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Old October 17, 2014, 11:55 PM   #1
banditgriot
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Weapon lights

I have mixed feelings about mounting a flashlight on either of the guns I use for home defense. While I agree that a low light situation (power outage, lights out) requires the use of a portable light source, I have a problem with pointing a weapon in the direction of an "unknown" subject. I am starting to practice shooting with a flashlight corded to a key ring for retention. It seems to work for both handgun and long arms as well. The toughest to use is the pump shotgun, though the flashlight rests in a notch on my Nova's slide-grip. What do you employ to make your way through the dark?
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Old October 18, 2014, 06:50 AM   #2
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I have one mounted on one of my Glocks. I also keep a light in my pants pocket. Both have their uses, and it never hurts to have a couple of options.

The advantages to the gun mounted light become apparent when you need that other hand for something, like the dog, or the door, etc. Its easily switched on one handed, but works best, or is best deployed using two.
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Old October 18, 2014, 07:11 AM   #3
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It's not necessary to always point a gun with a light directly ahead, especially with long guns.
At least not until it's needed.
Choose a light with a wide enough coverage to illuminate a lot of area with the gun at low ready.
Of course, that method requires the skill required to bring the gun on target quickly.
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Old October 18, 2014, 03:24 PM   #4
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If a light is bright enough it will illuminate a room well enough without pointing it directly at anyone.

If the power is on, I have enough night lights in the house that there are few areas in total darkness anyway

The disadvantage is if your opponent shoots at you, you have to hold the light in front of you, giving them an easy target
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Old October 18, 2014, 03:40 PM   #5
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If they are shooting at me, I dont think Im going to have the light on.

Nor would I still be standing in the same place I was, if and when I did "flash" them, and/or shoot. Once Id done either/both, allowing room, Id have stepped off line, or at worst, changed my elevation.
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Old October 18, 2014, 04:40 PM   #6
g.willikers
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It makes the most sense to me to just turn on the house lights, instead of prowling around with a flashlight that does a poorer job of illuminating and tells everyone where you are.
Even better, aren't there motion sensor lights that would do the job?
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Old October 18, 2014, 05:49 PM   #7
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IMHO, a light on a gun, with your head directly behind it, makes a great target for a BG's bullet. And please, no BS about how your super powerful light blinds everyone in 30 mile radius; if it does that, it will blind you, too, and a BG off to the side will still be able to shoot at it and you.

Even when I was a LEO, we were taught to hold a flashlight in the off hand, up and away from the body or, better yet, simply turn on the lights if we knew where they were. Sure, the lights went on for the BG also, but we would be expecting them, he would not.

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Old October 18, 2014, 07:58 PM   #8
Glenn E. Meyer
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When doing a FOF against folks using the high position in the dark, it was not hard to figure out where they were. Most folks are right handed.
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Old October 18, 2014, 09:07 PM   #9
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I like weapon lights because it's one less thing to find. I keep a handheld flashlight too, but I like options.
As g.w. said, just because you you have it doesn't mean you have to use it.
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Old October 18, 2014, 09:41 PM   #10
Willie Lowman
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Call me crazy but I like the idea of identifying my target and seeing if they are armed or not. The light goes a long way for that. If I've got the light pointed at them, I have my pistol pointed at them as well.
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Old October 18, 2014, 10:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
It makes the most sense to me to just turn on the house lights, instead of prowling around with a flashlight that does a poorer job of illuminating and tells everyone where you are.
Thats's a great plan if you can get to all the switches without silohuetting yourself in a door, or having to cross a room in the dark
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Old October 19, 2014, 12:20 AM   #12
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If you are in your own home, you should know where the light switches are and have a good idea about reaching them. The flashlight, whether on a gun or not, shows exactly where you are and does nothing much to help you find someone else.

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Old October 19, 2014, 12:54 AM   #13
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It looks like we are going to agree to disagree. I find having the light on the gun much more practical. Most flashlights don't have to be pointed at a specific area to illuminate it. Pointing the gun downward toward the floor is sufficient to see way in-front of you. Both my pistols and rifles are set up for point of impact right in the center of the light. Going from ready to fire takes less than half a second, sufficient if fire you must. I like having my left hand free to use for other things than holding a flashlight.

Jim



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Old October 19, 2014, 01:58 AM   #14
raimius
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If you have white ceilings, there is no need to point the gun at someone before you ID them. The splash of a 100+ lumen light on the ceiling will illuminate all but the largest rooms enough to see and ID a person.

I also agree that turning on the lights is generally a good idea, if you are searching to see if someone is there. If you already know, your tactics may change.

