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Thread: The necessity of a light on an EDC pistol

  1. #1
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    The necessity of a light on an EDC pistol

    Hello All,

    I recently picked up a Hellcat that is going to replace my Shield as my EDC gun (after learning in a class that I just can't shoot the Shield). There aren't a ton of light bearing holsters available for the Hellcat so I started thinking of going without a light/laser. When I'm at home I have other (lighted) options available to me so the Hellcat would really only be used when I'm away from home. And, truth be told, I don't go out much at night. So, I'm thinking that holster availability and comfort is more important than mounting a light.

    Any thoughts on the necessity of a light?

    Thanks,

    JRC

  2. #2
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    The general response is going to be you need the light.

    A weapon mounted light, or a handheld light, will usually front light a target enough that nite sights aren't really necessary. Plus a light gives you the advantage of positive target identification. (Does not mean nite sights aren't needed - they are IMO)

    Lights are a plus, but if the light is on a weapon that you left at home because of comfort, it does you no good. You have to be honest with yourself about what you are willing to carry. If you've been carrying the Shield with a light/laser, why wouldn't you do the same with the Hellcat?

    Not trying to be a dick, but knowing full well how this will sound - I'm a little concerned that you say the Hellcat is replacing the Shield as your EDC because you found out in a class you can't shoot the Shield.

    Were you EDC'ing without knowing your capabilities with the Shield?

    Have you actually shot the Hellcat?

    What exactly was your problem with the Shield?

    Could you give us a description of the class and the efforts made to square you away?

    I'm asking all this so you can be sure you aren't looking for a hardware solution to a software problem. There are pistols that aren't a pleasure to shoot, and that cause significant numbers of folks problems, but in my experience the Shield isn't one of them.

    AS far as holsters go, this guy might be worth a look: https://dalefrickeholsters.com/produ...ng-side-carry/
    Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President... - Theodore Roosevelt, Lincoln and Free Speech, Metropolitan Magazine, Volume 47, Number 6, May 1918.

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    Those are excellent points and you're right to bring them up. Let me try to redeem myself a bit. I put about 500 rounds through the Shield when I got it and it seemed fine at the range.

    I was at Ayoob's MAG 40 class when a Freedom Munitions reload (I have no problem calling them out after the way they treated me, but that's another story ) had a case head rupture and blew the extractor out of my P320. My backup gun was the Shield. Under the stress of the class I just found out that I couldn't get the level of accuracy out of the Shield that I wanted. And, the trigger is just crap. It just put more doubt in my mind than I'm comfortable with.

    Before I bought the HC, I shot the P365, P365XL, G43, and XDs and the HC felt the best to me.

    Furthermore to my post I should say that a flashlight is always part of my EDC gear.

    JRC

    Quote Originally Posted by 26 Inf View Post
    The general response is going to be you need the light.

    A weapon mounted light, or a handheld light, will usually front light a target enough that nite sights aren't really necessary. Plus a light gives you the advantage of positive target identification. (Does not mean nite sights aren't needed - they are IMO)

    Lights are a plus, but if the light is on a weapon that you left at home because of comfort, it does you no good. You have to be honest with yourself about what you are willing to carry. If you've been carrying the Shield with a light/laser, why wouldn't you do the same with the Hellcat?

    Not trying to be a dick, but knowing full well how this will sound - I'm a little concerned that you say the Hellcat is replacing the Shield as your EDC because you found out in a class you can't shoot the Shield.

    Were you EDC'ing without knowing your capabilities with the Shield?

    Have you actually shot the Hellcat?

    What exactly was your problem with the Shield?

    Could you give us a description of the class and the efforts made to square you away?

    I'm asking all this so you can be sure you aren't looking for a hardware solution to a software problem. There are pistols that aren't a pleasure to shoot, and that cause significant numbers of folks problems, but in my experience the Shield isn't one of them.

    AS far as holsters go, this guy might be worth a look: https://dalefrickeholsters.com/produ...ng-side-carry/

  4. #4
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    Have you trained in handheld flashlight techniques?

    I have lights on all my pistols now but I carried just fine for 15 years before WMLs became common.

    You decide on your own carry situation and more options = more better.

    I like that you found issues in training and then worked to correct them. I don't have the luxury of switching weapon systems on a whim so I would agree with others and say to try and always put more energy into the software than the hardware.

    Dennis.

  5. #5
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    You should 100% absolutely, positively have a hand-held light. Period. There's literally no excuse not to. They are excellent defensive tools. Unlike a gun or a knife, you can carry them onto an airplane and pretty much literally anywhere else on the planet. It also has plenty of uses outside of shooting at people or illuminating possible threats.

    I would also get a weapon mounted light.

    Last edited by MountainRaven; 03-18-20 at 00:56.
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    Itís not a vital part. Useful, yes. Needed? It doesnít hurt to have, but itís not as a carry pistol.

  7. #7
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    No questions from me; just my thoughts/opinions, if not for the OP, for anyone else.

