Author Topic: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house  (Read 29794 times)

Offline CR Williams

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #30 on: October 09, 2009, 07:33:41 AM »
One important detail when using AR or AK model rifle/carbines for self-defense in the home to consider: At the short ranges you're dealing with inside, the roughly two-inch height difference between front sight and barrel becomes very important. If you have to make a precision shot, you need to have worked some on the range to get a feel for how much higher you have to aim above your actual desired point of impact to make that.

Example: About ten feet away, if I want to put the shot between the eyebrows, my actual aim point with an AR or AK will be near the top of the forehead.

You want to keep that in mind if you need it.

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2009, 08:13:24 AM »
I hate arguing about best gun so I'll only make one comment here.

Anyone who believes two pieces of inch thick drywall is going to stop any kind of projectile fired from a firearm is CrAzY   :P

If I can punch through it, my shotgun is going to send a lot more than one piece of shot through the wall.  The overpenetration thing is a made up concept when it comes to home defense and if anyone doubts me.  Ride out to a construction site (if you can find one).  As for a few pieces of scrap drywall and try to shoot through them with various weapons. 

I'm not making a judgment on any person here.  You guys are definitely more qualified that me but....YOU DON'T SHOOT IN THE DIRECTION OF OTHER PEOPLE.  If you don't feel like you are capable of making that decision in a home invasion then you need to put your weapons out of reach until you do feel comfortable.  Plans always change but you at least need to know what directions you defend and what directions you don't shoot.  My plan is simple.  My bedroom is at the beginning of my hallway.  There is only one way past me and no way to enter past that point.  My child's room is to the right of that entrance.  I have a 90 degree arc I can shoot in anything greater than that 90 degree arc is off limits.  I would not hesitate to pick up any of my weapons and stop an intruder.

However.  In a close quarters situation like that, why wouldn't you go with a handgun?  You can't cut a corner and sweep with two feet of metal in front of you.  You can't tuck a shotgun in close if you happen to close in too quickly.  Just doesn't make sense to me.

J

Offline Serellan

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2009, 05:13:54 PM »

I'm not making a judgment on any person here.  You guys are definitely more qualified that me but....YOU DON'T SHOOT IN THE DIRECTION OF OTHER PEOPLE.  If you don't feel like you are capable of making that decision in a home invasion then you need to put your weapons out of reach until you do feel comfortable. 

When I think of over-penetration, I'm not thinking about internal to my house.  I'm thinking specifically of a round leaving my house, going in another house, and entering a person.  In many suburban situations, it is often impossible to fire a weapon inside a residence and NOT be shooting in the direction of a person when we are talking about a high-powered rifle round leaving the residence.  Yes, a 12g buck round will go right through the walls in my house, but it is unlikely to go through an internal wall, an external wall, through another external wall, and injure a neighbor.

Does that make sense?

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2009, 06:19:57 PM »
When I think of over-penetration, I'm not thinking about internal to my house.  I'm thinking specifically of a round leaving my house, going in another house, and entering a person.  In many suburban situations, it is often impossible to fire a weapon inside a residence and NOT be shooting in the direction of a person when we are talking about a high-powered rifle round leaving the residence.  Yes, a 12g buck round will go right through the walls in my house, but it is unlikely to go through an internal wall, an external wall, through another external wall, and injure a neighbor.

Does that make sense?

That does.  All things considered, it doesn't make sense to pick a rifle round for a home self defense gun.  Now I will say that unless you live close enough to spit on your neighbor, the likelihood of a pistol or shotgun round coming through one or more walls including siding or brick or wood, insulation, wiring and drywall and still flying across a 50 ft or greater space and penetrating through all that again is not very likely.  Are there certain circumstances where things just go wrong?  Yes, probably. 

For those that are concerned greatly about this and absolutely insist on using a rifle, there are frangible rounds for both rifles and pistols which will break apart on anything hard.

J

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2009, 08:45:12 PM »
The shotgun is the most devastating close range weapon you can get.  If you live in California or other states that idolize bears and red stars then remember the dead don't sue.

Offline kiteflyer

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2009, 08:58:08 PM »

    Turkey shotgun shells, copper coated 1300 fps are the best for optimum effects. Believe me a shotgun would even make my wife dangerous as hell!

