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Hi folks, Last night I went to an evening shooting class. Part of the class included a scenario in which we "cleared" an actual house in the dark. Learned : #1. I don't ever want to be in this situation , as I'm likely to get shot ! #2. You don't want to leave your light on as it shows where you are. #3. If you just momentarily turn your light ….you only get a quick "snap shot" of where you're looking but it also leaves you pretty much night blind after you turn it off.
I don't see any good fixes for this situation, short of night vision goggles....which are out of the question due to cost ?? I'd appreciate opinions and suggestions. Thanks, mike
PS: We were armed with a product similar to "Simunitions" called "UTM"....it was fun and educational !
 
Posts: 824 | Location: Idaho | Registered: October 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Good on you for getting the training experience, but keep in mind that many training scenarios are designed to emphasize a particular point, or even support the instructor's philosophy and beliefs.

The best way to check the interior of something like a room is to turn the lights on. That may illuminate the entire area rather than a little part, and the intruder may not be prepared for it. The sudden light may distract or partially blind him, plus he may be very visible in a way he did not expect. If someone is waiting in ambush in almost any situation, he has an almost insurmountable advantage—and it’s far worse if the searcher is entering a darkened room. Police will sometimes do that, but they will do what they can to accrue every possible advantage: distraction devices (flashbangs), various pre-entry visual checks, and, most important, multiple team members. The last may not absolutely prevent the BG from getting off some shots, but it won’t last long.

If the individual must clear rooms because it’s not known if there is an intruder, the best thing, to reiterate, is to turn on the lights* (and have a dog). If that’s not possible, then the next best thing is to have both a weapon-mounted light for one’s gun, and if it’s a handgun, a handheld flashlight. If, however, there is someone who is intent on ambushing the searcher, he will probably win. The best we can hope for in situations like that is to use all the good tactics we can, such as quick looks, movement, listening with amplified hearing protection, wearing body armor, etc. If we know for sure that there is an intruder in a room or area and he is no immediate threat to anyone else, the best possible response is to set up our own ambush and send for the cavalry.

* Turning on the room lights isn’t, BTW, all that intuitive. During my earliest LE team training, we debated that question at some length before reaching a somewhat “Duh!” realization that it was the best tactic regardless of the situation.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 40474 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the input ! More to think about !!
 
Posts: 824 | Location: Idaho | Registered: October 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I searched a lot of places. If I could find the switches, I did turn on the lights. Otherwise, I would wait a minute to give my eyes a chance to adapt to the lighting conditions. Then I would use my light intermittently (splash) to work my way to the switches.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 9336 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Yes, finding the light switches may not be easy, or even possible at all, but it should be the first thing we think of.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 40474 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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BT/DT- it sucks.
A rather sadistic instructor yelled decades ago that a light is the only element out there that attracts lead.

Glad you had an opportunity to use simunitions! Force on Force is always a good training tool when used correctly. It shows you how fast things happen, induces stress and shows you how you operate when the pump is north of 110BPM and the stimuli are flying at you, and you're trying to figure out what's important and what's not.

I prefer a weapon mounted light vs handheld, but that's my preference and NOTHING wrong with using a handheld or even a combination of the two. Sometimes it's nice to have a free hand. WML and handheld have their pluses and minuses. Quick splash of light AND MOVE! Did I mention MOVE? Well, MOVE!
(Think about it, if you're on the other end, wouldn't you shoot where the light is? You know what's attached to it)


Turning on the light in the room is pretty much a good thing, but finding the switch is sometimes difficult, and even more when someone's shooting at you.

There's a few different ways of clearing a room / enclosed area. Dynamic is always fun. But there's also slow and deliberate- Limited Penetration. You can clear about 80% of a room from outside the door without even going inside, and you have a little more protection from the door jams. The bad thing is the last 20% are the two bad corners. But that's a totally different discussion.


_____________________________________________________________________

"When its time to shoot, shoot. Dont talk!"

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” —Author Tom Clancy
 
Posts: 5827 | Location: Attempting to keep the noise down around Midway Airport | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Making a real good argument for motion sensor lights in every room. It certainly would take the intruder off his game and shed light on the subject.
 
Posts: 1861 | Location: Escaped Upstate NY for Texas | Registered: April 08, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Another thing to keep in mind, and which has also taken even some “tactical” LE teams a long time to figure out, is that the first question we should ask is whether we should be entering rooms at all to confront an armed intruder.

If it’s an active shooter situation or someone has already been injured and may be bleeding out as we wait, then going in to neutralize the BG and stop the killing and dying will usually be what should be done—assuming that doing so won’t merely add to the body count. Officers today are commonly taught that they may have to respond by themselves. If they’re hearing gunshots down the hallway of a school, they will hopefully be armed and trained appropriately to not be at too much of a disadvantage against a single attacker.

