Personal Defense

aksim

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At what light output would a flashlight need to be to temp. blind an agressor. Something for my wife to carry in purse or van to gain those precious needed seconds. Price is a factor in only that it would allow prchase of muiltiple units. After reading multiple posts the Surge looks promising.
 

Quickbeam

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In general, check out the Surefire or Streamlight lights. The Brinkmann Legend LX also has comparable output and could potentially be used in the manner you describe.
 

brightnorm

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Joined
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Messages
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Jadun,

The brinkman LX has an unusually stiff tailcap switch. Several people who tried my LX found it problematic and said they would not buy it for that reason, even though it is a very good inexpensive light.

I would second Quickbeam's suggestion about the Surefires and Streamlights.
If you want a small VERY bright light, go for those that use two 3v lithium batteries.
The cheapest is the Streamlight Scorpion which many in this Forum like, though it is not one of my favorite lights.

You will probably hear a lot about the Surefire E2, which is remarkably small and bright. I would not recommend this light as a "stunning", or "disorienting" light because its beam is very dispersed. IMO you would be much better off with one of the regular Surefires that use 2 lithiums. They have all evolved from the classic 6P, (which I believe is still available) and, while their ability to project bright light has not evolved, other features have, such as a "lockout tailcap switch" which protects against accidental turn-on, and rechargeable versions of the lights. You will have an option of two bulbs for these lights; the P60 and the P61. The output is measured in "lumens", not in "candlepower". The P60 is 65 Lumens with 1hr burntime, and the P61 is 120 lumens with 20 minutes burntime. (please note that brightness diminishes during that "burntime"). For the absolute brightest 2 lithium light go to the ASP Taclite, and adjust the internal focusing mechanism for tightest beam.

Of course if size (and expense) is not a factor there are other lights out there, some of almost unbelieveable power, like the Surefire M6

I'm sure other Flashaholics will contribute many useful ideas. Good luck.

Best regards,
Brightnorm
 

SurefireM6

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I don't think a flashlight in a purse will help very much against an aggressor. Imagine if this were you in the situation:

Your walking in a dark parking lot with your purse over your shoulder or in your arms whichever the case may be. Suddenly from between the cars comes an aggressor and grabs you within seconds. In the next violent minutes, the light never comes to you or even if it does....impossible to get to in the purse.

I stress this point to my wife time and time again that she needs to carry her M.A.C.E. with her IN her hand, not in her purse. If your wife is anything like mine there's a bunch of stuff in that purse. Whenever she needs to get someting out of it she has to "dig" around in there for a bit. Not a good thing when you got an assailant coming at you in seconds. Try this with someone and you'll see it's true.

That aside I'd like to say that I carry a light for personal defense (and a ParaOrd P12 next to it but hey..).

I would not go anything less than a SF 200 lm for personal defense. Having been a test subject I can say that even with the 120 lm P61 (a surge being much less) it's not impossible to make out a figure if you squint or not look directly in the beam (if it was a more tighter beam it would be better but it's not). With 200-225 lm of the 3+ cell SF models it has a very effective "stunning" effect and if you keep the beam directed at the eyes they will not be able to see. At this point you can run and risk being chased or disable the subject. Even an aggressive assailant who is blind can be easily taken out with a quick whack in the nose or groin or throat.

The E2 is too weak for this purpose. The LX is little better but the focus can drift (don't want find out it's on flood when your being attacked) plus the switch is too hard.

SF lists 225/350lm output as the first "force option" flashlight in their line. And remember multiple attackers create a whole different situation.

I think that the best self defense tool we can have is awareness. How many times have we just walked somewhere and not even care what's lurking between cars, inside cars, around corners etc. How many times have we been alone in a parking lot or street and walked next to a van's sliding door. It takes literally a few seconds to jump out, overtake and kidnap a person into a van.

Anyway, this post is getting too long, I just take personal security very seriously and this topic got me going...sorry.
 

flashfan

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Like flexmodem above, I don't believe having a light in a purse is effective, since there probably won't be enough time to open a bag and "find" the light, even if it is well-organized. And how many women have "organized" purses?!? (Uh oh, I'm going to be flamed now..)

The SureFire E2 is a great light in a good size for women. However, unless SureFire comes out with a much higher output lamp (with a clickie tailcap), I don't think the E2 would provide much "protection." In my opinion (again like flexmodem), the minimum brightness necessary is the high intensity lamp (200 lumens) of the three-cell SureFire lights. (I personally hold the 200 lumen 9P in my hand while going to my car after work late at night.)

