Gunlight or Flashlight?

Discussion in 'General Handgun' started by inglockwetrust, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. inglockwetrust

    inglockwetrust G&G Regular

    Hey G&G folks,

    So. I'll soon be a new gun owner: yeah, one of 'those'!

    I'll have 2 setups: one for the range, and the other when the hg is stored at home, for HD.

    It's a 'clean' 1911, with no rail -- which is something I wanted vs purchasing a TRP. Though to be totally honest, I was eying a FNX at first, but it's not on the CA shitster, so I went for a DW instead, 'cause I can!

    I don't want a laser, because I'm not the Terminator, not in law enforcement and not doing competitions (I assume all of them use lasers). However, I want a light for HD. So I bought one of those CC3's on Deadzon (I hate Amazon, s.o.r.r.y) and now I'm shopping for a gunlight.

    I'm reading reviews (I dig that) on various websites, but since I have my account on G&G, I thought I'd ask you guys (and gals). So here are my 2 dilemmas:
    1. Call me stupid. I watched Bosch yesterday and him and the LAPD (in the tv series) use detached flashlights only. Now Bosch is using a 1911 Kimber, while the other guy is using a Glock I believe... anyhow: what's better practically speaking? attached or detached? I want something that blinds the invader.
    2. While I like reading reviews, I somewhat dislike that all of them redirect to the Deadzon and that most are made in the f*****g PRC. I don't mind the reviewers doing that, but I wonder if all the reviews do cover everything I should know about. +, I'd like to buy something made in the US, like the g.u.n. I just bought. In these days and age, the best way to fight the good fight is to buy local, true local, impo.
    Looking forward to reading your input and opinions!
  2. cjleete

    cjleete G&G Evangelist

    Streamlight TLR1 is probably best handgun mount light for the buck.
    I have one for house gun plus I have several handheld flashlights.
    There's an old maxim that applies to handguns and flashlights both:
    "Two is One, and One is None"
    I live by it.

  3. Jim Bridger

    Jim Bridger G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Look at the Vortex Venom red dot. Good in day light or dark conditions.
  4. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

    inglockwetrust: Sir; my background (hunting @ night raccoon n such)
    A quality flashlight. With fresh Batterys for back-up
    Most handguns; from my beginning; didn't have (never knew about such)

    #1. I'm not law enforcement type
    #2. I have no experience with these
    #3. I haven't ever considered one

    Stumbling around many nights with broken flashlights dead Batterys, tired, wet, cold, aggravated
    And a couple hardheaded :) :) mongrels :) :)

    These experiences have guided me
    Any flashlight (I carry new bulbs, lense, battery's) or @ home handies

    ='s flexibility
    inglockwetrust likes this.
  5. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter G&G Evangelist

    I don't like the mount on the gun type lights. If you are using an on the gun light the guy that just broke into your house will know just where to aim his gun to shoot you. If you have the light off the gun & have the intruder in the next room, you slide the light across the floor in that room. It will light up the room bright enough to see the intruder & his vision will be on the light sliding across the floor not on you. This will give you a chance to step around the corner & drop the hammer on him.
  6. Brandhard

    Brandhard G&G Evangelist

    Here's a YouTube channel I appreciate. This guy says it better than I can. I've linked to video 2 in a 3 part series, as he talks about flashlights in this one.

    TXplt and AK Hunter like this.
  7. OneShotKill

    OneShotKill G&G Evangelist

    Howell has never been a cop, never searched a warehouse for a bad guy and never searched the woods for a felon on foot. He is a competitive shooter who won many shooting medals in the national guard.

    My point is you need to go to police one or one of the professional tactics folks to get real knowledge.

    I would not take him on a search with me.
    inglockwetrust likes this.
  8. Brandhard

    Brandhard G&G Evangelist

    What does that have to do with anything? I haven't been a cop either, but I have had enough experience with a pistol, rifle, and machine gun to know my way around them.
    cjleete and neophyte like this.
  9. OneShotKill

    OneShotKill G&G Evangelist

    I am retired military and veteran of 4 cop jobs, now retired my carry is purely for self defense, I live in a rural area. Also attended 2 police academies and one special agent academies and here is my take.

