Buyers Guide: What is the Best Shotgun Flashlight?
Having a shotgun for your home or vehicle can be a great way to protect yourself, but what if you can’t see?
Without proper illumination, an attacker can take you by surprise. Not only that, but discharging your shotgun in the dark is dangerous, and will most likely lead to you missing your intended target. To prevent this, it’s vital to equip yourself not only with a weapon, but the best possible flashlight to accompany it.
What is a shotgun flashlight?
A shotgun flashlight is a subtype of tactical light intended to attach to a shotgun, boosting a user’s visibility. Just like a traditional tactical flashlight, a shotgun flashlight is an essential piece of equipment when a user intends to operate their firearm in any low-light environment.
No matter the situation, you shouldn't be handling your shotgun without a high-quality shotgun flashlight.
What situations call for a shotgun flashlight?
While any low-light scenario can benefit from the use of a flashlight, there are many situations where having a source of illumination is absolutely necessary. Three examples of these situations would be home defense, hunting, and law enforcement.
When homeowners are equipping themselves for self defense, they often put too much importance on having a firearm alone. The issue is, without proper lighting, a break-in can induce panic, and make it difficult to know what to do. When a situation arises where you’ll need to defend your home at night, you won’t have time to scramble and look for a flashlight or lightswitch.
The advantage of a tactical shotgun flashlight is that it’s already attached to your weapon, ready to light up the room at the press of a button. This light can also deter would be home invaders on it’s own, letting them know you are not only awake, but prepared to defend your property.
While it’s best to stay hidden when hunting some prey, the low light of early morning can make it difficult to track an animal you have already wounded. With a shotgun flashlight, you can more easily see a blood trail, and begin to track down your kill before it escapes.
A shotgun flashlight is also helpful in bear hunting, where it’s less about hiding from your prey, and more about intimidation.
Law enforcement officers constantly have to deal with low-light environments, and that lack of visibility can lead to deadly mistakes. With the assistance of a good shotgun or police flashlight, officers can more easily identify targets, so they know exactly who they are looking at before discharging their weapon.
They can also more easily see signs that an assailant may be nearby, like a broken widow or busted-out fence. A shotgun flashlight doesn’t only assist with identification, it can also serve to help incapacitate would-be attackers. Powerful, high-lumen flashlights can blind potential assailants, helping ensure the officer’s safety while non-lethally subduing criminals.
What features should you look for in a shotgun flashlight?
There are several features every shotgun flashlight needs, and several characteristics to look for when comparing different brands and models. For features, you’ll want to make sure the flashlight can handle multiple discharges from a shotgun, and remain functioning. You’ll also want to ensure the connection between the light and shotgun is strong, so it does not fall off.
For characteristics, you’ll want to look at the same components you would for any flashlight purchase: luminosity, maximum beam range, and durability. These are especially important when purchasing a flashlight for a shotgun, because the higher-quality the light, the safer you will be.
What is the best shotgun flashlight?
There are a variety of brands and models to choose from when selecting a shotgun flashlight, and each carry a different set of features and characteristics. We’ve taken a couple of these brands below, and compared their luminosity, beam range, and durability. Each of these lights attach easily to the side of a shotgun, and are rated to withstand the weapon’s strong recoil.
The Orion H40-W Tactical Flashlight has the ability to produce a moderate 500 lumens, with which it can cast it’s beam to distances up to 160 meters. The flashlight is decently durable, and made of high-grade aluminum.
It is compatible with most models of shotguns, and attaches easily to Picatinny and Weaver rails. It also has no trouble staying lit after multiple weapon discharges.
The best feature of the UTG Defender tactical shotgun flashlight is it’s adjustable control; You can turn the cap in a 180 degree range, and hold the beam there once you’ve set your angle.
The issue comes when talking about the light’s luminosity and beam distance. With a low lumen output of 126, this light struggles to reach 25 meters. It’s wider beam setting is meant more to efficiently light up a room, but it falls short when trying to identify targets at a longer distance.
Olight Baldr Mini
The Olight Baldr Mini is a good mid-range tactical flashlight, with a built in green laser sight and a powerful magnetic battery. It’s made of machined aluminum, which sacrifices some durability for a more economical weight and density.
The Olight Baldr Mini is capable of outputting 600 lumens, making it very powerful for its size. With its luminosity output the Baldr Mini can cast it’s beam for distances of up to 130 meters, making it an efficient choice for a tactical shotgun flashlight.
The Inforce APLc has a sleek design, and is made of a highly durable glass-reinforced polymer. Unfortunately, this futuristic looking hardware suffers when it comes to lumen output and beam range.
The Inforce APLc only has an output of around 200 lumens, making it the second least luminous on this list (beaten only by the UTG Defender). This low luminosity has a significant effect on it's beam range, and the light has been described as having a “Short to medium range.” Though the exact range is difficult to find, demonstrations show the late fading quickly after 25 yards or so.
With the highest lumen output and greatest beam distance on this list, the best shotgun flashlight is the Imalent UT10. The Imalent UT10’s powerful LED lights are capable of outputting a whopping 1160 lumens, making for an incredibly bright light that will not only illuminate any dark space, but blind assailants well before they have the opportunity to attack.
The UT10 has a range of 213 meters, which is farther than the length of two football fields back-to-back. The Imalent UT10 is also very durable, and can withstand not only the recoil of a shotgun, but drops of up to 1 meter. It is also IPX4 rated, meaning it is waterproof and capable of resisting strong waves when operating on the water.
For high-quality shotgun flashlights like the UT10, the only manufacturer to choose is Imalent. At Imalent, we specialize in high-lumen LED lights capable of casting their beams hundreds of meters. This dedication to high luminosity is how we were able to create the world’s brightest flashlight, the Imalent MS18.
Whether you are looking for the world’s brightest flashlight, or one to ensure your safety, Imalent is the brand for you. Our line of tactical flashlights are perfect for your shotgun or pistol, and can make sure any low-light situation you find yourself in ends in your favor.
Don’t make the mistake of choosing the wrong shotgun flashlight. Invest in your safety, and buy an Imalent flashlight today!