The ultimate defense flashlight is the SureFire M6. But let's get real. How many women carry purses large enough to fit the M6 (even the 9P is large)? And how many would even be willing to lug around the weight of the M6??? Besides, if there are any flashaholic scum out there, they might mug someone for the flashlight.

In short, at least 200 lumens of light is probably prudent, but the size of the smallest three-cell SureFire may still be prohibitively large. Perhaps the E3, should it ever become available, is the answer.
 

aksim

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My wife was raised to be pacifist. I keep pepper spray in the van and tried to get her to carry it in her purse as a serious matter. I think she would fight back now that we have a child but I want to give her any option I can. I have tried to study the s.f. lumen compared to the Bright Stream candela but I just do not how to make the comparison. i appreciate the feed back.
 

flashfan

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Hi Jadun: The candlepower vs. lumen question has come up quite often on this forum. From what I've read, the two rating systems cannot be compared. Using the Search feature on this site, you should be able to glean quite a bit of info from your fellow luminaries.
 

brightnorm

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Jadun,

I agree with other flashaholics' helpful comments, and if your wife doesn't mind carrying a slightly longer light, then I would definitely second their recommendations. However, I have found that most flashaholics are not familiar with the Asp Taclite, and its ability to focus an intense beam significantly brighter than the brightest Surefire with two lithium batteries. I mention this mainly in the context of compactness, if that is an issue. If it isn't an issue, then go for the brightest light that's carryable. Speaking from experience (non-LEO) I carried out some "experiments" using the M6 with friends, and I can say that it puts out a literally stunning amount of light. That would be the ultimate light for your wife. It's about the size of a regular 2 D cell flashlight with a larger than usual head and weighs about one pound. If your wife is a strong woman with a BIG pocketbook, it might work for her. (A former girlfriend actually carries one). Otherwise, go with the other recommendations here.

The other issue is the pepper spray that your wife evidently doesn't want to carry. It's very imnportant to realize that you CANNOT tell the strength of pepperspray by the percentage. (ie: "10% Police formula" etc.)
The most important rating (and even this is not perfect) is SHU which stands for Scofield Heat Units, and is a much truer measure of effectiveness than "percentage".
It's also important to know that NO pepperspray, no matter how powerful , will stop every assailant. Below is a thread I started on this very subject. Everyone who wants to carry pepperspray should read it.

After you read it I'll give you a link to the Fox Company, which sells the strongest available pepperspray formula.


» Hello, brightnorm [ log out ] CandlePowerForums » Off Topic » Chit Chat » LEO'S & Security folks: How effective is pepper spray? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: LEO'S & Security folks: How effective is pepper spray?
brightnorm
Flashaholic
Member # 767
posted 11-16-2001 09:58 PM
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Is pepper spray really effective?(actually a stream, based on what I've seen) This is slightly off-topic of lights, but I work at night and feel relatively secure walking home with my Asp Taclite and Mace brand 10% pepper spray. Am I kidding myself?
Brightnorm


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webley445
Flashaholic
Member # 896
posted 11-16-2001 10:13 PM
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The percentage ratings on the label has nothing to do with the effectiveness/strength of the pepper sray. Look for the "S.H.U." rating somewhere on the label/canister. Find one that has a rating of 1.5 (million) and upward. This relates to the actual strength of the agent.
I'm sure there are others who can explain it better than I. Also you have to consider what are you looking to defend yourself from?
If you're worried about whacked out, drug-crazed maniacs, then maybe a bazooka would be better. Or, if like myself you worry about a mugging or a random act of street violence then the spray is not a bad choice, the element of surprise will be most helpful too. Don't let them know you got it, and when you have to, blast it in their face. After which you should rely on my tried and true ultimate defence tactic, RUN LIKE A HELL!!
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Posts: 13 | From: Tampa | Registered: Nov 2001 | IP: Logged

brightnorm
Flashaholic
Member # 767
posted 11-17-2001 12:09 AM
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Sounds good.
BN


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Posts: 237 | From: | Registered: Oct 2001 | IP: Logged

brightnorm
Flashaholic
Member # 767
posted 11-17-2001 12:14 AM
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I looked for the S.H.U. rating and could not find it. This is "Pepperguard" manufactured by the Mace corporation.
BN


