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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    SE Louisiana

    Question Regarding the Pistol WML...

    I have read Gabe's thoughts on a Carry Pistol Weapon Mounted Light and everything he says makes sense to me, which is a big reason my G19 does not currently sport a WML... as a civilian there are simply very few realistic scenarios I would find myself in where a WML would be required or desired. But still, there are always the outliers that can exist, if only in our own imaginations. So if a WML can be added to the pistol without any justifiable downsides, why not be better safe than sorry?

    My real question regarding the WML, and the biggest thing holding me back, is the question of activation. I totally understand and agree with Gabe's assessment that the toggle switch at the trigger guard is a bad idea... you cannot count on your support hand to be available and your trigger finger already has One Job and One Job Only. That leaves the grip mounted switch as the other solution and this is the design Gabe endorses. My concern is how do you maintain light discipline and only activate the light when you desire it while using the grip switch? I have not actually tried out a grip switch activated WML on a pistol but I do have a CT Laser on my 642 which operates in the same manner... and as soon as I acquire a firing grip the laser is on. I can consciously relax my middle finger to kill the laser but it's not something I see myself achieving in a self defense scenario... The laser will be on the whole time I am gripping the 642. This is arguably not much of an issue considering the 642 is a backup piece and if I am using it a whole lot of other things have already gone South and light discipline will be irrelevant.
    But a light on my primary carry is a whole different animal... I only want that light if and when, not all the time.
    Am I overthinking this? Is it a simple training issue that will allow for deliberate, subconscious manipulation of the grip switch? I can't get past the idea that I will be continuously crushing the switch as I grip the pistol and blasting light everywhere I'm pointing.
    A thumb pad switch seems to me like a better idea but that won't happen anytime soon as it would have to be built into the pistol.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    In a reactive, gotta catch up drawstroke, the light coming on simply doesn't matter.

    In a proactive, white light ND is bad drawstroke, you have to develop discipline. Your trigger finger is disciplined, yes? Did it through many reps both dry and live fire, I bet. Same thing here.

    Everyone on my department carries a WML. K9,SWAT and I seem to be the only ones with a grip switch (literally; I'm one of the firearms instructors and I've never seen another patrol guy with anything but the toggle). I've had the remote switch over 5 years now. Sometime between 12 and 18 months is where I had enough training time and real usage to say I had solid control over the proactive use on the switch. My early errors were on the drawstroke, mostly. Once the gun was in hand and I was into deliberate movement, things went much better.

    And the CT on a jframe is a bad comparison, IMO. Different feel, because of a very different grip size.
    Last edited by Sam Spade; 03-09-2019 at 06:32 PM.

    "To spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary." Pournelle

  3. #3
    My rifles have red dots/LPVOs and white lights on them. It isn't the apocalypse so my primary rifle is in the trunk of my car and not on my person. Since I won't carry my rifle on my person everywhere, I have a pistol. And since my pistol is my primary fighting weapon, it has a red dot and a white light on it.

    I purchased a grip switch and it was great for the "draw and dump" kind of drills, but did not work very well for the more drawn out drills that require some kind of light discipline. It was difficult to maintain positive control of the pistol while not activating the grip switch. Gabe once said something along the lines of "The era of the snub-nosed revolver and the beatnick mugger is over. Don't think about scaring away a robber - be ready to kill a street gang." so I tend to gravitate to the longer drills.

    I don't live in a city and don't have the blessing of 'everywhere is lit up or has ambient light always.' For me, a WML is free and isn't a burden to have on my pistols at all. You shoot better when you can see what you're shooting at and it's easier to use than a handheld flashlight. If you don't need light at that moment, don't use it.

    "What happends when your other arm is disabled/occupied?"

    Shit happens, compensate. I can turn light on with my trigger finger if I really need to. Sweep down/press on the switch, put your finger on the trigger and engage when ready. Contrary to popular belief it isn't difficult or slow.
    James 1:5 - "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Beyond The Wall
    I am at the point in my life where I have no more shits to give when people do things wrong.

    The time will come when you need to illuminate and shoot, but your left hand will not be available. And that quick momentary ON will not be possible. Leave the light on just a second too long while your trigger finger operates the trigger and a criminal version of me or Brent, or Greg, will blow your shit away most Rikki Tik. A criminal version of us that will send thirty rounds your way not giving a shit if 29 of them kill the nuns and orphans standing behind you.

    Never happen you say?

    OK, just how many after hours gunfights have you been in? have done classes and IDPA night time matches? Well...then excuse the holy hell out of me...I will bow to far greater experience. You are obviously right, and far more experienced...and I am wrong and out-of-touch.

    Leaving the discussion now since I have said what I have to say about this so many times that I have nothing left to say.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Phoenix, Arizona
    In my house if its bigger than 5'5 I own it. If its smaller I protect it. All else is DRT.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
    Facebook: SI Instructor Greg Nichols


    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    'My concern is how do you maintain light discipline and only activate the light when you desire it while using the grip switch?'

    The short answer is you have to practice. Mr. Spade is correct, in a reactive situation, that light coming on won't matter. It also won't be needed, you'll know if someone's trying to kill you, and if you don't a WML won't matter. When the situation is proactive, there is a learning curve, and it is too steep to overcome during the fight. You have to drill the action, some would say mercilessly, until you can't get it wrong.

    Like the old samurai said, if you don't practice, don't face the enemy.

    For general carry in a civilian environment a separate light, like the Stiletto, is handier then a WML all the way around. The only time they can be an advantage is for specialized work, like a building search.

    My .02

    Jim Miller
    ISA 6:8

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