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Old July 24, 2012, 01:43 PM   #1
kraigwy
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Flashlights, an interesting concept.

I was watching Fox News (don't get excited, this is not political) and Meagan Kelly had Brandon Webb (Formal Navy Seal and author of several books, The Red Circle, 21st Century Snipers, and others).

He was discussing methods of none lethal self defense in situations where you can't carry.

The subject had to do with the Theater Shooting but I'll not go into that.

He mentioned one of the best, non lethal items is a small personal tactical flash lights.

Depending on the quality, you can get one of those little LED flashlights not much bigger then a cigarette lighter that would blind any bandit at distances of your normal self defense situations. Even in daylight, but at night, much longer, giving you a chance to De De the area.

Something to think about.

I'd recommend going to the "tactical flashlight" store and trying some. See if you can temp. blind your self.

I got one of those little LED head bans that go on your hat and it works pretty good. Its blinding, but I bet those little flashlights would really do the job.

I know in the past, based my my hundreds of building searches while in LE I mentioned I don't like bright flashlights for that situation, but this is a completely different situation, they might come in handy.

It would only take blinding someone a few seconds to give you time to find cover and/or concealment. It would work (according to Webb) at night at an ATM or other situation where you might incounter bandits.

Careful, if you're like me, don't go "big". I find Big stays at home. They make super small ones that work as a key chain yet are super bright.
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Old July 24, 2012, 01:52 PM   #2
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Concur, Kraig. They're making flashlights with more features now that when I was a rookie. A buddy had one with a "dazzle" feature, and I couldn't look at it for more than a second without turning away. Involuntary response, you looked at it, you head turned 90 degrees, like the Exorcist.

Next time I see him I"ll try to get the brand name, but in the meantime if anyone has a good link to a small, affordable flashlight with good options, post it here so we can see it.
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Old July 24, 2012, 02:08 PM   #3
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Yes, I have a flashlight about the size of large pen that can produce up to 200 lumens. I will admit that while I do carry one in my “man bag” I don’t always have one on me otherwise.
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Old July 24, 2012, 02:53 PM   #4
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I have a small Novatac 120 that uses one lithium cell. The strobe feature...especially at night, WILL annoy the crap out of you. There is no question that it will disrupt you.

When I go out walking, I have a Leupold 3 cell that puts out a BUNCH of light and the strobe feature on that will definitely get your attention.

It is the most powerful flashlight I own. There are others that will produce even more light.

I would like to see someone test one in a theater and see just how temporarily blind it would render a person.

I think the Leupold I have is an MX420. It was pretty expensive.

I did buy an additional 2 cell main body to make it a little smaller. You would get the same brightness but the battery life would be reduced.

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Old July 24, 2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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I saw that interview. I thought that way lame. A great way to get yourself shot at. Light up the target...oh my, its me!

Your in a theatre. The lights are out...its dark. Some idiot start shooting. You follow Webb's advice. Good luck. You don't exactly know where the shooter is...and there you are popping up trying to get a light in his eyes. Right.

There goes your "concealment" you light up the theatre with your flashlight...beaming shot me, shot at the light. A theatre of targets.

I think your survival is a little bit better in the dark.

Gosh what does he have to do, in that scenario, to avoid the light? Move his head...close his eyes briefly, step, move, duck? I think you better reconsider this tactic....just my opinion.
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Old July 24, 2012, 04:16 PM   #6
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Thanks kraigwy, personally I like the idea.

I know on many of the small boats in Viet Nam, . . . really powerful spotlights were on the boats just for that exact reason. They were no where near as much useful to find something as they were to blind someone you did not want shooting at you.

Pull up to a sampan you want to search, . . . pop the 1000w fore and aft lights on the people, . . . they look the other way, . . . and the side benefit is that you can see what the heck the hands were doing.

If I were in that theater, . . . my first piece of info I would have wanted was where the heck is HE, . . . and which way is HE looking. A flashlight might have been the thing to tell me that, . . . then I know which exit to take

Eyes are very sensitive, . . . especially in the dark, . . . a bright light will give the involuntary response of looking away.

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Old July 24, 2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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These days, I always have one of these on me. They are cheap, $15, but hold up just as well or better than my old Streamlight Scorpions, and are three to four times plus brighter. For what they cost, I have a bunch, and besides my pocket, I keep them around the house, in the car, anywhere I might need a spare too.

