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Putting a light on a revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Shawn Michael, Apr 14, 2007.

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  1. Shawn Michael

    Shawn Michael Member

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    My brother in law who is a LEO keeps telling me that I need a glock with a rail mounted light for my home defense gun. With his many years of experience clearing houses etc, I have to give it some thought. The light and the gun are together and you have a much better shooting platform that having them seperate. The lights are amazingly bright for such small things. I have two problems. 1) My glock is older and has no rails to mount a light. 2) I really feel better with my 686 at the bedside. Having a visiable hammer, not having to worry about my wife not clearing a jam (which you can get if you limp wrist a glock) etc etc.

    Any lights to mount on a revolver without going tactical crazy? I have a 686 with 4 inch barrel
     
  2. .41Dave

    .41Dave Member

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    Personally, I find the whole weapon-mounted light craze a bit overblown. In many ways it is better NOT to have the light hanging off your weapon.
     
  3. universal

    universal Guest

    Shawn,

    Something in you question stood out to me. Your brother in law is a law enforcement officer and told you to get a weapon with a light due to clearing houses, right? As a former police officer myself I can tell you that it is bad advice for someone to clear their own house; that is what the police is there for. It is very dangerous to do by yourself. In my opinion you should not be clearing your house but rather calling the police while you wait in your safe room if you think someone is in your house.

    All that being said, if you feel the need for a light source I would suggest getting a good flashlight and training with it. There is no need to spend $100-200 on a weapon mounted light. There are many good techniques on how to use a flashlight along with a handgun without the two being stuck together.
     
  4. ARTiger

    ARTiger Member

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    I'd rather have a good set of night sights and the element of surprise than all the candlepower in the world marking my location.

    Sometimes I think LEO's just like shining lights in people's eyes to intimidate . . . all the more intimidating if a handgun is attached.
     
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The use of a light on a home-defense handgun is debateable, but mounting one on a late-model Smith & Wesson with target sights shouldn't be difficult. S&W is now drilling holes in the topstrap that match some popular scope bases. Remove the rear sight and mount a base. Then you're good to go.

    Streamlight makes a model that incorporates a laser sight.

    I plan on letting the intruder frame himself in the bedroom door. :evil: Prior to that my primary weapon is a cell-phone. In this context a light (not necessarily gun mounted) is a good idea. Before I pull any trigger I want to know exactly who and what the threat is.
     
  6. PzGren

    PzGren Member

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    I would think that somebody should know his own home fairly well and , unless it's like Central Station, also has an idea who's roaming around inside.

    Law enforcement tactics, or military tactics, might not always be applicable in a civilian home defense scenario. I did house-to-house fighting in Hammelburg and throwing a handgrenade to clear a room would definitely drive my house value down, in an already bad market:D
     
  7. Robo_Railer

    Robo_Railer Member

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    Okay, that's one theory.
    For me (and all of these could apply in a home defense situation, too), it's:
    1) Target identification.
    2) Seeing their hands.
    3) If they can't see me, they can't hit me. (They may do "spray and pray" in the general direction of the light, but all my training and practice should have given me at least one well-placed shot by then.)
    4) "Intimidation" is good if it makes a bad guy surrender without either party firing a shot.

    I like night sights, too. But besides those little glowing dots or whatever, what are you seeing? What are you aligning the "magic dots" with? Benny Badguy, or empty space? Or worse, "a sound (or shape) in the dark" that turns out to be a household member?

    We had a discussion elsewhere on THR awhile back about lights on revolvers, and I don't think we found anything workable. Maybe one like Fuff mentioned (in place of a scope mount) would work, but I think you're better off with a good light stored right alongside (not on) your gun.
    I also agree with calling the police and waiting in a place of safety. If an intruder comes through that final door, a "wall of light" may not stop him, but I think it will still work to your advantage.
     
  8. Shawn Michael

    Shawn Michael Member

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    Good stuff

    I guess the idea of "clearing the house" is not such a good way of putting it. It always made most sense to me when I was living alone with just my wife to do what we planned, deadbolt ourselves in the bedroom and lay on the floor with a 12 gauge if someone tried to come through.

