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LEOGround >> lightrail or not


5/27/07 6:20 AM
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Jerry Bohlander
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Edited: 27-May-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 172
 
For basic patrol functions, do you guys think a lightrail is necessary for a handgun or not? I know that it is a nice tool when doing building searches and such, but even working graveyards I rarely need it. Do you guys think it is necessary? I am also on SWAT and I understand the need for the rail for SWAT functions, but what about patrol? I would like to hear some opinions. Thanks in advance.
5/28/07 12:16 PM
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B Sharps
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Edited: 28-May-07
Member Since: 01/05/2007
Posts: 624
My personal take is no they are not really needed for everyday use, but it isn't a bad thing to have them just in case. One of those better to have it and not need it vice need it and not have it type of things. A must for TAC Teams though.
5/30/07 1:06 AM
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pfsjkd
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Edited: 30-May-07 01:10 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 11616

My personal take is that the drawbacks to using one when you're by yourself or only lightly covered outweigh the benefits.  Not by leaps and bounds, but a little bit.  And I know it's all subjective.

Being a Border Patrol Agent on mids before, and having to use a light a signficant amount of time, I'm a big believer in the philosophy that an armed bad guy will tend to shoot at the light, therefore, I keep the light pretty far offset from the bod in my non-gun hand.  Yes, this means that you can only use the gun with one hand, but in a low-light suprise shooting situation most people are gonna be just a red 'C' hair better shooting two-handed at a dark subject than they will be one-handed.  Hell, if you can get some rounds in his direction just to get his head down so you can seek cover I think you've accomplished a lot in that scenario, let alone trying to actually hit someone shooting at you from the dark.

But if you're gonna use it, I'd have it on all the time so that you get used to drawing and firing with the extra weight.  Just my $ 0.02.

5/31/07 3:34 PM
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Skot
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Edited: 31-May-07
Member Since: 04/17/2003
Posts: 115
I am a street patrol cop andI carry a dedicated light on my glock 22, along with a compatible safariland holster. I personally think if you got the rail, you should have the light and holster.
6/1/07 10:27 PM
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CUFFS137
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Edited: 01-Jun-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 110
SWAT guys on my dept. have lights on their guns, and a duty holster that accomodates the light so I agree w/Skot.
6/4/07 12:14 AM
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TacticalGrappler
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Edited: 04-Jun-07
Member Since: 04/04/2003
Posts: 472
I carry the light mounted on my handgun on SWAT, but take it off for patrol work. Used to keep it on all the time. I'm thinking about dropping it even for SWAT. Two reasons: I took the Strategos Low Light Instructor class, and it really demonstrates how much more versatile the light is when it is "free floating" versus attached to the handgun. Plus, as noted above, people do tend to shoot at the light. Happens all the time in sims, just like they tend to shoot at the gun in lighted sims scenarios. In many cases,when searching with the the light mounted on the gun, it is right in line with your face as you go through your search.... I also noticed a tendency to treat the gun like a flashlight, versus a gun with a light attached to it, even amongst seasoned SWAT guys and patrol people. This is bad juju.
6/4/07 12:24 AM
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Jerry Bohlander
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Edited: 04-Jun-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 173
Some good points guys. Thanks. TacticalGrappler, great point about the lightrail mounted light being in line with the face when in use, I hadn't thought of that. pfsjkd, like you I usually carry my light away from my gun hand. Even if I decided to get the gun with lightrail, finding a level 3 holster for the gun with light attached is damn near impossible. I am leaning toward the non-lightrail though. I like some of the pointers I am getting here and I like the weight savings. I know it's only 2 or 3 ounces, but it starts to add up over 12 hours.
6/5/07 12:41 AM
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CUFFS137
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Edited: 05-Jun-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 111
"finding a level 3 holster for the gun with light attached is damn near impossible" Safariland makes them. You have the choice of the standard rotating hood (which I believe is considered level 2), and rotating hood with an additional safety switch which must disengaged before the hood can be rotated (level 3). They are made in tactical drop, and duty style with a choice of nylon, or the various leather finishes. Sorry I dont have the model numbers.
6/7/07 9:13 AM
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KidJustice
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Edited: 04-Sep-07 10:19 AM
Member Since: 02/15/2002
Posts: 7590

I have the tactical drop Safariland holster in level III. I have the surefire X200 weapon light attached (I carry the SIG 229). I wear this rig when I'm doing fugitive operations and then I have a level II (rotating hood) Safariland for normal duty. I love Safarilands stuff their holsters are top notch.

