Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Light mounted on pistol Y/N

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by KenW., Jan 5, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. KenW.

    KenW. Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,096
    Location:
    Out West
    I'm an active member a police forum. Occassionally the topic of weapon-mounted lights comes up. Of course some are in favor and some are opposed.

    I am opposed. It used to be a simple rule: You never point your gun at something you are not willing to destroy, and everytime you light up ANYTHING with your weapon-mounted light (be it a burglar, sofa, or a child who comes around a blind corner) you are pointing the muzzle at it.

    Those in favor of the lights routinely say "If you don't wamt to shoot, just don't pull the trigger".

    Our #2 guy in my agency doesn't want "loaded flashlights" being pointed around, and I'm with him. In 15 years of this work I haven't found a need for one. We were all taught to use a light in the support hand.

    As for carrying two seperate lights, we cops already complain about the amount of things we have hanginmg off our belts.

    What do the people here think?
     
  2. DMK

    DMK Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    8,766
    Location:
    Over the hills and far, far away
    I'm not really a huge fan of a light mounted on a handgun. You lose a bunch of versatility in using the light when it's fixed to the gun.

    That said, if you have a rail on your gun and carry a rail mount light, you can use it as a handheld light plus you also have the option to mount it on the gun if you did need your other hand.

    Another thing that folks forget is a you don't have to point the light directly at something to ID it. A light mounted on a handgun held at low ready will give you plenty of light to see clearly out to ten yards or more.

    So there really is no downside to a weapon mountable light. Just don't get caught in the rut, thinking that you have to mount the light just because you can. I'd leave that as an available option used for only specific circumstances, not SOP.

    I don't see why you'd need to carry two lights, unless one is a big Maglight to use as an impact weapon.
     
  3. weisse52

    weisse52 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,341
    Location:
    Bountiful, Utah
    I keep one on my G21 for HD.

    But, I also have a handheld one I carry as well. I understand the rule of not pointing at anything you do not want to shoot, but I live with my wife and two Great Danes. So if it is in my house I feel safe pointing my light at it. IF I did not have this setup I would not have a light on a gun.

    I would ask, if you use the commonly held formats for pointing a hand-held light and a gun at the same time are you not doing the same thing? I understand that you can point the barrel down and not cover your target, but in my home if I am sure I have a badguy I want the fastest time to fire if necessary.

    And to be clear, I would never carry outside my house with a light mounted.
     
  4. SRT1

    SRT1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    517
    Never had a light on a weapon, never will have a light on a weapon. Never made sense to me why anyone would want to broadcast their exact location and posture to any opposing force. As long as you maintain your natural night vision in doing it, the lit weapons are the easiest ones to take out, and the first ones to shoot at. :scrutiny:
     
  5. S&W620

    S&W620 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    363
    Location:
    OHIO
    Personally I am in favor of using them. I have a TLR-2 on my USP which is my HD gun.

    While no one likes the idea of pointing a loaded weapon at a family member, pet, etc, I live alone with the exception of my girlfriend who stays from time to time in an apartment. Not knowing where the other person is or what's going on is not really an issue for me, so for me it works. It may not work for others in a different situation.

    The other point that I think is key in this situation is that no one is going to blindly pull the trigger of a gun without knowing exactly what you are shooting at. Too many bad things can happen if you aren't EXACTLY sure what it is you are firing at so most folks would air on the side of caution (at least I hope so).

    Another option that people seem to forget is that you don't HAVE to use the light. You are able to use a flashlight and do your thing, but if the need arises for you to have a free hand, the gun mounted light is then an alternative.

    Just my opinion, YMMV.
     
  6. SRT1

    SRT1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Messages:
    517
    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Good points, and I'm not against a separate light source. When needed, I've laid my flashlight in a hallway and then backed/sidestepped away to both illuminate what's to my front, and cover any movements I make from well behind the light and covered.
     
  7. KurtC

    KurtC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    371
    1. Weapon mount lights work extremely well when not mounted on the weapon. They are also more compact than hand held lights of similar strength. Best of both worlds.

    2. Most quality weapon lights are available with a red filter to protect your night vision. Anything over 80 lumens works great with a red filter.

    3. You do not point your weapon to light up an area. The ready position offers more than enough periferal light to illuminate a room, even with a filter.
     
  8. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    7,362
    Location:
    all over Virginia
    Due to lack of training for the rank-and-file, I think its a VERY bad idea for ordinary street cops to employ weapon-mounted lights.

    I'm a former police officer.

