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Firearm mounted light.

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by shenck, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. shenck

    shenck Member

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    Why, in 2018, with all the training available, do I see officers searching with their firearm mounted light? Anything that you light up with it, your firearm is also pointed at. The firearm mounted light should be used to identify, and light up the target. A separate hand held light should be used to search. If this subject has been discussed here before, I apologize.
     
  2. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Where do you see this? Every department I am aware of that authorizes a weapon mounted light requires a hand held light to be carried.
     
  3. shenck

    shenck Member

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    Removed by me. I just needed to vent.
     
  4. Aikibiker

    Aikibiker Member

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    Just saw a MO deputy on Live PD using her weapon mounted light as a flashlight to search. Her partner had his handheld light but was waving his pistol in his other hand all over as he searched with the handheld light.
     
  5. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    We teach to never use your weapon mounted light as you would a normal flashlight. Bad technique.
     
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  6. Wichaka

    Wichaka Member

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    If the light has a quality throw and splash, one can see a lot without ever having to point the gun at someone. Training issue...
     
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  7. shafter

    shafter Member

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    The myth won't die...you don't have to point the weapon directly at what you're trying to illuminate. If you have a couple hundred lumens or so just point your gun at the ground in front of you and you'll be able to see sufficiently to identify any threats. You don't have to believe me. Try it for yourself.
     
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  8. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Because they're being hunted, and ambushed, in alarming numbers as of late. Maybe their gun is out for a reason, other than the light. LOL.

    While it's bad mojo, I can't blame them, if they're otherwise good cops.
     
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  9. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Yeah, i agree.
    If I'm forced to search in the dsrk for a dangerous threat.....you better believe that i will be using my weapon light.
    If you dont like it, identify yourself.
     
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    What were they searching for?

    I have aimed guns at stuff during the day that I was searching for, wouldn’t change that in the dark.

    If they were looking for a lost baby, I can see a problem with that. Looking for something that could “get them” I would have more understanding.
     
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  11. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I don't see why its a problem, but then the police have never been looking for me, nor have I ever tried to hide from them.
    If I did find out that the police were looking for me, I would go find them and see what they wanted.
     
  12. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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  13. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    LEO/Military have a job description that differs from civilian.

    I'm not out after dark and if I were I have handhelds on my person and train shooting one handed. House is low light condition at a minimum 24/7. I have no use for a weapon mounted light but for those civi's that want them, hey it's a free country.

    If I were LE/Military I would want one.
     
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  14. shenck

    shenck Member

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    Look, I wasn't trying to start a controversy, but I have been taught, and have trained, that you never point a firearm at something you aren't willing to destroy or kill. I also agree that light "splash" can be useful, but you don't use a weapon mounted light to search for a suspect or a victim. You can have your weapon drawn and ready, while using a hand held flashlight. I'm sorry if opinions vary, we will just have to agree to disagree.
     
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  15. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    ANYBODY who comes close to pointing a firearm at non-threats (even if legitimately searching for a real threat) is wrong. Anyone who does this deserves a drill instructor-esque chewing out at the very least. And then training and practice.

    A WML on a handgun, I believe, encourages this kind of irresponsibility. Using a handheld light with a handgun in the Rogers or Harries or similar method is a much better approach.

    In my mind, though, the jury is still out regarding WMLs on long guns. The same disadvantages of using a WML on a handgun still apply, but it's much harder to control, say, a shorty shotgun while holding a handheld light.
     
  16. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    Well if its not OK to put a weapon light on a pistol, it seems from a logical standpoint, that should still apply to a long gun. If you believe its unsafe, its unsafe, regardless of the difficulties of holding a flashlight and a long gun at the same time.
     
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  17. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Short answer- it depends on the situation. There is a difference between "clearing" and "searching". Also, yes, a secondary light is essential in addition to weapon mounted lights.
     
  18. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    In certain situations, everything is a potential threat until proven otherwise. In a dynamic situation, such as a raid on a SUSPECTED drug house, an active shooter, a felony traffic stop, armed robbery, active/barricaded shooter, or hostage situation- its a reasonable assumption that at some point everyone will have a weapon pointed at them. Having spent over 2 decades in military special operations, as well as training with law enforcement at all levels and in several different countries, this is a concept that is generally agreed upon across the board, since getting shot is getting shot, no matter who signs your paycheck. It doesn't necessarily mean everyone present is, or even was, a threat. The key differences between "day and night" is that in the dark, the good guys will hopefully have sufficient tools to illuminate the area, and the fact that everyone is at a tactical disadvantage.
    Training properly in low light scenarios can't be overstated.
     
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  19. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    The rules of gun safety are an excellent set of rules to live by almost all the time. For law enforcement, military, or just a civilian trying to survive a lethal situation, these rules must become more of a "guide".
     
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  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Do you carry a firearm?

    If so you have had your hand on one while it was pointed at something that you didn’t want to destroy. If you haven’t shot yourself in the butt, that is because you followed other firearm “rules” like keeping the bugger hook off the bang button until you wanted to send lead downrange.
     
