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Do You Need a Light or Laser?

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

Welcome to our first blog post. We don't want to bore you details about something you care nothing about, but custom holsters for firearms equipped with lights or lasers is exciting! Why is it exciting, you ask? Let's start with the facts. There are 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of dark, everyday (this is an estimate). So, the odds of you needing to use your firearm in either is 50/50, right? It is extremely critical to identify your target before firing your weapon, so lights are very handy. Some are bulky, heavy, very bright, and many times hard to conceal. I'll refrain from naming manufacturers of these bulky lights. Don't get me wrong, they make awesome lights and we make holsters that fit them as well, but I want to talk about something more concealable and serves the purpose.

Viridian® Weapon Technologies makes some awesome small, bright, lightweight and easy to conceal flashlights for many concealed carry guns. I happen to own the Viridian® Reactor TL (Tactical Light) Gen. 2. This light has three modes, 1) Off, 2) Constant On, 3) Flash/Burst. The Reactor TL has an On/Off button on the left side only, which makes it slightly less usable for right handed shooters and forces you to use your off hand to control the light. This usually isn't an issue, but in defensive situations, you may not always be able to take a proper shooting position or use two hands. The cool thing about their lights and lasers (Reactor Series) is that they can be controlled by a magnetic switch. This gives holster makers the ability to integrate magnets into their holsters and completes the equation for what Viridian® calls Instant-On technology. You can cycle through the modes and decide which mode you want when you draw your weapon. This means, if you put the light in Constant On mode, and holster your weapon, when you draw, the light/laser will turn on to the Constant On mode. This is true of all three modes, so no right hand on/off switch is "ok." The light is advertised as 150 lumen, which isn't that bright compared to many super bright lights on the market, but it works and can be disorienting in close range. It illuminates whatever you're pointing at downrange. The good thing is you shouldn't have to fire in the dark, not knowing what your target is or what lies beyond in the dark.

I also own and the R5 ECR Green Laser. Either will fit in a holster designed for one or the other, so if you have the Reactor Tactical Light today and get the R5 ECR Laser down the road, the holster will fit the laser without any modifications, and the Instant-On feature will work (both left-hand and right-hand holsters). Unfortunately, Viridian® doesn't make a combo unit this small (for micro guns), so you get one or the other in the Reactor Series. The good thing about the laser, is that many times a threat can be eliminated without having to fire a shot. Who likes to have a laser pointed at the their chest. I think we all know what that means, thanks to Hollywood. My preference is still the Tactical Light because it helps protect me from making the wrong decision by, wait for it, shedding light on the "subject."

Technical Spec and Overall Rating:

Weapon Light Lumens: 150 (bright enough to illuminate your target and disorient them if close)

Size: Depends on the gun model. Same width as gun, does not extend past muzzle.

Weight: LCP II RTL (model tested) weighs 0.8 ounces

Stars: 4 out of 5 Stars (I wish it was both a light and laser in the compact package)

Exarchy Holster Co. GUN+ONE Tuck IWB Ruger LCP II with Viridian R5 ECR and RTL
Exarchy Holster Co. GUN+ONE Tuck IWB shown here.

Post Written by: Brian Ewald, Founder, Exarchy Holster Co.

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