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7 Best AR-15 Flashlights [Real Views]

We hands-on test 5 of the most popular AR-15 flashlights. Complete with tons of pictures, beam patterns, abuse tests, mounting options, and more.

Want your AR-15 totally ready for low-light situations?

We’ll cover 7 of the most popular AR rifle-mounted flashlights…from $40 to $300.

Tested AR-15 Flashlights
Tested AR-15 Flashlights

By the end you’ll know which is the best for your end-use and budget…plus the best positions, mounting methods, and usage tips.

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Editor's Pick

    Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2

    The best overall light we recommended, great combo of light quality, robustness, accessories, and price.

  2. Gold Standard

    SureFire M600

    Used and proven by police and military units. The go-to gold standard if you have the dough.

  3. Most Lightweight

    InForce WML (Gen 2)

    Comfortable angle of use and the most lightweight.

  4. More Power

    InForce WMLx

    The bigger brother of the WML that comes in white light and IR versions.

  5. Most Affordable

    Ozark 600

    Robust and affordable with a few quirks.

  6. Most Robust

    Cloud Defensive OWL Light

    Super durable option that has a built-in activation button on its mount.

Table of Contents

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Best AR-15 Flashlights

1. Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2

Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2
Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2

From my favorite best bang-for-the-buck light company (like in Best Pistol Lights)…the ProTac Rail Mount 2.

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 625
  • Battery: 2x CR123A
  • Battery Life: 1.5 hrs
  • Weight: 5.0 oz
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime Guarantee
  • Price: $105

Build

Feels quality in hand…and if it’s like my pistol lights…will survive for many years of use.

Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2 Accessories
Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2 Accessories

First thing…is that it comes with LOTS of goodies.

There’s a Picatinny mount, remote pressure pad, two ways to attach the pressure pad (double-sided tape or rail mounted inserts), regular endcap, and zip ties for cable management.

The pressure pad is also very nice quality and has a higher button for constant on.

ProTac Rail Mount 2 Activation
ProTac Rail Mount 2 Activation

And of course…a comparison vs the SureFire…

Streamlight ProTac 2 vs SureFire M600
Streamlight ProTac 2 vs SureFire M600

Very similar in dimensions.

Light

Also similar in lumens with 625 (I feel they just had to beat them a little bit).

Streamlight ProTac 2 Beam
Streamlight ProTac 2 Beam

Very powerful center beam that’s just a tad bit cooler than the SureFire.  I’m only able to tell when they were next to each other indoors.

It comes stock with High and Strobe (double-click) function, but you can reprogram it to be other options (search for Ten Tap).  I’ve set mine to High only.

It’s what I mostly run in night competitions (unless I’m testing other stuff)…

Mounting

One very cool thing…the ProTac 2 has the same footprint as the M600.  That means all the mounts you use with the SureFire work with the Streamlight.

This one is rocking the straight version of the Midwest Industries Mount.

Streamlight ProTac 2 with Midwest Mount
Streamlight ProTac 2 with Midwest Mount

I still like the offset version since it brings in the light closer.  I’d only get the straight if you have a large device that might get in the way on the top rail.

One complaint is that the rail mounted attachment for the pressure pad is a little oversized so it lets the pad move about a quarter-inch.

Maybe I’m being nit-picky but I’m probably going to swap it out for the bike tire method.

Overall Impression

This is the light for almost everybody.

Streamlight ProTac 2, Front
Streamlight ProTac 2, Front

Worth-it price, great beam, lots of accessories, and a history of stuff that works/lasts.

124
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

2. SureFire M600 Scout

SureFire M600 Scout
SureFire M600 Scout with Steiner DBAL-A3

The SureFire M600 Scout is the gold standard of AR-15 lights.

Chances are if someone is depending on their rifle for their job/life…they’re going to be running a SureFire.

Gold Standard
296
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 600
  • Battery: 2x CR123A
  • Battery Life: 1.5 hrs
  • Weight: 5.6 oz
  • Warranty: Lifetime Guarantee
  • Price: $240

Build

The Scout is ruggedly built and you can feel it in-hand.  There’s a reason why people choose SureFire when it matters.

SureFire M600 Scout
SureFire M600 Scout

Most regular packages come with only a rear push-button cap…which is fine if you know you’re going to be using a light and leave it on.  I left it like that for a while for competitions.

SureFire Button End Cap and Remote Switch
SureFire Button End Cap and Tape Switch

However, if you’re only looking for momentary-use…such as when clearing rooms…you’ll want to get a remote tape switch (UE07).

82
at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

I’m testing out a couple different ways of cable management…so far my favorite is the old-school cut up bike tire (12 x 1.5-2.25 above).

Now you’re ready to rock n’ roll like a pro…

SureFire Pressure Pad Activation
SureFire Pressure Pad Activation

It only comes in full power on or off…keeping it simple so you don’t have to fumble through different modes.

Light

First, it sits at my sweet point of rifle light brightness of around 500 lumens.  Good for some distance outside…while not totally blinding if I’m using it indoors.

Second, it has a very bright center beam that makes it easy to identify your primary target.  Here is a test at around 25 yards.

SureFire M600 Beam
SureFire M600 Beam

Even though it’s very bright in the center…you’re still able to see stuff in your peripheral.

