Flashlight handheld or weapon mounted question??

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by Heat, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. Heat

    Heat Guest

    40
    0
    0
    I am thinking about purchasing a flashlight but i am not too sure what would be more effective for me. A weapon mounted flashlight or a hand held tactical flashlight. I am going with the Xenon bulb LED flashlights which give about 65 lumen. Just wondering what some of the members have to say which would be more effective during a house break in scenario??/
     
  2. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

    1,689
    7
    38
    I personally have a weapon mounted light for home use. But I also have a long flashlite that I would hold in the free hand for indirect lighting or thumping if necesary. It's also a good deflection device.........ever get hit with a 14inch flashlite????? OUCH!!!!! Rechargeable Streamlite is really bright.
     

  3. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

    5,073
    13
    0
    If the weapon is just for home, I say go with a weapon mounted light. Plus, it's a good idea to have a regular flashlight nearby. I keep my M6X on my M9A1 for nightstand duty, and there is an Inova XO in the drawer. Never hurts to have options.
     
  4. Heat

    Heat Guest

    40
    0
    0
    It is really for home defense and rite now i am leaning towards a weapon mounted one. I will try it out and maybe later on get a handheld one as well. Thanks for you guys' input.
     
  5. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

    3,816
    31
    48
    Remember, to identify someone as a threat you are going to have to cover them with your muzzle BEFORE you know they are a threat. :shock:
     
  6. Thunderbear

    Thunderbear Member

    348
    3
    18
    Not necessarily. With any quality weaponlight, aiming at the floor, ceiling or wall will illuminate the target with far more light than necessary to ID a potential target.

    Even if you were to muzzle the target, trigger discipline keeps your finger off the trigger, even during the adrenaline dump, given the training has been effective.
     
  7. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

    3,816
    31
    48
    Thunder:
    It may or may not be true that you can illuminate by indirection given the enviornment.
    A cop who may have come to your house late at night because your cordless phone dialed 911, or the neighborhood drunk teenager may not care where your finger is when you muzzle them.
    Also, if you are aiming while illuminating your head is right behind the bright target bullseye.
    If you are serving legal warrants thats one thing, but if you are John Q Public it can get a little trickier in some situations.
     
  8. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

    5,073
    13
    0
    +1. And I'm willing to wager that most people who use a standalone flashlight are going to be pointing both the light and the weapon in the same direction, though perhaps not necessarily covering the target with their pistol while doing it. The same can be done with a weaponlight, and a unit like the M6(X) that utilizes a laser aiming module further insures you know exactly where your muzzle is pointing. And I don't know about you, but when someone points a 120+ lumen light at me in the dark, I'm completely unable to see anything in that direction, let alone what type of light is being used. IMHO, this is a non-issue so long as the user has the discipline to control the muzzle and keep their finger off the trigger. The person on the other side isn't going to be able to see much of anything - certainly not before you have a chance to identify the target and decided what further action would be appropriate...
     
  9. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

    3,816
    31
    48
    The weapon-mounted light and the off-gun techniques such as Chapman/Rogers, Harries, LFI, Rogers/Surefire, etc. assume you have a valid target. If you do not have a validated target and you cover it with your muzzle you have broken one of, if not the most basic rule of gun handling: do not point your gun at anything you are not willing to destroy. Appealing to keeping your finger off the trigger as the antidote to the first mistake does not cut it.
    ALL of the basic gun handling rules have to be followed: that's what makes it a SYSTEM (that minimizes the chance of tragedy to the lowest humanly possible). It is not a smorgasboard from which you get to pick a particular rule at a particular time and declare that one as trumping all the others for the moment.
    The FBI off-body technique can be used for identification and transitioned to Ken Good's modified FBI for cornering or shooting, or fully transitioned to a standard technique, if necessary.
    If I were lit up by somebody, the first thing I would do would be to move to the 45 degree. I would then probably see he was pointing a gun at me; in which case, I'm going to point one back and provide my own illumination from repeated muzzle flashes, not a light. If he quickly got back on me with the light before I could start shooting from the 45 degree off-line position, then I will just pump shots down that illuminated target funnel, at the end of which is his gun, light, neck, and head.
    If I am at the other end of that light funnel, I do not want to start the chain of errors and reactions that could lead to one or both potential innocents being maimed or killed.
     
