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jjyergler
August 12, 2008, 01:31 PM
I have picked up my home defence handgun, with the intention of possibly using it in a SD situation three times in the seven years of living in my home. On all three occasions, I had a flashlight separate from my firearm. The two occasions in which the light was used, I was glad to have a light separate from my firearm. This has caused me to question the practical value of a light mounted on a firearm.

Situation #1 I was alerted by my dogs to something out front. On my doorstep, I heard what sounded like a breakin attempt. I opened the door to my porch, and two drunk guys were fighting on my walkway. I had a light in my left hand, Sig in my right behind my back.

Situation #2 In my backyard, There was a commotion, my dogs were letting me know something was up, and I went out. I found that some drunk partiers had spilled over from a backyard down the street. I was in the same posture as before

Situation #3 In front of my home, I heard a couple of gunshots. I called the police and took a position on my front porch to observe from the shadows. This time, I didn't want to use a light as I didn't want to give away the fact that I was there.

In situation #1 and 2, I needed a light separate from the weapon, as I didn't want to have a gun pointed at what turned out to be innocent drunks. #3, I didn't need or want a light at all.

I was wondering, is my experience in the norm? Have any of you had experiences in which you armed yourself in response to a possible threat? If so, was a mounted light useful or unnecessary?

As a corollary, as I read this, I realize just how important a dog is to your home protection plan. In Florida, a/c is on a lot, but their senses can still reach out and detect problems.

Shawn Dodson
August 12, 2008, 02:14 PM
Why not both a handheld and a weapon mounted light?

I've investigated unusual noises at night - ones that I couldn't attribute to the cats or dog - with a handheld. In one instance it appears I interrupted car prowlers while they were rifling through my car at 0'dark hundred. I never exited the house, nor did I open any exterior doors (which I believe is very risky to do). It was pouring rain at the time. It seems just the light shining out the windows was enough to drive him/her/them away, as my car was apparently the last one (of several) on the cul de sac to be hit.

What about my faithful and reliable dogs that bark at anything and everything? I woke them from their deep slumber when I stepped out in the garage to see if they may have made the noise.

I didn't know my car had been broken into until I got in it to drive the work the next day. The first things I noticed were the passenger seat being reclined all the way, and papers from the glove box all over the passenger side. I'd gotten in late that night, after being out at sea for a couple of weeks, and I'm glad I took all my important stuff inside the house. The car was older and the electric door locks were kind of intermittent. In this case the right rear passenger door didn't lock. My first though was: "Boy, I sure made a mess last night."

All that was taken of any value was my company cell phone.

I arm myself whenever there's an unexpected call at my door late in the evening.

Keltyke
August 12, 2008, 03:36 PM
This has caused me to question the practical value of a light mounted on a firearm.

Makes a nice target for the BG. A lit target is your friend, shooting from darkness is your friend. It'd depend on how strange the noise was on whether or not I jumped out of the boat and chased the sharks, though.

Pahoo
August 12, 2008, 03:44 PM
Now you got me wondering if I shouldn't get a dog !! ???

Be Safe !!!

Slopemeno
August 12, 2008, 03:51 PM
I don't think it's an "either-or" question. Carry an extra light.

If you ever have to fire in the dark, and you really, really need to- that weapon mounted light will seem like manna from heaven. Remember, it only goes on momentarily, fire, light off, move.

FWIW-I'd seriously rethink your "going-to-check" habits. I speak from experience that the time I "went to check" it really was what I thought it was, and I should have called the cops THEN, rather than after the foot and car chase...but they got him anyways, so that's all good. The cops nabbed him so quick I couldn't even finish my story to the dispatcher...sort of a let-down, actually.

My 2 cents, and you can take it for what it's worth- stay inside. Use your eyes and ears. If I thought someone was breaking into my house the last thing I'd be doing was opeing the door for them.

Sparks2112
August 12, 2008, 03:56 PM
Well, not self defense really but.

I worked as a bouncer at a VERY large bar (1,200 people a night) for about a year and a half. My prefered take down method when dealing with anyone more than half of my size who was being roudy was:


Surefire light activated into eyes (amazingly affective in a dark club atmosphere)

Right hand to throat

right foot/leg behind drunks' closest foot/leg

take-down to floor


I like the idea of having the light off of the gun. It then becomes it's own weapon in a way. Just my 2 cents ::Shrug::

Creature
August 12, 2008, 04:00 PM
I like the idea of having the light off of the gun.

