Pistol lights

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by R65, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. R65

    R65 New Member

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    I want to read some discussion on pistol lights. I have been back and forth on this and need some feedback.

    At the root, they are designed to provide light to the target. while there are many brands, they all do the same thing. Obviously one wouldn't carry with one of these, home defense is in mind. Bedside arm is a Glock22 and Maglite. I want (not sure I need) a pistol mounted light to free a hand. Bright? Yes! they are. Cool and fun?sure. But what your thoughts on them? i am not usually in a tactical situation so what do you think about them?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    R65,
    There are several manufacturers of lights that mount on an accessory rail for a handgun. I think these are the most effective. They can be mounted or dismounted quickly and easily. They illuminate a target nicely.

    Some people don't like them because they don't like using their guns as flashlights (don't point a weapon at something you don't intend to shoot). That's fine. As I said above, they come off quickly and easily and can be used as hand-held lights (that are very compact, yet still very bright).

    And, they can be carried. Holster manufacturers make separate holsters for just the light, or for guns with lights mounted on them. If you carry a lot at night, you may want to think about it.
     

  3. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    This is nothing more than my personal experience and opinion, so it is worth what you have paid for it.

    I always use a separate flashlight. I did when I was a police officer, and now I keep a big metal 4 D cell Maglight that I can use at night separate from the gun. It is just my personal preference.

    I have one of those little Surefire lights, but I found the battery discharge to be pretty quick and unreliable, leaving you without a light. I rarely use it. One of the rechargeable ones would be better.

    I kept the light separate, because most of the situations where I am using it, I am not about to shoot someone - thus I should not necessarily be pointing. If I apprehend a potential gunshot my way, I am able to keep the light far away from my heaed and torso by extending my arm. In the darkness, your assailant cannot see you behind the light.

    My last reason is that I can use the light to illuminate both the target and my sights.

    Well, those are my reasons. Many of you may find them a little silly, but it is what I found worked for me and made me more comfortable.

    O:)
     
  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    The little Surefure light did help me one time, though. I used to keep it in my jacket pocket in the winter time. A guy bolted from his car as we were stopping one night, so quickly that as I was trying to get out of my car I forgot to undo the seatbelt, and, since my car had not yet come to a complete stop, the door went forward as I stopped and then bounced back on my legs, which were outside (the rest of me was unexpectedly seatbelted to the seat).

    Once I got the seatbelt untangled, I ran after the guy behind this house in pitch black darkness. It was a little rainy, so there was not even so much as a star in the sky.

    As I rounded the corner, I hit a very slippery patch of mud and went sprawling out across the yard, covering myself in mud and losing my large flashlight. The light went out, and I was covered in mud. I scrambled around in the darkness, feeling around in the mud for the light, a little scared because I could not see the guy I had chased. Luckily, I had not drawn my gun, so it was still in the holster.

    I then remembered my little Surefire light, and took it out of my pocket.

    :D

    The light allowed me to catch up the the guy and take him.

    Redundant systems are sometimes of great benefit in the real world.
     
  5. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    I do, too. It's bright, can double as a club, the batteries last a lot longer, and it's not a gun. I just have a Surefire, too.

    I have one, too. It's on the gun. It's there if I need it. If I don't need it, no harm done. They don't get in the way or anything.

    They can hog batteries. Mine also has some colored LEDs that can be turned on instead of the bright white light. They save on the batteries a lot, and aren't blinding in the dark. I don't use them often, either, but they are there.

    All good points. A flashlight and a gun light both are useful, and I don't necessarily think one is "better" than the other. They both have their places.

    Night sights. They're great.

    I don't think any of them are silly. Even if they weren't rational (they are), you have to use equipment that makes you comfortable.
     
  6. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    I am in the same position you are R65. I currently have my XD-40 and a large maglite beside the bed, but I have been looking at the various pistol lights.
    I have yet to make up my mind as to which brand of light to get. I did get some tritium night sights, however they only help aim in low light, they should not be used in complete darkness where you can't see what your target is.
     
  7. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    Bunny slippers and a lucky rabbit's foot. :D
     
  8. grayelky

    grayelky New Member

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    A lot of good points.

    I keep a high powered light next to the bed. It can be used to blind an intruder, as well as lighting up an entire room. I also live in a less populated area and if I need to go outside, I want to be able to see. I also like a light on my gun, thus the best of both worlds.

