Thoughts on reasons NOT to have a tac light

This is a discussion on Thoughts on reasons NOT to have a tac light within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi all. I am just looking for input/opinions from you on reasons why not to use tac lights. I've seen a large and continually growing ...

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Thread: Thoughts on reasons NOT to have a tac light

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Thoughts on reasons NOT to have a tac light

    Hi all. I am just looking for input/opinions from you on reasons why not to use tac lights. I've seen a large and continually growing group that either carry tac lights on their person or mount them on their weapons. I do see that they can be useful in SOME situations which is why I have chosen to carry one on my person for those rare occassions. I do however, have a problem with mounting one on a weapon ...especially if I'm using it within my own property. The problem I see is two-fold:
    1. If you're in your own home/property most likely you know the layout pretty well and it would serve as a tactical advantage to you to leave all lights out in a home invasion scenario;
    2. I don't know about anyone else, but if I am blinded by someone's tac light in a firefight, the first thing I'm going to be shooting for is that tac light (with the full expectation that their is a PERSON BEHIND IT!).


    Anyone else have any thoughts on this or possibly point out the errors of my ways? Am I the only one that's thought about this?

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    if your in your house its one thing like on bed side table etc etc..

    I wouldnt carry ne with me for the gun i would carry a g-2 or another surefire or other make..

    One reason i will pass on having them on gun is true or not seems lots of people will shoot at the light and though slim there is a chance it could hit the gun ..

    Hey my cousin was shot by his partner before he could identify him self she was shooting at the light to .. funny the narc dog is is partner now

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    if by " tac light " you mean a flash light well there is no reason not to have one , but if you mean hanging a " porch light " off a pistol i have yet to find a reason to have one lol
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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    I don't have a light mounted on my gun. I carry it. I really like having my E2D. I was missing it last night when I was using the L2 ( I now officially hate that light) and all I could see were eyes. Expecting a rabbit I told the dog to get it. It was a possum. Didn't really want the dog tangling with a possum so I had to go basically get between them and run the dog off. If I had my E2D I would have easily identified it as a possum and would not have sent the dog. The L2 is now retired to the bedroom to look under the bed for stuff.

    Live and learn.

    -Scott-

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    Member Array sarhog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova
    1. If you're in your own home/property most likely you know the layout pretty well and it would serve as a tactical advantage to you to leave all lights out in a home invasion scenario;
    2. I don't know about anyone else, but if I am blinded by someone's tac light in a firefight, the first thing I'm going to be shooting for is that tac light (with the full expectation that their is a PERSON BEHIND IT!).


    Anyone else have any thoughts on this or possibly point out the errors of my ways? Am I the only one that's thought about this?
    Both of those reasons ignores rule #4, always be sure of your target and what's behind it.
    While I agree that having a home field advantage, darkness is your friend. At some point though, I think you need to positively identify your target, thus the need for a flashlight.
    That is also one of the reasons I don't choose to use a weapon mounted light on my pistol, it requires you to point in on a "target" prior to identifying it as a target.
    Good luck.
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    Member Array Kobun's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by sarhog
    That is also one of the reasons I don't choose to use a weapon mounted light on my pistol, it requires you to point in on a "target" prior to identifying it as a target.
    The best use of a weapon mounted light is to shine the light at the ceiling or walls. Unless you have extremely dark walls, the light will bounce and light up the rest of the room.
    If you see a BG, then you can redirect your light into their eyes while also covering them with your gun.

    With the light on your gun it also frees up one hand to you can call the cops.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott
    It was a possum. Didn't really want the dog tangling with a possum so I had to go basically get between them and run the dog off.
    Better a possum than Pepe LePew, or Mr. Fragrant!

    I see no need for a gun mounted light myself, but do have my eye on one for other "stuff".

