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Old March 12, 2018, 04:03 PM   #1
JERRYS.
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I've never been "blinded" by muzzle flash, have you?

I've read for decades about people saying the muzzle flash of this or that will blind you for a short period at night.... but I've never met anyone that has said it actually happened to them. I've even purposely waited until night time with no moon out to shoot a ported snubby .357 mag with 125gr. loads...

nope, not a bother. a basketball sized orange ball that disappeared almost as soon as I could notice it, but night vision still intact.

so, who here has actually lost some night vision by being "blinded" (by gun fire) to the point of not being able to see the target at 15 yards at night? lets hear the story.

thanks.
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Old March 12, 2018, 04:36 PM   #2
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I've read for decades about people saying the muzzle flash of this or that will blind you for a short period at night.... but I've never met anyone that has said it actually happened to them. I've even purposely waited until night time with no moon out to shoot a ported snubby .357 mag with 125gr. loads...

nope, not a bother. a basketball sized orange ball that disappeared almost as soon as I could notice it, but night vision still intact.

so, who here has actually lost some night vision by being "blinded" (by gun fire) to the point of not being able to see the target at 15 yards at night? lets hear the story.

thanks.
I have. I recently did a training course where we did a low light no light shoot. Most people shot the same ball ammo we had been shooting earlier in the day. We were also prompted to bring a few rounds of defensive ammo to shoot after the training was over.

So people lined up and told the group what they were shooting and shot 3-4 rounds. Most were 9mm or 45 ACP. The muzzle flash varied greatly. The interesting part was not the size of the flash but the color characteristics of the flash. Orange to red did not efect your vision as much as white.

There were many rounds with a very white signature that by the 3 round made it difficult to see. I am not saying that one was blinded but your ability to identify a target was greatly diminished. It would have been very hard to to distinguish the details needed to determine friend vs foe.

One of the biggest surprises for me was Federal HST. It is a great defensive round in multiple calibers but it displayed a large white muzzle flash in both 9mm and 45 ACP. IIRC people shot standard pressure and +P rounds in both calibers.

So for me it was not that I was "blinded" but my vision after 2 rounds was diminished enough to slow my ability to identify a target which in a hostile situation sort = blind. IMHO YMMV
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Old March 12, 2018, 04:44 PM   #3
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During Basic Training, Fort Knox, 1962 they had us tape over our M1 Garand sights ("instinct shooting"), with Black electrical tape, wear Red colored goggles as darkness approached. After dark, we had to fire our M1's at a silhouette target at 75 yards. I do not remember the round count, but it was at least five or more clips(likely more). No flash hider, no loss of night vision.
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Old March 12, 2018, 05:07 PM   #4
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Recently at a low light defensive handgun class I noticed something along the lines of this topic. While I didn't lose my night vision per se; I could still see the targets even out as far as 50 yards, I did notice that I did seem to lose the ability to see details on those targets as the round counts increased during a particular drill. For instance, our silhouettes were bowling pin-style black lines on white paper with a 5-inch square in the middle. This was pretty easily visible before I started shooting at 15 yards, but after 6 rounds I found that while I could still see the outline of the bowling pin, seeing the square was much harder. I only noticed this because in that drill we were asked to fire our controlled pairs into the top right corner of the square. Well after just a few reps, I was having a hard time finding the corners of the square.

Now there are plenty of factors that could've/probably had as much to do with this phenomenon as anything else. My age, 48 (the eyes seem to go faster as you pass 40). How much flash is inherent in the manufactured ammo I was using. It was breezy so there could have been a film of dust on my glasses. And so on. But several other students agreed that it was harder to see the square after just a few shots.

Was this an example of muzzle flash blindness? I can't say for certain, but I can't rule it out either.
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Old March 12, 2018, 05:25 PM   #5
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yes, details... as mentioned I did lose the ability to see details after the shooting but these same details showed back up immediately when I looked off center of the target. I don't know how to explain it but it seemed the target detail was better if I glanced side to side on the target rather than looking directly at the center. now, I was the only one shooting and it was Remington green box 125 gr. sjhp. 5 rounds, reload, 5 rounds, reload and scan. that was the extent of it. I could still see the target fine in my view.

all this said, I don't feel my ability to shoot in self defense was effected by the few shots I sent down range. if we are talking about extended fire maybe so. but for self defense, nah.
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Old March 12, 2018, 05:36 PM   #6
Johny Smith
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I've never been "blinded" by muzzle flash, have you?