                                 kiteflyer
 

The shotgun is the most devastating close range weapon you can get.  If you live in California or other states that idolize bears and red stars then remember the dead don't sue.

Offline Serellan

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2009, 01:24:26 PM »
That does.  All things considered, it doesn't make sense to pick a rifle round for a home self defense gun.  Now I will say that unless you live close enough to spit on your neighbor, the likelihood of a pistol or shotgun round coming through one or more walls including siding or brick or wood, insulation, wiring and drywall and still flying across a 50 ft or greater space and penetrating through all that again is not very likely.  Are there certain circumstances where things just go wrong?  Yes, probably. 

For those that are concerned greatly about this and absolutely insist on using a rifle, there are frangible rounds for both rifles and pistols which will break apart on anything hard.

J

Yup, that's why I use a 9mm & 12g.

Offline Hartmann

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2009, 02:41:48 PM »
Yes, a 12g buck round will go right through the walls in my house, but it is unlikely to go through an internal wall, an external wall, through another external wall, and injure a neighbor.


What do you base this on?  The box-o-truth link you posted above did not test for passing through 2 external walls, just wallboard.

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2009, 04:43:17 PM »
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=10065.0

Soccer Grannie was kind enough to provide me this link.  I think people really overestimate projectile performance.

J

Offline soccer grannie

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2009, 05:21:01 PM »
I know very little about weapons but after reading Gadget's post, it seems to me that people underestimate what a bullet can penetrate.

Can you imagine the insurance claim the lady had to file not only for the damage to her house but for a bullet hole through every item of clothing in her closet! (See 1st example listed in http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=10065.0 )
 

Offline Hartmann

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2009, 05:32:36 PM »
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=10065.0

Soccer Grannie was kind enough to provide me this link.  I think people really overestimate projectile performance.

J

That is a great post.

Offline Jimbo

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2009, 05:45:25 PM »
 I'm a firearms Luddite ;D .38 Spl and 12 ga for home defense, an AR-15 would be "ammo" for an asshat prosecutor IMO. Springfield used to make M-1 Garands in 7.62 NATO & of I run across a used one in very good-excellent condition, would gladly trade in my AR-15 for one.

Offline dudekrtr

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2009, 07:14:20 PM »
Lots of good stuff here, but one thing missing is what loads are being used, except the 12 ga, which I just don't see 8 shot beating buck [Jack did a piece on this a couple of months ago, I think].

The testing was based on ball ammo? Why not defense ammo? Aren't you using a proven self-defense cartridge? 9mm by the bed with Corbons or Vital Shoks, and the 870 a little farther away [it's a little uncomfortable to keep in bed].

Offline Duc1

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #43 on: January 06, 2010, 09:28:40 PM »
I use a Glock .45 with Hollow points.  Any gun I pick up could harm a family member on the other side of a wall so I take great precaution to follow my safety rules and pray for the best.  I believe a shotgun is the best to stop somebody quick, but my 45 is much easier for me to move around the house to check on the kids and call the cops.

Offline Stein

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #44 on: January 13, 2010, 11:26:39 AM »
I use a Glock .45 with Hollow points.  Any gun I pick up could harm a family member on the other side of a wall so I take great precaution to follow my safety rules and pray for the best.  I believe a shotgun is the best to stop somebody quick, but my 45 is much easier for me to move around the house to check on the kids and call the cops.

I was just going to mention that point - I am MUCH more concerned about my daughter sleeping on the other side of the wall than I am of my neighbor. 

The fact is that anything that is going to stop a bad guy will go through a wall - there isn't any way around that that I know of.  So, it is then a matter of the best tool (ease to deploy, simple design, size, ability to use in the dark, ability to shoot without sight picture, etc) coupled with thinking about where I would and would not engage someone with a gun and what I would do if I was in the "don't fire here" zone.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #45 on: January 15, 2010, 12:20:51 PM »
Wish list for home invasion response:

2 smoke grenades
2 flash bangs
Thermal goggles to see through the smoke.
AR loaded with one of the varieties of composite tin or tungsten powder bullets.
Rail mounted flashlight with remote switch
Rail mounted side saddle for the aforementioned flash and smoke devices.

Current: pistol and flashlight - light stays off until I draw down on the target and wish to identify them/reveal my position.

Offline hunker down bunker

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #46 on: March 01, 2010, 11:39:15 AM »
mmm... flashbangs.

oc grenades..? are those legal?

