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Philosophy: Weapons Light vs. Rule 2

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Drue, Aug 31, 2016.

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  1. Drue

    Drue Member

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    I certainly understand the utility of a light in a low light confrontation. If something goes bump it the night and I have to go and see what it is, I might have to use a light to see what it is. If the light is mounted on the weapon, I have to point it at the thing that I am trying to identify. It may very well be an intruder but it could also be my child. Rule 2 states that the muzzle should not cover anything that I am unwilling to destroy. So the question is: 1) light on the weapon, both hands on the weapon, quick or 2) light in hand, weapon in the other hand, slower, only one hand on weapon?

    I realize that the answer for door kickers in Afghanistan may differ from the case of a person defending his home or person. I would really like to hear your opinions on this question.


    Thanks

    Drue
     
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    You don't have to point the weapon at anyone to see them. I keep a light mounted on my guns for HD. Keep the muzzle pointed at the ground in front of you, hit the switch and you light up the room just as well as if you'd turned on the lights. You can then decide whether or not you need to point the gun at the "intruder". And if you do, they will be blinded for enough time for you do make the decision of whether to shoot or not.
     
  3. Arizona_Mike

    Arizona_Mike Member

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    Yep, weapon lights tend to be floods.

    Mike

    PS. I was in another forum where a guy posted a picture of his shotgun with a light on it. Some guy's knee jerk response was to reply that he was trained in his CCW class to hold a light in your left hand away from a body in case the light draws fire and "you should never have a light on a gun".

    I replied that that was excellent advice for handgunners for three-armed shotgunners. Funny, he never returned to that thread :evil:
     
  4. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    The correct answer is BOTH. If you put a small lanyard on your hand-held light, you can illuminate with your weapon light to CLEAR AREAS AND ID TARGETS, while the hand-held light hangs below and won't interfere.. Once an area is CLEARED, use the hand held light for other tasks. When clearing an unknown area, everything will get swept with a weapon- including friendlies, unknowns, non-threats, etc.- initially. As a former military guy, that's just the nature of the beast.
     
  5. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    JMR40- easier said than done, esp. in a dynamic environment where speed, identification of threat(s) based on actions and what is in the hands or immediately accessible is concerned, and many other factors. When police officers are verbally engaging a possible or known threat, their weapons are trained to the threat and ready to fire. Why would that be different for anyone else?
     
  6. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    A verbal challenge ("Who's there?!) is a better option before you go out to play hunt the burgler.

    Train with your weapon mounted light to develop the skills you want to have.

    There are advatages and disadvantages to each. Determine what's important to you and your situation.
     
  7. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Most typical weapon lights will illuminate a typical residential room either pointed at the floor in low ready or at the ceiling. They aren't your 1980 era flashlights. They really are that bright.
     
  8. TRX

    TRX Member

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    Nowadays it's easy to buy a bright enough light to wash out your night vision. There ain't no free lunch.
     
  9. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

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    Forget about the light. Just use the centuries old KISS formula. You'll live longer. :what: Yes.
     
  10. azrocks

    azrocks Member

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    This statement begs for an explanation.
     
  11. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    I don't like lights on my handguns.

    I like Lights on my long guns.

    The reasoning (right or wrong) is this:
    I am uncomfortable flagging things with my hand gun while using the light, so I keep them independent.

    With a long gun, my hands are tied up with the firearm so it makes sense to me to have a light there as well. Also, if I have decided to retrieve a long gun, I am feeling like I might need one...
     
  12. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

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    No it doesn't. Beg somewhere else. :rolleyes: Continue to Think.... Harder.

    In the Grand Canyon State. :neener:

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQE265GFtiqtJf48LbRy_bC-0mTACJron4c1kRBmi8HDS4fkGAp.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  13. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    My solution is a couple of "tactical lamps" on timers that stay on through the night.

    No need for a light in the hand or on the gun.
     
  14. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    I can make a good case for a weapon-mounted light on a manually operated long gun, such as a pump shotgun. You do not have a hand free to hold a flashlight. With a handgun or even with a self-loading rifle or shotgun, you can use a flashlight without attaching it to the gun. Among the benefits already noted above, you can use any flashlight you happen to have, without the need for a purpose-built weapon light.

    To use a flashlight with a long gun, cradle the gun in the crook of your elbow; the lens of the flashlight is toward the little finger of your off hand. (Harries technique but adapted for rifle.) There is no need for the light and the gun to point in the same direction if that is not what you want.

    22.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  15. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    A light on a long gun is primarily there to ensure that one doesn't misidentify the target. Police started using weapon lights after too many innocent people were shot by mistake in low light. It has happened to armed homeowners also.

    Shooting at unidentified shadows is usually a bad idea in the civilian world, LE or not.
     