    Like so many other things, there are 2 schools of thought on holding your flashlight close or far. When LEOs first started using tactics w/ their lights, they were taught to hold them out to their side, so as to fool the bad guy and illuminate their sights a little. The bad guys sitting in prison and watching TV, and checking out training materials in their library, soon figured out what the cops were doing. Most of the cops were right handed, thus holding the light to the left of their body. The bad guys began shooting to the left of the light. This lead the LEO trainers to develop the current tactic of keeping the light in front of you, using a 2 handed hold. This will help to stabilize the weapon.

    The lights available today are easily 10 times brighter than the best available 25 years ago, thus justifying a change in tactics. The flashlight is now a viable defensive weapon. By hindering the bad guys' night vision, maybe, just maybe, the good guy will get an extra 1/2 second to save the tax payers the cost of a trial.
     
  9. ls1ssdavid

    ls1ssdavid New Member

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    Don't forget the intimidation factor. When you are going into a room that a potental badguy is in whether you are the assulting element or defending your own home. Using bright flashlights assist with the Shock and Awe method. And yes I belive it might just scare the enemy enough to get him not to be able to aquire you in his sights. However I would only use the mounted flashlight momentarily. It would not be smart to use any flashlight on constantly in any situation where the enemys position is unknown. :shock:

    Speaking in general... to me the idea of not liking pointing a gun at someone simply to use the flashlight to identify a target, is not a good reason not to have a rail system. Well isn't that the idea of having the light on the weapon? At least in a home defense application. And if you don't feel comfortable pointing a loaded gun at someone/something because it might go off... well then I don't know what to say... Maybe you should train more. But, yes in a police style application where you need a flashlight to look through vehicles, clothing, you would need a small handheld flashlight.

    The Streamlight M-3 (for my pistol) and the MX-3 (for a carbine) are the only mounted lights I have used. Both work very well. I have heard bad reviews from friends about the Glock brand rail light. Personally I would buy both rail and hand held tac lights :wink: .
     
  10. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I think, in darkness, it is better to blind the bad guy's night vision with the muzzle flash. :shoot:
     
  11. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    I just picked up StreamLight's M3. I was in North Metro Atlanta today on business and I wandered by Brigade Quartermasters on my round-about way home. :D

    They had 2 mockup glocks, one with a Streamlight and one with a SureFire (the one you see hammering nails in Gun Mag Ads) rail mounted lights.

    I got it for 2 reasons, the M3 is plasic and weighs less than the all metal SF. And the M3 was $115 and the SF was like $250 or so.
     
  12. parolebear

    parolebear New Member

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    M3

    Hi Gunstar1. I have the M3 mounted on my Glock 22. I love it. I also have a small (don't remember number) handheld streamlight that is great at night but I like two hands free if I have my pistol. I agree that you should not point at anything that you do not intent to shoot but that is why I have the handheld light. At night if I am looking for protection I do not want several things to fumble with. My opinion, like noses everyone has one and most smell.
     
  13. ffej

    ffej New Member

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    rail lights

    I found a great value on a rail light by Ledwave. It is the Ledwave Z-5 tactical rail light. I saw it at the show in Savannah for $89. I was not familiar with the product so I passed.
    Then I searched the web and found it on ebay new in box for $48.
    It is a great light. It has the standard momentary on and constant on toggle switch and is bright - 65 lumens (zenon bulb)and runs on 2 cr123a lithium batteries.
    I have run about 50 rounds through my .40 with the light on and it holds up well.
    I also have a streamlight small handheld xenon flashlight that I would carry as a backup if needed.
    Just my .02...
     
  14. grayelky

    grayelky New Member

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    I too, believe in blinding the bad guy, and I have no qualms with muzzle flash. I also believe the fastest shot is not always the best shot. A shot placed in the center mass is much more effective than a fast shot which blinds the bad guy with muzzle flash. By using a rail light or a hand held light, both can be accomplished. And, if God is ready for the bad guy, the cost of a trial will be saved.
     
  15. grayelky

    grayelky New Member

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    I just learned today, after telling a gentleman no one made a concealed carry holster for use w/ a mounted light, yes, there is one out there. And we had it in stock. :oops: Fobus makes a paddle holster for the Glock 19/23 that is open in the back so any rail light can stay mounted while it is being carried concealed. I do not know if they make the holster for other models and/or makes. I also learned Bianchi has just announced they are going to produce a concealed carry holster to be used w/ a rail mounted light. This has not been out long enough to even get an order placed.
    For what it may be worth.
     
  16. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    grayelky, it was a joke.

    :D
     
  17. grayelky

    grayelky New Member

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    My apologies. :oops: Obviously I need to spend more time on this forum! :)