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View Full Version : Do you CCW a pistol with a light?



dookie1481
08-07-09, 22:43
Just looking for opinions, I'm really considering this after reading that something like 70% of violent encounters happen at night. Is it much more uncomfortable than a pistol without a light? Any tips, opinions, etc?

Jay

YVK
08-07-09, 23:24
When my clothes allow to carry OWB, I carry my Glock 19 with Surefire 300. Since it is OWB, there aren't any comfort issues. It isn't a dedicated decision to carry with weapon light; it is my only OWB holster so if I wear it, the Surefire must be attached. Regardless whether I carry with light attached or not, I always carry a handheld light.

ballistic
08-07-09, 23:28
Convertible IWB or OWB concealment systems:

http://ravenconcealment.com/products/holsters.html

ROCKET20_GINSU
08-07-09, 23:32
I purchased a Raven phantom holster to carry my G19 w/ X200B attached, my rational was parallel to yours. But as much as I played with it I couldn't get it to sit comfortably. It was just a little too think and big for me to IWB. Perhaps its because I'm spoiled and usually carry w/ a milt sparks VMII IWB oh well...OWB was completely fine, and the raven holster worked terrific for that. But thats just me, I'm sure some others on this board have different opinions.

GU

BAC
08-07-09, 23:36
I carry a 1911 without a rail, so for me a light isn't an option. However, concealed is the only option in my state, which for me means IWB. I doubt a light would work well with IWB carry.


-B

dookie1481
08-07-09, 23:36
Convertible IWB or OWB concealment systems:

http://ravenconcealment.com/products/holsters.html

I ordered a Phantom already, and I'm considering getting a Phantom LC along with a X300 or Insight Procyon. I just found a thread from a year ago or so that I read through. Some good info. I was more curious as to people's comfort level carrying this way.

Jay

Vash1023
08-07-09, 23:42
i could be wrong,
but i thought it was a bad idea (possible illegal) to carry a weapon mounted light on a CC pistol.

reason being 99% of the time u need to identify a possible threat before you point your weapon at it.

and that carries over to---

if you point your (you as a civilian) weapon at someone it better be to shoot them because your life is in danger.


if your worried about shooting at night then crimson trace laser grips work great, and there 100% legal.

citizensoldier16
08-08-09, 00:00
[QUOTE=Vash1023;428284]i could be wrong,
but i thought it was a bad idea (possible illegal) to carry a weapon mounted light on a CC pistol.QUOTE]

I don't think mounted weaponlights on CCW pistols is necessarily "illegal", but it could be, so I'd recommend checking local laws or contacting your issuing deptartment for clarification. Here in NC, it's perfectly legal.

Two thoughts on the mounted weaponlight for CCW, one for each side of the coin when faced with a trial situation:

Pro: If the weapon should be utilized at night or in low-light conditions, one (YOU) may stand a better chance in court if you used the light to identify the target before firing a shot. "Yes, your Honor, I illuminated the attacker and could clearly see the knife he was holding as he came running towards me and my family."

Con: Juries are made up of "sheeple". A jury that is on the fence may see your CCW gun with its attached light as too "tactical" and thus, not intended for use in personal defense. "Mr. X (YOU), I see your pistol has a light attached. What exactly is that for? Why did you buy it? Ahh...I see, so you could see your targets at night. So I assume that you bought this gun with the intent of killing other people at night as well as during the day?


Obviously the "pro" remark could be used to counter the "con" line of questioning, however a jury sees and hears what it wants, and if they see a pistol with a "tactical light" on it, that may bring to mind visions of its intended use being offense rather than defense.

The same could be said for pistols with the word "Tactical" or "Operator" on them. A good (albeit wrong) lawyer could construct a line of questioning to point out to any jury that the pistol itself may or may not be meant for offensive instead of defensive use. For this reason my CCW pistols (G19 and S&W .357 revolver) do not have any markings on them other than factory markings, and I will not carry any pistol with such markings on it. For illumination purposes, I always have a Surefire clipped to my pocket.

dookie1481
08-08-09, 00:05
Definitely planning on getting a hand-held as well, just wondering about the applicability of a rail-mounted light for CCW.

Jay

Vash1023
08-08-09, 00:11
i carry an MC operator and a night ops gladius.

