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  1. #21
    zhurdan's Avatar
    zhurdan is offline Senior Member
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    Keep in mind, that once you "light up" an intruder, in an environment that is dark enough for you to REALLY need a flashlight for identification, the effects are about 60% as bad for you as they are for the person on the receiving end of the light bath. That's why it's best to barricade yourself and wait. This assumes you know where all the friendlies are in your home. You never want to go looking for a BG regardless of what kind of light you may have. Again, the statistical probability of someone actually breaking into your home is small, and can be reduced by some simple measures, like motion lights and such (aka dogs). Now, that being said, the statistical probability of a break-in happening to someone on this forum is even lower, so we are talking about millions to one here. Sure, prepare for the worst and hope for the best, but a lot of this talk is just wishful, or should I say unwishful thinking.

    Zhur

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  3. #22
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    Agreed Zhur, on the strategy. My plan is definitely not to go room to room clearing my house. However, I can tell you for a fact the effect to the shooter of my Z2 is not 60% as bad as it is for the perp. I've been on the receiving end of that light too and it is no fun. Believe me, it is a big advantage to me, at least in the set up and lighting in my home. Once it has been flashed in your eyes in a low light situation, you can't see anything for quite a few moments, and most definitely cannot acquire a target with a gun. In the meantime, I'm emptying my weapon at COM.

  4. #23
    zhurdan's Avatar
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    60% was an arbitrary number... 50%...40%... 30% either way, sure a flashlight gives you an advantage, I just wanted to point out that it's a skill that must be practiced. Flashing a light is much different than holding a beam on someone. Keep in mind, on internet forums, you often times talk to the lowest common denominator. No offense to you personally. When I present information, I try to keep that in mind. If you haven't practiced with, and do not know what to expect, a person could be just as blinded as the BG.

    I used to do some drills with a guy I know indoors, at a range, and we had to discern good guy from bad guy targets with a momentary flash of the flashlight. Flashlights that don't have a 'momentary on' switch are not real practical in this scenario. The Z2 qualifies as it has a momentary on press button. The problem is, some people think that big old D4 lights are the pinnacle of awesomeness, but they have a toggle button, which is too much light for too long. Sure you can partially depress them, but again stress is the killer here.

    Either way, light is bad for dark, and dark is bad for light. Meaning, if you are in the dark and show light, you are exposed, even if momentarily. If you are in the light, anyone in the dark can see you. Turning your light on too long can blind you just as it is blinding the BG. We used to talk about splash lighting. Lighting the wall vs. the BG. It serves two purposes, most people will look to where the light splashes, turning them off of you, if just for a second, and it isn't directly coming off of them. Either way, you are splitting hairs. Take into consideration that this is information from a guy I know, who showed me a lot of good stuff, it doesn't mean that it's from the bible by any means. If someone has contradictory information, I will accept it if it is from an accredited source. People go off what they've seen, or been trained in, I may be wrong, but it made sense to me. The Z2 with the upgraded bulbs are pretty damn bright, and I know for certain that in my house, given a break-in, however unlikely, I'd probably just turn the lights on and find cover. I'd also yell out that I'd called the police, which would likely end the encounter. There are thousands of scenarios, not all of which fit every person/home/situation. It's all just base line advice.

    Zhur

  5. #24
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I'll dissent with the knowledgeable PhilR. a bit and say that there are some lighting situations in which the target can be identified but the sights can't be seen. Anyway, an enemy combatant can also sometimes be easily identified by muzzle flashes directed at you.

    House lights are much better to use in most circumstances, assuming you feel the need to wander through the house asking the bad guy to shoot you.

    Learn how to "flicker and move." And for gawd's sake, if you think you might have to shoot a guy while using a flashlight, train yourself to move laterally after putting the guy down and dousing the torch.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  6. #25
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    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    I agree that turning on the house lights is better, assuming you have electrical power. I always leave certain lights on throughout my house anyways. Obviously owning a hand held flashlight is common but I like the idea of having a light attached to my gun so I can either have one hand free or both hands holding the gun. I also agree that searching through your house for a BG is not the best thing to do, but depending on where the bedrooms are situated and if there are other family members in other bedrooms (specifically children) than one may have no choice but to encounter the BG with the intention of protecting family members in other areas of the house.