    Three members of my rookie class managed to shoot THEMSELVES before their probationary year ended. And that was with a revolver. My department routinely failed to arrange for even basic firearm requalification (once every 6 mos.) on the schedule prescribed in the General Orders. From what I saw at the requals, it was obvious that many of the officers had not even unloaded their revolvers since the previous requal. - let alone actually fired them.

    Sad.

    Half the cops I rode with had dead batteries in their flashlights.

    Weapon-mounted lights are fine for entry teams, and whatever privileged/motivated characters get the training. I can see the brass' position that there has to be some uniformity to the equipment standards for the patrol division.
     
  9. The_woodsman

    The_woodsman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    84
    There are too many advantages to 1913 lights not to have them. Guys who let their batteries die should probably not be in a patrol car, since be prepared should be the #1 go to rule.
     
  10. USMCDK

    USMCDK Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    New England
    I have a M2 UTL (Insight Technologies) light mounted on my H&K USP .45 and I like it. I works not only to illuminate and area or your target but you can use it as a flash type weapon to blind your opponent momentarily. One does make the good point "Never point you weapon at anything you do not intend to KILL, but the same goes if you don't want to shoot then DON'T. Further more like you said less heavy crap to carry, not only that but you can detach it and use it as a regular light that's not a big but with the same illum as the bigger ones.
     
  11. possum

    possum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8,942
    Location:
    Concord, N.C.
    i use a weapon mounted light and a handheld light. just because the light is on the weapon and it is pointing at whatever way that dosen't mean that you have to or will shoot. i am confident in my abilities, and i have trigger disciplin, i have no issues with a weapon mounted light, but as batteries do die and as siuations do come un hinged in seconds. the hand held light is always a good choice as a back up or a primary. i am comfortable with either one.
     
  12. USMCDK

    USMCDK Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    New England
    hey possum how's it going. I have to agree with you on that one as well. Just as murphy's law expresses if it can go wrong it will.
     
  13. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,351
    Location:
    Del City, Okla
    I was brought up to not use the scope on my rifle as a spotting scope. I keep lights off my pistols for the same reason.
     
  14. Mot45acp

    Mot45acp Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,309
    Location:
    TX
    I am not an operator/SWAT/ERT. But I am a Mall Ninja/arm chair commando with 3 kids.

    In Mot's house the role of HD is supported by a G17 sandwiched between Mepros and a M6, housed in a custom made Bladetech.

    Bumps in the night MUST be identified. Is that the boogieman or lil Mot 3 going potty?

    The rocker switch also gives your trigger finger something to do. Do I search my house with it on? No. But those who have had to search their house in the wee hours mentally and physically nekid, know what its like to come across a closed door with a flashlight in one hand and pistola in the other.
     
  15. USMCDK

    USMCDK Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    New England
    see mot's got the idea that I have the rocker switch is ingenius. The light doesn't have to be on constantly, you can toggle it to the quickie side and get a flash of light the you can't get with most flash lights without hitting the button twice.

    Just like the grenade... Flash BANG!!!! and the poor jerk that broke in is now just plain broke!!!
     
  16. possum

    possum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8,942
    Location:
    Concord, N.C.
    i like weapon mounted lights as i said before, can you tell?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. USMCDK

    USMCDK Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    New England
    JHC that's alot of fire power. I only own 1 pistol. Well technically 2 because I bought the wifey a Walther P22
     
  18. KenW.

    KenW. Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,096
    Location:
    Out West
    Just got the word at yesterday's detective meeting. The Sheriff has officially said "NO" again to weapon-mounted lights.

    He didn't need them when he was on the road...

    He'd like our patrol guys to wear Class "A"s and ties too.:cuss:
     
  19. PPGMD

    PPGMD Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Messages:
    879
    Hmm you might want to go the route that someone on Officer.com did, he got the studies, and help prove that when used properly weapon mounted lights are a great tool. I think it was Houston PD (I'm not a member I just read the thread from a google link), he got only only weapon mounted light approved, but optics on patrol carbines IIRC.
     
  20. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,020
    white lights/protection use/real world

    I think you(as a veteran sworn LEO) make some valid points about weapon mounted flashlights, AKA: white lights but here is my input;

    I see great use for some types of pistol/light sources in LE or lowlight home protection. In a real world home protection type incident it will be in the early morning hours, you may be very tired or not fully awake(unless the threat(s) are immediate :eek:). A bright powerful light would assist in clearly marking or maybe even blinding an attacker or group of attackers. When you are in that event you may or more than likely WILL have a phone in your hand calling 911. A weapon mounted white light would keep the criminal(s) visible with ease rather than you holding a phone, a loaded weapon and a flashlight :uhoh:. Some well made white light mounts have red laser options too, ;). These handy little gadgets can put a red dot on the criminal(s) as well as a bright light.
    In closing, I would carry a weapon light for my duty pistol if I worked in lowlight hours(night) or have a well made whitelight/red dot laser aimer combo for my home protection weapon. The advantages in protecting yourself or your family members/fellow LEOs or security officers make them worth it.

