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Old March 18, 2018, 11:48 PM   #26
Calisnaps
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I've had my night vision reduced by muzzle flash, but it was .303 and 7.62 blanks and there was around 150 of us laying down fire for a few minutes. Blanks seem to have a bigger muzzle flash.
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Old March 20, 2018, 05:06 PM   #27
peacefulgary
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Nope, never been blinded by muzzle flash.
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Old May 8, 2018, 11:36 PM   #28
Vesuvius Curmudgeon
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Yes - I know this is a zombie post - but the reason WHY the loss of sight happened was not discussed.

Firing 5-inchers and 8-inchers in the Navy, we were taught that the loss of vision was similar to a flashbulb firing and a bright, white flash reduced the visual purple in the retina, resulting in momentary blindness that will recover when the visual purple replenishes itself. That can take 10 to 15 full minutes sometimes.

When you get flash-blinded - you will often see purple blotches of color in your vision.

About the different flash colors have different effects on vision: did you ever wonder why the nighttime interior of ships are always red-lit?

That's because red does not damage the visual purple and when you are below decks, the shift to being on above-deck watch at night would not be hampered by temporary blindness if the below deck lighting had been white.

So - yes - the visual purple is the problem here and it can take somewhat longer to replenish at higher age levels. Everything either slows down, shrivels up or sags on a body as it ages.

Unlike fine wine and cheese, we do not continue getting better and better as we age.

Sidebar: ever wonder why all those pirates you see in movies got one of their eyes poked out? They all seem to wear an eye patch - which is a typical depiction of a pirate.

Was it sword play that caused the loss of an eye? Was it an act of initiation to become a pirate?

No.

It's because the lower decks of old sailing ships were very badly lighted and going from sunlight above decks to lower, dark decks would make you temporarily blinded.

So ---> wearing a patch on one eye gave you the ability to flip the patch up and be able to see below decks.
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Old May 9, 2018, 10:25 AM   #29
Glenn E. Meyer
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You need to test yourself after being in the dark for 30 minutes so has to have full dark adaptation. Just going from full light into the dark isn't a good test.

Try that. You will find the afterimage quite disconcerting for a bit.
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Old May 9, 2018, 11:47 AM   #30
Ricklin
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Bright lighting

I have a couple of areas outside of firearms where the eye and it's sensitivity to light come in to play.
Ever look in to an X-ray reading room in a hospital? Prior to reading your images the radiologist will take 5-10 minutes to allow their eyes to adjust. Studies have shown radiologists can discern up to 700 shades of gray in those dark viewing conditions. Average guy in a brightly lit room can discern 30-40 shades of gray.

My other interest is telescopes. A red flashlight helps there. It's a must to keep things dark. Again we must wait for our eyes to adapt to be able to see.

Flash blindness from firearms is similar. In this case your eyes are temporarily overwhelmed.
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Old May 9, 2018, 06:11 PM   #31
Glenn E. Meyer
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As an experiment, I once woke up in the middle of the night - so totally dark adapted. I went into a walk in closet and shut the door so no light at all. I then took a Surefire flashlight and lit up the closet. It was a shock and my eyes slammed closed with an image of pants and shirts.

As we've been saying - depends on your dark adaptation state.
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Old May 11, 2018, 12:06 PM   #32
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Context is everything. Military is one thing, Patrolling the Border in a remote area about the same. I worked as a big city cop too, walking down the street of the average US city there is so much ambient light as to make it irrelevant. Decades of low light/no light training has shown that the issue is largely irrelevant.
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Old May 11, 2018, 12:28 PM   #33
TheDevilThatYouKnow
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Modern smokeless powder generally includes flash reducing agents. I've lit off full magazines in an M16 series at 0200 and could barely see the flash.
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Old May 11, 2018, 01:37 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilThatYouKnow View Post
Modern smokeless powder generally includes flash reducing agents. I've lit off full magazines in an M16 series at 0200 and could barely see the flash.
This is not true. Call and ask Federal if there is any flash reducing agents in the powder they use for HST one of their top of the line defense pistol ammos. I will save you the time. The tech will tell they do not use any flash reducing compounds in ANY of the HST line.
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Old May 11, 2018, 05:08 PM   #35
pete2
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We had red lights in our tracks to preserve night vision. B Troop, 1/1 Cav
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Old May 13, 2018, 04:22 PM   #36
hdwhit
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Quote:
JERRYS asked:
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.
What do you mean when you ask whether the muzzle flash "blinded" someone.

