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6 Rail Mounted Lights for Micro-Compact Pistols

Weapon lights designed specifically for the immensely popular micro-compact pistol: Which one to choose? We rounded up 6 of the best options.

6 Rail Mounted Lights for Micro-Compact Pistols

*Not all lights are compatible with all micro-compact pistols.

Darkness presents significant hazards. It robs us of our primary sense, vision. As such, it creates an opportunity for our adversary to ambush us. Light can help us locate a potential threat, then confirm whether there is an actual threat. Shooting an innocent person holding a cell phone or not shooting a criminal pointing a gun at you are two dire yet plausible outcomes if you’re forced to make a split-second, life or death decision in the dark.

In policing, it’s well-understood that; (a) bad things happen in the dark and (b) darkness doesn’t necessarily equate to nighttime. Criminals prefer darkness because it conceals their activity, but Dayshift cops well know they could find themselves searching in a low-light structure, even at high noon. For at least 15 years, there’s been a light mounted on my duty pistol, and it has come in handy on numerous occasions. Having a light on your gun is the best way to ensure you’re never left searching, or worse yet, shooting in the dark.

If you carry a micro-compact pistol, finding the right weapon light can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are several quality lights now offered for this popular pistol category. Whether you’re looking for a light with a laser aiming device, one that’s stunningly bright, or one that’s easy on the wallet, there’s bound to be something here to meet your needs.

Surefire XSC – A, XSC – P365, XSC – Hellcat

Micro Compact Lights 01
(Photo courtesy of Surefire)

This duty-grade, micro-compact, concealed carry light is simple to operate, using the ambidextrous momentary-on/constant-on switch. Constructed of aerospace aluminum, with a Mil-Spec hard anodized finish, the XSC is built to withstand hard use. There are three versions of the XSC, one for each of the hottest micro-compact pistols on the planet, the Glock 43X/48 series, the Sig Sauer P365, and the Springfield Hellcat.

At just 1.7 oz., the XSC won’t weigh you down and since it’s less than 2 in. long, it won’t kill the minimalistic vibe your micro-compact pistol exudes. Powered by a rechargeable lithium polymer 3.7V battery, the XSC has a run time of 30 min. The XSC’s 350 lumen beam has a peak intensity of 2,000 candela and reaches 90 meters.

  • Output: 350 lumens
  • Weight: 1.7 oz.
  • Length: 1.94 in.
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable lithium polymer 3.7V
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • Construction: Aluminum
  • Activation: Ambidextrous momentary-on/constant on
  • Laser: None
  • Cost: $359

Surefire XC2 Weaponlight 

Micro Compact Lights 02
(Photo courtesy of Surefire)

Surefire’s XC2 incorporates a red laser with the bright, 300-lumen light. The light aids in threat identification, while the laser simplifies the aiming process for enhanced accuracy. Additionally, the laser allows you to aim while maximizing cover or when injury precludes you from raising the gun to your line of sight.

Slightly larger than the XSC, the XC2 is just under 2.5 in. long and weighs just over 2 oz. Constructed of the same aerospace aluminum, with the same Mil-Spec hard anodized finish, the XC2’s durability is not in question. Powered by a rechargeable AAA battery, the XC2 has a run time of 30 min. The light has a peak beam intensity of 820 candela and projects 54 meters.

  • Output: 300 lumens
  • Weight: 2.1 oz.
  • Length: 2.46 in.
  • Battery Type: AAA rechargeable
  • Run Time: 30 min.
  • Construction: Aluminum
  • Activation: Ambidextrous momentary-on/constant on; push-through
  • Laser: Red
  • Cost: $479

Streamlight TLR-7 sub

Micro Compact Lights 03
(Photo courtesy of Streamlight)

The TLR-7 sub is a feature rich light available in four versions for compatibility with the following pistols: Glock 43/48, Sig Sauer P365 XL, Springfield Armory Hellcat, and an array of micro-compact 1913 railed pistols. The rail clamp system allows for toolless mounting and unmounting and allows you to keep your hands safely behind the muzzle. Anodized aluminum construction ensures durability.

The TLR-7 is just over 2.5 in. long and weighs 2.4 oz. The light is activated by a dual rear switch. The CR123A battery produces an impressive 500 lumen output with a 140-meter beam and a run time of 1.5 hrs. A safe off feature prevents accidental activation which can preserve battery life.  The TLR-7 incudes a user-enabled strobe function, designed to disorient an adversary.

