Continuation of Nightstand Gun Thread

This is a discussion on Continuation of Nightstand Gun Thread within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; On the thread about Nightstand Guns I replied to a response that I think the subject belongs in this forum. So, in the interest of ...

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Thread: Continuation of Nightstand Gun Thread

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Continuation of Nightstand Gun Thread

    On the thread about Nightstand Guns I replied to a response that I think the subject belongs in this forum. So, in the interest of starting a more rousing discussion I thought I'd post it here for discussion.

    As some of you know, I am not a fan of lights on handguns. I have them on my longarms for ease of manipulating the light, as it takes two hands to operate the weapon and my third arm/hand I sadly was born without. I say sadly because I don't think any of us have a third arm/hand, but could sure use one at a time like this.

    Some will say that using a light on a handgun provides a great target for the badguy or badgal to shoot at. I do agree with that, to a point. Others will often argue that you give up your elemant of surprise. I don't buy this argument as I think once you shine your light on the uninvited guest, be it handheld or gun mounted, they have a great idea as to your location and you have given up your element of surprise. As for the bullets flying towards the light, I agree. People do shoot at the light and having it on the gun will cause them to shoot at your gun, but they are going to do that anyway in my opinion.

    It took me a long time to come around to Night Sights on handguns that are for defensive usage and some of you longterm readers may be aware of my dislike of lights mounted on handguns for searching. It is my contention that the gun mounted light should remain in the "OFF" position until you have used the handheld light, or other means, to determine that there is indeed a threat. Once that has been accomplished then it is time, often but not always, to drop the handheld light and illuminate the threat with the gun mounted light.

    Some of you will argue that you can illuminate a room by using the gun mounted light and still be safe and not aim your handheld weapon at anything that you are not willing to destroy. For 99.9% of the people, LEO or not, I am of the belief that this is folly. Some unknown reason has caused you to go search for the "bump in the night". If the situation is enough for you to have your weapon in your hand, the adrenaline level will already be increased, as is normal for times like this. I think increased adrenaline can best be described as stress.

    It's been said that under stress of the life threatening type we revert to our training, but our best day under life threatening moments will only be as good as our worst day in training. Using the "washover effect" of the weapon mounted light, while in theory is good, is not a tactic that I'm willing to bet on. 99% of us will point the gun, with the light on it, at whatever we think the threat is. If this is Grandma that just got up in the middle of the night to go potty I see the potential for some real tragedy here. This is where we get those stories of one family member shooting another one because they didn't identify their target prior to depressing the Trigger.

    While the Gun mounted light will identify the potential threat, it does nothing for not wanting to point a gun at something we are not willing to destroy. Another thing to keep in mind is the Startle Response Reflex. You are "startled" and one of the natural responses to that is to convulsively tighten you grip on the firearm. If you have your finger on the Trigger at a time like this you can be in a deep Doo Doo Hole.

    Some of you will respond that you train to keep your finger off the Trigger until you are ready to fire, as we all should. However it is my observation, myself included, that sometimes that finger has a way of making contact with the Trigger at times like this. Ask yourself how many times you have been "startled" by a family member or other non-threatening person. Now add darkness, a gun in your hand, and the belief that someone, uninvited, may be in your home. I hope you can all see the potential for some consequences that none of us ever intended.

    We all have to weigh the risk versus the possible reward. It is my contention that the risk of having a gun mounted light far outweighs the benefits until you have indeed verified that the unknown person is in fact an "uninvited guest" that merits a lethal response. I don't wish to start a symantics war here, but pointing a gun at another person is a lethal response, for ease of discussion.

    Originally Posted by ppkheat
    I have a G-19 with light/laser at my nightstand. It stays in the drawer during the day (no kids at my house) and I open the drawer at night and prop the grip up and on the edge of the drawer for easy reach......no fumbling.