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...CREE-Q5/Detail

I thought it was well known now for years that these type lights were a weapon in their own right. Even the old, first to show up zenon type were pretty good, and years ahead of the old angle head or Maglight type lights they replaced, although they dont replace the Maglight for a good club. The new LED's are truly amazing. That little light above will shine a beam over a 100 yards and allow you to identify what it is youre shining it on at that distance and beyond.

Personally, I prefer the "one switch" (momentary, on/off) type that dont have all the fancy options. The "kiss" principle works best here for me, and I always know what the light will do when I hit the switch. The others Ive tried always seemed to have a mind of their own when turned on, and you never knew what was going to come up next, and were just to fiddly for a "weapon".
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Old July 24, 2012, 06:59 PM   #8
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It works, as far as distraction (at least) or temporary compromise of vision. No one said you must remain in one place while a perp/active-shooter locates you. No one said the light must be kept on for more than an instant. And no one said it is a primary tool, or even a tool to use to the exclusion of others, or even a tool that cannot be used 'in conjunction with' other tools.

Incidentally, it helps you to ID things/people at night, and, under some circumstances, if used judiciously, it can deter the approach of opportunists looking for 'cues' (you see them, they see you, they see you see them, they see that you see that they see you ).

Beyond the fact that local/State law makes carrying an 'effective' knife less practicable, the size, power-levels, and cost of 'tactical' flashlights make it a possibility not to be ignored, and are no more burden than an extra mag or speedloader to have 'on-hand'.

I had a first-generation type strobe, years ago. IMO, not a fast enough flash-rate. Of course, I compared it to my Chauvet (entertainment lighting), which has a variable rate strobe that's significantly more powerful. I'm sure today's hand-held strobes are vastly improved. But even the basic flashlights (AA or AAA) can get lumens from 135 and above which is sufficient to annoy another's vision, cheap to feed, weather-resistant, and usually of a reasonable impact-resistant material like aluminum.

Local trainer in my neighborhood, Roger Phillips (Suarez Int'l), swears by the technique, has written some about the use of the flashlight, here:

http://www.warriortalknews.com/2011/...-the-hand.html

(And, incidentally, this philosophy has some relevant comment for threads here re: pocket-drawn j-frames and the primary/secondary firearm issue, speed of draw, and capacity)

Though I'm no operator, I've always appreciated the advantages of a light, even if labeled a 'tactical' light. I still have a mini-mag light (now a back-up light in my wagon) that I bought almost 20 years ago for a trip to South America. If you can find a place to put it, not too much downside.

I usually carry one one a lanyard, at night (easy and fast out of the 'weak-side' pocket, reverse-grip with thumb on tailcap).

I'm currently using an LED Lenser P6 (2 x AA), maybe 35 or 40 dollars.
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Old July 24, 2012, 09:35 PM   #9
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I was going to link the article thesecond linked, but he beat me to it!

That very article got me to upgrade from my penlight to something a bit brighter. Side benefit being its way better for finding things in the dark than my penlight.
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Old July 24, 2012, 09:56 PM   #10
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A simple pen-type laser directed in the eyes is much more effective than any flashlight, if you can keep it on his eyes.
The focusing flashlights would be almost as good.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:30 PM   #11
geetarman
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Quote:
if you can keep it on his eyes.
That would be the key. In a darkened theater, getting a lot of light on the subject would be easier to accomplish especially if the broad beam of a powerful light could be coupled with a strobe.

I am not aware of any small handheld broad beam lasers. Might be interesting if a fairly powerful laser could be incorporated into the basic flashlight and bore sighted with the main tube. Might be that would allow one to quickly acquire the target with the flashlight in a darkened theater.

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Old July 24, 2012, 10:49 PM   #12
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Having a flashlight--good idea. Trying to use it to blind a guy with a rifle--maybe not such a great idea.