  9. #8
    Member Array JFreuler's Avatar
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    Weapon mounted lights have their uses. For home defense situations I think they are a very useful tool. It helps in identifing your target. Also in most situations when you put a bright enough light in someones face at intimate distances their first reaction is to turn their face away from the source. This short period of time gives the end user time to identify the target and take the appropriate action.
    Ain't no one getting out of this world alive. All you can do is try to have some choice in the way you go. Prepare yourself (and your affairs), and when your number is up, die on your feet fighting rather than on your knees. And make the SOBs pay dearly."
    The Reaper-3 Sep 04

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    For home defense situations I think they are a very useful tool. It helps in identifing your target
    This is exacly where i have issues with a mounted light , with an inexperianced user ( and with most experianced ) this leads to " glassing the area" with the muzzle , not a good idea imho. We are not a team doing a no knock , and if your going to argue its the same need clearing your house go get and maintain the same level of training that a tac team has to .. do weapon mounted lights have a use .. YES howeaver for Joe Q citizen they are a bigger danger than they are a tool .. just my opinion and i been wrong before LOL
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

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    Member Array JFreuler's Avatar
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    With all tools that involve deadly weapons there should come training if you are going to use them correctly. Sure they are other alternatives. If you are using a weapon mounted light you should also have a hand held to sweep or clear the areas that you do not want to sweep with your muzzle.
    Ain't no one getting out of this world alive. All you can do is try to have some choice in the way you go. Prepare yourself (and your affairs), and when your number is up, die on your feet fighting rather than on your knees. And make the SOBs pay dearly."
    The Reaper-3 Sep 04

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    I use a weapon mounted light. For me the positive outweight the negative.

    1. frees up a hand (pistol mount)
    2. used as a flash or strobe you minimize your location
    3. positive target ID
    4. intimidation, blinding light helps to disorient.
    I use a dog to help secure the house so anything she is growling at will not be friendlies. Also good trigger disipline is important while using a weapon mounted light.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    I have one on my shotgun and one that fits either of my pistols. As rocky does, I have a pretty good guard dog in the house at night and if she's growling/barking it ain't gonna be me, the wife or the kid, and thats the only 2-legged animals that better be in my house.
    Now, would I turn them on constant to check on a bump in the night...no. I have some blue night lights strategically placed that will come on with motion (in case the dog is having a really good dream and fails to alert lol) and any scumbag will be back lit giving me the advantage. But I have the tac lights to use in case I need them.
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  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    I'll throw in my usual comment on tac lights - "Do the light switches in your house work?"

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    I post here infrequently so I hope all of you will indulge my thoughts on the subject. The weapon-mounted light (WML) has to be one of the most, if not the most, misunderstood/maligned pieces of equipment. Having spent a good portion of my entire adult life preparing to fight in a low-light environment I am convinced of the WML's utility. When employed properly it is an awesome tool. As the debate seems to hinge around the employment of WMLs on handguns, I will focus on their use with a handgun though much of the information pertains to WMLs on shoulder weapons as well. Let me begin by addressing some of the more common negative comments regarding WMLs:

    1. It violates Rule #3: Never allow your muzzle to cover anything you are not willing to destroy. I would submit that if I have accounted for all of my loved ones (which is the first thing I do when the proverbial "something goes bump in the night") then I am willing to destroy anyone whom I find uninvited in my home. If it turns out to be someone who belongs there, then I am no longer willing to destroy them and the light and muzzle come off target. Let me be clear, pointing a firearm at someone is a serious act and is one not to be taken lightly. That said, it is done perhaps hundreds, if not thousands, of times a day without incident. There is also an enormous amount of ground to cover between being willing to shoot someone and actually deciding to do so. If you choose to put yourself a little further behind on the power curve by waiting to determine if the individual has the ability and intent to harm you before you point your weapon at them, who am I to disagree? But let's be clear, you have accepted a not-so-insiginifcant amount of risk to yourself, and by extension any loved ones in the house, in order to be able to provide an extra margin of safety to someone who had no business being there in the first place. Another related and oft-cited criticism is the potential use of a WML light for mundane tasks like looking for your keys if you drop them. If you would consider using your WML as a general-purpose flashlight, you probably have no business owning a firearm.