Color of the beam is also slightly warmer (yellow) when compared to the others.

But it’s so subtle I could only tell when having them next to each other.  Sorry…but it became really bright indoors with 5 lights on and I couldn’t get great pictures to show the difference.

Mounting

Out of the box it comes with a Picatinny rail mount…but Picatinny on the sides are going out of style for weight issues (Best AR-15 Handguards) and putting the light on the top rail gets in the way.

One option I’ve seen a lot is a SureFire Offset Mount from either Arisaka or Midwest that goes on top of the Picatinny rail and moves the Scout to an angle.  Good if you don’t mind using up some rail space or don’t have M-LOK.

Midwest SureFire QD Mount
Midwest SureFire QD Mount

There’s also the option of the Midwest QD Mount if you’re wanting to move your light between different rifles.  But it does add some extra height.

My current favorite is the Midwest Offset SureFire Mount ($39) for M-LOK handguards.

SureFire M600 with Midwest Offset Mount
SureFire M600 with Midwest Offset Mount

Super slim and light…plus it brings it in close…but not so close that you can’t put other stuff on top like my IR laser/illuminator.

Overall Impression

SureFire M600 Scout
SureFire M600 Scout

It’s never failed to go on when I did my part with fresh batteries before extended use sessions.  This one hasn’t been through intense abuse (yet) but I’m sure it will make it out alive.

Get it if you want the best that pros throughout the world use.

Just be prepared to get in that “buy once, cry once” mentality since you’ll likely want the remote tape switch (UEo7).

Editor's Pick
296
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

What do you think of the M600 Scout if money were no object?

Readers' Ratings

4.97/5 (1737)

Your Rating?

There’s also the smaller version M300 that still produces 500 lumens.

404
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

3. Inforce WML

Inforce WML
Inforce WML

The mostly polymer Inforce WML is what I’ve been using the longest.  Mine’s a Gen 1 so there’s been some updates in specs.

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 400 (Gen 2)
  • Battery: 1x CR123A
  • Battery Life: 1.5 hrs
  • Weight: 3.1 oz
  • Warranty: Lifetime Guarantee of Original Owner
  • Price: $130

Build

First thing you notice is that it’s different from other AR-15 specific flashlights that pretty much look like regular flashlights.

Inforce WML, Front
Inforce WML, Front

It’s mostly polymer and only needs 1x CR123 battery which makes it lightweight.

There’s some stories that if you really bang it hard against something…the metal vs polymer battle commences and the light breaks.  I’ve used it pretty hard and it’s met some walls…so far so good.

Plus it has an ergonomic activation button and two methods of preventing accidental use…a lever that comes up to physically block the switch and a head rotation lockout feature.

Inforce WML Activation
Inforce WML Activation

No need to get a remote pressure pad!

Light

Keep in mind that mine is a Gen 1 with 200 lumens while the new Gen 2 has 400 lumens.

Inforce WML (Gen 1) Beam
Inforce WML (Gen 1) Beam

It’s more spread out compared to the SureFire and a little cooler in color.

Very usable and at 400 lumens still very bright and less blinding indoors.

Mounting

It comes with a built-in Picatinny mount with a thumbscrew.  It’s never fallen off for me through thousands of rounds of 5.56.

Though you can mount it on the top rail and still have an ergonomic grip…I like my lights offset.

Inforce WML Mounting
Inforce WML Mounting

I’m digging the Magpul Offset Light Mount…affordable and held on great even though it’s polymer.

Overall Impression

My WML has been through a lot and has kept on ticking.

I recommend it if you don’t like dealing with pressure pads and want to save a few ounces up front on your rifle.

Most Lightweight
93
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

4. Inforce WMLx

Boom!  The big brother of the WML…the WMLx.

Inforce WMLx
Inforce WMLx

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 800 or 700 with 400mw IR
  • Battery: 2x CR123A
  • Battery Life: 2 hours or 4 hours (IR)
  • Weight: 4.0 oz
  • Warranty: Lifetime Guarantee of Original Owner
  • Price: $144

Build

You’ll notice that there’s mention of IR (infrared).  This one is a dual light that can help you illuminate areas if you’re wearing night vision goggles (NVGs).

However…there’s also a pure white light version that gets you 800 lumens.  While the IR version gets you 700 lumens of white light and 400mw of IR.

WML vs WMLx
WML vs WMLx

Everything else is pretty much the same…just bigger.  It now has two batteries for more oomph and there’s a switch that lets you choose between white or IR if you have that model.

Light

Here’s 700 lumens of white light…with a fairly concentrated center.  Also a little cooler than the SureFire.

Inforce WMLx Beam
Inforce WMLx Beam

800 would be even more eye-searing if that’s your thing.

Now…how about night vision?  Here’s what the IR does for you.

You can tell the NVGs were struggling a little since there wasn’t much ambient light…but when the illuminator came on the details came with it.

Overall Impression

WMLx
WMLx

You can see the white light switch at the bottom as well as some scratches on the front metal portion.

I haven’t used this WMLx as much since I got it for my NVG project.  But it’s held up great like its little bro WML.

