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Tactical light strategies for AR

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by wacki, Apr 22, 2010.

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  1. wacki

    wacki Member

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    In an urban environment what kind of features are you looking for in a AR15 mounted flashlight? Ideal lumens for indoors? Ideal lumens on the streets? Thrower or flood? etc.

    I'm shopping around for lights and all I know is that I want one that accepts 18650 batteries. Given the huge variety of lights from Fenix, jetbeam, surefire and aftermarket LED heads I figured we could mainly stick to strategy discussion and find a light to fit.

    Thanks,

    W
     
  2. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    streamlight tlr2
     
  3. MarineOne

    MarineOne Member

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    The SureFire 6P is 65 lumens and I can easily see stuff out to around 100 feet. I've got a friend with one of the Fenix lights running around 200 lumens and it's incredibly bright, almost to the point of blinding yourself if you bounce the light off a wall within 15 or 20 feet.

    I think the biggest thing will be looking at how much you want to spend and exactly what you want it to do ....


    -K
     
  4. Broken11b

    Broken11b Member

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    Surefire, I'm looking for surefire features. Indoors, anything over 60 lumens is good to go. and outdoors... well, Ive never used a weapon light outside, I had nightvision for that.

    Admittedly, I'm biased towards surefire, but they never failed to work when I needed them to, even after an explosion about 4 meters from me that destroyed almost all of my other electronics... and my ears.

    As for the use and features, reliable and bright, thats all they need to be, I'm certain theres better options nowadays, just pick the most reliable you can afford and take a low light/no light class to learn how to use it.
     
  5. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine member

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    +1

    I was so impressed with my first Streamlight TLR-2 laser/light, that I bought five more.
    I have two of them on Bushmaster AR's, which are my primary HD guns.
    M4withStreamlight.gif

    I also have one on a S&W M&P 15-22 for low noise, low light AR laser/light practice.
    SWMP22whandguards.gif

    Backyardrangeatnight.gif

    SWMP22lightandlaserinthedark.gif
     
  6. hirundo82

    hirundo82 Member

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    M2_Carbine, what kind of mount is that for your light?
     
  7. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine member

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    They are very inexpensive rails that bolt on to the front handguard.

    http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ARR054-7.html

    I've seen them at gun shows for the standard length AR round handguard and these for the M4 length handguard.

    If you look at the S&W M&P you can see where I've also installed a sling swivel stud for a Harris bipod (have to remove the light) in front of the light and in back of the light on the Bushmaster.
     
  8. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    I have a Streamlight on mine. My goal with the weapon-mounted light is two-fold:
    1) Positive identification of targets.
    2) Blind/confuse targets in indoor environments that are low-light.

    Note that "general lumination of my surroundings" is not one of these. With a weapon-mounted light, it never stays on for more than a second, and never while stationary. We have a limited number of strobing weapon-mounted lights in the inventory, and the guys that signed them out are happy with them. In FoF, if you're not used to it, and you're on the receiving end, they really do have a confusing effect. For outdoor use, I've only used the light one time, but that was in a dynamic environment where we had to do a lot of scrambling over obstacles. I ended up switching to pistol and handheld since I couldn't maintain the rifle in a ready position and continue maneuvering.
     
  9. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine member

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    I've wondered about that.
    I recently bought a very bright SIG laser/light that has that feature. I figured it did have some practical application but didn't know if it was really effective.
    I haven't tried shooting in the dark with it yet.

    This is also what I keep telling people about using the laser. If properly used it should be on only a second or two before you fire.
     
  10. tkopp

    tkopp Member

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    Over 100 lumens can blind *you* if it strikes a white wall at night, which is why most tactical lights are around 70 lumens. As a light on constantly on gives away your location to anyone in line of sight, your best bet is to flash and move. Which is why a lower-powered light is necessary -- higher ruins your night vision.
     
  11. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    I went with a surefire G2 in a viltor VTAC mount. It positions the tailcap button to be manipulated by my support hand's thumb when holding the VFG and was inexpensive.
    It's only 60 lumens but inside the house it's plenty. I have a fenix that's 200 lumens or something but that would kill my night vision when it bounces off the walls.
     
  12. c919

    c919 Member

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    I went with one of Jimdo's a 300 lumen Solarforce L2 with a 5 position picatinny mount and a pressure switch. All in all it cost me about $40-$50 and I couldn't be more satisfied. It's bright, really bright, it has 4 settings and has a great throw.

