Flashlights

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by TranterUK, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I use flashlights a lot. They can be used with a handgun or by themselves as a way of temporarily blinding an assailant, giving you time to take other action.

    Modern flashlights can be small and very powerful. Some say they can be used for self defence, and within their limitations, the more powerful ones can.

    I use Surefire and own a couple. I still carry one every day and night when out and about. I even attach a tritium fob to it in case it's dropped in the dark!

    Do any others share my thoughts about a good flashlight being a vital part of a defensive package? And if you do, how?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2008
  2. graehaven

    graehaven Active Member

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    A mini-mag flashlight makes a great backup defensive/offensive weapon. Made from high grade aircraft aluminum, it's very strong. Held in the hand, gripped tightly, thumb on the lens, the other end protruding from the bottom of your fist, it's an ideal striking weapon for CQC. An army acquaintance of mine showed me a few uses for it.

    I regularly carry my "assault" flashlight, and my "assault" knife. I also drive an "assault" vehicle, and sit in an "assault" chair at work. ;)

    I can't stand the "assault weapon" people. They're absolute idiots.
  3. DoesItMatter

    DoesItMatter New Member

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    Hmm...

    My family has light sensitivity in our eyes.

    Sister is really bad, on bright sunny days, she can't be out for more than
    a few minutes before she gets really bad headaches.

    I'm not so bad, but super sunny days, I need some sunglasses or I'm
    constantly squinting.

    Advantage though is that I can see in very low light conditions.

    Flashlights definitely handy and those mag lights will definitely give a good thump to the head.

    But...

    In a situation where you are in the dark, and you see a flashlight bobbing around...

    Wouldn't the smart thing be to shoot in the area around the flashlight?
    I mean, that has got to be your target in most cases...

    Just my thoughts.
  4. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

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    I have the opinion, mainly due to police training that a flashlight, no matter the intensity, presents a target for return fire from perpetrators.

    If you do choose to carry a flashlight for defensive situations should you ever be involved in such altercation, carry the flashlight in a fashion that supports the aim of your handgun. For example... If you are right-handed and carrying a handgun, place your right arm at the elbow over your left arm (carrying the flashlight) at the left elbow. Both elbows should nearly meet... Assure that your left arm containing the flashlight does not intersect your head, as this is a bright target for an assailant...

    Given that, you may do well... Otherwise, you've just painted a target on your skull if you point a pistol at an assailant with a light mounted to your handgun.
  5. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Yes and no.

    Depending on unlimited variables...circumstances, your intent, the situation, element of surprise, location, timing, psychological disposition etc etc.

    There are times when a white light does make you a nice target.

    There are times when a white light is the best way to illuminate the threat.

    There are times when a white light will deescalate a bad situation.

    There are times when a white light will dazzle a threat into submission.


    In my job we use both the capability of working in absolute darkness via IR optics/lights and lasers etc....and with white light. I've worn out the switches on Surefire lights from training so much with them. I used them in two wars too. A 125 lumen light is about the size of a pill bottle and hitting you unsespected from darkness from 20 feet is like having your face shoved against a highbeam truck headlight....you are dazzled for a good 15 seconds or more.

    A bright light is no different than anything else within the realm of fighting tools....sometimes you need it; sometimes you don't....sometimes you should; sometimes not.

    Even if you don't use a light....your muzzleflash gives a decent target reference point anyway:D

    I'm not against the capability of having a light...so long as it is very bright.

    I think lights are highly misunderstood and training among civilians with them is relatively rare. Myths are the result, as with anything else.
  6. Desertmonky

    Desertmonky New Member

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    I must agree with delta13. Catching a unsuspecting victim or assailant with a bright flash is sometimes all you need, either way if you are using it during the confrontation or not it is a indispensable part of any good defense package.
  7. sabashimon

    sabashimon New Member

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    Excellent reply Delta
  8. SolidVFR

    SolidVFR New Member

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    I carry a Surefire E1B Backup daily. A great little light, simple, bombproof and bright. A flashlight is a very important tool, just like a knife. And they're not illegal. Yet.
  9. vthompson

    vthompson New Member

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    I carry a surefire light with me daily also. I wouldnt leave home without it.
  10. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Just to expound just a bit about flashlights I think intensity should be mentioned. Your average flashlight falls short of being bright enough to dazzle a threat....and lots of "tac-lite" brand names make both bright lights and some too that are no brighter than a cheapo from Kmart.