    Rusty S ;)
     
  21. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    6,985
    Location:
    Texas
    I do a good bit of low light and dark shooting, usually several evenings a week (home range).

    Do to actually shooting and practicing with the different night shooting aids I've found what works best (for me).

    IMO, the all around best low light/darkness system is a gun mounted laser/light.
    Yes your gun is pointed at what the light is pointed at, but if you think about, most of the time your gun is pointed at something you don't want to shoot. How often do you accidentally pull the trigger and shoot the TV or someone outside or in the next house? Your finger shouldn't even be on the trigger, right?
    Yes, I go by the idea that if you can't control when to and when not to shoot, you have a bigger problem than what light to choose.
    And it's not even necessary to point the gun directly at the dark silhouette that may just be your drunken brother-in-law. My Streamlight TLR-2 laser/light is probably typical and this light, out from the center beam, illuminates a whole average size room, not just where the gun is pointing.

    Some of the advantages of the laser/light is you have a free hand.
    At the instant you light up the BG you are sighted in and ready to fire. The laser dot showing you exactly where the bullet will strike.
    The gun mounted light is very fast to use and accurate.
    When you pick up the gun you are also picking up the light and sighting system at the same time.

    I've also found that I am WAY faster and far more accurate with the laser/light or laser than I am with a hand held light and night sights but my old eyes have something to do with that.:)

    I'm also a big fan of (good) lasers, like Crimson Trace, but that's another subject.
     
  22. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    3,522
    Location:
    In a Los Angeles coffin.
    This is where low light self defense training should be a mandatory requirement.

    I'd suggest to see if your department offers such a course or you can take one off duty.

    And since your concern is:

    Taking a low light handgun self defense course that specializes in weapon lights will be your best option.

    Lastly, I just want to thank you for your services.
     
  23. USMCDK

    USMCDK Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    New England
    And this is what it all boils down to.
     
  24. bluestarlizzard

    bluestarlizzard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    746
    Location:
    c-ville va
    personally, i'm not a big fan of ANY gadget on a firearm. my dad does want to mount a light to a couple of the pistols, and, considering he has trouble with his nightvision, i don't mind. i think the option of having a light that CAN be mounted in a pinch is a good comprimise to having one permanatly mounted.
    however in terms of a police officer, i presume, that ya'll use flashlights all the time, were as the sidearm gets used much more sparsly. so your going to have to carry a flashligh on the belt anyway. i think adding another light to the sidearm itself would be MORE to carry, not less.
    and always remeber KISS. if it can go wrong it probably will go wrong, and depending on batteries is one that will ALWAYS go wrong!
     
  25. mpmarty

    mpmarty Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,163
    Location:
    So. Western Oregon
    It all seems to depend on the situation. I have an XD45 service model with a TLR1 90lumen light attached. This combo stays in my bedside table drawer and never leaves except to clean and practice with. The light is adjustable and I have regulated it to a very small spot of very high intensity retina frying light that coincides exactly with the point of impact at fifteen feet with my barnes solid copper 185gr flying ashtrays. I can hold the pistol out to my extreme right and bend my wrist to point it forward and use the light to blind an adversary but at the expense of my own night vision. I can chose not to use it and rely on the tritium sights and my night vision to identify the subject. I live with my wife and have no other people of the two legged variety on the property. We sleep together so when awakened by a growl from the dog or a creaking floorboard, I know instantly if my wife is in bed or not. If she is, whatever or whoever is making the noise is an intruder, as my dog doesn't cause floor boards to squeak and he stays on the floor beside my bed anyway. When I come up under those circumstances, the TLR1 would probably be handy about five percent of the time and I'm not even sure about that. The rest of the time, as an example, if my remote shop alarm goes off (it buzzes in our bedroom receiver) I have to go down the mountain about a quarter of a mile to my shop which is 100ft by 24ft with a concrete floor metal roof and no windows. In that instance I go in and throw/roll a six cell kel lite (precursor to the mag lite) down on the floor so it rolls around and illuminates the whole shop while I sweep with one of my 1911s this happened about a year ago and I caught a thief from down the road a ways and as he was unarmed I called the sheriff and made him lay on the concrete floor for an hour until the deputy came to take him away. I'd had my dogs watch him up close and personal and when he was helped up by the deputy the floor was wet. Imagine that!!:evil:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page