Do I Need A Light or Laser for Concealed Carry?

You are at the range and as you start to bring your target in, you are feeling pretty confident about where your shots hit.

But, as it comes into view you are hit with disappointment. Your shots are inconsistent and on target if you wanted to take off the silhouette’s arm. You think to yourself what am I doing wrong? Maybe you need a tool to help with your accuracy. What about a light or laser on your concealed carry weapon?

Like a lot of things in the world of guns and concealed carry this is another question you are going to hear various answers to. It is heavily debated and there is no real conclusion other than it is a personal preference. So, we are going to provide you with an array of information and opinions on the topic of whether you need a light or laser for concealed carry so you can make a decision based on what you take away from this article.

The simple answer is no, you do not NEED a light or laser for concealed carry. However, some people find them to be beneficial.

Let’s get into the specifics.

Do I need a light for concealed carry?

There are pros and cons to using a light on your concealed carry weapon and you will probably hear arguments from both sides. A weapon mounted light can be a useful but not a necessary tool if you find yourself frequently out more at night than during the day. You may also want to consider including a handheld light as a part of your EDC.

Many years ago, having a light on your concealed carry gun made it quite heavy and hard to conceal due to the size of the light. Nowadays, with new technology, weapon mounted lights are lightweight and there are many holsters that accommodate for them, including many of our holsters. Some of them are even integrated into the gun frame and have easier activation methods.

If you choose to carry a light with your concealed carry weapon you should train both the light turned on and off. This is because if the light goes out due to a dead battery or any other issue and you are not prepared to adjust accordingly it could be detrimental.

So, if you find that you are out at night frequently a light could be beneficial for you if you train properly. Amazon has many options for pistol gun lights of various sizes and strengths, check out some of them here if you are interested in purchasing a light.

Do I need a laser for concealed carry?

There have been studies on the benefits of lights and lasers for concealed carry and concealed carry in beginners. Just like lights, there are pros and cons to using lasers too. With regular training, a laser can be a beneficial tool.

Some people have found that using a laser can increase their initial accuracy and follow up shot accuracy. In a stressful situation, the laser can help you quickly aim at your target. But if you do not train and you are searching for the laser it can delay your reaction time.

Technology can fail and the battery on a laser can die or it may not turn on when you are expecting it to. The good news is you are able to still use your regular sights in the event that technology fails. Lasers are available in red or green and with technological advances are lightweight attachments or are integrated into your gun’s frame. Many of them even use instinctive activation for easy use.

If you find that a laser helps improve your accuracy it may be a beneficial purchase, just remember a laser should be a tool to help and supplement your aim, not replace the need to train with sights.. Amazon has many options for pistol lasers of various colors, check out some of them here if you are interested in purchasing a laser.

Pros and Cons of Red Dot Optics

Another option in the accessory category, similar to lights and lasers, is a red dot optic. Red dot optics are mounted to the top of your pistol. They use a series of mirrors and a red laser to allow the user to see a red dot on the target when they look through the sights.

Red dot optics can be beneficial for those with deteriorating eyesight and beginners, rather than looking through iron sights it’s easy to place the red dot on your target and shoot. Much research has shown that more inexperienced shooters had improved accuracy when using red dot optics.

But, using them can have it’s downfalls too. Just like with lights and lasers, technology can fail so getting suppressor height sights can allow you to still utilize the iron sights in the event technology malfunctions. Training is again very important with any light, laser, or optic so if you are going to use them make sure to take some time to practice with the optic as well.

Lastly, red dot optics are an investment they can be a bit pricey especially if your pistol isn’t optics ready. If it is not you will have to have your slide milled for the optics to sit into and secure with or purchase a different slide that fits your optic.

So, red dot optics are a great tool for shooters of all skill levels but make sure they are right for you before you make the investment. Amazon has many options for red dot optics, check out some of them here if you think red dot optics are just the thing for you.

What is best for me?

The light and laser debate is one that has gone on for many years and will probably continue even as technology advances. If you find yourself frequently out at night a light might be beneficial for you to aid in identifying and aiming for your target. Some people find lasers to be very beneficial in helping them improve accuracy. Others like the ease of a red dot optic especially if you have poor eyesight.

Just like with your firearm, any accessory you decide to utilize is something you should train with so that in the event you need to use your gun you are prepared and comfortable with your weapon.

Ultimately, it comes down to what you prefer and what meets your needs. We recommend visiting our Holsters by Gun Model page if you are looking for holsters that are custom made for your weapon of choice. For all of our belt and holster options and for more information to help you choose the carry system that works best for you, visit our Vedder Holsters website.

Looking for items beyond holsters and belts, check out our Resources Page for popular product links like lights, laser, first aid, maintenance, and more.