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Discussion Starter #1
I've never been an advocate of hangun rail mounted lights.
I prefer other mehods as an example: http://michaelharries.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65&Itemid=10

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25921024/gun-mounted-flashlights-linked-accidental-shootings

Gun-mounted flashlights linked to accidental shootings

Ronny Flanagan took pride in his record as a police officer in Plano, Texas. He had an incident-free career. He took safety training regularly. He was known at the range as a very good shot.

Yet he killed a man when he was simply trying to press a flashlight switch mounted beneath the trigger on his pistol.

In a deposition, Flanagan expressed his remorse and made a prediction.

"I don't want anyone to ever sit in a chair I'm in right now," he said. "Think about the officers that aren't as well trained, officers that don't take it as seriously, and you put them in a pressure situation, another accident will happen. Not if, but will."

Read full article at link.
 

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I've been on the fence about buying a light for my pistol. This is definitely food for thought.
 

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Well somethiong that has always bothered me about rail mounted lights. We are taught to never point a gun at anything you don't intend to destroy and know your target and whats behind it. But if you use your
gun mounted flashlight to indentify your target,our just use it as a flash light, didn't you just violate those rules.
 

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Well somethiong that has always bothered me about rail mounted lights. We are taught to never point a gun at anything you don't intend to destroy and know your target and whats behind it. But if you use your
gun mounted flashlight to indentify your target,our just use it as a flash light, didn't you just violate those rules.
Depends on what you're doing. If you're clearing a building, that gun is going to be pointed at whatever your flashlight is pointed at whether the light is in your hand or on the gun.
 
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When I went to gunsite the instructors brought up this subject. They said always carry another light ant train with both lights as much as in the day.
 

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Depends on what you're doing. If you're clearing a building, that gun is going to be pointed at whatever your flashlight is pointed at whether the light is in your hand or on the gun.
Exactly, your loaded gun is going to be pointed at God knows what, not exactly a safe practice. But with a seperate light you might not confuse the on/off switch with a trigger. Also another reason I like the thumb safety of a 1911.
 

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But with a seperate light you might not confuse the on/off switch with a trigger.
That seems to be the crux of the matter. The lights in the article all seemed to have switches under the trigger. The light I was thinking about was the TLR1-S, which has a switch forward of the trigger guard and is activated by the reaction hand. I was thinking maybe that would cut down on stupid fingers and allow the weapon hand to focus solely on what it's supposed to do.
 

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Having a light on a pistol is a great idea, however, I believe it needs to operate via a pressure activated tape switch on the grip. Also, it needs to stay ON the weapon at all times. Watched a very careful gun handler put a .45 hole in the ceiling showing me the ease of putting the light on and off. Neither one of us could figure out what went wrong. Later, he tried for hours to get it to do it again without success.

This is even more critical for cops. Cops point guns at idiots in low light all the time. I.E. the guy that jumps out the car as the vehicles come to a stop during a traffic stop, stomps back toward the cruiser while reaching around behind his back - he gets a gun pointed at him until we figure out that, yeah, he really is that dumb. Then there's clearing buildings after an alarm, which is very similar to clearing your own house at night after 'the bump' - you want the light and weapon going the same way.

Fiddling with activation switches right by the trigger is a bad idea, IMNSHO


Rich
 

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Gun-mounted lights are excellent tools, but, like all pieces of equipment, they just be used properly. I fail to see how someone discharges a weapon when attempting to activate a light. All my lights use my support hand thumb.......far cry from my primary hand index finger.

Failure to train and improper use leads to issues like shown above.

I prefer weapon-mounted light when all possible, but, like also mentioned above, a separate handheld light is a must.
 

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I think the bigger issue is being in a high stress situation having to remember which finger turns on the light and which turns on the boom...

This is why I am getting rid of all lights, lasers, etc.
 

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The good thing about a pistol-mounted light (usually mounts at 6 o'clock) is that it works from both sides of cover. When using a flashlight from cover, the flashlight leads the pistol.

The Harries technique is an excellent technique, but it only works properly when used on the strong-side of cover. When you try to use it on the support side of cover, you have to expose entirely too much of yourself to get the light into play.

When I teach lowlight handgun techniques, I teach 4 different techniques using a handheld flashlight. You only need 2 of the techniques, however; one for each side of cover.

The Harries is an excellent technique, but you'll need another one for your toolbox. Make sure you practice both.

Even is you use a pistol-mounted light, you still need to practice 2 techniques with a handheld light, in case your pistol-mounted light goes down.
 

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.......which is why my lights use my support hand thumb and not an index finger.

