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View Full Version : Strobe light on home defense gun?


SPUSCG
February 6, 2010, 03:09 PM
I saw at shot a company (i think it was blackhawk) used strobe lights on a pistol's rail and said it took away a bad guys depth perception and ability to sense movement, making you less of a target. Im wondering, does this really work and if it messes with the bad gys perception does it mess with yours, could you aquire a target thats being hit with a strobe?

JohnKSa
February 6, 2010, 03:15 PM
I guess that you could do some practice to see if you could acclimatize to it. I used to have a flashlight with a strobe feature that would occasionally engage inadvertently and I found it extremely irritating. I could see how it would be somewhat disorienting for someone who wasn't expecting it.

The key would be figuring out if you could get used to it.

jhenry
February 6, 2010, 03:23 PM
I have no doubt a good strobe will disorient a guy, my fear is two fold. It is also going to disorient the shooter, and just as importantly, the intended target will be illuminated by strobe. If you have never seen that, it is a little disconcerting. The bad guy will be herking and jerking like a zombie, and the available light will be effected by the strobe. I would hate to be in a position of life and death, trying to use my sights in that kind of white hot mess.

I predict a quick and merciful death for this tactical widget.

bamiller
February 6, 2010, 03:29 PM
I agree with jhenry. This sounds like something the company is spending a lot of marketing money to convince you you need it.

Double Naught Spy
February 6, 2010, 03:36 PM
Based on my testing in the field, the strobe light did not disorient the deer I lit up. More seemed spooked by it than being lit up with a regular light, but some just continued feeding on the corn as well. None ran in circles, crashed into one another, or fell over.

In playing with the strobe feature at home and moving around, I found that it gave the impression of movement of things that weren't there. For example, the shadows cast off an object or as I went around a corner would move in a jerky fashion, almost like somebody was popping out from around a corner, versus seeing the shadows smoothly change shape with the non-strobe feature as I walked from room to room.

Disorienting? It made my daughters want to dance.

fisherman66
February 6, 2010, 03:37 PM
Anyone remember "Tactical Balls"? Aside from the goofy name, those seem like a marginally better idea.

Old Grump
February 6, 2010, 04:02 PM
I'm old and light sensitive. strobes bug the heck out of me where they might not bother a younger person nearly as much. If I was really needing to disorient a guy and I was more worried about HD/SD than I was the carpet I'd toss a flash bang at him then hit him with the most powerful flashlight you can afford. $50 dollars will get you a reasonably powered light or you could go all the way up to $4,000+ but not really needed unless you want it to start campfires and fry eggs. Shooting might not be necessary after that and except for his pants, (not your problem), there won't be any blood mess to clean up.

claymore1500
February 6, 2010, 04:27 PM
I just think it is a bad idea on several levels,

first, a strobe light gives the impression of stop action, even though the bad guy may be moving, In one flash he may appear to be on the other side of the room, the next flash and he could be right in your face. :eek::eek:

Second, The strobe, being brighter than ambeient light will make the room seem darker to you, possibly hiding another person in the room with the bad guy (apprentis bad guy).:confused::confused:

Third, If you did need to shoot, you would have only a fraction of a second to aquire your target.

The Tourist
February 6, 2010, 04:36 PM
I'm glad someone addressed this issue. Many of the modern buys I have made come with equipment rails. I've wondered about the necessity and the actual performance, myself.

When lasers first came out I wondered about the old adage, "If you can see the enemy, he can also see you."

Then I wondered about "playing on an even field." I saw the SureFirer lights advertisement where the LEO lights up a perp who is immediately blinded. My question is that if the perp's eyes were adjusted to the dark, wouldn't this condition also pertain to every LEO in that same room?

Finally, I bought nothing. In the long run I figured if that if the light was so poor that I needed some form of appliance to shoot safely, then I had no business discharging a weapon.

SPUSCG
February 6, 2010, 04:44 PM
Also, the light seemed to have 2 lights, a solid light that stayed on and a secondary strobe going at the same time.

