Tactical Flashlight as Defensive Weapon

Discussion in 'Chris Caracci's Urban Jungle' started by Thomas J Ekman, Dec 3, 2001.

  1. Thomas J Ekman

    Thomas J Ekman

    Jul 29, 2000
    Besides hitting bad guys on their heads with heavy flashlights, some flashlights give very high light intensity.
    Can you recommend one that will temporarily blind the assailant, leaving him at my mercy...
    I've seen ads for Surefire 6 Defender, but there must be others...

    It is also a bonus if the flashlight can be used for its intended purpose, so one doesn't have to give some funny explanations to the officer! :cool:
  2. Sidewinder


    Jun 2, 2001
    Surefire 10X Dominator
  3. CJ Caracci

    CJ Caracci

    Sep 28, 2001
    The only things blinding here is those that don't realize that the flashlight companies generate these concepts. My people fight very well even without their eyes it is the fundamentals again that are being ignored because not enough people really learn them so there techniques are in effective.
    There are all kinds of people willing to give advise about this concept but I am wondering how many life or death struggles they have ever been in?
  4. survivor


    Sep 9, 2001
    I had a Surefire shined in my face by a friend it made no dramatic effect and after he did it about 5-6 times I got sick of it and took it of him and the "blinding" light didn’t stop me.:mad:
  5. Bikewer


    Feb 11, 2001
    On two occasions, I used my issue 5-cell Maglight to stop a suspect. Both were being pursued on foot; I put the light in thier faces and they stopped dead for a second or two, adequate time for the other officers involved to grab them.
    Would this "stop" a combative subject? Maybe not, but that brief moment of dazzle should be sufficient for further action....
  6. golok


    Oct 20, 2000
    CJC is right. If you shine your light at the wrong guys with the right training, you are dead. That goes for pepper spray too.

    Trained fighters can take care of themselves and others in almost any conceivable situation. This refers to hand-to-hand combat and not being shot at 50 metres by a powerful handgun or being surprised by a hail of bullets or a handgrenade.

    A powerful torchlight gives you probably an element of surprise - that translates into one or 2 seconds. If you can't take advantage of that, you are dead again.

    Frankly, the safest way is NOT to get into any dangerous situation. Spot the danger zone a mile away - again that takes training.
  7. Erik W

    Erik W

    Feb 21, 2001
    Bright light may certainly be used to tactical advantage. Where appropriate, take advantage of it.


    It is not the end-all-be-all that many advocate it to be. If it was, we wouldn't need firearms, edged weapons, impact weapons, or any of the other less than leathal options available. Recognize both the strengths and weaknesses. To hear some of the arguments, you would think they were talking about phasers or something. ;)
  8. Crayola


    Sep 23, 1999
    WHat golok said goes for any weapon. Point a knife at the wrong guy with the right training and you are dead. It will be interesting to hear more stories of lights used in action.
  9. Samuel


    Mar 5, 2000
    I have, among others, a Streamlight UltraStinger. When I'm out and about (as opposed to babysitting), it comes in really handy when effecting a night-time pedestrian or bicycle stop. A quick shine in their eyes will give me time to exit the vehicle and get the drop.
  10. maury


    Sep 24, 2000
    Have used my ol' reliable Maglite (3 Dcell) on occasion to show a sinner the error of his ways.....light wasen't on, though.....
  11. Sierra912


    Dec 9, 2001
    Recommend "Fight at Night - Tools, Techniques, Tactics, and Training for Combat in Low Light and Darkness" by Andy Stanford (Paladin Press). Excellent guide to the subject of tactical lights, the use of such lights in CQB, and training.

    SureFire products are simply outstanding and the Cutlery Shoppe in Boise, Idaho, offers best prices and wide array of specialized tac-lights.

    Holster and Kydex folks are making very nice belt carry holsters for handgun/tac-light, or knife / tac-light. Blade-Tech in Tacoma, WA, comes to mind.

    Jim Keating did excellent treatment of "Sword and Lantern Fighting" some years back for either FK or FC. Historically the use of handheld / hand-carried lights in CQB is well documented and an art actually sprung up around the sword and such lights for close quarters battle. Great stuff. The circle comes around.

