I have to agree with spud. If it’s dark enough to use a flashlight you have to weigh the advantages of it against the fact that it will give your opponent a good target. Personally I’d never put one on a carry gun (YMMV) put I do keep one with me.
Hmmm… Since handguns can be held and fired with one hand, that leaves the other hand empty right? Now what could one do with that empty hand when it’s dark? I know, hold a flashlight in it!
The gun’s lighter and less bulky and you can hold the flashlight out at arms reach to the side so that it’s not a precise aiming point for the bad guy or even set it down and step away with the beam shining in the direction you’re looking.
I shoot handguns one-handed. I dont feel comfortable and feel restricted on my ability to switch targets with that 2 handed pistol hold. IMHO, a handgun was/is intended to be fired with one hand and I shoot very well with either hand that way. If I need 2 hands to shoot it, it’s a rifle or a shotgun. The only thing I mount on a firearm is a sling on my rifles and shotguns. I consider having stuff mounted on a gun to be more of a emcumberance than a aid. Just my 2 cents folks.
The only real argument that I have against them, is that it gives position away and an aim point for the other guy.
If it’s dark enough that you’re worried about a flashlight giving away your position, then it’s dark enough that you need a flashlight to make sure that your target is what you think it is.
As far as being an aim point for the other guy, well, if he’s shooting at you then he’s probably going to be aiming for your muzzle flash anyway. In the meantime, not only do you have a nicely lit target that silhouettes your sights nicely, but he’s dealing with a light shining into his eyes.
Doing it one way does not preclude that another way is also effective.
I’ve found weapon mounted lights to be very advantageous when shooting light or short guns, they certainly mitigate muzzle rise to some degree.
I have another problem with using a weapon lights that hasn’t been mentioned; in order to put light on the subject you must bring the muzzle of your weapon in line with the subject. (Especially if you are using a 2 handed grip and can’t use a free hand flashlight.)
Imagine searching your home, only to hear a noise you don’t expect to your left side, swinging the light to find your 4 year old crawling out from underneath some piece of furniture. Do you really want that muzzle sweeping your child?
pdb’s attack is suspiciously leftist in tone and attitude: I don’t like your opinion, therefore it is wrong.
Not being sarcastic, but is there some sort of real reason that turning on the lights would be a stupid move? The only time I ever felt concerned enough to get out the scattergun and go inspect around the house, I turned on the lights so I could see what I was looking at. Seriously, I suspect that’s not the elite tactical approach, but is there some serious safety reason not to do that?
(In my case, at the time, I was hoping that just turning on the lights might scare a bad guy off if he wasn’t looking for a fight.)
There are pro’s and cons to both on and off gun lights.
Having a light on the gun means you ALWAYS have a light when you have your gun. (+)
Having a light mounted gun means that you may instinctively point the light at movement and that might break one of the 4 rules if you point the gun at your teenage kid who came home late (-)
If you don’t train with a flashlight in your hand, you won’t be effective with the gun OR the light. (-)
I agree with Massad Ayoob, who feels you should have both handheld and gun-mounted lights. Rather than try to repeat his points, those who are interested can find them for themselves. Failing that, at least read xpo172′s comment again.
When my kids were toddlers I developed the ability to walk from my upstairs bedroom, down the stairs, across the living room and dining room to the kitchen, without once stepping on any of the toys left scattered about by the young ones. In my sleep, before coffee, with the lights out, every morning. Think of me back then as a semiconscious ninja.
I think leaving the lights off in that situation would lead to the bad guy stepping on the Legos, wooden trains, Matchbox cars, and Lincoln Logs.
Turning on the lights to laugh at him after he tripped and fell down the stairs would be useful, but so would shining a light on him.