If you're asking whether or not the term was used literally; as in the weapon was fired and the person could briefly not see anything at all, then, No, I don't think that's an observed phenomenon.

If you're asking whether or not someone fired a weapon and suffered a sufficient diminution in their night vision as to adversely impact their aim on subsequent shots; yes, regularly. In fact, I don't know anyone who would say otherwise unless they are taking special precautions to avoid it.
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Old May 13, 2018, 04:25 PM   #37
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Quote:
dahermit wrote:
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.
Yes, the red colored goggles were a technique specifically designed to minimize the effect of muzzle flash on night vision. Do you regularly wear rose colored glasses? If not, you can't count on the same result with conventional lenses.
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Old May 13, 2018, 08:22 PM   #38
armednfree
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Yes actually. My GP-100 3" loaded with 125's and H110, like looking into the sun. Little excessive there.

My old Remington 660 in 350 rem mag. Truthfully I don't know if it blinded me or knocked me out. Meanest kicking gun I ever had.
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Old May 13, 2018, 08:53 PM   #39
Nanuk
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Actually, I temporarily blinded a guy with muzzle blast....

We were aggressing on a REFORGER in Germany in 1981. I was a 60 gunner and in a gun jeep. This guy came charging out of the brush at us hollering. I swung and fired on reflex.... He was lucky, using the blank adapter the gun jammed after the first shot. We loaded him in the jeep and hauled butt to the local German hospital while getting on the radio.
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Old May 14, 2018, 05:57 AM   #40
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Recent powders have flash supressors that help. I have a book by Ayoob. The cover photo is of him shooting a 357, 4" barrel at night.. All the lighting was supplied by the muzzle flash !
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Old May 28, 2018, 04:30 PM   #41
Prof Young
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End of day with muzzle loader . . .

Not blinded but rightly impressed with the flash as I "unload" my muzzle loader after sunset.

Life is good
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Old May 28, 2018, 04:48 PM   #42
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Only with M2 .50 Machine Gun and .357 with a 4" barrel. The M2 you cant do much about. The .357 is simply too much powder for a 4" barrel, Seeing my wife shoot it from the side it makes a nice round fire ball.

A short AR in 5.56 (say 7") makes huge flash but it doesn't seem as bright or last as long if that makes sense?
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Old June 3, 2018, 03:18 PM   #43
Satchmoeddie
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Try to use a 4" barrel minimum, and Golden Saber cop ammo used to be reduced flash ammo, so pick good ammo, too. HST is okay ammo, but out on the reservation where it gets truly dark, you might have trouble finding your car, after shooting something like a 2 1/8" barrel .357 Magnum. 3" 9mm? Maybe. In the city, the ambient light is so bright, unless you are inside a dark building, it is a total non-issue. I used to have an old Thyristor film camera flash unit for disabling and IDing people. Close your eyes, and hit them with that flash, while kneeling, or stepping to one side. After the flash, kick on your weapon's light. If it's a neighbor kid, get the gun put away fast. If I use the gun I grew up shooting, and used for ages, I don't really need any sights. I drifted away from the Browning Hi Power, and went to Sig Sauer P226 & P228s, and my natural instinctive aim suffered. I finally went back to the old Hi Powers. I honestly do not need sights with those Hi Powers. I simply point it at what I want to hit, and they hit precisely where I want them too. 30 years and ???????? rounds of 9mm.... Make a noise! I'll hit ya! A lot of that is from fixing live high voltage stuff and dropping parts. You NEVER EVER take your eyes off what you are doing, unless you have a deathwish. You get really good at hearing what that part was made of and where it bounced off too. After 30 years of that, people are super easy to locate. Define dark, and define your target. Are you in downtown Detroilet, or are you 300 miles from the nearest city? Is your target a piece of paper nailed to a target stand, or a mobile person, a skunk or a bear?
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Old June 6, 2018, 08:45 PM   #44
Dragon breath
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I used a 7.62x25 Tokarev to put a deer out of its misery ( hit by car ). The muzzle flash was a green / white and left me with spots in front of my eyes. I am glad that it wasn’t a combat situation, because I don’t know how well I would have been able to see another target.
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