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rbrgs
December 23, 2007, 05:56 PM
I know that lots of new handguns come with light rails, and there are about 100 different ways to mount a flashlight to an AR-15, but I just won't do it. To me, pointing a gun at something and then turning on the light to see what it is violates too many safety rules. What do you think?

hogdogs
December 23, 2007, 06:05 PM
I am in a different boat... Until recently I would have just as soon shot it out in the dark inside my home... Outside in public I see no need for a light as I have no risk of shooting my own. I am considering a pressure switch activated light for my 500 mossberg once i have a an auto loader for hunting. Until I can set aside the pump I would have to put on and remove the light each time it went from HD to hunting gun.
Brent

bigghoss
December 23, 2007, 06:22 PM
well I've cleared buildings in the dark without a light on my weapon and it sucks. the light drawing enemy fire isn't as big a problem as some people think because you use the momentary switch and only turn it on when you need it, you don't just turn it on and walk around with it on the whole time. my TLR-1 is bright enough to blind someone. I've also seen them used when you know a suspect is hiding somewhere to blind them while they come out and keep them from attacking you and forcing you to shoot.

it would be good to use it in conjunction with a handheld light and only use the weapon light when you are fairly certain someone is hiding somewhere and you need the gun ready

EJJR
December 23, 2007, 06:23 PM
Developing situational awareness and threat assessment skills aside, I feel there are def. situations where it is prudent to see what, or more importantly,who one may be forced to fire upon, before firing; even if family/bystanders are not a concern.

I can see how it could be a double edged sword though, depending on the actual light solution (ex. Is one printing as a target themselves or blinding a potential BG?), environment, etc...

rbrgs
December 23, 2007, 07:14 PM
I do use a light in the dark, I just won't put it on my gun. My flashlight technique (which I actually practice at our club's biannual night shoot) involves a full size mag light on my offside shoulder. I don't clear buildings; if you have to, I'm not gonna say anything about that.
I just don't feel right about pointing the gun first, then turning on the light to see what it is.

PPGMD
December 23, 2007, 07:30 PM
It's best to be able to use both an off hand flashlight, and an on gun flashlight. An on gun flashlight is particularly helpful when the lead starts flying, you can fire faster, and more accurately with a gun on the light rail, then you can without.

But an offhand flashlight is better for searching.On long guns you can't use an off hand flashlight, you need it attached to the gun for all situations. For concealed carry lights on rails aren't practical though, due to the lack of holsters to accommodate different gun and light combinations. I carry a Surefire 6PL in a pocket when CCWing.

Also a target is still a threat until after you identify them as not being one. Most schools will teach you to keep your gun on target but your finger off the trigger while communicating and identifying possible intruders.

The four rules are great for the range and IPSC, but the rules are applied slightly differently when in a SD/HD situation.

Anyways I suggest you take the Surefire Low Light Operator class, it will change your opinion on how to use your flashlight in a combat environment.

Tanzer
December 23, 2007, 08:20 PM
I think that a tactical unit, with the duty of clearing a building or similar unit and going in as a team is trained enough to know when to use/not use a tactical light, so I leave that to their discretion. I personally do not think it would be of any advantage to me. I know my home better than anyone breaking into it, so I consider the darkness to be to my advantage. In my normal outside routine, I'll trust that my eyes are as adjusted to the darkness as any adversary, and since a tach light won't sit in a holster well, I wouldn't use it even if my 1911 did accomodate it. Heck, I don't even have night sights. I simply don't see myself in a situation that would require them. I don't see myself in a warehouse hiding behind a pillar, aiming at a BG who's hiding behind a 55 gallon drum. I can point shoot fairly well. I do however carry a small but effective flashlight.

