Crimson Trace 1911 Lightguard
Last year, I had an opportunity to try out the Crimson Trace Lightguard at Gunsite in a variety of night exercises. At the time, the only handgun that the new Lightguard was available for was the Smith & Wesson M&P. While there, a few of us writer types asked when a Lightguard would be coming for 1911 handguns. The only answer we received from Crimson Trace representative Iain Harrison was a smile, which we took as it was coming; he just wasn’t sure when.
Then, a few months ago, Crimson Trace announced that the 1911 LIghtguard was coming and would be available soon. I got mine last week.
The Lightguard is a small but powerful gunlight designed to attach to the trigger guard of semi-auto handguns, resting just below the dust cover in a similar fashion of the Laserguard for compact handguns like the Ruger LCP. It attaches very easily to most 1911 pistols and is locked into place with the included wrench via three small screws, providing 130 lumens from its single CR2 Lithium battery for two hours of run time, according to Crimson Trace.
Shortly after receiving the Lightguard, I fastened it to my Kimber Ultra Carry and stuck the whole rig into a SpringTac holster, which I’ll discuss later. The instinctive activation of the light worked easily, in fact, maybe too easily. It was difficult to not activate the light during initial drills, as the button was just above the activator of my Lasergrips and simply holding the gun sent the light streaming. It took a little while to figure out the proper ready grip that didn’t activate the light prematurely. It wasn’t difficult, but it did take a little bit of thought.
Early testing in a dark range showed the light powerful enough to light up a target zone quite well, which isn’t surprising as I shined myself before attaching it to my gun and it produced spots in a bright room and completely blinded me when I tried it in a closet.
Now the Lightguard is really good for viewing, and I shot with pretty accuracy at 20 yards. However, I would like the beam to be a little tighter, and in side by side comparison with my SureFire 110 lumen Backup, the handheld light was noticeably brighter, but that might have been a factor of focus rather than lumens. The SureFire has a tighter beam for longer distances, while the Crimson Trace is wider for viewing more, kind of like field of view in a variable-powered scope.
Regardless, I really like the Lightguard. It’s small and lightweight, without the bulkiness of most gunlights, allowing it to fit in much smaller holsters, including the IWB holster I’ve been carrying it in. I will admit though, that I think I’m going to attach the Lightguard to my Colt as I can’t tuck my shirt around the SpringTac holster and I just really don’t like carrying open. I just don’t want people knowing I’m carrying a gun.