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View Full Version : Tactical Light... Yes or No?


Unbreakable
March 21, 2008, 03:35 PM
I've gotten use to carrying a weapon with a light mounted on it over the years. However this makes the weapon large and no good for concealed carry. What I've been thinking here as of late is that a light on the gun however cool looking isn't all that needed in the civilian world. I can see it if you were LE or Mil. But for me it seems if you can't see what you're shooting at then it's probably a better idea not to shoot. And if you turn on a light when bad guys are around you'll become a bullet magnet. Plus there is the downside of having to point your gun at whatever your lighting up (Maybe your sleep walking 6 year old). I'd like to hear what some of you guys think. Wouldn't it better to just have a flashlight handy than hanging one off of your weapon?

MLeake
March 21, 2008, 04:38 PM
I agree on all counts. I have a very nice Surefire. It will not be mounted.

Cheers,

M

Colt Delta Elite
March 21, 2008, 05:32 PM
But I like buying expensive batteries.....

MLeake
March 21, 2008, 05:36 PM
Honestly, Steve, the reason I can justify the Surefire (other than it's fun watching my friends try to blind themselves with it... grown men, right...) is that I use it for night time preflights. You don't miss a leak, crack, missing static wick or anything with one of those babies... Just have to be careful not to totally wreck your night vision.

Cheers,

M

ssilicon
March 21, 2008, 05:43 PM
I would say no.

Boris Bush
March 21, 2008, 05:46 PM
I have one on my working weapon. When we do use them there is a good chance everyone being lit up will get lit up ;)


At home I use a surefire and the Rogers method along with Weaver. It works great and I do practice the method.

Tanzer
March 21, 2008, 08:27 PM
This one's been kicked around a bunch of times. It's a matter of opinion. I fall on the "no" side. I carry a good compact flashlight & most often wear pants with side pockets to accomdate that, a 3" Gerber & a multi-tool. I'd suggest using an offset method if using the light.

akr
March 21, 2008, 08:42 PM
I will use one, for it has many advantages.

evan1293
March 21, 2008, 08:46 PM
I agree with the OP on everything. I do have a stream light for my g22 for homedefense and even for that Im not sure I would choose to use it. In the event that I would need to use a light to see, its probably late at night and in which case, I've been sleeping. My eyes have been closed for some time and my natural night vision will be very good. There is enough ambient light in my place from outside that coupled with my natural night vision, I can see well enough to determine a friend or foe.

sdj
March 21, 2008, 08:53 PM
I like to keep the surefire light un-mounted, on the nightstand, "for close encounters". :D

Erik
March 21, 2008, 09:32 PM
I don't mount a light on my concealed carry guns, but that's a concession to concealment. I prefer them on unconcealed weapons; the advantages outweigh any detractors.

Colt Delta Elite
March 21, 2008, 10:07 PM
MLeake & Unbreakable:

I have a couple of weapons lights, 1 on my XD, 1 on my HK. I don't carry. But I find that it can be useful at the house at night when checking an inside or outside noise. I find it more useful at the ranch (hunting) when dark. Either for walking to deer blinds or in the cabin for any unexpected visitors (close to the border).

I also have a couple of handheld Surefire lights. They're great but I try to use them sparingly. They work amazingly to blind poker buddies when playing Texas Hold'em (just like the magazine ad says).

I view them like all my 'specific purpose tools' -- not used much, but when needed, invaluable.

xrocket
March 22, 2008, 09:25 AM
Well, I take a different tack than most I suppose.

For night time HD the pistol is in my strong side right hand and I carry a heavy 14" mag-lite with up graded LED in the left. It is a solid 2 plus pounds and is easy to find in the dark and as a backup can be used as a club which I find almost as important as the light. The switch is large and my thumb falls on top of it naturally making it very easy to turn on and off. Also, if dropped the beam is so wide with a center bright spot that a large room is still well lighted even with the flashlight on the ground and light bouncing off the walls.

The little lights really don't interest me and I would never try to clear my home with a light mounted on a firearm. I don't want another switch on my pistol ... just a trigger.

My two cents for your consideration.

Good shooting all.