  7. #26
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    Just curious guys, why is it for sure better to have house lights on in an intruder scenario? I'm not disagreeing, but isn't there some advantage to darkness when you are much more familiar with the floorplan and where all the obstacles (furniture etc), cover, and escape routes are than the BG?

  8. #27
    unpecador's Avatar
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    Good point Wyatt, my response is positive identification of the BG as opposed to possibly shooting at an unintended target. Also, in the darkness, and probably under stress, obstacles such as furniture may work against you. One more, the possibility of multiple BG's in different locations of the house would likely be easier to spot with the lights on.

  9. #28
    zhurdan's Avatar
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    Well, as far as having lights on, I think it'd be advantageous as well. For the following reasons.

    1. BG would probably leave if lights come on.
    2. You know where he'll be coming from, so you can focus your defense.
    3. Mis-identifying a target could be tragic.
    4. When police arrive they will appreciate not having to clear the house with no lights on.

    One thing that I have, but need to get more switches for, is the x10 system X10 Home automation system. (The website is ugly, but their products work well) You can program the remote to turn on certain parts of the houselights, all the lights, inside, outside and such. These little controls are a serious advantage. You wanna turn on the living room lights? *bing* Done. You wanna turn all the lights on?*bing* Done. These are the types of things that I reference all the time as being "other ways" to avoid conflict. A couple hundred bucks can give you peace of mind, which is priceless.

    Zhur

  10. #29
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    The idea that the defender has any kind of advantage in the dark is an illusion. Mostly likely, if it's dark, you've just been awakened from a sound sleep. You'll be clumsy and disoriented, with your eye not fully adjusted to the available light.

    The bad guy, by contrast, is wide awake and probably jacked on adrenaline if not some type of illegal drug.

    The idea that you can slink around your house with ninja-like stealth (with trusty 120 lumen Surefire in one hand and pistol in the other) in the above condition and defeat a bad guy in the above condition is crazy. He'll hear you way before you hear him, and he will either run or wait to ambush you.
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  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilR. View Post
    If your concern is the possible use of your handgun for self-defense in a low or no-light situation, then you first need to buy a good flashlight. And I don't mean one that you put on the handgun. If the light levels are so low that you cannot see your sights, then they will be too low for you to identify your target. Once you have a decent, bright and reliable flashlight, then you can consider a set of night-sights.

    Last spring, a police officer in NJ shot his delinquent daughter when she sneaked back inside the house late at night. She had just entered the basement of the house, and dad shot her. I think there is a good chance that if he had been able to identify her, that he would not have shot her (most dads will *not* shoot their daughters). Keep in mind that this is a trained professional, and since he successfully hit her in a darkened basement, there's a fairly good chance that he had night-sights on his service handgun.

    One last thing to consider - if you have a decent flashlight and light up an intruder, you will not need night-sights. Your regular sights will stand out in silhouette quite well. I am also *not* saying that night-sights are useless, as I have them on my primary home-defense handgun. It's just that my HD handgun sits next to a very bright flashlight. Also, I have no problem hitting a man-sized target at bedroom-width distances without using the sights anyway......

    PhilR.
    Just another story to back that up:

    A few years ago a man heard someone moving around in his house. He took up his shotgun, came out, and saw a figure moving around in the darkness. And, without warning, shot and killed the person moving.

    The person turned out to be his daughter, several months pregnant, whom had come over for a visit with her parents. Had he had a flashlight, his daughter and his grandchild would have lived.

    Do yourself a favor and get a good flashlight. Surefires are very popular, small in size and put out one helluva beam. If you don't want to pay the price for one, Maglites are proven, and a 2D-4D makes for a helluva baton [8D is actually illegal in some states, like NJ]. Or even go with Princeton Tech, they make ones out of Lexan that are virtually indestructable [I've beaten them against metal picnic tables, thrown em off a cliff...shall I go on?], run about $15-20 and are small enough that you can palm it in your offhand against a firearm without too much issue [practice that first though!]

  12. #31
    JagFarlane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    Just curious guys, why is it for sure better to have house lights on in an intruder scenario? I'm not disagreeing, but isn't there some advantage to darkness when you are much more familiar with the floorplan and where all the obstacles (furniture etc), cover, and escape routes are than the BG?
    All the better so they leave, you get a decent description of them, and get to prolong making that moral choice of having to take another human beings life. Remember, you're just defending your home, not being a SWAT member clearing out a drug house.

