But since this is all hypothetical...
Now, if I was in my car... 30 to 40 feet away..... no problem! I can always get the dents removed.
But since this is all hypothetical...
Now, if I was in my car... 30 to 40 feet away..... no problem! I can always get the dents removed.
EagleTac D25C S2; P20A2 MKII S2; P100C2 Q5; Fenix TK21 U2; LD01 R4; E05 R2; E01
JETBeam BC10 R5; Romisen RC-G2 II NW; RC-T601 II U2; Inova X5
Xeno E03; Zebralight SC600; Crelant 7G5-V2 U2; 4Sevens Quark Tactical 123^2 R5
I carried on the job and as a civilian for over 10yrs and I use to only carry light's on a duty belt or on my regular plain clothes belt, over the years I started carrying a backup light in my pocket, a E1B was the first. I found that it was much easier, faster and less obvious pulling from my pocket so instead of pulling a main "tactical" light from my belt 95% of the time I used a pocket light for everything the other 5% was for a bigger light with more battery capacity when I needed light for an extended time.
I think advancements in flashlight tech had a lot to do with that as I could get almost as much light from the backup light as I did from the bigger light on my belt. The only things that I must have from EDC light to accompany a weapon is instant max mode and be 80lmns or more, more lumens the better but usability and reliability trump lumens when I'm thinking self defense.
My flashlight collection HERE
First of all, I don't carry a concealed handgun, so I hope this is not considered off-topic.
I walk my dog almost every night (when I'm not sharing custody with my 'off-site' partner). There is a small park, with baseball diamonds, and right next to a bike path, about a block from my residence, that I take the dog to. My town is generally considered fairly quiet and safe, although there was a very nice young man (my partner's son was a friend) murdered on the bike path, very close to the park, with what the police say was either a machete, or a sword, as he walked home from work last year. Completely senseless; I don't think that there were any signs of a struggle, and there don't appear to be any street gangs here. I usually carry at least 2 bright lights every night I walk the dog. I turn one on when I cross the street, and let it swing in my hand for motorists to see, in case they are not paying close enough attention. When I step into the park, I immediately sweep the area. I don't want any surprises. My lights are bright enough to project a decent distance. I rotate them, and like to 'play' with them and compare beam qualities. As I am walking and passing the locked bathroom there, I am always checking the blinder spots at the farther ends of the building. After I pass the bathrooms, I am then in a larger area with a baseball diamond, that I walk through. Again, I sweep the area before proceeding. Last year, as I was entering the park through the low cyclone fence, I noticed a parked van. The street in front of the park is very narrow, and there is no parking allowed on either side of the street. That got my radar kicked up a notch. As I passed the end of the bathroom, and swept the larger area after it, I immediately lit up a prone figure a ways away who was sleeping there. The light woke him up, and he sat up. I apologized to him from a distance, and immediately turned around and left. He was probably 'sleeping it off', but I have no idea if he was dangerous or not. It was a dark night, and if I had not been checking out the area with a bright flashlight, I could have practically walked over him in the direction I was heading, which would have startled the heck out of both of us, and might have been dangerous if he thought I was trying to rob him as he slept. I think that bright flashlights are extremely useful for checking out your surroundings, and blind spots, at night, whether you are in open spaces, or walking down the street in the inner city. You can see things at a distance, which translates into more time for reacting to/anticipating possible problems.
Last edited by novice; 05-19-2012 at 05:50 PM.
There is no reason not to carry a flashlight, because no matter where you live it will be nighttime 12 hours a day on average. Also there is no reason to carry a light you can't make ready at a moment's notice, because there's no reason to carry ANY tool you can't make ready at a moment's notice. You don't need the excuse of "tactical advantage" to justify carrying useful tools that work well, even though half the cops who've seen my flashlight ask why I'm not content to use something inferior.
Last edited by fyrstormer; 05-19-2012 at 08:37 PM.
well my question specifically is if there are advantages to using a "tactical" light such has the klarus xt-series (which always comes on at max, no need to fumble to switch modes or turn heads) as opposed non-tactically oriented lights (which are actually more convenient to use in everyday life)
but it seems that for a civilian a flashlight has to be already in your hand and turned on to be any useful in these situations. so it seems that a "tactical UI" isn't going to be very useful to me at all...
Last edited by Overclocker; 05-19-2012 at 09:51 PM.
The bottom line is every situation unfolds differently. There are many instances where you will already have flashlight in hand, wether you are walking in a dimmly lit area or dark area at night and while doing so you hear something or see shadowy figures. With a flashlight clippied to a belt or inside a front pocket, the flashlight can be deployed quickly to light the area. The bad guy isn't always going to jump out of the shadows like a ninja. Many times there are indicators before an attack happens if you are being alert and not walking around with your head up your a**.
