Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 9/16/2004 10:50:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2004 10:51:54 PM EST by spork]
so I shall post it.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a light mounted onto a handgun?

In what sort of situations would a light attached to a handgun be a good idea?

Edited because I can`t speak good.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 10:51:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 10:52:01 PM EST
MMM...Master of the obvious.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 10:53:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:

Originally Posted By spork:
What sort of situations would a light attached to a handgun be a good idea?



When its dark



Why not have the gun in one hand, and the light in the other?
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 10:56:02 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 11:00:45 PM EST
If you've got the light in one hand, you can move it further from your body so if they do decide to shoot at it, you've got a bit more distance between you and the bullets.

You can also raise it (light) to disribute the light a bit more as if to more quickly identify any threats.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 11:03:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:

Originally Posted By spork:

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:

Originally Posted By spork:
What sort of situations would a light attached to a handgun be a good idea?



When its dark



Why not have the gun in one hand, and the light in the other?



You should - searching with the muzzle of your handgun is generally bad. The mounted light is for the times when your off hand has become suddendly occupied with something else, like openning doors, maintaining your balance, scooping up your kid....



What do you think of having the weaponlight (when not attatched to the weapon) doubling as the handheld light?
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 11:16:54 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 12:50:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:


What do you think of having the weaponlight (when not attatched to the weapon) doubling as the handheld light?



They arent ergonomically built for that and wont be that easy to operate in conjuction with the gun itself in any kind of two handed hold.



Actually, the X200 is quite ergonomic and works well as a handheld-only light. Alot of our guys use them for during the actual search of buildiungs (after primary and secondary clearance, when all of the BGs are secured). They just pop them off the handgun and go. I have used my M900 like that, once, after both my handgun light and secondary light tanked, and the meth-heads were all secured.

We are starting to field weapon-mounted lights at the street level. We have two separate doctrines. During the initial search, inidrect lighting and use of ambient lighting is preferred. It doesn't give away your position, and is usually enough to make shoot/don't shoot decisions. Indirect lighting can usually be provided by the second or third guy lighting uo the ceiling. When BGs are encountered, we go to direct lighting for the purposes of target ID, making use-of-force decisions, blinding and disorienting. It seems to work for us.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 1:00:57 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 5:16:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 5:30:03 AM EST by blikbok]
Buy both!

First off, the Four Rules of Firearms Handling practically demand you have some light-- rule four. Rule two indicates it's a bad idea to have your only light bolted to the gun.

A good reason to have both, is that a handheld can continue to illuminate the target after you've decided it's not a target. You also preserve the weaponlight batteries for when they are really needed. A search could outlast the weaponlight.

When shooting is called for, Aimless is right: the weaponlight helps put rounds on target.

Also, the handheld can backup your weaponlight if it goes down. I've often carried weaponlight, M3, A2, E2, and E1-- more lights than guns. :) Never more spare batteries than spare rounds, though.


Link Posted: 9/17/2004 5:59:27 AM EST
Put the light on the weapon, it works. You can talk about a lot of maybe issues all day about mounted or unmounted lights. Try and search a house or building under a stressful situation, you need a hand free, to open doors, etc. Having both hands occuppied 100% of the time is bad news, under stress guys have been known to try and activate a light in their left hand and actually fire a round accidentally from the right.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 1:24:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 1:27:13 PM EST by kenjgood]
The following statements are made based on almost 20-years of Force-on-Force training in the dark with Law Enforcement and Military professionals as well as a plethora of real-world encounters related to me by those currently operating, quite a few of them involved in gunfights in the dark.

Can one generally shoot a handgun better in the dark with a weapon-mounted light? Yep - Great for Range targets that don't shoot back.

Can one generally get shot in the face or chest more often when deploying a pistol-mounted light when searching for unknown location threats? Yep

Can one generally open doors, climb, etc with a weapon-mounted light? Assuming you have a good switching option…Yep

Are certain jobs in LE and Military situations better served with a weapon-mounted light? (K-9, Shield Operator, etc) Yep

Does one cover with one’s muzzle no-shoot targets, compliant targets, family members when simply trying to illuminate them? Yep

Have I seen interlimb/interaction when using a handheld light? Yep

Have I seen interlimb/interaction when using a weapon-mounted light? Yep – In fact more often.