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Unicorn
Flashaholic
Member # 44
posted 11-17-2001 12:16 AM
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Actually 2 million Scoville Heat Units or SHI is even better than 1.5 million. The SHU is the measure of "hotness" if you will. The percentage has more to do with how long it will affect the person. Basically pay no attention to it. The Mace brand is pretty good at 2 million SHU. There are actually 4 types of delivery systems. Stream, fog, cone shaped spray, and foam. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages.
Streams have a bit more distance, especially in the smaller containers, can be aimed at just one person, are the most wind resistant, and are good indoors and out. However they only affect the eyes of the target, there is very little inhalation. They also have to be aimed more than the others. If you need to use it, keep it close and spray it in an "S" shaped pattern across the person's face and shoulders. This will help make sure that you get it into his eyes.
Fog is the best patter from large containers and outside. The larger container (2 oz.) ensures it has enough propellant to carry it at least 5 or 6 feet (2 meters or so). It is the easiest to hit the person in the face, and it will be inhaled, adding to it's effectiveness. However it is easily blown by the wind, and is not too good to use indoors.
A cone shaped spray is a compromise between the above two patterns. The larger droplets aren't as easily blow about by the wind, yet they can still be inhaled by the subject. It is less likely to be spread by a building's HVAC system. This is a pretty good compromise.
Foam is best for indoor use. It has the least chance of cross contamination. You can spray a person in a room, and not have to clear out everyone there. Unfortunately the foam has to get into the person's eyes.
I know that this has been long., but I want you to have an idea of what is out there so you can make up your mind based on your particular circumstances. Many people that sell it have no idea what they are talking about, and only wnat to make a sale.

Mace, Fox, ASP, Guardian, Punch, are all good quality brands, with a good reputation for quality. Keep away from the stuff you'll find in the grocery or auto parts sotres (unless they are a name brand). Replace it if you ever use it, and when it gets close to it's expiration date. Use the old cannister for practice.

Yes, it is effective, usually. Like anything else it's not 100%. Spray, move spray again if needed, and run like h3ll! Even if it's not totally effective it might make him not want to chase after you.


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Posts: 112 | From: Bellingham, WA | Registered: Sep 2000 | IP: Logged

brightnorm
Flashaholic
Member # 767
posted 11-17-2001 12:40 AM
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Thank you, Unicorn, for being so thorough and detailed. This is very helpful.
How did you find the SHU values of those brands?

Best regards,
Brightnorm


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Posts: 237 | From: | Registered: Oct 2001 | IP: Logged

LIGHT
Flashaholic
Member # 796
posted 11-17-2001 03:05 AM
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If you plan on using "Man in a Can" in a confrontation, I advise you to get the hell out of there as soon as possible. Pepper spray may make the assailant more aggressive. Some may even grow a tolerance for this stuff. Trust me, I know several PT instructors and classmates in the academy who actually get off on pepper spray. To give you an idea on what it feels like, if you haven't experimented already, it's like having your face melt for an hour or pressing two HOT irons on your face for a long period of time and when it dries up it reactivates the moment you step in the shower(Ahh, the memories...)
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Posts: 31 | From: California | Registered: Oct 2001 | IP: Logged

webley445
Flashaholic
Member # 896
posted 11-17-2001 07:45 AM
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quote:
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Originally posted by brightnorm:
Thank you, Unicorn, for being so thorough and detailed. This is very helpful.
How did you find the SHU values of those brands?

Best regards,
Brightnorm


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The rating should be printed on the unit or it's label. I would be wary if it's not on there.


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Posts: 13 | From: Tampa | Registered: Nov 2001 | IP: Logged

Joe Talmadge
Flashaholic
Member # 28
posted 11-17-2001 09:18 AM
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OC spray works on some people wonderfully, on others barely at all. I would consider it like having a good left jab (or maybe a good straight right). You might get lucky and knock someone down with it, but more likely it will open up an opportunity for you to do something else ... like run, or follow up with a strike, etc. I use Fox Labs OC, at 5 million SHU. From the threads I've been reading, guys in law enforcement seem to think this stuff is a lot more effective than its 2 million SHU cousins. I'd prefer a cone spray but the Fox Labs units are streams.
The taclite isn't going to stop anyone, but it's still useful. It can temporarily blind someone, allow you to identify threats, etc. Again, good left jab. Just don't depend on it knocking someone down or out.