Highly recommend if you’re looking for more white light illumination with the regular 800 lumen model…or if you need wide IR illumination.

More Power
114
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

5. Ozark Rifle Light

Ozark Rifle Light
Ozark Rifle Light

Our budget pick…the Ozark Rifle Light.  I chose this one based on the best reviews of a rifle mounted light under $50.  And surprise cat feet!

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 600
  • Battery: 2x CR123A
  • Battery Life: not listed
  • Weight: 4 oz
  • Warranty: 1 Year Warranty
  • Price: $40

Build

A little chunkier and not as great feeling in the hand.  But it’s multiples cheaper than the others we’ve tested so far so I’ll let it slide…

I abused it a little against walls and the ground…now it has scratches but it’s still chugging along!

It comes with a Velcro mounted remote pressure pad that is a little tall and very spongy…but works.  Rear-most button makes it stay on while the front is for momentary.

Ozark Rifle Light Activation
Ozark Rifle Light Activation

There’s also an odd rear button on the light itself…

Ozark Rifle Light
Ozark Rifle Light

It activates strobe function if pressed by itself…or if the light is already on…it will cycle through low, medium, and high output.

I’ve definitely accidentally activated the strobe function when laying down the rifle.  The other brightness options are nice to have…but in the end I’d rather have high on or off.

Plus…the only one on the list that isn’t fully waterproof and only comes with a 1 year warranty…

Light

Ozark Light Beam
Ozark Light Beam

A little more spread out of a center beam…but it’s plenty bright at 600 lumens and the coolest color (most blue) of the bunch.

Mounting

So far so good in terms of durability and light output.  However…mounting is lacking.

Ozark Rifle Light Mounting
Ozark Rifle Light Mounting

I had a Magpul Picatinny Rail ($6) section on my MOE handguard.  But if you take a look carefully at the mount…there’s no lock bar that fits into the rail.

It’s completely held on by tension/friction.

Good news is that it’s held on for a couple hundred rounds of .223…but I probably would check each time I go to the range and also not go higher in caliber.

The pressure pad adhesion is also very meh…

Ozark Rifle Light Pressure Pad
Ozark Rifle Light Pressure Pad

Two trips to the range and it’s already falling off.  Plus the cord is so long you can probably mount it on your buttstock.

Good thing it comes with a push-button end cap…I’m going to swap it out for that.

Overall Impressions

Derp Cat with Ozark
Derp Cat with Ozark

Decent value for the money.

The light itself is robust so far…but the mounting, pressure pad, and weird strobe button stop me and my derpy cat from fully recommending it.

Most Affordable
40
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Especially when the next one has so much more to offer at a slightly higher price…

6. Cloud Defensive OWL

Another well-known light for being bombproof and ergonomic…although pretty ginormous.

3. Cloud Defensive OWL
Cloud Defensive OWL

Cloud Defensive’s Optimized Weapon Light (OWL) mounts to your Picatinny rail at the top position and that’s also where the constant-on and momentary-on buttons reside.

Cloud Defensive OWL button
Cloud Defensive OWL Button

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 1250
  • Battery: 18650 (comes with two variants)
  • Battery Life: 85 minutes or 110 minutes
  • Weight: 11 oz
  • Warranty: Lifetime Warranty
  • Price: $379

Build

The US build quality is amazing and you can feel its heft in your hands.

Also…lefties rejoice since the light is fully ambidextrous with a quick swap to the other side.

As well as the lens itself!

21. Cloud Defensive OWL Lens Swap 421. Cloud Defensive OWL Lens Swap 4
Cloud Defensive OWL Lens Swap

It’s also withstood tons of rounds downrange from our AR-10 pistol.

Cloud Defensive OWL on the Saint Victor AR-10 Pistol
Cloud Defensive OWL on the Saint Victor AR-10 Pistol

Waterproof?

It’s an impressive IPX8 which means it can go down to 200 feet for 24 hours. We tested it at regular depths for 6-24 hours and the light didn’t dim or fail.

Light

The OWL’s 1250 lumens and beam gives you a long effective range and a super bright center point.

Cloud Defensive OWL at 50 yards
Cloud Defensive OWL at 50 yards
Cloud Defensive OWL at 75 yards
Cloud Defensive OWL at 75 yards
Cloud Defensive OWL at 100 yards
Cloud Defensive OWL at 100 yards

Mounting

It mounts by Picatinny rail at the top of your rail.

That combined with the button placement makes it really ergonomic…especially if you love the C-Clamp.

Shooting with the Cloud Defensive OWL
Shooting with the Cloud Defensive OWL

However, one of the downsides is its large profile and inability to work with a night vision setup.

Overall Impressions

I can’t state how bombproof this optic feels. It’s a big boi that will likely survive anything you can throw at it.

If you want something US made with a rock solid warranty and swappable everything (battery, left/right placement, lens)…you can’t go wrong with the OWL.

Check out our full in-depth review too.

Cloud Defensive has set up a special 10% off coupon code “pewpewtactical” for Pew Pew Tactical readers.

Available Coupons

7. Nightstick LGL-160

Nightstick has been catering to law enforcement agencies for some time so it shouldn’t be a surprise if you haven’t heard of them. Their success in this market however, is a win for the rest of us.