Can one apply a myriad of deceptive movements, light-offsets, strobing with irregular angular changes, painting the path, signaling etc with a weapon-mounted light? Nope

Pick your poison.

Regardless if your personal requirements demand a weapon-mounted light, be good with a handheld as well.
Link Posted: 9/19/2004 4:11:45 AM EST
Get both.

M3 on the Glock, E2E clipped to the pocket. Use either, both, neither as needed.
Link Posted: 9/19/2004 4:23:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/19/2004 4:24:23 AM EST by knightone]

Originally Posted By GLOCKshooter:
Get both.

M3 on the Glock, E2E clipped to the pocket. Use either, both, neither as needed.



+1

Which one you use as a primary and which one you use as a backup will depend on the situation/circumstances as to why and where your weapon and light are drawn and being used. I have lights mounted on my primary, my sidearm, and have a handheld (or two) on my person.
Link Posted: 9/19/2004 5:42:43 PM EST
As the Lump has previously stated, it's easier to operate your light if it's attached to your gun in the event that your kid is under the other arm.

My PRIMARY home defense weapon is a G23 with an X200 on it. I use it to get to the other end of the house, round the kids up, and make it back to the closet in the master suite. At that point the whole fam is behind a solid core door with a Glock and a Mossy500* pointed at it. The closet has a phone in it, and also is where the cells go at night to charge. No macho house clearing for me. Round up the fam, secure in the closet, call in backup. All my crap is insured, and even though I am, too, my girls need a dad to scare their future boyfriends. I was much more macho before I was married and had 2 kids.

*the 500 also has a Surefire Integrated forearm.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 8:14:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By techbrute:
As the Lump has previously stated, it's easier to operate your light if it's attached to your gun in the event that your kid is under the other arm.

My PRIMARY home defense weapon is a G23 with an X200 on it. I use it to get to the other end of the house, round the kids up, and make it back to the closet in the master suite. At that point the whole fam is behind a solid core door with a Glock and a Mossy500* pointed at it. The closet has a phone in it, and also is where the cells go at night to charge. No macho house clearing for me. Round up the fam, secure in the closet, call in backup. All my crap is insured, and even though I am, too, my girls need a dad to scare their future boyfriends. I was much more macho before I was married and had 2 kids.

*the 500 also has a Surefire Integrated forearm.



Nothing wrong with that at all.. but what about those bumps that you dont know what they are. You cant call the police about every noise
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 8:23:21 PM EST

I don`t think this topic hasn`t been beaten to death . . .



I've read this 3 times now and I still don't get it.........

Link Posted: 10/9/2004 3:31:12 PM EST
I am not sure I get the whole concept of flashlights on a defensive weapon either. In a dark enviroenment without a light both you and your opponents are "in the dark" so to speak. However with a bright flashlight hanging off your long gun or pistol, you now seem to be giving away your concealment and in essence painting a big bright target on yourself. Stands to reason any armed bad guy would just pop a few off in the direction of that white light. All that being said however i am speaking with no practical experience in the matter just a personal observation. Would love to hear some verbage on how that light does not become a liability in a close combat situation
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 4:30:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mustang50:
I am not sure I get the whole concept of flashlights on a defensive weapon either. In a dark enviroenment without a light both you and your opponents are "in the dark" so to speak. However with a bright flashlight hanging off your long gun or pistol, you now seem to be giving away your concealment and in essence painting a big bright target on yourself. Stands to reason any armed bad guy would just pop a few off in the direction of that white light. All that being said however i am speaking with no practical experience in the matter just a personal observation. Would love to hear some verbage on how that light does not become a liability in a close combat situation

Are you in the habit of shooting without identifying your target?

If you have a light, you can choose to use it or not. You can flash it in their eyes for an instant and start moving. You can blast them with it and see if they even have something to shoot at you with. When you have the light, you have the advantage. If you don't have a light, either you're both in the dark, or he's the only one with a light.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 5:18:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By Mustang50:
I am not sure I get the whole concept of flashlights on a defensive weapon either. In a dark enviroenment without a light both you and your opponents are "in the dark" so to speak. However with a bright flashlight hanging off your long gun or pistol, you now seem to be giving away your concealment and in essence painting a big bright target on yourself. Stands to reason any armed bad guy would just pop a few off in the direction of that white light. All that being said however i am speaking with no practical experience in the matter just a personal observation. Would love to hear some verbage on how that light does not become a liability in a close combat situation



Have you ever had someone shine you in the eyes with a surefire or other high intensity light? The lights are ment to blind the opponent somewhat, I agree that they cans till shoot back but for a few seconds they will not be able to see anything at all.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 8:53:16 AM EST



Have you ever had someone shine you in the eyes with a surefire or other high intensity light? The lights are ment to blind the opponent somewhat, I agree that they cans till shoot back but for a few seconds they will not be able to see anything at all.



