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Old 12-30-2019, 08:32 AM
pengyou pengyou is offline
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I have often wondered....if you have a flash light on or near the end of the barrel of your weapon, aren't you making yourself an easier target to shoot at if the intruder has a gun?
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:09 AM
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don't leave it on
there are entire classes taught on weapons light use.
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:53 AM
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blip and move
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Old 12-30-2019, 11:51 AM
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Gun fighting in the dark is inherently dangerous. Especially is true dark conditions.
Light discipline is important, but so is noise dicipline. All the bad guy has to do is sit still, and wait for you to move.

But if you are the home owner checking out a srrange noise during the night, you will likely turn on your lights, to allow you to see.
Perhaps a better solution is adopt a dog or two and let them search in the dark. I have five large guardian dogs, and two hounds with great noses.

The US Military uses high dollar night vision, thermal sensors, satellites, and drones. For now, they own the night.
As long as the military continues to recruit teen age coon hunters, they will keep the night.
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:20 PM
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I don't have any real life examples.But I guess it can give away your postion,but not exact location?
All these cars now with leds are good,can see them a mile away,but have no cjue what lane there in.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:02 PM
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I have often wondered....if you have a flash light on or near the end of the barrel of your weapon, aren't you making yourself an easier target to shoot at if the intruder has a gun?
The correct answer is to ID the threat and neutralize it BEFORE he can shoot you.

On balance, there's clearly a benefit to illuminating your target and what's behind it before shooting.
* IDs a threat
* IDs an innocent
* Identification of all other circumstances.
* Also aids in blinding a threat. With a bright enough light shining in their eyes, people instinctively close eyes, shield eyes, or turn away.

Yes, it's true that "searching" an area with a light will expose you and your position. So just don't do that. Be tactical about it.

Lights are not always good, but on balance they are a useful tool.

But so is a light switch. And most homes have them...

Where weapon lights are handy is power outage, searching vacant lots or buildings, etc.
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Old 12-30-2019, 03:05 PM
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Green light, blip and move, cover corners and blind spots.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:16 PM
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I have often wondered....if you have a flash light on or near the end of the barrel of your weapon, aren't you making yourself an easier target to shoot at if the intruder has a gun?
Of course it does (make you a possible bulls eye). Potentially. Maybe. If the other guy is a switched-on decent shot, reacts quickly, and takes advantage of your employment of foolish light tactics. If you walk around shining a light for long enough to get yourself shot... you'll undoubtedly invite hostile fire. If you don't want to be lunch, don't look like a ham sammich.

But out in the real world, the advantages accrued from positive target ID, speed of employment, better ergonomics (improved weapon grip) & increased accuracy tend to vastly outweigh the risk of using that light.

The answer to the question is that your ability to rapidly illuminate the other guy vastly outpaces his ability to target you with effective return fire. Which is why cops, troops, and security formations near universally employ them. They work very well. The incidence of your getting hit because of that use is very low. Almost negligible.

Once in a great while you'll hear of someone who was ejected from a vehicle crash (not wearing a seat belt). Someone walking away without serious injury. Crowing about how a seat belt would have gotten them killed inside of the mangled wreck. But that kind of exceptional luck is not an indicator for the majority of us to forgo use of seat belts & airbags. So it is with use of weapon mounted lights.

I remember strapping Kel-Lites & early Maglites to the forearms of XM-177s & MP-5s way back in the late 1970s. Using the first weapon mountable Surefires some years later. The concept of employing weapon lights had been around for ages, but it took until the 80s/90s for the technology to deliver truly reliable, compact, and astoundingly effective modern lights... suitable for rough and tumble field use. By the mid-90s, every US Army Special Forces ODA was issued SOPMOD kits (for M4A1s) that included weapon lights. Most of us were running handheld combat lights (for use with pistols) by that time as well.

The tactical light train left the station back then... and the trend towards weapon mounted light issue & employment has never abated. As with adoption of early soft body armor among LEO & military, the fielding took decades before becoming near universal. 'Bout 10 years ago, you rarely saw lights mounted on handguns among street cops or military formations. Today, almost everyone has gone that route.

Why? Because they work. Most major police agencies issue and utilize weapon lights (both long gun & handgun). So do almost all professional gun-fighting formations on the planet. Whether LEO or military. Ask yourself why that is? If there were a huge risk of dying from use of such lights, most would refuse to employ them. There's your answer.

