come with Picatinny rails, enabling easy mounting of a weapons light.

My .45 serves multiple purposes, one of which is at the bedside. Having a weapons light mounted to it makes sense for any nighttime “situation”. I also have a Crimson Trace Laser Grip which will highlight a nice red dot within the center of the weapons light beam. No need to use the sights… just follow the red dot, point-n-shoot.

Crimson Trace Laser Grips

If I’m using this handgun for protection while traipsing through the forests around here, I will typically slip off the light and holster it without…

Note: You can purchase holsters designed to accommodate a handgun with a weapons light. I have one of these (OWB) for when I wish to carry with the light attached.

 

Weapons Light For the AR Platform

As you know, there are endless possibilities while accessorizing on the AR platform. This flexibility enables you to mount a weapons light however and wherever you want it ;)

 

Weapons Light Precaution

Do note that while a weapons light will do its job lighting up an area or target, bear in mind that while a target of the 2-legged variety may become initially blinded/disoriented, they will recover and your light now becomes a point source…

 
What are you thoughts and/or experiences regarding weapon lights?

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16 Comments

    1. @ Nailbanger

      Yeah, but that kinda hard on Fido if yar watching out for skunks.

      Not only that, who ever heard of a 14 pound dog???? Ol-Blue eats that much for dinner… HAHAHAHA

      NRP

  1. My 2¢ worth

    I have a green laser and a ‘light’ on my AR platforms even the AR-10 (BTW, love the EO-Tech Scopes), since one is the house firearm I do not install lights on my ‘hunting’ rifles. I do have one mounted on my Raccoon Shotgun though, that 12GA with OO buck is nasty and ya can light up the sky/tree with the right light.

    I don’t care for a light on the Handgun at all, I use a separate light for that, normally I will not have the firearm pulled and will be using it a flashlight when traipsing around in the dark I do carry the light in the left hand with the right free to pull Boom-Boom-Cannon if needed. I do have a grip mounted Red Laser on the carry gun, it’s activated via button under the trigger guard, so if ya squeeze the grip, the laser comes on, takes a little training to NOT squeeze the middle finger on the grip as hard until ya want the laser on, but it works for me.

    NRP

  2. Ken, That rifle looks mighty familiar. I have a Marlin just like yours. Give Sampson a bisquet for me. He is a cute little fellow. My dog has a tight wood fence in our backyard to keep her out of trouble and to keep the larger/dangerous critters at bay.

    I have a streamlight laser/light combo on my high capacity 9mm at home. It resides close to the fire extinguisher and the first aid kit. I refer to it as home-invader repellant when you anticipate more than 1 coming through a door or window. When 2 or more come uninvited, less reloading is better than more reloading. This particular combo is too heavy to carry every day.

    My wife takes great comfort in having this device on hand in addition to her pump shotgun.

  3. A weapon light not only lights up the target area but allows the sights to be used. I prefer a red dot sight on my rifle which works perfectly with a weapon mounted light. I have bear problems in my back yard and having unknowingly chased one up a tree thinking it was a racoon until my wife came out with a light convinced me to always have a light on my rifle. Lighting up a two legged varmint should give ample time to see if they are armed and their intentions. Remember, you can see their every move while blinding them.

  4. Timely article. Bedside has two handguns (one with red dot laser), one tactical pump 12Ga. with OO buck, a four D cell Mag light/club, two small tactical flashlights and one more four C cell Mag, the interior is covered. Have to add the shotgun light and an AR laser/light combo for outside activities.

  5. Just remember that a weapon light gives the bad guy somewhere to aim.
    A flashlight held off to one side is my suggestion. Practice shooting one handed.

    1. Left hand with light with right arm resting on left arm as far to the left elbow as you can. This puts return fire off to you right side and as always keep moving no matter what. A moving target is hard to hit from both sides of a gun fight. If you are the one who has practiced to shoot and scoot night and day you will win the fight. If you add night sights, night vision, thermal vision than you will have a 95% chance of not meeting Jesus that night.

  6. I have four long guns using the UTG barrel mounts (2 shotguns- 1 sporting, 1 tactical, 2 rifles-1 tactical, 1 sporting). I have adapted rechargeable tactical flashlights to weapon mounted lights using 30 mm scope rings on the lights enabling attachment to the mounts. The tactical weapons with lights also have lasers mounted.