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/22530569/detail.html

Offline sledgehammer

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #47 on: March 01, 2010, 08:18:46 PM »
Question for those who choose a long gun for home protection:

How do you follow rule #2 (Never point your weapon at something you don't intend to destroy) in the dark?

Sledgehammer

Offline Orionblade

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #48 on: March 02, 2010, 12:47:04 AM »
Live alone.

Offline CR Williams

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #49 on: March 03, 2010, 01:39:51 PM »
Question for those who choose a long gun for home protection:

How do you follow rule #2 (Never point your weapon at something you don't intend to destroy) in the dark?

Sledgehammer

1. By understanding that a fight does not allow for absolute and total adherence to the rule(s) above all other considerations. (The range is not the fight, the fight is not the range.)
2. By having other habits of safety and weapon control integrated to the point where they are automatic and unthinking in their execution.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #50 on: March 03, 2010, 02:20:10 PM »
I agree.

I have a dog and a grandmother. Hell, today, he knocked my revolver off the ottoman next to me while I was putting my belt and holster on. He normally stays away since it smells like gunpowder residue and solvent, but today he sniffed and nosed it.

Kerplunk.

Sh*t happens, but since I don't put it up high where it can get knocked off with enough force to go off, it was ok. It fell 8 inches onto carpet.

Not a fun feeling, but even in "breaking the rules" my other precautions would have kept things other than the floor from getting shot, namely keeping myself on the other side of as many (old school lath and plaster) walls as possible from anyone else in the house, and keeping the muzzle pointed at exterior wall, or the floor, as appropriate - but not at the floor when I'm upstairs directly overhead... Run through various break-in scenarios and see where you'll have to travel, and adjust accordingly. technically I'm muzzling everyone in the house as I go upstairs via my curved staircase, with the weapon holstered, but hardly anyone would balk at that "gaff".

You can't really prevent sh*t from happening, you just have to put safeguards in place to prevent it from hitting your proverbial fan ;-)

Offline sledgehammer

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #51 on: March 03, 2010, 02:45:31 PM »
"By understanding that a fight does not allow for absolute and total adherence to the rule(s) above all other considerations."
I agree with the theory. But when you have options that allow for total adherence (handgun and flashlight for example), why choose to go into a gray area? Why not play it safer?

"keeping the muzzle pointed at exterior wall..."
If you have two hands on your two-handed firearm, you don't have any light where you are looking (unless you're looking at the exterior wall). You have to point the weapon at the "target" eventually. (I have to assume there is a light on your weapon.) How happy will your grandmother be when you point your shotgun, AR, or whatever long gun at her face just to verify that she isn't a bad guy?

"keeping myself on the other side of as many (old school lath and plaster) walls as possible from anyone else in the house"
Perhaps your situation allows for this. But I'll wager that most people have to consider the possibility that the bump in the night isn't someone they want to shoot.

While I understand that the .223 or a shotgun has superior killing ability, I can't wrap my head around aiming your weapon at someone in your house before identifying friend or foe.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #52 on: March 03, 2010, 04:12:09 PM »
I have nightlights around, and a flashlight handy, so seeing friend or foe isn't really an issue. I've only had "bumps in the night" a few times with folks in the house, but my basic point is that if you adapt your techniques a bit, you should be able to avoid muzzling someone that doesn't need muzzling.

I'm assuming you're in the worst case scenario of having a wife and kids in the house. You can either aim high, thus avoiding muzzling the children if they're bumping in the night, and if you don't know where your wife is, then she's likely the bump in the night, so you should be somewhat less apt to immediately aim and fire.

Don't know your specific situation, so all we can provide are generalities, or our experiences.

I'm sure any one of us would be happy to hash out details over a PM, so as to avoid hijacking the thread. I agree, however, that it is difficult to move through a completely dark environment without either giving away your position, or jepoardizing the safety of other occupants of that environment. I have to worry about my dog, too, and I'd be just as upset about shooting him accidentally as any other member of my family.