Weapon mounted lights offer such a huge advantage in targeting, handiness, ergonomics, and speed of employment... that the self-illumination risk is considered an acceptable and (truthfully) minor penalty.

There's an entire Art & Science to low level light operations. Much of it is basic and the concepts are readily learnable by anyone. One of those basic rules is that you don't wander around using your weapon mounted light as a general searching or navigation beam... in lengthy continuous-on mode. Instead, it only gets turned on intermittently... when you decide you have a definite target (or high probability threat zone). In other words, a dark area where the other guy is reasonably thought to be hiding. A place or a noise/vibration that needs to be lit up. Just for a second or two.

Imminent Threat (or obstacle) detected by other cues, light/muzzle aimed at location of threat, light comes on, PID (Positive ID made), decision to pull trigger or not, assess results, and light immediately gets turned off... if more threats are potentially about. If that immediate engagement scene is secure (no other threats), you may continue to shine your light on someone you either hold at gun point or whom you have already engaged.

I've read some anecdotal accounts of role player folks shrugging off tactical lights and hosing entry teams during force-on-force in shoot houses. But they were anticipating that threat, had time to set-up a prepared defense, and were not in any actual fear for their lives. No real bullets. They knew the lights were coming and psyched themselves up to deal with the problem. Everyone can play hero when it's Sims.

Out in the real world, when I unexpectedly put 900 lumens of rail mounted light into your peepers in some dark hallway or room... your involuntary physical response is for your pupils to instantly contract, your eyelids to instantly blink closed, your visual purple night vision to evaporate, a flinch response away from the light, and you able to see nothing but a blob of after-image dead zone from all that eye-ball absorbed light. You ain't aiming for (or hitting) squat. Meanwhile I fill you in with holes. Or my companions do.

----------------

I'm in the more the merrier camp and own several handheld and weapon mounted lights that put out 800, 900, or 1000+ lumens with good spill and throw.

That said, I served in the US Army for a career and started using formally unit issued lights for CQB purposes back in the very early 1990s. Those early incandescent bulb SOPMOD Surefire & Insight models were pretty impressive during tactical use (for their time). But they delivered only around 80 (eighty) lumens. Later improved versions crept up to 120 lumens and also worked well. I used that level of power successfully in places like Bosnia & early Afghanistan.

Back then, a state of the art Surefire 6Z handheld combat light only threw out 80 lumens. The best light of its type that money could buy. That model carried by many thousands of US policemen and special operations troops. I've still got mine.

The first time I cleared a house (force-on-force training) with our newly issued weapon mounted 80-lumen lights, we lit up and dazzled/blinded a defending squad of Bundeswehr infantry types occupying three pitch black floors of a big stone farmhouse. Waiting for us with G3 rifles. Judging from their exclamations and bitching, those lights carried by my assaulting team's carbines really hosed them up. They weren't expecting them and got blinded. It was quite the topic of conversation at the concluding AAR.

Today, with LED lights, the high end of commonly encountered handheld/weapon mountable power is 1000+ lumens and the ground floor for practical blinding is still around 80 lumens. But so many LED lights exceed that handily, that there's no reason to carry anything less than 120. I everyday carry a little 1-cell AA battery Fenix light about the size/bulk of my index finger. It puts out 130 lumens. and it's not even a dedicated tactical light. But it will momentarily blind a person when aimed directly into their eyes. So will most of the smaller handgun mounted lights (like Streamlight's TLR-6 series).

Any light that delivers at least 80 lumens will temporarily blind someone in the dark. Where the extra power of more powerful lights comes into play is in less than full conditions of darkness. A room with a lamp turned on... or outside under partial streetlight illumination. Or when you need to light up the occupants of a vehicle at some distance for positive target ID (or blinding).

Sooo...

I'd say the absolute minimum you'd want is 80 lumens in pitch dark conditions.
120 lumens would be better.
200-500 would be very much better in partially illuminated conditions.
Lights that deliver 500-1000 will temporarily dazzle eyeballs even in a well lit room. Or reach out several hundred meters in the dark.

Some folks worry about too much light bouncing back from reflective surfaces or washing out targets. I don't. I want enough lumens to fry eggs. You just use the peripheral edge of the light's offset throw for general illumination and then center it on target when you want to either 1) shoot or 2) blind/disorient the person. Strobe functions can be useful for accomplishing both but are not critical to have.

Conversely, use of bad light tactics is a killer...