    The other night I was home alone and nearly asleep, or maybe I was drifting off. We have an antique armoire in our bedroom and one of the doors on it creaked loudly and was clearly swinging open. I'm laying there thinking "I'm not believing this". I'm 99% sure it was "accidental", but the 1% uncertainty was going to keep me awake. In one easy swoop I had the g19 in my hand, light on and pointed at the armoire. Of course no one was there, but it turned out to be a good unexpected exercise.
    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    I am going to assume that you don't always live alone. If you do, then let this be a learning point, or not, for those that have others in their household. I'm not picking on you, but see a real chance for some unintended consequences here, and that is why I'm using your example. I hope you will bear with me, and not be offended.

    I seem to recall more than one wise old sage saying, "Know your target and what is behind it."

    Yes, it could've been an intruder in your home intent on doing you harm. In my case it could've also been the other person that has a set of keys to our house. It's her's, she just lets me think it's mine. What if she decided to come home early, and wasn't expected for another day or so, in order to suprise me?

    Your example is why I'm not much of a fan of lights on guns, and prefer the light that I'm searching with, or identifying the target with, to be in my support hand. The light on the gun is only for once I have verified that there is a threat there. I can turn on the gun mounted light and drop the handheld light at this point. I contend that it would've been safer if you had your hand on the gun, ready but with the barrel pointed in a safe direction, and the light in your off hand identifying the target.

    Good job keeping your finger off the trigger BTW. Lots of folks would've had to explain why the furniture has a hole in it that wasn't installed at the factory. Startle Reflex Response is a very real thing, and something to be aware of. It could've very easily have been tragic if it was a person that you knew, and maybe even love, that now has a perforation in a body part that the Good Lord didn't give them and they didn't pay to have pierced.

    I realize that we all try to balance being safe with being prepared in case the unthinkable happens, but sometimes you just have to play the cards you are dealt, good hand or bad. Take care and stay safe.

    Biker
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    In my house there are three people besides myself. My parents and my sister. Now I have to point out that I am quite heavily impaired visually without my contacts and, at least at the moment, do not have glasses. I can however readily recognize my family without my contacts. My mother has a particular gait and form, nothing like someone who'd be breaking into a house. She also would not be the one investigating a strange noise. My dad would be going to the closet, and he has his own identifying qualities. He's a heavyset, fairly short man whose left ankle pops pretty much every time he steps on it due to an old softball injury. My sister is a short, skinny 15 year old with long blonde hair who would be more likely to cower in the fetal position in her closet than investigate a strange noise.

    As for light, there is plenty of light coming in from the front from a streetlight which chines quite nicely through the windows. I would easily and readily recognize my family. I would not want a flashlight to give me away and feel that the ambient light from the street lamp in my particular case makes enough light for me.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Biker, this is a really touchy subject with some people. If I was smart, I would say pass the popcorn, but what the hell, Im always up for battle. So......here I go again.

    There used to be a technique we taught called Flash Target. This technique required the use of a flashlight in one hand and weapon in the other. The idea, was to use the stealth the darkness provided as natural concealment, and when you came upon what you thought was the perp, you would flash that area or person, while readying your weapon. If it was a false alarm, or nothing there, you would immediately turn the light off, quickly move your body or minimize it by squating down, and wait, and listen until continuing the search.

    If you did encounter a threat with the flash, you immediatlely minimized your body size by squating, as you aquired site picture and began deal with the threat. This training was to enhance the officer or agents chances of surviving if hit by a round, by the nature of minimizing your body thru size reduction and placing the heavy bone of the weak side arm over your ribs to protect the heart and lungs.
    I never hear of these techniques being taught anymore, and I still think they are superior to whats being taught now.

    To further stir it, I think its foolish to saunter down a dark hallway with a light shining at the end of your gun, any gun. Handy? Yes. Tactically smart, I dont think so.
    But its a great concept if you are coon hunting.

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    +1 on separate, handheld light.

    Bedside table has loaded handgun and separate flashlight.
    Wife and I only people in two-story house at night. If I hear noise anywhere in the house first thing I reflexively do I is reach to my left and touch my wife.

    If she's not there I reach for the flashlight only and shine it on the ceiling - that's enough to light up the entire room. I want to know where she is before I have the gun in my hand.

    If she is next to me when I hear the noise then I grab flashlight (but it stays off while I listen/study the noise) and the gun.
    "It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end"____Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    . . . . I never hear of these techniques being taught anymore, and I still think they are superior to whats being taught now.

