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Old November 9, 2000, 11:55 AM   #1
voodoo
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Before we begin, here's a run down of my "house guns":

HK Tactical with UTL light
Glock 17 with M3 light
870 with Surefire light

See the pattern??? (Hint: they all have weapon-mounted lights)

Also bedside, I keep a Surefire 9P handheld. Lying in bed last night, I was going over house clearing strategy in my head. I thought to myself...does having a weapon-mounted light really provide an advantage over having just a handheld light? Tactically, I can see the advantage in that it frees up a hand (for two hand shooting, opening doors, etc.), but I can also see a serious potential drawback - I would be required to point my gun at whatever I want to illuminate. I was always trained to never point a gun at anything you didn't want to shoot (even if my finger was off the trigger). Looking even deeper, there are also potential legal issues involved.

You can see my dilemna.

Should I just switch to the handheld? To me, I figure, once I put that light on the gun, it becomes a "combat" weapon as opposed to a "self defense" weapon and the potential legal ramifications of using a weapon-mounted light in a home defense shooting can (and usually do) work against me.

Please share your thoughts/opinions.

Thanks in advance!

p.s. - What do you use in your home?
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Old November 9, 2000, 12:02 PM   #2
JWR
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I use a P14-45, 230gr Hydrashocks. Light is a 3-cell maglight (I also have a red lens for it). I figure if for some reason I need a non-lethal weapon a maglight-to-head would be a non-fatal fightstopper.
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Old November 9, 2000, 01:01 PM   #3
Beta
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In my opinion, anyone worth hitting in the head with a Maglite is worth shooting. In Texas, such a blow may be considered as the use of deadly force.

If you don't want to kill them, I would direct the strike at some other part of their anatomy.
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Old November 9, 2000, 01:04 PM   #4
Joe Demko
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I go with a handheld light. For a civilian, there is too much liability associated with pointing a gun at someone you end up nt wanting to shoot.
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Old November 9, 2000, 07:43 PM   #5
Spectre
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I am having a shotgun modified. Mods include a SureFire light. I plan on having a light mounted on my Sub-9 soon. I plan on mounting a light on my Mossberg 500. I'm thinking about mounting a light on my M1 Carbine.

These lights put out enough illumination to identify a close threat, even when mounted in low ready, without actually pointing at threat.
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Old November 9, 2000, 07:51 PM   #6
JWR
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Beta, good tip. Didn't think about that.
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Old November 9, 2000, 09:10 PM   #7
twist996
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no weapon mounted light....i carry a streamlight scorpion....if things have reached the point where my gun is out, then the brandishing concerns are well past...i feel the hand flash is better, easy to control, while leaving the gun unencumbered (big word for me!)....JM.02


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Old November 11, 2000, 01:40 AM   #8
Ivanhoe
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I have a SureFire 3v unit mounted on my Glock. with the gun at low ready, I get enough peripheral light to adequately illuminate any BGs without wasting my night vision. In the typical white-painted interior, blazing away with any light at eye level is going to take away some or all night vision. So I claim its an issue of technique more than anything else. Of course, one ought to have a second tac light on hand as well.

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Old November 11, 2000, 10:41 AM   #9
racegunner
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If I broke into your house (assuming I'm that type of dirtbag) knowing there are occupants, you would assume my intentions are to do more then just rob you. I think most home invasion theft minded people would prefer not to confront the occupants. Some check by "casing the joint" or by throwing stuff at windows of bedrooms to see if lights go on. Then they move on. If they do go in knowing you are home they intend to do you harm!

If I broke into a house and knew there were occupants, I couldn't ask for a better target than a bright white Surefire coming down the hall! Because I would be hidden in dark behind something and the guy with the "illuminator" would be behind drywall if anything. Flashlights are not omnidirectional and still cast sever shadows which will not always guarantee target ID fast enough.

Do yourself a favor and DO NOT clear your house yourself! Police do it in teams and wear kevlar not pajamas. Call 911 and stay in a defensive position in the DARK. Let them come to you (if you can).