During FoF training, I always love it when opponents wander through dark spaces with their lights set to constant on. You know exactly where they are and can gauge their forward movement and limit of advance. It's handy. Like having Doppler radar for people.

During live missions (real bullets), well trained combat veterans (or cops) minimize their exposure by lighting up only when absolutely needed. Because riding the light as a searching beam is a good way to get dead. Especially if you are alone (in the case of the typical home defender) as opposed to being part of a larger assault force conducting offensive raiding.

I prefer all the output/long throw/wide spill possible. I've not had problems with going to increased outputs. I'll take every bit of illumination punch I can get. Today, 1000ish lumens is just peachy by me. Indoors or outdoors.

I want to see color & detail. I want to see what's in his hands. I want to blind anyone on the far end of my muzzle. I want to see deep into that darkened vehicle passenger compartment. I want to see over to the next rooftop or balcony. I want to flood that dark room, stairwell, hallway, warehouse floor, or basement with light. I want to fill Red Zones with direct or reflected illumination. I want to see down that alley or light up that dark patch of brush, ditch, trees, or other hidey hole across the yard. I want to fry eggs & eyeballs with my light. Too much ain't enough.

If you're having problems with mirrors or back splash, you need to go back and get retrained on low level light technique.

There's significant difference between what goes on in a SIMS/UTM/SIRT role player shoot house and what goes on when there's a live AK-47 or grenade waiting for you.

When you are conducting a building or block search in the company of 40 or 80 other assaulters... you can afford to go in with more lights switched on for longer, because you are not going to lose that night time engagement. You have too much firepower and momentum for average defenders to survive your overwhelming advance.

As you gain toeholds into structures, the friggin' interior lights get turned on to obviate most need for weapon lights anyway. IR Lasers & NVGs for outside and (when possible) white light wall switches & lamps flipped "on" for inside. Weapon lights at the leading edge of events (flow drills) and to search dark nooks & crannies for live targets.

You can disbelieve that brief on/off technique all you want. 16 years of live raids and tens of thousands of night time CQB missions in places like Iraq/Afghanistan have taught US SOF otherwise. I damn sure never wandered around with my light in continuous on mode. Nor did anyone around me. Your own folks would butt stroke you for doing that in the face of live opponents.

You use weapon lights to accomplish what you need to do, when you need to do it, and for only as long as you need to do it. When your anus is clenched in actual fight or flight mode, you'll run that light a lot less than you imagine.

I'm speaking of using tactical lights to face off against known/expected armed threats, not to conduct searching beam functions in less certain circumstances. If you need to sweep & search continuously with a handheld, feel free to do so. Not every situation is a gunfight.

A good light can flood a room with useful illumination, while still leaving the muzzle pointed away. Well designed tactical lights deliver enough spill ("width" of beam) to illuminate peripheral locations outside of the main hot spot. You don't have to aim directly at someone in order to see what they are doing... or what anyone else off to the side is doing.

Despite having used long gun mounted lights (at work) for many years, I was slow to come to the party concerning mounted handgun lights for CCW. Just carried a handheld instead. Now I do both. Light on gun, and equivalent handheld light in belt holster or pocket. I don't turn on a mounted weapon light unless I am already legally/morally justified in pointing a gun at someone. For just looking around, searching, or lighting a pathway... I use a little single cell AA battery utility light. Fenix E12. That's part of my everyday pocket carry. In a pinch, at 130 lumens max setting, it could be pressed into use as a handheld light for shooting. But it's not designed with that in mind.

Lights are so small, powerful, and affordable these days, it's nearly criminal not to put one on your handgun... unless you simply have no rail to use. Even then, a lot of older rail-less designs (1911, Beretta 92, revolvers, etc.) can be fitted with after-market light mounts that lock onto trigger guard and frame.

The amount of time you might seriously expect to employ a handgun mounted weapon light... is realistically measured in mere minutes (if not seconds). Carry a little utility light for basic searching/navigational chores in the dark.

As I mentioned way up thread, you can accomplish the job in some 30 foot hallway with 80-120 lumens. I have.

So what advantage does a hypothetical 500 lumen flashlight have over an 80 at those distances?

The answer is that you get three things:

1. Better visual clarity and ability to pick out fine details (and color) in the scene to your front (i.e., the ability to identify the object held in someone's hands... handgun or cell phone?).

