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Old September 12, 2011, 04:57 PM   #1
graysmoke
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Tactical Flashlights & Training with Handheld Flashlight

I had over-heard a gun salesman telling a customer that the best type of Flashlight to have for home use or protection is no less than a LED Flashlight with 90 Lumens power.
Then he recomended a handheld type, instead of the mount on pistol light.

So I got involved with the their conversation. and asked "Why he prefered the handheld over the pistol mount"?.
His remark made sence.
"I like to hold the flashlight above my head, so I have a more broad lite-up view of an area". "And the bad guy does not have a direct aim at me, makeing myself less a target, if he has a gun to shot first".

What is your tactical thoughts with a handheld Flashlight? And is 90 Lumens a sufficiant power?.

I forgot to indicate the Flashlight he was selling was a Coleman LED small 5" in lenght, black aluminum, with thumb push on/off button on the back/butt....He said it puts out a blueish light not white for better optics & clearity.....Sale Price: $25.00
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Old September 12, 2011, 05:01 PM   #2
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I think it's more likely that a BG see your flashlight before you are able to shine it on him, IMO - just making you a target.

I don't use flashlights at all for HD. I have areas backlit, I know the places where I will be - and those areas are dark.

I'l be sitting in darkness and be shooting at a backlit silouette, the only light a BG is going to see is muzzle flash.
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Old September 12, 2011, 05:06 PM   #3
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I only use a hand held light as I do not want to point a gun at someone just to illuminate them.
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Old September 12, 2011, 05:17 PM   #4
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I think light power just depends on how much you want to try to blind the person, or just light him up. There's enough ambient light in my apartment that I can usually see anyone. Of course with that being said, I rely on something other than a firearm where I live, don't want to be liable for hurt neighbors, and that's a whole other story...

My light is only 24 Lumens apparently, and I think it'd be more than enough.
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Old September 12, 2011, 06:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
I only use a hand held light as I do not want to point a gun at someone just to illuminate them.
I do the same. My primary HD/nightstand pistol sits in a dresser box on my nightstand which also contains a spare magazine, small maglite, and my tanto.

I go with the over/under 2handed method for aiming the weapon and the light, but I do not like having to aim my weapon at what I want to illuminate. For example, and I've said this before: If checking on your kids rooms due to a strange bump in the night, do you really want to point your weapon at the to see if they are safe in bed?
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Old September 12, 2011, 07:17 PM   #6
Nnobby45
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I carry a SureFire LED on me at all times when I carry. It's uses are many from pointing at fast approaching cars at night when I'm in a crosswalk, to checking dark places, to general use. LED mandatory, since batteries on a bulb type wouldn't last long. The Blade Tech combo mag/light pouch works fine.
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Old September 12, 2011, 09:19 PM   #7
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I do not like the idea of a person clearing rooms unless they have a partner to assist them and they both have received training to do this.

I have both hand held and rail mounted. If one goes out, you still have another.

I prefer a light that has a very wide beam of light to illuminate a room. I would take a 50 lumens wide beam light over a narrow beam 200 lumens light. One thing to be careful of with white lights is not shining it onto something where the light will come back at you (close wall painted in white gloss, mirror, glass, etc.)
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Old September 12, 2011, 09:25 PM   #8
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I took exactly one night class before the rail mounted Surefire X300 with DG switch was acquired for my sidearm. One should always carry a separate tactical flashlight, too.
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Old September 13, 2011, 08:19 AM   #9
output
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I am not a tactical guru by any means…but I have been introduced to the flashlight in the air technique in two separate classes now. It makes a lot of sense, but it is limited in application. If I were clearing my own home I would not be able to use the technique as there are too many rooms, doorways, and narrow hallways with low ceilings or overhangs that would prevent me from fully extending my arm into the air or even out away from my body. I can’t imagine being able to clear the inside of my house that way, maybe my property or a warehouse? But that is a job that is best left to law enforcement.

As far as lumens go I think 90-120 lumens would temporally disorient someone that is in relatively complete darkness. I recall reading in a Surefire catalog or the website that 65 lumens should be “effective.”
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Old September 13, 2011, 11:41 PM   #10
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"Be a good witness.", tactical flashlights or "white-lights"....

