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3 Quick Tips for Weapon Mounting Your Flashlight

There’s no doubt our store boasts some of the most rugged and powerful flashlights around. And when it comes to weapon mounting, this becomes doubly important. Not only do you want a flashlight bright enough to illuminate any potential threat, but it’s vital your light continues to work even during heavy recoil.

If you carry for work, hunting or defense, you probably already know the importance of having a flashlight you can mount on your firearm. You can’t always rely on having to use your weapon in optimal lighting conditions, and so having the ability to weapon mount a flashlight or pistol light will ensure you can see potential threats and targets in any condition.

So which flashlight is right for you? There are a lot of options out there! Today’s blog will walk you through 3 tips for picking out the right flashlight or pistol light set up for your gear.

Tip 1: Get the right size light

There’s nothing more frustrating (and potentially dangerous) than having a bulky accessory on your firearm that gets in your way or limits your normal movements. Taking a few moments to figure out what your needs really are before you buy can save you a major headache down the road. And in that vein, the first place to start is with the size of the flashlight itself.

In general, there are 2 basic types of lights you can mount on your weapon. For pistols and handguns, you’ll want to look at products marketed specifically as pistol lights like the Olight PL-MINI and PL-MINI 2. These are compact lights designed specifically for pistol mounting and can be easily installed on most rails thanks to a quick-release lever.

If you’re looking for a rifle or shotgun mounted flashlight, your options get a little more involved. For this setup, you’ll need a mount accessory like an offset or scope mount, perhaps a pressure switch, and of course a flashlight that can handle the recoil of gunfire. Because your options are really wide open here, paying attention to how big (or not) your flashlight is will ensure that you don’t end up with a setup that is more cumbersome than beneficial which leads us nicely to our next tip …

Tip 2: Bright & focused is best

Some flashlights are described as having a “floody” output for their ability to create an evenly-lit, wide angle beam that’s really great for reading and up close. Other flashlights, like the NITECORE P30 and Olight Warrior X, boast incredibly bright and focused beams that we find are ideal for weapon mounting. Why? Not only do these tend to be the brightest options around, but the hot center of the beam is perfect for scanning for targets and identifying potential threats. And because they’re optimized for throw distance, you can maintain a safe distance from the real action.

Tip 3: Make it accessible for you

Now that you have the right flashlight picked out for your set up, you’ll want to make it accessible with a pressure switch. One of the nice things about flashlights with a tactical-style tail cap is they give you the option of using the tail cap switch to activate your light or many manufacturers make a pressure switch you can attach instead of the regular tail cap and get remote access to your flashlight. This will let you keep your hands in a natural shooting position and make it much easier to maintain control in stressful situations. 

Compare Weapon Mountable Flashlights

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather a highlight of some of the best-selling weapon mountable flashlights we carry. This list is further broken down into lights suitable for pistsol/handguns and lights suitable for rifle/shotgun mounting.

Pistol Lights

Model Max Brightness Max Throw Distance Battery Dimensions Weight
Olight PL-MINI 400 lm 82 yds Built-in rechargeable li-po L-2.41”xW-1.23”xH-1.06” 2.19 oz
Olight PL-MINI 2 600 lm 109 yds Built-in rechargeable li-ion L-2.07”xW1.26”xH-1.28” 2.57 oz
Olight PL-2 1200 lm 257 yds 2x CR123A (non-rechargeable) L-3.25”xW-1.44”xH-1.26” 3.8 oz
Olight PL-2RL 1200 lm + 650nm Class IIIa (<5mw) red laser 256 yds (LED output) 2x CR123A (non-rechargeable) L-3.2”xW-1.4”xH-1.9” 4.8 oz
LaserTac LX-S 80 lm -- 1 x 11340 (rechargeable) L-1.5”xW-1.5”xH-2.0” 1.4 oz
LaserTac CL7-G 250 lm + 532nm (<5mw) green laser -- 2x CR123A (non-rechargeable) L-3.15”xW-1.57”xH-1.57” 4.06 oz
LaserTac FL2GR 250 lm + 532nm (<5mw) green laser + 650nm (<5mw) red laser -- 1x CR123A (non-rechargeable) or 1x RCR123 (rechargeable) L-3.27”xW-1.45”xH-1.52” 2.54 oz

Rifle/Shotgun Flashlights

Model Max Brightness Max Throw Distance Battery Dimensions Weight
Olight M2R Warrior 1500 lm 227 yds 1x 18650 or 2x CR123A; built-in charging L-5.12”xD-1” 5.26 oz (without batteries)
Olight Warrior X 2000 lm 612 yds 1x 18650; built-in charging L-5.59”xD-1.61” 7.69 oz (without batteries)
Fenix TK20R 1000 lm 339 yds 1x 18650 or 2x CR123A; built-in charging L-6”xD-1” 5 oz (without batteries)
Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 lm 218 yds 1x 18650 or 2x CR123A L-5.4”xD-1” 3.1 oz (without batteries)
NITECORE MH12GTS 1800 lm 247 yds 1x 18650 (>8A output); built-in charging L-5.67”xD-1” 3.51 oz (without batteries)
NITECORE MH25GTS 1800 lm 332 yds 1x 18650 (>8A output); built-in charging L-5.9”xD-1.33” 4.37 oz (without batteries)
NITECORE P30 1000 lm 676 yds 1x 18650 or 2x CR123A L-5.57”xD-1.96” 5.83 oz (without batteries)
NITECORE MH40GTR 1200 lm 1097 yds 2x 18650 or 4x CR123A; built-in charging L-10.11”xD-2.75” 13.19 oz (without batteries)
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