SteyrAUG
08-08-09, 01:14
Just looking for opinions, I'm really considering this after reading that something like 70% of violent encounters happen at night. Is it much more uncomfortable than a pistol without a light? Any tips, opinions, etc?

Jay

No but often I'll drop a M3 in my pocket. My CCW has night sights and if given the opportunity because things look 'questionable' I can snap on a M3 pretty quick. Or if needed I can hold it in my non shooting hand.

SteyrAUG
08-08-09, 01:18
i could be wrong,
but i thought it was a bad idea (possible illegal) to carry a weapon mounted light on a CC pistol.

reason being 99% of the time u need to identify a possible threat before you point your weapon at it.

and that carries over to---

if you point your (you as a civilian) weapon at someone it better be to shoot them because your life is in danger.


if your worried about shooting at night then crimson trace laser grips work great, and there 100% legal.

Honestly these are my least important considerations if I am trying to stay alive. A weapon light actually goes a long way to positively identifying an threat from a potential threat (both cases you might draw and point a weapon) and can sometimes neutralize an attack.

Give me a brightly illuminated and partially blinded target over a laser dot any day.

sff70
08-08-09, 01:19
G19 w/ X300 in a RCS Phantom, and also E1B or Fenix in pocket.

The above is practical, and comfortable.

Agile53
08-08-09, 01:41
G19 or 17 w/ a SF 300 in a BladeTech IWB.
SF E1B for a backup light & 442 for a BUG.

kmrtnsn
08-08-09, 01:48
Carry most every moment out of the house but never with a weapons light; don't care fore the concept.

Vash1023
08-08-09, 02:36
Honestly these are my least important considerations if I am trying to stay alive. A weapon light actually goes a long way to positively identifying an threat from a potential threat (both cases you might draw and point a weapon) and can sometimes neutralize an attack.

Give me a brightly illuminated and partially blinded target over a laser dot any day.

but my point is you cant (legally) point a firearm at a person unless there threatening your life.

im pretty sure you will lose your CCW if u do that.

thats why lots of LEO's have flashlights and weapon mounted lights.

DocHolliday01
08-08-09, 02:44
I carry a Glock 19 wX300 IWB. It carries well but I do have to wear t-shirts that are more loose fitting than I normally wear.

FromMyColdDeadHand
08-08-09, 04:37
Lights like the x300 that have the side-by-side batteries are a throw back to when you needed two batteries to get enough lihgt out of a incan/xenon bulb while LEDs allow a 1x123 light to put out 80-120 lumens, correct? I'd like to see Surefire comeout with a narrower 1x123 light that fits the narrow Dawson rail. Now that would be a nice carry light platform.

Jake0331
08-08-09, 11:44
I keep a lighted pistol by the bed, but my carry does not go with a light. Even if you train and become extremely proficient, a slick pistol is always going to be faster and less prone to snagging and printing.

El Cid
08-08-09, 13:11
On duty I carry a Glock 22 with Surefire X300 in a Raven Concealment Phantom. I love it and never in a million years would have thought that setup would conceal so well. I don't have the IWB clips/loops for it, but on my pants that are large enough for IWB carry, the entire setup slips inside easily and comfortably.

Off duty I typically carry my Para P-14 and it doesn't have a rail. If it had a rail, I'd get another RC Phantom and carry it with an X300.

As a side note, I have carried a Surefire 6Z on my belt since the mid 90's and still do today. It's there in a Rosen SOS whether my sidearm has a light on it or not.

Legally, there are no issues with having a light mounted to your sidearm. Obviously using that light the way you would for "regular" flashlight tasks is a terrible idea (whether legal or not).

civilian
08-08-09, 14:05
Absolutely. The gun below isn't my carry gun yet - I usually have a G-19 in this same Raven holster, but consider (a) the gun has the rail for the light, (b) there are quality holsters available for gun/light combos, and (c) having it on there and ready to go when you need it is better than not having it on there and finding yourself in a situation where you might need it, it seems like a no brainer to me. My range work hasn't been impacted at all by the presence of the light, and the gun is only marginally heavier in the grand scheme of things.

http://www.pbase.com/ashinoyu/image/114902157/large.jpg

DocGKR
08-08-09, 14:43
G19 w/x300 in a Raven Phantom IWB; no problem carrying or concealing.

