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Use a rail mounted flashlight on your pistol?

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by blue_ridge, Dec 2, 2009.

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  1. blue_ridge

    blue_ridge Member

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    I own a couple pistols with rails but have never mounted a light on them. I understand, partially, why cops and swat teams would use them. They enter buildings as a group and work as a team to secure the building. Light, if used properly can turn the tables in their favor.

    But if your intended use of a pistol is as a CCW or home defense, wouldn't a light usually broadcast your position to the intruder/attacker? I would think if i used any light, it would be hand held and separate from the gun so I could hold it at any angle I wanted without it being a beacon for the intruder to "aim here".
     
  2. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Not for me, thanks. With a light mounted on a gun, everything you point the light at has the gun pointed at it too. Not cool to point guns at family members who make a noise while getting a midnight snack.

    AFA "broadcasting your position", if a BG can shoot at your flashlight, you're not using a powerful enough light! IMO, it should be strong enough to blind him painfully and make him turn away from it. Besides, you see a BG in your house with your light, you're supposed to shoot first.
     
  3. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

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    A: You do not have to keep your light on all the time. Save it for target identification. You will most likely have enough ambient light to at least spot the person before resorting to your light--especially given your superior knowledge of the home. Snap the light on and if you don't recognize who it's shining on, start shooting unless they give a very quick indication that they're not a threat.
    B: No light, no matter how bright can keep somebody from shooting in the direction of the source of the light. It may make them close their eyes, but it sure can't paralyze their trigger finger.
    C: Even a weapon mounted light does not have to be pointed directly at the target in order to provide enough light to identify them. Point it at their feet or a few feet to the side.
     
  4. JoeSlomo

    JoeSlomo Member

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    Yup.

    On the rifle too...

    Have been for almost 20 years.
     
  5. RX-178

    RX-178 Member

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    I not only have a light on my pistol for HD, I CARRY it with the light on. The holster I bought can accomodate a light, so I figure it's an easy way to make sure I at least have a light on me at all times. I also carry a Surefire 9P on me, but as the saying goes, two becomes one, and one becomes none.
     
  6. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    If the room is so dark that the intruder can't see you even dimly if you aren't using a light, then how are you going to identify him as a threat? And unlike you, the bad guy knows that any person he sees isn't on his side; the homeowner doesn't know that unless he has enough light to ID the intruder.

    If there's enough light for a dark-adapted intruder to see well enough to navigate without turning on lights, then there's enough light for the intruder to shoot you regardless of whether you turn on a light or not. That goes double if the intruder's eyes are considerably younger than yours, or if you wear glasses and the intruder doesn't. Not using a flashlight doesn't make you invisible to 25-year-old dark-adapted eyes, nor does it make you a soundless ninja undetectable by 25-year-old ears.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  7. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    This thread comes up every few weeks. And for some reason, it only dawns on maybe 10% of the posters that you can use both. Seriously. Use the handheld when it makes more sense, and the mounted when that makes more sense. Why the hell would anyone limit themselves to less options?
     
  8. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    We are not gonna do this again already are we? :banghead:

    5 pages of this already underway :)

    http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=483981
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  9. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    I like having a light mounted on my shotgun, but I don't really feel the need for it on my pistol. I have gotten use to practicing with a separate flashlight with my handgun. I guess I wouldn't mind having one if I had a dedicated HD pistol... but I just tend to use my CCW at home and it is not railed.
     
  10. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Absolutely not.
     
  11. NCPatrolAR

    NCPatrolAR Member

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    Check out the other thread for my take on it.
     
  12. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Please please please, get a little training, THEN judge the tool. "Constant on" is for unsophisticated users.

    Yes you can have both - options are a good thing.

    I've done force on force indoors, outdoors, at night, and during the day. I've gone up against a variety of high-lum products. Worst that has happened to me is that I couldn't make out anything other than the light. I have yet to be 'dazzled and temporarily blinded' by the offerings of surefire, streamlight, et al.
    And there is a thread not too much further down the page with over 100 replies in it on this topic if you feel like doing a bit more reading.
     
  13. blue_ridge

    blue_ridge Member

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    Sorry, was just asking an honest question for the first time. It's fine with me if the moderator wants to close this thread. I'll follow along on the other one. Thanks for the replies and advice so far. Seems to be like everything else, there are multiple ways to approach every task and dependent on the users skills and experience, a different set of tools may be necessary.
     
  14. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Pretty much sums it up. Well-spoken, sir.
     
  15. possum

    possum Member

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    i have commented this many times on many forums, and no matter how many times it comes up; there are those that do use weapon mounted and advocate them in the fullest, and then there are those that hate and would never use weapon mounted lights on a ccw/ home defense gun.

    i have a weapon mounted lights and use them on all of my serious defense firearms. keeping this all in context i have had alot of training in low light and no light enviornments. with that said a good weapon mounted light is made even better by having a hand held light as a back up.
     
  16. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Use Verbal Challenge for Target ID Instead

    A simple verbal challenge of "Who's There!" will solve this problem without the need to go running around in the dark playing burglar hunt.
     