    My situation now that I live in a woodsy rural area with NO street lights etc. When the moon is low, it is DARK. I also live in a long narrow ranch house. I am at the far end and the kids are in the middle. It is kind of unsettling because the house is so long that I have no idea what is going on at the other end! I also have some inlaws who just DO NOT get it and like to pop over. There is a confused elderly gentleman who has been known to wander over to our property to look at the view, and some racoons that scratch around the trash etc. I usually go out with a 1.5million candlepower light and my revolver and figure I will reveal my position, but a light like this also can blind the bad guy. I also see these tactical strobe flashlights being used to disorient people...interesting.
     
  9. Shawn Michael

    Shawn Michael Member

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    In addition

    the next question become what is the best flashlight (say 250$ budget) to blind a badguy while being about to keep a solid shooting platform
     
  10. go_bang

    go_bang Member

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    I investigated the idea of mounting a light on a revolver some time back and came to the conclusion that the only thing out there right now is from Beamshot. They make a rail that attaches to the trigger guard. Somehow I think a seperate light would be better.
     
  11. Glockfan.45

    Glockfan.45 member

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  12. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I've found the gun mounted Streamlight TLR-2 laser/light to be so useful I wouldn't mind having a small (but bright) revolver mounted light on the Crimson Trace equipped J Frames I carry at night when I'm walking around the place.

    The laser assures the target will be hit but usually can't be used to identify the target.
    For instance the other night I shot a snake in the back yard. I could see where it was going through the grass but couldn't tell if it was a Copperhead or Rattlesnake or harmless. I couldn't take the chance so I shot it. It was just a large harmless snake.
    I may have to invest in a small bright flashlight.
     
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    I've experimented with the Streamlight - it will do what you have in mind. No more problems with target identification.

    Keep in mind that some Ruger revolvers have flat topstraps... :scrutiny:
     
  14. THE DRILL INSTRUCTOR

    THE DRILL INSTRUCTOR Member

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    +1 Glockfan .45

    Or if you can't handle that trashy I'm-too-poor-for-a-tactical-light-lets-use-duck-tape look then you could try that new S&W TRR8 thing with the rails all over it.
     
  15. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    Not for Me.
     
  16. Liverman

    Liverman Member

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    A second thought.

    I am new to the forum but I have been lurking off and on. In my younger and a little foolish years, I wanted to become a LEO. After about 3 months I decided that I was not that type of people person.

    My training officer said that the best move that he had made in his career was to learn to keep his flashlight away from his body when he was shakeing down a unknown area. He showed me the hand he had carried his flashlight in. Missing 2 fingers. He said that if it had been carried in frount of him, the shot that hit his hand could also of been a gutt shot. If it had been mounted on his pistol it could of also been a headshot.

    I feel that the pistol and the light are both good tools but if you mount them together you are just going to have an illuminated target. Until I see him (them) I want to be the unknown.
     
  17. PzGren

    PzGren Member

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    The first to give his position away, is often the first one to get shot. Lights, movement, noise attract gunfire.
    If somebody wants to flash a light at his supposed enemy/threat, there has to be sufficient ambient light to aim the flash at him. You flash the light into the wrong corner and it better was just the neighbor's cat and not an armed intruder.
     
  18. R127

    R127 Member

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    I was pretty old school and used to think a weapon mounted light was dumb. Somebody took the time to explain the tactics to me a year or two ago and I had some theoretical appreciation for the idea. Then I started farming chickens and having to respond to middle of the night raccoon attacks. I have a 3 watt LED flashlight that has good throw and intensity, I'm also a very capable marksman. I have come to feel that a weapon mounted light is a good solution to some problems.

    Anyway you'd never walk around with the light flipped on. You'd sneak around in the dark as per normal, when you see the badguy/predator light him up. Not only will he be easier for you to see, he'll be blinded and likely dazed by your light, giving you an advantage. A seperate flashlight is still useful for other purposes.
     
