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Old December 4, 2010, 09:44 AM   #126
cougar gt-e
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The officer claims he meant to activate his gun-mounted flashlight and pulled the trigger instead.
100% understand how this could happen. Once had a laser with the pressure switch pad deal and the curly cord (remember them?). One of the first times shooting with it, I went to turn the laser on and the dang gun fired! Scared me, but following the rules, the gun was pointed at the targets at the time. Whew!

That made me think long and hard about accessories. The action of squeezing the pressure pad with a middle finger was too close to the action of squeezing the trigger and the trigger finger "went along for the ride". I honestly didn't remember moving the trigger finger at all. Weird, but important lesson learned. A gizmo like that takes more dedicated training or possibly un-training than I was willing to put in. (It went bye-bye) When the adrenaline starts pumping the last thing I need is to have to think about silly gizmos!
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Old December 5, 2010, 11:04 PM   #127
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I'm new to the forum and really impressed by the outstanding discussion of a particularly thorny subject.

It seems to me that barring a malfunction of the equipment itself a ND is always ultimately the responsibility of the shooter, whether the proximate cause is violation of safety rules, use of equipment with known design deficiencies, or use of equipment with inadequate training.

However, having said that, equipment which is designed to take advantage of human factors and natural tendencies is almost always preferable to equipment which requires training to overcome them.

-Stan-
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Old December 6, 2010, 03:44 PM   #128
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I didn't read all the comments but I will after I post this and see if I agree with what others already said.

I have always been against gun mounted lights for a few reasons and one is it violates the rule of not pointing a gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. although it does increase the risk of someone getting shot by accident, there is still no excuse for poor trigger discipline and in the shooting that was mentioned it was entirely operator error and not equipment failure so the blame lies entirely with the shooter
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Old December 6, 2010, 08:53 PM   #129
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Take another look

I finally got the picture uploaded. Take a close look and you can see that pressing the activation button on the gun mounted light could EASILY lead you to pressing the trigger accidentally! Note that there is an activation switch on each side of the light, and it begs you to press the activation switch with your trigger finger! This is the type of design that lawyers love to attack!



This is a very bad and dangerous design!
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Old December 6, 2010, 09:00 PM   #130
Erik
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Uh... Check the first page, where the unit with the pressure switch is shown.

Your picture, the unit without the pressure switch attached, is activated via rocker switches. Different concerns. Same solution, though: training. And, no, it is not a "very bad and dangerous design;" either one of them.
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Old December 6, 2010, 09:00 PM   #131
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the activation button on the gun mounted light could EASILY lead you to pressing the trigger accidentally!
It does not matter, the cop can't blame the light for the reason he messed up.
At the very least the cop should have had the light turned on before he pointed it. Point the gun in a safe direction before you turn on the light.

I don't like lights mounted on guns, and I would have used a hand held light, if the cop did not feel confident to use the light he should have gotten a hand held light
=========================
It is his job to become familiar with his equiptment
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Last edited by silvercorvette; December 6, 2010 at 09:10 PM.
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Old December 6, 2010, 09:05 PM   #132
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Read the article again...

... the department in question switched from the X200 light, which had the activation switch as depicted in WW2's picture, to the X300, with the optional button below the trigger guard, same position as for a CrimsonTrace laser switch.

From the SureFire website http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main....rch_id=2409228:

Quote:
Optional pistol grip switches permit operation with the top grip finger, leaving the index finger free to operate the handgun trigger. Other switches are available for operating the X300 when attached to a long gun.
This type of switch is activated by squeezing the middle finger of the shooting hand; on my 442, the CT switch often comes on as soon as I begin firing, requiring very little extra pressure - the extra pressure I subconsciously apply for recoil control is all it takes. Not sure how much pressure the SureFire button takes.
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Old December 6, 2010, 09:55 PM   #133
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It does not matter where the switch is, everyone (cops and non-cops) are responsible for every round fired from there gun. Cops should be held to a higher standard and then this mess would have never happened if
1) he became familiar with his equipment
2) had the light/gun pointed in a safe direction when he turned it on, in this case it happened in a parking lot, but if he was entering a building it should have been turned in before he went in. I don't know if he could have turned it on before exiting the car or entering the lot but there is no reason he couldn't have had the gun pointed in a safe direction before he started futzing around with the switch
3) spent some money on a good hand held light
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Old December 6, 2010, 10:15 PM   #134
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Preaching to the choir, SilverCorvette. I have never been a fan of lights on handguns.

But anybody who wants to use one should take great pains to train to use it safely.

WRT switch positions, my CT laser switches are in the same spot. Attempts to use the lasers have never caused me to sympathetically pull the trigger.
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Old December 6, 2010, 11:29 PM   #135
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And what of both? Pressure switches to activate the laser and the rockers to activate the light? Its amazing users with those configurations even survive the loading process. But then again, it isn't that complicated so long as folks train to competency, let alone higher levels of proficiency.
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Old December 6, 2010, 11:38 PM   #136
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It isn't about the switches (although the shooter in the article disagrees). I only brought up switches because people mention rockers, and those weren't involved in the OP incident.

It is about training to an extent, and keeping one's cool to an extent. But it is also about (IMO) the foolishness of using a weapon mounted light for primary identification equipment.

Last edited by MLeake; December 9, 2010 at 11:53 AM.
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Old December 7, 2010, 01:24 AM   #137
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I wasn't aiming that at you, so much as asking a rhetorical question for the "these don't belong" crowd. Sorry if it came across like a dig - it wasn't. Best - E
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Old December 7, 2010, 08:13 AM   #138
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I think we need a few of these given to local law enforcement...Thin out a few of our dealers....lol

The point is, he had his weapon already drawn. They were making an arrest.
He didn't pull it out to use the light. He had the perp at gunpoint. Probably couldn't see his hands, well, or was giving another UC a better view.

