Light-Based Weapons
Part 2: High-power flashlights are available to civilians.
These flashlights are compact and pocket-sized, yet very powerful. Most use high-output lithium batteries instead of clunky D cells, and special lamp assemblies using bulbs filled with exotic gases. click for large image
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Laser Dazzlers
• Part 2: High-power Flashlights
• Part 3: Blinding Techniques
• Part 4: Impact Techniques

One of the more popular models is SureFire's series of CombatLights. SureFire originated the small-but-powerful light category with its lithium cell-powered 6P, designed to be as powerful as the multiple D-cell flashlights carried by many police officers, but much smaller. Police forces, striving to reduce the weight of their equipment belts, embraced the SureFire lights in droves, leaving their long, heavy flashlights in the patrol car.

The same portability that allows these small lights to be belt-carried also allows them to be mounted semi-permanently on a gun. Manufacturers like Glock and Heckler & Koch designed equipment rails into their latest pistol designs, largely to accomodate these lights.

Tactical Lighting

Tactical experts devised techniques for using these lights in conjunction with a firearm. The M2 Centurion model, shown here, has a cut-away body that allows the flashlight to be held between two fingers of the off-gun hand. In this "Rogers/SureFire technique", the palm of the hand activates the pushbutton switch. These low-light tactics are primarily intended to just illuminate targets, rather than temporarily disorient them.

click for large image
SureFire's M2 Centurion gripped in the off-hand. When used with a handgun, I'll use the ring and pinky finger to support my gun hand in a modified Weaver stance.

However, the intense beam projected by these lights allows them to be used as distractionary or disorienting devices. One model of the Sure Fire line is touted as being so bright that shining the beam on someone will make them turn away involuntarily--even if their eyes are closed!

These lights can be used in combat with or without a firearm.

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