hogdogs
December 23, 2007, 08:30 PM
Let me say that for CC handgun situation out in public I see no need for a light. If i am attacked it will be at a firing range so close I will be at point and shoot rules. Not full sights no need to illuminate the target. In the HD situation I think I would like "one last chance" to verify my target as a BG not a groggy teenage child of mine that forgot or did not deem fit to reply when daddy goes in search of "FRIEND OR FOE". I can choose to shoot a shadow without a light so long it is obvious that it is not anywhere near the structural construction of anyone in my family. It is the possibility that the shadow may be near the same height and weight of my kids that would make me want to poke them with a light before covering the trigger. In my "search" of my home I opt not to use any light as not to draw my opponents attention prematurely. I try to decide when and where to engage my adversaries in life.
Brent

James K
December 23, 2007, 09:28 PM
Well, I was trained to use a light in the off hand, holding it in front, as well as up and away from me, on the theory that if a BG shot at the light, he might not hit me. Now, it seems that not only do people want to put lights on their guns, they want to hold the gun directly in front of their faces. If I am a BG, hiding in a big area like a warehouse, and feel I have nothing to lose, I will shoot at the light and the cop behind it will be in bad shape, as in dead. And please, I have used very bright lights in dark areas, and there is no such thing as a gun-mounted light so bright it will blind everyone anywhere in a big open area. Anyone who thinks otherwise just hasn't tried it. And anyone who thinks he can turn on a light and immediately spotlight the BG is out to lunch. He may be in front of you, or off to the side, or on a balcony, or behind a counter, or anywhere in the place; the chance of lighting him up first try is about nil.

In fact, my instructors pointed out that if possible to do so, it is best to simply turn on the regular lights. Your eyes might take a second to adjust, but so will the other guy's and with the area lit up you are on even terms. (You don't just switch on the lights and stay by the switch - you move as soon as you hit the switch.)

Jim

PPGMD
December 23, 2007, 09:42 PM
The Felonious Encounters study found that having a light wasn't a liability, only in one case did the attacker fire at the light. The FBI method though sound is doesn't give you that much of an advantage over other methods when the light is used properly.

You are seriously under estimating the power of the small tactical light. The lithium powered lights are much more powerful then people give them credit for. You turn the light on identify, shoot and move.

kgpcr
December 23, 2007, 09:50 PM
I just dont need one. For my house my 12ga and 00buck need no light as i have night lights on

R1145
December 23, 2007, 10:17 PM
...handguns, maybe...

In a low-light encounter, having a light on a long gun is an advantage. You're not using the light to search (Rule 2 in effect), just activating it briefly to illuminate a target (Rule 4).

I've never carried a handgun with a mounted light (our K-9 officers do, because their other hand holds the dog, right?), but I think a separate light would be more versatile.

Instead of a mounted tactical light, what about a prosthetic third arm to hold the light and still leave a hand free...?

woodland
December 23, 2007, 11:27 PM
Hmmm. I have yet to see a techinique for using a long gun while holding a flashlight in one hand.

Playboypenguin
December 23, 2007, 11:35 PM
I find a firearm mounted light to be a big tactical disadvantage...especially when misused and left on full time in a low light situation.

Not only does the light immediatly give away your position to an unseen assailant, it also lets them know which direction you are facing.

Reaperatm
December 23, 2007, 11:48 PM
You wanna know what the easy solution to pointing a gun at somebody with a light attached and not worry about accidently shooting them....KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU WISH TO FIRE YOUR WEAPON...case settled:p

Thunderhawk88
December 24, 2007, 01:57 AM
I see no need for a light to be mounted on one of my handguns. I like the balance of my guns as they are, so IF I need a light, it'll be in my other hand.

Caeser23
December 24, 2007, 08:34 AM
90 lumens from my m3 is plenty of light to identify a threat in my home w/o pointing the gun directly at a burgler, those of you that think you have to aim the flashlight directly at the shadow to identify it obviously have never owned one.

Spade Cooley
December 24, 2007, 09:11 AM
When its dark they can't see you. When they turn on the light they can see you. Why draw attention to yourself? I do not want anything that bulky on my gun.

PPGMD
December 24, 2007, 09:56 AM
When its dark they can't see you. When they turn on the light they can see you. Why draw attention to yourself?

