The worst-case scenario. A power outage and strange noise in your house after dark. You reach for your trusty Mossberg 500 and the flashlight sitting on the nightstand. You realize there is no good way to aim and fire a shotgun while holding a flashlight in seconds. Later, when you find your cat sitting peacefully with the remains of glass on the floor, you have time to wonder about the best tactical flashlight for your Mossberg 500.
Having both hands free to manipulate and fire your Mossberg 500 shotgun is critical in a stressful situation. A properly mounted flashlight can be a lifesaver in these situations. Unfortunately, most shotguns, including the Mossberg 500, don’t come with convenient Picatinny rails. A pump shotgun doesn’t offer good places to mount a standard weapons light. There must be a better answer.
Enter the Pump Shotgun Tactical Light
Flashlight manufacturers listen to gun owners and shooters. Consequently, most tactical light manufacturers now offer specialty lights for shotguns or adapters and mounts for use with pump shotguns. A survey of the lights for Mossberg 500 shotguns yields our list of what we consider the best tactical lights for the Mossberg 500 pump shotgun.
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Best Overall Mossberg 500 Tactical Light – Streamlight TL Racker
Streamlight looked at the options for mounting a Streamlight flashlight on a pump shotgun and came to a decision. Shotgun adapter mounts suffer from several flaws.
- Adding an adapter mount to a shotgun is almost always awkward. The mount must clamp to something, and the only two places to attach a clamp are the barrel and the magazine tube.
- Clamps tend to work loose and become a problem instead of a solution.
- Using a flashlight that is clamped to the barrel or the magazine tube is clumsy and inefficient.
Streamlight decided there had to be a better way. That better way turned out to be a flashlight integrated into a shotgun pump handle.
Putting the Light Where it Belongs
The Streamlight TL Tracker puts the flashlight on the shotgun where it belongs. Having the flashlight and its controls in the pump handle seems natural. Your forward hand is on the pump anyway. The light is directly beneath the muzzle, where most shooters prefer a firearm-mounted flashlight. In addition, you get all the features you expect from a Streamlight product.
- Powerful 1,000 lumen light
- Shock impervious LED light
- 283 beam distances
- Borofloat glass lens with O-ring and gasket seal
- Ambidextrous on/off switch pad
- Use two (2) Cr123 lithium batteries
- Easy installation
I am a fan of Streamlight’s and own several firearms-mounted models. The Streamlight TL Racker gets the place as the best overall tactical light for a Mossberg 500 pump shotgun.
- 1000 lumen LED light produces 20,000 candelas and reaches an amazing 283 feet. More than enough light for most close quarters engagements in your house or yard.
- Huge control pads on both sides of the TL Racker make using the light natural and intuitive. The control pads allow you to choose from always-on, momentary-on and strobe effects.
- The use of high-strength polymer and aircraft-grade aluminum ensures durability and long life
- The cost of the Streamlight TL Tracker is well within the range for most shooter’s budgets.
- The Streamlight TL Racker is not the sleekest and most elegant piece of kit you can fit onto your Mossberg 500. Overall, it is rather clunky and large. However, it does offer a firm grip and feels solid in hand.
- The TL Racker is a bit on the heavy side and may change the center of balance on your Mossberg 500. Adding weight out on the end of any long gun can change the way the gun points and handles.
For a home defense shotgun, the Streamlight TL Racker is a great option. The price is right, and you won’t find better features or quality in a cheaper flashlight. You will be hard-pressed to find more and better features in much more expensive lights.
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The Ultimate Mossberg 500 Tactical Light – Surefire DSF
Very few shooters will argue that Surefire flashlights are at the very top of the list in quality and performance. Look at the guns carried by professional law enforcement and military personnel. More than likely, you will find a Surefire flashlight. You can have this same quality and performance for your Mossberg 500 pump shotgun.
Surefire recognized the need for an integrated light and shotgun pump early in the weapons light game. The Surefire design is straightforward and functional. The controls are where they should be for both left and right-handed shooters. The Surefire DSF shotgun light provides all the great features found in other Surefire flashlights.
The Surefire Name – Reliability and Functionality
Surefire is known for the quality of the products that they manufacture and sell. The DSL shotgun light is no different. You will get everything that the Surefire name has come to represent. Ergonomic design and functional engineering give the Surefire DSL light the level of quality demanded by professionals. You can have the same level of confidence in your shotgun tactical light by installing a Surefire DSF pump handle tactical light.
- Dual output LED light generates 600 lumens on the high setting and 200 lumens on the low setting
- Designed for close-in and medium-range applications, the lens reflectors maximize the beam for these distances.
- Ambidextrous switches mounted for intuitive use
- Momentary-on, always-on, and output mode switches are large and easy to activate.
- A system disable switch on the bottom of the fore end keeps the light from accidentally activating during transport
- Mil-spec anodized aluminum construction
- Uses two CR123 batteries
Once you examine a Surefire light, you will understand why Surefire is generally the choice among law enforcement and military personnel. When the equipment you carry must perform without question, a Surefire light is an excellent option.
- 600 lumen high beam optimized for close quarters encounters make this light perfect for home defense
- 200 lumen low beam provides ample light for many operations and extends the battery life
- All aluminum construction is durable and tough
- Ambidextrous buttons allow right and lefthanded shooters the same convenience
- The biggest disadvantage of the Surefire DSF shotgun light is the cost. The Surefire light comes at more than twice the cost of our overall best light.