2. Significantly more ability to blind your opponent and destroy his night vision. It's the kind of advantage that cannot be overstated. Human physiology and reflexes cannot beat an extremely powerful light. Either their vision gets totally shot or they have to close their eyes while involuntarily flinching. That gets me inside of the other guy's OODA loop, even if I start from a disadvantageous point of being behind the action-beats-reaction power curve. 500 will of course accomplish that job, but 900 or 1000 will do it even better. I'll take twice as much light for accomplishing that...every time and thank you very much.

3. Much better spill, throw, and reflected illumination into darker areas not in the center of the beam. Meaning that you have increased peripheral vision and situational awareness. As well an ability to effortlessly handle a greater swath of distances and conditions. The postulated hallway situation may very well move to somewhere else. Maybe the yard, driveway, or street. Maybe I just need to read a license plate and get a vehicle description (make, model, and color) as the threat departs the scene in haste... without a shot ever being fired. 1000 lumens reaches further down a dark street than 500... or 80. That gives me a few more seconds to capture that description of a fleeing vehicle and suspects inside of it.

I want my weapon mounted light to do it all (indoors, outdoors, near, far). I've found that the more powerful lights accomplish that a bit better. YMMV. Mine sure has... I'm the guy who was very happy with 80 lumens over a quarter century ago.

In summary, use a weapon mounted light judiciously, but when the time comes, your action beats his reaction. And your aim will be better than his if you put your beam into his eyes. You'll not get hit as long as you don't walk around continuously signalling your location by using your light like a lantern.

Seek training and practice the use of lights in conjunction with firearms. Something you can do at home (dry fire) and a subject for which there are many fine articles, books, and videos readily available. Naturally, actual live-fire low light drills are ideal. But even dry fire practice in the dark will help immeasurably. I try to employ lights with every training shot... even on a well lit range. Building muscle memory and habit.


Just some random thoughts, observations, and experiences...
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:49 PM
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JUST REMEMBER,...

Lights work in both directions.
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Old 12-31-2019, 01:03 AM
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Of course it does ................................................. ...............and experiences...
What he said!
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Old 12-31-2019, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by pengyou View Post
I have often wondered....if you have a flash light on or near the end of the barrel of your weapon, aren't you making yourself an easier target to shoot at if the intruder has a gun?
as others have said, you are not obligated to have it on always.. many have momentary switches.. use them when you need them, or dont when you do not.. its an option, another tool at your disposal
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Old 12-31-2019, 02:16 AM
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If you ever have seven Alaska Coastal Brown Bears "all" in camp at the same time, on a dark and rainy night, you'll appreciate the utility of weapon mounted lights. And yes the number was "Seven" and it was on the Alaska Peninsula in late September.

I regularly encounter bears at night going to the outhouse. My "OUTHOUSE GUN" is a Remington 11-87 with two large flashlights duck taped to the barrel. Also handy when bear is trying to get into the cabin.
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Old 12-31-2019, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by 6.8SPC View Post
If you ever have seven Alaska Coastal Brown Bears "all" in camp at the same time, on a dark and rainy night, you'll appreciate the utility of weapon mounted lights. And yes the number was "Seven" and it was on the Alaska Peninsula in late September.

I regularly encounter bears at night going to the outhouse. My "OUTHOUSE GUN" is a Remington 11-87 with two large flashlights duck taped to the barrel. Also handy when bear is trying to get into the cabin.
i actually laughed reading this.. not that i dont believe you, it's just the image i got of someone on the ****ter when a brown bear comes crashing in, it reminded me of the toilet scene from jurassic park
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Old 12-31-2019, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Astronomy View Post
Of course it does (make you a possible bulls eye). Potentially. Maybe. If the other guy is a switched-on decent shot, reacts quickly, and takes advantage of your employment of foolish light tactics. If you walk around shining a light for long enough to get yourself shot... you'll undoubtedly invite hostile fire. If you don't want to be lunch, don't look like a ham sammich.

But out in the real world, the advantages accrued from positive target ID, speed of employment, better ergonomics (improved weapon grip) & increased accuracy tend to vastly outweigh the risk of using that light.

The answer to the question is that your ability to rapidly illuminate the other guy vastly outpaces his ability to target you with effective return fire. Which is why cops, troops, and security formations near universally employ them. They work very well. The incidence of your getting hit because of that use is very low. Almost negligible.