I always carry a flashlight; I don't know how folks get along without them. Mine's over 100 lumens--bright enough to leave a large blind spot in your vision for awhile, especially if you're dark-adapted and the light is shined from up close. From across a theater, I doubt it would do anything but make the guy angry and provide a good aiming point.
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Old July 24, 2012, 10:52 PM   #13
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Strobes are over rated. All they do is confuse everyone. A focusing flashlight produces a very tight, extremely bright beam. If that beam is kept in the eyes, the perpetrator can't see. All he can do is shield his eyes or turn in another direction.
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Old July 25, 2012, 02:52 PM   #14
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At reasonably close distances, a bright light will cause people to look away and leave a dead spot in their vision for a minute or two. Both those things could be useful! Strobes are interesting, because a lot of people tend to look at flashing lights instinctively. They can also disorient people a bit.
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Old July 25, 2012, 05:14 PM   #15
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A powerful focused beam at night, at short range for a couple of seconds is very dis-orienting. The idea of a small laser incorporated is interesting. As flashlights get more powerful it is conceivable that they could be a viable less than lethal alternative for some folks. A bright light certainly can buy you a couple seconds to move away, break contact etc. A couple hundred lumens focused about the side of a soda can at 10 feet would make anyone look away shined in their eyes, you can always use it for a couple seconds then off and back on again, their pupils would get whiplash!
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Old July 25, 2012, 09:33 PM   #16
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There are standards for lasers as they can produce significant eye damage. The ones we use on sights are tightly controlled. If you used a powerful one, beyond the standards, a reflection could easily blind a bystander.

Not a good idea and laser blinding weapons are banned. There are big flashing lasers to disorient folks but you couldn't carry them in real life.

As far as blinding the shooter - that's going to depend on distance. If you were farther back in the theatre - you will just be a target. I opine that the theatre distances were far enough that the standard handheld flashlight wouldn't be that terrible unless you were close.

My experience with flashlights in anything less than full dark adaptation and relatively close is that you are a target. Also, you have to aim it at the BG to get a direct beam, that might be hard in the uproar and again you are a target.

Close up and a surprise - worth a chance.
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Old July 25, 2012, 10:41 PM   #17
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The flashlight is another tool. Used correctly It can't hurt. I don't think I would count on it to anything but ID my target.
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Old July 25, 2012, 11:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Posted by Glenn E. Meyer:
There are standards for lasers as they can produce significant eye damage. The ones we use on sights are tightly controlled. If you used a powerful one, beyond the standards, a reflection could easily blind a bystander.

Not a good idea and laser blinding weapons are banned. There are big flashing lasers to disorient folks but you couldn't carry them in real life.
I've been looking at State prohibitions; Haven't found it, here, with the exception of misdemeanor/felony for interfering with operation of aircraft. I'll make a guess that it'd be covered under mayhem (causing permanent disfigurement to/rendering 'inoperable' specific parts of a victim's body - even that of a theretofore-assaulting-BG), and assault (temporary damage). I am unaware of federal regulation of possession or criminal use of laser-emitting devices, but if there's a reference to a title 18 crime, I'd appreciate it.

I'm sure there'll be some measure of difficulty in presenting a justifiable self-defense where one is charged with mayhem or a maiming-type crime. It's unclear to me whether SD, generally, could be asserted against charges of this type, which may fall along the same cautionary lines of threads regarding 'shooting specific body parts merely to wound'. Obviously, if a State regulates possession/carry, then that's another point against any practicable and lawful viability as a tool.

FWIW, I've been 'lasered', twice. Once at a stoplight (just past dusk), by some idiot kids from the backseat of their parent's (driver's) car; Another, at a local restaurant. It was 'glancing' (I may have caught something in my periphery and instinctually moved my head), but I believed my vision to be severely impaired for what may have been 3-5 seconds in both. Scary. In the first, I regained clear vision before the light turned green. In the second,

Quote:
Posted by Glenn E. Meyer:
As far as blinding the shooter - that's going to depend on distance. If you were farther back in the theatre - you will just be a target. I opine that the theatre distances were far enough that the standard handheld flashlight wouldn't be that terrible unless you were close.

My experience with flashlights in anything less than full dark adaptation and relatively close is that you are a target. Also, you have to aim it at the BG to get a direct beam, that might be hard in the uproar and again you are a target.

Close up and a surprise - worth a chance.
I agree that the context (distance being one ingredient) would be important, and that a light's best use may be for basic ID. Local metro officers pulse their lights to ID, and having had a light flashed at 40 yards does affect your vision for a second or two. Up close, it depends on the lumens and good aim.

I'm not sure if maybe the logistics of one's concealed carry, e.g., size of the firearm and primary location, would effect whether one would see more, or less, benefit from looking to access the light and having the ability for it to be contemporaneous with a draw from pocket-concealment. This is what I believe Phillips is referring to. I found it interesting to mull the concept over in light of 9ballbilly's draw-timer thread (in which kraigwy and pawpaw contributed some good observations).

