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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have noted some pretty heated discussion (thankfully that has avoided this forum) about light use, techniques and the effectiveness of a BLINDING light.

Here is my take and I would like to so hear from the rest of you. OC was first said to be 100% effective. I started using it long before most agencies and found it 60% effective and a nice option. After the intended victims realised over time what it was and how effective it was, or was not, the hype died off.

I argued long and hard on the TL that the effectiveness of a Surefire light was along the same lines. Again as the guys on the recieving end learn what a light will, or will not do, it looses its effectiveness as a tool in the UOFC.

The most recent AH has an ad that certainly implies that "no one" can fight with a Surefire light in their eyes. It's BS IMO.

Take it away guys :grin:



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-08-11 03:26 ]</font>
 
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The reflexive capabilities of the human eye to light signals are measured in milliseconds.
Actually the eye can react to changes in light faster than the bullet can travel.
At the physiological level this idea has as much merit as the original cereal guns tested by the DOJ during the 60's to quell riots by protestors.

On a psychological level it has been shown that being introduced to bright light rapidly can be distracting enough to cause a momentary pause in thought, but when the FBI did testing of their flashlight technique in the late 70's they discovered that most trainees when armed reacted to the light by shooting it then turning away, this was not conducive to the bureaus squat and hold the light high technique.

It has been shown under testing by the US Army that the inducement of bright light or loud sounds causes a marked increase or spike in aggressive reactions by predatory animals and **** sapiens are predatory animals.

This idea has been incorporated into every arcade/video game/simulation that has been successfully marketed; we have all been taught to respond to light signals rapidly and aggressively.

I love the ignorance or perceived ignorance of the buying public and I really do intend to create some great marketing ideas as you can be very successful without needing the truth..................
 

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A good topic, and one that is not talked about very often here. As adequately stated by Dane and David above, you are SEVERELY retarding your chance for survival in a deadly confrontation if you even REMOTELY consider using a "tactical" light as means of defense/offense.

Ken Good will tell you (off the record) that the primary use of any light is target IDENTIFICATION. Nothing more - nothing less. To place any further responsibility on a flashlight is a misconception based on media hype, and in some instances, the manufacturer themselves.

That said, I have seen occassions where suspects high on methamphetamines, were stopped in their tracks by a sudden burst of bright light. The suspects were not armed, or were armed with impact weapons only (baseball bat). I would not recommend shining a bright light into a cranked up meth-head's eyes if he was armed with a firearm.

Yes, a bright flash to the eyes may buy you a second at best. I have done VERY non-scientific testing of this, and irritated a LOT of friends, family and co-workers with my "study". It started as a joke, that when I got my first Surefire a few years ago, I used to hide in dark rooms, closets, hallways and blast the light at the unknowing suspect (usually my wife or daughter!) and observe their reactions. Time after time, their reactions were the same. Eyes would close, arm(s) would come up to face level, and head would turn away. All these things would happen simultaneously, and within 1 second.

Having WAY too much fun tormenting my family this way, I started hiding in peoples offices at work first thing in the (darkened) morning. Same reactions were observed time after time, with the "suspects" occassionally screaming or dropping their coffee mugs.

I then took the experiment one step further, and forewarned some associates that I would be surprising them again tomorrow morning with my same mad cap hi-jinks!!!! Once they stopped swearing at me, I explained that I now needed to determine how "scary" my light would be if a "suspect" knew I was there.

The reactions were NOT the same. Once they knew that I would be hiding in their office in the morning, there was little or no head turning, or arm flapping actions at all. At best, their eyes would close momentarily.

What did I determine from all this? Startling someone with HOT coffee in their hands is not a good idea, my wife will make me sleep on the couch if I ever try to blind her again, and tactical lights only have a VERY TEMPORARILY debilitating effect if the suspect does not know you are there. You get one chance only to get this kind of knee-jerk reaction - then it's done and you don't get a second chance.

Flashlights are for seeing people, guns are for stopping people.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Shane Kropf on 2001-08-11 19:37 ]</font>
 

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Lights...put a bright light in my eyes and it pisses me off. Can't imagine others are that different.

I think lights are handy for the reason humans captured the ability to make light many years ago: To see better when there is no natural light.

Is there a place for a flashlight in a fight, to stun someone? Maybe, I am not trained in that area, nor am I a science nut, so...I don't really know. I have successfully used a maglite to the head of a trespasser, although the bulb was shut off at the time of application...and yes, it worked. :smile:

My opinion? If someone is absolutely bent on kicking your ass, as opposed to just escaping, you will have to submit / incapacitate that person in some manner, usually via the pain method. The sooner you become friends with that fact, the sooner you can get to learning all about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
AMERCAN HANDGUNNER ad, Sept/Oct issue 2001

"Searing bright light from your Surefire Combat Light carves the darkness, temporarily blinding an attacker. He can't stab what he can't see. Helplessly disoriented by the powerful beam, he hears only the bark of your strong command to to drop his weapon. He tries to turn away from the light, but there is no hiding from the Surfire Combat Light. Blinded, a grim realization reaches his primitive brain..."

