Lights Mounted on Your WEAPON....Are You in FAVOR or are OPPOSED??

Nalapombu

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Hey all,

I usually hang out in firearms forums and for a long time there have been lots of debates on whether having a light mounted on your home defense weapon is a good idea or not. I'm sure it's been talked about here too. I never really thought about it much until last week when an incident at 3AM had me evaluating my equipment choices. My nephew, who lives with me along with my sister and her daughter, said he heard something at the back door and I got my pistol and went to check. My light was woefully inadequate and I don't have a light on my weapon, none of my weapons do.

I can see how a good, powerful light on your handgun, rifle or shotgun would be a great thing. What I don't like is that if you have a family member that is up and about at that time you are going to be pointing a LIVE weapon at your family, NEVER a good idea. If I lived alone, I'd have a weapon light and make sure to use it on every weapon I had for HD use, but living with other people, especially my family, I don't think it's a very good idea. I understand that others feel different about this, and that's OK, but for me, I think I'll stick with a hand held light for the time being.

I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Thank you

Nalajr
 

TEEJ

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Its all context dependent.


Examples:

Have you ever tried to one handedly aim/fire a pump shotgun while using your other hand to aim a light?

Have you ever needed to see who's there before pointing a weapon at them?

Is the light floody enough to light up the target in quesion with indirect/spill, etc, so the weapon can be off target and still have the weapon light provide target ID?

Would it be best if the light was no where near the other guy's aim point to return fire at you? Do you want him being able to aim at your light and be close to your center of mass/head, etc?

Does operation of the light allow instant off in a return fire situation, to allow shoot/move/shoot procedures?

Is it better to point the weapon at the person and see them and then decide if they are a threat, or, better to shine a separate light at them, decide they ARE a threat, and THEN try to bring arms to bear, BEFORE said threat notes your presence (He saw your light sweeping about, etc...looking for HIM), and opens fire?


etc.


No one right answer...but the bold part is a key issue to weigh heavily in a decision.
 
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hoop762

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I have a light mounted on my CC weapon. I like having the option to use it if I feel the situation requires it. I have an etc light as well.

I think options are good. Just because I have the light mounted doesn't mean I have to use it, just means I can use it if I want/need.

I like having options.
 

Grizzman

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With a mounted light of appropriate brightness, it isn't necessary to point a weapon directly at an object to illuminate it sufficiently to identify it as friend or foe. If it is a foe, it only takes an instant to come up to the target from a low/ready position. If it's believed that this instant is too long, consider that it will likely be necessary to redirect the weapon onto the target once it's been identified, so moving it up and laterally is little different from moving it laterally.
 

Str8stroke

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Yup, IMHO, no light on a home defense weapon could make a dangerous situation even more dangerous. Firearms safety should be paramount!!! If you think about it, most situations that you may retrieve your weapon in your home are likely going to occur at night. Any firearms instructor will tell you that target identification is first & foremost. Also, you want to have enough light to know what is behind your target. Last thing you want encounter is to have another family/friendly member unknowingly end up behind your target.

Therefor, I recommend a forend light on your shotgun. One that uses primaries. (Regular CR123) Its not a good idea to use rechargeable batteries in weapon lights.

Check out the Surefire DFS-870.

I would also recommend having a handheld flame thrower light too. And of course, train with all of these or whatever set up you choose.

Good luck. Just keep safety in mind!!!
 

TEEJ

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I know in Greece, the normal procedure if you suspect a night break in is to check the doors and windows, and then shoot your girlfriend 5 times or so if you don't see anything.
 

PhillyRube

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I know in Greece, the normal procedure if you suspect a night break in is to check the doors and windows, and then shoot your girlfriend 5 times or so if you don't see anything.

Don't you mean South Afreeka?
 

Kestrel

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[...] I'd like to hear your thoughts.
Just one data point I can offer, last winter I attended a low-light/night handgun class hosted by an extremely professional local facility.

We had ~20 students (many of them with a very high degree of talent and competence - the first firearms class I have been to where I felt that I was only fair-to-middlin' in relative ability), all of them of course had flashlights for the class but most interestingly, none of them had weapon-mounted lights.

While the instructors discussed the topic of weapon-mounted lights, they didn't have strong opinions about a need for them.
Unsurprisingly, their position was that having separate flashlights for general utility were crucial.

I wrote up a thread on my experience here, perhaps you might find it of some interest?

Low light / Night fire training class

Best regards,
 
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Str8stroke

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Kes, thanks for posting that. I came back to link your orig post. Good info for folks there. Glad you touched on safety & multi mode lights. I am not a trainer, but preach all that.
 

Grizzman

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I'll add that my above comments are primarily regarding rifles and shotguns, but not exclusively.

