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Laser or Light for Home Defense? Which would you get?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by willseeker, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to use my G19 as a home defense weapon and have around $150 to spend. In case of a low light night encounter, I want either a laser or a tactical light.

    I've been looking at the Streamlight TRL1s weapon light which has a blinding 160 lumens! It's LED and can operate in three positions, on/off at a touch, continuous on and strobe.
    OR
    The Crimson Trace laser grip from our local guys in Wilsonville.

    Which would you get? :)

    Will
     
  2. ZachS

    ZachS Eugene/PDX Active Member

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  3. MarkSBG

    MarkSBG Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I would go with the light. Blinding white light with the ability to clearly identify your target make it a good choice for HD.
     
  4. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Temporary light blindness. Even if you blind then with a light you'll have some night vision loss.

    Something solid about a red/green dot on center mass that would stop anyone.
    My $.01
     
  5. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone think the strobe feature usefull?


    Will
     
  6. parallax

    parallax eugene, or-gun Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I would go with the light, can you get the light with a momentary on-off pressure switch?.. that would be even better. get some tritium night sights for your g19 if they are available. momentary on-off light will temorarily blind an intruder giving you an advantage to reposition away from the threat. tritium sights should allow you to still aquire your target even while having the light on.
     
  7. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on if you already have night sights. A laser is a cowitnessing device in my opinion, it confirms your sight picture and is only a primary sighting device if you have to take some really weird firing angles with your sidearm. A laser cannot really tell you what you are firing at, so if your house is dark, you'll still need a light from somewhere.

    I also don't particularly care for how the CT products attach to Glocks versus the slick module they developed for the M&P. Maybe when Glock joins this century they will be better suited to the best lasers going.

    A light is better if you don't have night sights because all of those lumens will silhouette your sights for you and allow you to identify your target.

    The best answer for your purchasing dilemma is to save more money and get a Streamlight TLR-2 or one of its quality competitors that have both a laser and light

    botach_2095_223135200.gif
     
  8. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't the TRL2 need two hands to operate the switch between laser and light or to both? I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be needing to use both hands in a threatening situation.

    Will
     
  9. chase

    chase Wilsonville, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Personally I love flashlights and have several streamlights and Surefires. Personally I dont like lasers because they are not efficient at lighting a large area and they show your location. The light can temporarily blind others and be used to see who and what is happening. I would get a light that attaches to your gun, also consider weight some of them get really heavy really fast. Good luck.
     
  10. ZachS

    ZachS Eugene/PDX Active Member

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    Used in a room with light-colored walls, a flashlight bright enough to blind the person it's pointed at will also really mess up the vision of anyone else in the room. More power does not necessarily equal better in this context.
     
  11. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    In most dwellings something around 80 lumens will more than do the job. If I had to investigate outdoor areas, warehouses, barns, etc., I'd want all of the candlepower I could get.

    Strobing is something that would have to be trained with as it has the potential to disorient both the target and the shooter. Anyone with vast experience in nightclubs is not going to be fazed in the least by a small strobelight.:laugh:

    As for the TLR-2, it has some setting choices one makes before the instant use such as laser module on/off, or light on/off, or both on. If the laser is powered up, it ambidextrously is able to be fired momentarily or continuously with or without the light as selected.
     
  12. cbzdel

    cbzdel Tacoma, WA Member

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    my favorite flashlight is made by Colman, I think I paid $25 bucks for it at walmart. It takes 3 AAA batteries and has a 6 hour battery life. I think its around 115 lumens, it has the mementary on.off switch which is a GREAT feature. It also has a little twist on the grip of the flashlight that can change the light color to a red or a blue (very faint not still the 120 luments, guessing maybe 10 lol)

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-Max-3AAA-LED-RWB-Flashlight/13029917

    (mine is silver in color though)

    I have a laser on my gun but wanted a in hand flashlight. Think about if you come accross a hurt family member with the power cut and you need to shine some light on them, I wouldnt want to be pointing a gun at them (just my thoughts..
     
  13. Outrider

    Outrider Oregon Active Member

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    I'd go with a flashlight but I prefer to keep it separate from the pistol. One of the problems with accessory rail mounted lights is it tends to make the average user treat his pistol like a flashlight which is bad. Also, unless the flashlight is constantly on (not great because it gives away one's position) or has a pressure pad switch, a rail mounted flashlight usually requires the shooter's trigger finger to toggle it on and off which is also less than ideal.

