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Thread: Issues with Taclight and seeing through powder cloud

  1. #1
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    Issues with Taclight and seeing through powder cloud

    Situation: Out shooting pigs at night. Weapon was a 10.5" unsuppressed 5.56 NATO AR15, with Surefire 6PX taclight 320 lumen at 9 o'clock and about 2" from muzzle, with a T91 muzzle brake, shooting handloads of 77 tmk with 8208 XBR powder. After 2-3 shots I couldn't really see downrange through my 1-6x Bushnell dialed to 1.1x, there was a large cloud of powder residue, almost like black powder, and my flashlight was illuminating it making it worse. I ended up side stepping a few paces to reengage.

    Is this an issue of my tactlight position? The muzzle device? Or the powder? I'm leaning toward the latter, as I know XBR isn't the cleanest stuff, but man is that stuff accurate.

  2. #2
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    I experienced the same thing a few months ago in a training class. I was running a Streamlight TLR in the 12 position. We were to move from position to position and identify targets out to 50 m. After the first shot the combination of the powdercloud and the fog in the air made it impossible for me to see my sites. Not sure much can be done about this. I did upgrade to a different optic and a brighter light.

  3. #3
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    What ammo were you using? What barrel length and muzzle device? Were other people at the course having similar issues?

  4. #4
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    Due to local weather conditions, all my taclights, in my opine, are used in shoot, move, shoot, move.

    While dynamic movement is very helpful in any violent altercation, when using my WMLs, I have found it much more reasonable in keeping sight picture. I dunno how much would actually be needed if I ever had to use it, but I like to practice with movements as you never know. A dark parking garage, home, hallway, could easily cloud from pistol powders and would necessitate movement to get a better sight picture.

    Just my opine. From someone who is definitely not HSLD, but I try to practice with what I use regularly for my own sake and conditions.

    ETA:
    For example, when I mounted one of my 1000 lumen lights to my handguard last year for some Coyote hunting, it was a humid foggy evening, two shots and I was blind where I sat.

    It wasn't a super vital hunt, nor was there a self defense need at that moment. We were sitting down on some mossy wet ground, and couldn't have gotten up and moved quickly even if we wanted to.

    That was just an inevitable, acceptable, situation we had to deal with on that day and hunt. Either you stand and keep moving, potentially spooking the game; or you sit and lose your sights after your first couple shots.
    Last edited by HeruMew; 09-17-18 at 12:43.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by signal4l View Post
    I experienced the same thing a few months ago in a training class. I was running a Streamlight TLR in the 12 position. We were to move from position to position and identify targets out to 50 m. After the first shot the combination of the powdercloud and the fog in the air made it impossible for me to see my sites. Not sure much can be done about this. I did upgrade to a different optic and a brighter light.
    Rifle was a 14.5 Daniel Defense carbine gas gun. BCM extended A2 flash hider. Ammo was Winchester Q3131A. I was the caveman in the class. I used my iron sighted kiss gun. No one else seemed to have that problem. everyone else had more illumination and a red dot sight on their gun.

  6. #6
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    Has anyone else noticed something similar at low light classes?

  7. #7
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    You have a short barrel which shortens the time for the powder to burn clean so more unburnt powder will be thrown out. You have a low lumen light which doesn’t have the power to burn throw the cloud and youe’re in a dark environment so anything illuminated is going seem exaggerated. Such is that low light SBR life.
    AQ planned for years and sent their A team to carry out the attacks, and on Flight 93 they were thwarted by a pick-up team made up of United Frequent Fliers. Many people look at 9/11 and wonder how we can stop an enemy like that. I look at FL93 and wonder, "How can we lose?". -- FromMyColdDeadHand

  8. #8
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    Candela is key for pushing through smoke/fog. No lights do it "well" but high candela lights do it best.

  9. #9
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    Thank you for info. I changed out muzzle device to a JP Rifles Flash Hider, and brighter taclight, so hopefully that helps.

  10. #10
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    This is 100% an issue of LED lights vs the old incandescent lights. The issue is that LED lights do not cut through the “smoke” like the old lights did. They bounce back. The phenomenon isn’t new per se, it’s just that not many folks see it. I’m a full time instructor for a very large Sheriff’s department, and I work swing shift. That’s important only because 80% of my shooting activity is done at night. Almost all of my training is “lowlight”. I shoot 100’s of rounds a week, most fired using a SF X300UB.
    As mentioned earlier, movement is the best way to mitigate the issue. Light on, shoot, light off, move off the X, light back on. It takes just a bit of getting used to, but it will DRAMATICALLY help your lights work through the gunpowder and dust.

    Try it, and report back. I’m sure you’ll see a huge improvement.
    Last edited by Vegasshooter; 12-06-18 at 18:47.

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