(Jim243, be aware that NCStar things tend to fail without warning, and in short order. I don't even trust them for airsoft anymore. )
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Old October 19, 2014, 06:47 AM   #15
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The only light on my HD gun is a Crimson Trace laser.
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Old October 19, 2014, 10:13 AM   #16
jackmoser65
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Quote:
The disadvantage is if your opponent shoots at you, you have to hold the light in front of you, giving them an easy target
Quote:
IMHO, a light on a gun, with your head directly behind it, makes a great target for a BG's bullet.
Have you guys ever been in the dark, with your eyeballs fully acclimated, then have someone with a modern combat light shine it in your face?


Quote:
...if it does that, it will blind you, too
How does a light, operated by you and pointed in the opposite direction blind you???


Seems to me that a lot of people pass judgement on this issue, having never actually tried it.
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Old October 19, 2014, 11:34 AM   #17
Glenn E. Meyer
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Light is reflect off objects - that's how we see. A bright enough light will reflect back enough to impact you.

I've tried it. Take a bright SD light and dark adapt yourself for about 30 minutes. Aim it at a wall and the flash will cause you to flinch.
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Old October 19, 2014, 11:51 AM   #18
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Or, you could just not go looking for trouble...dealing with trouble when it comes to you is another matter.

The real thing with a weapon mounted light is that while you don't have to point it at someone to see them, at some point, you will. And most likely not fully realize it.

If you are well trained (and follow your training) the risk of accidents is minimizes, but it's always there. And the majority of folks are NOT WELL TRAINED.

You can make valid arguments, both pro and con, but their relevance needs to be weighted in light of your personal situation.

For me, I think a weapon mounted light is a greater risk than a benefit. And here's a point to consider, the bad guy(s) need to see, too. There are situations where a total emcom is the best idea.

No matter the light used, it can be seen further than you can see, with it.
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Old October 19, 2014, 01:03 PM   #19
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A weapons mounted light is a GREAT tool to AUGMENT a handheld light. But like all things defensive, it must be trained for to be effective.

A handgun without training in its use is all but useless. The same is true for light usage and low-light shooting in general. Train properly and the light becomes a force multiplier. Without training it can become a liability.

If you doubt this go spend a day in a Sure-fire low light course. You WILL beleive!!
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Old October 19, 2014, 01:09 PM   #20
jackmoser65
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Light is reflect off objects - that's how we see. A bright enough light will reflect back enough to impact you.
Obviously but unless you're standing in front of a very light colored wall and shine the light directly at it, the advantage is yours. Shining your light at a dark figure across the room is entirely different. The blinding effect it has on your opponent, who has it directed at his face, is infinitely greater than any reflection you may get back. With that in mind, is it really going to make a difference if it's mounted on your firearm or in your weak hand? No. Angels dancing on a pinhead. Sorry but the "it makes you a target" argument has no basis in reality.

My opinion is based on actually using weapon-mounted lights in varying situations for at least ten years.
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Old October 19, 2014, 02:32 PM   #21
James K
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Why not simply try it. Stand in a dark room and have someone enter with a 100 lumen flashlight, either hand held or on a gun. The walls don't need to be white. If the light happens to hit exactly in your eyes, you will be blinded. But if you are off to the side, the backsplash from the light will show the other person up enough that you can put an imaginary (I hope) bullet into him.

Jim
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Old October 19, 2014, 03:35 PM   #22
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Have you guys ever been in the dark, with your eyeballs fully acclimated, then have someone with a modern combat light shine it in your face?
You're assuming he is facing you and looking directly into the light

You're also assuming you know exactly where he is before ever turning on the light

No matter how bright the light, you can still see it and deduce the position of the person holding it
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Old October 19, 2014, 03:36 PM   #23
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Or, you could just not go looking for trouble..
That's the smartest answer so far.
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Old October 19, 2014, 05:28 PM   #24
AK103K
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As with most things, you can come up with an endless stream of pro or con scenarios. It seems many of which, in either direction, are usually very narrow in focus. Big pictures seem to be in short supply.

If your gun works OK with it on there, what can it hurt to have it? It gives you options that you dont have without it. You use it as you deem necessary and appropriate. Better to have the light and not need it, than to not, and really want it.
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Old October 19, 2014, 06:39 PM   #25
jackmoser65
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Quote:
You're assuming he is facing you and looking directly into the light
Turn the light on, he will look. How is he going to shoot at you if he's not looking at you?


Quote:
You're also assuming you know exactly where he is before ever turning on the light
Quote:
No matter how bright the light, you can still see it and deduce the position of the person holding it
Two points that could be made against using a light at all.
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