Except it's rarely that dark that neither person can see one another, instead you see a moving shadow, if it's a bad guy he knows that you are a threat, if it's a good person (just in the wrong place at the wrong time) how do you know without lighting them up?

Now if it's a bad guy where would you rather have your other hand, off fumbling with a flashlight, or on your gun allowing you to shoot more accurately, at a higher rate of fire? With a good pressure switch you can control when the light is turned on and when it isn't, or you can simply use an extended finger to work the controls.

Also most polymer guns balance well with a tac light on the rail.

rampage841512
December 24, 2007, 10:14 AM
Long gun, yes. Pistol, no. Just my opinion based on how I'd use them.

dixierifleman
December 24, 2007, 11:01 AM
have you ever cleared a house using 7 Bravos? it sucks. i had a Surefire on my A4 before i got issued 14 Charlies and a PEQ15

Tanzer
December 24, 2007, 11:10 AM
Except it's rarely that dark that neither person can see one another
+1. True darkness, like you'd find in a cave, is rare. There is usually ambient light. Even deep in the woods.
Turning on the lights is a tough call. If you live alone or with just your spouse, that's one thing, but as someone else pointed out, you may have a sleep-walking teenager. Also, 98% of us will be somewhat excited/nervous. It all goes back to knowing yourself. I'm sticking with the "no light" tactic, it just works best for me.

The Tourist
December 24, 2007, 01:50 PM
I've never needed it, but I think I would blink mine on and off and keep moving.

If you can see the attacker, then he can see you.

Stockton
December 24, 2007, 03:44 PM
To each his/her own on weapons lights. Your individual/team training using them properly and as situation dictates should keep you from doing the right/wrong thing. Mil/Leo both prior and active service will carry the knowledge from their training in both like and dislikes. Home defense will take consideration on a individual level and things like kids, dogs,single or split level home, and a look into the mirror on your abilities. If, and, or buts..... are just that if you have never trained or gone full speed.

ssilicon
December 24, 2007, 03:50 PM
I think a light makes you the one easy to target. Flashlight on guns are only if you are going against someone unarmed, and I mean without so much as a club. In short, basically a dumb idea IMHO.

STLRN
December 24, 2007, 04:21 PM
I think a light makes you the one easy to target. Flashlight on guns are only if you are going against someone unarmed, and I mean without so much as a club. In short, basically a dumb idea IMHO.

Outside if you left it on for extended periods of time, than maybe. I know it has been tested in the shoot house during training time and time again with simunitions. When entering a darken room or structor, the light is over powering and people who would shoot back are normally blinded or dazzled by it.

If you are strobing it while you move, you also tend to give them vertigo and loose perspective on angles to shoot back.

ssilicon
December 24, 2007, 05:24 PM
Outside if you left it on for extended periods of time, than maybe. I know it has been tested in the shoot house during training time and time again with simunitions. When entering a darken room or structor, the light is over powering and people who would shoot back are normally blinded or dazzled by it.

Sounds just like guys that go to karate and then talk about how they can handle any street tough they run into beacuse they KNOW how it would all go down in their own mind. Real life can be different.

A good friend of mine, a blackbelt (and also a cop BTW), wanted to show me how I could not hold him in a head lock. Well, I showed him that I COULD hold him in a headlock. Now I am a pretty strong guy but it was admittedly an effort to keep hold of him. All he could say afterwards was that I "cheated" because I worked around back behind and to the side of him in such a way that none of his techniques were successful (he tried at least 3 different methods if memory serves). He said how that in a "real street" situation he would be held in such a way that his techniques would always work for him. I just pointed out to him that fighters don't give a damn about what he expects them to do, and that in a real situation I would have allowed myself to hold on tighter and ACTUALLY CHOKE HIM, but I had to avoid that with him. Anyway, you remind me of my friend! Take that anyway you you wish, but remember he is my friend so it isn't meant to be an insult.

PPGMD
December 24, 2007, 05:35 PM
ssilicon,

There is a big difference between a sport meant for competitions, and training for combat under the watchful eyes of instructors that have forgotten more about gun fighting then most of us will ever learn. One constant thing across most training schools is that white light used properly is a tactical advantage.