TacticalGrappler, is 100% correct though about the bad guys shooting at the light. thats why I only operate the weapons light in short bursts. I have also used a hand held at the same time held away from my body. If four guys are doing this psychologically to the perp it looks like 8....

1*

6/8/07 6:26 AM
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Jerry Bohlander
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Edited: 08-Jun-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 175
I should have clarified. Finding a level III holster for a lightrailed 1911 is hard enough. Finding one for the 1911 with the lightrail attached is even harder. That said, I haven't checked the Safariland offerings in a while. Last time I checked they had nothing available. I agree though, Safariland is top notch stuff.
6/13/07 10:39 PM
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mike147
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Edited: 13-Jun-07
Member Since: 08/22/2005
Posts: 42
I carried a Glock 22 with the Glock light in a Safariland duty holster and had a problem wih the gun binding in the holster. I carried the M3 in the same type holster and never had a problem. Anyway i went back to a level III holster without the light.
6/14/07 12:52 AM
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Aliraps
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Edited: 14-Jun-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 1313
Jerry...not to hijack the thread, but I sent your patch out last week...you should get it (hopefully) this week or early next!
9/4/07 9:59 AM
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glock4life
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Edited: 04-Sep-07
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Posts: 9140
Damn, you guys are really making me rethink my tac set-up right now.
9/13/07 5:26 AM
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Jerry Bohlander
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Edited: 13-Sep-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 187
Just got a Safariland level III. Much better than Don Hume holster that I was using. I am looking forward to the Blackhawk Serpa level III duty holster that is coming out. Can't wait. On a side note. Aliraps, I am an a-hole. I forgot about the patch until I looked at this thread again. No real excuse except the 300 plus hours of OT that I have put in in the last 7-8 months. Trying to get rich on LEO wages makes a flake out of me.
9/14/07 12:58 AM
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Marc_Scott
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Edited: 14-Sep-07 01:02 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 2293
Russian Judo
I have been using this for the past two months: I will tell anyone who listens, it looks weird, but it is hands down the most versatile and effective light I have. http://www.first-light-usa.com/
9/14/07 10:10 AM
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KidJustice
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Edited: 14-Sep-07
Member Since: 02/15/2002
Posts: 8041
Marc_Scott  awesome flashlight! I just had our firearms guy ask for a test unit. We will try it out in the shoot house and see how it works. I'll take some footage if I can.
9/14/07 10:22 PM
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Marc_Scott
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Edited: 14-Sep-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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Russian Judo
KJ, Wait until you do a magazine change, handcuff, etc. with the light on, it's gives a lot of freedom. Last week I transitioned from my handgun to shotgun, and with a slight adjustment of the angle of the light I was able to use the light and shotgun at the same time, very handy.
4/4/08 4:33 AM
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Derek Tomchek
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Edited: Apr 4 2008 12:00A
Member Since: 1/31/08
Posts: 2412
A little tactical advice. Like the light we also teach "stealth tac) which just means that you try to stand out less and less while in uniform and on duty. #1 thing to consider and change white tee shirt under uniform. Stands out and makes for a great target focus point. #2 metal badge on uniform. If your department authorizes it/offers it put a cloth/stiched badge on your uniform/outer vest cover. #3 improper lighting of a low lit area. Try not to keep the light on in a continuous manner. Always try to on/off your search to minimize a perp targeting you. Just a little info that may save your life or fellow officers life. -Derek-
7/30/09 6:59 PM
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xbuckshotx
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Member Since: 1/1/01
Posts: 503
I carry a Streamlight TLR-2 on my pistol for duty and SWAT. I like having both hands on the weapon at all times. Having the added laser on the weapon is more of an intimidation tool than anything. When people see that dot on their chest they know your weapon is pointed at them. As far as the point goes of people shooting at your light and it being in line with your face...I would have to say if you are shooting with a flashlight in one hand and pistol in the other usually your gun hand is on top of the flashlight hand so they are close anyways. I use mine all the time doing building searches. On SWAT if I need to transition from rifle to pistol I have a light on both and don't need to go grabbing for my spare flashlight to get back in to a dark fight. I say go with it.
Buck
8/13/09 7:31 PM
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IP
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Member Since: 6/22/09
Posts: 450
Pistol lights are a personal thing - some like them and some don't. If I had a light attachment on Patrol, I would definately keep a secondary light handy.

All our SWAT firearms have lights. Everyone has a primary shoulder weapon with a pistol backup.

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