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I'm considering a new flashlight from Surefire and can't decide between the E1L or an X300. Besides the price difference, what is the pros and cons of tactical lights?
 

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if you go with the mounted I know tlr-1 streamlight is a great light and HALF the cost of surefire.
 

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It depends largely on the situation. One thing to remember, a weapon mounted light beam points the bad guy right to you! So you don't want to leave it on, using it to provide light while your walking around. Use it as a burst to blind the perp, and/or to take the shot.



A flashlight can be held in your non-weapon hand, fully extended out to your side, putting you at a safer distance from the perps point of aim if he's targeting your light source.
 

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One thing to remember if you do buy a weapon mounted light....Make sure to get a holster that fits the gun with the light on it. At the last department I worked for a lot of the officers would carry their weapon light on a carrier on the belt and put it on when they thought they would need it, like on a building search, etc. What they obviously didn't think about is what if they needed to holster their handgun quickly, like while confronting a suspect they need to go hands on with?? You can't holster the weapon because you don't have a holster that fits with the light attached, and you can't call "time out" to take your light off of your weapon so you can holster it. It's not a good situation to be in.



If you are going to carry the light on the weapon, get the proper holster. Also, one other thing I have seen cops do ( this might not apply to you ) is take their gun out of the holster for the sole purpose of using the light. This is unprofessional AND dangerous. Have and use the right tool for the job.
 

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^^^ what he said don't use your weapon mounted light as a flashlight.



I use a TLR1 on my bump in the night home pistol but also train using a Surefire handheld or a Fenix.



You can find the little indestructible TLR1s for under $100 delivered, including batteries.



For my carbines I use a streamlight TL3 with a pressure switch on the VFG. Watch for closeout sales these were at botac for $29/light + $19/switch.
 

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As stated above the weapon mounted light has but one use. The handheld can be used in any situation and it will be used more often. If you are only getting one get the handheld. I think you'll find that you get much more use out of it in the long run.
 

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EMTCOP said:
If you are going to carry the light on the weapon, get the proper holster.


This is definitely true for a law enforcement officer, who is much more likely to travel up and down the "use of force continuum" during an encounter. It's good advice for armed citizens, too, but having a weapon mounted light is probably better than not having one, all else being equal. (having said that, I don't carry a weapon-mounted light in my CCW set-up because I don't have a holster that allows the light to be mounted)



Also, one other thing I have seen cops do ( this might not apply to you ) is take their gun out of the holster for the sole purpose of using the light. This is unprofessional AND dangerous. Have and use the right tool for the job.


Absolutely! Years ago I was running a class with some force-on-force (Sims) components. One of the scenarios involved an officer pulling over a drunk driver late at night. He was using a department-issued G17T and a M3 light. He gets the driver out of the car, pulls his pistol, and points it at the driver's face from about 5' away to see if the driver looked drunk. The driver (role player) dived for the dirt and started screaming "don't kill me! don't kill me!" and we immediately stopped the scenario to counsel the student.



It's also quite common to hear stories of officers who used a weapon-mounted gun to check the floorboards of a car, only to have a little accident and make a nice new .40-cal hole in the bottom of someone's automobile.



A combined gun/light is still a gun first and a light second. Ergo, always have a handheld light.
 
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