Not too long ago, I had a T&E sample arrive here at the Gunmart Blog Test Kitchen. What showed up in the box was one of the newest offerings from Crimson Trace. Capitalizing on the huge success of their recently introduced Lightguard, Crimson Trace is now expanding their product line to include a Lightguard designed to fit several other firearm models, including the 1911.
I actually had the chance to reviewed a Crimson Trace Lightguard back when they initially launched the product for the ubiquitous Glock. I was incredibly pleased with the product then and have been no less so with this new incarnation of the 1911 Lightguard.
As I noted back in my earlier write up, its absolutely astounding how far things have come with regards to weapon mounted lights and lasers. It wasn’t too long ago that the mere idea of mounting lights and lasers to a firearm was an almost inconceivable notion… Once people did start mounting weapons with lights and lasers it was almost comical. Duct taping a Maglite to your rifle was pretty much the best option you had available. Nowadays, the possibilities are pretty much endless.
What Crimson Trace has done with this new line of Lightguard products is to introduce something to the marketplace that I believe will be a real game changer. I strongly believe that the Crimson Trace Lightguard is going to do for handgun mounted lights what their innovative approach to lasers has done for handgun mounted lasers over the years.
The 1911 Lightguard is a darn near perfect light for close quarters work. It runs on one CR2 lithium battery and will put out 100 Lumens of light with a total run time of two hours. The 100 Lumens of light that it provides is more than enough to light up any area that would be considered realistic handgun distance. The beam of light that it puts out is a really nice mix of a strong focused beam in the center and a bright and well dispersed spill around the sides. Its does a great job of lighting up my entire suburban backyard, while at the same time provides enough focused light to stun a bad guy at short distances.
The activation button on this new model is something that is a bit of a deviation from the standard Crimson Trace style that we have seen in the past. The difference with this particular model lies in the fact that the placement of the activation button is more on a horizontal plane than a vertical one. This is done of course to allow you to couple this light with a set of their 1911 Lasergrips so that you can have the best of both worlds for your home defense or carry pistol. I was honestly a little hesitant the first time that I saw the placement of the button. I was a bit concerned as to how it would function compared to their traditional placement. To me it just looked like it was going to be awkward, but honestly its absolutely perfect. It might even perhaps be a better design than their standard activation button of the past. Thats of course all going to come down to personal preference and opinion, but I really like this design a lot.
Once again, when the rubber hits the road (or the fit hits the shan) the greatness of the Lightguard’s design is really all about its simplicity of operation. Its still a very simple and intuitive design. Just grasp the gun firmly and the light will activate. There are no switches to toggle, no dials to turn, no modes of operation to cycle through, nothing complicated at all. Just grip the gun firmly and you are gonna have a 100 Lumen light pointed right at your target. There’s not really any learning curve to it at all.
The other amazing aspect of this new design is its size. Its remarkable small and light weight. Weighing in at an inconsequential 1.2 oz on my postal scale (with the battery!), this thing doesn’t even feel like it is even on the gun. Overall length of the entire unit is approximately 3 1/4 inches, it is 1 1/2 inches in height and just about 3/4 of an inch in width. Thats absolutely amazing to me… and when you couple all of this with the fact that it contains a flashlight that puts out 100 Lumens of light, it really begins to boggle the mind.