Liking an idea...and actually liking it in practice are two different things. Try a light on your gun. I did.

Guess where the light is now...

Keltyke
August 12, 2008, 04:14 PM
FWIW-I'd seriously rethink your "going-to-check" habits.

Slopemeno, I agree 100%. Don't attempt to confront or clear unless you're trained in it. Unless there's an active attempt to break in, stay inside, call the cops, bunker up, and prepare to repel intruders. Everything you have out there is replaceable.

When you were hiding in the shadows on your porch with your weapon, I'm glad a LEO didn't see you. It would have been several VERY tense minutes until they figured out who you were. Probably after you had several sidearms pointed at you, and were disarmed and handcuffed.

In all three situations, YOU WENT OUTSIDE. BAD idea. you left a defendable position to reconnoiter.

Sounds like your big problem is drunks. Ya can't shoot THEM!

jjyergler
August 12, 2008, 04:21 PM
Slopemeno, good point, although I think my "porch" requires explanation. It was an enclosed room with glass and a solid door at the front. Both times, I could tell the noises were outside this enclosed room. I had no lights on in the room behind me to sillhouete me. I guess, as a former infantryman, you could call it a combination of overconfidence and curiosity.

I say "was" because of the twin b****** Frances and Jeanne. No more porch. :mad: Rest of the house is ok, though. :cool:

The first situation was pretty funny. Drunk Redneck #1 wanted to drive home. Drunk Redneck #2 threw his keys into the woods. DR1 started walking home, but DR2 knew he couldn't make it. He chased him half a block down the street and tackled him. The fight went up my drive and to my front porch. I later told my neighbor that, hey, at least he was looking out for his friend. Great guy, too bad he moved.

rantingredneck
August 12, 2008, 04:22 PM
On a shelf beside my bed there is a Ruger P345 with a Streamlight TLR-1. Right beside it is a Surefire 6PD with a CREE LED upgrade.

I'm of the both mounted and separate mindset.

My HD 870 setup also sports a TLR-1

My AR sports a Surefire.

Light is there. Sometimes the situation may call for light, sometimes not. But it's having the option that matters IMO.

jjyergler
August 12, 2008, 04:35 PM
Keltyke, only once did I go outside, and then I walked out the front door and went around to the back. I know not the best move, but actually, at that point it sounded like a rape...let's say the I misjudged the emotion behind the commotion. The other two times, I didn't leave my Florida room at the front of the house.

Sparks2112
August 13, 2008, 08:12 AM
Liking an idea...and actually liking it in practice are two different things. Try a light on your gun. I did.

Guess where the light is now...

I've tried them. Not saying I don't like them, it's just that for me I like having the light off of the weapon. Something about pointing a Glock at someone just to see what they're doing doesn't sit too well with me.

Shawn Dodson
August 14, 2008, 03:17 AM
Something about pointing a Glock at someone just to see what they're doing doesn't sit too well with me. You don't have to point it at anyone. Just splash the light off the floor, ceiling, wall, ground, etc.

You *should* almost never find yourself in a situation where you have to illuminate a threat to ID it. A simple verbal challenge, in a command voice, will do the job for you, unless you have a sleep walker or a deaf family member/visitor.

WHO'S THERE!
I HAVE A GUN!
I'VE CALLED POLICE!
GET OUT OF MY HOUSE NOW!

Everyone should be briefed that whenever they hear you issue a verbal challenge, you're not fooling around and they should respond immediately to eliminate a deadly mishap.

Cheers!

Keltyke
August 14, 2008, 06:22 AM
WHO'S THERE!
I HAVE A GUN!
I'VE CALLED POLICE!
GET OUT OF MY HOUSE NOW!

The BG has stopped listening to you at the second sentence. You'll only have a couple of seconds of his attention before he's thinking what to do next.

FREEZE!
or
STOP OR I'LL SHOOT!

Short and to the point. That's what out CWP instructor told us.

Who's there? You don't really care. When you say my second command, if it's a friend, he'll say, "Hey, Joe, it's only Frank."

I've called police? Not germane at the moment. He can shoot or rob you while they're en route.

