Why have a light on your Shotgun?

This is a discussion on Why have a light on your Shotgun? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have a light on my HD SG because I must always identify my target....

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Thread: Why have a light on your Shotgun?

  1. #16
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    I have a light on my HD SG because I must always identify my target.

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    And when you turn on the lights after blasting the intruder, you see your son laying there on the floor after he was trying to sneak back in the house, after sneaking out to go party while you were asleep. Won't that be a nice surprise?

    Ever hear that you always make a positive ID before you pull the trigger? Sound familiar?

    The criminals don't give a crap at who they shoot at. As a law abiding citizen you are accountable for every shot you make. If that puts you at a disadvantage at certain times, that's the way it goes.

    Besides, a quick flash from a 500 lumen white light to the eyes in a dark environment is going to blind the crap out of the target giving you an advantage.

    There's no rule that says you have to turn it on and walk around the house with it on like you're looking for your lost dog or something. That's why most tactical lights have momentary switches on them. It's up to you to learn how to use the light to your tactical advantage. Most people will take a "low light" shooting course that teaches you how to utilize the light to maximum tactical advantage.
    All situations are different for HD. Someone as yet unknown already left my son lying on the floor and is still out there walking around 8yrs later. Theres nobody in my home but the wife and I. Hence I have the luxury of not worrying about who it is at night that creeped into my home. If they are there uninvited legally they are paid for and personally they are toast.
    If I still had kids coming and going it would be different so Im not saying nobody should be identifying just to clear that up. In my situation at home, you break in after dark your paid for and you better bring your A game. You being a generic term of course.

  4. #18
    Senior Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost1958 View Post
    All situations are different for HD. Someone as yet unknown already left my son lying on the floor and is still out there walking around 8yrs later. Theres nobody in my home but the wife and I. Hence I have the luxury of not worrying about who it is at night that creeped into my home. If they are there uninvited legally they are paid for and personally they are toast.
    If I still had kids coming and going it would be different so Im not saying nobody should be identifying just to clear that up. In my situation at home, you break in after dark your paid for and you better bring your A game. You being a generic term of course.

    Sounds like you’ve got nothing worth loosing………..


    Because when you “pop” that neighborhood kid that’s “paid for” and you didn’t bother to ID as a serious threat or not, some half-assed lawyer is going to take everything that kid might have taken and then some. The odds are it will go to at least a DA, you will need to hire an attorney, and it will cost more than whatever some idiot may have run off with.

    I have no love for any chucklehead that may breaking in or accidentally wander into my house, but I do have a great interest in preserving what is mine. Seems like there’s reoccurring news stories about somebody popping somebody that was “paid for” and it turns out its some relative or friend.

    Here in KS we have the Castle Doctrine, but to my knowledge it hasn’t really been tested yet. Regardless of the law, the DA will decide what to bring to up for an indictment, and popular opinion usually plays a roll. Like it or not, the chit-head that broke into your place will later be portrayed as either a saint, or an about to be saint. And if the DA or prosecutor can get cool statements like:

    If they are there uninvited legally they are paid for and personally they are toast.
    Guess who’s going to get “paid for”.

    Chuck
    homo homini lupus est

  5. #19
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    So you can watch the BG PEE himself at night.
    I live alone right now,so anybody besides me and my doggie in the house is a BG,MY STATE LAWS say I can shoot anybody that has unlawfully entered my residence.
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    All of the above having been said - members SHOULD practice moving about their home in darkness. It CAN give you a powerful advantage to know your home intimately in the dark ~ especially when any intruder will be completely alien to your home and his surroundings.
    I can navigate my whole 2-story house in total darkness. I must have the element of surprise on intruders. Just me and the wifey in the same bed so any other person in my house is dead.

  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
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    Here's the thing about having a tac light on your weapon: You don't HAVE to use it! If you want to move in darkness, go for it, but the surprise of a strobe hitting someone full in the face when you do acquire your target has many benefits. It stuns the intruder momentarily. It blinds him. It illuminates your sight picture, both the adversary and your sights. It allows you to clearly and decisively identify the threat before shooting, which will cover your behind in court later on. I guarantee if you have to take a shot, you'll have better accuracy with a light shining on the target than you will shooting at a moving silhouette you can half-see in the dark.
    PAPADALE1, Tally XD, OD* and 1 others like this.
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  8. #22
    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    I second the above. You can have it there and choose to use it or not. I prefer to have it there in case I need it. Pressure switch on the forend.
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  9. #23
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    I must recant the "total darkness" remark because there are street lights porch lights, appliance lights and moon light sometimes that assist me in seeing in my house at night. One thing for sure any person in my house after we are in bed is a target. A silhouette is a very easy target with the Mossy 18.5" barrel 12ga. w/#2 shot. If the power is out i will be wishing i had a light on that mutha. Good points GlassWolf.

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    a light on a shotgun is a good thing. you don't have to use it. but you have it when you need it. so there is no reason not to have one.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

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  11. #25
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    I can't believe the responses here advocating no light. I don't care who you are or where you live, a light is an advantage. If you don't need it at the time, don't activate it.

    I've been the victim of a home invasion (attempted), and seeing who I was pointing my gun at was a good thing. I've yet to meet anyone that has attended any close quarters or low light training that has said the light is coming off of their gun when they get home.

    I understand some reasoning in this thread, but I disagree. A light is essential in low light, no matter what. Handheld or weapon mounted doesn't matter.
    Olduser, varob, Fitch and 1 others like this.
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  12. #26
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    One thing you DONT want to do is repeatedly shoot that shotgun with a light mounted on it. If you have one on there and want to go play with it, take it off. When you are done shooting, put it back on.

