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Old 09-24-2017, 12:44 PM
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ContinentalOp ContinentalOp is offline
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My thoughts, for whatever they're worth...

TL;DR version: I prefer neither weapon-mounted light, weapon-mounted laser, nor night sights. I like to keep things simple and rely on a handheld flashlight for illumination. My needs may not be compatible with yours, and vice versa.

The "I'm bored out of my skull and I have nothing better to do than to read this novel" version:

I view the handgun as a quick-reaction self defense tool, and if I were attacked I want my focus on my attacker. I use a target-focused approach. My focus is on the target, but I bring my gun up into my line of sight and look "through" the sights (target in-focus, fuzzy sights). This method allows me to get good hits quickly at close range, up to 5 yards or so, and even taking my time I can get decent groups up to 10 yards (the farthest I've tried, with minimal difference between target-focus and front-sight-focus). Worst-case scenario, I can still get a rough alignment between my eyes, my gun, and the target.

I've had guns with night sights. While I don't think they're bad, they're not for me. At least at this point in time. I tend to find them distracting. I prefer plain black sights. Generally speaking, if there's enough light to identify a threat, there's enough light to align your gun on target.

Speaking of which...Reference was made earlier to Tom Givens. I stumbled onto a YouTube video made by one of his students. The student took the slide of his Glock, which didn't have night sights (IIRC, it had plain black sights but with a red line painted down the center of the front sight) and took it around with him to all the places he typically goes, including at night time. Every place he visited had enough light for him to see his sights and ID threats.

I recall reading an article talking about low-light shooting. The author (it may have been Tom Givens...I can't remember) wrote that statistics showed that most shootings occurred during night time hours, which is where the idea that most shootings are low light incidents came from, but that the actual lighting conditions were generally not provided.

Of course, there are times when there may not be enough light. Which is why I keep 2 flashlights on me when out-and-about, have one on my nightstand, another by my computer, and others scattered about. Night sights can't ID threats. They allow you to reference your gun's position in relation to the target in low light, but if you can't ID the target they're not of much help. They can also help you see the gun on the nightstand in the dark. However, at least for me, that's not really necessary. Using an unloaded gun I have practiced grabbing my gun from my nightstand in my unlit bedroom. What I found is that even with the lights out there's enough ambient light coming in through the window that I can see my gun. I can also see my flashlight and can grab that, too, so I can ID potential threats.

Regarding flashlights...I've seen the arguments regarding the use of flashlights and giving away your position. Certainly possible. My thought is that the risk is worth it to be sure that the threat is actually a threat. Shining a bright light into an attacker's eyes is going to cause some disorientation in a dark room. If I've positively ID'd the threat, I can shut off the light, move, re-light, and fire if necessary (movements I've practiced...I've learned to keep the floor clutter-free by my bed...ask me how I learned that lesson... ). So, in my opinion, unless you use night vision goggles, you'll need some kind of illumination to ID threats.

Regarding lasers...I'll admit I've never used a laser. There may come a time when I will give it a try. But based on the training I've had and the practice I've done, I don't see the benefit as being worth the cost. I've heard the argument that using a laser brings your focus to the target, but that's not really true. It brings your focus to the dot where your gun is pointed. I don't want to get into the habit of looking for the dot when I should be focusing on the threat. Again, I consider the gun a quick-reaction self defense tool...Assess threat, fire if necessary. I want the chain between assessing the threat, making the decision to fire, and firing on the threat to be as short and simple as possible. While using a flashlight may be an extra step in that chain, I can't assess the threat if I can't see it.

Regarding weapon-mounted lights...I can see their utility in some circumstances. I think my issue with them stems from their operation, which either requires a pressure switch taped to the grip or a toggle on the light's body in front of the trigger guard. With a pressure switch, my concern would be gripping the gun tightly under stress and inadvertently turning the light on when I want it off. With the toggle switch, I'd have to use either my trigger finger or my support hand thumb to operate it. These are extra steps in the chain that I have to train my shooting hand to do. With the flashlight in my support hand, I can focus on shooting with my shooting hand. Obviously, I could train myself to operate a pressure switch or toggle switch, and there may come a time when I will experiment with that. But the biggest, most glaring (see what I did there?) issue is that I don't have any guns that can mount a WML.

This is just my opinion, for my own situation. As always, YMMV. Assess your needs, make whatever changes/accommodations you deem necessary, and practice.

Last edited by ContinentalOp; 09-24-2017 at 12:48 PM.
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