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Old November 22, 2010, 02:01 PM   #51
demigod
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demigod "fact that you're blinded by muzzle smoke the second you fire the first shot"

I'd like to hear the story on how you are blinded by "muzzle smoke"
Maybe I worded that poorly...

After one shot from my pistol with a tac light mounted, the reflection of the light off of the muzzle smoke almost completely obscures the target for a second or two.

Not a big deal for range practice. But if I were in a real fight and needed to shoot, I'd like to be able to see who I'm shooting at. Especially since real life threats don't stand still like range targets.

Having a hand held light that I can move independently of the bore reduces the smoke screen effect a little bit in my experience. I like to shoot using the SureFire method.
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Old November 22, 2010, 02:30 PM   #52
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That is interesting. I've shot hundred of rounds with a light mounted on my gun and have never had this happen. Are you shooting cheap reloads or Wolf that create a lot of smoke? Even when shooting wwb I've never had this happen.
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Old November 22, 2010, 03:05 PM   #53
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The other thing I hate about shooting with a tac light on a pistol is that the light recoils off target with the weapon. I know it's just a split second, but it's annoying and distracting to me.

The third thing I hate is that if you're trying to use momentary light pulses, you have to reacquire the activation switch... which is another distraction. Of course if you're constant on, that's not an issue. But I may not want the light left on.

This doesn't happen with a hand held using the surefire method. I'm not trying to sell an idea or anything. I'm just giving my opionon on why I don't like pistol mounted lights. I'm more comfortable separating the light manipulation and the firearm completely when it comes to pistol shooting... even if I have to shoot one handed.
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Old November 22, 2010, 04:00 PM   #54
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Quote:
demigod "fact that you're blinded by muzzle smoke the second you fire the first shot"

I'd like to hear the story on how you are blinded by "muzzle smoke"
As he noted, he worded it a bit funny. However, the problem is very real. We had "gray walls" from the smoke inside a shoot house with no breeze. The smoke hung in the air and the target that was only 8-10 feet distant virtually disappeared.

JohnKSa described the problem in some testing we did at my range as well.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ighlight=light

And no, we weren't shooting cheap reloads either, but factory FMJ, TMJ, and even some defensive ammo. {Wh does everyone assume that if something isn't expensive, that it can't be quality?}

Quoting John from the above link...
Quote:
All the shooters noticed during the formal testing that the smoke from the discharge was very distracting when a flashlight was being employed. Although the smoke was invisible during the daylight shooting, trying to shine a light through it made it not only visible but annoying and a hindrance to accuracy. The effect was something like shining headlights through fog and got worse the brighter the flashlight was. Some experimentation revealed that the most effective technique to combat this effect was to shine the light, not on the target, but rather onto the ground in front of the target where the light scatter would illuminate the target.
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Old November 22, 2010, 04:53 PM   #55
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Changed the location of the light switch? under stress this can be bad. The titanic was sunk because of this. The wheel man was just off the steamships, the wheel turned the other way than the titanic or so I have read. Guy turned into that ice burg, oops, hate it when that happens.

A gal LEO shot a guy, she said she thought it was her taser she pulled, oops guy died.

Accidents can be avoided.
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Old November 22, 2010, 05:25 PM   #56
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A few years ago a deputy killed a young man after stopping him for riding a dirt bike without a license. The deputy had chased the guy because he knew he didn't have the license, when the kid wrecked the dirt bike the deputy blew his head off, well, what was left remained in the helmet anyway.
He said he shot him in the face while trying to turn off his laser sight!!!!!!!!!
The deputy was cleared of any wrong doing:barf:
I feel the deputy murdered the kid and that is all there is to it!
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Old November 22, 2010, 06:04 PM   #57
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Double Naught Spy "Wh does everyone assume that if something isn't expensive, that it can't be quality?}"


I didn't say inexpensive! I said cheap RELOADS or WOLF!
I even mentioned shooting WWB, about as cheap as it gets. I shot indoors often and have never experienced this.
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Old November 22, 2010, 06:34 PM   #58
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I don't like weapon-mounted flashlights for the reasons already mentioned here. But more than that, I don't like BS stories, and this sure seems like one of them. He couldn't tell the difference between his flashlight switch and his trigger? Can anyone really be that stupid? Don't tell me about the "heat of the moment." There was no "moment" -- the dead guy was unarmed.

