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Anyone have data on weaponlights

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by wprebeck, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. wprebeck

    wprebeck Got quacks?

    Oct 20, 2002
    Mm..looks like heaven
    and officer shootings?

    Specifically, officers who were shot at while using a weapon mounted light during a building search or room entry; that type of thing. One of the things going around the department right now is NOT to use the weaponlight on "constant", but to instead use the "momentary" function so as to avoid the potential for being a target.

    To me, this seems like some of the same "training" as used to be taught - holding your maglight up and out, so that if the BG shot at your light, he'd miss. I just don't buy it, and am trying to find hard evidence of shootings that have happened because an officer had a light activated and the BG shot at the light and hit the officer. I know that's rather hard to find, but there are a lot of geeks among us (**cough**Cochese and his legendary net searches) who might already know where (or if) this data is at.


    For the record, I run a G22/X200 in a 6360. I like it.
  2. Fallout

    Fallout County Mountie

    Sep 26, 2004
    My department isues them and mandates their use for all uniformed personel on their duty weapons.

    I have never heard of any OIS with a light being the reason the cop got shot at.

    We were taught to use the momentary switch in a strobe like pattern to keep the bad guy from knowing our exact position. Momentary on and off is disorienting if you are on the other end of it and gives you the advantage. If you are clearing a hallway for example and this is very easy to test out for yourself, Hide in a room. Have someone clear the hallway with the light in a steady lit configuration. You can "telegraph" there movements by the intensity of the light. in a strobe or on off pattern you loose that to some extent.

    The BG already knows your there no need to show them exactly where you are at. Goes hand in hand with slicing the pie, or whatever other tactical jargon you want to call it. It allows you the most reaction time to someone else in a situation.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011

  3. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    I have no such data, however I agree that the weapon light should be used sporadically and unpredicatbly. I dare say that I'm not sure that they "need" a constant-on feature, given their purpose.
  4. Felony traffic stops and situations like such.

    The city over issued them years ago only to take them back saying that they feared that if an officer left his flashlight in the car on a regular traffic stop he would pull his gun out to use the light attached to it.
  5. SAR


    Apr 17, 2004
    LA LA Land
    I have never heard of such a thing, but I defy anyone to actually be in an OIS and manage to manipulate the light toggle and pull the trigger at the same time. Having been in a couple of OISs and plenty of near OISs, I can tell you that the last thing your mind thinks of is fine motor skills. If your light is off at the time you need to shoot, it will remain off during the shooting.
  6. nndavec


    Jul 13, 2000
    SAR, I have noticed the same type of issues when using weapon mounted light. I found that with most lights, it really is not possible to run the light and the gun by using the toggle type switch. I have tried the Surefire X300 with the DG style switch. Most of the time you end up activating light when you do not want it on.
    In times of high stress, I have noticed that most tend to activate the lights and leave them on, but others tend to forget that they even have them.
  7. SAR


    Apr 17, 2004
    LA LA Land
    The whole issue of lights on/lights off is a hot topic in my tactical circles. I know some experienced guys who say that there is no way to silence an entry team and that you only handicap yourself by trying to feel your way in the dark. They propose turning on every frickin' light switch they come across. Some would say it gives away your advantage. Others say what advantage? The suspect can sit still in the dark and wait for you to arrive trippin' over everything and generally making as much noise as a bull in a china closet... I'll admit I've never had much luck being that stealthy with five guys carrying full gear in an entry team. I get more advantage by actually being able to see...
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  8. nndavec


    Jul 13, 2000
    Very understandable about the "lights on" at times. Some of the homes we go into look like they have not seen any type of cleaning in what appears to be the last 4-5 years by the amount of clothes, trash etc piled up everywhere.

    I have seen on some forums that members are posting that with enough practice they can use the DG style switches effectively and not activate the lights by accident.

  9. Kahr_Glockman


    Feb 26, 2005
    While not speaking of using the light as intended, I do know that there have been at least two gunfights where the light was used as a stop to make contact GSW on suspects.

    I believe that Mas Ayoob wrote about one where the officer was working in a mall and went to stop a shop lifter. The shoplifter shot the officer in the face and the officer shot back. Turned into a struggle and the officer placed the gun to the suspects head and the light kept the firearm from going out of battery when he pulled the trigger.

    The second was Officer Van Alstine who's story is currently highlighted on PoliceOne. In short he did the same thing and killed the suspect after having been shot in the chest. That video interview with Dave Smith was very good and worth watching.

    I believe that the light has more uses that it detracts from the gun. I have used the light while clearing buildings and rooms and found that the light is far more handy to use that trying to handle the gun and my flashlight.

    Granted I tend to use the momentary function on my TLR-1, and I do practice light discipline and use only what I need. Some people just search with a light constantly on. I think that you train with sound tactics and use the best equipment that you can get. With that said, who am I. I am just a lowly patrol monkey.......
  10. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

    Jun 30, 2004
    Unmarked Rustbox

    I have a momentary DG switch on my 1911 and had it for my G34. When SHTF, I grip the gun hard. Light turns on without me having hit a rocker.

    In less stressful uses, I am practiced enough not to have light activations unintentionally. Works for me.
  11. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    I agree with this. I'm referring more specifically to the use of the light up until the point that a shooting occurs (e.g. while searching, etc).

    I agree with the practice of activating lights during a search as well. Worst case scenario, somebody is lying in wait, and a flood of overhead light will be distracting and disorienting. It can also provide a visual reference of areas already cleared.

  12. vanilla_gorilla


    May 31, 2005

    Pretty much exactly what I was going to type.
  13. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo

    May 31, 2011
    1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
    This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.
  14. While we are on the subject, does anyone have any training materials for weapon mounted lights that they wouldn't mind sharing? I'm working on putting together a training on the proper use of weapon lights in order to prevent people from directing traffic with one.
  15. Mayhem like Me

    Mayhem like Me Semper Paratus

    Mar 13, 2001
    Not a chance
    I agree to a point.

    It depends on how the shooting is initiated. A startle response would definately go the way of not being able to initiate the light

    An entry or search situation where gun is in hand and light manipulation is ongoing and constant would prove different I was in such a scenario and successfully engaged while working a weapon mounted light on two occasions. It also comes down to how much training do you have livefire shooting with light equipped weapons. Extensive training and simmunition training with lights attached can enhanced your ability to react.

    I totally agree that gun in holster to immediate deadly force use would result in no attempt at turning on a light.
  16. Mayhem like Me

    Mayhem like Me Semper Paratus

    Mar 13, 2001
    Not a chance
    Ummm wow I thought you were joking but ....maybe mean attached to the weapon correct
  17. Contact Insight Technologies or the Marietta (GA) PD. They've done a weapon-mounted light class at several IALEFI conferences. They have a disc available for instructors with lesson plans, videos, and so forth. It's not product-specific.
  18. If you don't tell someone that they can't, someone is likely to try. It is rumored to have happened at a larger PD in the state.
  19. Yup...I used to work with a guy that rarely took his flashlight out of his car. Instead, he'd draw his pistol, take the light off and use it like a normal flashlight...
  20. car541

    car541 Patrol Hairbag

    Aug 20, 2004
    Maybe not, A neighboring agency to mine unapproved the use of all weaponlights when one of their officers directed traffic with one at his extra job with his pistol after his SL20X went dead.

    sometimes the obvious is not so obvious