    I've used flashlights and tac-lights to surprise, deceive, blind, stun, or otherwise zap a suspect's vision for that half to one full second where you move in and take 'em down. The current high octane tac-lights are designed to seriously affect the offender's vision to such a degree that you buy a few more seconds of close-the-gap time (or break and run, depending on the situation). This comes from the flash bang theory of WHITE LIGHT MEANS NO SIGHT.

    As always, train the tools and have them with you when necessary. I imagine CJ has some thoughts and perhaps even a class on using a tac-light as both a kubo-style impact weapon, and distractor/disrupter.
  12. migo


    Dec 28, 2001
    Flashlights are very good for hunting out dangers at a greater distance at night. While it might not give you an advantage in a fight, a 50' head start BEFORE the fight begins is really beneficial.
  13. Ken J. Good

    Ken J. Good

    Dec 29, 2001
    As usual change is difficult.

    Anyway, I must say that some of the recent SureFire marketing language is a bit over the top for me. I would prefer straight forward, professional language that operators understand and appreciate. Not within my sphere of influence, but I will bring forth the justifiably negative reaction to these ads. My function with SureFire is to develop/present curriculum, doctrine, drills and scenarios specific to Low-Light engagements as they relate to Law Enforcement and Military environments.

    The fact remains, high intensity, white light used properly in conjunction with other force options can be a significant advantage in many close quarter engagements. No technique, no piece of equipment, no understanding of principle in isolation should be considered sufficient. Firearms offer no guarantee of safety at close ranges.

    One of my sayings is: “Unless the head is separated from the body by more than 4 feet, that person is still a potential threat”

    Do I think the latest generation of white light illumination tools offer some new possibilities, the answer is a resounding yes.

    Handheld and weapon mounted lights have been traditionally associated with navigation, location and identification purposes only.

    Ken Good definition of Force: Anything I do to impose my will in the environment

    Newer illumination tools can offer a higher level of control of threats in much the same way an officer uses his or her vehicle spots to create a white wall of light from which to operate and deploy. Do the lights actually stop anyone by physical pressure, of course not! Proper application of light does impede the incoming, critical decision-making data that the threat needs in order to make decent decisions. Somewhere in the mix, you have to act. It may be an escalation of force, it may not. The temporary concealment and probing of the light is a great way to start things off.

    Some threats will tend toward capitulation when deprived of good visual data. Others will charge, standby to standby.

    Like any other tool in the inventory, it is only activated and made useful by intelligent application of technique based on sound principles.

    One thing I will say is that the instructional staff at the SureFire Institute is always ready to demonstrate our principles in real-time using the current non-lethal projectile-based Force-on-Force (FOF) training technologies. Hopefully this is not perceived as pure arrogance, as I have been shot many, many times in FOF training simulations by all levels of participants, but more often than not I follow the biblical doctrine of Gunfighting: “It is better to give than receive”.

    I frequently encounter naysayers that speak from a distance (having never attended the training); many change their perspective after of week of close quarter attention.

    As far as operators that have helped develop the doctrine that is currently being propagated through the SureFire Institute which supports the development of high intensity white light tools, lasers and IR spectrum tools, there is ample doses of real-world combative experience firearms based engagements.

    This arguement of non-exeperience has been half hazardly pitched my way when faced with friction of change on a frequent basis.

    The majoriy of our LE and Military full-time instructors have multiple shootings and real world operational expeience under their belt in a diversity of environments. Adjunct staff as well as our certified Instructor staff that is nearing 400 strong. I also have several hundred emails from students and operators from around the globe who have been in firefights where the proper use of white light illumination was a significant factor in the outcome. We maintain a constant liaison with these professionals to ensure doctrinal relevance.

    If it does not work, we don't want it.
  14. Thomas J Ekman

    Thomas J Ekman

    Jul 29, 2000
    Ken, please recommend a Surefire flashlight that can be carried in a coat pocket, that will suffice for defense.
  15. Ken J. Good

    Ken J. Good

    Dec 29, 2001
    The E2 Executive is now my carry of choice 24/7.
    Clean, clean output. 60 lumens for over 70 minutes. I prefer the Hard Anodized finish.