  10. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

    5,073
    13
    0
    Thunderbear and I are saying you may be pointing your weapon in the same direction as the target, but you're muzzle is still not directly aimed at that person. If you pulled the trigger, they would not be shot. You did not point your weapon at anything you were not willing to destroy, unless your wall is just that important.

    Not without receiving a few new holes first. I doubt your so highly trained that you would have time to process what happened, consciously decide to move 45 degrees, and then have time to identify what was beaming you with light before even an avid shooter rattled off half a magazine into you center mass. I'm willing to bet that the shooter's ability to identify whether or not you (the target) are a threat, move the laser/muzzle a few inches, and respond accordingly is MUCH less time than you would require to move, point, etc... I also think your underestimating the power of these weapon lights in the dark. The entire direction you're being beamed from is literally a white blur. At 45 degrees off-beam, I'm not convinced you could tell what you were looking back at. Certainly not without effort/a few more lost (fractions) of a second.

    This would be an excellent scenario to test with airsoft or paintball guns... I'd be curious to see the outcome.
     
  11. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

    3,816
    31
    48
    "Thunderbear and I are saying you may be pointing your weapon in the same direction as the target, but you're muzzle is still not directly aimed at that person."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It's kinda-sorta pointed at the bump in the night? How far away from pointing the light directly at the figure or sound makes it not count as covering the person?

    "Not without receiving a few new holes first."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    We do not even know this is a person intent on shooting you. Remember, this question came up in the context of someone who was NOT a threat being muzzled-up because the light was attached to the muzzle of a gun. And even if it is a criminal intent on killing you, you still do the things necessary to fight and have a chance to survive. It may work, it may not. That's true for any gunfight scenario.

    "I doubt your so highly trained that you would have time to process what happened, consciously decide to move 45 degrees.."
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I don't know if I'm highly trained or not, but the martial arts and tac shooting courses I have taken all include such drills and I practice them every week. Even in hand-to hand training, the very first reflex is to move off-line. Facing a weapon you try to move to the side with the weapon if you can. It takes an instant. Also, you blade your body to the threat with your weapon side away from the threat and your weak hand near the side of your head to: 1. reduce your hit profile. 2. protect your strong-side hand and arm. 3. shield the view of the draw from the other person.

    "I also think your underestimating the power of these weapon lights in the dark. The entire direction you're being beamed from is literally a white blur. At 45 degrees off-beam, I'm not convinced you could tell what you were looking back at. Certainly not without effort/a few more lost (fractions) of a second.
    This would be an excellent scenario to test with airsoft or paintball guns... I'd be curious to see the outcome."
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I don't overestimate the blinding capability of lights small enough to be mounted on guns because I have done it with both paintball and Airsoft. What I see (even for a well aimed light in a static situation) is a fairly circular hot white blaze at the center (the bulb, lens and reflector), and a corona that radiates outward with an irregular edge that usually turns to orange. You can easily avoid being blinded in a real scenario because you are almost surely not going to get a beam hit from the center of the bulb/reflector perpindicular to your retina in a dynamic situation. Sure you will see sqiggles and floaters, but you will rarely be visually incapacitated. Also, remember that weak-side hand movement while moving off-line, mentioned above? It can easily be used to block most of the light after the initial dose you get (what a coincidence; almost sounds like a system).
    Then you get to the part where you can use the light against the other guy. When you get the gun up, you can block the light with your hands and the gun, but the radiant light makes an almost perfect outline of your gun against the target area; a perfect situation to employ a method like Cirillo's Geometric Point.
    And as soon as you get to low light, rather than pitch dark, the super-beamo light effects start to wane quickly.
    Lights in general, and gun-mounted lights in particular, are a double-edged sword in CQB that have to be used very judiciously; with full realization of their dangers and downsides, as well as their benefits.
    Also, this CQB stuff only counts when you are in a fight.
    However, the origin of this discussion came from the possibility of a gun-mounted light escalating a non-lethal situation into a lethal one because an armed innocent found himself being muzzled up by somebody who had gun-mounted light, waving it around playing let's find the sausage.
    A few sim sessions will make clear the ambiguities and complexities of gun-mounted lights.
     