    To further stir it, I think its foolish to saunter down a dark hallway with a light shining at the end of your gun, any gun. Handy? Yes. Tactically smart, I dont think so.
    But its a great concept if you are coon hunting.
    I heartily agree with you on Flash Target technique-excellent.
    As regards the bolded text above. I was taught to "let the trouble come to you" when you awake to noise in the house at night. . . and of course be prepared to deal with it if it does come to you!!
    "It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end"____Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

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    I have a light/laser on my nightstand gun also. I dont agree with walking around the house searching while using it so i have a surefire e2d for that. One trick i heard of was to have the handheld light in your off hand and extend it as far out as your arm can reach. If the bg shoots at the light, it is actually 3 ft away from your body. Of course this would only really be effective in total darkness and if you are shining right in the bg's face to blind him. I personally would keep the light off until i saw a possible threat(given i have enough natural light to see anything), then flash them to identify, then the weapon light comes on and i shoot at the little red dot.

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    Member Array Trav's Avatar
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    And of course this is situation based. If my door gets kicked in then i will have my weopon light on until the bg is down.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I think we have traded skills for equipment. The mission of an entry team are different than Joe Public. These cool lasers and weapon mounted lights are great for the operator who is also wearing kevlar helmets, and vests, has 4 people behind him covering all 4 corners of the room as they go in, and has EMS parked outside ready to tend you if you get hit, but fir reral people in real world home invasion encounters, it is detrimental to use these same weapon mounted gadgets, unless you purchased the vest and helmet with the weapon mounted light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I think we have traded skills for equipment. The mission of an entry team are different than Joe Public. These cool lasers and weapon mounted lights are great for the operator who is also wearing kevlar helmets, and vests, has 4 people behind him covering all 4 corners of the room as they go in, and has EMS parked outside ready to tend you if you get hit, but fir reral people in real world home invasion encounters, it is detrimental to use these same weapon mounted gadgets, unless you purchased the vest and helmet with the weapon mounted light.
    if it's a home invasion, as in rapid forcible entry by one or several, the only weapon mounted gadget I'll be using is the trigger on my Benelli M4 12 Ga.
    "It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end"____Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519

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    there is a tendency of too many people to gadgetize their guns. the only things I have added to any gun were grips to my security six and 1911, and a standard guide rod instead of a full length guide rod in my 1911. Anything else is not nessacery
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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    My home isn't absolutely pitch black at night. I can still see enough to make out a person. If my wife is next to me in bed, we're both arming ourselves. I have a light on my pistol, and a surefire next to it. If someone is in my house, I'll be able to see their silhouette. Then I will use the light to blind them and illuminate them. I will identify before shooting, but it's not detrimental. No one has access to my home other than my wife and myself. They don't belong there, they won't be leaving on their feet.
    -Ryan

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I prefer my light separate, relative to handguns.

    Gman,
    I think that the arm over the chest technique went away when vests came into vogue. I keep my vest next to the bed at night.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    I prefer my light separate, relative to handguns.

    Gman,
    I think that the arm over the chest technique went away when vests came into vogue. I keep my vest next to the bed at night.
    Exactlly! Thats what concerns me. Good folks out here who are not LE paying good money to get training that is not put together with them in mind. Its just all about making money. They just copy the latest tactics and perscribe the latest equipment used by LE and sell it. If it works for LE, its got to be the best tactics for them, right?

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    Distinguished Member Array GunGeezer's Avatar
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    If I hear noise anywhere in the house first thing I reflexively do I is reach to my left and touch my wife.

    EXACTLY!

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Exactlly! Thats what concerns me. Good folks out here who are not LE paying good money to get training that is not put together with them in mind. Its just all about making money. They just copy the latest tactics and perscribe the latest equipment used by LE and sell it. If it works for LE, its got to be the best tactics for them, right?
    To a significant extent, what you say is true. Even within LE, there is often a great deal of difference between how a tac team and a one man unit alone, which is closer to a homeowner, would handle different situations. I'll leave it at that as I don't want to derail the thread any more.

    Back on topic, I believe that with a hangun a separate light provides more flexibility than an attached light. I put considerable value in flexibility.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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