Flashlights in rifles

juancho

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Flashlights in rifles:
In my opinion, there is a misconception here of the fragility of a bulb flashlight when mounted on a rifle.
Some people want you to believe that only Surefire's shock protected flashlights are the ones to use.
Surefire is a new company that started in the flashlight business in 1988, yet some people chose to ignore all the night shooting that has been done before with flashlights mounted on rifles.
The British used to do a lot of night shooting in the Colonies. They developed the clamps to mount a "torch" to a rifle barrel. The French followed to supply the customers that had plantations in Indochina and had the need to get rid of predators like panthers and tigers.
British gentlemen thru India and Malaysia had in their rack a bolt action rifle and sometimes a double barrel fitted with the clamps and flashlight.
Those guns generated considerable recoil as they where usually 303 British or 275 in the bolt action and 404 or even 470 in the double barrel.
And strangely there are no records of bulbs failing thru recoil or major complaints of the reliability of the flashlights used.

Tiger Tiger is a book by William Baze that typifies the type of night shooting with flashlights that was made against tigers in Indochina. (Vietnam)
Kenneth Anderson is an author of several books on hunting tigers that killed humans, and that was done mostly at night with a flashlight mounted on clamps under the barrel.
Books by him are: Man eaters and Jungle killers, Nine man eaters and a rogue, The call of the man eater, This is the jungle.
Also The tigers of Trenganu by A. Locke, Man Eaters and memories by J. E. Carrignton Turner, Tigers Trails in Assam by P. Hanley, and I can throw about ten more titles of books where a flashlight was part of the equation in hunting leopards, (panthers) and tigers.

A good amount of night shooting was done in cattle ranches against jaguars in South America, hunting yacares (alligators) in rivers in Brazil and Bolivia, by flashlight, was done or observed by me.
Some natives, not having the expensive clamps, used duct tape to secure flashlights against the rifles.
In my country of origin for those chores we used mostly 3 D flashlights with big heads, the common flavors having been Rayovac "Sportman" and Eveready "Captain" and some native copies.

I have done it myself in culling operations in Argentina against pesky wildlife.
Here and in more modern times I have use a TACM III in my Mini 14 and a laser for crowd control as a persuader and as a home defense gun and light combination. By the way the TACM III at 105 lumens and with a bigger smooth reflector than the P-60, is a much better thrower than any P-60 (60 lumens) or any P-91 (200 lumens)
I have shot at night at least 100 times with my combo and the lamp is still o.k.

Yes, probably Surefire has perfected night shooting but by not any means invented it.
Juan C

TACM III in rifles & shotgun

gunlights.jpg


Vintage, modern and super modern long range flashlights

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vhyper007

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neat pics, Juancho.
You are slicker than snot on a peeled onion.

I put a TACM on my AR15 and GuideGear light/laser on 870 for house gun and it looks so scary I will never have to use it but, if so, I do know it works.

Regards,
vhyper
 

KevinL

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That is pretty darn cool.. I did not know that lights and guns have been used together since a couple of hundred years ago. Maybe the intrepid tiger hunters whose lights failed got eaten, hence the lack of feedback to customer service..... just kidding /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Were you the one who asked about mounting a Mag85 on a gun some months back? Either way the large Mags with FiveMega's awesome work leave no doubt about the power of your lighting arsenal. Those are nice, especially the FM Turbohead!

Where'd you get the 'tail' for the Mags? Is it a commercially available part?
 

juancho

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vypher, Fat Tony, thank you
KevinL,
It is just a Uncle Mike machined quick Detach sling swivel, I just drilled a hole in the tailcap, put a spacer and screw the UM nut with some loctite. Then a piece of one wrap velcro let you adjust the lenght, for when is needed to loop it over the saddle. Final touch a coin cell light, for low light navigation.
I call it "the Juancho solution" as Maglites are hard to store, they roll or fall, I like to hang them, like the old Captain and Sportman that have a hanging bail.
Juan C.
 

rgp4544

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The lights I've used on rifles have mostly been Maglites mounted on one .375 H&H. The lights lasted about a week at most before they decided to quit working, same as all the other Mags I have had regardless of what use I put them to, and seemed to be far less desireable than a Rayovac Workhorse. Then again I tend to break things faster than most people...

I am interested in what mount you are using on each of those because it looks almost like a standard Weaver type scope mount and I'd like to mount a Pelican M6 or a Surefire on one of the .375's and most mounts I've seen unfortunately seem designed to bolt onto a scope or a rail. Can you mention more information on the mounts and who actually makes the mounts? How often do they work loose on the shotgun or do they stay put once installed?

