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Old July 16, 2008, 10:40 AM   #1
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Rail lights and home security

(I debated whether this should be Gadgets/Gear or Tactics. I’m still not certain so if a Mod feels this needs to be moved, all apologies in advance.)

Hi, folks. A bit of a flashaholic here. Been thru several Surefires but have pared them down to just a few E2E, a couple of G2Ls mounted on a Bushmaster M4gery and shotgun, and an A2 Aviator. Much more of a Fenix fan lately with an EDC of a P2D RB100 and a L0D Q4 – occasional use of a T1 and a P3D Q5.

So… I like lights! I’ve got several around and always one in the pocket. (Typically one with a max avail output of 180 – 215 lumens!) Still, I’m thinking of going with a rail light on one of the home guns. Likely the G30 or even more so, the G19. I’m not even slightly interested in a rail light on one of my carry guns due to my perception of bulk. I’m kinda sensitive to CCW size and usually limit urban carry to a P3AT or the 642 J frame.

Anyway, a rail light. Here is what concerns me. Yes, I’ve got one of the AR so I’m familiar with the concept in passing. Still, if I’m checking on a “bump in the night,” it is typically with one of the Glocks. I’m married with a 4 and 7 year old. With the kids in the house, I’ve got to be doubly careful about muzzle sweep when checking out a noise. I would like a rail light due to perceived convenience and one-hand manageability in home but what about muzzle sweep? How do you illuminate the environment without pointing the business end of a firearm at “things you’re not prepared to shoot?”

Maybe I’m having a dumb attack and am missing something. I think I would like a rail light for limited duty but it’s one thing to illuminate my wife or kid with light while a pistol is in a muzzle down / ready position – it is another to illuminate them while also pointing the muzzle of a firearm at them.

Help me out… should I stick to my status quo of a weak hand torch?
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Old July 16, 2008, 07:58 PM   #2
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You don't have to point the weapon at the potential threat to get *some* illumination. Pointed at the walls, ceiling, or floor still gets you some light with no muzzle sweep.
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Old July 16, 2008, 08:24 PM   #3
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A weapon mounted light serves a different purpose than a hand-carried light. First, if you only have a weapon mounted light you have a tendency to use the weapon as a pointing device for the light. I carry both a weapon mounted light and a carry light. The major reason for the weapon mounted light is the strobe.

With respect to carry difficulty, see images below.


Carry light: Surefire E2D LED Defender


Weapon Mounted Light: Insight Procyon


M&P 4.5" 45, Crimson Trace LaserGrips, Insight Procyon Weapon Light


M&P 4.5" 45, Crimson Trace LaserGrips, Insight Procyon Weapon Light in SmartCarry holster with spare 14-round magazine.

I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop!
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Old July 17, 2008, 07:09 PM   #4
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I submit that a weapon mounted light "bumped" is capable of illuminating the vast majority of residential spaces. There's no reason said "bump" cannot be directed in a safe direction.

Try it out and see, pun intended, for yourself.
Meriam Webster's: Main Entry: ci·vil·ian Pronunciation: \sə-ˈvil-yən also -ˈvi-yən\, Function: noun, Date: 14th century, 1: a specialist in Roman or modern civil law, 2 a: one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force b: outsider 1, — civilian adjective
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Old July 17, 2008, 11:07 PM   #5
Rob Pincus
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Here is what I teach in regard to the question: Flashlight Article

I am not a fan of a weapon mounted light as the primary solution in the situation you described.

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Old July 18, 2008, 12:17 PM   #6
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If you're going to be walking around in the dark with a gun you need to have a light mounted on it. You follow the safety rules don't you? How do you know what your gun is pointed at when you point your offhand light at something else? What if you drop the offhand light? IMIO (in my indisputable opinion) both lights are required and that little 60+ lumen handheld should be considered as as much a part of your gun as the magazine. My E2D "belongs" to my gun as much as the magazines and the Insight on the rail and they all live happily together in the safe, drawer, range bag or on my person. Call me crazy but I think being able to light up everything you point your gun at and anything else without pointing your gun at it is the obvious choice. And don't forget the laser.
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Old July 18, 2008, 01:54 PM   #7
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Hmmm... Thoughtful answers from both sides of the argument. I appreciate the time spent responding. I'm still not "sold" on the idea but I've gotten enough food for thought that I may try an inexpensive Insight to see if I am comfortable with it.

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Old July 18, 2008, 01:58 PM   #8
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Slopemeno hit the nail on the head with his thoughts on indirect lighting techniques.

"You don't have to point the weapon at the potential threat to get *some* illumination. Pointed at the walls, ceiling, or floor still gets you some light with no muzzle sweep."

Specifically, keep the weapon pointed in a safe direction, usually down, bump or turn on the on switch as needed. Also, the rule of thumb I agree with is "When in the dark, stay in the dark; when in the light, light up the dark."

Our house guns rotate between G-19's with attached lights or other handguns with a surefire that has a lanyard. I have trained extensively with both methods and they both have their ups and downs. Also, the lights we use for our Glocks snap off so can be used independantly if required.
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Old July 19, 2008, 02:07 PM   #9
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When I would set up a home for self defense, I would put motion sensor lights in every room except the master bedroom. I would train my clients to stay in the dark as much as possible. The motion sensors were aimed away from approach from the master bedroom, so moving from MB to unsecured areas would not trip them. Intruders would be tripping them, but habitants would not.

Of course, this was before the days of weapon-mounted searchlights, so I don't have experience with the method of "I see; you are blind" tactics.

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Old July 20, 2008, 06:07 PM   #10
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I have ponderd long and hard on the issue of weapon lights, and im still at a similar empass. I have read on here that, dont point your gun at what your not prepared to kill, and i have read in various magazines were some writers said they will "light someone up" in there home. The writers say that you must have controll over your weapon, and that if you cant keep yourself from shooting something, you shouldnt have a gun.

From all the advertising i see with weapon lights, there explicitly(spelling>?) designed to be pointed at someone/something.

My second connundrum with the light situation is i hate one handed shooting. Yes I can do it and do i with just about as much accuracy as i can 2 handed, but i loose a little more then 50% of my sight alignment speed. Which to me is annoying. When using my 2 handed grip it seems like my sights almost instantly return to where there sapposed to be. Yet with one hand it seems like it takes almost half a second to get from fire to sight alignment to fire again.

So that is why i am having such a time figuring out which style i wish to use gun light or handheld. If i go to handheld i loose what i feel is alot of time getting back to my sights and firing.
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