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pistol mounted lights


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#1 Kingkroupa

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 06:50 PM

Just wanted to get everyone's thoughts on pistol mounted lights.  Seems like there are lots of strong opinions on the subject.
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#2 mikejulietpapa

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 01:56 AM

I have a Streamlight TLR-1 on my Smith & Wesson M&P9 because it's what I reach for in the middle of the night. I don't want to grab a separate light and this way I can have a solid grip on the gun. It's a great little light, 135 lumens and shock proof & water proof. I've even taken it off and used it as a regular flashlight! Battery life seems good but I haven't given it a full test. Regarding your question about people's thoughts, I think for home defense it's great to have. Like I said, no fumbling for more gear in the dark and a solid grip on the gun. I was talking to a State Trooper friend of mine and when I told him the setup I was running he kinda chuckled. He said it wasn't bad though, especially for the function I was using it in, but over all, he said:

Weapon mounted lights tend to be bullet magnets.

He then showed me their technique of holding their handgun in one hand and with the other hand holding their light real high at a 90 degree angle so that if someone shoots at the light, they will only hit the light and maybe your hand, not center mass. Interesting... This is a horrible horrible picture (I plan on taking some better ones soon) but it gives you an example of what I have:Posted Image 

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#3 brockb

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 04:56 AM

I have a dedicated bedroom gun (glock 19) with a Streamlight TLR-1 just like Mike.  So far I've found it to be a great little light for the money.  Its held up great so far and I haven't had any problems. My daily carry gun (Glock 19 or 26) does not have a weapon mounted light.  I prefer to pocket carry a light for everyday use.  When a light is attached to a weapon you lose a lot of the versatility.  Everything you want to point a light at, you are also pointing a weapon at.  Not very handy if you happen to be out in a power outage or just need to see something in a dark area.  Like anything else mission dictates the equipment needed and for me a weapon mounted light is not it for my EDC.  Weapon mounted lights also limit your holster selections.

#4 brockb

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 05:13 AM

mikejulietpapa said:

 I was talking to a State Trooper friend of mine and when I told him the setup I was running he kinda chuckled. He said it wasn't bad though, especially for the function I was using it in, but over all, he said:

Weapon mounted lights tend to be bullet magnets.

He then showed me their technique of holding their handgun in one hand and with the other hand holding their light real high at a 90 degree angle so that if someone shoots at the light, they will only hit the light and maybe your hand, not center mass. Interesting...


 I've read lots of articles from various tactical trainers about handheld flashlight techniques and done some very informal practice around the house.  I'd have to say the one your trooper buddy uses is the most unnatural for me.  I found it hard to navigate and I would constantly bump into different things.  If I can I'll try and find the article that I really like by Southnarc.

#5 mikejulietpapa

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 05:15 AM

Oh, I think his technique was more for outdoors and approaching/chasing suspects. It would just be way too impractical for the confines of a house. Agreed!

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#6 mikejulietpapa

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 12:04 PM

Hey guys, just found an video on some light techniques. He doesn't mention weapon mounted though. Oh, and it looks like the technique my police friend told me is called the "FBI Technique."

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#7 pyro

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 12:46 AM

A mounted light is a must for any firearm you will carry for protection or into harms way, however a handheld light is also a must.  If you can only carry one light it should be a handheld.  Remember, weapons mounted lights are only bullet magnets if you misuse them

#8 RA09

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 05:59 AM

I have to strongly disagree with MJP's trooper friend (and therefore agree with Pyro).  I have a used a TLR-1 (Now C4 LED) for about 7 years now and will not go back.  I even carry it mounted while doing undercover details.  I tend to do A LOT of home/apartment/building clearing during the course of my shift and if I had to both hold a light, cover my area of responsibility and drag a bad guy out from under a bed (twice just last night) I would be dropping things, losing equipment and potentially lose a great deal of effectiveness if there weren't 4 more guys behind me to do all the things I can do with my off hand because I have the weapon mounted light. The other issue here is that you don't search a room with the light stuck ON the entire time.  If you feather the switch (quick flashes of light in the corners and closets etc) as you enter the room and get a quick picture of what you are illuminating it both disorients the bad guys and protects you from someone locking onto your location.  I have not gotten my hands on the new strobe versions of the mounted lights but used appropriately that function would probably help too. My thoughts on mounted lights for home defense follow the same lines, hard to dial 911 or open doors or anything else with both hands tied up.  Also, the short period of time those engagements will last you do not lend themselves to fumbling around in the dark for your light.  If you can grab ONE thing and defend yourself you are in a much better position. I think with everytihing else in life, you cannot become too dependant on any one technique or piece of equipment but if you train well and have the right mindset you will be fine.
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#9 FragEvil

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 01:47 PM

I have experience with the strobe version of the TLR1. The TLR1s is extremely bright and disorienting, only protruding maybe 1/4 inch from the muzzle and it seems fairly slim compared to the surefire lights I've used. On my full-size pistol (FNP 45 USG) the activation switch is easy to tap with both my support thumb and my trigger finger. Posted Image I've also got one on my civil defense rifle.Posted ImageCant go wrong with the Streamlight TLR1s. /wp-content/forum-smileys/sf_headbang.gif 
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#10 CENTCOMSurvivor

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 02:20 PM

I really like having a light mounted on my Glock 21.  I never liked any of the flashlight holds (when I carried a Beretta or Sig) and having the light on the gun is the way to go.  When you have to go from gun to less lethal or hands on, its way faster to re-holster than to find your flashlight holder.Posted Image