    Maglite would be an example of the above. Now, yes they do make some bright lights, over 100 lumens, but those are big D and C cell lights. Mini-mags with AA or AAA batteries are about a 15 lumen light...not close to being at weapon level lights. (Now I'm not knocking Maglite as a light in general. I have a Mini-mag in all my vehicles and motercycle saddlebags. I have C-cell Maglites all over my house. They are great for outdoors and emergencies and priced good. But Maglites are hands down inferior to other brands in both size and power....and Maglites are built no tougher than other brands either.) The new Mini-mag LED lights seem nice, although not as bright as I like. I plan to check them out though because they probably stretch battery life.

    On batteries. True combat lights run on lithium batteries. As far as I know, there are no lights small enough to fit under your weapon or clip on your belt, yet bright enough to blind a threat, that use dry cell batteries i.e. AAA, AA, C, D etc. Lithium batteries are more exensive and sometimes tricky to find, but the difference in performance is huge.

    My favorite brands for utility are Coast, Pelican, Gerber and Maglite. (I have a Coast blue LED map light the size of a cigarette I use on night ranges to clear chambers that has the same battery since 2005!) My favorite fighting lights are Surefire and Coast.

    Surefire has some really bright 100+ lumens lights for $60+ that will fit in your palm and give you an hour of light. They have the same sized and same priced lights that only have 45 lumens or less too, but 12+ hours battery time. For more $$ you can get double duty lights...as in they have a low lumen setting that burns like 2 lumens for 200 hours of utility work, or can put out 200 lumens for 30 minutes in another mode. Surefire even makes a 500 lumen M6 light that burns 20 minutes on 5 or 6 lithium batts, which is beyond weapon grade and closer to a rescue device in my opinion, smaller than a Redbull drink can, but costs about $400. My two handheld favorite are the M3 and G3....G3 being the least expensive and easiest to replace but plenty light in a fight. For a weapons I like the X300 and M500/M600 lights, mostly because they work good and my job buys them anyway.

    I did not say all that to say Surefire is the best. Just to try and explain that buying "brands" for lights is like saying "Remington" or "Winchester" is the best Safari gun. You'd want to pick a caliber and bullet weight right? Combat flashlights are the same.

    A whole thread could be written on how and why for lights. I just part on this thought I often wonder........If most armed citizens use their weapon in the dark, why do so many only go to ranges to practice during the day?
  11. SolidVFR

    SolidVFR New Member

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    Good post Delta.

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/index.php? - Check it out

    I used to think that a light that runs on AAs was the best, and I was "anti-SureFire" :). Now I'm older and wiser :), and I love SureFire and lithiums. SF has an excellent guarantee, and their lights far surpass Coast, Gerber, Maglite. Pelican makes good lights, but they're not meant for tactical purposes or to be carried daily.

    For other good brands, check out: Novatac ( http://www.novatac.com/ ), First Light USA ( http://www.first-light-usa.com/ ). Another name, though not as popular as SureFire, is Pentagonlight ( http://www.pentagonlight.com/ ). I'm a SureFire guy though :).
  12. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Active Member

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    I have found, and sell, a 200+ lumen LED light that runs on 3 AAA batteries. 1" diameter and a little over 4" long. Beam is focusable. Anodized aluminum construction. Tail cap switch (not momentary & no strobe). We have tested battery life and gave up after 6 hours with cheap batteries. 50,000 hour LED. I call it "DeLight." These seriously put Surefires to shame as far as batteries, battery life, and brightness go-but they MAY not be quite as heavy duty. And they are $43.00 shipped!
  13. graehaven

    graehaven Active Member

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    Ok, i'm interested! I went to your site and couldn't find it there. Please let me know. Thanks man. :D
  14. SolidVFR