    If you want to go with new hardware, there's always a person who's going to want to change to something else. Gun makers come out with something new/different every year. As seen on these forums, there will always be someone getting the latest brand & model out there; or if not, going from one brand & model to another brand & model. For the OP, for now, if you are going out at night, put a weapon light onto that P320, get a holster for the combo, and gear-up for your mission, which might be walking the dog around the block. I'll also mention consider going back to the S&W Shield as maybe it just needs a few more thousand rounds of practice through it &/or adjusting one's expectations for these smaller-than-a-P320 guns. The P320 was the main gun for that class before it broke.

    Weapon lights have been out for years now, but still don't have blanket approval for all LE agencies, even though you'd think all professional gun carriers would be using them by now. Also, there are handguns out there which won't have a light and holster made for them. The default is to stay proficient or get proficient with using a handheld light (old school stuff). In fact, my LE training was to also have a handheld light, either for backup lighting should the weapon light fail, or those times when drawing a firearm wasn't justified, but a flashlight was needed for whatever reason.

    For now, the decision was made to go with a new Springfield Hellcat. It's going to take some time to locate a mounted light and a holster to go with it (maybe an internet search will disclose five lights and five holsters, right now, but I don't think so). For others out there, do consider your total wants/needs at the entire system-level. If you want/need a pistol with a weapon light and a holster, Identify all three exist and are available before buying. Otherwise, you can be in for constant internet searches and purchases until all 3 items are put together. At this time, then more training begins to get used to how all 3 items and you work together. I'll say it in this paragraph, you may never find the perfect Hellcat/light/holster combination as the gun is new, but not as popular as something like a Glock, which is probably a standard in popular use.

    Being an old-guy, using a handheld light with a handgun is a semi-advanced stage of training and skill (not usually part of anybody's concealed carry qualification at the local level). What has changed for the good is that there are several great handheld lights now on the market. Nobody has to carry a 4-D-cell Maglite anymore, which weren't all that bright compared to most of the pocket clipped flashlights now on the market.

    At least, hopefully, on this forum, we're not going to get any or many of those posts from the old guys who'll never use a light with a handgun for fear of becoming a target in the dark. We're not talking about being a soldier walking around at night in sniper territory. We're not even talking about entering an unlit building to search for someone with no particular reason to believe he/she would have a firearm at all (but might/could). And don't even start with the fear of pointing a gun at a non-threat-famiily-member in a dark house; come on (back to the handheld light &/or training & trigger-control).
    Last edited by L-2; 03-18-20 at 00:43.

  8. #8
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    Here's an alternate question to build off what L-2 said;
    I don't know what 320 you've got, but since it's a known quantity that you shoot it well, have you considered simply getting a Compact grip frame for it?
    Seems like that might solve your holster/WML issues and needs, since the 320 is real popular right now.

    Not to sound like an ass, but do you have a specific need for one of the micro-compacts, or just because they're "the new hotness" right now?
    I mean... I'm a pretty skinny guy and with a cover shirt, I can CCW a M&P 9 Compact (both 1.0 and 2.0 models) just fine... Although to be honest, I do not mount a dedicated WML, just a handheld.

    As far as not liking the Shield and wanting to switch to a different gun... bro, I hear ya. Don't listen to these naysayers, if you hated it, you hated it. Move on.
    As long as you're ditching it for real reasons, not just perceived ones, there's no sense in pouring time, money and effort into trying to make something work for you, that doesn't, just because it works for most other people.
    Last edited by Jellybean; 03-18-20 at 12:21.
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    FWIW - I'm 5'6", currently 150lb, 30" waist, 38" chest. I carried a G19 AIWB for years, but recently switched to a P320 XCompact in a Raven Perun holster. Even on my small frame the holster with a Wilderness belt pulls the 320 tight enough that it's concealed under a decent untucked patterned button up. Today I'm at home with a dry-fit Columbia polo on and my wife didn't know I had been carrying the 320 all day. I do have a 365 that I carry AIWB in NPEs, office, etc. when I absolutely don't want to print. If I think I may have to actually use a pistol I'm carrying the 320.

    Regarding a light - I don't use a WML. They make the holsters bigger and I just haven't ever used one. I carry a Streamlight PROTAC in my left pocket.

  10. #10
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    I don’t currently CCW with a WML and while I have considered doing it, don’t feel overly compelled to do so. However I have gotten to the point where I consider a handheld light vital EDC equipment. I do have a WML on my HD pistol.

    I went from never carrying a light at all years ago, to carrying a cheap flashlight, to carrying a decent flashlight. So maybe the next evolutionary step for me will be to carry a handheld light and a pistol with a WML after all.

    I will say, you don’t have to buy the most expensive high speed light on the market but don’t buy and carry a shit one either. The POS I was using - some low priced Amazon special - at one point eventually became so unreliable that it wouldn’t even turn on unless I rapped it against my knee first.
    Just like with guns, holsters , mags etc... don’t cheap out on lights.

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