That may very well be but in a hide out situation I would think the odds are the bad guy would see your light first before you managed to hit him square in the eye with it.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 9:01:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 9:02:55 AM EST by DM1975]

Originally Posted By Mustang50:



Have you ever had someone shine you in the eyes with a surefire or other high intensity light? The lights are ment to blind the opponent somewhat, I agree that they cans till shoot back but for a few seconds they will not be able to see anything at all.



That may very well be but in a hide out situation I would think the odds are the bad guy would see your light first before you managed to hit him square in the eye with it.



If you can't see then you are just shittin in the dark now aint ya? I would rather illuminate the area and possibly help me see the danger ahead rather than go in dark and not see shit. If they are waiting in an ambush or hiding out in an urban environment there is more than likely going to be enough light around for them to see you and you not to see them. I will go with the light myself.

And you wanted to know how they are used defensively, you said nothing of what iffing it to death. It is not my fault you dont like the answer.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 12:10:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mustang50:



Have you ever had someone shine you in the eyes with a surefire or other high intensity light? The lights are ment to blind the opponent somewhat, I agree that they cans till shoot back but for a few seconds they will not be able to see anything at all.



That may very well be but in a hide out situation I would think the odds are the bad guy would see your light first before you managed to hit him square in the eye with it.

I thought you were speaking with no practical experience...

Go find someone with a Surefire light. Then, in a dimly-lit area, have them shine it in your eyes for just an instant. You'll stop asking questions.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 12:32:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 12:33:56 PM EST by natez]

Originally Posted By techbrute:

Originally Posted By Mustang50:



Have you ever had someone shine you in the eyes with a surefire or other high intensity light? The lights are ment to blind the opponent somewhat, I agree that they cans till shoot back but for a few seconds they will not be able to see anything at all.



That may very well be but in a hide out situation I would think the odds are the bad guy would see your light first before you managed to hit him square in the eye with it.

I thought you were speaking with no practical experience...

Go find someone with a Surefire light. Then, in a dimly-lit area, have them shine it in your eyes for just an instant. You'll stop asking questions.



No crap. I was in the driveway suiting up for a raid last week. My wife came out to say "bye." She was looking at the bushes, saw something that interested her, and got the Surefire Nitrolon out of her car that I gave her for Christmas last year. She thought it would be "cute" to shine it in my eyes while I was putting on the kneepads and other gear. "Stop it! My night vision!" She stormed off in a huff, not understanding the gravity of what she just did.

I had a big purple spot in the middle of my eyes for the next half hour or so, though thankfully it was gone by the time we were out of briefing. Sometimes I think she just wants to collect all of that big life insurance that comes rolling in if I buy it in the line of duty...

As a side note, I invite you to try this one: get your eyes TOTALLY dark-adapted. Then have some idiot new guy set off a booby-trapped bang right where you are looking. You will have to be led around like a blind man for the next half hour or more.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 12:49:00 PM EST
A handheld and a weapon mounted light would be a good thing. If you are using the handgun for self defense at home and are planning to retreat to a single room with the family if your home is broken into, then the handgun mounted light would seem to make perfect sense. It also allows those without a lot of hand strength, to use both hands on the handgun.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 2:29:50 PM EST
yes can see it as a useful item in that situation( defensive) but still cannot see it as anything but a liability in the situation where the carrier of the light is coming into the room or house or town or whatever.
I was interested in hearing from some people who might have had real world experience to attest to the usefuleness of a weapon mounted flashlight but it seems like most of the responders are gadget freaks who like the lite for it cool factor. And that is ok we all appreciate some things that are pretty useless but cool to have anyway. And yes as I said in my original post I have not practical experience with a weapon mounted light . When I was wearing the green they drilled strict "light discipline" into us.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 2:33:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 2:46:14 PM EST by DM1975]

Originally Posted By Mustang50:
yes can see it as a useful item in that situation( defensive) but still cannot see it as anything but a liability in the situation where the carrier of the light is coming into the room or house or town or whatever.
I was interested in hearing from some people who might have had real world experience to attest to the usefuleness of a weapon mounted flashlight but it seems like most of the responders are gadget freaks who like the lite for it cool factor. And that is ok we all appreciate some things that are pretty useless but cool to have anyway. And yes as I said in my original post I have not practical experience with a weapon mounted light . When I was wearing the green they drilled strict "light discipline" into us.