What’s far more dangerous is having to search for a BG whose location is unknown. For the police that would be most common to prevent someone’s escape, such as that of a robber who has shot an LEO or other victim. But once a search finds the individual and there is no reason to confront and neutralize him immediately, then the situation changes (or should, anyway). If, for example, someone is determined to be in a room by himself, what reason is there to go in and expose ourselves to his fire? Even the police won’t normally do that these days, and there would be less reason for the non-LEO to do it, especially if we are actually being fired upon. I participated in a training class put on by the National Tactical Officers Association just a couple of days ago, and their policy if someone they’re searching for in a building suddenly starts shooting through the walls at them? Retreat, contain, and use some other method to flush or wait him out.

The most difficult situation is if we’re not sure if there is an intruder, and that’s what is most likely to confront someone in his own home. We hear a suspicious noise, so what to do? Think, “It’s just the wind,” and go back to sleep? Roll out of bed, assume a defensive posture, and wait? Wait how long? Call 911 and request the police respond and break down a door to get in and clear the house for you? How many times will it take before that no longer seems like a good idea?

And keep in mind that if someone breaks in to burglarize a house or is intent on rape and believes that a woman is there alone, it’s highly unlikely he’s going to stick around once he realizes he may have been detected. Despite what happens in the teevee shows, there are extremely few incidents in which someone breaks into a home with the intent of deliberately murdering the occupants. If they do, the potential victim will probably not have to go searching for the BG in the dark, and will be lucky to do more than wake up as the assassin enters the bedroom.

To each his own, but at some point most of us are going to decide that clearing the house ourselves is what’s necessary, and that’s especially true if there are children or other occupants not in the same room with us. Training to learn how dangerous that is if someone is lying in ambush is a good experience and will hopefully teach us a few things to reduce the danger, but sooner or later we will have to run its risks. And we should analyze and judge those risks on rational bases, not necessarily on the basis of worst possible scenarios set up by imaginative trainers.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 40474 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigforum K9 handler
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quote:
Originally posted by CPD SIG:
BT/DT- it sucks.
A rather sadistic instructor yelled decades ago that a light is the only element out there that attracts lead.

Glad you had an opportunity to use simunitions! Force on Force is always a good training tool when used correctly. It shows you how fast things happen, induces stress and shows you how you operate when the pump is north of 110BPM and the stimuli are flying at you, and you're trying to figure out what's important and what's not.

I prefer a weapon mounted light vs handheld, but that's my preference and NOTHING wrong with using a handheld or even a combination of the two. Sometimes it's nice to have a free hand. WML and handheld have their pluses and minuses. Quick splash of light AND MOVE! Did I mention MOVE? Well, MOVE!
(Think about it, if you're on the other end, wouldn't you shoot where the light is? You know what's attached to it)


Turning on the light in the room is pretty much a good thing, but finding the switch is sometimes difficult, and even more when someone's shooting at you.

There's a few different ways of clearing a room / enclosed area. Dynamic is always fun. But there's also slow and deliberate- Limited Penetration. You can clear about 80% of a room from outside the door without even going inside, and you have a little more protection from the door jams. The bad thing is the last 20% are the two bad corners. But that's a totally different discussion.


YUP!!!!! Did we just become best friends?

Here's the only thing I would add for the OP. I'd offer up that you use a little common sense and do what I do.

If I think that there is someone downstairs in the bump of the night.......don't go down there. Yep, I know, not very manly, is it? The internet is going to cry and beat its chest. If common freaking sense tells me there is someone downstairs, call the police. Let them handle it. That's what I would do. I'll hold the stairs, and make anyone that comes up it pay a toll.

If I come home and find an open door, yep.....you guessed it. I'm calling the cops. They have the resources to cut off angles and at least get a primary search done, so I CAN turn on the lights and look for people on a secondary or look for missing items.

As far as turning on lights during a primary search......just don't. It robs what little advantage that you have as a home owner. If you decide that maybe there's no one there, and you are going to search, use a little common sense about it. You know every inch of your pad, right? You know where people can conceal themselves. You know where soft light exists. You know the sounds that the refrigerator makes. You know what doorways that you can threshold assess. You know which stairs squeak and which don't. You know where every stick of furniture in your house is.

Why would you want to take that slight advantage away by turning on the lights? I mean, think about it using a little logic for just a second. The dark is my friend. It gives me advantage and hides me, especially if I am using a 500-750 lumen light correctly. It's about as dumb as people that claim excuse on poor marksmanship as "oh spread your shots out on a target so you cause more damage. Some instructors claim that you want to put all your bullets in one place" BS.