Of course, I don't presume to know what I, or others, would or could do in the kind of situation alluded to, as far as presenting one's self as a target, among the range of available responses to an active-shooter who is, in those moments, pulling the trigger once a second in a crowded theater. Given the prevailing 'certainties' of moments like that .... we've been reminded of each of them the past few days.

Also, the light has the quick-pull-focus, maybe the size of a basketball at 10 yards, but doesn't stay set in the pocket. I'll wrap some electrical tape to hold it in place.

Last edited by thesecond; July 26, 2012 at 07:46 PM. Reason: add, incorrect attribution
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Old July 26, 2012, 01:33 PM   #19
Glenn E. Meyer
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http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/script...cfm?FR=1040.10

Laser standards for usage.
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Old July 27, 2012, 01:04 PM   #20
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Seems like we always go to battle trained and equipt fot the last war.

TSA has us take off our shoes because of the shoe bomber,checks our underwear because iof the underwear bomber...

So now folks are filtering this good idea(the flaslight) through the context of being in a theatre mass shooting.That scenario does not apply to 99.9% of SD situations.Darkness and teargas preclude precise shooting,body armor preclude center of mass,and an AR with a 100 rd mag means there is not a lot of time to plan a strategy.Maybe,only maybe,an Audie Murphy ,or several,would have made some difference,but as the seconds ticked,folks were dying.This bad guy stopped himself.

I work nights alone and live by myself,that means if I want to get some face time with human beings I get a beer at a bar after work.

It happens occasionally that someone with junior high maturity gets drunk and wants to assert himself.

I'm not taking a gun in the bar,and besides,as another high profile case suggests,shooting an unarmed person who is on top of you beating you does not always work out well.

I'm 60 yrs old ,have some physical problems,and do not choose to go to ground with some 23 year old who picks trouble.

I carry a 200 lumen streamlight.If you do not believe it will help,go to a store the sells 200 lumen lights,point it in your own eyes at arms length,and take a shot.You will be quite visually impaired.

In a close encounter with an unarmed problem,the surprise/ light/blindness may give you an opportunity to disengage and leave,or wreck a knee.

Its a very good idea
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Old July 27, 2012, 01:42 PM   #21
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I carry a 200 lumen streamlight.If you do not believe it will help,go to a store the sells 200 lumen lights,point it in your own eyes at arms length,and take a shot.You will be quite visually impaired.
HiBC, if you don't mind, what is the brand or model of your light
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Old July 27, 2012, 04:19 PM   #22
geetarman
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Here is a link to several different styles of 200 lumen Streamlights.
http://www.nextag.com/Streamlight/20...hts/brand-html

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Old July 27, 2012, 10:26 PM   #23
Country Boy
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In a less than lethal situation, a powerful LED light in somebody's eyes does a good job of disrupting their OODA loop.
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Old July 27, 2012, 10:40 PM   #24
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o04_s00_i00

Maglite XL200

170 lumens, 35 bucks.

I just got one. I wouldn't call it bright enough for "tactical"/dazzle use, but its damn bright and has a strobe mode.

IMHO-Bright enough to disorient, not bright enough to "dazzle". If I had the money Id get something in the 500 lumens range. Something that semi-permanently knocks out vision. But for $35 Vs $200...

On the other hand...

http://www.surefire.com/illumination...al-output.html

$155 bucks, 500 lumens. This will blind an attacker.
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Old July 28, 2012, 12:52 AM   #25
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Car headlights run somewhere in the 700-1200 lumen range.

Admittedly they can be really irritating, but if lights with 500 lumens output or more were really capable of semi-permanently knocking out vision or blinding people, the roads at night would be a massacre.

People routinely deal with having very bright lights shined in their eyes. It happens to us all the time and to the extent that it's a problem we instinctively know how to deal with it without being blinded.

Flashlights are very useful. Bright flashlights are even more useful and they're also cool. I've got an 850 lumen monster that I keep by the front door and it's really handy when I need a bright light. But it's just a bright light, it's not an effective weapon unless I swing it at someone.

Even if I caught someone off guard and gave them a good dose in the eyes, they would still be able to function even if they were somewhat impaired by a blind spot. Just like I keep from running off the road when I accidentally catch an eyefull of the sun around the visor when I'm driving and end up with a temporary blind spot in my vision.

It's certainly true that a defender can use a bright light to his advantage in a self-defense situation, but I think it's very easy and very common to overemphasize the effect that it is likely to have.
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