I have a gun? He might have one, too, and that might provoke him to shoot. Our best friend is SURPRISE.

Get out of my house? Not nearly forceful enough.

Sparks2112
August 14, 2008, 08:20 AM
WHO'S THERE!
I HAVE A GUN!
I'VE CALLED POLICE!
GET OUT OF MY HOUSE NOW!

+1 Stop or I'll shoot. All that other stuff seems likely to get you shot if you're confronting an armed intruder, IMO.

As far as splashing the light off the walls etc... If someone is in my house I want the light in their eyes. If it's someone that doesn't need shot then some white spots in their vision isn't going to hurt them. If it is someone that needs shot, well then, I'd rather have blind fire coming my way than aimed fire if I can't put them down quickly enough.

Creature
August 14, 2008, 09:08 AM
I've tried them. Not saying I don't like them, it's just that for me I like having the light off of the weapon. Something about pointing a Glock at someone just to see what they're doing doesn't sit too well with me.

I agree. I tried the handgun-mounted flashlight and I took it off pretty quickly. I think lights have a place on longguns...but not on pistols.

Keltyke
August 14, 2008, 09:49 AM
If someone is in my house I want the light in their eyes.

Yup. One of those new VERY bright LED flashlights held AT ARM'S LENGTH away from your body will work. So will security floodlights. In my house, I have the ability to light the top of the stairs and leave the bedroom door in the dark. When at all possible, challenge/shoot from cover/dark.

buzz_knox
August 14, 2008, 10:30 AM
The advantage of the light held at arms length is that it provides another target for the bad guy to shoot it. The blinding light theory doesn't hold water, since many of us have been blinded by car lights (expecially those halogen) yet somehow were able to maintain control of the car.

The disadvantages of the light held at arms length is that 1) you are doing the ultimate chicken wing, with all the problems inherent in running into things, 2) you are giving up some element of control over the weapon by going one handed, and 3) you are relying on the bad guy to aim accurately at the light, when history (as well as the theory behind the "blinding light") dictates that such accuracy is unlikely.

Keltyke
August 14, 2008, 10:37 AM
The disadvantages of the light held at arms length is that

All good points. I wasn't advocating using the light, just saying if you gotta use it, do this. You're right, if the BG already has a bead on you and he's blinded, he'll shoot where he was originally aiming.

About the only light I'd really recommend using, other than the floodlights, is a laser sight.

bikerbill
August 14, 2008, 11:15 AM
My nightstand gun is a Springer 1911 and doesn't hold a light ... that said, I prefer an off-weapon light, keep a Surefire 9p next to the gun ... and I agree with those who suggest remaining inside ... safer for you and better in court if you actually have to shoot an intruder ... once they're inside, you are free to defend yourself and your family; outside, you might have some 'splainin to do ...

Slopemeno
August 14, 2008, 12:34 PM
I've tried both in night paintball, and I'll take the weapon-mounted light any time. All the guys in the break area saw me attaching the light to my gun, and they all said "I'll just shoot at your light" but it didn't work out like that.

Remember, the idea isn't to search with the weapon mounted light- the idea is to only turn the light on briefly, ID and shoot, and turn the light off.

Sparks2112
August 14, 2008, 12:42 PM
I've tried both in night paintball, and I'll take the weapon-mounted light any time. All the guys in the break area saw me attaching the light to my gun, and they all said "I'll just shoot at your light" but it didn't work out like that.

Remember, the idea isn't to search with the weapon mounted light- the idea is to only turn the light on briefly, ID and shoot, and turn the light off.

Paintball gun would meet my classification as a long arm, at which point yes the light should be on the gun.

Keltyke
August 14, 2008, 01:06 PM
I've tried both in night paintball, and I'll take the weapon-mounted light any time.

You can afford to be wrong in paintball.

Slopemeno
August 14, 2008, 02:51 PM
Well, that's one way to look at it. Another way might be to try things and see what works. That's the reason all sorts of organizations use scenarios to train for all types of events. I found a weapon mounted light to be an amazingly effective tool that (used correctly) swung the momentum of the scenario in my favor over and over.

Keep in mind I didn't switch the light on an go sweeping it around. My technique was- Listen- move toward the sounds. Stop- Listen- advance. When I could see an outline and I was fairly sure I had one of them in the sights, it was ON-ID-Fire-off-move.