On the other hand, you could enact a simple curfew based means of identifying your family member's locations in the house. First and foremost, I'd get a little hanger tag printed up for each of the bedroom doorknobs. If you're out of your room, the tag is either placed or removed. This could even be made electronic, and I'd be happy to engineer a quickie little kit for you - shouldn't run more than about 5 bucks a piece. If the door is opened after a certain time, a little LED would come on to indicate this, then automatically reset in the morning. Put one on the bedroom doors and one on the bathroom door, and you should be set for 90% of legitimate middle-of-the-night family movement. Maybe one on the fridge, too - especially if you have teenage boys ;-)

PM me if you're interested in working out such a plan. Might even post a how-to on here. Meanwhile, I have some plants to prep for shipping!

Offline sledgehammer

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #53 on: March 03, 2010, 06:19:21 PM »
I appreciate your offer to help. But I still think you're wrong... especially when you talk about using a long gun and a flashlight. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point.

I still think that, tactically speaking, a long gun is the wrong answer for home protection for a variety of tactical and safety reasons.

Offline ubergeek

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #54 on: March 03, 2010, 06:43:55 PM »
Good discussion.
Heres my 2 cents. I am an LEO with 20 years on and have always carried a 40 cal on duty. I have cleared numerous buildings and residences with my side arm in the daylight and at night. I train with my 40 also at the academy on training days. Even train using my weak hand and one handed shooting. Hard to do that with a shotgun. So since we dont train with the shotgun and only shoot it once a year to qualify with it I prefer using my 40 cal as my home defense weapon. I do have a 20 gauge 18" barreled shotgun at the house but it stays in the safe. It would get real old real quick having to put the shotgun in the safe everyday for safe keeping when I leave for work and the have to remove it every night from the safe before I go to bed. I wouldnt want to leave it out when im not home. My 40 cal is always with me and ready to go.

While I'm not a LEO, I have a lot of training involving weak side shooting, one handed, weak side draws, racking the slide one handed, etc. The entire gamut of how you can train with a pistol. Being able to shoot one handed is a definite advantage that goes to a pistol. I've had a lot of carbine training as well, but I think I would be more comfortable at close ranges with a pistol.  I keep my long guns in the safe. My wife and I have both been through training, and have actually both been trained in room clearing together in a stack with carbines and pistols both (with LIVE AMMO...that's marital trust!!), but I think the layout of my house is more pistol friendly. Maybe if my house had a different floorpan, I might feel better about a carbine or shotgun. Honestly, I think it's all about knowing what's behind your target and being able to exhibit some self control under high stress, which I'll never say it easy, but training makes it a little more probable.

Offline CR Williams

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #55 on: March 04, 2010, 09:08:36 AM »
"By understanding that a fight does not allow for absolute and total adherence to the rule(s) above all other considerations."
I agree with the theory. But when you have options that allow for total adherence (handgun and flashlight for example), why choose to go into a gray area? Why not play it safer?

Because I try to acknowledge reality. Reality is, when the fight starts, the actual encounter that may result in someone's death, that it does not matter what tools you have or what you want to do or what you intend to do about the four rules of safety. The reality is that you will not be able to adhere absolutely to those rules without increasing you chance of losing and maybe dying. If you have a family and you die, you increase the changes of Bad Things happening to them. So you want to stay alive. That means you acknowledge reality and ditch the fanatical adherence to the rules under any and all conditions. You want to know the safest thing you can do? Identify and take the bad guy down as soon as possible. Then you can put the gun away where it will be safe.

While I understand that the .223 or a shotgun has superior killing ability, I can't wrap my head around aiming your weapon at someone in your house before identifying friend or foe.

This implies that I am stupid enough that I will do that. Where did I say that I would not ID to the best of my ability, or where did I recommend or even hint that someone should open fire without ID-ing the bad guy? Why do you think I would do that?

Offline sledgehammer

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #56 on: March 04, 2010, 07:51:28 PM »
Maybe I wasn't clear. Or maybe I misunderstood.

Here's what I'm understanding:
You're planning to defend with a long gun. Your light is fixed to the weapon. (It can't be in your hands since your hands are full.)
Pro:
High power with limited over-penetration.
Usually, long gun means larger ammo capacity than a handgun.
With a shotgun, you have a margin of error when aiming.

Con:
Light and aim point move together.
With a shotgun, you have a margin of error when aiming.

Alternate solution: handgun and a flashlight
Pro:
Can be used with one hand.
Light and aim point move independently.
Arguably harder to disarm.

Con:
Less ammo.