    My experience with lasers is that they can be good for close engagements (especially where you can't get a good sight picture) but they also have some major limitations. If one is shooting where one is dealing with bright light being aimed in his direction, the shooter often has trouble finding his laser and would be better off relying on his sights or point shooting. Additionally when one is dealing with distance and a pistol, the laser exaggerates the natural shake we all have. I've watched very good shooters who are great at zero to fifteen yards with a laser struggle to find their shot and make tight groups when solely relying on lasers at 20-25 yards.

    Both flashlights and lasers have their uses. It is one of those things where one needs to really practice with them to take advantage of the benefits and minimize the drawbacks.
     
  14. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    I'd get a hand held flashlight - Streamlight or Surefire (I have the Streamlight TL-3, 211 lumens) That way you can use your flashlight without pointing a loaded weapon at everything. I do also have a TLR-1 but it's nice to have the option for both.
    Imagine if you just want to check the back of your house and are walking around and point a gun at a police officer who got a call from a neighbor....
    Also you can point the flashlight up and reflect off the ceiling to illuminate a whole room while still aiming your handgun at potential or likely target positions.

    If you shoot a lot at the range, an "always on" laser like CTC lasergrips will frustrate you immensely. You end up getting focused on that dot rather than the sight picture so build bad habits. Your groups will suffer with a laser.
    If you don't practice often, it may not be a bad idea to have a laser, but I'd rather spend the money that the laser costs on ammo and trigger time.
     
  15. ChicagoGuy

    ChicagoGuy Woodinville, WA Member

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    My $0.02 is a light is the better choice.

    I have kids. I want an ID of the target first. Where we live in the burbs, it's more likely someone is sneaking in/out past a curfew than breaking in the house.
     
  16. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Hillsboro, OR Member

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    I vote hand held, too, for all the reasons stated, plus my own one. I have this theory I have yet to validate, but, in my mind, a perp may have a bit more difficulty trying to figure where you really are: behind or to the side of the blinding flash light. In my mind, that fraction of a second gives you a bit of a tactical advantage.
     
  17. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    Owning weapon mounted lights myself, I suddenly wonder if the critics know that they can be used as hand helds rather easily.

    Proper tactics for a weapon light do not include using it like a general flashlight while it is rail mounted. If you cannot be bunkered and/or are forced into investigating the suspicious bump in the night, you stay at the low ready and clear your home methodically, only lighting up something that looks impressively suspicious and even then only momentarily to get a snap picture and disorient the suspicious shadow. A command voice order to any detected visitor from a different spot than where the light was fired off is also advised.

    You'd be a fool for wandering around and casually pointing your gun as a general flashlight in any event, cop present or not. You could wind up popping a neighborhood cat from nerves alone. The perimeter of your castle should have the ability to be flooded with light from a better source than any flashlight can provide. Anyone not inside your domicile is unlikely to present an immediate threat to you requiring deadly force and will be unlikely to hang around fully illuminated unless the person IS a cop. Better to hunker down inside and assess the outside from concealment within and decide for yourself whether to contact 911.

    One of the arguments for weapon mounted lights on handguns is the same for homeowners as it is for cops--you have a hand free for the use of a communication device. If you are on the cell phone with 911, you can advise dispatch that you are the good guy, and where you expect to meet up with Officer Friendly at low ready rather than accidentally illuminating him. Dispatch will advise, and you will overhear it.
     
  18. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    That's why I have both, but I was pointing out a hypothetical situation for those who have no training and go out and buy a rail mounted light for their home defense as their only flashlight.
     
  19. shotgun-2

    shotgun-2 south snohomish co. wa. Member

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    I us a handheld Tac light because I want to identfy a noise first without pointing a gun at a family member or pet. Also I'm not limited to one gun with a light mounted on it.

    After having a weapon mounted light and laser for a while I concluded that was a better tool for a SWAT member than for a defense minded homeowner.

    The real plus in using a Tac light is how handy they are to always have within reach for any lighting need. They slip into your pocket for ready access anytime even when you cannot be armed and still provide you some defense (230 lumens in your face is very disabiltitating).


    I use a Eagle Tac (230 lumens with 2 AA batts) and a Fenix (180 lumens with 2 AA batts) that only cost about $60 from PTS- flashlights (mike@pts-flashlights.com). Both my lights have several modes including strobe mode which can be very disorientainting. The quality and brightness of these Tac lights is truly awsome. I could not be without one anymore, it is easy to become a flashlightaholic with the new LED Tac lights.
     
  20. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Flamethrower, again, the hands-down winner.

    Light 'em up, and light 'em up. Pass the barbeque sauce.