Nightstick LGL-160 shoot
Nightstick LGL-160

The LGL-160 is a tough, bright, and inexpensive light that includes a whole package with all the accessories you need to get your long gun up and running.

Quick Stats

  • Lumens: 1100
  • Battery: 2x CR123
  • Battery Life: 2 hours
  • Weight: 6.3 oz
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Price: $139

Build

The LGL-160 is made from 6061-T6 aluminum and feels hardy. The light comes with a couple of mounting options that also feel sturdy.

Nightstick LGL-160 sky shot
Great offset mount

You also get a remote switch, a switch mount, and a handy wire manager that also connects to your Picatinny rail. The switch has temporary and constant options.

Light

The beam on the LGL-160 is pretty tight, and rated for 300 meters. It’s bright enough though with 1,100 lumens, that the hot circle and spill still do very well to light up enclosed spaces.

Nightstick LGL-160 beam
Nightstick LGL-160 beam

Mounting

This package includes a standard Picatinny rail mount with a thumb screw, but it also comes with the 45-degree offset MLOK mount that tucks the light nicely into the 2:30 spot. All the mounting options are wel thought out and make for a really clean setup.

Nightstick LGL-160 mount
Picatinny rail mount

Overall Impression

At this price, with this performance, and all these accessories, the LGL-160 is a really tough package to beat. We tested the light out at the range and were very impressed with it’s performance.

Nightstick LGL-160 top
Tight and clean

Others

Modlite

Modlite is coming soon!

Olight Odin

And for those of you screeching about Olight’s new Odin rifle light.

8. Olight Odin with Pressure Pad
Olight Odin with Pressure Pad

On paper (and pics) it looks great…with 2000 lumens and under $200.

But in our full review, we found that it’s only 2000 lumens for 2 minutes before it drops to 1000 then 300 lumens (8 hours though).

olight odin 1
Olight Odin in Use

However our main reason it doesn’t make the list is that after some range time its mounting bar bent and could no longer be easily attached.

bent mounting bar
Bent Mounting Bar on the Olight Odin

Check out our full review here and if you still want it…

160
at Olight Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Olight Odin Mini

Olight’s newest rifle offering…the Odin Mini.

Odin Mini, MLok Mounted
Odin Mini, MLok Mounted

And the big thing is that it’s smaller (of course) but also comes with an angled MLok mount!

Odin Mini vs Odin
Odin Mini vs Odin

We’re putting it through it’s paces right now and so far it’s holding up.

100
at Olight

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Cloud Defensive Rein

Cloud Defensive brings a super durable build paired with a lot of lumens to the light arena with its new Rein.

Cloud Defensive Rein Top View
Cloud Defensive Rein

Available in a standard model for rifles and a micro version suitable for PCCs, the Rein brings 1,400 lumens backed by 60,000 candela.

Cloud Defensive Rein front of rifle
Looks nice on this rifle.

So far, we really dig this model!

279
at Cloud Defensive

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Rifle Light Tips

Hopefully, now you know which light to go with…we’ll end with some quick tips that will get you started:

  • Your gun points where your light is pointing…remember your safety rules!
  • If you’re using your light in a safety situation…try to only turn it on when needed.  It can give away your position.  That’s why I like having pressure pads or the Inforce for serious guns.
  • Keep your wires away from the gas block…it’s going to melt sooner or later.
  • If you’re shooting during the day…put some tape on the lens to avoid carbon buildup.  And the best lens cleaner is a rubber pencil eraser.

Conclusion

Our Tested AR-15 Flashlights
Our Tested AR-15 Flashlights

Our overall Editor’s Pick if you want the best and have the budget…is the SureFire M600.

Editors Pick
296
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Also be sure to check out Inforce for something lighter and doesn’t require a pressure switch.

Most Lightweight
93
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

While our Best Bang-For-The-Buck goes to the Streamlight ProTac Rail Mount 2.

Best Bang-For-The-Buck
124
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Now that your AR is outfitted with a light…how about getting yourself (Best Tactical Flashlight)…for your pistol (Best Pistol Lights)…or your shotgun (Best Shotgun Lights)?

And to keep those lights fed…make sure to have a good supply of CR123 Batteries.

How did we do in our Best AR-15 Flashlights list?  Anything we missed and should add for next time?  Or any tips for beginners?

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79 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Robert Haston

    I have a mini O'light on one of my 300 blackout pistols and on one of my other 300 pistols I have a Fenix PD35 V3.0. I've thousands of round through them no problems and they both come with m-loc proprietary Mounts with them so there is no need to mount a rail to your m-loc handguard. I always thought that was stupid to mount a different mount on top of another mount. But there both brighter then all's the others you listed, the Fenix is 1700 lumens, both are longer battery life and both are rechargeable ( also both come with proprietary charging systems) and they do all this better , smaller less weight,and come with a cheaper price. You can really tell by reading your reviews as to which companies sponsor you. I hard is it to go buy the most popular lights and do an HONEST comparison, guarantee top three wood be different.