There are times when a flashlight won't help and there are time when it can help. If you don't have a flashlight you won't be able to deploy one if the circumstances would call for one. If you do find yourself in a situation where you need to deploy a flashight in conjuntion with a firearm, size and UI will matter. I find a 2 x cr123 size light with momentary only UI works best for me. It is small enough to manipulate my firearm with the flashlight in my hand but not too small where my hand might cover the front of the light. The UI is simple and as stress proof as a UI can be. There are many fine lights and UIs out there. This is what works best for me. The key is to practice with your equipment in realistic based scenarios. Go to the range and practice using your light with your firearm while shooting, reloading and clearing malfunctions. Take low light shooting courses that will run you through the paces. To say that a flashlight is of no use in these situations is just absurd and to say that a flashlight will give you the advantage in EVERY situation is also absurd.
let's go through the same scenario with both the tactically-oriented klarus xt2c and the zebralight sc600
1) klarus. you're walking at night and you notice something suspicious so you pull out your xt2c and you click it on. bad guy starts coming at you carrying a pipe so you pull out your pistol...
2) zebralight. you're walking at night and you notice something suspicious so you pull out your sc600 and you click it on then hold it in overhand position. bad guy starts coming at you carrying a pipe so you pull out your pistol...
so there it makes no difference that you got no tactically-oriented UI.
now but if an attack is imminent then forget the flashlight, just draw your gun asap.
either way the "tactical UI" doesn't help you. this is of course assuming you're only using your firearm defensively. i would think that a tactical UI would be quite useful for an assassin LOL
Keep in mind that you do not want to have your light on constantly. Whenever you deploy a firearm you want to seek cover. When moving from cover to cover your light should be off. When reloading or clearing malfunctions your light should be off so you are not lit up like a Christmas tree and the bad guy can see you are vulnerable at that moment. I can tell you from experience that soft presses usually do not work under stress for most people. Do not get hung up on the word "tactical". Many times it is used incorrectly and it mean different things to different people. Just pick the UI that lets you accomplish what you need to do quickly, efficiently and simply. Again, this stuff is not learned by reading or osmosis. Research is a good place to start but you need to physically train for these situations if you are serious about it.
I should also mention that I am not familiar with the UI on the Klarus or Zebralight so my comments are not directed to these lights.
Last edited by flashlight nut; 05-20-2012 at 07:41 AM.
In regards to quick deployment, I like the Jetbeam RRT-0. Forward clicky so I don't have to click the switch to get a burst of light, and a control ring that lets me select any brightness level the light is capable of generating, and also letting me pre-select the brightness before the light is turned on, while still letting me leave the ring in Max Brightness position when it's just sitting in my pocket.
Chances are, if you have to draw your handgun while out & about, it's going to be under less than ideal conditions. Tactical light with a momentary switch on the left side, possibly clipped to a pants pocket. Firearm on the right side, either in an IWB holster or in a pocket holster. Get used to drawing the light with your non-dominant hand. Handgun always with the dominant one.
Chances are, when you truly need your gun; you're going to need more light than what's around you in the form of ambient light.
"The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.
A few responses to various posts, presented somewhat randomly . . .
I carry a handgun everywhere it is legal to do so, and a light everywhere. The light has been a Surefire E-series 2xCR123 light since about 2002 or 2003, starting with an E2E, L4 (for more years than any other light), and currently E2D LED. I have not found the lights to be burdensome to carry, and have EDC'd Z-series lights before that time.
If you are carrying a handgun, one hand drawing, shooting, reloading, and malfunction clearing should be part of your skill set. If they are not, seek additional training. So, using one hand to manipulate the light should not be a disadvantage.
Tritium sights are quite visible, and even helpful, in sufficient light to identify threats, unless they are dimming out and in need of replacement. Complete darkness is not required in order to see them. If you are facing complete darkness, you may wish to use your light quickly to identify your target, and then use your tritium sights, without the light, to engage the target. You then want to MOVE.
It is impossible to predict the situation you will face in advance. You may have a reason to have the light out in advance, or you may not. You may have enough light without your light to make the decisions you need to make, or you may not. In any event, having the light with you is never a disadvantage.
Regarding comments about not carrying a gun but being trained in the martial arts, they are not mutually exclusive alternatives, but instead are both complementary pieces of the puzzle. The martial arts will be more useful in a wider variety of situations, including those not rising to the level of deadly force, or those requiring creating the opportunity to access the gun. Some situations, however, will not be resolvable without the gun.
Regarding weapon mounted lights, they have their place. However, if you are searching, do you want to cover everything you need to see with the muzzle of your gun? Probably not in most cases.
Very nicely written bill,
My perspective may be a bit different concerning weapon mounted lights since I am a Police officer. If my weapon is out it is because there is or has been a threat of serious bodily injury or death by a suspect. If my weapon is out of it's holster then I am prepared to use it at that time. Using a light on the weapon to light my target or suspect can be the norm. If I am clearing a building I just may be using a weapon mounted light to cover everything because of the imminent threat.