Unless you are deaf, why look and light? Why not listen. Anyone that has a basement has an advantage too. Floors creek, that is very useful.

If target ID is your concern why not just yell out in a loud voice "who goes there" ? At least you can do that from cover.

Don't get sucked into the consumerism of firearms with slots for lights. Toys are neat and fun but may not serve a realworld defensive use to Joe Homeowner. Just because police may need lights, you may not. They need to make arrests, you just need to protect your family. Which brings up the fact that if you have a family (kids in other rooms) then you will have to check on them or get them to your room. Maybe someone has a good plan for that, or that is a good arguement for a light...I don't have all the answers. I am glad this post came up. I will now reconsider my plan if I hear someone in my house if I had guests in the house.
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Old November 11, 2000, 01:23 PM   #10
twist996
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set up your house so that the interior has illuminated zones....hide in the dark, but wait for the intruder to pass into these zones....hallways, outside of doorways, stairwells, etc...

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Old November 12, 2000, 12:12 AM   #11
Ivanhoe
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Where I currently live, police response to a 911 call is going to be about 10 minutes. Most probably response will be with a single officer in a cruiser. During a hot break-in, what's the resident's life expectancy in minutes?

Secondly, if I hole up in my back bedroom, or any other room for that matter, I have at most 9 feet between me and the entry point to that room. Due to the layout of the place, once in via the easier breakpoints, any room is assailable within 3 seconds. Given the implications of the Tueller drill, I'd rather take my chances going for fire initiative than get cornered and rushed.

I feel that the "hole up and call the cavalry" approach works better in magazines than it does in a lot of home defense scenarios. Now if I owned a defendable house and could build a safe room, then I'd go into "badger mode" without hesitation.

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Old November 12, 2000, 01:37 AM   #12
racegunner
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Ivanhoe:
The Tueller drill suggests that a person can close a significant distance in the time it takes to draw and fire a weapon.

Since my weapon is "already drawn", and my focus is on a single doorway and a hallway, through both of which the attacker would have to travel, the Tueller drill doesn't really apply.

The scenerio is really in favor of the ambusher (me) not the attacker (ambushee) who is or will be in the "kill zone". He can't see me unless he comes all the way into my room and hits the light switch. In that time (your 3 seconds) he will have eaten 13 rounds of 230gr +P and will die of lead poinsoning long before he ever makes it to me. I like my odds better.

Attacking an unknown adversary of unknown quantity, after being awakened from deep sleep at 3:30am works best in movies.

[This message has been edited by racegunner (edited November 12, 2000).]
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Old November 13, 2000, 12:51 AM   #13
Ivanhoe
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I'm fully familiar with the Tueller drill, including the secondary aspect of the time it takes to fire from the low ready (which is, or should be, an integral part of the drill, as it should reinforce the importance of having a firing grip in place when the balloon goes up).

If I hole up, my "kill zone" is but 10 feet away, with no exit, and no sight lines to where the bad guys could be staging. This is not a recipe for success, IMHO.

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Old November 15, 2000, 06:17 PM   #14
M1911
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Can't agree with you Ivanhoe. I'll hole up in the bedroom. If the bad guy comes through the door, he's coming through a fatal funnel. Barricaded defenders have at least a 3:1 advantage, because you know where he's coming from and you have your gun trained on the door. All you have to do is pull the trigger.

M1911
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Old November 15, 2000, 09:25 PM   #15
Spectre
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I see both sides of this. Of course, I have a .40, SureFire, and TAC-7 all within reach. Leaning from bed will access .45-70 and M1 Carbine. OTOH, it's real darn close to the door. Well under a second to close the distance...

I totally agree with hiding in the dark as a principle. Let me make a comparison.

I believe firearms were made to fire. They are best used as distance weapons, where they confer an advantage. I *do* think, however, that having the ability to use the firearm as an improvised impact tool is a useful skill. In much the same manner, I would prefer to use my weapons from ambush and concealment, but I want to keep as many options open as possible- thus, the lights.
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