There are those out there who don’t think you should have a light on a gun. The idea is that the light will be the first thing a bad guy shoots at. Better to hold the light out to the side, and present a false target. The rest of us, and I mean most of us, actually appreciate the convenience of having a light on a gun. It allows you to hold the weapon with two hands, or keep one hand on the gun and one free for other tasks, like dialing 911, etc.
Yet the revolver has been a bit of a conundrum. How do you get a light on a gun without a rail? The old-fashioned wheel gun is overdue for an update. Some, like Chiappa’s Rhino, put rails on the gun. Tradition be damned! And Smith & Wesson make some nice compact revolvers with lasers from Crimson trace. And now, for the rest of us, Hyskore has built a compact revolver grip with a built in light. If you have a J frame Smith that you want to make more versatile, the Compact Revolver Grip Light might be the right choice.
Simply put, it is an over-sized J frame grip with a light that sticks up on a neck of sorts. The light rides just above the cylinder. The button for the light is below the trigger guard, on the grip, and is actuated by your middle finger. A solid grip lights the light, though it is easy enough to rock it on and off. If you want light, press the button with your finger. If not, shift off of the button.
The grip is larger than the typical J frame grip. I was at the range with this gun last week, and a friend took a look at this whole contraption and said something to the effect of “you just took something that was obsolete and made it almost useless.” I don’t think he gets it. If the belly gun is obsolete, or not, is a topic for another discussion. I tend to think anything that puts lead on a target has a distinct relevance. But I get what he meant. The grip is larger. And the light protrudes a bit. The entire design philosophy of the 5 shot revolver is based on how easily it is concealed. So adding length to the grip and width to the frame seems counter intuitive–or that’s that he was getting at.
I see it differently. I like the versatility of the revolver for home defense. When your significant other isn’t wont to train, or even understand the mechanisms that make pistols work (or not work), a revolver is easy to understand and easier to use. One of these in a bed-side safe, with a light, would be very useful for a wide variety of skill sets. It is, to borrow from the world of photography, point and shoot.
And as you can see from these photos, the light is a wide, diffuse flood. It spreads out enough to illuminate a wide target area. While this means you won’t be able to use the light as an aiming device, like you mike with a more narrow beam on a shotgun, it is useful enough–and ideal inside a house. And the gun will still fit in almost all J frame holsters, too, so it can be carried.
There were two things about the grip that weren’t perfect. I’m having to get picky here, though. The frame of the grip is aluminum, and it has a rubber over-mold that provides the grip. There were small places where the rubber didn’t meat exactly. While it didn’t impede grip, or function, it could be easily addressed.
The other has more to do with unloading. The extra girth of the grip, on this Smith at least, kept the empties from being ejected smoothly. The rounds closest to the frame would hang, ever so slightly, on the grip as they were plunged free. Again, it is unlikely that this will ever seriously get in the way of a speed reload, and the brass could be knocked free easily enough, but a slight reduction in girth at that one spot would free up everything.
The Grip Light can be purchased through the NRA Store (with the NRA logo), The Sportsman’s Guide, and Cylinder and Slide Shop. MSRP is $129.99. If you haven’t checked out Hyskore, you should. They make a lot more than grip with shiny lights. Their rifle rests are pretty intense.