It seems to me that the officer panicked, shot an unarmed man, and is making up an excuse. It makes me long for the good old days, when every street cop in New York City carried a drop gun for these special occasions.
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Old November 22, 2010, 07:44 PM   #59
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Great Thread! A few thoughts...

I looked at the picture in post #15 by Blue Steel. After reading the article, and researching the light on the SureFire website,

I was ALARMED at how easy it would be to pull the trigger when trying to turn on the light!

The officer stated that:
Quote:
the OPTIONAL grip switch was NOT installed [Emphasis added].
So to activate the light you have to push the button on the side of the light at the front of the trigger guard. In the heat of the moment, with adrenalin pumping, it would be easy to use a little too much force and after hitting the switch have your finger slap the trigger! Study the picture carefully and you will see this also!

Now, I am not an LEO and never have been. I am not CCW since Riverside County California requires you to have a restraining order against someone who is actively threatening you with a viable death threat before they will issue a CCW permit. So, this argument applies to me, at home, in a home defense scenario.

What I take away is:

1. No weapon mounted flashlight. An AD/ND is too likely for my level of training. I will use a hand held light. To wit, a few days ago I was out in the front yard at 3 AM with my dogs when they started growling a something to my right in the shadows. I quickly brought my hand held flashlight up in the direction they were growling and pushed the momentary switch. I instantly spotlighted the neighbor kid’s girlfriend walking across their driveway to get to her car. This only took a flash of light not much longer than taking a picture, but I quickly knew there was no threat and calmed down the dogs. Had that been a weapon mounted light, I would not only have spotlighted her, but covered her with my weapon. Can anyone say “assault with a deadly weapon”? So a handheld light is for me. By the way, I was legal in carrying on my own property.

2. I will keep my Crimson Trace laser grips on my SD/HD pistol. A normal grip activates the laser. In order to not be seen projecting the beam all over the place, I place my trigger finger in front of the laser, thus blocking the beam. Even if my grip is strong enough to activate the switch this is not seen as a red line pointing to me from around the corner or across the room. When I identify a threat (with the hand held flashlight), the trigger finger will move to the trigger and the beam will project to the target. Thus allowing quick “sight” acquisition and an accurate shot. Although this pistol is a Bersa Thunder 380, it is Double Action on the first shot and Single Action for all follow up shots. I believe this will help prevent an AD/ND on the first shot. Of course using the finger blocking the laser technique should also ensure this. Too bad the Bersa Thunder 9mm is not legal in California.

3. My 9mm is SAO. This is probably a bad idea for SD/HD as an AD/ND is more likely.

So, there you have a noobee’s opinion on what I take away from this discussion. YMMV!
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Old November 22, 2010, 08:59 PM   #60
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I do not use a weapon mounted light b/c it gives away my position. I prefer to hold my good ol' Maglite (which makes a good club if I need it, BTW) at arm's length in my off hand so I can scan the room with a flick of the wrist.
It is fast, and if the BG shoots at the light before I can take a shot, it minimizes the chances of my getting shot, since he's aiming over 2 1/2 feet from my center of mass. My grandpa taught this to me; he learned it in WWII.
If the difference between life and death can be measured in tenths of a second, why complicate things for a shooter? KISS. It protects your life and the lives of those you don't NEED to shoot.
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Old November 22, 2010, 11:05 PM   #61
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This discussion is interesting and it highlights a key point about human nature. Some people feel it necessary to have the "latest technology" always at their disposal. Before rails were common on handguns, people learned to use ambient light, handheld lights and even muzzle flash to provide aiming light. I think we should still focus on these light sources and regard the pistol mounted light as a novelty that could be useful if we actually have time to deploy it in a self defense situation.