In regards to your last question, I think you're better prepared than the vast majority of people, and perhaps the best thing the light and OC spray could do is keep you aware of your surroundings. But if you think those things will keep you safe, without proper awareness and fighting skills, and a more serious defensive weapon, then I do think you're kidding yourself.

Joe


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Posts: 78 | From: Silican Valley, CA | Registered: Aug 2000 | IP: Logged

brightnorm
Flashaholic
Member # 767
posted 11-17-2001 09:54 AM
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Joe T. I admit I felt slightly let down after reading your excellent and knowledgeable response, because I'm wondering what to do now. I'm in my mid-sixty's, not in the greatest health, and I live in a city with the strictest gun laws in the country. I mean STRICT!
My self-defense options seem to be very limited; even my ability to "run like hell" is impossible due to back injuries. I thought about stun guns, but they require close contact and I could imagine zapping myself.

Some people have suggested that OC spray can be a liability because it may merely enrage some people. Your point about increased awareness is well taken, and maybe that should be my main focus.

I'd be grateful for any other ideas you might have for me.

Thanks again, and thanks to all who responded

Best regards,
Brightnorm


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Brock
Administrator
Member # 4
posted 11-17-2001 10:16 AM
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moving to chit-chat
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Brock - my led site and flashlight site


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kogatana
Flashaholic
Member # 581
posted 11-17-2001 12:49 PM
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Here is a useful web page about chemical "weapons" such as pepper spray.
Here is that Fox Labs web page.
Here is an informative page on the Scoville Heat Rating System.
Here is a web page discussing pepper spray as a Focus on Use of Force.
Here is a flashlight/pepper spray combo.
The type or kind of pepper also determines the intensity of the spray. Certain peppers ar just plain hotter that others. I don't carry pepper spray "on-body" as other force options are available to me. I carry a large cannister in my vehicle. The same can be found in my wife's car and in my house.

Pepper spray, like any other "instrument" or tool, should be considered as "part of" rather than the "be all." Incorporate it into your inventory, get training, a permit if necessary, and get professional legal advise on its usage.

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

Best Regards,
KT



"Count it the greatest sin to prefer life to honor, and for the sake of living to lose what makes life worth living." -Unknown


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brightnorm
Flashaholic
Member # 767
posted 11-17-2001 06:11 PM
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Koga,
Thanks very much for your response and those links. Based on your experience, is a good, high SHU OC spray effective in the majority of cases? Unfortunately, it may have to be my primary defense tool.

Best regards,
Brightnorm


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kogatana
Flashaholic
Member # 581
posted 11-17-2001 06:28 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by brightnorm:
Koga,
Thanks very much for your response and those links. Based on your experience, is a good, high SHU OC spray effective in the majority of cases? Unfortunately, it may have to be my primary defense tool.

Best regards,
Brightnorm


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It depends on what you consider "effective." I've not been a heavy or frequent user of sprays. I've them only on five occassions since 1980; four on 2-legged miscreants and once on a very aggressive, 150-lb. Rottweiler. On the first 4 events, I used a belt carryable OC (pepper) cannister. All 4 ended up coughing for at least 1/2 hour; plenty of time to subdue each of them. On the 5th event, I used a 1-pound Magnum cannister that I normally keep in the car. The overzealous canine had to be taken to a vet for treatment. The owner threatened to press charges on me. I showed the owner the options; the OC spray or a full magazine of Federal's 230-grain, .45 Hydra-Shok. He thanked me for caring enough to use the pepper spray.

If you have to carry OC, get the most potent stuff. Do the reasearch. Carry the biggest cannister you can comfortably have on your person. Have a magnum cannister backup.

Stay safe.

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

Best Regards,
KT



"Count it the greatest sin to prefer life to honor, and for the sake of living to lose what makes life worth living." -Unknown


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Joe Talmadge
Flashaholic
Member # 28
posted 11-17-2001 08:25 PM
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At this point, nothing has higher SHU than Fox, from what I know. I've seen several LEOs say they gave up on OC spray after experiences with lesser sprays, but Fox makes it interesting again.
Note that there have been tests where civilians were told to try to accomplish a specific task, then sprayed with OC. When given a task, even civilians almost always complete the task, even after being sprayed with OC. Many people who have been sprayed with OC were just shot in the face, and then relate how they were unable to "do anything". But being goal-focused makes all the difference. If the same guy has a guy, he can take the OC and keep going. This is important implications for self-defense use An angry criminal can often be goal-focused. That means he might be able to grab you and hurt you before he succumbs to the OC, unless you take further defensive steps.