    June 13, 2022 7:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jpchiesa

    I've owned a number of weapon mounted lights, some mentioned in this article, but one mentioned I have come to possess is heads and tails over any other brand, the Cloud Defense OWL weapon mounted light. One huge attribute of the system is the lack of any exposed wires and touch pad. The truly ambidextrous system is outstanding and mine included a recharger for the batteries used in the owl. It truly looks integrated into the weapon and works exceptionally well.

    March 31, 2022 6:40 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bull o' the Woods

    I'm surprised that Surefire, normally a pretty innovative company, has not come up with something better than the janky wire-and-pressure-pad setup. The OWL has got them beat. Having to worry about keeping your wires off the gas block and wrapping them with a bicycle inner tube smacks of a cheap field-expedient solution. When you're paying US$350 for a light (not to mention an extra US$100-$200 for the wire, pressure pad, and switch) you are entitled to a better setup. I'd go for the OWL every time.

    March 18, 2022 11:57 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ed Roncarati

    Well the last time this was updated was over a year ago. Since then the clear choice is the SureFire Dual Fuel Scout Light Pro, runs on either a rechargeable 18650 or two 123A batteries. SureFire’s new Low-Profile Mount (LPM) delivers unprecedented versatility, allowing the user to optimize the light’s position relative to the rail. Rugged and reliable, the LPM easily and securely attaches to any Picatinny or M-Lok rail. I am using the M-Lok version on a CODA Evolution Lightning handguard.

    HIGH OUTPUT
    1,500 lumens (SF18650B) / 1,200 lumens (123A)
    HIGH RUNTIME
    1.5 hours (SF18650B) / 1.25 hours (123A)
    PEAK BEAM INTENSITY
    16,000 candela (SF18650B) / 12,800 candela (123A)

    Paired mine with Unity Tactical angled M-Lok hot button (they also have a Picatinny rail version), great combo. I wish Surefire would have offered a choice between their standard push button Z68 tailcap, which it comes with and the Scout Light Rear Cap that is need to use plug for the unity button.
    Granted this becomes a pretty price setup but convenient. The button is a perfect spot for my hand to use with just minimal thumb movement. Setup lights up tree line behind my house.

    March 1, 2022 8:50 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bemused Berserker

    Personally, I like the Streamlight PolyTac X lights. 600 Lumens. 3 levels the user can program and it fits snug in a 30mm scope ring (I use one with a QR lever). 3 different case colors (black or FDE are preferred (the yellow is not a good case color IMO). Simple rear push button switch. Depending on the model, they rub from $40 to $60. The $60 model is a USB rechargable model.
    Tough polymer case. Mine have been knocked about and dropped for 8+ years and still going strong.
    Nothing fancy. Just a good, dependable light.

    February 14, 2022 8:53 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    BRAD EVANS

    I get olight has a mixed rep, but I like that they are rechargeable.

    What is the bike tire method about? I saw in a pic a tire strip wrapped around. Is it glued? How wide? How much stretch when mounted?

    January 13, 2022 8:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mark Hicks Sr.

    I've always had mixed feelings about lights on guns. I don't see spending a grip on one and if I'm searching for an adversary in the dark I don't think I want to show him where to shoot at.

    September 5, 2021 11:28 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Rick

      I guarantee you'd be able to see him better than he can see you. It's about target identification and edge.

      September 22, 2021 12:45 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Andrei

      It's really a matter of discipline to turn off your light when you're not using it. From my (admittedly low) experience in the military, and what instructors have said about low-light and indoor, defensive shootings, you really want to have positive identification of your targets, especially if you know loved ones or innocent bystanders will be in the area.

      October 21, 2021 7:11 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Douglas Kennedy

      How about for coyote hunting

      January 7, 2022 4:29 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mark Gerrard

      don't hunt, but I do own a light for particular situations....whatever that might be but it's there

      January 7, 2022 4:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dennis Batterman

    Olight has a smaller light that is QD and accessible for left or right handers. Also, it has a momentary on or a stay on depending on how long you press lever.

    August 15, 2021 4:44 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Dylan

      Preach

      October 19, 2021 9:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Edward

    Infarce and Obomb
    Are you high?
    Meme tier junk.
    Cloud, Surefire, and Streamlight. All tested and proven for years. I bet you think that Bear Creek Arsenal makes great uppers too.

    July 9, 2021 6:38 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jeremy

    Where's the warrior pro and warrior series lights from olight. I have the warrior pro and it's mind blowing. 2100 lumens, magnetic tail switch and a vibration function to tell you when the light is low on power.

    July 9, 2021 7:29 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Scott

    In the article you mentioned your cable management is a cut up bike tire...it's an inner tube that's cut up to make ranger-bands for cable management and other uses, not the tire! I had to bust your balls on that one...

    June 8, 2021 4:25 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jharl

      I used to use bike inner tube but swapping configs was a hassle. I now use tennis grip overwrap. Good feel, neat, and easy to put on and take off

      September 8, 2021 8:31 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joe

    How can you possibly talk about streamlight over OLight or Fenix? Yes that olight you tested didnt stand up to what you wanted for a long period but streamlight doest come close to the lumens or the distance olight or fenix sends out. As for reliability, olight and fenix are in a league of their own. For those of us that own all 3, I can say fenix is the best, olight is good but its no fenix. Streamlight might as well be second rate trash, similar to buying a $10 maglight from waliworld, its sure no better than.....