I prefer the handheld light mainly because I own handheld lights that are many times brighter and longer lasting than anything that can be mounted on a pistol rail. The handheld light can be aimed right into an intruder's eyes as an effective nonlethal deterrent to further approach. A Maglite with LED conversion is heavy enough to use as a club while being bright enough to temporarily blind an intruder at a sufficiently long distance to keep the intruder at bay. The C or D batteries last much longer than CR123 batteries that are common in pistol lights. Also, I can aim the Maglite in one direction while pointing the pistol in another direction, allowing me the potential to disguise my position from an intruder.

Pistol lights add to the handgun maintenence issues. If you train with the pistol light, are you sure that you won't be thrown for a loop if you discover that the pistol light has malfunctioned in the moment of truth?

When it comes to defensive training, I think the simpler, the better. I don't want any extra switches, batteries or gadgets on my gun. To each his own.

Technology is not always what we need. Basically, you need a gun and ammo combination that is as reliable as you can find and you need access to a separate flashlight. Then you need good, solid no-frills pistol training. If you find that the batteries are weak or the Maglite is malfunctioning, then put it in your back pocket and use it as a club if necessary.
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Old November 22, 2010, 11:08 PM   #62
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warrior poet "I prefer to hold my good ol' Maglite (which makes a good club if I need it, BTW) at arm's length in my off hand so I can scan the room with a flick of the wrist".

I keep hearing people say they use this technique and yet when I have my wife hold a flashlight as far away and as far out in front of her as she can she glows like a christmas tree.
She says the same when I try it.
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Old November 23, 2010, 08:23 AM   #63
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Do it when she's shining the light directly into your eyes in a dark room - you won't be able to see anything except the light for a few seconds, and that is where most people would return fire to.
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Old November 23, 2010, 09:01 AM   #64
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Double Naught Spy "Wh does everyone assume that if something isn't expensive, that it can't be quality?}"


I didn't say inexpensive! I said cheap RELOADS or WOLF!
I even mentioned shooting WWB, about as cheap as it gets. I shot indoors often and have never experienced this.
Sorry I wasn't being direct enough. I was being kind. Why do so many people think that if something doesn't perform to some standard that they have, that it must be cheap, a reload, or wolf?

Happy now?

I never considered Federal Hydrashoks to be cheap, reloads, or Wolf ammo, but it happened with them. And why must the reloads be cheap do do this? You can have custom made high quality LRN ball ammo do this. Cheap isn't really a salient issue.
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Old November 23, 2010, 10:10 AM   #65
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I was just asking a question to learn the answer!

Now I'm happy



tet4 "Do it when she's shining the light directly into your eyes in a dark room - you won't be able to see anything except the light for a few seconds, and that is where most people would return fire to".

So in reality when I'm searching I won't know where their eyes are, that's why I'm searching.
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Old November 23, 2010, 11:15 AM   #66
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If the illumination switch can be so easily confused with a pistol trigger, then it seems to me that the trigger poundage is too light. The Surefire switch requires low pressure to activate so if the trigger was noticeably heavier, this could provide the mental warning that an accidental discharge was about to occur and the shooter would have a chance to rethink firing the gun.
Using another finger to press the switch is just asking for trouble.

Sympathetic movement is way to likely to occur on the other fingers, especially under stress.

While NOT under stress moving the fingers separately in a coordinated manner is not hard (think about touch typing) but under high stress levels sympathetic movement of any other or all the fingers can all to easily occur.

The presence of a finger operated button to turn on the light is just asking for trouble.

The design is fatally flawed (and appears to have just contributed to a fatality).
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Old November 23, 2010, 12:11 PM   #67
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No lights going on any of my guns. I never liked the idea in the first place and this confirms for me that its a bad idea. I reckon God gave me two hands for a reason - one for the flashlight and the other for a pistol.
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Old November 23, 2010, 10:27 PM   #68
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I keep hearing people say they use this technique and yet when I have my wife hold a flashlight as far away and as far out in front of her as she can she glows like a christmas tree.
She says the same when I try it.
I was not aware of that. I haven't had a need to use a flashlight in low light at all for quite some time- NVGs the good ol' USMC lets me use and all take care of the dark.