    I’ve taken numerous coyotes and other varmints at night using my .22 mag bolt action. A standard rifle scope works fine at night when the target is illuminated, even if only slightly, at distances out to a hundred yards. A coyote will only stand still for a moment when being lit up with a steady beam, but seem to be mesmerized by the strobe, giving time to acquire a good sight picture.

    I’m not convinced that mounting lights on pistols is right for me. I’ve tried it and found that unless indoors, there is not enough ambient reflective light to acquire the sights and my tritium night sights can’t overcome the bright lighting to the front. I find the pistol in my strong hand and light in my weak hand works best for me. Having my own range means I get to try these techniques in total darkness giving me the opportunity try them in practice to see what works opposed to what sounds good, but doesn’t work for me. What works/doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean its a universal truth.

    What I’m pointing out is that everyone needs to actually try it when under no stress rather than waiting for that “aw-sh&t!” moment to discover it wasn’t such a good idea.

    The year I retired, my department was just starting to allow weapon mounted lights. They conducted extensive testing on different lights and manufacturers, and listed what lights they would allow to be mounted on duty weapons. Officers who opted to use weapon mounted lights had to chose from that list, go through a training regimen in their use and maintenance, and were required to qualify at night on a darkened range with that weapon. They must continue to qualify twice each year at night in addition to the twice a year standard qualification.

    Use what you practice with, practice with what you use. Your life just might depend on it.

  7. Get a light that has a wide beam for looking around then zoom/focus for identifying you target. Make sure your gun site will silhouette in the spotlight. The tight beam can be used as a rough point and shoot for killing rats at close range.

  8. To Dennis and OldHomesteader + others raising Livestock out there:

    First off, good shooting on those coyotes Dennis. Usually means a moving target at 100 yards at night. (tough shot!)

    For shooting predators at night with a light, I have had better luck with a red filter over the lens and then having a knowledgable person managing that light separate from the weapon of choice. When I am on the light, I check with the shooter to get ready. Light is turned on above the horizon and slowly dropped until shooter is able to spot eye-shine and outline of target critter. With a red filter, I have had good results with this method. I move the light smooth and slow. (never fast or jerky) and a never center the critter in the center of the beam. Finding a knowledgable partner for this after hours activity can be difficult.

    Unfortunately, the local Sheriff Deputies and the Game Wardens in the county all knew me by first name basis as well. My trademark was red light and one shot. Tricks of the trade used by a sneaky little b-sterd. I have never raised chicken or sheep but I have worked for many people that raise livestock.

    This trick I learned from an Australian commercial hunter (state license ) to take dingos and kangaroos in the Northern Territories. I wished I could have spent a year with that fellow. He worked on the large cattle “stations” in the Outback.

  9. How many folks on this forum have discharged a weapon in the dead of night in a combat or training situation? No I don’t mean red neck deer hunting or Jack lighting unless the deer are armed with AK-47 and like to shoot back. This is a art you must learn and your local public range is not interested in night shoots. This means a private range or land with highly skilled Operator trainers former military. You can find people and training but it’s not cheap or fun just hard work. The only good part is if you learn and the lights go out you will own the night.

    1. Southernman,

      You bring up a good point. In answer to your question, several on this blog, I’m sure, have this experience/training. If anyone plans on defending their homes/families, it behooves them to have more training/practice than simply learning how to operate a weapon and being able to hit a stationary target at a fixed distance. That prepares one about as well as reading a book on farming, planting tomatoes in a planter box for practice, then thinking you can feed your family if you ever have to break out the “seed storage vault” when things go south.

      One of the things that attracted me to this site is that this seems to be a bunch of doers as opposed to talkers. If Ken decides to broach this subject (night defensive, or even offensive tactics), I’m sure several here have some good advice to share.

  10. I Feel lights on a gun is ONLY for hunting critters. I’m not going to hunt or track people away from my residence for any purpose.Two old for that stuff :) In my case, if defending the house, get the shotgun (or any weapon), flip on the switch, light up the yards, and target the problem. So much easier, and YOU are not at the light source.(A target)
    If trotting through the woods at night, a LED headband light is excellent -brightness levels and colors.

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