My first point here is to not get involved in any gun shop, outdoor store or gun show sales or converstaions unless what is said it grossly over-rated or a serious safety hazard. You can choose to do what you want, it's a free country(for now; ) but I wouldn't get in the middle of every transaction or discussion unless a customer asked your opinion or you were looking at the same sales item.
I work in a business and have had these issues brought up to the main supervisor/GM. Some people like to "hover" or be involved in events they have 0 purpose or input in.
As for the white lights or tactical lights, I'd heard the min should be 65lum of brightness. This was from a item by a retired SWAT cop/tactical training expert named Giles something. He was a part of Mesa Tactical or some outfit in AZ.
Newer white lights or tactical lights are around 100-240lum. They can also be re-charged or have laser aimer/strobe/SOS lights too.
I've seen decent SWAT/LE/armed citizen brands for $80.00-$200.00.
Don't get the cheap Mall Ninja or gun show knock-offs either. They will break or fail then you'll be "stuck like Chuck" as many locals here say.
White lights or flashlights can be deployed quickly too. The Harris, Rodgers-Ayoob method & the FBI tactic are a few of the most popular sidearm/white light stances. Surefire markets a line of polymer rings designed by a working FAM(federal air marshal) to hold lights in different ways during a lethal force incident.
To close, there are many styles, power levels & choices. Look over the brands or models and get the best white light or flashlight you can.
www.surefire.com www.blackhawk.com www.5.11tactical.com www.policehq.com www.galls.com www.uscav.com
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Old September 14, 2011, 09:29 PM   #11
big_genius29
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Different manufacturers have different way's of testing the lumen output on a light.

A 90 lumen chi-com Coleman light might be the equivalent of a 30-40 lumen Surefire.

I have a few Surefire's and they will all blind a BG. Even the good ole G2 is rated at 65 and that thing will burn your retina's if you get flashed with it in a dark room.



To me I only use hand held lights vs mounted on my handgun. At this point in life I can't justify spending a few hundred bucks on a light mounted on my gun. I train with a hand light and gun.

My rifle on the other hand has a light mounted on it.
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Old September 15, 2011, 12:55 AM   #12
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Everyone's idea of whats best for home defense is different. So why limit yourself, buy everything. Mace, 12 gauge, .223, .45, 9mm, CQC knife, fashlight, bat, axe, Coldsteel Greatsword... Whatever..

I would like to chime in, in the dark when your eyes are not adjusted to light getting a strobing LED light that has 200+ lumens is blinding. I strobed myself in the mirror as a test, and was glad to see that I was "seeing stars". If your assailant is not holding his gun properly and is not looking down the sights theres a small chance your going to get shot when the light turns on. The second that light comes out of no where the only thing your going to do is shut your eyes and use your hands as a shield or turn your face away from it. Its so bright and so unexpected its your human nature. Also at home you dont have to stand in front of the guy to shine him, just stick your light out of the door, you will know when you get him because instinctively hes going to make a sound, or his trigger finger is going to pull or hes going to drop the gun. After that toss the light, and engage with your weapon.

The torch will never be the greatest HD weapon but it will be useful for insuring you get the surprise attack. I only carry my tactical light on me at night, when im in my car or walking the streets for this very reason. Your going to get that light out and in the guys eyes before you can draw your gun or pull your knife. And the desired effect will be immediate. Allowing you maybe as much as a full second to either run or dispatch. Tactical lights also have crowned heads so you can use them as a bludgeon in a pinch. A quick wack on the head from a flashlight will ensure you have plenty of time to decide what to do next.

Back to the OP's question of 90 Lumens I think not. Get something more than 150+ their not all that much money. The Fenix PD lights are small and throw out 230 Lumens all for about $50. The light I chose is a Fenix TA-20 got it for $80 on amazon.

Like nutnfancy says "I like options". Dont limit yourself everything has a use. Example:

BG coming up the stairs, I shine my light with only my hand exposed through the door, he gets blinded, I randomly spray some pepper spray and wait for a scream. If not...I blindly toss the mace can as hard as I can towards the BG (doing all this not exposed, with only my hand and arm outside the door frame) another quick strobe from my torch, throw that as hard as I can too before I charge out with my knife + gun. If I run out, the dudes like 10 yards away, toss the knife, hope it sticks, that frees up my 2nd hand and pray my hand is steady and my aim is true.