Also when I was in Africa years ago the flashlights some PH's mounted on their rifles were huge square battery items that had a miniature car headlight clamped on top and they were attached with a large quantity of duct tape...they were pure hell in terms of reliability. The lamps worked fine but the battery connection was incredibly unreliable.

Richard.
 

oklalawman

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Juancho I agree totally. I have a couple of ther TACM III lights and thought they outshined the surefires by a large margin especially for throw. I had one on my home defense shotgun till the pressure switch broke. I need to order another one. They are good lights. I had one on my duty 12 guage for years and never blew a bulb.
 

juancho

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rgp4544,
I use two different systems of mounting but almost the same components.
What you see in the shotgun and the Mini-14 is a #45 Weaver base matted to a regular Weaver ring that holds the flashlight. Drill a hole in the Weaver base (between the two screw holes) and put a "recoil" pin there. the pin should be of smaller diameter than the hole so you can use epoxy, also drill in the underneath of that base a few shallow small holes, so when the bed of epoxy cures it will act like epoxy pins. Them epoxy and screw the mount.
attach the flashlight to the ring, it is a 1" diameter ring and 6 P's, G-2's, will work, but I much prefer the longest thrower and lightest of them all and that is the TACM III with the remote switch cable, (as you see in my guns)

The second method, I haven't tried yet in a heavy gun, but I think will work as well as it works in the .22
Put a piece of tape to protect the wood or plastic stock, I use the camo tape for hunters that is removable.
Over that put a piece of male self stick heavy 1/2" or 3/4" Velcro. That is your base. Put the female piece of self stick Velcro underneath the Weaver base for a Marling 336 (I don't recall the model number) Then attach your light to this base, and use some heavy rubber bands around the fore end and the base, to stabilize the set-up.

I imagine you don't want to drill and epoxy holes in the 375 H&H Magnum, so try this system as it is removable and don't damage the stock of the gun.

It is another type of light in the market for scoped rifles, it goes in the scope, and it is very light as the 6 volts battery is kept on your belt.
I will take pictures later of this set-up that I considered is best for clients shooting leopards in Africa.
(While night hunting is permitted)
I put one of my bears mounts in my neighbor fence that is 78 yards away, and the only small light that reaches that far was the TACM III, because it have a bigger reflector than the P-60 or P-91 and that reflector is smooth, not Orange Peel.
Best
Juan C.
 

juancho

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rgp4544,
This is Optronics gun light, the battery goes in your belt,the casing , reflector and lamp are very light and not affected by recoil.

optronics.jpg


In many places in South America, in the Jungles of Venezuela, Colombia, Paraguay. It is possible to night hunt.
These are the tools of the night hunter:
NVG5 imfrared goggles, the Kel-Lite flashlight have a Infrared filter, four 123's batteries feed a 717 Carley bulb and the holder is an old Pelican saddle-lite.
The big binocular are 8x-56mm night glasses, the Night Owl Night Vision 4x compact binoculars have their own infrared emitter.
The infrared Game Finder detects body heat of animals (or humans)
The laser is epoxy to a weaver #45 base and goes in the scope, received by a inverted Weaver ring.

nighthunter.jpg


Juan C.
 

rgp4544

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Juan,

THANK YOU!

I think I've got all the Weaver parts laying around here unused and the only item missing is some epoxy. Since I'm in the USA right now and most vermin here are coyotes and wild hogs, I may try your method first on a Marlin 336 .30-30.

Also I've never seen or used a TACM III but if it seems better than other 2 x 123 lights for throw I intend to try one.

Thank you,

Richard.
 

rgp4544

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I forgot to ask, the infrared items in one of your photos...is that IR stuff LEO/military only or is it also legal for the general public to have it?

Richard.
 

ABTOMAT

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No restrictions in private ownership of night vision gear, at least nationwide. And the stuff in Juan's photo is probably 25 years behind the times.
 

juancho

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rgp4544.
All legal to own, I think that the "infrared" that you are asking for is the "Game Finder" the same company have models to look for people too, in search and rescue operations.
You can find more information here

Of course as Abtomat said the night vision goggles are old infrared only, Vietnam era model 5151, that requiered a infrared source of light.
But used with the Kel-Lite with infrared filter and four 123's batteries feeding juice to the Carley 717 bulb and the combination of the laser over the scope, it can be use to shoot in total darkness.
The Night Owl Night Vision binocular use generation one intensifiers tubes (suppose to aument ambient light 30.000 times) and also have a imfrared emitter for using in total darkness.
Of course now better night vision is available in generation II and even generation III, but is available only by using generation XXIII money!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Juan C.
 

rgp4544

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I'll look into the IR gear...although I think when I'm not in the USA (usually in Australia if gone for an extended period) I best avoid the IR.

