View Full Version : Civilian use of flashlight and gun

01-21-2004, 06:32 PM
I carry a surefire C2 centurion in my left side pocket. Now I don't expect to be making arrests, entering crack houses, searching for BGs in warehouses, back alleys, etc. My basic mission is to survive and arrive safe home.Therefore, I believe my primary, if not sole, use of flashlight should be to identify threats. For this I think a surefire can be very useful and allow you to hopefully identify threats before they get close to you, scan for weapons in hands, other BG in shadows, etc. However, if it ever comes to shooting I tend to believe I would be best served in most instances by turning surefire off so as not to highlight my position. I believe in most instances darkness would be my friend and that use of tritium night sights and hopefully superior shooting ability would give me better chance of survival than use of harris, rogers or some other flashlight-gun shooting technique. Opinions?

01-21-2004, 07:15 PM
Good post Bill. This was the subject of a lot of debate at FS. I normally walk around my house in the dark. We are empty nesters, I always know where my wife is, I know where all the furniture and miscellaneous items are laying, I don't need a light to navigate.

When we are out at our place in the woods, there is normally enough ambient starlight to see whatever you have to see. Once in a great while there is no light, and you can't see squat, then I would use a flashlight to illuminate a noise I couln't identify, IF, and only if I thought there was a chance I would have to respond to the noise-maker.

It strikes me that darkness is not just my friend, it is my ally, my partner. When I turn on a flashlight all I have done is illuminate myself as a target and give away all of my advantage.

Well, that's just me, wouldn't make sense for someone with a house full of kids, or animals, or whatever.

God bless and y'all be careful out there. :cool:

01-21-2004, 07:56 PM
Darkness is your friend. You can actally train yourself, as Geezer discusses, to become quite proficient in the dark. When I feed my dog in the back yard at night, I always make it a habit to use ambient light and can actually see quite well. One trick you can use is to squat and silhouette whatever you are looking at against the sky if it is extremely dark. This works very well where there are no streetlights.

01-21-2004, 08:32 PM

Never thought of squatting and being able to see BG in poor light. But shooting up at BG has added advantage of lessening chance of harming an innocent. Granted bullet still has to go somewhere, but by firing up bullet will not have as much force when it comes to ground.


Your point about home is well taken. If a civilian does encounter BG it may well be in home. And good tactics would dictate you take advantage of your superior knowledge of home lay out.

01-22-2004, 08:52 PM
And lets remember, at night it not so important to look directly at an unknown as it is to look a little sideways at it, the eye will pick up movement much quicker this way

Officers ACP
02-19-2004, 10:34 PM
The tactic that the police are using is working behind a "wall of light". Surefire sells all of their lights 60 lumen and brighter as combat lights. The theory being you can't hit what you can't see. I see my light as an advantage. Have you ever been hit in the eyes with a 6P when your eyes are adjusted to the dark? You can't see a thing, if you can even keep your eyes open. The light also shows the BG that you are at least somewhat prepared and aware of him, which may make him move on to more unsuspecting targets.

Vig Creed
02-20-2004, 01:49 AM
I've actually been in several shooting situations in the dark WITHOUT a light and I never want it to happen again! A light is absolutely essential for target identification and acquisition.

Now days my bedroom pistol is a G-20 10mm with dedicated Glock tac light. I strongly feel that if your light isn't actually attached to your night time gun, you won't have it when needed.

02-24-2004, 06:21 AM
I was once in a situation in a house I knew well, with nothing but a J-frame and a speedstrip. No light (it was in my truck unfortunately.) Odds are the noise was nothing, just the house settling when the heater kicked on. BUT after sitting there for half an hour without hearing anything else, decided I couldn't sit there the entire night with the pistol aimed at the door (Was with a young lady and her 1yr old son, not in MY house, visiting) and she was scared. So, I VERY VERY carefully (yes, I know you don't clear a house by yourself, but I didn't exactly have a choice at the time, and I was in the middle of freakin' nowhere) listened, moved, listened, moved, and checked out the little house from a squat (I already knew about the looking-upward trick in the dark, I've done a lot of night work). Turned out fine, and I didn't trip over anything.

But I've never been without my Surefire since, even in daylight. Having been on the recieving end of one in the dark, you really don't see ANYTHING if your eyes were adjusted to the dark. If anything, you scream "I'm BLIND!" and hit the ground. :)

02-24-2004, 07:21 AM
I've always carried a Surefire when working as a cop on my belt. It came in handy many times in the daytime when we would normally leave the flashlight in the car BECAUSE it was daylight and we didn't think we would need it. As usually happens, we often did.

03-11-2004, 07:17 AM
...A light is absolutely essential for target identification and acquisition...I strongly feel that if your light isn't actually attached to your night time gun, you won't have it when needed.
I agree 100%!

I had an experience at home in the middle of the night. I immediately confirmed my wife was in bed, then as I brought my gun from the bedside stand, the M3 light came with it. As soon as my gun was oriented toward the bedroom doorway the light was on flooding the doorway with blinding light. It turned out not to be a threat.

The next morning as I "debriefed" myself, I realized how awkward and time consuming it would have been if I had to use a handheld light instead of the weapon mounted light.

Some seem to object to a weapon mounted light because one has to point a weapon at someone to illuminate them. The other side of that coin is that if you have to point a weapon at someone, that blinding light may prevent having to shoot him.