Once in a great while you'll hear of someone who was ejected from a vehicle crash (not wearing a seat belt). Someone walking away without serious injury. Crowing about how a seat belt would have gotten them killed inside of the mangled wreck. But that kind of exceptional luck is not an indicator for the majority of us to forgo use of seat belts & airbags. So it is with use of weapon mounted lights.

I remember strapping Kel-Lites & early Maglites to the forearms of XM-177s & MP-5s way back in the late 1970s. Using the first weapon mountable Surefires some years later. The concept of employing weapon lights had been around for ages, but it took until the 80s/90s for the technology to deliver truly reliable, compact, and astoundingly effective modern lights... suitable for rough and tumble field use. By the mid-90s, every US Army Special Forces ODA was issued SOPMOD kits (for M4A1s) that included weapon lights. Most of us were running handheld combat lights (for use with pistols) by that time as well.

The tactical light train left the station back then... and the trend towards weapon mounted light issue & employment has never abated. As with adoption of early soft body armor among LEO & military, the fielding took decades before becoming near universal. 'Bout 10 years ago, you rarely saw lights mounted on handguns among street cops or military formations. Today, almost everyone has gone that route.

Why? Because they work. Most major police agencies issue and utilize weapon lights (both long gun & handgun). So do almost all professional gun-fighting formations on the planet. Whether LEO or military. Ask yourself why that is? If there were a huge risk of dying from use of such lights, most would refuse to employ them. There's your answer.

Weapon mounted lights offer such a huge advantage in targeting, handiness, ergonomics, and speed of employment... that the self-illumination risk is considered an acceptable and (truthfully) minor penalty.

There's an entire Art & Science to low level light operations. Much of it is basic and the concepts are readily learnable by anyone. One of those basic rules is that you don't wander around using your weapon mounted light as a general searching or navigation beam... in lengthy continuous-on mode. Instead, it only gets turned on intermittently... when you decide you have a definite target (or high probability threat zone). In other words, a dark area where the other guy is reasonably thought to be hiding. A place or a noise/vibration that needs to be lit up. Just for a second or two.

Imminent Threat (or obstacle) detected by other cues, light/muzzle aimed at location of threat, light comes on, PID (Positive ID made), decision to pull trigger or not, assess results, and light immediately gets turned off... if more threats are potentially about. If that immediate engagement scene is secure (no other threats), you may continue to shine your light on someone you either hold at gun point or whom you have already engaged.

I've read some anecdotal accounts of role player folks shrugging off tactical lights and hosing entry teams during force-on-force in shoot houses. But they were anticipating that threat, had time to set-up a prepared defense, and were not in any actual fear for their lives. No real bullets. They knew the lights were coming and psyched themselves up to deal with the problem. Everyone can play hero when it's Sims.

Out in the real world, when I unexpectedly put 900 lumens of rail mounted light into your peepers in some dark hallway or room... your involuntary physical response is for your pupils to instantly contract, your eyelids to instantly blink closed, your visual purple night vision to evaporate, a flinch response away from the light, and you able to see nothing but a blob of after-image dead zone from all that eye-ball absorbed light. You ain't aiming for (or hitting) squat. Meanwhile I fill you in with holes. Or my companions do.

----------------

I'm in the more the merrier camp and own several handheld and weapon mounted lights that put out 800, 900, or 1000+ lumens with good spill and throw.

That said, I served in the US Army for a career and started using formally unit issued lights for CQB purposes back in the very early 1990s. Those early incandescent bulb SOPMOD Surefire & Insight models were pretty impressive during tactical use (for their time). But they delivered only around 80 (eighty) lumens. Later improved versions crept up to 120 lumens and also worked well. I used that level of power successfully in places like Bosnia & early Afghanistan.

Back then, a state of the art Surefire 6Z handheld combat light only threw out 80 lumens. The best light of its type that money could buy. That model carried by many thousands of US policemen and special operations troops. I've still got mine.

The first time I cleared a house (force-on-force training) with our newly issued weapon mounted 80-lumen lights, we lit up and dazzled/blinded a defending squad of Bundeswehr infantry types occupying three pitch black floors of a big stone farmhouse. Waiting for us with G3 rifles. Judging from their exclamations and bitching, those lights carried by my assaulting team's carbines really hosed them up. They weren't expecting them and got blinded. It was quite the topic of conversation at the concluding AAR.