+1 agree, I use a TLR1 on my household go-to gun which has a rocker switch operated by the support hand.
 

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Thought provoking post thx HG!

I am not sure about how to proceed - light on weapon vs separate light and,at that, rifle vs handgun.

I understand the support/weak hand thumb use and that makes great sense.

But the light use- getting better visual in low/no light kinda reminds me of the folks who when hunting who use their rifle scope to 'just see what is in the distance' vs using binoculars in a chest rig or some such set-up...

Feel really badly for both and the families involved in this.
 
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Am I the only one who thinks that flashlights are like tracers?

They work in both directions...
 

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Use of a weapon mounted light requires what every other procedure used with firearms. Practice, practice, practice. The use needs to be practiced until it occurs without conscious thought.

Its no different then re-engaging the safety on your carbine when removing the trigger finger from the trigger after a shot. Or not having your finger ON the trigger until the shot is to be broken. These should be automatic responses.

There is no replacement for training a repetition.
 

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I fail to see how someone discharges a weapon when attempting to activate a light. All my lights use my support hand thumb.......far cry from my primary hand index finger.
+1 to cmshoot. I have a Surefire x400 on my railed 1911 and I'll never go back. It has a turning action lever to turn it on at the rear, outside the trigger guard, which I use precisely the technique he says, supporting hand thumb and index finger. Turning something something clockwise/counterclockwise with my left hand is a completely different action than pulling back with my opposite hand index finger.
If you are using your light to search your house after a window breaks or something at 3am, it is bright enough that you don't have to point it directly at something, it can be canted to the right or left a bit, enough to not be pointing it at someone friendly if you come upon them.
m14brian
 

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Am I the only one who thinks that flashlights are like tracers?

They work in both directions...
Properly used a white light can be as devastating as your sidearm. BUT it requires training and practice.
 
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Yep, lights work both ways........WHEN used improperly.

I haven't found another way to properly ID a threat at night except to use a flashlight. You know another method?
 

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Surefire Weapons lights

I trained with, trained others and used a Surefire 300 tactically for years. Personally I do not like using the light unless it is accompanied by the proper Surefire grip switch made specifically for the gun I am using. I never got used to turning on the flashlight by pointing my trigger finger into the switch...that just makes no sense at all to me. If I have a shoot situation I have to consciously turn off the light (with the trigger finger) and depress the trigger with the same trigger finger....only now there is no light on my target. And this has to be accomplished at incredible speed under threat of loosing my own life. Yes, granted it is possible to flick the light switch up or down so it stays in the "ON" position but now you have abandoned light discipline since the light is staying in the "on" position.

The solution, at least for me, is to use the Surefire grip switch that is specifically made for the gun, as that flashlight is now controlled by squeezing the middle finger into the grip, which is a function I am already doing anyway through proper grip of the weapon. Proper Tactical Light discipline is maintained, without regard for an alternative use of the trigger finger.

In stressful encounters I believe it requires too much conscious thought process to differentiate between pushing a switch (with the trigger finger), flicking a switch up or down (with the trigger finger) and using that trigger finger for what it is intended to do, which is smoothly depress a trigger mechanism until the sear breaks properly. Using the appropriate Surefire grip switch resolves those complexities of the conscious mind and frees up the trigger finger for appropriate use. From the mental perspective the pressure switch frees up the conscious mind and subsequent control of directing the trigger finger and does this at the critical juncture when the decision is made to shoot/no shoot.

I am a big believer in the concept of using that high powered light offensively. I believe the proper tactical use of a high powered light ends potentially violent encounters well before they get started by taking away the sense of sight to the human being. Humans utilize and process data primarily from their sense of sight, as apposed to animals who utilize as sense of smell primarily. In the human condition, remove that sense of sight and the tactical advantage is leveraged well beyond merely while the light is in operation but rather carries over to after the subject has lost his night vision and his retina is burning. The high powered flashing light accomplishes this, although to a more limited basis, even during daylight encounters.

For those forum members who have not yet had the privilege of earning a salary with a gun in hand, be it long gun or short gun, proper training affords a sense of familiarity on par with a carpenter and his hammer, an accountant who massages a calculator keyboard without looking at the keypad, the mechanic with his tools. A gun is after all merely a tool and is no better or worse than the decision maker holding onto that tool.

A man earns his living with a firearm for many years, be it war or enforcement, and he may go to work for 25 or 30 years in this endeavor. Upon retirement (his true end of watch) he turns the firearm in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the firearm. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his child's diaper - his hands, his mind and his muscle memory, remembers the firearm most intimately. At least that's the way it's been for me.
 
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