    March 30, 2021 5:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    J Owl

    OWL for the win. Battery life and throw and brightness is amazing. Warm light. Unbreakable. Ergonomic. Best thing I’ve ever purchased gun related!

    February 18, 2021 6:59 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      J Owl

      Not to mention after you get the 90-120 minutes of full output , depending on battery being used, you get an additional 8 hours at 10% light output, which is still a good amount of light. Best. Light. Ever. Only hurt my wallet for a minute.

      February 18, 2021 7:01 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Phred

    I'm surprised you didn't say anything about all the battery draining issues with the Inforce WML lights. There's a lot of really P.O'd people out there who would never buy another Inforce light because of this. It doesn't take much web investigating to discover this issue is real.

    February 16, 2021 9:42 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    jonathan Corke

    Feyachi lights at $30 are crazy vfm including 2 x 18650 batteries, charger and mlok or pic rail mounts! At that price who needs a warranty?

    January 2, 2021 4:12 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Allen Andrew Jones

    Bought both the offset piece from midwest and the surefire light. It would nice if there were instructions somewhere even simple stuff like remove the surefire mount and how, just the MI mount, and/or mount the offset to light first, etc.

    AR nube

    December 14, 2020 2:00 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Eric Hicks

    I am confused about the mounting. I have a S&W M&P15 Tactical with m-lok. It comes with a 2 inch piece of M-Lok Picatinny-style rail panel for mounting your accessories. I have seen people mount a handle on the bottom using this so I am guessing I need another 2 inch piece to mount a flashlight?

    November 23, 2020 6:13 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Daim

      Yes or m lock mount that does not use pic rail mounta direct to guard.

      November 28, 2020 1:35 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    jorgejorge

    You should have your products link to Opticsplanet not lame ass Amazon. I just bought the Inforce white/IR light from Opticsplanet. Maybe you can get credit.

    November 22, 2020 12:29 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      David, PPT Editor

      When we can we link to multiple sites, the Inforce links go to Amazon, Brownells, and Opticsplanet if you click the dropdown.

      November 22, 2020 4:23 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Johnny Thornton

    Consider looking at the Odin
    Having used, or been issued, every conceivable light from normal LE supply channels. The Olight is now my go to light. Both the odin, and Baldr Pro-https://www.olightstore.com/baldr-pro.html. I have beat them severely, both on the range, on duty, and in my trunk, and they never failed.

    November 1, 2020 9:55 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      David, PPT Editor

      We have an Odin review coming very soon!

      November 1, 2020 10:13 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      It's up! https://www.pewpewtactical.com/olight-odin-review/

      November 27, 2020 1:30 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Antykain

      I have the full-size Odin myself.. pretty nice light for the price point. But, Olight needs to beef up that mounting bar that is on the light itself. The tiny-wittle screws they use to secure the mounting bar to the light housing itself are not very good quality. And will back out pretty quickly unless you use Locktite or something similar. My mounting bar is slightly bent, like mentioned in this article.

      March 16, 2021 6:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tim

    In the eighties I used a streamlight and it saved my life more than once. Often overlooked are the electronics of a flashlight; streamlight's electronics do not drain your batteries when not in use. This is very important because those that do drain batteries when not being used cause leaks in the batteries creating a mess in your flashlight. Streamlight is cheaper than most high to medium quality flashlights but are always working when you need it, even if it was sitting six months without use. There are many good flashlights to choose from but Streamlight is always a sure bet. The only real competitor to Streamlight is the overly priced surefire. If you need a light in a fight or any emergency, Streamlight will not let you down. L.A.S.D. retired.

    October 9, 2020 3:59 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Smitty

    Why isnt Modlite on this list, better by far than Surefire in terms of lumens and candela.

    September 28, 2020 7:33 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Anthony Lalande

    What's the box mounted next to the first light?

    September 10, 2020 7:54 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rameses

    Love the Inforce WML. Switched all my lights over to it and it really cleans up the handguard/rail by removing the wires and pressure plates. I've seen some comments that some of their lights flickers at times, but I believe WML fixed their QA issues with their Gen 2 models as I've never encountered any problems during some night outings where I've run the light for at least an hour straight.

    August 25, 2020 2:35 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Alan K

    Eric always enjoy your email but I have to say to leave off the list of lights the Cloud Defensive OWL is not a complete comparison. The OWL penetrates photonic barriers like smoke, fog and humid air. What that mess is the light travels much further than any of the lights on your list. Also once you add a switch and wire to the Surefire you price almost meets the OWL. But having wires can be a real problem hanging up on things. The OWL is one piece mounting system is quick and easy.

    July 25, 2020 8:33 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    V

    Weapons mounted IR illuminators like Laser Rangefinders.. Lead a sophisticated opponent back to where you are at.. Bad Idea. The East German Zeiss people simply put a special red lens over the front of one lens of their Binos and they could see US LRFs used by Tanks and other Systems.. Run Passive or actuate any IR illuminators remotely.. But be aware the moment you turn it on .. Depending upon their level of sophistication they will know you know they are there..

    July 20, 2020 11:38 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rick Holtsclaw

    Excellent review, thank you for your time!