    #2. It makes you a target. Yes it does...when employed improperly. If I put an individual in a completely darkened room and told them to shoot at the light when it came on, there would be a problem. I would submit that the individual(s) in your home are probably pre-occupied doing something else and are not waiting to ambush you. If they are, you have probably already made a tactical error which has no bearing on your choice of illumination tool. Where a light does make you a target is when you are attempting to clear spaces that exceed the ability of your light (i.e. warehouses, hangars, backyards).

    #3. Just use the light-switch. While this is a functional solution, it is probably not the best tactical solution. I can not think of a better way of announcing my position and progression through a building(other than by beating on a pot) than by turning the lights on as I enter a room. But that is not the only problem. You provide the bad guy an advantage if he is in an adjacent room. Stand in a well-lit area (where you will be) and look into a darkened area (where the bad-guy will be). How much can you see? Now put your bad-guy hat on for a moment and stand in the darkened area and look into the well-lit area. Who has the advantage? But what if he is in the same room? A ceiling fixture distributes light throughout the room. Both the bad guy and I can make equal use of the light. A light, either hand-held or weapon-mounted, allows me to project light only into those areas where I want it to go. He may be able to gain some residual benefit from my use of the light, but I control it. If I determine that residual benefit is too great, I can turn the light off.

    WMLs have two distinct advantages over hand-held lights. First, they are more efficient to fight with. This is not to say that one can not fight effectively with a hand-held light. You most certainly can. However, all to often when discussing employing a light , the discussion stops at the first shot. The whole reason the firearm is present is because we acknowledged early on the potential for a fight. When we talk about a gunfight most of us understand that the potential exists for it to go beyond that first shot. To that end we practice a variety of skills ("double-taps," failure drills, malfunction clearance, reloads, multiple targets, etc.) If the gunfight occurs in the dark, we have to be able to perfom those same skills. There are techiques for performing all of them with a hand-held light but all of them are slower than if the light were weapon-mounted. A major problem many people have is aligning the light with target without compromising the sight picture/alignment. Typically, after the first or second shot, most people have their hands come apart, effecting their accurancy and speed. Conversely, my shot to shot times are typically faster due to the increased mass the WML provides with no reduction in accuracy.

    Not convinced? Try these three tests; once using your hand-held technique of choice and once gripping the weapon normally (as you would with a WML):

    #1: 6 rounds from the ready
    #2: 2 rounds, reload, 2 rounds
    #3: 1 round, tap-rack, 1 round

    Compare your times and accuracy for each.

    Second, WMLs do not require multiple skill sets. All of the aforementioned skills need to be practiced. The reality of using a hand-held light is that you usually need to employ one of several hand-held techniques depending on the situation. You may prefer the Harries Position until you have to pie a corner to your left, which allows your muzzle to clear the wall while your light may still be behind it. Leaning further out to clear the wall exposes more of your body necessitating a change to a "left-side" technique like the Rogers.

    For a well-trained person using a hand-held light that generally means three skill sets: no light at all, a "right-side" technique and a "left-side" technique. (Though to be fair, there is a fair degree of redundancy between the two hand-held techniques making it really more like 2 1/2 skill sets.) A WML requires little, if any, change to your manual of arms. I do not know about you, but it seems like I never have enough time to train.

    Having said all that, WML's do have their drawbacks. First, they are expensive. Second, they require training to use properly. Third, they require you to expose slightly more of you body when dealing with a corner. Finally, they can be heavy depending on the application.

    In the end, the equipment an individual chooses to defend himself/herself and his or her loved ones is a personal decision. However, such a decision should be an informed one.
    Last edited by Blackhawk6; June 6th, 2006 at 01:42 PM.

  16. #15
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    Well put, very nice post
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