I think you gain more than you lose.
---
I agree "that you will not be able to adhere absolutely to those rules without increasing you chance of losing and maybe dying." The plan is always the first casualty. I absolutely disagree with not developing a better plan. I disagree with shrugging off safety during planning. Proper planning prevents piss poor performance. It really looks like your plan includes actions you know are unsafe. If you start off planning on being unsafe, how unsafe will you be once the playbook goes out the window and the shit really starts flying? If you start off trying to be safe, when everything goes awry you'll have a better chance to minimize the unnecessary risks... like using a shotgun for a flashlight.

And this may be the misunderstanding, crw... to me, pointing a weapon at someone is aiming your weapon at someone. They're the same to me. So, if you're pointing your long gun at someone so that the flashlight let's you identify them, you're aiming your gun at them! And I don't see how you can quickly identify someone without hitting them with a flashlight.

That's why I asked how you, and others who choose that tactic, do it. Maybe someone can explain.

Sledgehammer

Offline bsmith_shoot

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #57 on: March 05, 2010, 04:43:47 PM »
Please, all of you, listen to what I suggest. Whether you use a weapon-mounted light, or a handheld model, do not keep the light turned on. You know your home better than any thug that would break into your house. You know where every piece of furniture, every corner, every ounce of cover and concealment, and every room in your home is. Only use your light in flashes. When you leave your bedroom, flash the light. When you move down the hall, flash the light. When you enter your kitchen/living/dining room, flash the light. At the point that you notice something wrong, flood it with light, identify the target, and point, touch, press, press, press....until there is no longer a threat. Practice this very often. Include you family in thes drills. Have someone place a target in your home and find it. Above all else, be safe. Make sure your weapon is empty.
Sorry about the rant.

Offline bsmith_shoot

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #58 on: March 05, 2010, 08:25:27 PM »
I'm sorry for the double post. I forgot to add some very vital aspects to the above method. First, with the light on in a "constant" mode, you basically stand out like a lighthouse on the shore. You make yourself an easy target that is easily seen by an unseen enemy. Secondly, use your peripheral vision. Don't look directly into the light due to the fact that it will momentarily blind you. Today's modern combat flashlight produce such an extreme amount of blinding white light, that they can basically be used as a weapon on their own. They are really designed to send out a "spot" type light to help in the ease of identifying your target. The real bonus that we get from such a powerful light source is a secondary "flood" effect. Not only does it send out this very focused beam, but it also  fills a normal sized room with very efficient light. The real key to using this method properly is to constantly be moving. Flash the light while you are on the move, only stopping to either retrieve the loved ones you are searching for, or to engage the intruder. This is the method I will stake the lives of my family on. That is my .02 cents on the topic. Hope this helps.

Offline Orionblade

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Re: 223 or 5.56 better choice for self defense in house
« Reply #59 on: March 06, 2010, 04:41:20 AM »
Sledgehammer - I quoted this, but IE is being weird, so here goes:

"And this may be the misunderstanding, crw... to me, pointing a weapon at someone is aiming your weapon at someone. They're the same to me. So, if you're pointing your long gun at someone so that the flashlight let's you identify them, you're aiming your gun at them! And I don't see how you can quickly identify someone without hitting them with a flashlight. "

I totally agree that pointing your schnitzel at someone is tantamount to firing it, which is why a separate light is needed if you intend to use a flashlight for identification of anything other than something you're already pretty sure you'll need to, or be willing to shoot.

As for the last part - you don't see how you can quickly ID someone without hitting them with the flashlight.

First off, I hope you don't run around hitting people with flashlights. Or anything else for that matter. It's not polite, and it could leave a bruise! Only hit them with the PHOTONS!!!

 ;D

Ok, comic break over - in realistic situations, and keep in mind I'm picturing MY house, so adjust accordingly - but in typical situations where I have to ID someone or something in or near my house, there are always enough lights on to where I can see if it's one of my parents, or my dog, or one of my friends. There is a "feeling" (I hate talking about feelings, but that's how it presents itself to the conscious psyche) that you're looking at the outline of your loved one, and not the outline of some random douche that wants to rob the place.