    First, if you are only going to use the handgun at your home, the light on the gun is fine. The reason is the bad guy will know exactly where you are anyway. If he enters your home he knows you are not in the room with you and he will hear you moving. That is why we tell people not to move, to get down and wait for the bad guy to come to you, all movement makes noise. If you need to move down a hallway you know the way and should not need a light.

    You simply keep the light off unless you absolutely need it, flip it on and shoot or take whatever action you want. A light takes up space on a gun, few cops carry them in a duty rig.

    If you are away from your house or outside where bad guys may be anywhere in 4 directions, the minute you turn the light on, you are a target. Not only that, just go out and night and have someone turn on a light 50 yards away. The glow from a light will show the entire silhouette, again, why we tell people not to go outside when they have a prowler. You are lighting yourself up every time you turn it on.

    When a cop shows up on a prowler call, the bad guys see the car and know exactly where the cop is at all times, so a light on a cop gun is not as much of a risk. But when the cop or person goes on a search in a totally dark area, it is usually better to hold the light in the off hand. When peaking around a corner, or car, or whatever then the light can be held by the weak hand around the corner where the cop does a quick peek. On TV you see guys lean out with the gun in hand light on. They are exposing half of their upper body, good way to get shot. The goal is to reduce your risk.

    When I was a park ranger, I made many searches in the boonies and in business areas in the middle of the night. I had 2 guys try to kill me in the dark. My light in the off hand probably saved my life in one of them as he tried to stab me and my light in the off hand, bright in his face, blinded him. I would never have put the gun in his face with a light on it, too easy to get it snatched.

    Point is if it is a house gun and you are not going on searches away from the house, the light is fine. If you carry it and might use it away from home, carry a separate light. Now, I have lights on my long guns at home, I never turn them on and carry a much bigger light in the off hand, but they are there should I want to use them.

    So, ask a veteran cop and do not rely on UTube ninjas. My 2 cents.
  10. OneShotKill

    OneShotKill G&G Evangelist


    The OP asked the question, gun light or flashlight for home defense only. He said he did not want a laser and gave his reason. He commented he watched a show about the LAPD, where they used a detached light. He specifically said he wanted to blind an intruder, exactly what we do in law enforcement routinely.

    He asked for an opinion of a reader with experience. Specifically he wanted to know, "practically speaking" which was better, detached or in the hand. I advised him the same as I have students of CCW since 1996.

    I have hundreds of experiences in using lights where there were bad guys out there that needed to be cuffed and removed, many did not do so willingly. And more than one had guns and more than one had knives. Many were inside homes or buildings, many were far out in the boonies. They are where they are found.

    His question was about home defense. When people come into your house during the hours that you need a light, they often will have guns and knives. Just giving shooting instruction like the UTube ninjas is fine and if you want to get all of your expertise off of UTube, that is fine too. That is about shooting, not about the practical aspects of home defense with a light as a tool of defense. But if you want an opinion from someone who has done it hundreds of times at risk, you may get a different answer. And I gave mine.

    You may know your way around guns and lights and have your opinion. Same as mine. The OP asked a narrow question and sought comments. I gave mine and a few reasons. I could give dozens of examples, but do not think he want dozens. So, I am not sure why you are trashing my response, but that is fine. I learn lots from UTube, I replaced a water well pump by doing so, and get lots of nice tips there. And I even watch the ones from Hickock 45, but not going to use it for learning surgery.

    My 2 cents, yours may vary.
  11. Brandhard

    Brandhard G&G Evangelist

    I take slight offence to referring to a combat veteran with a CIB as Utube ninja.
    jerry and TXplt like this.
  12. Brandhard

    Brandhard G&G Evangelist

    I also don't disagree with what you posted for advice. I would just add that I've found it pretty necessary to have a light that isn't attached to my weapon, so I can see what's going on with out pointing a weapon at it.
  13. Jim Bridger

    Jim Bridger G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    This officer did a fine job in low light duties.:usa2:
  14. OneShotKill

    OneShotKill G&G Evangelist

    I am not sure where you got the idea Harrel was a combat vet? I see the combat infantry badge on his site, but from one of his videos, it is my understanding is that he served one 4 year tour with the Marines, then 16 years in the Oregon National Guard where he won 6 state national guard shooting competitions, 2 with the M60, one with pistol and I am not sure about the other 3. As a retired military guy, 23 years 9 months, I would never trash a combat vet. I also note while he has all his shooting ribbons, expert with one rifle and one pistol and looks like similar ones from the State Guard, I do not see any campaign ribbons or anything else to suggest actual combat experience. I have the expert rating with 7 different weapons, and repeated that annually with both handguns and rifles for many years, so I know what the ribbons mean.