    July 19, 2020 5:40 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Nate Bodie

    Hey Eric,

    Could you provide any further insight or guidance about the bike tire pressure pad trick? I understand the principle, although not the direct mechanics.

    Thanks,
    Nate

    April 21, 2020 1:47 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      GritFinder

      Cut a section of bike inner tube out, say 1-2 inches. Slide it over the muzzle end of your barrel/rail. Then the tight tube section will form a wire containing bubble around the spot you want

      August 12, 2020 5:34 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Connor Haughton

    I recently snagged a Feyachi FL14 from Amazon for $40. Includes an 18650 battery, push button endcap, pressure switch endcap, a charger for the battery, and the best feature, it includes a sturdy MLOK mount. The mount offsets the light about 45 degrees; if mounted on 3 o clock mlok slots, the light ends up at 1:30 or 4:30.

    I've been very pleasantly surprised with the sturdiness of the mount, brightness of light, and responsiveness of the pressure switch. I mean hell, you can spend well over $40 just for an MLOK mount, so the light is basically free.

    January 5, 2020 7:31 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ken Warnock

    As a law enforcement officer and trainer, I can say, stream light and sure fire are he most durable. Sometimes that isn’t the biggest issue. On some missions I have taken the inforce wml because accidental light activation is unacceptable. I used a lot of all three of those brands.

    December 16, 2019 2:43 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Cunty McShitterman

    Since I got my 1000 lumen Protac I haven't been interested in getting another surefire. Capability I more then comparable but the price point makes it a winner in my book

    November 24, 2019 2:19 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    mike

    I love the streamlight pro tac. I have it mounted with a generic chinese mount on magpul handguard at 11oclock. One set of batteries can go past a good long night. Two hunts easy but its good to have spare batteries.
    Not shabby since I keep it at full. I just dont use it if I dont need to.
    This washes my front sight (bright paint). With A2 carry handle and front post, this is a great night time set up. Fast on target...deadly to piggies.

    October 27, 2019 8:37 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike Hayden

    Eric, great site and articles, thanks as always. I'm using a Fenix FD35 which I already had before deciding to use it on my AR, and so far it's working pretty well.

    October 16, 2019 4:52 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Allen Hull

    I was in Army in 60s so my shooting has drop some you no where i was over seas

    October 8, 2019 6:09 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Michael

      Your comment does not make any sense.

      October 10, 2019 5:27 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    will

    Crimson Trace's new lights are a great option for the budget/value end of the list. The fact that they come with a preasure switch and mounts for pic rail, keymod, and M-lok is a great value. Haven't seen much on the durability, but i bought one to use for a rifle class, and like it a lot.

    August 14, 2019 2:04 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Thanks, Will. We have one in hand as well for the future update! So far so good too.

      August 14, 2019 2:37 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dvdschleg

    Love your articles. Personally I’m a fan of Olight. On my ar-15 pistol I run an Olight Pro without the switch. It’s sleek and slim and sits on top of my handguard. Very easy to activate and I don’t notice it any more through my scope because it sits so low.

    July 23, 2019 10:11 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    KK

    PS - Great article.

    June 7, 2019 9:19 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    KK

    CR123A's are great - but having lots of devices that use AA - and having provision to recharge AA batteries even during a prolonged blackout - made me decide to go with the "dual fuel" Pro-Tack Rail Mount 1 - takes one CR123A or one AA - everything same as the 2 except shorter - comes with the same accessories. Brighter with the CR123A (350 lumens w/CR123A - 150 lumens w/AA) but can keep it working indefinitely during the time it will most likely be needed, which has been during extended blackouts after hurricanes.

    June 7, 2019 9:17 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Craig

    I see lots of opinion about how many lumens is enough. A video or series of pictures comparing various levels inside and outside would be helpful. Seeing is believing.

    Are there differences in the ability to flood an area to see the periphery?

    May 14, 2019 8:37 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Reid

    Not into tactical or competition use myself, just hunting. Recently purchased a Nitecore P30 Hunting Kit. Serious throw light for its size, uses single 18650. Kit comes with red/green filters, scope barrel and offset picatinny mounts, tail cap remote switch, 2-bay charger, and a single 2300mAh battery. Used a Kinetic Development MLOK QD mount to pop it on/off the hand guard. Too bulky for the uses you're talking about but man it will light up a pig at night +50yds downrange.

    You should check it out.

    April 20, 2019 7:21 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Kenneth Wilson

    I’ll give a big thumbs up to Streamlight, but I prefer the Rail Mount HL-X over both the Rail Mount 2 and *gasp* the Surefire M600. Mine has survived numerous Airborne Operations, hard use in training, and everything I’ve thrown at it since leaving the military. I prefer its throw and dispersion and will contend that it was never too bright for room clearance. I will also recommend it highly for 4 legged pest control since it will extend the range at which you can identify, engage, and destroy targets. Neat as the Ten Tap is, I’ve found myself leaving it in high only mode unless my navigation light has failed and I’m using the low function of my weapon light to get out of the woods while preserving battery life. The Streamlight didn’t mind the light drizzle that rendered my headlamp useless. Mine has been on everything from a .22LR to a 12 gauge shotgun. I think it’s time to get another HL-X just so I’m not moving the one I have around so much.