  19. Shawn Michael

    Shawn Michael Member

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    R127

    That is my line of thinking. It is black as pitch out here and I am going to have to have some light. If shot placement is the key I dont think I could shot very accurately while trying to manage a seperate light which will give up my position anyway. I would think the light would be off till needed. At the last moment illuminate my target. If the bad guy has me locked prior to that moment and shoots the moment I flick on my light, well I was probably done anyway. The lights are nice. By the way they are set up, you just flick your finger and keep a good shooting platform. The "hold the light away from your body" and shooting with one has has supposedly been replaced from the teaching in law enforcement though the above story is quite amazing. I tend to think I would have a better chance of defending myself with some really accurate shot placement than hoping he shoots at my light. Keeping in mind that far and away the most likely scenario would be animal/lost hiker/whatever. For now I am going out with my 1.5 million CP blinder and my 686 but I learn alot of more experienced points of view.
    Though they have drawn some flack, the "tactical" revolvers smith makes are not out of the question either.

    Thanks for reading
     
  20. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    A gun mounted light (or flash light) on the bad guy.
    [​IMG]

    The big problem is you still have to use your iron sights, whether you're using a gun or hand held light.
    How many of you are proficient with holding a flashlight and aiming the gun at the same time? How many of you have even practiced shooting in the dark?
    And honestly how long does it take you to get off a shot?
    Admittedly I'm a bit slow at age 69, but I've experimented with it and a man with a gun mounted light/laser would probably put three shots in me before I got off a shot using my hand held light and iron sights.

    Even if the BG was drawing something like a laser equipped Kel Tec P3AT from a front pocket, I'd be hard pressed beating him with a hand held light and iron sights.
    [​IMG]

    So, you all do what you want, but if I have to shoot for my life I want every advantage I can get.:)
    [​IMG]
     
  21. R127

    R127 Member

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    Very good point M2. I have great night vision but found that the glow in the dark paint on my CZ 75B's sights just wasn't getting the job done for me. Tritium is much better, and I suspect fiber optic would work well in conjuction with a light but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. A laser's good, too.
     
  22. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    I'd take the initiative and shoot towards the light, myself.

    (Not that I'm a practicing badguy, by any means)

    Lookie here:

    [​IMG]

    Plenty of room for lasers, phasers, and wind-speed indicators.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. R127

    R127 Member

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    "Shoot towards the light" is exactly why I used to think weapon lights were dumb. It turns out that it's kind of hard to shoot toward the light when 180 degrees of your field of vision is the light. Or if you're just plain blinded. The light itself is a weapon, we're not talking about some wimpy Maglite here. Wear a thick blindfold for half an hour then take it off real quick and stare directly into the Sun to get an idea of the effect of a good light.
     
  24. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    A man might launch bullets in the general direction of one of these modern bright lights but there isn't going to be any "aiming" at the light.

    When I got my first Streamlight TLR-2 (laser/light) I was shining it around inside the house during the day. Not realizing just how bright these lights are I passed the light by a mirror and at my face. With that light in your eyes you see NOTHING but the light.

    But just because the BG can't see, that doesn't necesserally mean he won't hit you, if you don't stop him first.

    I did an experiment, which doesn't really mean a whole lot but it was interesting.
    I used a Taurus PT99 that I hadn't shot but a couple times a year or so ago, so I probably wouldn't point it naturally because of being use to shooting the gun.

    At seven yards I started each shot with the gun pointed down and my eyes closed. Then I raised the gun and fired one shot with my eyes still closed.
    Out of 32 shots I missed the BG 3 times.
    The next time I try this I'll fire several shots each time.

    I guess what I get out of this is shoot first because the BG may still hit you even if he can't see you.

    BTW, it's hard to force yourself to keep your eyes closed while shooting.:D

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Shawn Michael

    Shawn Michael Member

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    Shooting with a laser

    when you practice with the laser do you look "through" your sights? Do you practice with the laser?

    Thanks. Again interesting thread any thanks for replies
     
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