And yes, it's a long gun. I think for HD a short shotgun and doing your best to stay put are probably the hot setup. The one-man houseclearing a lot of people on this thread seem to be considering is, in my opinion, a mistake. If you think someones there, get 911 involved.

Sparks2112
August 14, 2008, 02:55 PM
If you think someones there, get 911 involved.

+1 Infinity

Getting loved ones and bunkering down is the only tactically realistic option, IMO. Anything else and you're either WAY too eager to shoot someone, or too diluted to realized that you CAN get shot. Once again, just my opinion.

Shawn Dodson
August 14, 2008, 03:00 PM
WHO'S THERE?
You're concerned about pointing a loaded weapon equipped with a light at a family member? This is the beginning of the threat identification process and it establishes your presence.

I HAVE A GUN!
It communicates to potential "friendlies" that you're in alarm mode and you aren't playing around. The bad guy has just been informed you have deadly force capability to resist.

I'VE CALLED POLICE!
Communicates to intruder that the risk of being caught increases if he/she doesn't leave immediately.

GET OUT OF MY HOUSE NOW!
Commands intruder to leave to avoid confrontation.

Verbal challenges are best issued from a position of advantage. The bad guy has to approach your general position to make contact. He is less efficient in detecting you than vice versa. He has a large area to monitor - you only have to monitor the avenue of approach.

When I was in patrol my verbal command SOP for making contact with people during a patrol check:
SIR/MA'AM - STOP!
SHOW ME YOUR HANDS!
STAY WHERE YOU ARE!
DON'T MOVE!

The BG has stopped listening to you at the second sentence. You'll only have a couple of seconds of his attention before he's thinking what to do next.

FREEZE!
or
STOP OR I'LL SHOOT!

Short and to the point. That's what out CWP instructor told us. I agree. Keep commands short and to the point. However it's easy to presumptively think that the bad guy is in his right mind. What if he turns around and leaves? You gonna shoot him in the back because he disobeyed your command to Freeze or Stop? It's an inappropriate command if you don't have visual contact. If the noise is at the far side of the house how many times are you going to repeat it? (I really mean it this time!) What if there's more than one intruder - which is likely if they're merely there to burglarize your home? The best course of action, both safety and legally, is to simply compel the bad guy to leave.

As far as splashing the light off the walls etc... If someone is in my house I want the light in their eyes. I reiterate: You *should* almost never find yourself in a situation where you have to illuminate a threat to ID it. A simple verbal challenge, in a command voice, will do the job for you, unless you have a sleep walker or a deaf family member/visitor. If the verbal challenge is ignored then the threat now becomes a target and I don't need light to identify it.

Blinding light? That's a myth. I've had "blinding light" (Surefire 6 and 9 volt) shined directly in my eyes during no-light training. The first time I performed the exercise I drew and put two bullets in one hole in the left eye of a realistic, life-size paper target. I was chastized by my instructor for not allowing a couple of seconds for my eyes to recover. I didn't know my performance until I asked one of my co-students why everybody gasped when I shot - it appears they were surprised at my performance, as was I once I found out.

Cheers!

James K
August 14, 2008, 03:15 PM
I have had occasion to enter large dark areas, and my training was that the best way to illuminate the scene was simply to turn on the lights, if possible, then move away from the switch.

It is best if you can have cover/concealment when doing so, but remember that anyone hiding in the place is temporarily blinded while you know the lights are going to come on and can be prepared.

If you enter a dark area and are doing as I see in the gunzine ads and on TV and have a light on the gun and the gun in front of your face, anyone hiding in the place will shoot at the light and kill you.

We were trained that if absolutely necessary to use a flashlight, to hold it in the left hand, out and forward of the body. The idea (or at least hope) is that the BG will think the light is in your right hand and shoot to your left of the light, missing you. With the light right in front of your head, he won't miss.

Jim

Keltyke
August 14, 2008, 03:16 PM
When I was in patrol my verbal command SOP for making contact with people during a patrol check:
SIR/MA'AM - STOP!
SHOW ME YOUR HANDS!
STAY WHERE YOU ARE!
DON'T MOVE!

So you were a LEO - big difference. What's appropriate for LEOs isn't necessarily appropriate for private citizens.