    March 31, 2019 6:42 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jeff

    Personally I really like my M&P with Crimson Trace. The system is totally wireless with controls on the grip for easy on / off as necessary. The green laser is also very nice for any middle of the night surprises. Just push the button on the grip and you have target recognition and acquisition at the same time. I’m running a Holosun green dot sight co-witnessed for daylight shooting but for low light situations I think the Crimson Trace is the bees knees. Only draw back is at 300 lumins it’s not going to blind anyone; but I figure that’s going to be addressed by brass on target. Overall a great article though with some very nice options for add on equipment.

    August 20, 2018 6:00 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tyler

    I personally have been a huge fan of Olight for years. I’m in the military and have been consistently spending more and more money on their products because they are very well made products! I have the Olight PL-1 Valkyrie mounted on my Remington 870 and my custom built AR pistol in .223 Wylde. For $60 you get a 450 lumen flashlight coming standard with a Picatinny rail using (1) CR123A...and it’s waterproof! Even a 5 year warranty. For $60 you can’t really get much better than that. Worth it to check it out.

    July 15, 2018 4:55 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Alfredo S.

    Informative article, with interesting choices. Personally, I have great things to say about the surefire 600 and it has last me years. It is expensive so buy once cry once right? I would also take a good look at Arisaka's 600 series, it's easier on the wallet & interchangeable with surefire mounts/switches.

    June 25, 2018 10:18 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Thanks Alfredo! Haven't heard of Arisaka but I'll try to get them for the update.

      June 25, 2018 11:55 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    p morris

    IMO , on my bump in the night gun i have 2/two flashlights , i used 2 do cave diving and the rule is redundancy in everything or 2 is 1 ,1 is none , so i use 2 cheaper/less expensive lights on 1 gun , handguns 1 on the gun another in hand/pocket , just offering my older guy perspective ;-)

    June 25, 2018 4:43 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Yup...it's always during something important that you run out of batteries or something else goes wrong!

      June 25, 2018 1:41 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Wzrd

    Streamlight all day. Have three ProTacs. If I was rich I’d probably splurge on Surefire, but I’m more than satisfied with my Streamlights.

    June 24, 2018 5:23 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Yup! If I need a light that will work and not break the bank...it's Streamlight.

      June 25, 2018 1:41 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ryan

    Nice article as always. What are your thoughts on the new Crimson Trace Tactical lights? They seem like a great option and the price is right. I just picked up the CWL-201 (900 lumen model with keymod or m-lok mounts).

    June 24, 2018 4:54 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Thanks, Ryan! Haven't tried out their tactical lights...let me know how it runs!

      June 25, 2018 1:40 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Kevin

      Hi Ryan - I also recently mounted the CWL-201. So far, I'm very happy. Seems to be a very solid light, especially for the price. I don't think I'll use the pressure pad, but the end cap switch seems fine.

      June 26, 2018 2:06 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Eugene

    You had another article for AR-15 mounted lights. Those were off-brand more budget options. Can't find the article now. Can you please link it? Or did you completely replace it with this one?

    June 24, 2018 10:31 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Hey Eugene, I swapped it out with this one since these I have first-hand experience.

      June 24, 2018 1:09 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Eugene

        Eric, can you maybe link to that article or possibly just send me the list from it. Those were good recommendations for a low-cost build. I'm actually looking to put a light into a CCA vertical grip that doubles as a flashlight holder and has a button on it that activates the flashlight switch on the back. Wanted something relatively inexpensive. Has to be 1-inch diameter light. Thanks!

        June 25, 2018 1:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    J. New

    Fenix TK15UE (Ultimate Edition) seems worthy of mention. Check it out.

    June 21, 2018 8:08 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jake

    What about Elzetta?

    June 19, 2018 8:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Phil

    That is an Elzetta mount. I have one and it is great for 1" lights like the surefire 6p or g2. Be sure to use a quality led module though for durability and brightness.

    December 10, 2017 2:27 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Kevin

    What is the light mount on the front sight pictured above?

    November 1, 2017 8:57 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike Kiesel

    You asked why a person wouldn't want a flashlight mounted on a self defense weapon? How about the target that your flashlight becomes when you use it right in front of your face. I've been advised by law enforcement officers to keep any flaslight as far away from my main body as possible. They suggest to hold it in your non-dominent hand as far to the left or right as possible and only use it in short bursts with a button that only lights it while pushed.

    April 10, 2017 7:57 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      DRAKE

      True,this is the method most real cops prefer and it works best, but with a rifle the only choice is to mount it on the weapon itself and learn to use it before you have to use it.

      November 26, 2017 3:16 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Randy Ashman

    How about Streamlight? They make some great flashlights too.

    April 10, 2017 9:58 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Yup, they are my go-to for pistol mounted flashlights. I have buddies that run them on their AR's too.

      June 5, 2017 12:16 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joel

    you should look into Fenix lights. I use them for basically everything, and they haven't failed me yet. Granted, I've never had to use it for home defense, but I've not been gentle with it either.

    April 9, 2017 10:09 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Yup, I have a few Fenix's for my bugout bags!

      June 5, 2017 12:15 pm
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