  16. johncantiusgarand

    johncantiusgarand Member

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    I didn't like weapon lights for a long time, and I was taught to illuminate with a separate light in my off-hand held away from my body in order not to draw fire to my vitals. This, of course, required me to shoot one-handed, but it seemed like a "no-brainer"; I certainly didn't want my vitals to be right behind the "shoot here, dummy" flashlight. Weapon-mounted lights are compulsory where I work now, and I have slowly come to regard the pro's as outweighing the con's. The lights are so bright now and so easy to manipulate, that the accuracy benefits of my utilizing a normal two-hand hold, along with the blinding nature of these new lights appear to outweigh the likelihood of accurate return fire; they really are blinding and disorienting to look at--especially on strobe mode.
     
  17. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I prefer a headlamp over a weapon light or handheld flashlight for bump in the night duty.

    I can keep my weapon at the ready but pointed safely, and the light is always lighting up what I am trying to identify.
     
  18. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Post 16 & 17, the beauty of THR.

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
     
  19. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I refuse to use a light which requires me to point a loaded firearm even in the general direction of a person I'm not sure I want to shoot.

    No weapons lights in a non-combat area for me.

    My home is wholly unsuited to the use of a long gun, so I'm quite happy with a multi-cell flashlight in one hand and an M1911 in the other.
     
  20. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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  21. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I use both. The arguments against a weapon light are really moot. The chance of return fire is minimal. Even with training, returning fire at a light in your face is a conscious decision. A bright light does more than just take away a target's night vision, it interrupts their decision making process. During raids, my unit still burst through with white weapon mounted lights even though we usually used night vision. It took effort to close one eye while clearing but the disorientating effect of the light on targets was noted. Holsters? Tons of companies make holsters for handguns with lights. Tactically, a weapon light frees up a hand to manipulate doors or operate a cell phone for an emergency reason.

    As a handheld light I either carry a Streamlight Protac 2L or a Walther MGL 1000x2. 280 and 470 lumens respectively. Both are bright enough to temporary blind someone. And when walking the dog it is better to use a hand light instead of a weapon light to look for threats and hazards.
     
  22. Longhorn 76

    Longhorn 76 Member

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    Headlamp, for sure.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
     
  23. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    I wouldn't even consider a headlamp. Talk about awkward. Do you reach up and turn it off and on when you need it, or just leave it on all the time so the bad guy always knows exactly where you are?

    Take a low light course, or actually have someone play a bad guy in your house and go looking for them with the headlamp. It will "enlighten" you! ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  24. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    We are applying Rule 2 for a reason - when handling a firearm you don't casually muzzle the crowd around you and endanger them. This could be a range, gun show, sporting goods counter, or your friends house where you are over for dinner.

    Of course we apply Rule 2 then - it's not only safer, it's also part of gun culture and is becoming extremely ingrained as courtesy. The armed public should be so concerned about knife etiquette - the rare time I loan a knife I get it back in some other condition that what I handed it.

    That's not what is happening in a defensive gun use situation. At all. You first heard or saw something out of the ordinary and once processed you are responding to a LETHAL THREAT - or so you think. YOU ARMED YOURSELF in response to that threat and are trying to make a determination if it truly is lethal. So far so good - we are exercising due diligence instead of allowing fear to cause us to overreact.

    If someone is coming thru the bedroom door at the point you have a gun with light on it, you have a very short window of opportunity to make a shoot or don't shoot decision. You light them up anyway - it's not a well lit gun store downtown, it's your home with something threatening going on.

    Family? Ok, the weapon was on safe, right? And you both reach a new level of awareness.

    Intruder? Your choice, but the next move may need to be off safe and shoot. If your gun was pointing at the floor you will be slower - they may still be moving and now even more quickly as they spot you up and out of bed.

    There is a new perspective that a light in CQB use may not have to flood the room destroying your night vision. It can illuminate the target with a small spot beam which is also the "sighting" mechanism. A laser diode driven light with a 12-18 spot at ten feet in your dark house at night can illuminate the features of a human enough to recognize who they are - and also give you a COM shot if you need it.

    Nothing wrong with the intent of Rule 2 for general use when handling firearms but forcing yourself to apply it when in a lethal threat situation can endanger you more. If you think it's a lethal threat - light them up and decide. You may not have enough time to do anything other than pull the trigger.
     
  25. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Well said!

    Having muzzle swept a lot of folks on purpose (military and PD) and not having accidentally shot anyone to date, it's the least of my worries in an SD situation.

    BLUF: IF you're in my house uninvited, you're going to get muzzle swept. IF you're a family member doing something stupid, odds are you'll get muzzle swept, and then we'll have a lengthy discussion on the hazards of doing stupid chit.

    Luckily, I've taken a bunch of low-light training, and shot low-light CoFs, so I am going to use a light (most likely mounted) to make a positive ID and verify it's an actual threat before placing my finger on the trigger and engaging, but I have zero inhibitions against pointing a loaded firearm at an "unknown".

    As for mounted VS. HH preference, I hands down prefer mounted when available, the light is always "there" when you need it, you don't "HAVE" to turn it on, and it's much easier to hit with a mounted light especially when speed is a factor. If you look at most of the modern HH light techniques (Roger's, Harries, Graham, etc.) they actually mimic a mounted light anyway.

    Chuck
     
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