When off duty I do carry a smaller light and I would not use a weapon mounted light. In fact off duty I won't do any searches but will direct on duty units who arrive to the last known location of a suspect. My duty weapon and off duty weapon have night sites. There are several different thoughts on the use of lights for defensive applications. Each has valid points and each has points that may not suit the needs of the circumstances at any given time.
In the end, it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
In god we trust.........all others are suspects
There are no problems in life that can not be solved with high explosives or small arms
Too many new lights to list
My rationale for carrying a "tactical" light is it helps me avoid that sort of situation in the first place.
Also, if I'm in a long dark narrow alleyway, the light's already in my hand. I carry a G2Z in a Wilson Combat holster, so it's comfortable and easy to carry; the ability to simply see what's going on can help keep situations from getting out of control. Or it can help me find the keys that fell out of my pocket and without which I'm going to spend a half-hour or more loitering in a dark parking lot while AAA sends a truck.
Though I'm not an officer and I can't carry a gun, I believe in gradual escalation approach. I'm a city maint carpenter and when homeless have broken into a vacant property, I've been aloud to help clear buildings. I walk through the building with a flashlight and hammer, the flashlight is off but ready unless it's dark. If I find someone ligh goes on but aimed below the eyeline, if they appear aggressive then shine the light in there eyes and ready the hammer while calling for assistance. The Zebralight Sc600 has taken the fight right out of the few that have had weapons.
A Nailbender Sst50 single mode in a 6pd was my go too light till I got the Zebralight
I'm glad I found CPF, I was beginning to think I was strange
I'm a Canadian and a proud Flashaholic
Thanks CPF, thanks Think2x
Sorry for not having the patience to read all the replies here. But here are my experiences and observations regarding lights and firearms.
1. A flashlight is such a handy tool that it doesnt make sense not to have one EDC anyway. Given the current technology of today you can have bright, small, and a variety of battery options. I like the V10R Ti with extender. It runs on a variety of batteries and most importantly of all, AA alkalines for emergencies and is still plenty bright.
2. Shooting with a flashlight in hand requires a lot of practice. Training helps but you can watch plenty of youtube videos on low light shooting to get a few good ideas. It is paramount that you try these out IN THE DARK. No matter how competent of a shooter you are, try doing it in the dark. This poses a lot of problems for some. I have a difficult time finding a place where I can shoot in the dark. Most if not all ranges will not turn the lights off. Public outdoor ranges dont operate long enough for the sun to go down.
I am a member of a local shooting club. 10 months out of the year we shoot outdoors. During Jan and Feb we go to an indoor range due to the cold. It has been my mission to introduce low light shooting to my fellow members. There were plenty of fumbles and errors just because they had a hard time manipulating the gun in the dark. Then add the problem of having a light in your hand. Quite a few of them had the wrong mentality IMHO. They just quit. "oh I have a jam" or "I dropped my light" etc. Just think how it is going to work when you need it? It wont.
Trust me, just getting yourself and your gun up and running in the dark is tough enough. Just wait until you start thinking about manipulating from concealment or a possible force on force scenario. People never "rise up" to the occasion. They settle to what they have practiced These guys had difficulty manipulating their guns in the dark and they are only stressed about the timer running and their performance. It isnt even a life threatening event.
Think of the skill, to use a light while shooting, as another tool in your tool box. You dont know when and if you will need it, but it is good to know how to use it when you need it.
Last edited by Solscud007; 05-23-2012 at 09:08 AM.
Collecting is not about what you have but rather what you DONT have . . . yet.
ABTOMAT: "Newer Surefire lights strike me as the result of CNC programmers saying to each other "Hold my beer and watch THIS."
I dont carry a gun - correction; in my state concealed carry is not allowed. The light is my first and last defense. I carry it out set to turbo/strobe, in my hand when I'm walking in what I feel is a sketchy area. My plan is to disorient someone, then book it before they recover.
Last edited by ikeyballz; 05-27-2012 at 02:01 AM.
I must say that there have been many good responses and interesting personal accounts.
As a police tactical instructor, I give this simple advice to my students. If you carry a gun, carry a flashlight. (And a knife, but that's not what we're discussing.)
To my non-law enforcement friends, I give this simple advice. Carry a gun and a flashlight. And a knife. Sound familiar?
Only you can protect yourself and your family, unless an officer just happens to be with you at the moment of danger. Look a round you right now. See any cops?
Besides, 99% of the time now I am not pointing a gun at someone.
I could never live that far north. I can deal with midnight sun and polar twilight, but I can't deal with the cold. All I want is weather that is 70 degrees year-round, so I never have to worry about dressing properly. Why is that too much to ask?
Last edited by fyrstormer; 05-31-2012 at 08:16 AM.