S&W Kinda Guy
February 6, 2010, 06:50 PM
i think it would work, when i was 13, i was at a friends b-day party and there was a strobe light and the table looked farther away then it really was due to the strobe, and i tripped and hit my eye on the table:mad: had to get 6 stitches :(

w_houle
February 6, 2010, 06:54 PM
It depends: Does that strobe light come with speakers and disco music?
Hold off on flashlight use until you are close to whomever and flash a your light into their eyes for a fraction of a second, and it will take their night vision for a few seconds.

kilimanjaro
February 6, 2010, 07:11 PM
Better yet, just get disco ball chandeliers and strobe your hall lights, that should do the trick.

There's a reason why this hasn't been used before....if strobe lights worked on the opponet, the army would have them on everything.

w_houle
February 6, 2010, 07:17 PM
Yes, because if you can't dazzle them with style, riddle them with bullets!

Bill DeShivs
February 6, 2010, 07:40 PM
Being in the flashlight business (among other things) I get requests for strobes often. I try not to even sell strobes. They do nothing you can't do by simply wiggling a good light across the bad guy's eyes. You need a light with a beam, not one that lights up the entire room-and if you have a very bright light with a good beam you can just put it in the guy's face. He will be blinded for all practical purposes.

jhenry
February 6, 2010, 08:11 PM
Yes it will. It also takes their night sight for more than just a few secoonds too. It will take about 20 minutes to get it back near where it was after whacking those purple rods with a nice bright light.

AcridSaint
February 8, 2010, 10:00 AM
I liked what Clint Smith has to say on lights - they exist to illuminate your target. Until they come out with one that vaporizes your target, don't rely on the light to protect you. Remember, even disoriented or blind people can pull a trigger pretty fast.

zukiphile
February 8, 2010, 10:29 AM
I had to exercise my imagination only a bit to see why I disliked the idea.

Prosecutor: Did you use a strobe light on Mr.X?
Defendant: Yes
Prosecutor: Why?
Defendant: To disorient him
Prosecutor: So you were so in fear of your life that you though you should subject Mr X to a strobe light?
Defendant: It was supposed to neutralise him as a threat, disorient him, keep him from being able to spot me and hurt me.
Prosecutor: Did you then shoot Mr. X?
Defendant: Yes, but I was defending myself. X was going to kill me!
Prosecutor: So, you were sure that Mr. X was going to kill you, but you took the time to shine this little strobe light (takes light turns it on and off) which you thought would neutralise the threat, then you shot him?

Double Naught Spy
February 8, 2010, 10:49 AM
I think you need more exercise for your imagination. The same argument could be used for the notion of blinding the bad guy before you shoot him. Remember that many companies promote their lights with this sort of advertisement, that the lights will blind the bad guys.

Prosecutor: Did you use a bright flashlight on Mr.X?
Defendant: Yes
Prosecutor: Why?
Defendant: To blind him
Prosecutor: So you were so in fear of your life that you though you should subject Mr X to a very bright light?
Defendant: It was supposed to neutralise him as a threat, disorient him, keep him from being able to spot me and hurt me.
Prosecutor: Did you then shoot Mr. X?
Defendant: Yes, but I was defending myself. X was going to kill me!
Prosecutor: So, you were sure that Mr. X was going to kill you, but you took the time to shine this little bright light (takes light turns it on and off) which you thought would neutralise the threat, then you shot him?


However, let's look at the end of the strobe scenario with the prosecutor again. Why would the exchange have to go badly? Changed parts are in bold now. Now our defendent hero sounds like a good guy only wanting to result to lethal force when no other option was available.

Defendant: It was supposed to neutralise him as a threat, disorient him, keep him from being able to spot me and hurt me.
Prosecutor: Did you then shoot Mr. X?
Defendant: Yes, because the strobe did not disorient him as advertised and he charged toward the light, trying to chop me up with his ax. I was defending myself. X was going to kill me!
Prosecutor: So, you were sure that Mr. X was going to kill you, but you took the time to shine this little strobe light (takes light turns it on and off) which you thought would neutralise the threat, then you shot him?
Defendent: Yes, because I didn't want to have to shoot him, but he left me not other choice when he charged me.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 8, 2010, 10:50 AM
Not having done formal testing - I'm not impressed with strobes. I've read magazine reports of folks who can't walk a straight line when looking into them, etc.

I've tried it with a Gladius and with some other folks. Doesn't bother us. Of course, we could use precise testing but that's just a quick opinion.

