Why do tactical lights use cap (tail) switches?

Why do tactical lights use cap (tail) switches?

This is a discussion on Why do tactical lights use cap (tail) switches? within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Does anyone know - why do tactical lights (and many other high-end flashlights) use cap switches instead of side switches? I have had many flashlights ...

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Thread: Why do tactical lights use cap (tail) switches?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    Why do tactical lights use cap (tail) switches?

    Does anyone know - why do tactical lights (and many other high-end flashlights) use cap switches instead of side switches?

    I have had many flashlights over the years. Perhaps I am just used to a side switch. I greatly prefer a side switch. But most tactical lights will only have a cap (tail) switch. What is the purpose behind that switch location? The only reason I can see is that it forces you to keep your hand up by your head, which is a natural defensive position, but this makes a 'tactical' light very uncomfortable for general use.

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    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    I like the cap switches... more reliable, modular and it keeps the sides of the flashlight smooth
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Probably came about due to the invented "tactical" stances with flashlights to coincide with drawing and aiming a weapon.

    Tactical Flashlight Techniques | eHow.com
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    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    Couple reasons I can see:
    1. A common tactic is to hold the light in the non-firing hand with the non-firing wrist crossing the dominant wrist. This makes the light point roughly in the direction of the aim of the weapon. The switch on the back is the most convenient location.
    2. When the light is mounted on a weapon's rail system, switches on the side may be inaccessible due to the mounting equipment.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Some of the weapon mounted lights on long guns can change out the tail cap with one that has a pressure pad at the end of a coiled wire for placement to activate where you would hold the forearm
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    Member Array reyno2ac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite75 View Post
    Probably came about due to the invented "tactical" stances with flashlights to coincide with drawing and aiming a weapon.

    Tactical Flashlight Techniques | eHow.com
    Your link is dead

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    I thought it was partly to be able to quickly flash the target to ID, but then to quickly go dark as well so you don't become the target yourself with the light.

    You can't do that as fast with a slide switch. And you can also bam someone with the flashlight if you are holding it wrist up rather than wrist forward.

    That's just my impression.

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    Member Array BadgerMan's Avatar
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    Not sure if this is one of the intended reasons, but it makes sense to me. If you grab a flashlight in the dark and it has a tailcap switch, it will be easier to find the button than to locate where it is positioned on the side (rolling it around in your hand). I imagine that it is a combination of factors though, flashlight techniques, weaponlight mounting, flash on/off, etc.

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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reyno2ac View Post
    Your link is dead
    Must be your computer...Mine came right up when I clicked it.
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    Member Array ScubaDuba's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's because you should be holding it pretty much like this:


    Thataway you can bash a dude on the forehead with it.
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    Member Array Major G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaDuba View Post
    Yeah, it's because you should be holding it pretty much like this:


    Thataway you can bash a dude on the forehead with it.
    That's how I use mine.

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    Senior Member Array Avenger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaDuba View Post
    Yeah, it's because you should be holding it pretty much like this:


    Thataway you can bash a dude on the forehead with it.
    This is the main reason. Another reason is the strobing tactic. I teach this in a room clearing class I teach. Having the light always on makes you a target. Flash the light once really quick and then off to blind your target and identify, MOVE. Very important to move after to strobe him once because he might shoot where the light came from. Strobe the target again and fire. The button on the back makes this VERY easy to accomplish. Having a high lumen light is also very effective in stunning your target throwing him off guard. Get one with at least 70 lumens.

    Oh, and as far as bashing someone on the forehead with your light, not such a good idea.

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