  12. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

    5,073
    13
    0
    We never said to point the light directly at the person. My M6X lights up an entire room, and I know exactly what would be destroyed should I pull the trigger thanks to the laser. It seems we're battling over the definition of the word "cover". I would argue that so long as the person is not getting shot if the pistol were to go bang, they are not "covered" and I am still operating within Cooper's 4 rules. But let's break it down.

    According to American Heritage dictionary, the definition of cover (pertaining to firearms) is:

    To hold within the range and aim of a weapon, such as a firearm.

    OK, obviously that person will be within range of my pistol if I am also able to illuminate them and their surrounding area with my weaponlight, so that part is established. Next up is the "aim" part - are we technically aiming our weapon at a person if the laser(POI) is close to them - say 2" to the left? Using that same dictionary:

    to position or direct (a firearm, ball, arrow, rocket, etc.) so that, on firing or release, the discharged projectile will hit a target or travel along a certain path.

    So, we are not technically aiming our firearm at the person, which necessarily means we are not technically covering that person. Jeez, I'm starting to feel like Bill Clinton after that one... :lol:

    If I have illuminated the area, I instantly know whether or not that person is a threat. It doesn't matter if they are intent on shooting me - if someone is in my home in the middle of the night and they are not wearing a police, firefighting, or paramedic uniform, or some other extenuating circumstance, they are a threat - at least enough of a threat to put the 4 rules aside. At that point, I have no qualms about covering them with my pistol.

    That's great - but it only takes half an instant to pull the trigger. You're not going to be dodging bullets, especially when someone else already had the drop on you. Let's reference American Heritage again...

    instant - a particular moment: at the instant of contact.

    Kinda ironic, considering that in the instant it would take for you to do all that fancy gun-foo, the bullets would be contacting your COM. Now if you're still down for doing round-house kicks and fancy spin moves after having a few Rangers lodged in your sternum, more power to ya. I for one would be out of the fight the moment I realized someone painted me with the light - they had the drop on me - they have every advantage. I definitely wouldn't be making any fast movements - you would be asking for it.

    I sure hope your hand can also block bullets. Again, I think this is a moot point, as I don't think you'd even get the chance.

    You're absolutely right on this one. But a handheld flashlight will offer no advantage over a weaponlight, so I fail to see the point?

    I think the benefits greatly outweigh the use of a handheld light for many reasons. I think it only becomes significant "double-edged sword" in the wrong operator's hands - just like a gun, knife, etc.

    Not true. Our conversation began from this statement:
     
  13. babj615

    babj615 Premium Member

    4,188
    32
    48
    Howz that feel???? :D :D :D




    ...ANYONE in my home in the middle of the night that I did not invite is immediately a threat.... I don't care what "Costume" they are wearing...


    :D :D :D
     
  14. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

    367
    0
    0
    I recently read a sidebar in G&A about using a tac light, and the author, like Selfdefense, mentions the problem of pointing your gun at something or someone you don't necessarily want to be pointing at while searching with a weapon mounted light.

    I imagine in a typical house this might not be a problem, as it would be in a larger area, like a ware house or a wooded lot, because even indirect illuminiation with a tac light will light up an entire room. But from just monkeying around with a hand held light in my own house, I have noticed that in any given room under illumination there are deep shadows created by large furniture, etc. Now, granted, if an adult is hiding behind your couch in the middle of the night, covering them with your gun is probably entirely appropriate. Still, if some stupid kid is there only to steal my stuff I would prefer not to accidentally kill him. ...Anyway...

    The author suggests using two lights:

    "After much training and practice with weapon lights, I prefer to use a hand-held tactical light in my support hand in addition to or in concert with the one on the pistol with the technique called "wanding." This is moving the hand-held light while pulsing its beam [strobing]. The technique lets you see what you must but confuses an assailant and elevates his stress level."

    So that is another tactic. Yall are much more experienced then I, but I wanted to throw this into the mix.
     
  15. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

    5,073
    13
    0
    What kind of flashlight? The variance in light output is ridiculous these days... Of course there will be a few shadows, but when I beam my living room with my M6X, I can safely say the entire room is lit up quite well. Your furniture layout will largely determine what you will and will not be able to see with regards to shadows, etc.

