Hazards of flashlights on handguns

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by JWagner, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. JWagner

    JWagner New Member

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  2. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Too many moving parts for some folks.
     

  3. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I think that had there been more practice with the defense firearm, then such "accidents" would not occur.
     
  4. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Im not a fan of flashlights on weapons unless your coon hunting, fumbling for the power sw isnt the only danger. A flashlight is the very best target for a kill shot you can give someone in an SD situation. We have a dead Sheriff that found that out a few years ago when he stormed a man barricaded in his garage in the dark. All the guy saw was a light about face level coming at him and he aimed at the light, shot the Deputy right in the juggler.

    If your gonna use any form of vision assistance in the dark it might better be a Nightscope that doesnt give your exact location away before you have a chance to defend yourself.
     
  5. seancslaughter

    seancslaughter New Member

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    They are great on rifles when doing raids in a combat zone especially when they have strobe. My light probably saved a few hajjis by stunning and confusing them enough for me to buttstroke them instead of shoot them


    Sent from my iPhone using Firearms Talk
     
  6. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Fair enough, Ive been retired from the Infantry for about 10 years, we never had them, we did have plenty of NODS, 50/ Mk19 Night Scopes and even the TOW NS. A strobe could certainly cause someone to seize. Im not sure if I would feel safe with a beacon lighting my location but youve actually had experience (thank you for your service BTW), I defer to your actual experiencene.

    The only case of SD Ive heard of locally did involve a Sheriff with a mounted light on his Weapon, he was an Iraq Vet, so was the guy who shot at the light at about 20'. Not sure if it was a lucky shot but it was deadly for the officer.
     
  7. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Couldn't say it better myself. I'd rather take my chances in the dark.
     
  8. seancslaughter

    seancslaughter New Member

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    See that's the thing if you have experience using them then you can mitigate it's effects on you or at least fight through it(one of the reasons people who certify with taser/oc have to be hit with it is learning to fight after accidental exposure) now that you say the other guy was a vet too he used his tactical experience and training to shoot a deputy who was also a vet. The deputy was probably not switched on and acting like he would had he been in a combat zone he was switched on and in cop mode using tactics and training for law enforcement. When faced with someone with combat experience who is still in that mode then a lot of times they overwhelm Leo's take a look at this as an example of what one former Marine (also a gangster) does to a police officer. Please disregard the person who does a VoiceOver in the beginning talking about police harassing Hispanics it's the only copy of the video I can find [ame]http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=864LC3qYgjQ[/ame]


    Sent from my iPhone using Firearms Talk
     
  9. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    Most homes are not pitch dark. Almost everyone has night lights in their home. Second as a civilian one is not required to rush into harms way. I am not sure about a light on a pistol but there should certainly be a light on a long gun. I can tell for sure who is in my house by the night lights. I cannot tell for sure if he is a threat.
     
  10. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I keep this available at night.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Generates a pretty blinding beam. The switch is far in front of the trigger, and doesn't work the same.

    I can also use a flashlight, like this,

    [​IMG]

    Don't laugh too hard, OK? :)

    But I can say that for me, this approach seems to work better. Ignore the verbiage - I was bored that day.

    [​IMG]

    That's just my choice, and I use it at home, not on the street -here I know where things are.
     
  11. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i think it's like many other things. it has it's advantages as well as it's disadvantages and depends on the particular needs of the person and their situation and environment.

    personally, i use a flashlight in my free hand and honestly, there have been a few times when i wished i had a light mounted on my firearm instead, especially on my shotgun.
     
  12. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    IMO, lights can be a problem or a blessing.

    Too sad that people mount the lighting systems on a firearm and don't practice.

    Firearm familiarity is essential.
     
  13. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Im guessing thats the best advice so far! Buying battle rattle and being fully prepared to use it effectively are two completely different subjects. The right tools in trained hands can make all the difference, in the wrong hands or untrained hands, only bad things will come of it.

    As Sean pointed out, even the specific planned use can greatly affect the method of Deployment and outcome. A Soldier is always on guard and alert (in theory), none of the tools they are expected to use are foreign to them and pulling the trigger instead of lighting a light is unlikely when your on alert to begin with (and trained).

    Myself, if Im ever in a situation that causes me to draw, it will be with my shotgun or a weapon I pick off someone, neither way is a light likely to be part of the scenario but if there is, SFAQL.
     
  14. kott

    kott New Member

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    I actually got spooked last week when I heard a loud bang outside and movement. That got me to put a light with a pressure plate I used to play airsoft on my rifle because in theory I dont think Id be able to see much more then a silhouette in the middle of the night. I definitely think they can prove to be quite useful. And if you dont need it - just dont touch the pressure plate. So might as well have it, imo...