ChewToy
March 22, 2008, 12:54 PM
Well, I'm a K9 handler so a mounted light is a must in my opinion as I only have one hand to work with. (the other holding a leash or collar) To bad I'm in the military and the answer is no to pistol mounted lights...so far, I'm not done fighting that one. I do however mount a light on my M4 and have been practicing entering rooms/building with the dog lanyarded to my gear so that I can fully control my weapon, look for trip wires, pressure plates etc. while my dog is sweeping. At home I don't use one, just a regular flashlight.

Playboypenguin
March 22, 2008, 01:02 PM
I much prefer the handgun in my strong hand and light in my left held slightly wide but I think a light is okay of it has a thumb depress on the gun for quick on/off operation if you need both hands on the firearm or if it is a firearm that requires two hands such as a shotgun.

Shadi Khalil
March 22, 2008, 03:47 PM
I've never had a light mounted on any of my weapons. I've also never had a gun with rail, I think they are ugly....As for flash lights, I never owned one up until a couple weeks ago. I took a shooting class that required us to bring a flashlight for low light shooting. I bought a sure fire and now I always carry it in my car and keep it on my night stand. We learned a really easy method for holding the light and gun; I'm left handed so the flashlight goes in my right hand, the right hand is then crossed underneath my shooting hand and then pressed against the back of that hand.....Confused yet? It works well for me.

Stevie-Ray
March 23, 2008, 08:21 PM
I don't have one on my HD weapon, unless the AR ever becomes my HD weapon. And I've never cleared my house using a flashlight. I can turn on lights beyond where I am and remain more or less in the dark. I find it more effective than using a flashlight. Outside my house, there are floodlights with motion detectors. I sometimes carry a flashlight outside, but rarely use it as my property is well lit.

SamHouston
March 23, 2008, 09:59 PM
The new style mercury light bulbs that screw into lamps are pretty cheap to burn. We've started switching over to these inside and outside the house and leave a couple burning throughout the night or when we travel. That way we never have a completely dark house to enter or wake up to.

ActivShootr
March 23, 2008, 10:19 PM
Unbreakable, I posted this exact same thread last year and started WW2.5.Good luck buddy. :)

Unbreakable
March 26, 2008, 05:33 PM
I have one on my working weapon. When we do use them there is a good chance everyone being lit up will get lit up


At home I use a surefire and the Rogers method along with Weaver. It works great and I do practice the method.

There is also the very real chance that if you don't light the bad guy up first... He'll see your light and shoot you dead. This is my issue with them. They become bullet magnets. I know if were the bad guy... and I was in someone else's house. The second I saw a flash light I'd fire. Good Guys don't have that luxury.

Doggieman
March 26, 2008, 06:57 PM
go to www.candlepowerforums.com and see what they have to say.

I love flashlights, but would rather hold one in my hand than attach it to my weapon.

akr
March 26, 2008, 07:16 PM
Wrong, Unbreakable. You will blind him and you will be getting off the first shots. You don't have to leave the light on....are you even familiar with them?

Playboypenguin
March 26, 2008, 07:20 PM
Wrong, Unbreakable. You will blind him and you will be getting off the first shots. You don't have to leave the light on....are you even familiar with them?
Only if you manage to shine it in their face before they see you coming and even then they will be able to see where the light is coming from. :)

MLeake
March 26, 2008, 08:07 PM
... you have enough control of the environment that you can turn on lights in vicinity of suspected BG without illuminating your own position, as a previous poster alluded he would do in his home.

However, if you don't have that capability, having a flashlight allows you to identify a person as threat or non-threat. For ethical as well as moral reasons, you need to make that identification.

Cheers,

M

DonR101395
March 26, 2008, 08:09 PM
Just me, but I prefer both and use them each at the appropriate time to compliment each other.

Unbreakable
March 27, 2008, 11:21 AM
Wrong, Unbreakable. You will blind him and you will be getting off the first shots. You don't have to leave the light on....are you even familiar with them?

And if they happen to be to your extreme left when you shine the light? How are you going to blind them then? And better yet... how are you going to stop the bullets that your light just directed them to fire at you? You assume that they when you use a light that it is always going to be dead in someone's face and that it is always going to momentarily blind them. This is not the case. Are you even familiar with lights?

