Top 10 Handgun-Mounted Weapon-Lights

Handgun-mounted lights are now available in abundance for those who wish to use them. But when you start looking at lights you find something out very quickly. They range in size, brightness, and price, which is good, but also a little overwhelming when selecting one. Most people want a few choices that range in size and price, but quality is a must regardless of the rest.

This means the first thing that should be redacted from a list is lights that are not worth purchasing at any price. I have used a few over the years that quit on me while I was using them. Others stopped working because of LED, battery, or switch issues. So, we have compiled a list for your consideration that includes a variety of sizes and prices.

If a light has ever caused me any issues, it won’t be on this list. I started with 15, but after reflecting on my experience with each one, I reduced the list down to 10 weapon-mounted lights. Some were added to this list to provide a larger pool of companies and options, but it doesn’t mean they are not quality lights.

Also, keep in mind, that this list is not intended to insinuate these 10 lights are better than all others. These are simply lights I have personally used, some for years, and held up well. There are plenty of other high-quality lights out there, and maybe someday, I will have the chance to review those as well. But until then, here is a list of 10 handgun-mounted weapon lights that have held up exceptionally well for me.

1. Streamlight TLR-1 HL

This light is at the top of my list because of its overall quality compared to brightness and price. An upgrade from the original TLR-1, the HL version produces 1,000 lumens of light, which is pretty good for a handgun-mounted light. Just like the original, it uses two CR123 batteries and does not need any tools to mount to a handgun. Available in black or FDE, it’s a heck of a deal for $300 (On sale now at Gunmagwarehouse for about $150). It’s one of the most popular lights on the market, and holsters are easy to find that fit it. If I wanted the overall best quality for the price, this is the light I would go with.

Streamlight TLR-1 HL light
Streamlight TLR-1 HL light is bright and built like a tank. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

2. Surefire X300

Another popular and durable light is the Surefire X300 series of lights. You can select from multiple versions of the X300, and they are all built like a tank. Often used by the military and law enforcement, the X300 is about as tough as it gets. I have the X300-T, which is the turbo model. Like the TLR-1, the X300 runs on two CRE-123 batteries with a 650-lumen output. This light is on the far side of large when it comes to handgun-mounted lights. It’s beefy, but people use it because they know they can trust it. You can pick up the X300 for about $370.

Wilson Combat Glock 19
Wilson Combat Glock 19 with RMR optic and SureFire X300 light [Photo credit: Gail Pepin]

3. Steiner TOR Fusion

This light comes with a laser but doesn’t take up any more room, which is a cool benefit. A lot of light/laser combos are shaped funny and are on the bulky side. The TOR Fusion, however, is just a little more compact than the TLR-1 but is still large enough to use on full-size handguns. Instead of a toggle switch, it has two paddle switches that are easy to press. The peak output is 500 lumens, and it is made of military-grade aluminum. Unlike the first two, the TOR Fusion only uses one CR123 battery. It’s tough, but it will set you back about $450.

Steiner TOR Fusion laser/light combo.
The TOR Fusion by Steiner is a laser/light combo for handguns. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

4. Streamlight TLR 1

I know this light has already been mentioned on the list. But I list the original as number four on the list because of its quality vs price. The biggest downside to this light is the peak output is only 300 lumens. Except for that, everything else is the same as the HL version, but it’s cheaper. After carrying this light for years on duty, I have seen it put to the test more than any other light. It’s durable, and there is no question you can trust it to work when needed.

The TLR-1 tac-light.
Streamlight TLR-1. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
The head of the TLR-1 is slightly smaller in diameter than the HL version, but not enough to notice. I use the same holster with each light without any issues. For someone wanting a rock-solid light for the cheapest price possible, this is a great option. The TLR-1 is available for $200.

5. Nightstick TCM-10

Like Streamlight and Surefire, Nightstick makes lights for law enforcement, so they have been tested in the field. It’s hard to find anyone harder on equipment than patrol guys, so if it holds up for them, it will do great as an EDC weapon light. The TCM-10 is a compact light that works best on guns with shorter barrels. I carry the TCM-10 on both my Glock 19 and Walther PDP compact.