Summary:
BUY A LIGHT! If not for home defense, you will love making the decision to buy a quality LED light once your power is gone. I was light-less for 8 days with nothing but candles when Hurricane Ike hit. Lightless 3 days this year when the powerbox broke, and I was lightless (Not even enough batteries in my cellphone) when my car had a flat and I attempted to jack it up in the air in total darkness. The result; my car fell 2 times because I could not find the jackpoint. Once narrowly crushing my hand. So....

http://www.lapolicegear.com/flashlights.html
Do it.

Last edited by ChrisBobis; September 15, 2011 at 01:02 AM.
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Old September 15, 2011, 06:53 AM   #13
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I teach my students to only use a handheld light. I think rail mounted lights have more drawbacks than benefits.
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Old September 15, 2011, 07:05 AM   #14
Don P
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Quote:
forgot to indicate the Flashlight he was selling was a Coleman LED small 5" in lenght, black aluminum, with thumb push on/off button on the back/butt....He said it puts out a blueish light not white for better optics & clearity.....Sale Price: $25.00
At least he's not trying to sell some $300-400 wiz bang special ops super duper rail mounted TACTICAL crap!
The hand held will work just fine and no special holster needed
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Old September 15, 2011, 05:10 PM   #15
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I like to echo the answer that pointing a weapon aimed flashlight would not be the best scenario. You have to point the muzzle to see with the light. I have 3 D-cell Mag-light that can double as a club if the fight gets close.

But I know where everything is in my house even in the dark. I can navigate without turning on the lights. Even half asleep I can get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom without tripping over anything. I even hit the toilet every time. To my wife's delight.
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Old September 15, 2011, 05:28 PM   #16
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I would never use a flashlight when approaching an intruder. I am no expert, BUT in the USMC we were trained to take cover and assume protected firing positions. If not possible, we were to fire at anyone aiming a light at us when patrolling/maneuvering in hostile territory. So, given that scenario, I would hesitate to train a light on anyone who is inside in my home without permission, and I will continue to labor under the assumption that they are not there to sell Girl Scout cookies. I will take cover and make sure there is not more than one intruder, and exercise the Castle Doctrine as soon as possible.
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Old September 15, 2011, 05:33 PM   #17
graysmoke
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That Coleman 90 lumens LED Tactical Flashlight that salesman was selling. I saw it in WalMart Sporting Goods Dept.... Sale Price- $17.97

Bought one, and last night in total darkness indoors tried it out....AWESOME.
Lightweight black aluminum, waterproof, and with the quite thumb tailcap button on the back.....when clicked on, there is a Powerfull Blinding Beam of light it projects. And with a wide angle.
Outdoors it's just as awesome performing.

Hope I never have to use it. But for the money spent it is well worth having.
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Old September 16, 2011, 11:49 AM   #18
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I am not really one that is into calling everything "tactical" but I do like having a good sturdy flashlight available for bumps in the night. You can debate the good bad and ugly about using flashlights in SD situations all day long but its basically a balancing act. Honestly, I think there is more good than bad. There is alot of talk about making yourself a target with a flashlight and I do not dispute that at all. You just have to decide how confident you are on assessing the situation. I am not going to attempt "Clearing" a dark house or other confined dark space but I would and do use a flashlight more many other safety/security tasks.

I own (2) FenixTA20's led and they are the best "small" lights I have ever owned. I dont like to go overboard with the lums and these are just right with something like a 30lum 80lum, 150lum and strobe. The brightness is controlled by a dial, the light wont roll away, has a attack bezel and the tailcap button is heavyduty.

I will also say that if you are going to buy a flashlight, buy a good one. A light isnt much good if it wont come on, wont stay on long, or breaks the first time you drop it. I have tried all manner of light up into the $35 range but it wasnt until I doubled that price that I actually received a flashlight I can depend on.
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Old September 17, 2011, 02:31 AM   #19
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Several questions...

So you are asking several questions.