    SolidVFR New Member

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    I've been through it already, and if your are serious about getting a high quality illumination tool, you can save a lot of money by heeding my advice. If you just want something the impress your friends and have light saber fights with, then go for the Chinese-made cheap lights.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.15573
    http://cgi.ebay.com/MTE-SSC-P7-C-LE...39:1|66:2|65:12|240:1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
    http://cgi.ebay.com/eGear-XT-130-Ta...39:1|66:2|65:12|240:1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
    http://cgi.ebay.com/HUGSBY-S2-CREE-...39:1|66:2|65:12|240:1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Q5-Tactical-3-w...39:1|66:2|65:12|240:1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14597

    Some of them are actually pretty high quality, but if you want something to last a lifetime, get a SureFire. Not the brightest, not the most efficient, but often the SIMPLEST and definitely the longest lasting.
  15. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I have to go along with Solid VFR. I have seen some pretty impressive and bright cheap flashlights, but will stick to my Surefires. (L4 and M2).

    They are better made and will withstand rougher treatment. Not much comfort when your stuck in a dark building with the lights out, the fire bell ringing and your flashlight fails in thinking about how many dollars you saved buying a cheap one!

    Keep a couple of the cheapies for the tool box.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2008
  16. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Active Member

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    I'm inclined to believe the Surefires (or their component parts) are built in China. I can't prove it though. The cheap lights in the links don't compare to the DeLights. They are CR123A lights, mine are AAA. The DeLight is brighter, too. For the average person or cop, the DeLight is probably ideal. The next shipment is pre-sold. I will be getting another shipment in within a few weeks, and will put them on the "For Sale" forum. They are too new to be on my site, and they sell so fast I usually don't have any left!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  17. SolidVFR

    SolidVFR New Member

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    CR123s have a number of advantages over alkalines(cost is not one of them, though): They work in temperature extremes, can be used in high-drain devices, weigh less, better power-size ratio.

    BTW, 6 Hours, 200lm is extremely unlikely. I'm not saying you're not being truthful, but there simply isn't an LED out there that boasts that kind of output. Likely, the light you have is direct-driven, and the output gradually drops off. Try running it for a couple hours and compare it with the same light, but with fresh batteris. Lastly, I highly doubt it is actually 200lm. Lumens are very difficult to measure, and almost all manufacturers exaggerate or just LIE about the output of their lights. My E1b, rated at 80lm would be called 150lm by many manufactures. SureFire is one of the only companies that UNDERESTIMATES the lumen output of their lights.

    http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main/co_disp/displ/pgrfnbr/525/sesent/00

    SureFire's are more than just aluminum tubes with a bulb and a couple batteries. They are serious tools, engineered and thought-out. The company stands behind its products.

    BTW, I don't work for SureFire or get paid in any way by them, I'm just a satisfied customer.

    I own a number of Chinese made lights, and they offer great value for the money you pay. They're great to give away or to really beat up, but for a tactical light: SureFire. That is what they're designed for, and that is what they do best.
  18. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Active Member

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    Actually, they are rated higher in lumen output by the factory. My 200 lumen rating is conservative.
    Yes, they do drop off a little in intensity after a couple of hours.
    Yes, they are brighter than Surefires, by quite a bit. I have tested them side by side.
    AAAs are availabe everywhere, at minimal cost.
    If you doubt it so much, then buy one and try it. I'll refund your money if you disagree!
    I know it's hard to swallow when you paid $150 for the Surefire! Like I said, the Surefire may be a little more rugged. It sure has a lot of knurling and "crennellated" parts. For most people, the Delight is a better mousetrap, though. And they are nothing like the other Chinese lights.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  19. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    I didn't mention one light that runs on AA's that is probably the best engineered light yet made. It's called Phantom Warrior. As far as I know only military can buy them, at least that was my understanding a couple years ago. For civilians, it honestly has applications nobody would ever need, but it is still a great light. It's better than any Surefire for utility work in combat conditions, but maybe not in certain dedicated roles. It is a flashlight, not a "tac-lite" and will not blind a threat.

    Bill, I don't doubt your DeLight...not enough to pay $43 to maybe get my foot in my mouth:D But that's why I was trying to say buying by brand alone is not very wise.

    Once again to hit on intensity vs making yourself a target: You cannot be a target for a man blinded.
  20. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Active Member

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    I have no way to measure the actual output of these lights,, but have tested them against Surefires and they are brighter.
    There maY be better lights, but not that run on AAAs and for $43!
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