Strobe Flashlight

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by TranterUK, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Many will investigate noises in the night with a pistol and a flashlight. In my view you dont use the flashlight until you have to, otherwise you betray your location and loose your number one advantage, you know the house and they dont.

    There are now bright flashlights that strobe, to disorientate an intruder. Any one have any views or experience of the use of strobes in the type of situation above?
  2. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Active Member

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    There are many flashlights that will simply blind an intruder, because they are so bright. Why strobe?
  3. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

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    I'd agree on strobe disorienting an intruder. Even if you do disorient an intruder with a bright light, they can potentially follow your path of movement and determine where you might be next. If there is more than one intruder, you'd better also hope that they're close to one another to achieve this blinding effect with a bright light; if not, the other guy may see your location perfectly and not be as effected by your light. You might as well paint a big "shoot me" sign on you in this case. It's harder to do that with a strobed light, especially if you're moving (only a theory).

    I am generally opposed to weapons-mounted lighting systems because of what I've been trained to do in the past by police officers. Their assertion is that weapons mounted lighting systems are given to be in line with your head. Therefore, it's easy for the bad guy to figure out where to aim in the dark. This wouldn't be as much of an issue with a strobed lighting source in my opinion. We were taught to hold our lights (at the time, Mag Lights) under our shooting hand, cross-body, and to use our elbow joint on our light hand to support our shooting hand at the wrist. The reasoning was that the light would be offset from your natural body line and that the pistol would be well-rested for shooting. I liked the idea, and have since (on this site actually) been told that it's called 'Harry's Approach' to tactical training but I can't find links supporting that name... The training was given from guys who were part of a local SWAT team, and it has worked for them.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  4. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Sounds a bit like the best one I was taught for handgun/ flashlight which is the backs of both hands touching, the flashlight hand having passed under the gun hand. Holding the thumb to the back of the light.

    Not forgetting to switch it off and move.....
  5. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    The problem with those old police techniques is that Maglites were the best they had.

    My friends, Mag-lites are not bright lights. For a utility light, they are a solid, reliable, effective lighting device. BUT for a tactical fighting light they are like comparing single action revolvers to modern semi-auto pistols.

    A high end SureFire or = doesn't matter what your grip is or etc...if you illum a guy's eyes in darkness within 1'-25' he wil be dazzled very severely. For a minute all he will see in the center of his vision is big yellow orbs.

    As far as multiple threats, that is a training/tactics question that no cool-guy gear will answer for anyone.

    I think the strobe has potential. It would be very confusing to an unsuspecting person...in addition to dazzling his vision (if 100+ lums). With strong voice commands you might shock him into surrender. I'd not use it unless I trained with it until I climatized my own vision...it may work both ways just like grenades. :DThe only advice I can give about strobes is marking LZ/DZ's, which are different kit entirely though.
  6. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    It is interesting, I have never faced strobe lights or used them but do wonder.

    It seems likely pointing a bright strobing flashlight at a threat will disorientate, making accurate return fire less likely. But would it also make shooting harder for the holder of the strobe?

    The best thing with ideas like this is testing them out!!!!
  7. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

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    Oh, don't get me wrong... I realize that Mag-Lites are not bright lights and partially why I told what we were using. I'm sure today's lights are much more effective, however depending on distance to the subject and how many are there, I feel much more confident holding a light off to the side and off of my center of mass. That's just me though... Having never been in a real defensive situation but only simulated ones, I trust your experience on the matter much more than my opinion.

    I'd like to at least try the strobe concept out one day on a B21 Target at night out here in the sticks. That would be interesting... ;)
  8. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    I'd be interested to hear what you guys decide after you do some test firing. Maybe some comparison scores at 7'. If you have an airsoft gun and a willing bad guy it would be interesting to hear his opinion of being confronted by darkness vs taclite vs strobe light.

    Tranter..."But would it also make shooting harder for the holder of the strobe?" According to some LE in the US, they can strobe their lights and shoot the same, but I'm skeptical if their results can be duplicated without their kit.

    Which brings me to another point. The light devices used in some US max-security prisons to subdue men, they are not white-light strobes. I believe blue, red & green spectrum. Those devices bounce across several frequencies of light to induce the Bucha effect, which is not to be confused with the 4% of people who are epaleptic photosensetive to flashing lights. It's an actual siezure phenomenon that can happen to helicopter pilots that causes crashes...and replicated in most people by such devices. Looking in the light makes you dizzy and ill. I don't think these lights are openly sold to everyone.

    With a normal high-lum taclite, the goal is to make the guy shut his eyes. If he doesn't shut them, that is all fine because every moment longer he looks at the intense beam, the longer he will be blinded. He can't run, aim, or fight because he cannot see.

    What is your goal with a strobe?

    The human eye sends data to the brain in continuous segments. A strobe will interupt the seamless transfer of data to the brain with breaks of confusing data causing temporary disorientation. A white light strobe will not induce the Bucha affect, as far as I know.

    An intense strobe may also have a psychological affect different than just an intense white beam, although there's no denial those have an affect too. This affect would result from 1. not expecting flashes 2. not understanding why strobe light is being encountered 3. fear of suddenly not knowing who is controlling the strobe. (If you did not expect the strobe from the user, obviously he may not be who or what you assumed he is.) To say simply...it may cause some level of panic.