Just to let you know I have served in the USMC, US Army, and as an LEO in the last eleven years. I am about to do my third combat real world tour with the military. I am not a gadget freak. Now go get your own experience.

ETA: I forgot, I was also in the Army National Guard once too.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 2:49:11 PM EST
well with all of that experience you have got I would imagine you have some actual incidents that would attest to the usefulness of weapon mounted lights. Let hear what you have to say rather than that crap about shining the light into someones face and blinding them. I can only assume that anybody with an modicum of intelligence would have taken you out long before you stuck that light in their face. But again certainly willing to listen to your combat anecdotes supporting your position
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 2:50:00 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 2:53:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mustang50:
well with all of that experience you have got I would imagine you have some actual incidents that would attest to the usefulness of weapon mounted lights. Let hear what you have to say rather than that crap about shining the light into someones face and blinding them. I can only assume that anybody with an modicum of intelligence would have taken you out long before you stuck that light in their face. But again certainly willing to listen to your combat anecdotes supporting your position



I can tell you how hard it is to try to manage a flashlight in one hand and a gun in the other while still having to try to open doors and move shit around. I can also tell you entering a room one thing you do is use that bright ass flashlight to blind the people. If you have any kind of training in MOUT or any kind of building searches you will see where it would be important. As far as stories and such I could talk you up all day but it still probably wouldn't get through that smart ass thick skull you got.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 2:55:14 PM EST
Mustang50,

Why don't you just go buy some books and curl up in your bedroom and read about the real world. Let your Mommy and Daddy take care of you.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 2:56:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By RAMBOSKY:
Mustang50,

Why don't you just go buy some books and curl up in your bedroom and read about the real world. Let your Mommy and Daddy take care of you.



+1
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 3:00:33 PM EST
See, the flashlight probably won't work with your ninja, super sleuth moves. Better just use your spider sense instead.
Link Posted: 10/10/2004 6:50:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/10/2004 6:53:18 PM EST by natez]
I'll toss in that in dynamic entry-type situations, where you are suddenly and abruptly very close to your possible BG, light discipline really doesn't enter into the picture. By doctrine, we use minimal and mostly indirect lighting during the covert searces or "movement to contact" phase, if you will. Once you are confronting a suspect, they pretty much know where you are, and know that you are there, and being stingy with the illumination really doesn't matter when 15 or so guys wearing 75 or so pounds of gear and are generally dressed for a night on the town in Falujah just broke down the front door, threw a couple of bangs, exploded into your living room and someone is yelling "POLICE! SEARCH WARRANT! GET DOWN!" at the top of (my) their lungs. When I am covering the bong-head/tweaker/crack fiend on the couch and he is trying to engage his brain and decide to:
A) Comply;
B) Go for the Lorcin on the coffee table; or
C) Continue the whole "deer-in-the-headlights schtick,
I am comforted by the fact that he doesn't see a civil servant in body armor and a helmet, he sees a big purple spot where his retinas used to be. For being covert, light discipline is a great thing. When you have encountered the forces of evil, there isn't much point to stealth. They already know where you are.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 5:53:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By natez:
I'll toss in that in dynamic entry-type situations, where you are suddenly and abruptly very close to your possible BG, light discipline really doesn't enter into the picture. By doctrine, we use minimal and mostly indirect lighting during the covert searces or "movement to contact" phase, if you will. Once you are confronting a suspect, they pretty much know where you are, and know that you are there, and being stingy with the illumination really doesn't matter when 15 or so guys wearing 75 or so pounds of gear and are generally dressed for a night on the town in Falujah just broke down the front door, threw a couple of bangs, exploded into your living room and someone is yelling "POLICE! SEARCH WARRANT! GET DOWN!" at the top of (my) their lungs. When I am covering the bong-head/tweaker/crack fiend on the couch and he is trying to engage his brain and decide to:
A) Comply;
B) Go for the Lorcin on the coffee table; or
C) Continue the whole "deer-in-the-headlights schtick,
I am comforted by the fact that he doesn't see a civil servant in body armor and a helmet, he sees a big purple spot where his retinas used to be. For being covert, light discipline is a great thing. When you have encountered the forces of evil, there isn't much point to stealth. They already know where you are.