1) how bright.
The standard a few years back and still a good benchmark is 60 lumens. But with modern LED technology 200 lumens is now the norm for under $100

2) stand alone versus weapon mounted
This goes more into preference and I do personally and professional recommend a stand alone dedicated light. This gives you the flexibility to use your light without drawing your firearm.

3) technique
How you hold is up to you. There are lots of different ways to Hold High or Off to one side but if you deploy a firearm you have lost a great deal in support in firing. If you are good at one handed shooting...

Just note that lumens alone is not enough. Each light is different and the quality of the LED differs too. You pay for what you get... Don't get me wrong as even cheap lights are pretty darn bright these days.

If you are in the Seattle area - September 24, 2011

Check out this: http://waguns.org/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=2130
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Old September 17, 2011, 04:12 AM   #20
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There is no such thing as a tactical flashlight.

Definition of TACTICAL
1: of or relating to combat tactics
(1) : of or occurring at the battlefront
(2) : using or being weapons or forces employed at the battlefront
2a : of or relating to tactics: as
(1) : of or relating to small-scale actions serving a larger purpose
(2) : made or carried out with only a limited or immediate end in view
b : adroit in planning or maneuvering to accomplish a purpose
— tac·ti·cal·ly \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of TACTICAL
They gained a tactical advantage by joining with one of their competitors.
He made a serious tactical error.
The planes provided tactical air support for the soldiers on the ground.

First Known Use of TACTICAL
1570

Related to TACTICAL
Synonyms: advisable, desirable, judicious, politic, prudent, expedient, wise
Antonyms: impolitic, imprudent, inadvisable, inexpedient, injudicious, unwise
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Old September 17, 2011, 11:56 AM   #21
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^WOW That is really being TECHNICAL on TACTICAL.....Good Lord!
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Old September 17, 2011, 01:42 PM   #22
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If you just want a good, extremely bright, dependable flashlight that runs on common batteries, please view my web site.
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Old September 17, 2011, 10:47 PM   #23
jgcoastie
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Flashlights, in and of themselves, are not, and cannot be tactical. Period. They may be used in a tactical manner, but an inanimate object is not capable of employing any sort of tactics, so therefore it is not tactical. Nor will it ever be.

I can use a toaster in a tactical fashion, does that mean that Colt is going to start marketing tactical toasters? No. Just like I can use a flashlight in a tactical manner, but the flashlight itself has no mechanism (I.e. Brain) with which to make decisions which may be of a tactical purpose.

Yes, it's a pet peeve of mine.
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Old September 18, 2011, 12:38 AM   #24
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3x3x3 rule; white lights & armed citizens or professionals...

I read a few of the recent forum posts here and I'd add this input:

FWIW; most CQB(close quarters) or armed citizen involved events involve what I call the 3x3x3 rule: 3ft 3 fired rounds & 3 seconds. Extended use or long periods of a bright flashlight or white light may expose your position or make the subject(s) aware of your general location but most incidents will end quickly or without the need for long uses of a light source, IMO.
Many high end & LE type units have momentary or brief lights that can cut off in a instant. That is why I prefer the tailcap button models too.
I saw in the new printed catalog of www.Galls.com a new product that creates a bright white light that can aid in use as a distraction device or to blind a violent subject. When you toss the bulbs on the ground, you can run off or have an "avenue of escape". The small lights are pocket size & could be useful in SOME defense/LE/security events.
Tactics instructor & USMC combat veteran Clint Smith described a small product a lot like the white lights sold by Galls.com.
The new strobe features on many flashlights or 1913 rail systems can assist you too in a critical incident.
As posted or taught by many US use of force/tactics programs, it's a smart plan to have a "tactical toolbox".
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Old September 19, 2011, 10:05 PM   #25
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For all this talk about the word tactical, I will say this. I dont really care to use the word much and for the most part it has become a marketing buzz word. However, the word tactical simply mean that the subject ie.. light, rifle stock or laser etc is condusive to the performance of a specific tacitc. Can a flashlight by definition be tactical.. sure

Heck, if they had tactical jump-suits in 1919, I am sure that a some specific flashlights in 2011 can be considered the same.
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