  17. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    And if the person doesn't answer, then what?
     
  18. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Repeat "Who's there! I have a gun!"

    You'll have somebody's attention then.
     
  19. Zombie

    Zombie member

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    The big issue here is that the light on your gun will draw the animated dead forcing you to shoot them. The noise will then draw more who may overwhelm your position. Better to have lights set up remotely with a hard wire switch such as on the ceiling as that may draw their attention.
     
  20. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    The point isn't getting their attention, it's identifying them as a threat or not.

    Not responding to a verbal challenge means exactly nothing with regard to ID'ing them as a threat. For all you know, that shape in the dim light could be a homicidal maniac shifting the knife in his hand and getting ready to lunge for you, or it could be your teenage son or daughter listening to their iPod while shuffling off to the kitchen to get a midnight snack.

    The purpose of a light isn't to let an intruder know you're there and where you are; it's to allow you to positively identify the intruder and determine their status as a threat or not.

    In most circumstances, shooting at shadows in your house is sort of like shooting at an unidentified flash of brown in the woods during hunting season, and for much the same reasons.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  21. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Pass.

    I know Military strategy and tactics is vastly different from home defense. However, there's one thing I want to maintain in both, and that is initiative.

    As the late Jeff Cooper said, "the best fight is the one where the loser doesn't know it happened until it is over."
     
  22. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    psyopspec writes:
    Home Defender John Tabbut had the initiative - http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/national_world&id=7061013

    The outcome probably would have been much happier had Mr. Tabbut first hollered a verbal challenge from a position advantage. But Mr. Tabbut was too interested in punishing the suspected home intruder than defending himself and his fiance.

    The incident happened just down the road from me.

    I've encountered similar tragic reports over the years, like the girl hiding in her closet in Texas. Her step dad, got his gun and shot her dead. Would a verbal challenge have changed the outcome? (see: http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...XEVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=c-sDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6699,3239652 )

    But this kind of stuff happens only to other people, right, because we're all to smart to let this happen to us?

    Another case: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/30/national/main2867791.shtml

    BenEzra writes:
    Everybody in my family knows to respond when one another calls out "Who's There!" It's a home safety practice we've had for years. We also announce who we are when we step in the door after being away ("I'm Home!). So far we've had no problems indentifying each other as non-threats, especially when there've been unusual noises in and around the house at night.

    If there's no response to a verbal challenge, then treat the situation as a threat and drive-on and execute your home defense plan. For me it's "I've called police! I have a gun! Get out of my home now!" hollered from a position of advantage and then I/we adapt as the situation develops. (It probably won't go this far as I have a dog that doesn't like strangers in the house and will chew up any intruder.)

    I believe and advocate that when investigating unsual noises or activity in the house a verbal challenge must be the first step in the target ID process.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
  23. Leadhead

    Leadhead Member

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    Sounds reasonable to me Shawn.

    Most intruders would choose retreat over armed confrontation if given the choice.

    For the people that think it's better to keep the element of surprise and ambush the intruder I have a question.
    Do you include body armor in your home offense kit?
    I'm not kidding....if I was planning on taking the offense and moving forward on a threat in my house without giving the threat an opportunity to leave I'd consider body armor a good investment.
     
  24. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Those are precisely the reasons why I think failing to use a light to be sure before shooting can lead to tragedy. Either a light or a verbal challenge might both have prevented those tragedies. There was a similar mistaken-identity shooting several years ago in my hometown in eastern NC.
    And again, even if you do all that, you still don't know if that silhouette in the dark advancing toward you is a threat or your teenage son/daughter who didn't hear your verbal challenge because they are listening to their iPod, or couldn't hear you because of other factors. Even with a verbal challenge, you still need a light.

    There are many reasons other than ill intent why one might not respond to a verbal challenge, including simply being unable to hear it (iPod, temporary deafness), drug effects, or lack of understanding of English. That's one reason why police transitioned to much more routine use of lights, because reling solely on verbal challenges without positive visual ID led to several tragic mistaken-identity shootings. It could happen to a homeowner as well; for that reason, I think a light is important.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
  25. Spreadfire Arms

    Spreadfire Arms Member

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    as a Low Light Instructor i have to ask why people haven't thought about two lighting systems: (1) on the pistol and (2) in your support side hand? that allows you to work with two lights instead of one.

    yes as others have said you can turn them off when you need to. the hand held light is used when you do not want to point a loaded weapon at something that you haven't identified as a threat necessarily, or want to "probe" around a corner to see if you can incite a response from an armed intruder. also, the hand held light can be held away from your body so if someone shoots towards the light you have increased distance from where the bullet would strike.

    light is to your advantage but don't always leave them on. we teach to momentarily "flutter" the light, turn it off, then move, then flutter again, then move, etc. you should have tactical advantage in your own house anyway since you know the layout, such you should be able to work better in the dark than the intruder who is probably very unfamiliar with the layout.

    nothing wrong with two good lights. i recommend a good strobing light like a Gladius as well as a good weapon mounted one as well.

    when you locate a threat then you can go two-hands on to your pistol and pistol mounted light. you can put the other hand held in your pocket.
     
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