    As for using your light with a handgun - you might as well hold it with your non firing hand and move it to the side of you. Thats how I got taught to do it anyway. Chances are you will never need to fire your sidearm at more then 10 meters, so not much need to hold it with both hands. And if you do something must have went wrong.
     
  15. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Yes, some folks are too "simple" to operate a light mounted on their handgun. Those people are probably to "simple" to operate a handgun, period.

    The direction of the switch is different than the direction of trigger movement. Anyone who can't get that is unqualified to carry a gun.

    As far as the dangers of bad guys shooting at the light? This has been hashed over for 30 years. When I was a rookie cop, we were taught to hold the flashlight at arms length. This method saved at least one State Trooper in a gun fight. It also contributed to multiple missed shots in other situations.

    Later came the Harries and the Surefire methods. Similar concepts depending on the style of light used. Both require some degree of practice to get the light to actually point at the correct point. Both mean you will not have a free hand. Both put the light along the gun.

    Having the light mounted on the weapon has some advantages. It is pointed at the target. In a hurried shot, the bullet impact should be about in the middle of the light beam. You have a free hand. Whether to use the phone (to call 911), use the two way radio or go hands on (in the event deadly force is not needed).

    Yes, the light can be a beacon for an incoming bullet. So can the sound of your voice, the racking of the action on your beloved shotgun, etc.

    Nothing is perfect. You must find a compromise that you can live with and train around it. When and if you find the compromise is the your best option, move on to another option.
     
  16. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    I have to agree with Robo 100%. Having a light when you need it is far better than trying to wing it in the dark. As civilians we are not required to charge into harms way. We have a safe room set up with 2 safes and a gun locker to protect us. When the attacker comes into the safe area I am going to have a perfect shot at his ear before he could possibly know where we are located.
     
  17. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Like JD, I say Robo has it right. I also have to Agree with Danf, in that the most important part of any HD|SD defense plan or weapon is the operator's level of training.

    None of my handguns has a light on it, but the AMT and my GP100 both have Crimson Trace grips. If I need one or the other for a bump in the night, I have a 6 cell Maglight in my other hand. As Robo said, away from the center of mass, which is what my dad (USMC Ret.) and my grandfather (NYSP Ret.) taught me to do while clearing an area with a handgun.

    I will admit to adding a light to my 870. Nothing fancy, just a cheap little light with 4 settings (beam, laser, laser with beam, strobe) and a remote switch on the fore end. I am still training with it, as i am still with the Maglight and CT grips 3 years after I added them, because practice leads to muscle memory, as one falls back to the type and amount of training they have under stress.

    I will say that I did not get shot a couple of years ago due to the light on my 870. I got home from a trip to Komifornia at about 04:00 during a black out. The dog alerted, and my wife grabbed the shotgun to investigate. I can vouch for the fact that a strobe light can be very disorienting when one is on the receiving end of said light. She was able to disorient the perceived threat (me), and identify that there was no threat while chambering the first shell, and taking off the safety. Not fun at the time, but I do sleep better at night when I am gone knowing that the training we have done with the systems we have taken and that dhe can fall back on them if needed.
     
  18. Fred_G

    Fred_G Member

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    I don't have LEO or military experience, and can only speak to my personal use for a light. It is not on my gun, as I see the gun and the light serving different roles. The light could be used for an aiming aid, or to ID a target. I prefer not to ID my target by pointing a loaded gun at them in a stressful situation.

    Me, I am a KISS person. Everyone has their own ways of doing things. Lucky for me you are not in charge of gun ownership. :D
     
  19. Rentacop

    Rentacop New Member

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    Quote : "I prefer not to ID my target by pointing a loaded gun at them in a stressful situation."

    Clint Smith advocates carrying a flashlight in addition to having one mounted on your gun because you shouldn't be pointing a gun at everything you may wish to look at .

    I prefer the StressFire flashlight method, promulgated by Massad Ayoob in his book of the same name. The light is held beside the gun similarly to the standard two-hand grip . I find that it is much easier to aim the light properly that way compared to the Harries or other methods .

    One of the keys to good flashlight technique is to consider yourself on " borrowed time " any time your light is on and to use it sparingly .

    Making yourself a target is less dangerous if you shine the light from behind cover .
     
  20. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I have SureFire weapon lights on all my defense use firearms.

    I'm more concerned with positively identifying what I'm shooting at than accidentally depressing the trigger. I know what the lever on a X300 feels like and what the trigger feels like.

    I have a laser on my pistol as a tertiary targeting aid, too. I've never mistaken the trigger for that one, either.

    This seems like a training issue to me. If you lack sufficient training to determine the difference between the trigger and a light switch, it's probably time for some more training.

    That said, I carry a SureFire Backup with me most places. It's small, light, and it puts out enough light to identify things in the dark at in-room distances. If you're completely unsure of what you're pointing a firearm at, perhaps it's best not to point a firearm at it.