    Then don't pull the trigger. But IMHO, a situation like this still warrants technically covering that person. A 14 year old can kill you just as dead as a 40 year old can, and kids/teenagers can and have killed homeowners during thefts gone wrong, etc. You never know these days, and I'm not willing to bet my life that any unauthorized person in my house in the middle of the night is unarmed. YMMV...

    I really have no problem with using a handheld light or a combination of both - I just think too many people unfairly harp on the safety hazards of weaponlights. It's a personal decision each of us must make, and at the end of the day you should use whichever you believe will yield the best outcome for you.
     
  16. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

    367
    0
    0
    To answer your questions, I have an Inova X5 and my living room has a couch positioned to one side but away from the wall so that it is almost in the center of the room. As I said, I was "monkeying around" which is to say I wasn't making a serious tactical evaluation by any means.

    I meant to say, I would hate to kill a stupid *unarmed* kid, but you are right on both accounts, covering an intruder in that situation is probably the best thing to do and keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
     
  17. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

    5,073
    13
    0
    Definitely. And regarding the X5 - it's not even a fair comparison. My Inova X1 and Surefire G3 are a joke compared to the 120 lumen of the M6X. They really are impressive toys, in that respect.

    If only we could strap one of these onto a handgun - you might even be able to see through the couch with that kind of light output :twisted: :p
     
  18. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

    3,816
    31
    48
    The gun mounted light around the home can be a problem also.
    Last November I was awakened at about 1:30 in the morning by very load and persisitent pounding on our front door. I put on my pants, threw on an unbottoned shirt, and put my holster and M9 on my belt.
    Went to the front door, flipped on the porch light switch and POP, the light blows. So I can't see anything on the darkened porch. I grabbed a flashlight from a table a few feet from the door, pull the curtain away from the door and turned on the flashlight. Lo and behold, there are 2 county police officers standing there with their hands resting on their holsters. They asked me to open up, and when I did, told me they had received a 911 call from my address. (Over the next week 4 more times something in the house called 911 and stopped only after ripping out every cordless phone, modem, and length of phone wire in the house :evil: ). After they came in and looked around they left. Had I pulled the curtain back and lit them up with a gun-mounted light, I can't imagine even the best possible outcome in that scenario being very pleasant. Brandishing at police officers :shock: . No thanks.
     
  19. Thunderbear

    Thunderbear Member

    348
    3
    18
    There is no one right answer for this. Each method has its pros and cons. By no means should one method be used exclusively.


    Here are my reasons for my weaponlight:

    1.) Keeps one hand free, to open doors, dial 911, reload.

    2.) I grab ONE thing at night waking up from a deep sleep. I don't knock over my flashlight fumbling for it in the dark anymore. I reach over, grab the Operator, and roll off and down behind the bed.

    3.) It is bright enough to disorient, even being an LED, and it isn't going to burn out or fail due to recoil.

    4.) I find the muzzling to be a troubling part of having a weaponlight, but not enough to dissuade me from using one. As I posted before, I can illuminate the ground with the light and light up the entire room, including the vaulted ceilings in my apartment.

    No one answer is right for everything or everyone. I use my weaponlight because I find its advantages outweigh the disadvantages. If I were to assume otherwise in a tactical situation, there is a SureFire G2 and a DigiLight 1000XB-LE right beside the Operator that I can use with my free hand and still have the advantages of an off body light.

    Moral: Have more than one quality illuminator, and have confidence in all of them separately and collectively.
     
  20. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

    1,791
    10
    38
    the perfect answer depends on the gunfight in question. since none of us can plan our gunfights, rest assured that whatever set up you choose won't be ideal when the moment strikes.

    my thought is this... if it is so dark that i can't see the white triangle... it's too dark to determine what lies beyond my target.

    any light used in anyway will give away your position.

    pulsing the light on and off will have your pupils doing the cha-cha and you won't be able to see anything in either light.

    i feel that if i'm in the dark, my best bet is to take cover and wait. either the attacker is going to give away their position before they can harm me, or they'll know that someone is lying in wait and leave, or they'll expose themself at a very close distance as they try to approach me and i'll have ample time to unload into COM.

    my .02 imo. there's a right answer for every situation. just can't decide until the situation arises.