STLRN
December 24, 2007, 06:18 PM
ssilicon

I am active duty US Marine, a combat shooting instructor and have involved on two way ranges several times against people trying to kill me and my fellow Marines. I don't think anything, I was relaying what I have seen dozens of times before in shoot houses when using lights against other with simunitions. The few times I have done it for real, I couldn't ask the people the receiving end of the lights what they thought, either because of not speaking their language and the only reason I didn't shoot them off the bat, was they were covering their eyes with their hands and I saw no reason to or they were unable to talk afterwards.

michigun
December 24, 2007, 07:28 PM
Light with the gun is one of the most stupid act. You will quitely telling the BG in the dark that "Hey guy! can you see me, I am here shoot at me now".:mad::o:confused:

Stockton
December 24, 2007, 07:52 PM
I agree. In instances where you are trying to obtain complete stealth a flashlight would be just hazardous to your health. Now if I am on the team coming through your door at 2am in the morning with my buddies while you are asleep then yes a 100+ lumens in your face will get the exact reaction I want. A homeowner might want to wait before turning that flashlight on till he knows its the right time to get the upperhand. Its only a tool and yes you would be stupid to incorprate it in the wrong scenario at the wrong time.

dixierifleman
December 24, 2007, 08:35 PM
Light with the gun is one of the most stupid act. You will quitely telling the BG in the dark that "Hey guy! can you see me, I am here shoot at me now".

thats a pretty damn stupid statement. im sure youd just as soon not know who you shot in the dark.

for combat, its a great thing. they already know we are on the way once the door goes down. my surefire was a very useful tool in combat. you just need to know how to use it properly in a HD scenario. i doubt many people have NVGs and a PEQ on their home defence weapon, but a surefire, if used properly and with the right timing, would be useful. chances are your not gonna sneak up on the perp. if its dark, youll fumble over things, so there goes the "stealth" and not lettin the BG hear you. also, you dont have the light on the whole time, you listen for where he is, make your way there, and spotlight him. its far a stupid act in the right hands.

PPGMD
December 24, 2007, 10:43 PM
You will quitely telling the BG in the dark that "Hey guy! can you see me, I am here shoot at me now".

Except for the fact that unless you are out in the middle of no where in a new moon, both people can see the shadows, only the bad guys knows for sure that you aren't on his side. While you are trying to figure out if that's an intruder, or just your dumb teenager trying to get a cup of water.

Hope you make the right choice.

ssilicon
December 24, 2007, 11:25 PM
I am active duty US Marine, a combat shooting instructor and have involved on two way ranges several times against people trying to kill me and my fellow Marines. I don't think anything, I was relaying what I have seen dozens of times before in shoot houses when using lights against other with simunitions. The few times I have done it for real, I couldn't ask the people the receiving end of the lights what they thought, either because of not speaking their language and the only reason I didn't shoot them off the bat, was they were covering their eyes with their hands and I saw no reason to or they were unable to talk afterwards."

Well then, as a Marine you certainly should be familiar with the vlaue of cover and concealment. Carying a beacon of light is just about as far away from, and in fact has an entirely OPPOSITE effect of concealment. I don't see the point of continuing to argue it. I'm glad that you and your brother devil dogs came out on top. I just am convinced, that in defense of my home, holding a flashlight while unknown assailant(s) are in my home makes me more of a target then them. And if the bad guys came into my home with flashlights, I think my 12 gauge would make quick work of whoever holds it. But then my home is familiar to me so I know where I'm going etc. I haven't had to test that yet but my money is on not being the beacon in lighthouse.

woodland
December 25, 2007, 12:40 AM
I've never needed it, but I think I would blink mine on and off and keep moving.

If you can see the attacker, then he can see you.

I would love to see all these people in the "on and off" school do that in real life. Once you turn your light on your night vision is gone. You turn it off and try to move around you are going to be blind. Seeing is always going to be better than not seeing.