Today, with LED lights, the high end of commonly encountered handheld/weapon mountable power is 1000+ lumens and the ground floor for practical blinding is still around 80 lumens. But so many LED lights exceed that handily, that there's no reason to carry anything less than 120. I everyday carry a little 1-cell AA battery Fenix light about the size/bulk of my index finger. It puts out 130 lumens. and it's not even a dedicated tactical light. But it will momentarily blind a person when aimed directly into their eyes. So will most of the smaller handgun mounted lights (like Streamlight's TLR-6 series).

Any light that delivers at least 80 lumens will temporarily blind someone in the dark. Where the extra power of more powerful lights comes into play is in less than full conditions of darkness. A room with a lamp turned on... or outside under partial streetlight illumination. Or when you need to light up the occupants of a vehicle at some distance for positive target ID (or blinding).

Sooo...

I'd say the absolute minimum you'd want is 80 lumens in pitch dark conditions.
120 lumens would be better.
200-500 would be very much better in partially illuminated conditions.
Lights that deliver 500-1000 will temporarily dazzle eyeballs even in a well lit room. Or reach out several hundred meters in the dark.

Some folks worry about too much light bouncing back from reflective surfaces or washing out targets. I don't. I want enough lumens to fry eggs. You just use the peripheral edge of the light's offset throw for general illumination and then center it on target when you want to either 1) shoot or 2) blind/disorient the person. Strobe functions can be useful for accomplishing both but are not critical to have.

Conversely, use of bad light tactics is a killer...

During FoF training, I always love it when opponents wander through dark spaces with their lights set to constant on. You know exactly where they are and can gauge their forward movement and limit of advance. It's handy. Like having Doppler radar for people.

During live missions (real bullets), well trained combat veterans (or cops) minimize their exposure by lighting up only when absolutely needed. Because riding the light as a searching beam is a good way to get dead. Especially if you are alone (in the case of the typical home defender) as opposed to being part of a larger assault force conducting offensive raiding.

I prefer all the output/long throw/wide spill possible. I've not had problems with going to increased outputs. I'll take every bit of illumination punch I can get. Today, 1000ish lumens is just peachy by me. Indoors or outdoors.

I want to see color & detail. I want to see what's in his hands. I want to blind anyone on the far end of my muzzle. I want to see deep into that darkened vehicle passenger compartment. I want to see over to the next rooftop or balcony. I want to flood that dark room, stairwell, hallway, warehouse floor, or basement with light. I want to fill Red Zones with direct or reflected illumination. I want to see down that alley or light up that dark patch of brush, ditch, trees, or other hidey hole across the yard. I want to fry eggs & eyeballs with my light. Too much ain't enough.

If you're having problems with mirrors or back splash, you need to go back and get retrained on low level light technique.

There's significant difference between what goes on in a SIMS/UTM/SIRT role player shoot house and what goes on when there's a live AK-47 or grenade waiting for you.

When you are conducting a building or block search in the company of 40 or 80 other assaulters... you can afford to go in with more lights switched on for longer, because you are not going to lose that night time engagement. You have too much firepower and momentum for average defenders to survive your overwhelming advance.

As you gain toeholds into structures, the friggin' interior lights get turned on to obviate most need for weapon lights anyway. IR Lasers & NVGs for outside and (when possible) white light wall switches & lamps flipped "on" for inside. Weapon lights at the leading edge of events (flow drills) and to search dark nooks & crannies for live targets.

You can disbelieve that brief on/off technique all you want. 16 years of live raids and tens of thousands of night time CQB missions in places like Iraq/Afghanistan have taught US SOF otherwise. I damn sure never wandered around with my light in continuous on mode. Nor did anyone around me. Your own folks would butt stroke you for doing that in the face of live opponents.

You use weapon lights to accomplish what you need to do, when you need to do it, and for only as long as you need to do it. When your anus is clenched in actual fight or flight mode, you'll run that light a lot less than you imagine.

I'm speaking of using tactical lights to face off against known/expected armed threats, not to conduct searching beam functions in less certain circumstances. If you need to sweep & search continuously with a handheld, feel free to do so. Not every situation is a gunfight.

A good light can flood a room with useful illumination, while still leaving the muzzle pointed away. Well designed tactical lights deliver enough spill ("width" of beam) to illuminate peripheral locations outside of the main hot spot. You don't have to aim directly at someone in order to see what they are doing... or what anyone else off to the side is doing.

