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Pros and Cons - M3 Tac light

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  • Pros and Cons - M3 Tac light

    Just wondering what everyone thought about weapon mounted lights. In the academy we aere required to buy an M3 tac light, but all they ever tell is when NOT to use it. From an officer safety standpoint, I'm not sure how often I will use the light. What do you guys think? Another consideration is the holster needed for the weapon with the light. In my opinion I don't think the Safariland 6004 (level 2) is a very good holster. It seems to unlock itself pretty easily and come open every once in a while. Should I keep the light on my weapon and have to constantly check my holster to make sure the hood is up and locked, or should I ditch the light and get a 070 triple retention holster and have peace of mind knowing my gun is secure and not as easily defeated should someone try and take it from me? Pros and cons, yays and nays, all input is much appreciated. Stay safe out there.

  • #2
    I am a firm believer in weapon mounted lights. I am not a fan of the M3, however if that is your only option go with it, my personal preference is the Sure Fire X200.
    The 6004 or 6280 holsters are good, if you want the added security you can add a Sentry switch which raises the holster to a level 3, it blocks the hood from being pushed down (released) when engaged.
    I would not recommend removing the light each time you reholster, however there are agencies that only allow their officers to carry SSIII holsters.

    Just my 2 cents

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    • #3
      Tac Lights are a point where I have a VERY strong opinion (yeh, like everything else ).

      Use the 6280/5/1 (last number depends on the ride height you want for the holster). It IS a very secure holster. Frankly, I have NEVER had mine open on its own, if your's is either you are doing something wrong or there is a major malfunction with the holster. My suspicion is that you are resting your hand on the button for opening the hood. I've seen others not well initiated to this holster do that. The new Safariland holsters include the hood guard as standard equipment (I don't have it) if you want it, Safariland sells it for cheap. It is easy to install and will bring the holster up to level 3.

      Don't think of the M3/X200/Whatever light you're using as a "flashlight" think of it as a way for your gun to see in the dark. The time to use it is anytime you draw your weapon in low light. It is not to be used as a regular flashlight which is why I STRONGLY advocate NOT keeping the light seperate from the gun. I've heard instructors claim that using the light on your gun while searching gives a place for the BG to shoot at, however imnsho, the speed at which you can search and rapidly acquire a target and then how quickly you can engage it using a weapon mounted light very well offsets the negatives of being a target indicator.

      Carrying the light off the weapon is dangerous. The time when you are likely to need the light your adrenaline will be quite keyed up. The last thing I would want to be doing is trying to slide the light onto the frame of the weapon with my adrenaline all keyed up. Also, what do you do when it is time to go hands on and your weapon now has a light on it which precludes it from being holstered? Trying to maintain hold of your weapon when your in a fight is a total recipe for danger. Also, I don't think I would want to try removing the light from the frame (its a fine motor skill) while preparing to be attacked or to attack. Your adrenaline would be even MORE keyed up at this point and you really don't want to try to monkey around with one hand at the muzzle of your weapon.

      Stick with what you're using, but pay more attention to what you're doing with your hand around your gun. If need be, upgrade to the level 3 on your 6280.
      Nobody ever wants to have to fight, but its a darn good idea for someone to know how.

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      • #4
        "Don't think of the M3/X200/Whatever light you're using as a "flashlight" think of it as a way for your gun to see in the dark."

        Jeeper,
        That is the best way I have heard it described.

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        • #5
          explain to me a police acdmey that requires weapons lights..they are not cheap..then tells you not to use it...anyone else have issues with this???
          Happy to be here proud to serve

          "Well it appears this lock does not accept american express."

          Never trust fire fighters to point out a suspect.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by squad51
            explain to me a police acdmey that requires weapons lights..they are not cheap..then tells you not to use it...anyone else have issues with this???

            Personally, I think its wrong of an academy (not run by a specific department) to require anything specific. I can see them having an approved list or a safety standard for equipment. Some people just won't be comfortable using a weapon light (crazy people ) and some won't want to spend the money (if you're sending yourself to the academy, you probably don't have a spare $300 layin around). To me, that would be like the department requiring a specific finish on their recruit's duty gear.
            Nobody ever wants to have to fight, but its a darn good idea for someone to know how.

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            • #7
              I agree with what has already been said. If it turns out that you want to sell it let me know.

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