Light vs no light

This is a discussion on Light vs no light within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Since ordering my AR I have been looking at others' setups more closely and one thing I have noticed is that most folks' builds have ...

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Thread: Light vs no light

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Light vs no light

    Since ordering my AR I have been looking at others' setups more closely and one thing I have noticed is that most folks' builds have lights on them.
    I have also seen posts about lights on a handgun, or looking for a holster to accomodate a light, and it seems the majority of the replies say to ditch the light.

    I have noticed in recent posts that many prefer the AR for home defense or clearing their house over a handgun, and the pics posted show many setups with a light mounted on the gun.

    So what is the general philosophy on whether a light is necessary or not on a defensive weapon? Why would you want a light on a rifle, but not a handgun? Is it simply because you do not have a free hand to operate a separate flashlight? This would not explain why the convenience of having it mounted to a handgun is not as generally accepted though.



    That said, I do have a light mounted to my shotgun, but that is because my shotty is my "fox in the hen house" gun.

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    Member Array Bkrazy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAcanis View Post
    Is it simply because you do not have a free hand to operate a separate flashlight?

    This would not explain why the convenience of having it mounted to a handgun is not as generally accepted though.
    For the first question I would say yes. A mounted flashlight with a pressure activation switch is ideal on a long gun IMO. While I can maneuver an AR with one hand if needed, should I need to fire I better have two hands on my weapon. The light on a long gun is usually mounted towards the front as well which creates some standoff between you and the light should a BG "fire at the light"

    For a handgun it is a bit different. I can accurately fire my hand gun one handed. I also would prefer to not point my weapon at a family member while "clearing" my house for a BG. Dont point the weapon at anything you are not willing to destroy and all.

    I would mount a light on my AR. My early morning observation.
    Please take my posts with a grain of salt. I am frequently sleep deprived and always just on this side of "Krazy".

    When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. Edmund Burke

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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    A light mounted on a long arm I feel is a necessity especially if used for HD. A WML on a Handgun for the everyday schmoe is not a necessity, for carry. I do however have one on my nightstand gun for HD at night. I also have a handheld light right next to it for primary search tool

    Use the handlheld for search and clear, the WML for target ID. I practice often in transition dropping the handheld and going to a two hand stance with the handgun while activating the light. With an unloaded gun of course.
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    Distinguished Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    That was something I had not thought of, having the light mounted to your HD handgun, rather than your EDC. That's probably where my confusion came from.

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Longarms require two hands to operate. Thus a light on an AR or Shotgun makes sense.

    Lights on a handgun are a bit more problematic, although I do admit to using one. I also have the handheld flashlight though. The longarm is used when there is a verified threat. The handgun is used, with the handheld light, until the threat is verified. Then the WML is used.

    I hope that clears it up.

    Biker

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    Distinguished Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    How do you verify a threat with a WML on a rifle or shotgun without pointing the weapon at something you may not with to destroy? Or is that the trade off for being able to have both hands on the weapon?

    Like I said, I remember the arguments against having a light on a handgun, but they seem to contradict the reasons for having a light on a longarm. And the two reasons most brought up were 1) pointing the weapon to shine the light and 2) giving your location away.

    I imagine a lot of the reasons fall back to "intended use".

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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Both my Remington 870 (my primary HD weapon) and my AR15 both have lights mounted on them. This is because it's difficult to hold a long arm and a light at the same time. If my primary home defense weapon was a pistol I would not use a weapon mounted light.
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Ill tell you what. Now, before I start, I would like to clarify that I do not have an agenda here. But when someone hires me , or I teach a class, and if the subject comes up, I have people do this exercise and let them decide. Find a partner, and use fake or training models, and you go lay in the bed like you are sleeping. Meanwhile, your partner comes into the house. (you will need to keep all doors and windows unlocked), and make sure its dark. His job is to act like an armed criminal, and your job is to "clear your house". Using a light, begin your search with the objective of getting the drop on him. The outcome will tell you what to do.

    Use your imagination and make it as realistic as possible, but, DO NOT, use real weapons.

    You will for sure find out what works and what doesnt.
    jwhite75 likes this.
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    sgb
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    VIP Member Array sgb's Avatar
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    Concerns over use of weapons mounted lights are addressed by taking professional training. Like anything else there is a proper way to use them and an improper way to use them.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    This is why I like using a hand gun and a seperate light in the home. If I was still in the military I'd have a light on my M16 if I had to use duck tape. I'd really like to take some training someday. Not only do I think it would be fun, I believe it could be an eye opener. I've done lame things like going through my home when no one was home (I verified) with an unloaded gun and my surefire and if I ever really have to clear my home I'm toast unless I get a stupid bad guy.

    In the military I played paintball with squads and I learned how difficult it is to the the agressor on a stationary defensive opponent.

    Anyway, for a long gun you don't have much of a choice; you have to put the light on it to work it well. In that case you need to think about trigger finger placement and I think you got a pretty hairy situation on your hands but let's face it, if you sweep a house with a hand held light but keep your weapon down or to the side so you're not sweeping with the light then you're disadvantaged too. No formal training here but reading books always seems to have the light and the front sight on the same spot.

    Maybe someone on the board is an LEO or has some professional training?

    Gideon

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