Another important factor is that most of our feedback is from LEOs. In the LEO case, a criminal who has been sprayed with OC and is in pain, knows that if he continues, he could get shot. And furthermore, often combativeness with LEOs is based on pride, just a way to get respect from the cops. He often isn't goal-focused on hurting the cops, just being a pain the *** -- again, in that case, he might as well just give in once OCed, having already made his point.

For civilians, I believe all of this means that we can't expect to see the same results as LEOs.. That doesn't mean most people won't drop like a rock from OC. It just means that some won't, and for those, we need a backup plan. Running is good, if you've got the option. Just moving "off line" after spraying might be enough to keep an OC-blinded bad guy from just running straight into you. Having a more serious self-defense implement, like a knife, for any follow-up aggression isn't a bad idea. Unfortunately, it sounds like that's not an option for brightnorm.

Joe

JADUN, Here's the FOX LABS Site.

web page

Good luck.

Brightnorm
 

Quickbeam

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Just an opinion here, at least twice in this thread I see people saying the Brinkmann LX switch is "too stiff", "too hard", etc.. IMHO, this is not true.

My wife uses the light with no problem, clicking it all the way on and off. Although it may be more stiff than other lights people here have used, let's not make a sweeping statement like "it's too stiff". If it were less "stiff" there would be too great of a chance of it coming on by accident in luggage/backpack/etc. I'll bet most of the people who say it's too stiff first test a surefire and then immediately test the LX. Yes it's more stiff, but appropriately so. After all, it's a switch, not a momentary-on tailcap.

The switch turns the light on in "momentary" mode when it's half way down. If you're going to "visually stun" someone with the light, turn it on in "momentary" mode by depressing the switch partially. This action requires less pressure than clicking the switch. This is the same as what you would be doing with a Surefire - momentary on. You're not going to need to click the light all the way on.

When I go out walking at night with my wife I carry a 2 oz. Fox Labs spray and the Legend LX set to a tight focus. You can buy Fox Labs products here:
http://www.selfdefenseproducts.com

Make sure it's legal in your area - some places have restrictions on the size container you can carry as well.
 

aksim

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Joined
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Messages
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A little off base but Iwould like to see a pepper spray shaped more like a small pistol with a stronger steam, to me that would be more natural to aim. That combined with a blinding flashlight would be pretty effective combination.
 

Quickbeam

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>A little off base but I would like to see a pepper spray shaped more like a small pistol with a stronger steam, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Search yahoo for "pepper spray gun" (keep the quotes). You'll find a bunch of sites selling them.

pistolguard.jpg


Sorry for the "off topic".

Here's one with a (rather pathetic looking) flashlight on top...

index1.jpg
 

brightnorm

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Messages
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Size15s
Moderator
Member # 24
posted 12-07-2001 04:03
That's a pretty long post. Maybe it would be better to link to other threads in the future rather then copy them?
Al
_____________________________________________

You're right, Al. I'll do that next time. By the way, can you tell me how to paste quotes from other posts in bold type? I tried pressing the Bold button but I haven't had success.

Thanks,
Brightnorm
 

recercare

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A guy I know did an experiment. He asked his friend to attack at night. It turned out that the Surefires with 65 lumens were not good enough for selfdefence. The 8NX was satisfactory and the M3 was brilliant. So, i guess everything more than 100 lumen (with tight focus) should be good enough as a defence tool.
 

aksim

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Messages
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Can you give me a list between Stream Light and Sure Fire torches that you would say are roughly comparable in output? Very interesting info so far. Thanks a bunch!
 

pec50

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This idea is a bit far flung, but how about using something as simple as a flashbulb -- remembering Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcock's Back Window -- or electronic flash. It might an interesting project to link the trigger of the spray with a simultaneous flash.
 

aksim

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Not to far from what I had thought. Add the ablity to strobe.
There are laser flash lights out there that are used for temp blinding. Search for dissuader flash light. It is a red laser. I have seen one with a green laser, that the recipient of the light is only supposed to be able to see a green wall of light. Even though these are supposed to be eye safe not sure I would be willing to try them on myself. Hundreds of dollars.
 

vcal

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In 1985 I saw a 3" diameter self-defense device in a catalog that used 2-AA batts. and 4 Sylvania Flashcubes that could be discharged singly or all 4 together
shocked.gif

-Anybody else remember that one??
 
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