Couple of points:

-- In civilian CCW settings, I carry a SF L4 for general illumination and target ID duties where drawing or pointing a firearm would not be prudent or lawful.

-- Given how bright modern lights are, you don't have to point them directly at folks to illuminate them; if you are using a firearm mounted light, you can illuminate nearby things even while at a low ready.

-- There is no downside, other than bulk, from having a light on a defensive firearm.

ToddG
08-08-09, 18:59
I do not. At least for me with my build and my choice of handgun and my choice of holster it just isn't workable. A buddy of mine has carried a G19 AIWB with a light before, but (a) he's more washboard than I am and (b) he didn't do it very often or for very long at a time.

For my personal needs, I determined that AIWB carry had more benefits than a mounted light.

dookie1481
08-08-09, 19:07
Will you expound on that last sentence, Todd? What in particular makes appendix carry more useful than a mounted light for you?

Jay

ToddG
08-08-09, 20:15
AIWB benefits:

better concealment
faster draw
can draw without making obvious motion of arms & body
easier to draw while wrestling/fighting
easier to control in a retention situation
easier to draw weak-hand only
easier to perform strong- and weak-hand only reloads, stoppage clearances



light benefits:

operate light while maintaining two hands on pistol


After all, I still have a light ... it's just not attached to my pistol.

I did like the Safariland RLS gadget, but unfortunately lost mine (and my Novatac 120P along with it!) and haven't taken the time to get another yet. While the RLS has some drawbacks, it does provide a good compromise between a handheld light and a mounted light.

John_Wayne777
08-08-09, 21:05
i could be wrong,
but i thought it was a bad idea (possible illegal) to carry a weapon mounted light on a CC pistol.

reason being 99% of the time u need to identify a possible threat before you point your weapon at it.

and that carries over to---

if you point your (you as a civilian) weapon at someone it better be to shoot them because your life is in danger.


if your worried about shooting at night then crimson trace laser grips work great, and there 100% legal.


Let me clear up a few things for you:

1. You're right in noticing that it's a bad idea to use a weapon mounted light for general purpose illumination. That is why it's said often on this site that a weapon light is not a replacement for a handheld light...it's merely an option that makes using a handgun and a light easier on those occasions when you need to do so. ;) The weapon light is only used on those occasions when it is appropriate to have a drawn weapon.

2. Lasers and lights serve two different purposes. Lasers are an aiming reference that works very well in low light, but they do not aid in navigation, or in the location and identification of a threat. White lights do that. Lasers simply give you a good aiming reference you can use in low light conditions.

oldtexan
08-09-09, 10:57
I carry a G34 with Surefire X400 light/laser and Surefire DG-11 remote switch in a Raven Phantom IWB on a Galco 1.75" leather belt. Also carry a Surefire C2L in a thigh pocket. These are home defense tools, as well. I'm 5'10" and 220 lbs, with some middle-age spread. I find this setup to be comfortable (but generally haven't worn it for more than four-five hours at a time) and to conceal quite well, but I do wear a baggy overshirt, either a t-shirt or Hawaiian shirt. Works okay in Texas all year long. But your mileage may vary.

Like others have said, the handheld light is the primary search and target ID tool; the weaponlight comes into play once I've ID'd a threat or if the handheld light fails. The weaponlight with remote switch seems to improve accuracy while firing as opposed to trying to grip a handheld light while shooting. The laser is a useful aiming tool but provides no ability to acquire or ID a threat.

SteyrAUG
08-09-09, 15:10
Let me clear up a few things for you:

1. You're right in noticing that it's a bad idea to use a weapon mounted light for general purpose illumination. That is why it's said often on this site that a weapon light is not a replacement for a handheld light...it's merely an option that makes using a handgun and a light easier on those occasions when you need to do so. ;) The weapon light is only used on those occasions when it is appropriate to have a drawn weapon.

2. Lasers and lights serve two different purposes. Lasers are an aiming reference that works very well in low light, but they do not aid in navigation, or in the location and identification of a threat. White lights do that. Lasers simply give you a good aiming reference you can use in low light conditions.