STLRN
December 25, 2007, 06:52 AM
I would love to see all these people in the "on and off" school do that in real life. Once you turn your light on your night vision is gone. You turn it off and try to move around you are going to be blind. Seeing is always going to be better than not seeing.

I have done it several times, it is pretty easy. Light doesn't change your short term memory of what is several feet in front of you.

STLRN
December 25, 2007, 06:56 AM
It is only a beacon if people are several hundred feet away from you, up close it is too blinding for them to see.

Human reaction to when they are are sitting in the dark and something that bright in shined in their vicinity is to squint and cover their eyes. I have seen guys with rifles and pistols time and time again, not be able to effectively get off a shot when a light was turned on in their vicinity. Go ahead and believe you do what every, however you aren't going to.

ssilicon
December 25, 2007, 09:41 AM
It is only a beacon if people are several hundred feet away from you, up close it is too blinding for them to see.

Human reaction to when they are are sitting in the dark and something that bright in shined in their vicinity is to squint and cover their eyes. I have seen guys with rifles and pistols time and time again, not be able to effectively get off a shot when a light was turned on in their vicinity. Go ahead and believe you do what every, however you aren't going to.

Yes, I will. And a light is a beacon at 20 feet as much or more than it is at 120 feet. With a light like that, they see you coming long before you see them in many instances. Hell, why do you think SpecOps use night vision instead of flashlights? Is it because they want to waste more money and have stuff hanging in front of their face? Or is it because it let's them SEE WITHOUT BEING SEEN? We OWN the night my friend.

Though I was never an infantryman I am ex-military. I bring this up for this point... As I think back to those many years ago I realize how many notions and beliefs I had that I have long since come to a better understanding of. What I am trying to say, is there are often adjendas beyond what you may be aware, and methods are sometimes optimised for those. Stay alive and best of luck.

STLRN
December 25, 2007, 09:51 AM
Hell, why do you think SpecOps use night vision instead of flashlights? Is it because they want to waste more money and have stuff hanging in front of their face? Or is it because it let's them SEE WITHOUT BEING SEEN? We OWN the night my friend.
You don't know what you are talking about SF have lights on their rifles. I have worked with enough ODA and task force guys to know that for sure. Where do you think the first surefire lights entered the inventory? You don't clear buildings on googles, they give you poor depth perception and throw off your angles of fire.

You use goggles for some situations may be like clearing on objective during an assault or on a static OP/LP, but not when you go into buildings or after you enter the kill zone of an ambush, you go on white light. When you are on goggles, you need to have a laser pointer to exploit there usage and most people don't go nights vision sights on weapons except for belt feeds.

dixierifleman
December 25, 2007, 11:01 AM
well i am in the Infantry, and i know all the Recon and MARSOC guys have M4s with the front grips with the lights built into them. clearing houses with NVGs on SUCKS. the 7Bravos were just plain heavy and awkward. the 14Charlies arnt as bad, you only use one eye with them, but they are still awkward, and the focus on them sucks. for nighttime patrols outside, they work OK. but for CQC, id take my surefire over NVGs.

hogdogs
December 25, 2007, 04:11 PM
For my circumstance i am ready to add a light to a gun. I do not need to flash it on and off. I can navigate my home fully in the dark without bumping anything. It is STRICTLY a SAFETY feature as is the safety on my gun. When my gun goes up in the RTF position it is still on "safety". I am not going to flip it to fire ready until I have my target in my sights. A pressure switched light can be lit milliseconds before i trip the safety to be sure I have an intruder in front of me.
Brent

mes228
December 26, 2007, 09:34 AM
Just my in-experienced opinion. I thinks Law Enforcement has a need for lights searching for thugs in the brush, or clearing a warehouse. However, they have radios, back up, and myriad other things a civilian does not have. When a civilian needs a pistol, he need it "right now!". He also needs a pistol that handles well. I understand about 80% of the time he needs it to handle a conflict within 3 feet. Lights preclude this - they un-do everything engineered into pistol handling. As an aside I have hunted all my life. Many, many times returning after dark. I almost never needed or wanted a light. I always had one that I shined in a circle to keep from getting shot by other hunters though. But for movement, they always restrict your vision to the cone of light. You are night blind outside of that. I traveled better without one even in the woods. If I was in a situation and need a light I would prefer one in the off hand. In most situations I envision. I don't think I'd turn a light on until I knew what I was going to light up. I would not wander around with a light on. In short for a civilian there's a place for a light - just not hung on your pistol. As I said, just my opinion that is NOT based on experience in conflict.