    The last thing is how the human eye sees motion: In relative terms not highly well. That is just a tradeoff for our binocular predator vision, lots of color lets us detect prey from the background. Prey instantly sees movement at any angle because their eyes detect it, but most colors to them are shades of dark. Predators do not because our eyes are refined to see detail. Men who are color blind see movement better; the whole rod/cone ratio deal. Human eyes are refined over both verticle and horizontal planes too, unlike animals especially refined in either horizontal or verticle etc. This all has to do with strobe lights because a man's eye is easy to fool into falso perception over movement...like pilots reporting a UFO chasing their plane that turns out to be Venus or Mars, or truck drivers running off a road mistaking a distant pair of red-lighted towers for car brake lights etc etc. My theory is that a focused strobe light would leave a man clueless to the fact of threat location...is he static, moving closer, moving away, diaganol? However, this may be mute since a high power beam just blinds anyway.

    Okay...all my opinion and ramblings of a hillbilly with a degree in soldiering. Sorry if I went too in detail; not trying to insult intelligence, just trying to explain what I think. I'm very interested in hearing about some range reports.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  9. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

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    Delta, I don't currently own one of these strobe lights but have been looking at them with a lot of interest. If I ever break down and buy one, I'll do a test. :)
  10. cycloneman

    cycloneman Active Member

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    Not only are these strobe flashlights good for defence, they also come in handy if you find yourself at a bachlor party. :D
  11. obxned

    obxned New Member

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    High luman lights blind, but high luman strobes disorient extremely well. I've tried them myself. The effect is like being blindfolded and spinning around until dizzy.
  12. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Well gentlemen, I have arranged to do some tests here. They wont happen for a few days though.

    Actual results will be forthcoming.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2009
  13. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Sounds good. I'm going to probably go forward with the Great Derringer Experiment I've procrastinated on for so long...I was happy with the NAA mini-mag revolver experiment...If I'm not sidetracked once again, this time by a sweet used Savage 30-06. You may wonder why this rifle; It's wood stocked and has iron sights, the only thing it needs is a light nylon sling...simple as I like...so there may go my derringer funds.:D This is stuck on my mind.

    Standing by.
  14. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek New Member

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    I'll look forward to your results, and thank you for sharing.
  15. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Completely off the original topic... what is this Great Derringer Experiment? I happen to already have a derringer in .38 special, so perhaps I could give it a try (not that the results would be genuinely useful, but at least it could either pique or curb your interest, and it would give me something to do).
  16. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    Is this like the red/green lights in that "Fringe" episode where people were hypnotized after looking at them? :eek: :D:D
  17. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    It's a project I've had in mind a long time, an experiment to see for myself how useful or useless a small 2-shot American/Cobra style derringer may be. And if useful, to get an applied understanding of limitations.

    (I tried this with a 5-shot NAA .22 Mag mini-revolver and was surprised how quick and accurate it was. Not a tackdriver, but good enough within 7' to work. The goal was 3 center shots fired at 3 feet within 3 seconds of deciding to present from a pocket: it worked. This despite being told they were useless little guns.)

    I know I'll probably buy a .22 Mag derringer because I have plenty ammo already and it seems likely to be the mildest to fire. I'm guessing .22 LR will fire fine in it too.

    The other derringer will be either a .380 ACP or .38 Spl. I have plenty of ammo for these too, and either of these two calibers is what my CCW is likely to be any given day. (I just don't carry 9mm/.45 ACP often anymore.)

    I ruled out .45 Colt derringers because they are larger than most Beretta pocket pistols and nearly as big as my PPK/s. I may eventually get a .45 Colt, but it'll be a tackle box snake gun, not a carry weapon.

    Anyway, the experiment: 1. Place 2 hits in the A-zone or 9-ring, from 3 feet, in 3 seconds from a concealed presentation (pocket). 2. Aimed fire at 3', 5', and 7' for center mass, A-zone/9-ring. 3. Determine how quick a reload can be done.

    I'm interested to hear your opinion in general on your .38 spl derringer. Quality etc. Trigger pull/accuracy/blast/recoil etc.

    If I find a good one, it'll spend the rest of it's days in my pocket beside my zippo.
  18. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Dude I'm not sure. I don't believe they hypnotize...they induce a painful nausea sensation similar to the beginning of a migrain, cause a feeling of weakness, and make you ill. Honestly that's all I know. I guess really they shouldn't be categorized with "strobe light" because the strobing effect they have is only a small part of how they achieve the affect they do. It's kind of like calling acoustic/sound pulse weapons a big whistle.:D
  19. Brian@ITC

    Brian@ITC New Member

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    I’m a firm believer in strobing flashlights. The brain takes a snap shot every 1/25th of a second and a strobing flashlight in essence has a time delay effect on the brain processing information because it (the brain) has less real time information to process.

    I like the strobing lights over the constant on’s for the disorienting factor. The after image of a constant light going off is a good thing too. Any bright light will do, but the strobing one’s that are at the right megahertz are IMHO best.
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