Also 10+ years ago, one item a lot of guys used in Texas was a Leupold Vari-X-III 2.5 x 8X scope with a 50mm objective lens set at 6X. Depending on how much moonlight was present, you could shoot coyotes & hogs with it out to 100 to 200+ yards, using no additional light.

Richard.
 

juancho

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Humm, the Leupold 2 1/2 by 8 comes with the 36mm objetive.
The Leupold Vary X II in 3x9 comes with the 50mm and also the heavy duplex reticle.
Now they have one better (I bought one two years ago) is the Vary X III 3 1/2x by 10x with a illuminated reticle and the 50mm objetive. The reticle have eleven positions of brigthness so not to ovehelm your night vision. What make Leupold so desirable is the long eye relief they have, this one have a 4.4 " of eye relief. Cheaper scopes of other brands have only 3"
I also have the same model with illuminated reticle in a 1 1/2 to 5x, I have set both in Leupold Quick Detach "Weaver style" rings (they work with Weaver bases) and by unescrewing a lever in each ring three turns, they detach from the rifle.
So when I am not in need of the big scope I use the trimmer 1 1/2 to 5x scope, but carry the big one in my pack.
That way if you break one you have the other.
Leupold have a nicer trimmer quick detach that use a different system, the base have holes with a lever moving a cam against the cut out in the pins of the rings.
The fit of the pins in the base is very tight, so is possible that if you drop the rifle and the scope suffer the burden of the fall, that the pins will be upset or bended and the scope will be difficult or impossible to remove.
I like the first system better.
Juan C.
 

cy

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Unertl 4x scope mounted on a early Weatherby .270 for moonlight hunts. Unertl is amazingly bright in moonlight.

spotted a pack of wolves working the night. this was on Indian revervation land in Pawhuska Oklahoma.

unertl.JPG
 

sunspot

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I've had a TACM-III on my Mossburg 590 12ga for about 6 years. I've not had a lamp failure yet. I mounted the tape switch on the rear pistol grip.
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juancho

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Nice vintage Weatherby, possible made by Roy itself, most be in a FM Mauser Action, and most be a very early gun made probably in his garage, as older models have a different safety.
I advise to have the gun appraised if not for sale for insurance purposes, take it to the Weatherby shop, specially ask about that strange bolt oversize knob, it is only used in the Nordic Countrys for shooting with one finger mittons, could be a Custom ordered feature.
Cy, I would like to have been there to watch those wolves by the moonlight!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

But Cy, that old 32mm objetive scope will /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif blush when in company of the big boys of today!!!
Fifty mm objetives, multiple magnification, Illuminated reticles, 98 % light trassmission,!!!those are the features today that compete for your wallet.
Take a look at these babys, the one in the top is a Leupold Vary X II 3x-9x with 50mm objetive and heavy duplex crosshair (reticle)
Sorry that is covered in Pachmyr neoprene rubber for protection of the finish.
The second one is a Leupold Vary X III 3 1/2 by 10x with Illuminated reticle. Sorry that the turrets are covered with camo tape to keep strange fingers out of my adjustments!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Both sport lasers epoxy to # 45 weaver base and hold to the scope by a reverse Weaver ring (called Juancho set-up)
Take a look at those massive Leupold Quick Detach "Weaver" style rings, look at the massive recoil key on the botton.
I am sorry for the lousy picture, today is not my day!!
Juan C.

scopes.jpg
 

cy

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juancho, thanks for details of my old Weatherby. it was given to me and has a rich history.

Original owner custom ordered from Weatherby and claimed to have taken almost every large game animal in North America with it.

Weatheby .270 was put together with a custom barrel and has finely detailed machine work everywhere. Shoots deadly accurate! I've only taken deer so far.

I have no disillusions about my old Unertl keeping up with state of the art optics like your Leupold's pictured. Still 4x Unertl does a fine job in Oklahoma, where seldom do you get a shot over 200 yards deer hunting.

really like how you have mounted a laser on your urber nice optics.

yep, I'm really lucky to have access to indian lands to hunt on. Very primative lands, so you see wildlife not usually seen. Land is close to Tall Grass Prarire Reserves. It's recognize as a soveriegn nation within US. Only Feds still have authority on Indian lands.

Man, you have got some killer optics!!!
 
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