Despite having used long gun mounted lights (at work) for many years, I was slow to come to the party concerning mounted handgun lights for CCW. Just carried a handheld instead. Now I do both. Light on gun, and equivalent handheld light in belt holster or pocket. I don't turn on a mounted weapon light unless I am already legally/morally justified in pointing a gun at someone. For just looking around, searching, or lighting a pathway... I use a little single cell AA battery utility light. Fenix E12. That's part of my everyday pocket carry. In a pinch, at 130 lumens max setting, it could be pressed into use as a handheld light for shooting. But it's not designed with that in mind.

Lights are so small, powerful, and affordable these days, it's nearly criminal not to put one on your handgun... unless you simply have no rail to use. Even then, a lot of older rail-less designs (1911, Beretta 92, revolvers, etc.) can be fitted with after-market light mounts that lock onto trigger guard and frame.

The amount of time you might seriously expect to employ a handgun mounted weapon light... is realistically measured in mere minutes (if not seconds). Carry a little utility light for basic searching/navigational chores in the dark.

As I mentioned way up thread, you can accomplish the job in some 30 foot hallway with 80-120 lumens. I have.

So what advantage does a hypothetical 500 lumen flashlight have over an 80 at those distances?

The answer is that you get three things:

1. Better visual clarity and ability to pick out fine details (and color) in the scene to your front (i.e., the ability to identify the object held in someone's hands... handgun or cell phone?).

2. Significantly more ability to blind your opponent and destroy his night vision. It's the kind of advantage that cannot be overstated. Human physiology and reflexes cannot beat an extremely powerful light. Either their vision gets totally shot or they have to close their eyes while involuntarily flinching. That gets me inside of the other guy's OODA loop, even if I start from a disadvantageous point of being behind the action-beats-reaction power curve. 500 will of course accomplish that job, but 900 or 1000 will do it even better. I'll take twice as much light for accomplishing that...every time and thank you very much.

3. Much better spill, throw, and reflected illumination into darker areas not in the center of the beam. Meaning that you have increased peripheral vision and situational awareness. As well an ability to effortlessly handle a greater swath of distances and conditions. The postulated hallway situation may very well move to somewhere else. Maybe the yard, driveway, or street. Maybe I just need to read a license plate and get a vehicle description (make, model, and color) as the threat departs the scene in haste... without a shot ever being fired. 1000 lumens reaches further down a dark street than 500... or 80. That gives me a few more seconds to capture that description of a fleeing vehicle and suspects inside of it.

I want my weapon mounted light to do it all (indoors, outdoors, near, far). I've found that the more powerful lights accomplish that a bit better. YMMV. Mine sure has... I'm the guy who was very happy with 80 lumens over a quarter century ago.

In summary, use a weapon mounted light judiciously, but when the time comes, your action beats his reaction. And your aim will be better than his if you put your beam into his eyes. You'll not get hit as long as you don't walk around continuously signalling your location by using your light like a lantern.

Seek training and practice the use of lights in conjunction with firearms. Something you can do at home (dry fire) and a subject for which there are many fine articles, books, and videos readily available. Naturally, actual live-fire low light drills are ideal. But even dry fire practice in the dark will help immeasurably. I try to employ lights with every training shot... even on a well lit range. Building muscle memory and habit.


Just some random thoughts, observations, and experiences...
Loved this post. I dont have anything to add other than Modlite is making the best WMLs I've used to date.

I've absolutely dominated people FoF at bad breath distance with a powerful wml. Used correctly, it's great. Used poorly, it sucks.
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:08 AM
MikeMcD MikeMcD is offline
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I have often wondered....if you have a flash light on or near the end of the barrel of your weapon, aren't you making yourself an easier target to shoot at if the intruder has a gun?
Tactical flashlight with momentary on. The "FBI method" and various other techniques virtually eliminate this concern. I don't use weapon mounted light for this reason. I prefer hand held.
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Old 12-31-2019, 01:55 PM
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I have never shined a light in somebody's eyes & blinded myself, so not sure about the whole "flashlights work 2 ways" theory. Can a flashlight give away your position if a threat doesn't know where you are? Sure, but then you can also choose to not use the light & stay hidden until the time is right. Moving "works 2 ways" as well then, cause moving around in the dark can give away your position too. Drawing a weapon can "work both ways" as the sound of drawing your weapon in the dark can give away your position. I guess the point is, if you are in a dark area where a possible, but as yet unidentified threat is roaming around & you are armed with a gun & flashlight, just stand motionless & hope the threat goes away.

