Holosun P.ID: A Worthy Light for Self Defense

— Jason MosherCADRE Dispatch

If you do any low-light training, you don’t realize how important a weapon-mounted light is until you use one for a while. As an old firearms instructor used to say, “You can’t shoot the target if you can’t see it.”

Holosun makes some great optics for rifles and handguns, and a couple of years ago they broke into the world of weapon-mounted lights. I’ve run the Holosun P.ID on several handguns and sub-guns, and so far I like it.

Today, we are looking at what the Holosun P.ID (Personal Identification) weapon-mounted light has to offer in the growing field of tactical lights.

Holosun PID weapon mounted light
The Holosun P.ID uses a convenient rechargeable battery. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

I have been using the P.ID White Flashlight, but Holosun offers multiple configurations of this light. These options include higher lumens, laser pointer, laser pointer with IR, and more.

Available Holosun P.ID models include:

  • P.ID
  • P.ID HC
  • P.ID Plus
  • P.ID Dual

About the P.ID weapon-mounted light

The first thing I noticed about the P.ID is the Hi-Low power mode which many handgun lights do not have. You can program the light to turn on in either high or low mode, which we will cover shortly.

Holosun used an 18350 rechargeable battery for the P.ID, which is an easy battery to find replacements for, should the need arise. A magnetic power port is located on the bottom of the light so you can charge it while mounted to the gun.

Since it’s a rechargeable battery, you will not have to take the light off the gun to change batteries. You can remove the battery for inspection or replacement, but it will charge while in the light.

Made of 7075-T6 aluminum, the body of the light is made of the same materials as high-quality AR-15 upper and lower receivers.

Holosun P.ID weapon mounted light
Changing the adaptor plate is a quick process that requires taking the clamp screw out. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

To mount the light to your gun, you need to use one of three adaptors, depending on the handgun. Holosun provides three adapter plates with the light and instructions on how to use them. These adaptor plates only work on standard 1913 rails. They are not hard to switch out. Simply take off the clamp screw, and once the clamp screw and clamp are off you can lift the adaptor out of the light and insert the desired one.

Most handguns only have one slot in the rail for the light to connect to. The adaptor plate ensures the light will rest against the trigger guard once the adaptor fits into the slot on the gun’s rail. Most handgun rails will work with one of the three adaptors.    

Programming the P.ID

You can program the light to use high or low mode when activated. To do this, press and hold both switches at the same time. When this is done, the light will change from high to low or vice versa. Having the light programmed to turn on to the low setting will extend the life of the battery.

Holosun P.ID weapon mounted light
The Holosun P.ID weapon-mounted light is a durable light that works great on mid to full-size handguns. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

If you continue holding down on the buttons, the light will cycle through each power mode every second. This allows you to see both settings and determine which one you like. Some like to use the low-setting for extending battery life and others want the light to be as bright as possible when they use it. This gives each person the ability to set it up how they wish.

The activation switches are located on each side of the light, so you can work the light from either side. If you press either switch momentarily, the light will turn on while pressed and turn back off when released. Push either switch quickly and let go and the light will stay on until pressed again.   

Why is a weapon-mounted light important?  

There are times when you just need light and there’s nothing else to be said about it. But when you are searching an area for a threat (intruder, attacker, etc.) it may not be a good idea to keep a light on. It can give the bad guys an advantage because they can see right where you are. This is why most weapon-mounted lights have momentary on/off switches.

Grand Power Q1 and Holosun P.ID light.
Shooting the Grand Power Q1 with a Holosun P.ID light. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

The idea is to light up enough area to quickly see what’s in front of you and then turn the light back off. As you move throughout a room, home, or building, turn it on and off as you go. This also helps keep your eyes adjusted to the dark, so you do not develop momentary night blindness.

Running drills with the Holosun P.ID

It’s fun to run drills on the range, and low-light drills are no exception to that, although it can be harder for some to find a place to shoot in low light. There isn’t a rule written in stone that says you must use a weapon-mounted light in a certain way. Having said that, I will cover one of the drills I like to run when using a light.

For the drill, I set up (one or multiple targets) in low light where I cannot see them without a light. When I’m ready to fire, I activate my light, acquire the target, fire, and turn the light back off. A timer lets me know how long it takes to do this while keeping my shots in the body area of the target.

Holosun P.ID weapon mounted light beam aimed at target in the dark
The P.ID light has a high and low setting along with a rechargeable battery. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

This can be a fun drill to run, and it helps you learn to operate the light and shoot at the same time.

If you want to practice this drill, run through it a few times and record your average time so you have a reference point. After that work on increasing your time. Don’t go so fast that you miss the importance of the drill. The old saying “smooth is fast and fast is smooth” applies here. Practice the motion and then when you’re ready, pick up the speed.

I ran some other drills with the P.ID mounted to my Glock 49, as well. Also, a shout out to AmmunitionToGo.com for providing some Sellier & Bellot 115gr 9mm ammo for the review.

I placed one target at 12 yards and started with my gun in the holster. Next, I then drew, turned on the light, and fired before reupholstering. I like to run through the same drill from multiple positions until I’m comfortable with the light.

A worthy light for self-defense?

I wouldn’t have any hesitation in using this light for self-defense purposes. On duty, I use the Streamlight TLR-1, so the difference in activation switches takes some getting used to. But once you are familiar with the P.ID, it functions great on the range. I also like that it’s rechargeable, but you can keep an extra battery to swap out in the field.

Overall, I fired more than 200 rounds during my low-light drill and didn’t have any issues with the Holosun. I used my Safariland 6354 RDSO tactical holster on the range. It was made to fit a Streamlight TLR-1 and larger optic (Aimpoint ACRO) but fits perfectly with the Holosun P.ID as well.

If you need a weapon-mounted light for your handgun, check out the Holosun P.ID and see what you think. Holosun offers a limited lifetime warranty and has a reputation for making quality products at a reasonable price.  

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