    Shotguns are hard on lights. That recoil will break the filaments in those bulbs in short order.

    I know of several incidents where shotguns with mounted lights on them did not work after being shot at qualifications. It's day time. You shoot. You qualify. You put shotgun back in car. You pull it out two months later on a felony stop out in the country where you need all the light you can get and it dosent work when you expect it to.

    Or you and your buddies go shoot some stuff on the weekend and you get home and put it where it belongs. You here a bump in the night, grab the shotgun and the light dont work.

    Awkward situation.
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  13. #27
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    I feel like some of the confusion would be lifted if you could see how a flashlight like a SureFire performs in the dark. It's definitely not a Maglite. From experience, if your eyes (or the BG's eyes) are adjusted for the dark and you get a light directly into their eyes they won't be seeing anything for at LEAST a few seconds. That's critical moments. The D-battery Maglites I've seen -- including the one my mom used to carry in her car that was about a foot long and could be used as a club -- were like weak candles in comparison.

  14. #28
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    One thing you DONT want to do is repeatedly shoot that shotgun with a light mounted on it. If you have one on there and want to go play with it, take it off. When you are done shooting, put it back on.

    Shotguns are hard on lights. That recoil will break the filaments in those bulbs in short order.

    I know of several incidents where shotguns with mounted lights on them did not work after being shot at qualifications. It's day time. You shoot. You qualify. You put shotgun back in car. You pull it out two months later on a felony stop out in the country where you need all the light you can get and it dosent work when you expect it to.

    Or you and your buddies go shoot some stuff on the weekend and you get home and put it where it belongs. You here a bump in the night, grab the shotgun and the light dont work.

    Awkward situation.
    This is so true. After mounting my Surefire forend light on my SG , took it out, shot it, and the bulb was blown. I had to switch to a LED bulb and have had no trouble since then.
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
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  15. #29
    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck R. View Post
    Sounds like you’ve got nothing worth loosing………..


    Because when you “pop” that neighborhood kid that’s “paid for” and you didn’t bother to ID as a serious threat or not, some half-assed lawyer is going to take everything that kid might have taken and then some. The odds are it will go to at least a DA, you will need to hire an attorney, and it will cost more than whatever some idiot may have run off with.

    I have no love for any chucklehead that may breaking in or accidentally wander into my house, but I do have a great interest in preserving what is mine. Seems like there’s reoccurring news stories about somebody popping somebody that was “paid for” and it turns out its some relative or friend.

    Here in KS we have the Castle Doctrine, but to my knowledge it hasn’t really been tested yet. Regardless of the law, the DA will decide what to bring to up for an indictment, and popular opinion usually plays a roll. Like it or not, the chit-head that broke into your place will later be portrayed as either a saint, or an about to be saint. And if the DA or prosecutor can get cool statements like:



    Guess who’s going to get “paid for”.

    Chuck
    To quote a famous line. Im not in Kansas. In my state the mere fact of being faced with an intruder in my home at night was legal grounds for lethal force without checking to see if the intruder is armed or identify him long before there was discussion of a castle doctrine. It was and is simply state law.
    As I said every HD situation is different. I live in the sticks there are no neighborhood kids to be roaming into my house by accident for miles and miles. If someone is in my home at night breaking in they made a concentrated effort to find the place for one and to get in for the other.

    Im not blood thirsty. I have helped the occasional night hunter that was lost but knew me. And even the wandering drunk a few times though very carefully. Those have been few and far between and each one already knew me and were loudly announcing who they were as they came to the house.

    Unlike KS i guess, here no home owner has been even tried for a lethal force response to a person breaking into their home at night. Or detained for that matter to my knowledge.

    Since paid for seems to offend some I will rephrase. In my state where I live, one breaking into a locked home, at night, has crossed a legal line and has no defense for what happens to him/her from that point on. They do not have to be armed, or identified. the law stating that a home owner or resident has grounds to fear for their life simply due to that action alone and entitled to respond with lethal force. It was that way here before Castle doctrine and is simply a fact.

    I am not advocating doing as I do. I know where I live what the laws are. What my particular situation is personally and my homes tactical situation. Since 2005 I have made a concerted effort to know. I would be an idiot not to.

    I did not say I would make no effort to identify but I wont give an intruder the upper hand doing so in my home by flicking a light on and off that is attached to my firearm which is in front of me. I dont need to in my home to get around and see well enough to find someone.

    Nor did I say i dont have a light but that i do not want it attached to my gun. If you have had more than basic low light training then you know there are a myriad of ways to use a light other than attached to a firearm that doesnt give away exactly where you are. If you want a light on your firearm please do. I dont.

    Away from my home then everything is different. There still is no duty to retreat and that has been tested here several times. That said outside of my home there is likely not a member here that is more careful about living up to the responsibilities of cc. I am not Rambo and I would never want to kill anyone given a choice. Even in my home I will make a verbal attempt from cover once ive located them and have the advantage to see who it is but with no response all bets are off. If there is that kind of time in the encounter.
    I refuse to lose another loved one to a murderer that I know is still out there. I wont apologize for that nor do i think i should be expected too. If you do then thats your opinon. And I respect it. But it is after all just that. An opinion. Based on your life and experience. Not mine.

  16. #30
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    I didn't read the other responses as I'm sure it'll do nothing but make my blood pressure rise. A WML is not a flashlight and should not be used as such. Follow that advice solves all the the naysayers concerns.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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