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#11 CenterMass

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 02:35 PM

I have a Streamlight TLR-3 on my SIG P226 and its great.  Its polymer and smaller than the TLR 1 or 2 and lacks the strobe capability. But my light is strictly for home defense so thats fine for me.  All in all, its a great little light.  And by little, I mean little.  Its about half the size of the other TLRs.  However, that can be a good thing.  It fits my full sized SIG just fine and fits a smaller pistol like a Walther PK380 just fine as well.  I have a friend who has one mounted on a Kel Tec PF9 with no problem.
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#12 loki4606

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:37 AM

Weapon lights mounted are a great tool.. Handheld lights are a great tool. What do they both have in common? Tool..Depending on your job and enviornment would determine what you want to use. If you doing undercover work or your using home defese or even EDC a weapon mounted light would be optimal for you. It takes away from loosing function of both hands at once. If your a beat-cop or have no formal training on how to lights or if your not room-clearing maybe a handheld is your idea. Come on lets face it as a CCW holder how many times a week/month/year do you actually draw down on a bad guy at night or in dark areas? Adding a light on your weapon also adds weight to the front of your weapon. If you dont train properly then it can affect your shot as well. Im no cop, but I have done work that requires both types of scenarios. So its really a personal preference. Plus some guys can hide a weapon with light in a light holster under their clothes due to being to small.  

#13 CENTCOMSurvivor

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 08:29 AM

We just got issued the TLR-1 and it is pretty sweet.Posted Image

Edited by mikejulietpapa, 15 December 2010 - 03:09 PM.

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#14 John4

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 06:21 AM

I have a Insight WX150 on my Glock 22.  It is 150 lumen (LED) with ambi controls, constant on, momentary on, and strobe.  In my opinion pistols lights are nice because it allows me to grip the pistol with my regular grip instead of trying to hold a light in one hand and work the pistol in the other.

#15 AKIA

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 05:34 AM

I have been carying with a pistol light attached for a few years.  Right now it is usually a 1911 with a X300 but I have other guns I use also.For me, since I work midnight to 0800 it just makes sense as I spend more time out and about at night than most people do as when I am off work I tend to do all my shopping and everything else at stores that are open late or 24 hours and so it is usually dark when I am carrying and it is just easier and to me makes sense to have a light attached already.  I still carry a hand held light but use that more for other tasks.
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#16 Jester

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:53 PM

I think a weapon mounted light is a great option to have. But, it should NEVER be your only light, I've worked with two many guys that feel that since they have a light mounted on their gun, they don't need a handheld... "Yeah," I ask them, "and what happens when you have a situation where drawing your weapon is not warranted or justified?" They usually have the deer in the headlights look.Currently, I'm running a M2 UTL mounted on my USP. It's huge and halogen, two things I'm not a fan of, but, it's easier to find duty holsters for that setup than the hundreds of adapter/light configurations. I also carry two handhelds; SureFire E2D with TNVC LED upgrade, and a Gladius Maximis.The weapon light is like every other piece of gear, if you're going to use, TRAIN WITH IT!!! Oh, and one more thing, if the light is being used in an On-Duty capacity, test the damn thing before you leave your house, station, locker room, etc... It is not my responsibility to supply you with my spare batteries because you were to stupid to take half a second and test your lights.
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#17 PsychoFish

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 08:58 PM

You mean you wont answer my blind radio call for surefire batteries!?! LmaoI love my weapon mounted lights,total sureties junkie here, but I use the trl-1s also. Even my less leathal JPX has one (im a gear whore!) Still undecided on the strobe function though. On the one side I've used it a heck of a lot more on the JPX than I have on the pistol. Something about a flashing light gets people attention fast and I guess is great for after you've made contact. But I've also had guys freak out over the flashing light and no ammount of talking to them gets them to focus until it goes to steady on.Also I don't know what handheld you guys carry, but if its a G2 or 6p or the other similar lights check out the shooting rings for them. I love mine, and when it comes to shooting and then doing a reload having the light stay on your finger as you tear at your magpouch is great. And getting it back into the fight is easy.
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#18 pm40-45

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 01:50 PM

Just bought a Streamlight with strobe .........it will stay in the house

#19 CalicoJack10

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 03:37 AM

I used to be a big proponent of weapon mounted lights. In some "Combat Situations" they can be useful. When you are doing an entry and you stack, it is a bit of a pain in the butt having a hand held light. But all in all, the truth is in self defense, you are better off having a small tactical light that is not attached to your firearm. A big part of this is the fact that people who are forced to defend themselves are supposed to be able to show an escalation of force that is reasonable. Granted this does not apply everywhere, but it seems to be a good general rule. Having the flashlight separate and having the ability to use it as an impact tool shows that your first instinct is not the taking of someones life. It also shows that you are not looking to use a firearm, hence keeping you from being a "Trigger Happy Gun Nut".Generally, the laws in the US see the use of a firearm as a last resort or an "End All" that should not come into play unless it is necessary. So having a flashlight that you can use as a "Primary" and then by default making your side arm a secondary, you effectively show that you are looking to preserve life.That is what I teach, and it seems to work out well.
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#20 Kingkroupa

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 07:46 PM

I used to be a big proponent of weapon mounted lights. In some "Combat Situations" they can be useful. When you are doing an entry and you stack, it is a bit of a pain in the butt having a hand held light. But all in all, the truth is in self defense, you are better off having a small tactical light that is not attached to your firearm. A big part of this is the fact that people who are forced to defend themselves are supposed to be able to show an escalation of force that is reasonable.  Who says you have to choose between a weapon mounted light and a hand held light?  I would never advocate someone relying soley on a weapon mounted light for illumination purposes. /wp-content/forum-smileys/sf_headbang.gif
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