  • Output: 500 lumens
  • Weight: 2.4 oz
  • Length: 2.58 in.
  • Battery Type: CR123A
  • Run Time: 1.5 hours
  • Construction: Aluminum
  • Activation: Ambidextrous
  • Laser: None
  • Cost: $145

Viridian C5L

Micro Compact Lights 04
(Photo courtesy of Viridian)

Viridian Weapon Technologies is a pioneer in green laser technology. The rationale being that green is easier to see than red, since it’s closer to the middle of the visible color spectrum. The C5L’s green laser helps you aim, while the 100-lumen light enables you to see what you’re facing. There’s also a user-enabled 140-lumen strobe mode. Constructed of aluminum and polymer, the C5L is built for hard use.

The C5L is 2.5 in. long and weighs 2.28 oz. It’s CR2 battery powers the light for over 4 hrs. in constant-on mode, 7 hrs. in strobe mode, and 1 hr. when using light and laser. There activation buttons on either side of the unit. Additionally, when paired with a TacLoc holster, the C5L’s Instant-On technology enables you to activate the light and laser automatically when you draw your pistol. Viridian’s Radiance technology widens the light beam, enabling you to see more without wasting light above or below what you need to see.

  • Output: 100 lumens
  • Weight: 2.28 oz.
  • Length: 2.5 in.
  • Battery Type: CR2
  • Run Time: 4 hours
  • Construction: Aluminum, polymer  
  • Activation: Ambidextrous or INSTANT ON
  • Laser: Green
  • Cost: $349

Viridian CTL

Micro Compact Lights 05
(Photo courtesy of Viridian)

The CTL shares many of the features of the C5L, minus the laser. The dimensions are identical, and like the C5L, the CTL is equipped with Instant-On and Radiance technology. The 100-lumen light has a run time of 1 hr. on Constant-on mode. The user-enabled Strobe mode has an output of 140-lumens and an 80-min. run time. The CTL’s high strength thermo-molded polymer construction keeps costs down. At less than half the price of the C5L but with similar functionality, the CTL is a sensible alternative for those without the need for a laser.


  • Output: 100 lumens
  • Weight: 2.28 oz.
  • Length: 2.5 in.
  • Battery Type: CR2
  • Run Time: 1 hour
  • Construction: Polymer
  • Activation: Ambidextrous or INSTANT-ON
  • Laser: None
  • Cost: $129

Crimson Trace CNR-204 Rail Master Pro Universal Laser Sight & Tactical Light

Micro Compact Lights 06
(Photo courtesy of Crimson Trace)

In recent years, Crimson Trace, an innovator in laser aiming technology, has expanded their production to include a variety of lighting products. One of their latest in the CMR-204 Rail Master Pro Universal Green Laser Sight & Tactical Light. Designed to fit an array of pistols rifles, and shotguns with 1913 or Weaver rails with a minimum of 11/16” from recoil lug.  The CMR-204 is solidly built from aluminum and polymer.

The CMR-204 is only 1.5 in. long and weighs 4 oz. It ships with inserts to ensure compatibility with a wide array of firearms. It’s 100-lumen light is powered by a CR2 battery, providing a run time of 2 hrs. of continuous use. To preserve battery life, an Auto Shut-Off feature shuts the unit off after 5 min. of inactivity. The light and/or laser is activated by paddles located on either side of the unit. The green laser helps you rapidly acquire a sight picture. The unit features several modes, enabling you to utilize light, laser, or a combination the two.

  • Output: 100 lumens
  • Weight: 4 oz.
  • Length: 1.5 in.
  • Battery Type: CR2
  • Run Time: 2 hours
  • Construction: Aluminum, polymer
  • Activation: Ambidextrous, multi-function
  • Laser: Green
  • Cost: $439

Before you press the trigger in the real-world, you better know who you’re shooting at, and you better have confirmed they pose an imminent deadly threat. If it’s dark, you’ll need a light to determine that. Handled flashlights are great but the only way to guarantee you’ll have a light when you need it is to have one mounted on your gun. A weapon light provides piece of mind and makes you a force to be reckoned with, even in the dark.  

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