    I still can't believe the output on this little light. We are planning on developing a drop in high power lamp that will nearly double it's output.

    For now, it will suffice.

    Best to you.
  16. Thomas J Ekman

    Thomas J Ekman

    Jul 29, 2000
    Will 60 lumen be enough?
  17. Joe Talmadge

    Joe Talmadge

    Oct 3, 1998
    This is the third forum in about as many months where I've seen a discussion about the tactical use of lights, usually dominated by sceptics, followed by a post from Ken very similar to the one above. I've seen Ken invite anyone who is sceptical and who meets the admission criteria, to head to Surefire for some hands-on attention. I'm still waiting for someone to take him up on it, just to see what comes of the experience.

    Note that to some extent I think the arguments aren't matching heads-on. Some people are criticizing ads that they feel make it sound as if a bright flashlight -- and nothing else -- can make an adversary fall down and give up. From what I can tell, Ken is saying that, while otherwise using sound tactical principles, an ultra bright light can be used not just to identify the bad guy, but to get a tactical edge that would otherwise not present itself without the light.

    Should anyone get the spirit up to try Ken at his own game down there at Surefire Institute, I'd love to hear the outcome.



    Dec 15, 2000
    Went to a 5 day course, and I can tell you that it works. I was VERY skeptical going in, but it made a believer out of me. My background, Braz. Jiu-Jitsu for a few years, Muy Thai, Judo, Kenpo, Tang So Do, as well as a few others. I am a firearms instructor, and CCW intructor, teach everyone from civ. to leo. I am a manager of a Arizona Tactical, we deal with all the cool tac. gear that can think of. Ken was in my store and we got to chatting about low-light tactics (was teaching a Gunsite class) and was invited to go to the next 5-day class. The BEST low-light class, the best CQB class I have been to. The only analogy I can use is for anyone who has ever had an old frail guy in a martial arts class, and you see him and KNOW you can take him, then in sparring you get handed your as%, that is how eye-opening an experiance this was.

    I don't dislike those who say "The light in my eyes won't bother me," because I was you, it is like a buddy of mine who said a rear naked choke wouldn't affect him because he had the "determination" to get out, he went out in less than 5 sec.

    Stephen Grosch
    Arizona Tactical
  19. Safety Guy

    Safety Guy

    Mar 9, 2001
    Wow, this discussion has picked up! Glad to see "SureFire guy" Ken Good here. (I have an E2 and I can't wait for that higher output lamp! Drool...)

    CJ's post here seemed a little down on the concept of "defensive lights," but if you go back and re-read his post, then read Ken's, there really doesn't seem to be much disparity of opinion.

    Ken began his post with the comment that some of the "SureFire marketing language is over the top" for his tastes. I can't say how impressed I am to read that...

    Criticism of one's organization is not always seen nowadays, with the "spinmeister mentality" predominating instead of honesty. And it's honesty that's needed when lives are on the line.

    I wish I could say that I was planning to head for Gunsite this coming fall to take the SureFire course they put on, but I'm instead considering Thunder Ranch Handgun II. I may not even be able to afford that, especially with Spyderco's MBC next month and who knows what else I'll find "essential"...:)

    One other point about CJ's apparent lack of enthusiasm for lights is that his background in Special Forces is probably not conducive to lighting up enemy targets with white light behind the lines!!!! A good way to get "lit up" yourself! And if the enemy has lots of night vision equipment, active IR probably ain't a good idea, either. Also well taken is his concentration on training and mindset instead of "gadgets." I myself LOVE gadgets (especially good ones) and hardware, but believe me, I am also constantly reminding folks that "training and mindset" is much more important.

    I hope CJ comes back soon!:)

  20. raptor_prime


    Oct 29, 2001
    Ken - were you at the Practical Edged Weapons seminar at Prado Dam last October? If so, I think I bought my C2 Centurion from you. Great little light.

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