  13. #32
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    Good points about having the house lights on. Especially like that remote control system you mentioned, Zhur. That sound like a great idea and I will definitely check into it.

    BTW Mike, as I previously mentioned, my defensive plan does not involve slinking around the house ninja-style, half awake. But I do appreciate the colorful description in order to bring home the point. I am indeed one of those that feel holding ground in the bedroom area with my family behind me while communicating with LE on the cell phone is the only way to go.

    I just wasn't clear that house lights on would be an advantage to me when I can remain in the darkness and hit the hallway leading to the bedrooms with momentary flashes from the Z2, lighting up the BG's area of the house but keeping me and my family concealed in darkness. It is certainly something to think about.

  14. #33
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    BTW Mike, as I previously mentioned, my defensive plan does not involve slinking around the house ninja-style, half awake. But I do appreciate the colorful description in order to bring home the point. I am indeed one of those that feel holding ground in the bedroom area with my family behind me while communicating with LE on the cell phone is the only way to go.
    And you are indeed a wise man! The safe room concept has much to commend it, if you can make it work. I have a daughter in a room opposite the house, so I will have to move across an unsecured area to recover/protect her. The current plan is for the wife and I to move as a team to the daughter's room and make the stand there. But we will not slink in the dark, risking falling down or bumping up against an unseen bad guy. We will just turn on the lights and move briskly across the loft to the kid's room. (I say "kid," but she's sixteen.) I cover the top of the stairwell while the wife enters the daughter's room.

    I would not want to do this with just my Surefire, but of course I will bring the torch in case I need it.

    I just wasn't clear that house lights on would be an advantage to me when I can remain in the darkness and hit the hallway leading to the bedrooms with momentary flashes from the Z2, lighting up the BG's area of the house but keeping me and my family concealed in darkness. It is certainly something to think about.
    It depends somewhat on the layout of your house lights, in that situation. Once you light up the bad guy with your Z2, though, you need to either shoot or move. Otherwise you risk incoming fire directed at the last place you activated the light.
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  15. #34
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    Light bulb went on, a little late . . . .

    In order to simulate being shot at we have imbedded flash strobes in the course which do affect my recovery time, sometimes drastically though not so much as a perp with a 12 ga. would. That combined with the range ammo we shoot, generally Speer in a totally unlit environment causes a little hesitation in the ability to re-acquire night sights. That having been said, I do have night sites and a guid rod laser in my CCW. I know that the exposure to a Nikon type flash may be a little more harsh than a handgun being directed towards you, but when operated at random and in varying low light conditions, it can and does affect my ability to re-acquire the nite sites, the laser I can see immediately.

  16. #35
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    I have had great respect for night sights ever since I first used them. In real darkness, with common muzzle flash they can be picked up after the first shot; say with .45 ACP and 9mm; possibly 40 caliber. I have no night experience with the .40.

    If one is shooting a .357 or +P rounds from other revolvers and pistols, I would have to agree wtih Scratchshooter40 that there can be considerable difficulty finding the sights after that first, huge muzzle blast. I had no problems with excessive muzzle flash, or picking up the sights again using ball ammo in semi-auto pistols. I cannot speak to some of the modern, JHP's and such that might be higher power.

    I consider night sites for use in truly dark situations where one cannot see one's sights clearly or at all, to get that first shot on the target. They are not absolutely essential, because practiced, point-shooting works too at close range; but they help a great deal.

  17. #36
    ttomp is offline Junior Member
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    they are good, you can see where the gun is on your night stand with the lights off.

  18. #37
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    I think night sight are extremly helpful.All my guns from now on will have them.Basically shooting at night without them is like trying to shoot with your eyes close...

  19. #38
    KCabbage is offline Junior Member
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    I think their worth it

  20. #39
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    Personally prefer the 24/7 xs big dot sights. Night sights I can do without

    As long as I have a flashlight that has a high enough lumen to blind an attacker I'm fine. Also Hornady TAP has a lower flash to help reduce the loss of your night vision

  21. #40
    bigben09 is offline Junior Member
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    for the price, why not.

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