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Tactical light mounted on gun or in your hand?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by m_kirk2001, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. m_kirk2001

    m_kirk2001 New Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    Northern Arizona
    Should a tactical light be mounted on the rail of a home defense handgun or should you hold it in your hand?
  2. B yond

    B yond Participating Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    On the gun. You may need that other hand for something.

    p.s. this should have been a poll.
  3. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    Oct 23, 2004
    light rails on pistols have become popular for a reason

    nevertheless, the obvious downside is that you can't avoid breaking rule #2, which means you better be obeying the other three
  4. kanewpadle

    kanewpadle New Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Both. One on the gun and a handheld.
  5. chris in va

    chris in va Mentor

    Mar 4, 2005
    Louisville KY
    Instructors have pointed out to me you don't want to be aiming at little Sally up at 3am for a glass of water. Also gives the BG something to aim at.

    I vote handheld.
  6. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Rocky Mountains
    Sure you can. It's a flashlight, not a laser. In no or very low light, a target can be identified so long as a good flashlight is pointed anywhere in the general direction of the target. In a HD situation in my house, I could identify an individual with a pistol-mounted light without pointing the pistol in a way which would fire a bullet within 20' of the individual. That's if I broke rule #3 of course.

    Most homes nowdays have white or light-colored walls which will bounce light.

    Some people don't want to take these things into account because it takes a lot of training, a lot of thought, or "the batteries could die", but I see no problem having tools in your bag even if you don't use them every time you work.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  7. 209

    209 Member

    Jun 16, 2007
    Northeastern US
    A tac light and a handheld light are not exclusive of one another. In a perfect world, you need both. There are things I can do with my tac light I can't do well with a handheld one... like light up a suspect at night and hold him/er at gun point while using the other hand to manipulate something else. There are things I can't (or shouldn't) do with a tac light... like point it at a flat tire at night so someone can see while changing it. :eek:

    :p :D
  8. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Senior Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Missoula, Montana
    On the weapon. I have an Insight M3X on my SIG P220, and a Surefire on my AK. The AK, as with any longarm, requires the light be mounted to the weapon to use it, and the weapon, effectively. The .45 could be brought to bear with one hand, but I prefer the added accuracy and control of a good two-hand hold when I can get it, and I prefer to keep my options open by not automatically occupying both of my hands. With the light on the weapon, I have one hand free to open doors, handle a dog, a phone, or a child (though I have none). All of these things get more difficult when I have a gun in one hand and a light in the other.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. In the end, if you get nailed with 125 lumens of white light coming through a door, and it isn't followed by a pair of 230 gr Gold Dots to the chest, you should be more appreciative that I took the time to identify my target before firing than offended I pointed a weapon at you. It's not difficult to stay out of the way of either. If you find yourself exposed to the light, and consequently, the muzzle, you did something to deserve it enough to motivate me out of my slumber. So in short, if you did something that found you on the receiving end of the light, you probably deserved to have a gun pointed at you. Learn your lesson, and in the future, try to avoid exposure to either...
  9. Regular Joe

    Regular Joe New Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    You guyz are goofy. If a moron broke into my place and pointed a rail mounted light near me, I would know immediately that it was just that, and KILL HIM. The end. That's all. YOU ARE DEAD.
  10. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Senior Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Rail mounted, for sure. The first time I had to clear a camper - not a trailer mind you, but one of those tow behind campers - I realized that I didn't like having both of my hands full in such a tiny space. Immediately afterwards I appropriated a weapon light.
  11. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Participating Member

    Jun 16, 2007

    Regular Joe, there are proper ways to use a weapon mounted light, and they won't get you killed. The wrong way might get you killed. You don't just run around with it on all the time, broadcasting your location to the world.
  12. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    Arlington, Republic of Texas
    Both. Use the hand light at first to assess the situation. If you find a bad guy that needs to be covered, switch to the weapon light and then use your free hand to operate the phone.

    The obvious advantage of using a hand light is not pointing the light at something you don't want to shoot and not creating a lighted target of yourself for the bad guy, as others pointed out. As for the weapon light, you are going to need a free hand. Only a weapon light gives you this. Try to call and talk to the police dispatcher with one hand on your weapon and one holding a light.
  13. JoeSlomo

    JoeSlomo Active Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    On the gun imho...

    The typical shooter can fire faster and more accurately with a good two-hand hold on the gun. There are techniques that meld the light closely with the gun while held in the support hand, however, you lose some of that good grip you would get had the light simply been mounted on the gun.

    Reducing stoppages and reloads are much more enjoyable when you don't have a light in the hand you need to take action with.

    19 years of room clearing in training and in various nasty parts of the world has proved to me beyond a shadow of doubt that a good high lumen gun light mounted ON the gun is nothing but an advantage for me.

    Hard to get a good sight picture with a face full of lumens, and by then, it's too late anyway...

    BUT, this is my humble opinion alone, and opinions are like....you know.
  14. Zach S

    Zach S Mentor

    Jun 30, 2003
    Western NC/East TN
    Agreed. My M3 will never replace my G2.

    Yep. At low-ready, the M3 on my G19 lights a room up pretty well.
  15. DHJenkins

    DHJenkins Participating Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Texas
    Neither. I don't keep my house that dark and I have tritium sights.

    Of course, I don't clear rooms/houses - especially in a home defense situation.
  16. texas bulldog

    texas bulldog Participating Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    Central Texas
    +1. i would like to get a good 150-300 lumen light to keep near my HD gun, but there is generally plenty of ambient light in my house to identify a potential target. i'm not a fan of gun-mounted lights, but to each their own.

    as for the "you need both hands" issue...that's what wives are for. even if i was holding someone at gunpoint with plenty of light, i still wouldn't call the police with my weak hand. i would instruct my wife to do so. there's also this invention called a light switch. once you have the guy at gun point, you needn't continue to keep the lights off. just a thought.
  17. jackstinson

    jackstinson Active Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Altair 4
    And don't forget the acetylene miner's light mounted on a headband. :D

    COMPNOR Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Not everyone is lucky enough to have a wife. And flipping a light switch is good as long as you got power. And actually have a light in said room. I've got two rooms that don't have a ceiling light, and require lamps which may not be able to be used.
  19. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Dec 24, 2002
    Forestburg, Texas
    My wife runs the shotgun. So I need another wife is what you are saying? I noticed you used the plural form of the word. Generally speaking, multiple wives aren't allowed in Texas. I don't know about the rest of the country.

    I have gun mounted lights. No problem not scanning the friendlies.
  20. possum

    possum Mentor

    Oct 12, 2005
    Concord, N.C.
    personally for me in both home defense, and military applications i use a wepon mounted light, but always have a handheld light as a spare. when i carry i have a handheld light. it is all up to what works best for you and your needs/ wants. i do suggest that you figure out what YOU want to go about it, and you get training in low light.

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