- The Surefire is a beast of a light and pump handle. Weighing in at more than 17.8 ounces, you will notice the difference in gun handling characteristics
There is a reason that Surefire is the choice among professional shooters. Surefire has built a reputation for durability, reliability, and service that is hard to ignore. Unfortunately, you must also pay for that sort of reputation and quality.
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Most Innovative Design for a Mossberg 500 Tactical Light – AXEON Optics ShotLight
AXEON offers an innovative solution to mounting a flashlight on a tactical shotgun like the Mossberg 500. Almost all pump shotguns have a threaded cap at the end of the magazine tube. The AXEON design replaces that threaded cap with a mounting system that makes the tactical light an extension of the magazine tube.
AXEON didn’t come with the original design for this type of Mossberg 500 tactical light mount. Those honors go to Steiner and the Steiner Mk7 shotgun light. However, Steiner has discontinued the Mk7 light. If you can find one used or from a discounter, they are good values.
AXEON took the design to heart. The AXEO Shotlight is certainly a unique concept for mounting a tactical light on your Mossberg 500 shotgun.
Concept Vs. Function – Features Tell the Tale
This is a great concept for mounting a tactical light on a Mossberg 500 pump shotgun. Feature-wise, AXEON seems to be in the game. As a new company, AXEON isn’t a well-known company. There isn’t much information from users or shooters about this light. However, the features that AXEON includes in their Shotlight shotgun flashlight are impressive.
- 120 lumen LED light system
- Uses one (1) CR123 battery
- Includes three different tube mount adapters for almost any shotgun model
- Single-button control for simplicity and ease of use
- Quick and easy mounting doesn’t require any tools
This is a simple light that will fulfill the needs of most home-defense shotgun situations. The simple mounting design eliminates clamps and clunky, heavy replacement pump handles. For most homeowners, this little shotgun tactical light from AXEON is a budget-conscious solution to mounting a light on your Mossberg 500 pump shotgun.
- The lightweight design is hardly noticeable when it is installed on your shotgun.
- The Shotlight kit includes adapters that mount the flashlight to almost any model of shotgun
- Rugged design and materials for durability and long life
- Uses one (1) XR123 battery
- The 120 lumens LED light is good for interior work but maybe lacking outdoors or in large spaces.
- The light only has one function, on or off. There is no momentary contact, nor can you mount a remote switch.
- Mounting the Shotlight flashlight on the end of an extended magazine tube may put the flashlight beyond the end of the muzzle. This position subject the flashlight to muzzle blast.
For most homeowners who keep a Mossberg 500 pump shotgun for home defense, the AXEON Shotlight may be a perfect answer to your tactical flashlight needs. This little flashlight is certainly budget-friendly, and the installation is quick and easy.
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The Best Traditional Tactical Light for Mossberg 500 Shotguns – Streamlight TLR RM2
If you prefer a more traditional style of tactical flashlight for your Mossberg 500 pump shotgun, our suggestion is the Streamlight TLR RM2 rail-mounted weapons light. I am a big fan of Streamlight products and have used the TLR flashlights for many years. These are tough, functional, and well-manufactured lights that will give years of service.
There are some downsides to mounting a traditional tactical light on a Mossberg 500 pump shotgun. Still, there are ways to surmount these obstacles. The advantages can outweigh these problems. With a traditional rail-mounted flashlight, you have the flexibility to use the light on more than one rifle or shotgun.
A Tradition of Quality and Performance
Streamlight has a reputation for quality and performance among shooters. If you want to pack a host of features into a kit that keeps your budget in mind, Streamlight almost always has a solution. For the price of the Streamlight TLR RM 2 rail mount weapons light, you can’t find a kit that offers you more options and better functionality.
- Pure white LED technology
- 1,000 lumen LED light that produces 10,000 candelas
- This light produces a beam usable out to 200 meters
- Optimal run time of 1.5 hours
- Powered by two (2) CR123 batteries
- Waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes
- Weighs only 4.55 ounces with the batteries installed
The Streamlight TLF RM 2 rail-mounted light system gives you huge amounts of light over a long distance with minimal weight. What more could you ask for in a tactical light? How about a kit that includes the light and a remote pressure switch with all the mounting hardware, retaining clips, and batteries?
- Complete kit with the remote switch, switch mounting equipment and cable
- Extremely lightweight. Once mounted won’t affect the balance of your Mossberg 500 pump shotgun
- Ambidextrous light mounted switch
- 1,000 lumen light is bright enough for functioning at night in almost any environment
- You must buy a separate mount to provide a length of Picatinny rail if your shotgun is not equipped. We suggest the Streamlight Mag Tube Rail TL. You can check it out at this link.
- A bit pricey, especially if you need a rail mount option.
You can’t do better than the Streamlight TLR RM2 tactical light for the purest who prefer to go the traditional route. You can put an exceptional weapons light on your Mossberg 500 pump shotgun paired with the Streamlight Mag Tube Rail Mount. It becomes a multipurpose light with the ability to dismount and mount this light on other rifles and shotguns.
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Don’t Get Caught in the Dark
Most encounters with intruders in your home occur after dark. Handling a shotgun and a flashlight simultaneously just doesn’t make good sense and can be dangerous. Mounting a tactical flashlight on your Mossberg 500 pump shotgun is one of the best accessory choices you can make. We hope that this article gives you an idea of how you can prevent yourself from getting caught unawares in the dark.