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Old 12-31-2019, 07:28 PM
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A flashlight can make "YOU" a "bullseye"
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Old 12-31-2019, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 6.8SPC View Post
If you ever have seven Alaska Coastal Brown Bears "all" in camp at the same time, on a dark and rainy night, you'll appreciate the utility of weapon mounted lights. And yes the number was "Seven" and it was on the Alaska Peninsula in late September.

I regularly encounter bears at night going to the outhouse. My "OUTHOUSE GUN" is a Remington 11-87 with two large flashlights duck taped to the barrel. Also handy when bear is trying to get into the cabin.


OH YEAh...
There was a camp up in CHapleau, Ontario where the folks used to rent a place for vacation before they bought a cabin elsewhere in northern Ontario.
The cabins were out on the Chapleau River system and had NO indoor plumbing.
SO
a late night call to the outhouse had some very interesting possibilities to it, including running head on into a black bear or a moose. Now that isn't the same as playing tag with 7 of the largest predators on the planet, but it really only takes one to ruin your day.

But the real question...???????

with your light on your gun flashing around... was the possibility of one of the bears shooting at you ever a concern?

I wanna live where you live... but when I say that to the wife she asks if I will have enough $$$ to make that move after she divorces me and takes me for everything I have.
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:40 PM
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Of course it does (make you a possible bulls eye). Potentially. Maybe. If the other guy is a switched-on decent shot, reacts quickly, and takes advantage of your employment of foolish light tactics.. Building muscle memory and habit...........

Just some random thoughts, observations, and experiences...

GREAT POST with some excellent points.

Being on the cop side of things for a long time, our rules of engagement were different than the local home owner defending his castle from invaders.
and
until they experience it, most have no real idea what kind of issues light of any kind can cause to the person trying to find the "other guy(s)"

One of the things I did as an FTO was to demonstrate to the new guyz maybe WHY they didn't want to polish their badges so they almost glowed in the dark and WHY wearing that cap with the big shiny badge might not be the smartest thing to do on a search. I would do that by taking them to one of the darkest alleys in the city and have them walk down it one at a time while the other RATS looked on. With no flashlight on, they would come forward and even the faintest ambient light would catch the belt buckle, the badge, the cap badge as little points of light blinking on and off in the dark.
You couldn't see the persons's body but you certainly could figure out accurately where they were. It was a real eye opener. All the RATS wondered why I shelled out the big bucks for my own Safariland buckleless equipment with hidden snaps or Velcro closures.. now they knew. Same reason prior to going in to do a hot search us old guys would take our badges off the shirts and turn our shirt collars in to hide the collar brass(actually chrome). Made a great glow in the dark target.

When I was in cop world I was always looking for the advantage. I always got my hands on the latest whizzbang pistol coming down the pike that promised whiter whites and brighter colors...
along with the latest equipment to give me the edge.
I mean...I EVEN BOUGHT AND OWNED A GLOCK for heavens sake!!!... it still gives me nightmares...

I tried those early version mount on the trigger guard lights. There were no quality holsters for them and they changed the balance of the gun and they were DULL in the amount of light they produced. The cost benefit analysis was the pluses did not outweigh the minuses. So, I did without.
If I was just getting into LE today, it might be different. If I was raised on the latest tech I might find it the greatest thing since sliced bread.

99.99% of the folks here if they ever need their gun light will be sitting in their homes waiting for the BG to come to them. They have that luxury and should take advantage of it. They do not have to hunt down the prowler. Stationary and wait gives all the advantages. SO, it should be no big deal with a little thought and planning.
But
learning something about proper flashlight technique can never hurt.
and
people need to be aware of anything reflective they might be wearing that could give them away.

Just want to be sure they understand... light like tracers work in both directions.
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:59 AM
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Reason I haven't previously invested in pistol mounted lights is they were expensive and require all new holsters.

That said I ordered / received a $96 Streamlight TLR-6 (100 Lumen) light laser combo from Amazon for my Glock 19. I'm waiting for my $40 OWB Kidex holster to arrive.

Playing with the light at my desk, I note getting a quick blip out of the switch is unreliable. The switch is biased to being clicked on or clicked off.

The switch (operable from both sides) is forward of my Glock 19 trigger guard. This location requires the use off my support hand to operate the switch. 2 hands are required at least on a mid size pistol.



Seems to me as a private citizen you still need to carry 2 lights in public. LE can get away with pointing their pistol mounted light at everything. A private citizen can not.

I think there's a temptation there that needs to be thought about.
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