leadcounsel
December 26, 2007, 04:36 PM
Lights are our friend in a self defense situation. An armed bad guy is going to shoot at a shadow or a light, it doesn't make any difference. The point is that YOU, as a responsible gun owner, MUST know your target and what's behind your target before pulling the trigger.

Is the target a threat or a mistaken identity (teenager, cop, whatever).

Is the target armed? If so, with what?

Does the target have a hostage?

What's behind the target?

What's in front of the target?

Another advantage is blinding a target. EVERYBODY reacts the same way when a bright light is pointed at their eyes; they either put their hands over their face, turn their head, or close their eyes for at least a second. That buys valuable time for the person behind the light to determine the correct course of action.

I have a light on the gun and a separate tactical light. I can determine when the light is on or off with a small motion of my finger.

If anything, it's foolish to try to defend yourself in the dark when you refuse to use a light.

M1911
December 26, 2007, 04:49 PM
I know that lots of new handguns come with light rails, and there are about 100 different ways to mount a flashlight to an AR-15, but I just won't do it. To me, pointing a gun at something and then turning on the light to see what it is violates too many safety rules. What do you think?

I think you either have no idea what a proper flashlight will do or no idea how to use it. You do NOT need to point a surefire at someone to light them up. It is bright enough to light the majority of a room simply by pointing it at the floor or ceiling. You will be much faster and more accurate with a weapon mounted light than without. And it is pretty darn hard to hold a flashlight in one hand and operate your AR15 effectively with the other.

There is a reason that SWAT teams and military units are using weapon mounted lights.

M1911
December 26, 2007, 07:29 PM
They said to angle the gun down at a 45 degree, and you'll see just fine without sweeping any friendlies.Exactly! There is enough bounce of the light (with a good quality light like a surefire) to light up the whole room.

About a year or two ago, a home owner here in Massachusetts returned early from a trip. I guess he was tired, because he set off his own alarm. He heard an intruder, fired on him, and hit him. Unfortunately, the intruder was a police officer. Sure would have been a good thing if he'd had a weapon-mounted light and had identified his target before firing...

2Seventy
December 26, 2007, 08:36 PM
Lights such as a Surefire are a good thing for identifying a preceived threat and shooting if necessary. A light in the hand though is much more versatile then one mounted on a gun. There are several techniques for shooting with a flashlight in your support hand. I would recommend those over a light on a handgun.

saskuach
December 27, 2007, 12:00 AM
What's all this nonsense with the light being a beacon and walking around with the light on? You really think running around with the light on constantly is a bad idea? you suppose, Einstein?.

You get a boogie monster silhouette in your sights, flash your light to check what it is and fire if it is indeed said boogie monster. Done in 1-2 seconds. You don't go waving the bloody thing around like you're a 5 year old scared of the dark going to the bathroom at night. There's no realistic place dark enough that you have to use the light to search. The light is there to blind/identify your target after it's already in your sights.:rolleyes:

Ridiculous... I can't believe I jumped into this one.:mad:

ckd
December 27, 2007, 10:46 AM
Quite a range of responses.

I think in the world of self-defense, you need to identify your threat, if that means a brief ID with the light before you move, then shoot, it seems wise. How you use a light is piviotal and can in some cases give you an advantage (if bright enough) to temporarily blind the opponent and misdirect your location (gotta move). A deer in the headlights can be good.

A weapons mounted light on a long gun can be handy, and often just a good tail cap flashlight and a Harrie's (or other practiced style) technique is nice combo.