Total agreement, plus doing a building search at night on an open door or forced entry the same usualy applies, they have either seen your headlights or spotlight or your backups. And inmost building searches I have done there has always been enough light to backlight you and give you away. It is hard to see someone in the shadows without a flashlight and you are just looking to get ambushed, plus there is (should) always be more than one of you so it is WAY safer for target identification.

Speaking of Iraq doing raids or cordon searches, on a raid you stealth to the area but like stated above the BG already knows you are there by the time the door is kicked so you want to stun him as much as possible. On cordon searches EVERYONE knows you are there.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 6:35:09 AM EST
Last couple of replies here were interesting and informative and basically what I was seeking when i first raised the issue. Also found a lot of good info on an earlier thread. It seems what it really boils down to is the weapon mounted light can be useful but the operator needs to be experienced and well trained in the use of it. ALso the other thread ( last post 9/28) discussed many apporaches to moving the light away from the weapon and the body in order to minimize getting hit by a bullet or two the migh t be aimed at the light before the bg was "blinded by the light" So for those of you out there who really have the knowledge and experience touse a tactical light I applaud you and apologiize if my question rankled you a bit. To those of you out there who are not so well versed but need that cool factor well to each his own
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 7:03:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By Mustang50:
Last couple of replies here were interesting and informative and basically what I was seeking when i first raised the issue. Also found a lot of good info on an earlier thread. It seems what it really boils down to is the weapon mounted light can be useful but the operator needs to be experienced and well trained in the use of it. ALso the other thread ( last post 9/28) discussed many apporaches to moving the light away from the weapon and the body in order to minimize getting hit by a bullet or two the migh t be aimed at the light before the bg was "blinded by the light" So for those of you out there who really have the knowledge and experience touse a tactical light I applaud you and apologiize if my question rankled you a bit. To those of you out there who are not so well versed but need that cool factor well to each his own

Yeah, you need to really have the knowledge and experience to use a tactical light mounted on your gun, but any newb can pick up a mag-light and a lorcin and be a super-cool ninja SWAT guy, as long as the light isn't mounted to the gun?

Do yourself a favor:

First, go buy a Surefire. Even the super-cool ninja SWAT guys, as well as the gadget-cool-factor guys use them. You'll need it when your gun light goes down.

Take some classes and practice with it.

Now go buy yourself a Weaponlight. Attach it to your lorcin or other weapon of choice.

Now take some classes with the Weaponlight.

Now practice with your Weaponlight and using your other Surefire as backup lighting. Learn how to use the Surefire with a Shotgun and with an AR. The AR is pretty easy, using the Surefire with a pump shotgun is a bitch.

You'll now have some sort of method to second guess someone else's opinion, since all you've done up til then is read shit on the internet. You'll also realize that there are plenty of good reasons to use a Weaponlight, and that sometimes it's nearly impossible to have a light without it.

If you need to pick up a gun, a light, and a child, just how do you suggest that you accomplish it?
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 7:04:43 AM EST
You need to understand that with a light, just as a rifle or a knife or pistol you need to use tactics withit, not just bee bop down the road shining everything in the world. There is tactics involved in everything. Just because someone has a flashlight and can turn it on does not mean they know how to properly use it.

As for people commenting on you in a less than nice way well, just read the tone of some of your posts... You go randomly calling people gear queers around here and you are likely going to get that response.

As for holding the light away from you, the FBI teaches (or used to teach at least) this method. It has its uses but again, if you use the flashlight right you will have the advantage without having to be Mr Stretch holding it 10 feet away.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 4:14:11 PM EST
I decided to go have some fun with my Surefire G2 Nitrolon tonight. My wife was walking back from our laundry area at our apartments and the neighbors had put their Rotty outside on his chain. He started barking at my wife as she was walking back so I took my G2 and shined it at the dog and he just shutup, looked down at the ground and did nothig else. Looked like he was thinking "What the hell is that?" I have lazed him a couple times with my OTAL in the past and that just pisses him off and makes him bark even more but the light made him shut up...
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 4:20:58 PM EST
Top Top