Nightstick TCM-10 handgun light.
The TCM-10 compact light by Nightstick. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
It runs on one CR123 battery and has an impressive 650-lumen output. Unlike larger lights with two batteries, this light is front-loading. To change the battery, you simply unscrew the head of the light instead of taking the light off the gun. This light also has several programable modes, making it a great compact light. Retail is $210.

6. Streamlight TLR-7 X

The TLR-X is the same size as the Nightstick TCM-10, and it’s also a great quality light, as are all Streamlight products. These two are always hard for me to compare because they are so much alike. The reason I place this one in the sixth position is because the activation switches (paddles) are just a little harder to push than the ones on the TCM-10. It’s also 500 lumens instead of 650.

Streamlight TLR-7 X
Streamlight TLR-7 X. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
I know this is getting kind of picky, but it’s about the only thing I can find different. I have used this light on my Glock 10 and Glock 45 multiple times and love it. It’s also great on the CZ P-10 M and other compact weapons. Like most handgun-mounted lights, it has a momentary on and a dedicated on/off paddle switch. It’s front-loading and uses one CR123 battery as well. It retails for $240 (another sale item on our site at a measly $130)

7. Holosun P.ID

Holosun is not known for their lights, at least not yet. While they are known for their affordable, high-quality optics, the P.ID light is an affordable choice as well. At the cheapest price so far on the list, the P.ID (Positive Identification) is a 1,000-lumen light that runs on a 3.7-volt rechargeable battery. Wanting to stand out, Holosun made this light capable of recharging while it’s still on the gun. The magnetic charging cable is easy to use and comes in the box.

Holosun P.ID rechargeable light
Holosun P.ID rechargeable light for handguns. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Keeping up with industry standards, Holosun used 7075 aluminum that is anodized for durability. The light is about the same size as the TLR-1, so it works best on full-size handguns. It uses paddle switches and retails for a whopping $135.

8. Crimson Trace CMR-208 Rail Master

Crimson Trace has been making lasers and lights for a long time. They were known most for making grips with lasers built into them, but they make a decent handgun-mounted light as well. The CMR-208 Rail Master is a little smaller than the TLR-1. With 420 lumens on high and 110 on low, the CMR-208 runs on one CR123A battery. It’s listed as waterproof up to 1 meter and impact-resistant.

Crimson Trace CMR-208 weapon mounted light.
Crimson Trace CMR-208 weapon mounted light. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
I haven’t used this light on duty, but I’ve attached it to a few PCC guns during drills. For about a year, I had it installed on a home defense handgun. I charge it twice a year to make sure it has power, and I’ve never had any issues with it. It retails for $99, placing it on the lower end of the price scale.

9. Sig Foxtrot 1X

This light is another compact weapon light that’s about the same size as the TLR-7 and TCM-10 lights. I’ve used this light on several compact guns for CCW carry, and it’s held up great. My only complaint with this one is the activation paddles are hard to push when mounted on the gun. I had several times during training when the light did not come on. When I realized I needed to push harder on the switch, it worked fine, but it made accurate shots a little harder.

Sig Foxtrot 1X
Sig Foxtrot 1X light. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
The Foxtrot 1X has 450 lumens and uses ambidextrous side paddles like the other two compact lights mentioned above. It runs on one CR123 battery that loads into the front. One unique thing about this light is you do not need any Picatinny rail adaptors to fit it on different guns. It has an adjustable rail adaptor built-in, so the light will move front to back before you tighten the screw. It retails for $80 at most sites.

10. iProtec Elite HP 190

And last on our list is the iProtec Elite HP 190 light. This light was a gift from a friend, so I kept it to be nice. The first gun I mounted was a shotgun, and I was surprised by how well it held up. I took it hunting and then to the range several times for some training. Over the years, I’ve mounted it on a few different PCC weapons and a couple of handguns. Because it was free and a “cheaper” light, I wasn’t careful with it at all. To my surprise, it’s still running like new.

IProtex weapon mounted light.
The iProtex handgun light is cheap but has held up surprisingly well. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
It has a larger rail mount clamp, so you can tighten it by hand. A front-loading CR123 battery powers the 450-lumen light. It has a 1.5-hour run time for constant on and features a strobe setting as well. What makes this light different from the others is the power switch. Instead of using a toggle or paddle switch, it has a side-to-side sliding switch. This means it doesn’t have momentary on, but it’s simple enough to use. When you can find them, they retail for about $45.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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