I would add that a weapon light can function as a hand held which can be placed ON the weapon if needed and time permits.

If I'm coming out of a restaurant and hear a noise by the dumpsters my left hand goes into my pocket and lights up the area with my TLR1 and my right hand goes to my SIG in my holster. If I see Goblins and have the time I mount the light...otherwise I drop it in my cargo pocket and both hands go to the SIG.

skyugo
08-10-09, 19:22
[QUOTE=Vash1023;428284]i could be wrong,
but i thought it was a bad idea (possible illegal) to carry a weapon mounted light on a CC pistol.QUOTE]

I don't think mounted weaponlights on CCW pistols is necessarily "illegal", but it could be, so I'd recommend checking local laws or contacting your issuing deptartment for clarification. Here in NC, it's perfectly legal.

Two thoughts on the mounted weaponlight for CCW, one for each side of the coin when faced with a trial situation:

Pro: If the weapon should be utilized at night or in low-light conditions, one (YOU) may stand a better chance in court if you used the light to identify the target before firing a shot. "Yes, your Honor, I illuminated the attacker and could clearly see the knife he was holding as he came running towards me and my family."

Con: Juries are made up of "sheeple". A jury that is on the fence may see your CCW gun with its attached light as too "tactical" and thus, not intended for use in personal defense. "Mr. X (YOU), I see your pistol has a light attached. What exactly is that for? Why did you buy it? Ahh...I see, so you could see your targets at night. So I assume that you bought this gun with the intent of killing other people at night as well as during the day?


Obviously the "pro" remark could be used to counter the "con" line of questioning, however a jury sees and hears what it wants, and if they see a pistol with a "tactical light" on it, that may bring to mind visions of its intended use being offense rather than defense.

The same could be said for pistols with the word "Tactical" or "Operator" on them. A good (albeit wrong) lawyer could construct a line of questioning to point out to any jury that the pistol itself may or may not be meant for offensive instead of defensive use. For this reason my CCW pistols (G19 and S&W .357 revolver) do not have any markings on them other than factory markings, and I will not carry any pistol with such markings on it. For illumination purposes, I always have a Surefire clipped to my pocket.


i seriously doubt having a light on a CCW pistol would be considered taboo in court. plus, given that you were able to light up your target, not much chance you shot the wrong guy.....

that said, i do not carry a light on my CCW pistol. i have a surefire 6z next to my gun on the nightstand, but that's it. i like my setup kind of minimalist, because that way i don't mind carrying it. been doing the glock 26 quite a bit lately instead of the 19. i do typically carry a spare 15 round mag though.

Vendetta
08-10-09, 20:22
I would add that a weapon light can function as a hand held which can be placed ON the weapon if needed and time permits.



The issue with this is if you ever needed to reholster the weapon quickly, you wouldn't be able to because of the light.

Reddevil
08-10-09, 21:42
Not CCW, but I carry my agency issued Sig P229 w/TLR in a Raven Phantom OWB on duty. I work plain clothes and have to be very concealed. Best OWB holster I've ever owned, however, off duty, I carry a M&P 340 as that SIG is just too damn heavy after 10-12 hours.

John_Wayne777
08-10-09, 22:04
I would add that a weapon light can function as a hand held which can be placed ON the weapon if needed and time permits.

If I'm coming out of a restaurant and hear a noise by the dumpsters my left hand goes into my pocket and lights up the area with my TLR1 and my right hand goes to my SIG in my holster. If I see Goblins and have the time I mount the light...otherwise I drop it in my cargo pocket and both hands go to the SIG.

I would urge caution on that because there are documented cases where police officers have tried to do the dynamic on/off weapon light thing under stress and have ended up putting rounds through their hands in the effort. When I carry my M&P IWB I frequently have my X200B handy, but if I actually have to use it in conjunction with the handgun I'll be using it with a neck index or a Harries style technique.

SteyrAUG
08-11-09, 01:18
The issue with this is if you ever needed to reholster the weapon quickly, you wouldn't be able to because of the light.

A Streamlight TLR1 goes off an on in about a second.

SteyrAUG
08-11-09, 01:19
I would urge caution on that because there are documented cases where police officers have tried to do the dynamic on/off weapon light thing under stress and have ended up putting rounds through their hands in the effort. When I carry my M&P IWB I frequently have my X200B handy, but if I actually have to use it in conjunction with the handgun I'll be using it with a neck index or a Harries style technique.