    Here's the link to his thread:

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=451093

    Here's a pic of my setup.

    DSC01509.jpg

    BTW, Jim is a great guy to deal with and he ships very fast. I was so impressed with these lights I have bought four from him so far. One has been dropped, soaked in water, and used heavily and it is still functioning just as good as the day it arrived.
     
  13. Defense Minister

    Defense Minister Member

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    I, like a few others here, use a Streamlight TLR on mine. It serves double duty in that it can be used on my handguns, too.
     
  14. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine member

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    The light can be handy in other than a pure tactical role.
    One of my handiest gun mounted lights is on a Ruger 22/45. I installed a rail under the barrel to mount a Streamlight laser/light.
    I use the light when outside around the place at night and if I should run on a hazardous critter the 22 could come in handy.

    Also the setup makes for good, inexpensive night time light and laser/light practice.

    TLR2andironsights-1.gif
     
  15. navyretired 1

    navyretired 1 Member

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    I'd really like to see what I'm shooting at but none of my guns have lights, A few years ago (about 20) I read an article about how many LEO flashlights and hands holding them have been hit in a gun fight. It amazed me and I've never felt the need for a light mounted on my weapon, because my head is usually right behind it. I always have a light a Surefire 6P if I remember right but I hold it.
     
  16. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    navyretired 1, I submit that many of the cases you read about were due to the training more than the tool. 20 years ago, many agencies likely trained for constant illumination. A properly trained agent or officer who stays on the move and never illuminates for more than a second is very unlikely to get a flashlight shot.
     
  17. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    Mine sports a Surefire Scout light with rail-mounted SR07 pressure switch which gives me a choice between momentary on or click constant on. Not cheap but 100% reliable and I've trained with it to the point that the light is intuitive for me. The light is just right outside, plenty of central beam for throw and plenty of spill for area light. not led but incan. I don't use or want a VFG and my forward (L) hand is index finger on the round clicky and fingers 3,4,5 on the pressure pad.
     
  18. navyretired 1

    navyretired 1 Member

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    psyopspec-I spent last evening surfing the FBI statistic web sight, the training does depend on periodotic lighting instead of constant. The posts tending to explain why short bursts of light works better but there was no mention of the old stat. on lights being bullet magnets. There was lots of hinting of the old way but they never came out and said lights draw bullets like mosquitos. So I see your right but I never got the word and the last I was tought was seperate light and body.
    I'm grace with what the doctor calls remarkable eyesight. I see pretty good in dark and I've got good long distance vision but I need a magnifier to read my watch. Old age Baa Humbug
     
  19. strambo

    strambo Member

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    The TLR-1 is a great light for $100 and not too bright for indoors, good throw outside. I just got a Malkoff M60LF unit for my Surefire G2 that is on my AR. About 140 lumens or so and a 20deg flood. It is perfect for inside my house, very limited throw for outside.

    edit: more strategy discussion. It really comes down to the mission of the AR. Mine doesn't really have one (my HD guns are my 870 and P226). Since I just got it SBR'd, I'm leaning towards optimizing it for CQB indoors so the G2 with flood works great. Any brighter and reflection off of white walls would effect my vision. For general use, I think 100-240 lumens with the standard optic (no flood) is good, works indoors, plenty of throw for outside. For an SPR type rifle, lights can be had that throw usable light 300m...and for $100-$150. They have large heads/reflectors that maximize throw. They are typically at 240 lumens output, but the reflector design turns them into mini spotlights.

    Heat is also an issue esp. in plastic lights, which is also why I got a lower power LED for my G2, I wanted the ability to run it longer than 15 mins if needed.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2010
  20. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Member

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    As mentioned above, you don't want too bright of a light for indoors.

    I find the Surefire G2 series (I prefer the G2Led, from the factory, not an "upgrade") to make excellent longgun mounted lights that are pretty affordable.
     
  21. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    I have a Surefire G3 LED (80 lumens), and that's as bright as I'd want to go for indoor use. It's also plenty bright for pretty much any nighttime use inside 25 yards, and allows you to see things pretty clearly a couple hundred feet away.

    An inexpensive option for mounting a Surefire G3 or G2 on an AR if you don't already have a railed forend is a GG&G flashlight ring on a CAA front sight siderail. This may not work so well if you want to use a side sling swivel up front, though.
     
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