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  21. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    The basic principles I've been taught to follow when using a pistol (or really any firearm) while searching or clearing a space as an individual or small team are the same both day and night: 1) keep the muzzle at low ready, 2) look high/low and left/right for threats by moving your head and eyes, 3) rush through funnels quickly with the firearm in retention position, 4) raise the muzzle to engage only when a threat is identified.

    Large team tactics go beyond these principles, of course. And larger teams can use overwhelming speed and force, something that an individual or small team can't.

    The use of a WM or hand-held light, doesn't change these basic principles for individuals. The use of a portable light does add to them, though. For example:

    1) The searcher who uses a WML must learn to keep his eyes in the spill, rather than focus on the brightest part of the beam. Focusing on the brightest zone is a natural tendency, and training and practice is the only way to get over that.

    2) The handheld light can be used like a WML (Rogers/Harries) but also has the advantage that it can be separated from the muzzle line to more completely illuminate zones where spill isn't adequate, say when looking through the hinge line of an open door, all without covering any non-threats that might be there.

    3) Scan with the light, then turn it off, and move.

    FL-NC, dynamic entries are challenging, there are dangerous people, and we all want the good guys to come home safely. But you've used some somewhat veiled language. Pull back the curtail a little. Are you saying that in your experience those who break down doors for a living in larger teams don't follow, or are exempt from following, these principles? Or do they just bend them (e.g. low ready means covering anything below the waist rather than in front of the toes)? Or do they follow them but are simply much faster at identifying and engaging threats? Or something else more nuanced?
     
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  22. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Here are a few examples: Know your target and what is beyond it: In a lethal scenario, you often don't "know" your "target". You must, however, identify a "threat". Knowing what is beyond your target, and the backstop? Wishful at best. For example, in a residential structure, sheetrock can't be considered a "backstop" of any real significance. Most man-made objects will either not be a good backstop, or be a ricochet hazard of some type. I have been struck by concrete and bullet fragments from bullets that have struck walls, for instance- it happens. Eye and ear protection? Just doesn't work out that way most of the time, unless you are a kitted-up assault team. Weapon pointed in a safe direction? Safe for who? Members of your team definitely shouldn't be getting "flagged" for any reason. A non-compliant individual? Definitely. However, this individual could just prove to be petrified by fear, or intoxicated to the point of not understanding what is happening, and thus not presenting a true threat.The catch-all? "Certain types of guns and shooting activities require additional safety precautions". Example: Would you fire your weapon at a target while another shooter is anywhere forward of the firing line? Probably not- in MOST places, that is a blatant safety violation. In the military and law enforcement communities, our sectors of fire in a structure overlap, and end 1 meter away from team mates. Yes, someone across the room from you may be sending bullets past you within 1 meter of your body. This is NOT a safety violation in this scenario, it is the way business is conducted. Is that an extreme example when translated to the non-mil, non-LE world? Maybe. But if you were armed, and a family member was on the couch, between you and a real threat, would you hesitate to engage that theat by shooting PAST that family member, or would you hold fire because that family member is "downrange", relative to your direction of fire? BTW- a weapon carried at the "low ready" is still oriented forward. anyone and anything in front of it is still "downrange". A weapon carried at the "high ready" puts anyone ABOVE it (in a multi-story structure) "downrange". We don't really live in a 360 degree world- its really more like 720.
     
  23. shafter

    shafter Member

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    In a dynamic situation where an armed threat is likely, you are going to be behind the curve if you try to identify the threat before pointing your gun at them.

    "Never point your gun at anything you don't want to destroy" is a good guideline but not always realistic in a dynamic situation. That's why trigger discipline is so important, as well as training and being able to stay calm and focused. You might be in a hotel or apartment complex with people above you, below you, and behind the wall in front of you. Your gun has to point somewhere.
     
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  24. shenck

    shenck Member

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    This has gotten away from what I witnessed. I was just frustrated with seeing blatant disregard for muzzle control. I don't want to go into the specifics. But everyone has given good points in their replies.
     
  25. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    In my case, old habits die hard. My unit that issued me a WML for my M4 didn't want it back so it is mine now. Same light is on my AR-15 at home, in the exact same place. There were many instances where I wished my M9 could have a flashlight on it. So now my HD (sometimes SD) weapon has one. I am working on a way to get a WML/laser on my smaller carry as well.

    When I worked for the Sheriff's department I was brought on to train with and train many officers, because of my military background. Nearly every county officer carried a weapon light on the duty weapon. Vast majority of the time they were Surefire X300s on a few different flavors of Glocks for the most part. Shoot houses were setup where the instructors had shoot/no shoot scenarios in mind. Based on information from dispatch, the officer would determine how they would search this shoot house. For example if it was a suspected drug house with 10-32 (person with firearm) reports, the search was done with firearms drawn. Some officers used a drawn firearm/light on AND a hand light to search, depending on the scenario that was built. Every situation was designed from the start to be different. If the scenario was a lost baby in a field or cow in the road, you can bet the officer was verbally castrated for searching with a drawn firearm and light.
     
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