It seems to me that the use is more for law enforcement less that lethal use as compared to civilian HD.

black bear 84
February 8, 2010, 10:57 AM
I think that they are a bad idea for a pistol light.
I can tolerate them as a function in a flashlight with multiple modes I have several with strobe, and the only reason for using the strobe will be for calling attention to your position if you need help and are unable to cry out.

I tested the strobe function on me and it does nothing (it supposes to nauseate some people), it most be all my disco dancing in the 70's.

I am a proponent of very powerful lights for home defense, when I have to reach for my HD pistol, I do that with my right hand and with the left I grab a Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight, so is no question if the BG will be blinded or not.

One other thing I will not be without is a Crimson Trace laser grip in my HD pistol.
It can give me the advantage of shooting from a covered position, and I don't have to put my face in front of the pistol to hit what I am shooting at.

MY COVERED POSITION

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/noflash.jpg

MY COLT GOV'T WITH LASER GRIP AND MY BOREALIS 1050 LUMENS LIGHT

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/govtlaser.jpg

So, my recommendation, is to forget about a light in the pistol, forget about the strobe and get a powerful light and a laser grip.

Cheers
Black Bear

TUFF99
February 8, 2010, 11:04 AM
I found in both Iraq and Afghan, a bright tac light in someones face is more than enough. It works more on the guilty. Immagine being a kid and having your hand caught in the cookie jar. That is the same look a BG has when hes been busted. A surprise bright light in the face causes some kind of brain fart.

That being said, I cant do squat with a strobe. It messes with me just as much as with a BG

zukiphile
February 8, 2010, 02:30 PM
However, let's look at the end of the strobe scenario with the prosecutor again. Why would the exchange have to go badly?

It wouldn't have to, but it is hard to see how a strobe light figures into a reaction to an immediate and lethal threat. Deploying something like this may suggest that the threat was either not immediate or lethal because you had time for this gizmo.

I believe it is distinguishable from the use of an ordinary flashlight you would use in order to be able to assess the threat.

Double Naught Spy
February 8, 2010, 02:35 PM
You can use a strobe to assess the threat just fine.

With that said, all reactions to lethal threats do not themselves have to be lethal. Many people responding to a lethal threat will do so in ways that are not lethal, often because they don't actually wish to harm or kill the other person. Their actions are just as justifiable and just as valid

zukiphile
February 8, 2010, 02:50 PM
You can use a strobe to assess the threat just fine.

I believe some in this thread who have used it do not agree. I'e never used one, though I have seen them mounted on the backs of cars.


With that said, all reactions to lethal threats do not themselves have to be lethal. Many people responding to a lethal threat will do so in ways that are not lethal, often because they don't actually wish to harm or kill the other person.

It isn't the lack lethality that makes the strobe problemmatic. It is the lack of efficacy as a defensive measure against an immediate and lethal threat, i.e. the sort of threat that calls for the use of deadly force.

If I end up shooting someone, but decided I would try tickling him first just to see if that diffuses the situation, I think there would be some questions about the nature of the threat and my judgement in assessing it. Both of those would be important parts of a public authority decided I had not murdered someone.

bcarver
February 8, 2010, 03:12 PM
I was in a dark room when a person entered with a strobe.
I never saw him.
This was a strobe flashlight not a weapon light.
he exited and re-entered ith a flashlight. He was much more visable.

Maximus856
February 8, 2010, 03:45 PM
Give me a time, place, and lots of money and I'll bring you one of these. :eek:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dazzler_(weapon)

Double Naught Spy
February 8, 2010, 07:02 PM
It isn't the lack lethality that makes the strobe problemmatic. It is the lack of efficacy as a defensive measure against an immediate and lethal threat, i.e. the sort of threat that calls for the use of deadly force.

If I end up shooting someone, but decided I would try tickling him first just to see if that diffuses the situation, I think there would be some questions about the nature of the threat and my judgement in assessing it. Both of those would be important parts of a public authority decided I had not murdered someone.