    Paul Harrel has been in a pizzing contest from his competitors for years. He makes like a video per week and has had lots of people call him on goofy stuff he has said. He has made 4 or 5 of his own videos just trashing back at the guys, several already in 2020. Without getting too far into that here are a few that suggest that while he is entertaining he may not be the smartest guy in the room on everything. Keep in mind that anybody who tells a lie on the net publicly trashing another person can be sued. The first Amendment does not allow you to destroy people. So with that in mind, I will just start with the Yankee Marshall who trashed him in 2018 who basically said he was a quack on the issue of ballistics.

    Yankee Marshall Rebuttal: 2018 This is where well known Yankee Marshall had trashed Harrel for not using gel tests. This important because in a legal sense, the standard of measure for handgun effectiveness is recognized as ballistic gel. While shooting hams and roasts covered in denim may be interesting, it is not in a legal standard what could be an expert analysis. Bottom line, Paul Harrel could never testify in court on bullet effectiveness because he does not use methods that can be repeated over and over, and his methods simply do not meet basic scientific standards. Pauls rebuttal:

    GunNutsMedia March 2020:

    Harrel Rebuttal 3/2020:

    Longer Rebuttal by Harrel:

    Rebuttal to being a fraud:

    There are lots more, but from a scientific proposition, Harrel could never be considered an expert. And not one of the gun magazines or any bullet, ammo, or gun company sponsors him. wonder why not?

    He makes videos on everything but never even in his videos ever mentions having been to a police or reserve academy, or any experience at all in search, or anything related, so he does not seem to be an expert in the use of lights on weapons. It is a very different thing to use a light to shoot, than to use the light in a home defense scenario.

    His only claim to fame is he killed a guy who was allegedly going to ram his truck in a campground and his wife was behind the truck. He shot the guy 6 times as the guy drove forward but the truck never hit his. The DA charged him with manslaughter or murder, but the grand jury let him off.

    I just see nothing in his videos that impresses me. Half the guys on this forum, at least all the veterans, have more knowledge that what I have seen in his videos, but I do not watch them anymore.

    So, his little video on the use of lights does nothing for me. You and I both agree, I want my light in the off hand most of the time, nothing wrong with one on a gun, I just want my primary light that I can hold away from me or even throw away if it is drawing fire to me. MY 2 cents.
    Ron The Legend likes this.
  15. Flashlight...weapon mounted light used to illuminate and search has the handler sweeping innocents as well as possible assailant with a loaded firearm it violates several principles of safe gun handling... do not aim your firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy...jmho
  16. inglockwetrust

    inglockwetrust G&G Regular

    AK Hunter and OneShotKill like this.
  17. inglockwetrust

    inglockwetrust G&G Regular

    I hear you. I've watched many of his vids, and the guy's just weird. And thanks for clarifying his creds, because it's less than obvious when the guy talks about himself.
    Ron The Legend and OneShotKill like this.
  18. inglockwetrust

    inglockwetrust G&G Regular

    This is the best answer imo. Thanks for sharing. +, I had no idea about the 'not moving' concept, though it entirely makes sense.
    Ron The Legend and OneShotKill like this.
  19. inglockwetrust

    inglockwetrust G&G Regular

    2 thumbs up!
  20. inglockwetrust

    inglockwetrust G&G Regular

    That hurts. But then again, truth almost always does.

    Now, I want to thank e/o for their feedback. I was having a look at the prices of various models yesterday. Not surprisingly, they have jumped up to 50% in recent days -- I'm going to assume, this is because all bozzos like me (new gun owners = 50% increase in sales since Feb 2020) think they need one for HD.

    You guys saved me a lot of $$$. Kudos!