PLEASE! This is more BS on one page than I have seen in awhile.

Sad part is, I have said many time in classes that the Surefire products are the most inovative and useful tool for self defense produced in the last 50 years. It still is. Too bad the company couldn't stick to a little more logical approach to marketing.

Instead there will be, if it already hasn't happened, the guy who believes this hype and hits the perp in the face with the light beam and gets fed his Surefire for his troubles.
 

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On 2001-08-11 14:03, Dane Burns wrote:
He can't stab what he can't see.
I think this is part of the problem/misconception. Note in my first post above, that I have used Surefires against suspects who did NOT have a firearm. It bought us a second, at best.

Because of the slick marketing ploy, the average person assumes that if the light will blind someone who has a knife, it oughta work swell against a gun too! Wrong in both cases - the only difference is that it is easier to put distance between you and a knife - not so easy between you and a bullet. Maybe don't use lights for deterent against non-firearm armed suspects, and definitely don't use them against gun-totin' meth addicts.
 

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This silliness is marketing...(im)pure and simple(istic). It is no different than suggesting that the right brand of aftershave will make one irresistable to the opposite sex. This sort of marketing hyperbole is always kind of sad. It is sadder still when the product is an excellent one that doesn't NEED to by hyped.

Rosco
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Maybe don't use lights for deterent against non-firearm armed suspects, and definitely don't use them against gun-totin' meth addicts.
How about we use lights to ID and search and we forget all about thinking that a light is a weapon or a level on the UOFC.

I know you can fight through ANY hand held light by any manufacture. The "second" is only there if you startle the attacker and more importantly the attacker is not already committed to doing you harm.

Like the typical SWAT team dynamic entry, the only reason more officers aren't killed is because there are seldom BGs willing to trade shots. Bad tactics ARE simply bad tactics. If you are prone to always use techniques that will only work with a compliant opponent you will get a serious surprise when you run into a 1%er. All topics for a good discussion.
 

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On 2001-08-11 14:38, Rosco Benson wrote:
It is no different than suggesting that the right brand of aftershave will make one irresistable to the opposite sex.
Wait a minute - WAIT A MINUTE....
Are you telling me that chicks DON'T dig a guy who wears "Brut" or "Old Spice" ???????
 

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On 2001-08-11 14:38, Dane Burns wrote:
How about we use lights to ID and search and we forget all about thinking that a light is a weapon or a level on the UOFC.
Agreed - and I will from this day forward, never refer to them again as "tactical" lights (implying some kind of spec-ops voodoo weaponry implication) and simply call them what they are - flashlights. (Sorry Surefire).
 

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Back when Jim Higginbotham and I first started working with Dane in training, Dane came to Rangemaster to conduct a Force on Force class, with a lot of Simunitions exercises. We had a fully furnished funhouse to work in, and did some good scenarios. In one, a student who is pretty well off financially and a real gizmo addict, had the then brand new big-head Surefire flamethrower light. In a low light search, he found Higgimbotham and "blinded" him with the new high-power light in the face. Jim's reaction was to shoot him right between the eyes. The Sims splatter was on the gizmo freak's facemask PRECISELY between his eyes. So much for incapacitating light sources.
 

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Like you said Dane, pure BS! I've had lights flashed directly at my eyes while in the dark before. It bothered me for a split second and then it pissed me off. Even assuming someone is stupid enough to stand there while you shine a light in their eyes, it's hardly what I would call "blinding."

I hope people don't get kill believing this crap.
 

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First and most importantly: Shane, chicks really do dig guys who wear old spice. I know, I have some on right now and I have been "dug" today. Second - I am ignorant in these matters but I don't know if these are lies as much as they are wishful thinking. I feel that the author really wants to believe that just because he carries an ABC light that he is now impervious to criminal intent. Ignornat? Yes. I think a flashlight is a tool, just like a gun or a knife. How effective it is depends on the situation and on how you use it. But no gun, no knife and certainly no light is going to keep you our of harms way when it comes calling. But I won't trust that to keep that badman away - just like I won't trust my .45 to keep him away either. It is the carpenter rather than the tools who is responsible for a well built house. In that same way I think that a good, sharp mind will keep us alive in the face of danger. I hope that I use everything available to me, including a light. But telling yourself that any tool will make the threat go away, even a gun, is pretty foolish I think. I think that the author really just wants to belive that he is "safe". Too bad really, because that is usually what you are feeling right before you get gunned down. I don't fear the tools, I fear the man.
Jake
 

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I lied... when I'm mad, I use napalm!

Back on topic, it DOES seem to me, the amateur, that a powerful light could both impair your assailant's night vision and temporarily, if however briefly, startle him, which you could use to your advantage (just like patrol officers train their spotlights on vehicles during car stops). One more trick in the bag to use, but not rely on naively. True? Does anyone use the "old" FBI (?) method anymore of extending the flashlight hand fully away from the body so that if the BG shoots for the light, it's not in front of your face like with the Harries method? Even though you're shooting one-handed then, it seems to have advantages.
 
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