Many popular weapon lights have variations that feature a visible laser. Although these may look the same as the light-only models, they will not share the same holster. In the following article, we will go over why visible laser attachments do not fit our holsters as well as our general thoughts about using a visible laser on a handgun.
Pictured Above: TLR-8 (Top) TLR-7A (Bottom)
A majority of Kydex holsters, including ours, are molded for each specific weapon and light combination. Due to this, even slight variations in dimensions can cause fitment issues. One of the more common attachments we receive questions about is the Streamlight TLR-8. While it looks similar to the TLR-7/7A, the holsters are not cross-compatible. Note that when mentioning TLR-8s we are referring to all models of the TLR-8/TLR-8A.
Pictured Above: TLR-8 (Left) TLR-7A (Right)
Pictured Above: TLR-7A on a Glock 19 with a TLR-8 below
As seen above, the laser on the TLR-8 adds a considerable amount of bulk to the bottom of the attachment in order to house the laser. This causes the bottom of the attachment to drag on the holster while also pushing the slide into the sight channel which creates an excessive amount of friction. Since the dimensions are considerably different between the TLR-8 and TLR-7, the TLR-8 simply will not fit in our TLR-7 holsters.
Pictured below would be another common example: the X300 and X400 lights from SureFire. Much like the TLR-8, the X400 has a laser on the bottom of the light. This will cause the same fitment issues mentioned above.
Pictured Above: X400 (Left) X300 (Right)
Pictured Above: X300 on a Glock 17 with an X400 below
Why do you not support lights with visible lasers?
Most people who are advocating for or marketing visible lasers will claim that the laser gives you "faster target acquisition" or "increased accuracy". However, in our experience, the opposite is true. Visible lasers can often lead to slower acquisition, worse accuracy, and slower follow-up shots. This is usually due to the shooter attempting to find their laser on their respective target. This can also create bad habits such as weak grip, improper draw, and more.
In short, adequate training will yield better and more consistent results. Of course, there is always an exception for when a visible laser can be useful. They can be beneficial when zeroing units that also have IR lasers. One good example is the SureFire XVL2 which has the IR and visible laser slaved together. This means that the visible and IR lasers share the same zero; therefore, the unit can be zeroed in the daytime which is much easier than zeroing under night vision.
For more information regarding night vision shooting with pistols, you can check out the video linked below. If you have any further questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.