What if he turns around and leaves?
When I'm sure he's left, I holster my weapon and wait for the cops.

You gonna shoot him in the back because he disobeyed your command to Freeze or Stop?
No, I'm not stupid, thank you. The command is intended to divert him from what he's doing - trying to steal my stuff or harm me or my family.

It's an inappropriate command if you don't have visual contact.
DOH! Really? Since we're talking about shining lights on the BG, I assumed I had a visual.

If the noise is at the far side of the house how many times are you going to repeat it?

Jeez...I'm not going to hide under the bed and shout commands at an unseen BG from 40 feet away. To answer your third asinine question:

Only once AFTER I have him in my sights. There's no second warning. If he continues to move forward, I'll take him out.

So many times I've seen suspects become confused with 5 cops all shouting different things at him. I want him to focus on one thing - stop or you'll die.

Sparks2112
August 14, 2008, 03:36 PM
I'm with Keltyke on this one. Way different commands when I'm a private citizen with an unknown intruder in my home versus a LEO responding to a call.

raimius
August 14, 2008, 04:11 PM
Maybe different commands, but the points about using a command voice is definitely worth repeating. It leaves no doubt that the person issuing commands is serious and resolute (at least, on the first command).

As for "blinding" lights, they MAY work. My eyes don't adjust very fast, so I would lose a lot of my vision for a couple seconds...but that doesn't work for everyone, and determined intruders might just shoot at the light source. There is something to be said about the disorienting ability of several things in combination (i.e. bright light, command voice, and any other available advantages).

Creature
August 14, 2008, 04:19 PM
An intruder in my house (with me in it) gets no warning.

paddling_man
August 14, 2008, 07:24 PM
To the OP:

I asked a similar question a few weeks ago. A staff member here noted this article. It is a good read.

http://www.imakenews.com/valhalla/e_article000413118.cfm?x=b11,0,w

To the spinoff topic:

It depends on the level of threat recognition. In some cases, issuing verbal commands - others, responding in an aggressive non-verbal manner.

Logs
August 14, 2008, 08:12 PM
I just picked up a G3 Sure fire light and it is twice as bright as my glocklight. I am for having a weapon light and handheld.

Glenn E. Meyer
August 14, 2008, 08:17 PM
I've had Shawn's command set run by me in training. One advantage of his is that if you have called the police and leave the line open - your repeated commands give a clear indication that you were threatened and tried to lower the threat than just a Don't Move or Freeze.

Freeze - BANG can indicate that you shot the guy when he stopped moving.
Tell him to get out is a good idea because - duh - if they do - you've won the day. Having a potentially armed person near you is a risk - rather have them go bye.

Telling them the police are on the way encourages them to leave.

About the light - I agree that the blinding factor is much overplayed. Having been in the dark as a shooter in FOF, all the various distraction holds are really baloney. It is child's play to determine where the shooter is and shoot at them.

BikerRN
August 14, 2008, 08:21 PM
Originally posted by Slopemeno:

My 2 cents, and you can take it for what it's worth- stay inside. Use your eyes and ears. If I thought someone was breaking into my house the last thing I'd be doing was opeing the door for them.

Very good advice. If you think it's a real intruder, don't go searching for them. Hunker down and get ready to "repel boarders".

As far as a light on my gun, no thanks. I'll use the one in my weakhand. It's called a handgun, not a handsgun for a reason. I've used lights on my gun, prefer them to not be there because I don't like pointed a loaded gun at everything I illuminate.

Biker

Shawn Dodson
August 16, 2008, 01:17 AM
Jeez...I'm not going to hide under the bed and shout commands at an unseen BG from 40 feet away. To answer your third asinine question:

Only once AFTER I have him in my sights. There's no second warning. If he continues to move forward, I'll take him out. IMO, your ego is getting the best of you.

I've confronted a lot more bad guys at gun point than you, in many cases gangbangers that taunted my authority, and never I had to fire a shot to control them. And I've encountered many other situations that were just wierd - out of the ordinary - in which shooting the "bad guy" would have been totally wrong if I hadn't allowed the opportunity for the situation to develop to understand (orient) to the circumstances (e.g., drunk, nude guy in the backyard trying to open the sliding glass patio door.)

You have your rules of engagement, I have mine.

Good luck!