In essence, your brain is looking for the curve of your wife's neck, the pattern in the hem of the night gown she was wearing, the scent of her hair, her height, her overall relative size and a variety of mathematically descrptable aspects of her form and movement. ALL of these things combine to identify and define an abstract data construct within your brain called "wife" (or honey, "my wife" etc.). When you see her shadow cast from around a corner, you'll have a pretty good betting chance that you "know" it's her, without seeing her. First, you likely saw where she was a few minutes ago, have an idea of her reasons for being wherever you two are, and have a guestimate on a range of trajectories she could have taken, and if the shadow lies on one of those trajectories, and it looks like hers, then you'll assume it is hers, and not have to wonder where she is - you'll walk around the corner and simply say "hey honey - i've been looking all over for you?!"

What you seem to be concerned about is exactly the opposite. So I'm in my hypothetical home, walking down the hallway, and I've gotten out of bed. I don't know where my wife is, which likely means I don't sleep in the same bed or bedroom, since if I did, I'd know immediately where she is (elsewhere)  or is not (next to me)  before grabbing my weapons and light.

I then proceed down the hallway, which is pitch black, and hear footsteps. I have to shine my flashlight towards the footsteps, and point my gun in the direction of the footsteps (because if it's an attacker I have just revealed my position). And here we are back at the conundrum, as far as I see it.


Either way, best practice dictates that the line of sight follows the point of aim and vice versa, you're not looking to the right while your gun tracks left - then you're pointing without aiming, right? There's SOME flexibility, however, in that you can muzzle your weapon slightly down or to the side, and shine the light on a loved one, or in front of them, without leading them into the muzzle line, but you're still pretty damn close to pointing your gun at them if you're going to maintain some modicum of control and proper form.

My solution is to use other clues, and to hone the skills required to read those clues as second nature, to determine who is where, and whether they belong there.

So here's my accurzied hypothetical, and hopefully it'll help you see my point of view, and maybe lend some ideas that you may not be implementing. (I've got a pistol, not a long gun. Tried a shotgun, and it just doesn't work with my comfort zone for moving through my house with all the twists and turns, and an AR seems like overkill, unless I coudl get an underslung shotgun that didn't make it a class III... I digress)

So, *bump, clatter clatter* Wtf was that?!

I bolt upright, as does my dog, if he's not already at the bedroom door ready to kick ass and take names. Snag the pistol with one hand, knife, light, and spare mag in the other. Spare mag gets tucked in the undies (Thank god for cold stainless steel and no pockets) as I move to the door, and the light gets clicked on, then pressed off - so it's now momentary on/off. This particular light has a laser pointer in it too. Not terribly useful except for distracting the dog for a few minutes of tail-chasing.

Anyhow, I move down the hall. I'm listening more intently than I'm looking, since all I'll see are faintly outlined figures via night light or moonlight. The dog goes ahead of me, and his reactions to folks in the hallway are always more keen - if it's a bud or a family member, I instantly know based on his reaction. Absent the pup, I know who's where simply by listening. I can hear the type of sound the feet are making - bare feet or slippers? gotta be someone that belongs here, and is up for a pee or a drink. Shoes? I'm the only one with a dog to walk, so it must be someone that came in from outside, likely uninvited. If I see a figure, the rate of movement is going to tell alot as well, as I move down the hall or the stairs, people that belong there are going to react slowly - "oh, you
re up! want some coffee?" vs. "oh shit, the homeowner's up, and this is huntin' country!"

Even in the shadows, body language can tell you a lot. I don't know if you simply haven't paid attention to that sort of technique, but it comes to me naturally, quite possibly because of time spent camping with my Dad, learning to identify animals by the sounds they made - voles moving through leaves sound like someone slowly tearing tissue paper, a deer foraging sounds like two men stepping in time because of the way they walk. An owl sounds like a hole in the sky - because of the way their wing feathers work, it creates a dead spot in the background sound, provided background noise levels are low enough for you to even tell the differnece. Bat's are kind of the same, but I think they sound like a flyback transformer getting ready to arc over, and the laminations are vibrating.

You can't really teach someone these sounds without experiencing them in the field, just like tracking requires hands-on practice. Maybe clearing a house, or specifically clearing YOUR house requires the same sort of learning process through practice?

Just my thoughts. Hope it doesn't sound preachy or arrogant or anything. I re-edited and snipped a few bits out that were duplicitous or just awkwardly worded, so it might be a bit disjointed. Just take it with a grain of salt - it's all meant to be helpful and stimulate discussion.

Anyhoo, since the sun is up...

zzzzz

Orion