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The Tactical Flashlight – The Facts That Matter

The Tactical Flashlight – The Facts That Matter

We will be covering the history of the tactical flashlight, what a tactical flashlight is and how it can be used and what options or adaptions you can add to one. So read on and learn everything to need to know about a tactical flashlight.

What Is A Tactical Flashlight?

A tactical Flashlight is modern-day lighting equipment used in combination with a firearm which supports low-light subject identification, giving a chance to the sniper, soldier or an officer of the law to take aim and light up its target. Tactical flashlights serve as a form of non-lethal force which causes temporary impairment, vision and disorganises a victim.In the case of a large metal mag light officers of the law can also use as a baton. The tactical flashlight is made to be shock resistant, reliable, equipped with long-lasting batteries and high light potency.

These lights sometimes come with optional filters which produce the option of coloured lights or discharge only infrared radiations which work with night vision. Weapons with tactical light may also have a sighting laser added to them.

History of The Tactical FlashlightBeretta with tactical flashlight

Tactical flashlights were introduced into the society within the 1900’s era but only made available with dry cell batteries and bright light bulbs. Because of how fragile the bulbs produced were, they couldn’t survive an accelerated firearm recoil, leading to the US issuing a patent in 1912 for night sight on a firearm. This was tested with a light bulb placed in a shock absorber and mounted on a revolver underneath the barrel. Its grip could now hold a battery and pressure switch.

Tactical flashlights are divided into two categories namely:

–    Handheld lights

–    Weapon-mounted lights

With the features of the flashlight being reliability and ruggedness, Soldiers and law enforcement officers made use of the more expensive ones rather than the low-quality consumer grade type. Manufacturers are now in the business of producing and selling specifically designed tactical flashlights.

How to use a tactical flashlight

A tactical flashlight can come in the form of two categories namely: handheld lights and weapon-mounted lights. They are used in the following way:Tactical flashlight

–     For a handheld light to be used as a tactical flashlight, the gun is held in one hand while the light is contained in another. There are different positions that allow the gun and lighting to be held together and offer each other support or present a false target to an attacker by keeping the light off the side of the body. Since both light and weapon are not attached, without facing the gun to any area, the light can be used to brighten up areas that may or may not accommodate a target. Once a target is identified, the gun can now be brought in line to aim at the target.

For a flashlight to be used this way, there must be provision for easy use when held with a gun. Some designs of this flashlight come with fitted rings to be used in a two hand grip with a switch controlling it by pulling your finger out of the ring. Other models have momentary off, and on a switch or a cord which secures the light to the hand, it’s being held.

–    The weapon-mounted light (as its name implies) offers its user a hands-off approach because of its design of having the light mounted on the weapon ready for use. The option of using both hands to control the gun is afforded the operator. Most models have a switch installed with a short wire which regulates its use; then the switch is mounted within reach of the operator’s fingers on the gun. This light is best found on shotguns, rifles and sub machine guns. These days tactical lights have now been seen on handguns also. Since they are designed to withstand the recoil of the firearm, this makes them robust, and they are more expensive than the handheld lights because of their design and mounting hardware.

Features of a Tactical Flashlighttactical flashlight in use

One quality of the tactical flashlight since it would be used in lethal situations is its reliability. Here are elements of the tactical flashlight:

Bulbs The bulbs used are selected based on the required output and battery life, but as a whole, high-performance bulbs are the choice used mainly, e.g., LED lights and xenon bulbs. LEDs have a maximum impact on the battery life due to its efficiency and are not likely to be affected by filament breakage from the shot recoil of a firearm. Recent advancement has led to brighter and energised tactical flashlights.

Battery Batteries used by tactical flashlights are primary lithium and the alkaline batteries. Lithium batteries are used because of its long shelf life, specific high energy, and gradual decay of voltage over the battery’s lifetime.  Alkaline batteries are also used because of their low cost and long shelf life, but their capacity is of no effect when used in powerful lights with a high current flow because of the high resistance of the alkaline cells, that’s why lithium batteries are preferred for their low resistance. NIMH and Nicad are rechargeable batteries best used for lights with heavy usage.

Illumination types These tactical flashlights can be fitted with lenses that give out different colours. These coloured lights do serve their purposes, e.g., Red lights preserve night vision because of its reduced impact on the rod cells of the eye, Blue light provides high contrast for blood detection while infrared lights can only be used at night.

Conclusion

Tactical flashlights are used by police officers or soldiers and are the best way to illuminate a target whether handheld or on a weapon. They are also known as a weapon for non-lethal force, they’re a great addition to your tool box and are great for people even if they do not plan on using them with a weapon, due to there toughness and fantastic build quality.

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7 thoughts on “The Tactical Flashlight – The Facts That Matter

  1. Jason

    Great article from the history of tactical lights to the features of them. Learned some great information that will guide me on choosing my light in the future. I won’t have much use for it on my weapon but can keep it near my door for those nights that scare the other half (damn deer and coyotes).

  2. Kahlua Gordin

    I really enjoyed what I have learned from this post.

    Thank you for that.

    It is the small things that we don’t realize are so important to people like policemen and army men.

    Thanks,
    Kahlua

  3. Ali

    What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for about tactical flashlight and when I landed to your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for tactical flashlight.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to read your new posts.)

    Thanks!

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