In a related article I covered some of the challenges with carrying pistol-mounted reflex sights by focusing on holster options – particularly when also using a mounted flashlight.  In this article I will focus on the flashlight itself.

I’ll start by pointing out that flashlights for personal protection are extremely effective and valuable.  If your personal preference is to carry a pistol and a separate flashlight, that is perfectly fine.  If you don’t like the extra weight of a mounted light on your pistol, if you don’t want to spend the money on a custom holster, or if your weapon doesn’t have a rail, you really don’t have a choice but to carry a separate light.  But for those who can, there are some great options available.  For those who have not used a pistol-mounted reflex sight, or who are still getting used to them (i.e. quickly finding the dot and getting it on target) – there are serious benefits to using a concentrated flashlight beam to acquire your target quickly.  Of course, at longer distances the light becomes less effective so you don’t want to be too reliant on it.

To compliment my reflex sight, my go-to light is the Streamlight TLR-1 HL.  Here is why:


There are great options by various brands ranging from $100 to over $800 for models that combine lights and lasers, while others offering only lights max out around $300.  If you’re using a reflex sight, a laser is unnecessary and will be a pretty useless option, so don’t waste your money on it.  If you know how to shoot, a quality flashlight is much quicker and more effective for acquiring your target.

When looking at the ideal combination of cost, lumens, and quality, I gravitated to the Streamlight TLR-1 HL (high lumen) for my Sig P320 RX (Compact).

There are great options from other brands from $100 up to $300, but at $130 for 800 lumens and brand quality the TLR-1 HL gets my vote for best overall value.