Anyway, thanks for the info. I'll take a look at it next time I get home for leave, and maybe I'll have to revamp my tactics.
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Old November 23, 2010, 11:01 PM   #69
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warrior poet it seem the darker it is the more I stand out.
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Old November 23, 2010, 11:39 PM   #70
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Doesn't matter how "well trained" someone is. **** happens. The best gun handler in the world could make mistakes. It doesn't matter where the switch is located, somebody will say something bad about it. Could be any number of fail-safes, if something bad happens... people are going to say there should have been one more. BP oil had 2 fail-safes installed. everybody said, "need one more." A friend of mine got hit by a train walking to school. Tried to beat it. His mom though the flashing lights, blowing fog horn and bar across the road weren't enough.

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Old November 23, 2010, 11:48 PM   #71
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It's true that bad things sometimes happen in spite of training and that trained people can still make mistakes.

But the fact that training can't make the world perfectly safe and can't completely eliminate mistakes doesn't mean that training is useless. Nothing can make the world perfectly safe or completely prevent people from making mistakes.

If our criteria for espousing/endorsing a particular course of action is that it must be perfectly effective then we can't espouse or endorse anything because there is no course of action that is perfectly effective. It would be like saying that birth control is useless because there's no method that is totally effective at preventing pregnancy.

Training is a good idea, not because it prevents ALL mistakes but because it's remarkably effective at preventing/reducing the frequency of mistakes that are addressed by the training.

It's all about finding a balance.
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Old November 23, 2010, 11:51 PM   #72
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I found this thread very interesting from several angles. The first being the pointing of a pistol and someone who is not holding a weapon in their hands. As a LEO, I have pointed my pistol directly at many dozens of people over the years with only three of them (that I can remember) with a deadly weapon in their hands (one pistol, two knives). I came close to shooting two of them before they thought better of it. In one instance, I pointed my pistol at a man who had just robbed a bank. He had no weapon in his hands but he had the thousand yard stare, before my .45 and my loud barking convinced him to get on the ground. A couple of months ago, I pointed my pistol at a man who had stabbed his wife three times while trying to murder her. He had no weapon in his hands when I found him. This thread has caused me to reflect on this issue. I can tell you that police officers all over this country routinely point pistols at bad guys, believed to be armed or dangerous, but with no visible weapon in their hands. The theory that I present here is that a violent felony suspect is more likely to give up when staring at the bore of the pistol than when the pistol is held at the low ready. Of course, this theory could be wrong and ther is no way to present empirical evidence to support it. However, I do like the idea of the low ready as an option as it is very easy to come up on target for the trained shooter. Definitely something to think about.

Secondly, I am not one to use a flashlight on a pistol although I use one on my AR and my shotgun, the operation of which is done with the non shooting hand. I know that may not be practical with a pistol. I am okay with the pistol mounted light as long as people don't use it as a searching flashlight. I don't think this is what happened here. I think the officer would have pointed his pistol at this guy, just like we all tend to do, even if it didn't have a light on it. No matter what, I think the incident should be critically looked at so that the mistake is not replicated.
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Old November 24, 2010, 12:09 AM   #73
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One shouldn't base the decision to point a gun (or not point a gun) at a person purely on whether or not they are obviously displaying a deadly weapon. It should be based the reasonable belief that they pose an immediate and credible threat of death of serious injury.

If someone trustworthy told you that the person you were engaging had just committed an violent felony and was armed then I would say you were more than justified in pointing a weapon at them.

On the other hand, if you had no reason to believe he was armed and he wasn't acting as if he were a threat then pointing a gun at him would be overstepping.

In fact, even if he were armed that wouldn't, in and of itself, warrant pointing a gun at him. I've been stopped for traffic tickets more than once while armed. Although all of the officers knew I was armed (I informed them of the fact) none of them ever pointed a gun at me. Just as it should be.
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Old November 24, 2010, 11:54 AM   #74
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One shouldn't base the decision to point a gun (or not point a gun) at a person purely on whether or not they are obviously displaying a deadly weapon. It should be based the reasonable belief that they pose an immediate and credible threat of death of serious injury.
Keep in mind also that there is AT LEAST ONE gun at the scene.

The officers.

A significant number of officers are killed with their own guns, or gun taken from another officer.
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Old November 24, 2010, 06:37 PM   #75
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Which, by the way, is an excellent argument for keeping the gun safe in its retention holster until it is actually needed.
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