A weapon mounted light is one of those things that is a hotly debated topic. The purpose of this article is to help you decide if a WML is a good thing for you to have on your pistol, as well as some other considerations if you do opt to install one on your gun.
There are more cons, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because there are cons to everything in life. There are plenty of reasons why a WML makes sense for certain people.
Cons to a Weapon Mounted Light:
The main con to having a weapon mounted light on your gun is that you can’t always use it to light up your life.
For example, if you lost something under a table at a restaurant, you can’t just whip your pistol out and turn on your WML to see if you can find that thing.
The reasons why are hopefully obvious, but suffice it to say that you should never draw your gun in a public setting unless you need to defend yourself.
Another con, which is something that a lot of people don’t think about, is battery use. Because you don’t use the light on a regular basis it’s harder to keep track of when to change or charge the battery.
Of course, there are ways around this, like putting it in your calendar or something like that. It won’t die fast if you’re not using it, but they will draw down power over time, even if they’re not used.
Another usually unthought of con to a weapon mounted light, is its operation. While these are easy to turn on and off in theory, it’s not so cut and dry in practice. Reason being, your trigger finger is usually the one doing the operation.
Your trigger finger can’t be in two places at once and if you accidentally turn it on when you don’t mean to it could cost you (as you give away your position).
Also, most people think of a WML as a target identifier but this is technically a dangerous thought. Imagine hearing a noise in the middle of the night and you go to check it out with your Glock and light attached to it.
Then imagine that your child has come to visit you late one night and didn’t want to wake you up and you just pointed your gun at your kid. Hopefully the startle didn’t make you shoot him.
If you believe that doesn’t happen you’d be wrong (this tip concerning that topic can save someone’s life).
Finally, is the fact that the light adds a little bit more weight to your gun and your overall rig if it’s a carry gun. It’s not a lot of weight, but if your goal is to carry something lightweight, this could throw a small damper into your plan.
Pros To a Weapon Mounted Light:
The pros are happier. The main pro to having a WML is that it makes target acquisition in the dark very easy (I said acquisition, not target identification. The two are different).
Another huge pro is that you get to have both hands on your weapon. This makes controlling your gun as well as delivering accurate shots, that much easier.
If you’re using a tactical flashlight for target acquisition, you have to have one hand holding the light, and the other hand holding your gun. That looks something like this:
When you have both hands on your gun you get better accuracy and faster follow up shots.
Another pro is that your light is always there just as long as the battery is holding a charge. When you draw your gun and present to target, you’ll have the ability shine your light on your target.
Even better, wherever you point the muzzle of the gun the light has no choice but to follow. Just be careful not to flag any innocents.
A Tac Light and a WML is the best option
Instead of just relying on a weapon mounted light, the best idea is to have both a tactical/handheld light, and one mounted on your pistol.
This way, you can have both at your ready if needed. If you drop something under the table at the restaurant, you can look for it without having to utilize the weak light on your phone, while also not having to rely on your gun’s light.
It’s a win win.
Plus, you can also train with both and if you ever need to use a light during a critical incident you’ll be able to use both of them successfully.
Having a weapon mounted light in addition to a tactical handheld flashlight that you carry is the best option for self-defense. It gives you two options.