So you are saying that because there is a lethal threat that a non-lethal means of diffusing the threat cannot be used because it would call into question the nature of the threat and your judgment in assessing it? Let's see, I have seen tazers, batons, distractions, pepper spray, and water hoses used to attempt to diffuse lethal threats, some of which failed and lethal force still had to be used. So I see you concerns as misplaced. Nowhere is it written that the threat of lethal force or lethal force must first be met with lethal force before other methods are used if the use of lethal force is to be considered valid. I can certainly see the argument being made that you didn't first use lethal force which indicates that your eventual use wasn't rash or an improper knee-jerk reaction...that you had attempted alternate means first.

Jedburgh
February 8, 2010, 08:56 PM
There was a movement a while back (2-3) years when a tactical flashlight had a strobe feature.

The bottom line is that the strobe flashlight is ridiculous as a "weapon". It strobes everyone and everything. It disorients the shooter as well as the shoot-ee.

There is, in fact, very good techniques for low-light engagements in which a flash is used with "strobe effect". That is the shooter will pulse the light on and off as they move. It allows you to illuminate your target briefly, move, engage without stopping and shining a light. If someone wants to fight you and you shine a light on them, chances are they'll shoot at the light.

This strobe technique is commonly confused with using a strobe light. The technique is good and is extremely effective. The strobe light is only effective if you want to dance (or maybe build a haunted house).

DOL

zukiphile
February 9, 2010, 10:08 AM
It isn't the lack lethality that makes the strobe problemmatic. It is the lack of efficacy as a defensive measure against an immediate and lethal threat, i.e. the sort of threat that calls for the use of deadly force.

If I end up shooting someone, but decided I would try tickling him first just to see if that diffuses the situation, I think there would be some questions about the nature of the threat and my judgement in assessing it. Both of those would be important parts of a public authority decided I had not murdered someone.

So you are saying that because there is a lethal threat that a non-lethal means of diffusing the threat cannot be used because it would call into question the nature of the threat and your judgment in assessing it?

No.

It isn't the lack lethality that makes the strobe problemmatic. It is the lack of efficacy as a defensive measure against an immediate and lethal threat, i.e. the sort of threat that calls for the use of deadly force.

Emphasis added.

Double Naught Spy
February 9, 2010, 03:25 PM
Sorry zukiphile, but you will have to direct me to the law that says a response to a lethal threat must have efficacy as a defensive measure to be valid in the eyes of the law or that any measure without perceived efficacy will result in being considered invalid and henc cast dispersians on the one employing said method(s).

Do you have any cases to back up your claim? Do you have any laws to back up your claim?

Not everyone facing lethal force employs methods that necessarily defeat the lethal threat. I anyone using such methods to have suffered consequences as a result.

zukiphile
February 9, 2010, 03:48 PM
Let me try to be clear, but not patronising.

The basic structure of a home defense shooting involves a homeowner identifying in his home an individual who poses an immediate threat if grave bodily injury. The homeowner identifies the gravity and immediacy of the threat, and acts to stop it. This can involve shooting the threat, not because we enjoy killing people, but because that is an effective defensive action when met with an immediate and grave threat.

Now, introduce a strobe light, which is not an effective defense to a grave and immediate threat. If the homeowner finds someone in his house, but deploys a strobe light, which is not an effective defense to a grave and immediate threat, it might undermine either his later testimony that he was faced with a grave and immediate threat or his judgment more generally.

None of this means, as you appear to have concluded, that a strobe light is "[in]valid in the eyes of the law", whatever that means.

Not everyone facing lethal force employs methods that necessarily defeat the lethal threat.

True. Just the survivors do.

ProjectCamaro
February 9, 2010, 03:59 PM
Anyone remember "Tactical Balls"? Aside from the goofy name, those seem like a marginally better idea.

Tactical Balls? (http://www.stupidvideos.com/video/sports/Dirty_Filthy_Fight_Tactic/#245176)

Jedburgh
February 9, 2010, 07:11 PM
In Georgia and Tennessee (the two places I've possessed a concealed / carry permit), having an intruder in the home satisfies every criteria needed to employ deadly force. The tactics involved wouldn't matter. The intruder doesn't need to do anything scary.

Each state is obviously different and I'd encourage you to research the criteria for your home state.

DOL

jhenry
February 12, 2010, 03:01 PM
We have the castle doctrine here. Once an illegal intruder is in my home it dosen't matter if I use a single shot .22 or a Kuhkri with currare smeared on the blade.