Reader Night Hunter relays the following advice on lights and lasers in defensive situations:
I live inside the city limits of a large city in New Mexico. Over the last 20 years I have had to confront over 550 criminals invading my 18 acres of property during all hours of the day and night. Within reach is a 10mm 1911 with alternating hollow point and solid 180 gr bullets loaded to a velocity of 1360 fps. Also a .40 S&W loaded with 180 gr hollow points to 1180 fps. As with all target shooting placement is the key. And shoot until ammo exhausted . . .
I have replaced the long gun in my house, going from a 12 ga shotgun to 5.56 as that pump gun requires two arms to activate. Tye 5.56 has a mounted flashlight that’s calibrated with the center of beam to the hit zone so in close quarters I don’t have to worry about sight placement. A laser would accomplish the same, but that little dot doesn’t illuminate other problems. This setup is quick and fast with auto-feed delivery.
An observation about pistol weapon-mounted lights and lasers based upon 20 years of night work in New Mexico: just say no!
All that a weapon-mounted light does is advertise your position. Yes, it can blind whomever you illuminate, but anyone not in its beam will have you.
What I do is hold the light at full extension above my head and to the left. There are a number of reasons for lighting this way. First, chances are good that the target doesn’t know the area and a high light source will confuse. Maybe you loose an arm, but you can still have a weapon in the other.
Second, The light source doesn’t require movement of the body and weapon to acquire threat. A searching movement with the light, using only the wrist is much faster in coverage and if you have tritium sights you can acquire the target much faster. The downside is you need to shoot one-handed.
My experience is that it’s quicker to illuminate the problem using this method than trying to place a two-handed beam on a threat. You are locked into that position with no flexibility. Find your target with a left hand light and shoot with a right hand pistol.
Certainly this method creates a problem for reloading. The light has to be turned off, stowed while reloading and then reactivated. But it’s my feeling that the first kill wins. That means you have to hit the target first and this method gives you the best chance. Maybe the only one.
I have never had to shoot a-holes at night because being able to cover five or six or more of the them with a turn of the wrist has run some of them out of their shoes.
One man’s opinion. What’s yours? Do you have a light or laser (or both) on your home defense pistol?