Pistols can be used very effectively with a separate light.
 

Mikeg23

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I like weapon mounted lights for certain scenarios but have an weapon mounted light does not negate the need for a handheld light as well... You need to still have a handheld even with a mounted light.

With a long gun your handheld will stay holstered and with a handgun you can simply run both. You will not be able to open a door and shine a light and hold a gun at the same time though.
 

Nalapombu

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Thanks for the opinions.

I think a shotgun with an AR type stock can be more easily maneuvered with one hand that a conventional shotgun stock can. I guess the new MAGPUL stocks would also give you a good, secure hold on the weapon and allow you wield it with one hand while checking with the weak hand light.

I have been thinking of getting an AR type stock on my next HD shotgun. I'd also like to find a good HD Shotgun class that didn't cost an arm and a leg to take and get better with it.

Thanks all

Nalajr
 

Nightflash

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Definitely in favour of a 123 battery and appropriate shockproof mounted light. If You go to the length of grabbing the weapon always better to have it than not. And come the situation You would grab it, having a light or not. Positive target id is primary. You don´t need to use it, if You don´t want to anyway.
 

Kestrel

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Best of luck Nalajr. I think we're all pretty much on the same page here, but everyone just please keep in mind that we need to stick to the topic of lighting; there are many good firearms forums to peruse for non-lighting info.

Best regards,
 

cland72

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I think the best solution is to have a weapon mounted light, along with a handheld light that is single mode, momentary capable (momentary or forward click only).

Keep your handgun at low or high ready, use the handheld to search and identify targets. If you see a target, shouldn't be too hard to present the firearm and switch your weapon mounted light on, or in a pinch you can fire the handgun using the handheld light.

Myself, I have a Surefire L4 as my handheld, with a Glock 17 equipped with a TLR-1HL. Great combo IMO.

I think for indoor use, you'd be just fine using a stock Surefire 6P, and on your gun using a TLR-1 (non HL) (which would be a total investment of approximately $110).
 
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UVvis

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I could go on in some length, but just a few things to point out...

Under adrenalinal response your vision favors the fovia, which is doesn't have as good of low light vision as the rest of your eye.

Light is good, More light is better for two reasons... The more light you produce, the more situational awareness you have, and the harder it is to see past/through your wall off light.

Two hands are better than one, for almost everything.

It is relatively easy to attach a light to a shotgun/rifle/handgun these days. So why not? If we are talking home defense purposes, it isn't like you are carrying the blaster around for days on end.

A bright enough light will illuminate most common indoor rooms by shining it at the ground/floor.

Unless you sleep with funnly clothes on, you might not have a handy spot to stash a spare flashlight. The handheld might get dropped. Whatever, a light on the gun at least attaches one thing you may need to the other. It can help you find stuff, dropped...

There may be a time where you might need three hands. Which becomes most important???, Calling 911, keeping the light on something, or keeping the gun on something? If you have a light on your gun, you might not have to figure out how to do this, as you can do all at once.

A gun and light isn't a solution for everything. Sometimes you need a different couple tools.
It's nice to keep the gun and light with you.

I have a preference for rifle, with a sling, white light, red dot.
 

Nalapombu

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On the shotgun mounted lights, do you all prefer the type that is built into the forearm like the SURFIRE products or the rail that is attached to the side or underneath where you attach your own light like a Surefire 6P or something similar that can be activated with a pressure switch? I had always thought I'd get the type I could mount, that way I can pretty much get the kind of light that most suits my needs and then I started reading threads and articles from those that have the Surefire forends and they LOVE them. I can see how they would be so much easier and pretty automatic to activate especially in a stressful situation. I know they have an LED unit now instead of the incandescent models, but I don't know how much light the LED units put out. They certainly wouldn't be as powerful as many of the lights that you all talk about using all the time that have 800, 900 or even more Lumens. Does that sway your opinion on these forends or is it a non-issue for you with them? Does the convenience of the forends outweigh the lower output for you?

Nalajr
 

cland72

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I'm a fan of the Surefire integrated forends.

The Surefire forends have more than enough light to use with a shotgun. Don't feel like you need 500+ lumens of light. The TIR optic on the SF forends has more than enough punch outdoors, and while using indoors, a F04 diffuser works wonders to disperse the light evenly for inside work.

I would stay away from the newest DSF forends - I've heard there is a parasitic battery drain issue that has affected many of the models. However, the older ones are great. Even the incan version can be souped up with a P60 drop in of your choice.
 

jamesmtl514

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I'm looking for a similar setup. I was looking into the Magpull setups for a 870.
I'm also exploring the option of a SF light with Malkoff dropin.
 
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