Should you install a laser or a light on your gun?
The short answer: it depends on the usage. For example, most novice shooters prefer flashlights to lasers because of their ease of use. On the other hand, people with aging eyes may prefer lasers because it is easier to hit the target.
Let’s break them out and see how they perform against each other.
Starting with… lasers!
- Extremely light
- Can focus on your target in a specific region
- Different colors (red and green) available for safety
- Does not illuminate or scare prey if you are hunting
- Does not illuminate a large area
- If you try to adjust it, it might shake its zero/stability
- The battery can die quickly depending on the usage and quality of the laser and battery
- You can become dependent on the laser for accuracy and lose the ability to shoot well without it
That’s a comprehensive list of the pros and cons of lasers. Let’s move on to flashlights and see what we’re working with.
- Bright beam for low light situations
- Greater diversity for the illuminated field of view, with the ability to expand and contract
- You might be able to adapt the shaft to account for weather/time of day/target distance
- Generally, more expensive than lasers
- Larger and heavier than a laser, which can lead to difficulties in finding suitable western holsters for your weapon
- Rechargeable batteries may fail or need to be replaced, resulting in an inability to supply the necessary power
Now that we’ve had a chance to look at the individual pros and cons of lasers and flashlights, how do we decide which one to buy?
If you’re using an AR-15 and have already decided to get yourself a flashlight, here’s a great guide to the best flashlights for AR-15s.
If you don’t have an AR, or even if you do and are still undecided, keep reading!
Which to choose: a laser or a flashlight?
If you are a novice shooter and price-conscious because of that, go for the laser. Not only will it be cheaper than the flashlight, but it will also give you good practice in aiming at your target.
If I’m being honest, I think it behooves most people to get both if they can.
In the same way that you might keep extra reloading supplies, a cleaning kit, or a 1911 shoulder holster repair kit on hand for unforeseen circumstances, buy both the flashlight and the laser and keep them. handy in case you need to use one or the other.
It is important to consider that a laser or flashlight may not be necessary for everyday use, such as if you are a concealed carrier. There is no doubt that you will find yourself in situations where they come in handy. And when these situations arise, one may be more advantageous than the other due to weather conditions, lighting conditions, shooting activity, target distance, etc.
Although they are both technically lighting devices, they are just too unique for me to say that one device is superior to the other. They both have individual integrity and flaws; it just depends on what you need them for. If you decide to get a flashlight and laser combo, make sure you have a case that supports them.