Bottom line - FINGER OFF OF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO FIRE.

And for the record, the Surefire is a phenomenal light AND system and there is NOTHING wrong with the design. On the contrary, if you use your TRIGGER FINGER, to operate the light, HOW CAN YOU SHOOT SOMEONE, ACCIDENTLY?
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Old December 7, 2010, 08:24 PM   #139
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Every time a bullet leaves the barrel the shooter is always responsible. There are a few reasons I don't like gun mounted lights and in addition to the reason I already mentioned the main reason is that when I became a cop in 1970 (they didn't have all those fancy gadgets back then) we were trained to hold our light in our weak hand at arms length away from our body because if anyone was aiming for the light hopping to hit you the shot would be off by an arms length. That light makes a good place to aim your shots.
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Old December 7, 2010, 09:20 PM   #140
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silvercorvette...

... I've never been thrilled with giving them the light to shoot at, either.

BilltheDJGuy, the light involved was not operated by the trigger finger, but by the middle finger, below the trigger guard. So.... your point doesn't apply.

The main thing is, his finger should not have been on the trigger, if he didn't perceive a direct threat. The possibility of a threat may justify the draw, and in some cases (arrests being one) the aim; but his finger shouldn't have been on the trigger at that point.
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Old December 7, 2010, 09:40 PM   #141
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silvercorvette...
... I've never been thrilled with giving them the light to shoot at, either.

BilltheDJGuy, the light involved was not operated by the trigger finger, but by the middle finger, below the trigger guard. So.... your point doesn't apply.

The main thing is, his finger should not have been on the trigger, if he didn't perceive a direct threat. The possibility of a threat may justify the draw, and in some cases (arrests being one) the aim; but his finger shouldn't have been on the trigger at that point.
I mentioned that in post #128 on this thread
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Old December 7, 2010, 10:46 PM   #142
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It does not matter where the switch is, everyone (cops and non-cops) are responsible for every round fired from there gun.
While the cop is responsible for every round fired, the position of the switch (as designed) may matter if the design is flawed and hence a portion of the blame may go to the light's manufacturer.

Quote:
Cops should be held to a higher standard and then this mess would have never happened if
1) he became familiar with his equipment
You know, it isn't enought to be familiar with one's gear, but to be proficient with it.

Quote:
3) spent some money on a good hand held light
#3 seems to be contradictory to the claim that it does not matter where the switch is. If it doesn't matter where the switch is, being handheld would not have prevented the discharge.

Quote:
I have always been against gun mounted lights for a few reasons and one is it violates the rule of not pointing a gun at anything you don't intend to destroy.
I take it that you are not familiar with modern weapon lights. Even the smaller handgun lights have enough brightness to light up a large volume of space including nearby people without actually pointing the gun at those people. Hence, use of a weapon mounted light need not violate and safety rules.
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Old December 8, 2010, 08:57 PM   #143
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I take it that you are not familiar with modern weapon lights. Even the smaller handgun lights have enough brightness to light up a large volume of space including nearby people without actually pointing the gun at those people. Hence, use of a weapon mounted light need not violate and safety rules.
I don't want to take this thread and hijack it to a different topic and debate hand held vs gun mounted lights, my main point is he pulled the trigger when he shouldn't have. Regardless of where the light switch is located the trigger is in the same location it has always been and he pulled it.

PS I still have the same hand held light that I bought when I graduated from the police academy January of 1971
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Old December 9, 2010, 11:41 AM   #144
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I don't want to take this thread and hijack it to a different topic and debate hand held vs gun mounted lights, my main point is he pulled the trigger when he shouldn't have. Regardless of where the light switch is located the trigger is in the same location it has always been and he pulled it.
Right, so your claim that the officer should have better spent his money on a good handheld light would not have changed things one iota. So while you seem to really be promoting the whole hand-held light as being better in a discussion on an ND by an officer, you can't say that there would have been any benefit in necessarily preventing this ND. The officer screwed up, plain and simple. His gun was pointed at the suspect and his finger was on the trigger. A handheld light would not have prevented either of these transgressions.
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Old December 11, 2010, 10:43 PM   #145
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Right, so your claim that the officer should have better spent his money on a good handheld light would not have changed things one iota. So while you seem to really be promoting the whole hand-held light as being better in a discussion on an ND by an officer, you can't say that there would have been any benefit in necessarily preventing this ND. The officer screwed up, plain and simple. His gun was pointed at the suspect and his finger was on the trigger. A handheld light would not have prevented either of these transgressions.
Sorry about the late reply but I have been real sick for the past few days and haven't spent much time on line.

There are a lot of reasons I prefer a hand held light. If we get into a debate about hand held vs gun mounted lights it will just hijack this thread off topic.

I don't personally like them but there is a big enough demand for them to have made gun manufactures include rails on their guns.

There are a lot of gadgets being sold that I personally have no use for but if anyone feels that they need or want the latest gadget then go for it. But for God sake don't just slap one on your gun without being able to operate it under stress without making a mistake.

My opinion is the light switch location is being used as a contributing factor to redirect attention from the shooter failure to operate his equipment in a safe manner. Anytime someone pulls the trigger they are responsible for every bullet that leaves the gun. The shooter messed up and he and his lawyer are trying to shift the blame to the equipment. If you carry any gun related equipment you should be darn sure you have practiced with it enough to not have any accidents due to equipment operator error
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