And you won't go deaf inside your home either unless of course like out on the range you are in a relax state shooting for fun.
Adrenalin works in many ways, one of those ways is it protects the sensory.


There was an interesting stat floating around some years back about how even the average cop doesn't even remember pulling that first shot off.
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Old March 12, 2018, 07:15 PM   #7
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Johny, I fired three .40 cal federal hi-shock 180gr from a Beretta 96D in self defense. while I remember doing it, I couldn't tell you at the time exactly how many I fired (more than 1 less than 5) and the sound was quite muted.
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Old March 12, 2018, 07:19 PM   #8
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Adrenalin works in many ways, one of those ways is it protects the sensory
maybe you can explain how you think adrenalin can protect hair cells or any other delicate sensory structure of the human body.
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Old March 12, 2018, 07:35 PM   #9
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FireForged, I can't explain it but something happens when you are in it for life or death... but hearing, sight and fine motor skills become reduced to a point that even a rifle (AR15) doesn't seem that loud. maybe its the focus on the threat trying to take your life that does it, I don't know.
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Old March 12, 2018, 07:38 PM   #10
Bill DeShivs
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Physical damage is still done.
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Old March 12, 2018, 07:48 PM   #11
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I still have the physical damage 20 years later. Culprit was 357 Mag.

I have been temporarily blinded as well when shooting in the dark.
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Old March 12, 2018, 09:43 PM   #12
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I have been blinded my muzzle flash but the round being fired was 120 mm.
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Old March 12, 2018, 09:45 PM   #13
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Yea, and everyone around us at the bi-annual .50 Cal night shoot.
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Old March 12, 2018, 10:34 PM   #14
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Of course, I've never fired a weapon inside a darkened room. The flash would probably be much brighter in that scenario . . .
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Old March 13, 2018, 09:11 PM   #15
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I have done a bit of night/low light shooting, and I think the worst flash I have experienced was with a .303 No. 5 ("Jungle carbine") with the flash hider cut off. If I had had any doubts about why it was there originally, I found out when I was confronted by an 18" diameter blue, purple and yellow flash from the cordite loads. I guarantee I was blinded and for several seconds at that. Of course, the flash will vary with barrel length, type and quantity of powder, presence of a flash hider, etc., but it certainly exists, and anyone who denies that just has not done much night firing.

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Old March 13, 2018, 09:40 PM   #16
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Yes, I have. I can back up what was said about a white versus orange fireball. if the round produced a white muzzle flash, vision was most certainly impaired.
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Old March 13, 2018, 09:40 PM   #17
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FireForged, I can't explain it but something happens when you are in it for life or death... but hearing, sight and fine motor skills become reduced to a point that even a rifle (AR15) doesn't seem that loud. maybe its the focus on the threat trying to take your life that does it, I don't know.


You’re talking about Auditory Exclusion, which still allows physical damage as another user posted. Lt. Col Grossman talks a lot about that and other physiological effects of stress (not just adrenaline) in “On Combat”. It is not a physical phenomena, it is psychological blocking of input to the brain... your ears hear the sound, your brain ignores them.


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Old March 14, 2018, 07:04 AM   #18
Bartholomew Roberts
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Blinded as in “I can’t see at all?” No. Blinded as in “Just a moment ago I could barely make out the white steel silhouette with night adapted eyes but now all I see is a purple muzzle-flash shaped blob floating around on a dark background?” Yes, most definitely.

Maybe I should eat more carrots? Or less?
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Old March 14, 2018, 08:58 AM   #19
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I haven’t. Lemme tell you a story about barrel length:
I built two ar-15s to see if I could build an accurate rifle myself. Turns out that ar-15... it as easy as LEGO blocks.