The old M3 lights had to go forward of the barrel to attach, and I wouldn't feel too safe doing it especially with something like a Glock. The newer TLR1 and 2 attach from the bottom so it isn't the same.

civilian
08-11-09, 10:08
Only if you're finger-tightening it to the gun, which I would recommend having seen a few fall off guns during range sessions. I use a nickel to tighten and remove mine, but that takes about a minute or so - less if I were pressed for time. All the more reason why I just leave it on the gun and if necessary use a separate flashlight if the need to illuminate arises that doesn't require me drawing the gun.


A Streamlight TLR1 goes off an on in about a second.

Fly'nBuff
08-11-09, 10:52
I typically carry a SA Lightweight Champion Operator in a Comp-tac Infidel. I have a rail, so I will tote a light when possible. I just clip a Safariland RLS to my belt or waistband and I'm on my way. I like the flexibility to use it as a stand alone flashlight or a weapon mounted light. My two cents, but you can see it here:

http://www.safariland.com/DutyGear/rls/

El Cid
08-11-09, 16:48
The other concern with trying to use a weapon light that is carried separately comes into play when it's time to re-holster. If the support hand/arm is injured or busy (dragging someone, carrying a child, etc.) you cannot holster with one hand. As tempting as it was before I got a holster designed for the gun/light combo... I refused to try taking the light on/off the gun in that manner. I also don't really feel like there will be time 99% of the time to mount it in the first place. If I need my gun, chances are I need it NOW. When I draw, the only place I want my support hand to go is to the front of my torso. From there it will join my shooting hand as the gun moves forward of my body. Trying to create two sets of muscle memory (one for daytime and one for night with the light) is not something I would care to try.

ToddG
08-11-09, 17:41
The other concern with trying to use a weapon light that is carried separately comes into play when it's time to re-holster. If the support hand/arm is injured or busy (dragging someone, carrying a child, etc.) you cannot holster with one hand.

I hear this a lot, but I have to admit I'm hard pressed to think of too many situations where I might need to holster a gun so quickly that I can't take three seconds to remove a light.

sff70
08-11-09, 18:14
I hear this a lot, but I have to admit I'm hard pressed to think of too many situations where I might need to holster a gun so quickly that I can't take three seconds to remove a light.
__________________

Todd, I respect what you have to say, and that may be true for you.

But it may take more than 3 sec.

Under stress, in the dark, how difficult is it to remove the light? How is the light attached? Do you use a rail lock? How tight is the attachment? Do you need a coin or a screwdriver? Are you wearing gloves? Are you using that support hand to employ a handheld light, OC, a cell phone, car keys, etc.?

Further, in LE (non generallly CC, I know, but we do have Det's, UCs, administrators, off duty LEOs, etc.), we have to go hands on with people a lot, people who we can't shoot, and who know that you can't shoot them.

If you had that pistol out during a building search, or to challenge a suspect in just about any LE circumstance and they close on you during circumstances that you can't shoot them, you have to holster NOW to go hands on with them and/or employ other force tools and if you have get that light off prior to holstering, you have a problem that is very difficult to solve.

We tested this in scenarios with a guy who was adamant that he could get the light off and then holster the gun to go hands on quickly.

He was unable to do so, each and every time, even when we tweaked the scenario to favor him (increased the distance, etc.).

FWIW

ToddG
08-11-09, 18:24
Further, in LE (non generallly CC, I know, but we do have Det's, UCs, administrators, off duty LEOs, etc.), we have to go hands on with people a lot, people who we can't shoot, and who know that you can't shoot them.

Which is why my post said "situations where I might need to holster a gun so quickly". (emphasis added)

If my gun is in my hand, it's probably staying there until the problem is solved or someone in uniform pointedly asks me to put it down/away. Someone threatening or questionable gets within arm's reach, he gets thumped ... with the gun.

Certainly things could be different in an LE environment. However, if a particular officer finds himself frequently having to holster his gun to deal with a combative but non-lethal suspect who clearly isn't deterred by the presence of the pistol, it may be time to reconsider having the pistol out so much to begin with.