Whether you’re a law enforcement professional or simply a gun owner interested in the most efficient methods, consider which type of light you want to use with your firearm. No matter how accurately you aim in well-lit situations, trying to defend yourself in the dark without a light changes things. When it comes to illuminating the field, find out which is better: weapon-mounted lights or handheld lights.
Accuracy: Weapon-Mounted Light
If you’re holding a flashlight in one hand, you can’t have two hands on your weapon. Keeping two hands on your weapon minimizes recoil and helps you place your rounds with greater accuracy and precision.
In a life-threatening situation, the fewer things you have to think about, the more likely you’ll have a preferred outcome. With a weapon-mounted light, you won’t forget the light wherever you had it last. Just make sure to get a holster that can accommodate the gun and the light so you’ll feel comfortable carrying your firearm.
Practicality: Handheld Light
When it comes to practicality, handheld lights are better than weapon-mounted lights. That’s because you can use flashlights in many common situations. You wouldn’t draw your weapon to look for your car keys on the parking lot asphalt—the flashlight wins in these scenarios.
Moreover, life-threatening situations are rare, and a responsible gun owner avoids drawing their weapon unless under threat. A handheld light lets you use the light to survey your surroundings, identify a stranger, or signal for help without escalating a confusing but non-deadly situation by drawing a firearm.
The Case for Both Types
You want to have the ability to use your weapon accurately at any moment, including in dark settings. You also want to avoid drawing your gun inappropriately. For those reasons, you can opt to carry both.
Like everything else when it comes to firearms and carrying, what you choose to do depends on your lifestyle and personal preference. But to maximize safety and accuracy, you can have a weapon-mounted light and carry a flashlight as well.