Qualifying a Tactical Gun Light

A tactical gun light is more or less a completely necessary redundant necessity for a rifle, shotgun, or handgun, assuming you use that platform in support of tactics or for home defense.

The ability to see in the darkness, even when other sources of light have failed you, is critical for identifying hostile targets, establishing PID while in the field, or clearing spaces in a building. It can not only save your life – it’s important to remember that what you can’t see can kill you.

But which tactical light should you choose for your rifle or handgun, with so many options available? These are some qualifiers that may be able to help you choose.

Durability: Waterproof, Shockproof, Internal Protection, and More
It’s hard to put these traits in order, but it’s absolutely essential to choose a tactical flashlight that is tough enough to roll with the punches, literally.

Weapon lights should be dustproof, shockproof, and physically and chemically resistant. A rifle or pistol weapon light with a coating like an anodized hard-coat is a bonus, too, as it will protect the finish, internals, and functionality of the light.

Waterproofing is another thing. It’s conceivable that you will drop a service light in a puddle at least once in its lifetime. It’s likely – almost certain – that you will need to use it in the rain. Waterproofing is hardly a suggestion, it’s a must.

Weapon lights like the REIN and OWL, available at Cloud Defensive, have entirely sealed internal circuitry, so even if water gets inside these lights, nothing happens.

Multiple Mounting Options
A weapon light that doesn’t work with your preferred platform (or that doesn’t work with mounts compatible with your platform) cannot help you. It will complicate your operations and that is dangerous.

A tactical gun light should either come with cross-functional mounts or have a light body style that is compatible with them.

That does not just mean Picatinny rail mounts for a long gun. Versatility is key, and many weapon lights are compatible with M-LOK, KeyMod mounts, and more. Some handgun light mounts are even adapted for mounting to trigger guards.

Intuitive Operability, Compatibility with a Remote Switch
Many weapon lights are detachable from their platforms and usable for general utility and EDC, in which case they’re typically operated by a switch on the tailcap or along the body of the light.

This is a useful feature. Another useful feature is compatibility with a remote pressure switch that enables you to activate or deactivate the light immediately using your support hand, without reaching or struggling to access the switch. Ambidextrous functionality is another important bonus.

Not Just Bright, but Focused
Many light manufacturers and light “enthusiasts” and hyper-occupied with the lumen rating of a WML.

Don’t take this the wrong way – lumen rating is important and does give an objective rating of how bright the light is at the emitter. But something like “800 lumens” does not paint the whole picture.

You should also look at candela rating, which refers to how well the light is focused. Therefore, a lower lumen rating light with a higher candela rating will still project a usable beam of light farther downrange for superior target acquisition. The best weapon lights offer a balance between the high lumen and candela ratings for peripheral illumination and sharper focus at greater distances downrange.

Field Serviceable
While a weapon light should be built tough, it should also be field serviceable. Parts like lenses do crack and need to be replaced, and you should be able to replace them on your own at home, given the right parts and proper tools.

Weapon lights like the REIN, available at Cloud Defensive, are fully at-home and field serviceable, the way a weapon light should be.

To learn more about Cloud Defensive’s tactical gun lights and their enhanced design features and functionality, visit CloudDefensive.com or contact them at [email protected]

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