Unbreakable
March 27, 2008, 11:24 AM
However, if you don't have that capability, having a flashlight allows you to identify a person as threat or non-threat. For ethical as well as moral reasons, you need to make that identification.

Agreed, I definitely have a flashlight with me about all the time. I'm just wondering about Handheld Vs Weapon Mounted.

pax
March 27, 2008, 11:27 AM
<moderator hat on>

A little more light, a little less heat, please.

</moderator hat off>

pax

James K
March 27, 2008, 11:31 AM
I will say again. IF I am an armed BG and I am concealed in a large dark space (think the local WalMart at night) and you come in with a light on your gun and holding the gun up in front of your face, you better spotlight me the first try, first time, no guesswork. If you don't, my shot will be aimed at the light and the bullet will take out what's behind the light. (Note that armed citizens and private security guards don't even get the bagpipes.)

Jim

MLeake
March 27, 2008, 11:44 AM
... they pinpoint YOUR position; besides, they require a muzzle sweep during ID.

I prefer handheld, held arm's length away from me.

Cheers,

M

Doggieman
March 27, 2008, 12:07 PM
Depends on the circumstances.

If I were clearing out a building with a bunch of other guys and we all had 'em and were sweeping through, then I'd probably want one. But if I were alone and there were several BGs then I'd probably want it as dark as possible.

Once the first shot is fired, everybody's going to know what's going on anyway.

There are tons of different situations. It might help to read up on why certain people use them in some and don't in others.

akr
March 27, 2008, 12:38 PM
Unbreakable, you don't understand. I wouldn't even shine the light unless I saw a figure in the dark. I would know where they are already. The reason I have a light is so I wouldn't mistakenly shoot a loved one. Also, I know the layout of my house better than you.

akr
March 27, 2008, 12:45 PM
I'm just wondering about Handheld Vs Weapon Mounted.

Obviously, you already had your mind made up before you posted.

ronl
March 27, 2008, 08:55 PM
I don't think they're all that useful, but just in case I tried a different approach with my XCR. I have the Tango Down rail covers on it with the inserts for various switches. I took the insert out and put the self adhesive velcro in the slot as well as on a Mini-Mag flashlight with the 3/4" battery housing. If I want the light I just stick it to the cover. It will not come off during firing. Plus is that I can remove the light in less than a second and toss it aside if necessary. Negative is that I have to turn the light on manually by twisting the front housing. Can't have everything. BTW, I used the velcro to attach the switch for my Aimpoint laser and it works very well.

akr
March 28, 2008, 10:03 AM
All depends on what kind of light you have. Get a TLR 1.

Erik
March 28, 2008, 01:24 PM
Lots of lights on the guns of people who are in positions to shoot and be shot at... NOT a lot of injury or death, if any, attributed to shots at the light that I'm aware of. It is much to do about nothing, imo, but I'm willing to be swayed - link evidence( research, stories, etc) suggesting otherwise. - Thanks.

Stevie-Ray
March 30, 2008, 12:05 PM
Lots of lights on the guns of people who are in positions to shoot and be shot at... NOT a lot of injury or death, if any, attributed to shots at the light that I'm aware of. It is much to do about nothing, imo, but I'm willing to be swayed - link evidence( research, stories, etc) suggesting otherwise. - Thanks.True, but that could be because of the relative newness of tactical lights. Not taking any sides as I really don't have one, just a possibility.

<moderator hat on>

A little more light, a little less heat, please.

</moderator hat off>:D Now, that was cute. Seriously.;)

M14fan
March 30, 2008, 02:03 PM
The only place I would be likely to use a weapon mounted light is inside my home. I am not military or law enforcement and so am extremely unlikely to be doing building sweeps in the dark. My own home is never completely dark. I keep the lights off in the bedroom so that I am in the dark but the rest of the house is dimly lit with low powered flurescent lights giving me the opportunity to survey rooms before I enter from a position of dark concealment. I also prefer my 4d Maglight. Very bright, excellent backup attitude adjuster. I am also considering mounting a rail on my Sistema Colt as the previous owner drilled holes in the dust cover presumably for that purpose and I am not sure how else to deal with the holes.

Hmmm, I think I'll start a thread on that.