One had a 24 inch bull barrel, the other a 20 inch bull barrel. They weighed a lot. Perceived sounds were pleasant with hypersonic bullet “crack”. Not much difference but the long barrel was quieter. As for some of the Weekend Soldiers of Fortune with shorter barrel black rifles with dodads stuck all over them... fireballs seemed to be blowing out the muzzle. I chalk that up to my powder choice and barrel length and combusted gas and you know.

To make it even more interesting and for another reason, I developed a low pressure load for my great granfather’s H. Pieter drilling (1895) with a Nosler pistol ballistic tip. The gun takes 7.8 x 51r so for the life of the rifle it never got fired past the first boxes of ammo, bought at the Columbia Exposition.

Well, it’s close enough to 30-30 you can’t see a difference except I would never lite off a modern factory load in that old thing.

Long story short.. 30 inch long barrel with a .30 cal pistol load in it sounds like an air rifle or blow gun.

Y’all have your barrels too short.
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Old March 14, 2018, 09:04 AM   #20
Bartholomew Roberts
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Y’all have your barrels too short.
I’m a reasonable man. All I ask for is the ability to throw a 140gr projectile at 3,000fps from a 6” barrel and a minimal High Power-worthy barrel life of 50,000 rounds. If I have to suffer a little muzzle flash for that, then OK.
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Old March 14, 2018, 10:24 AM   #21
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I was temporarily blinded by my flash using a 30-06 and scope with 22" barrel at dusk.
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Old March 14, 2018, 10:36 AM   #22
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Blinded, no. Suffered serious deterioration of my night vision until it recovered, yes.

I have been lucky enough to have had four different no light/low light training courses. I am a great believer in defensive ammo with low flash characteristics, illuminated sights (either tritium or Aimpoint) tactical lights preferably weapon mounted, and flash-hiders on rifles.

Someday I hope to have the cash to experiment with night vision (got to play a little overseas, not much) and suppressors.
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Old March 15, 2018, 11:47 AM   #23
T. O'Heir
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"...night vision still intact..." Shooting with one eye closed? That's an old PBI technique to maintain one's night vision. Shoot with both eyes open and you lose it. Your pupils will retract and you won't see as well.
Doesn't have to be a gun shot either. Works when you get up in the middle of the night to off load that water you drank before you went to bed too.
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Old March 15, 2018, 07:17 PM   #24
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I am never without my Streamlight Pro Tac......and my J-frame has laser grips for a reason.

Only night shooting I've done with it was from my car, finishing off a suicidal raccoon that had run under my right rear wheel. Blind curve and no room to walk along side the road to finish him off so shooting from the car was all you could do. *Only trees downrange for a few hundred yards.

135 grain +P Gold Dot worked perfectly, put round just behind his left ear. I cannot recall any bad effects from the muzzle flash. I put a second round into the base of his spine to stop the twitching. Time was about 3 AM. (Glad I had ear plugs in the car). Apparently that is "short barrel" ammo.

Product code is 53921 in case anyone is interested.
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Old March 18, 2018, 11:29 PM   #25
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muzzle flash

I've been on quite a few firing lines for reduced light quals, with assorted o firearms depending on the era. BAck when the line was .357/125, that was the worst, and the flash did indeed effect your night vision, but I would not say blinded. One peculiarity was that flash varied from one brand ammo to the next. Less expensive ammo had more and dazzling type flash, higher priced less......usually. The .45 acp, especially with higher grade SD/LE ammo always had lower apparent flash, especially when compared to .357.

On most courses of fire , the first round could be managed with the night sights, or with available light such as from emergency lights. Subsequent rounds were typically fired somewhat from muscle memory with your firing "platform" as close to what you had for the first shot.

Surprisingly to me at first, reduced light shooting scores could often be higher than standard daylight scores. One reason, we did not fire 6 rds from 25 yds, which was the distance many shots got dropped. In reduced light, those 6 rds got incorporated into the 15 yd string prior. The other reason we reckoned, was with the image of the target already blurred with the light issue, folks concentrated on sights and trigger more heavily (they could not easily focus down range on the target) and so working (night) sights and trigger with more mental focus, they shot better.
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