The dark is not to be feared. It just is owed respect.


_______________________________________________________________________
www.opspectraining.com

"Make it a shooting, and not a gunfight" LSP552 02/19/2011



 
Posts: 33177 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by burnetma:
Making a real good argument for motion sensor lights in every room. It certainly would take the intruder off his game and shed light on the subject.


If you're talking about your own home... I know my house intimately, in the light and in the dark. An intruder doesn't. Hell I pretty much live in the dark at home. The last thing I would want is all the lights on so someone else could see well.


_____________________________________________________
Sliced bread, the greatest thing since the 1911.

 
Posts: 17074 | Location: 18th & Fairfax  | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks to everyone for their time !! I look forward to more input ! mike
 
Posts: 824 | Location: Idaho | Registered: October 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Clint Smith says it well. “I use the light on my gun to find the light on the wall.” I think that is a prudent use of a weapon light.


******************************

May our caskets be made of hundred-year oak, and may we plant those trees tomorrow.
 
Posts: 658 | Location: Idawahio | Registered: January 03, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Revolution37:
Clint Smith says it well. “I use the light on my gun to find the light on the wall.” I think that is a prudent use of a weapon light.


I'd sure like to take a class from Clint !! Wise man/good teacher !
 
Posts: 824 | Location: Idaho | Registered: October 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jljones:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by CPD SIG:


YUP!!!!! Did we just become best friends?

.


We've had this discussion before.
Somehow we're related- I think separated at birth / boot camp.



(I'll go you my lil trick for clearing the last 20%- I had a "Barbie" foldable pocket mirror. Stick that mirror around the door frame or up that scuttle-hole for the attic / crawl space before you stick your noggin in there! And no one is going to steal it!)


_____________________________________________________________________

"When its time to shoot, shoot. Dont talk!"

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” —Author Tom Clancy
 
Posts: 5827 | Location: Attempting to keep the noise down around Midway Airport | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As far as my own home is concerned, I am crouched down behind the bed with with my shotgun clutched in my sweaty hands. No clearing. Let the cops do that. If I come home to a burglary, call the cops and they can clear.
And on the job I often had a search and clear partner who loved to go into dark places.
A big bitey doggie!


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 9336 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Do No Harm,
Do Know Harm
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Very good points ^^

I'm a big fan of turning the lights on. Not a fan of "shoot me here" flashlights. We do searches regularly on night shift for one reason or another, and doing it with a shift of mostly rookies certainly makes one cringe sometimes (but it makes selecting who clears attics and basements easier Wink)


I'll add that all main entry points of my home are hardened to the point of probably needing explosives for a quick breach. Plus the alarm is usually set even when we're home.

Even my bedroom door has extra security, particularly because I sleep during the day.

If I hear noises and the dog isn't barking and the alarm isn't blaring, I'll probably poke around to find what fell off what shelf. If I hear noises with alarm/dog going nuts (or if I came home to an open door) and I'm not sure, I'm turning on my radio and calling for some units. They can get in without breaking down doors.

If I wake up to someone kicking on my bedroom door...I'll radio for an ambulance.




Knowing what one is talking about is widely admired but not strictly required here.

Although sometimes distracting, there is often a certain entertainment value to this easy standard.
-JALLEN

"All I need is a WAR ON DRUGS reference and I got myself a police thread BINGO." -jljones
 
Posts: 10514 | Location: NC | Registered: August 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Guns...watches...flashlights:



"No matter where you go - there you are"
 
Posts: 3664 | Location: Eastern PA-Berks/Lehigh Valley | Registered: January 03, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My thanks to everyone for their time and input !!
Definitely "food for thought !" mike
 
Posts: 824 | Location: Idaho | Registered: October 21, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One of the best threads I've seen on the topic.

Here are a couple of additional items I've incorporated into my own procedures:

1) I have remote switches (on/off/dim) on both floors for the lamps in my house. Old Radio Shack units, I'm sure better are available nowadays. Besides individual lights, it is zoned upper/lower with master control units upstairs and downstairs.
This can be reversed if coming home to an empty house. Hit the downstairs switch for all the upstairs lights. Now you're not going up to a darkened second floor.

2) If I hear something downstairs, I can hit the on switch for ALL downstairs lights. Or individual lights, if needed. If an intruder is there, I'm likely to hear running footsteps accompanied by an Aw S--t. Regardless, I'm not going down if it appears to be an intruder.

3) My B.R. door is adjacent to the steps. If I choose to ensconse there, I'm in low light and anybody coming up the stairs is backlit. No such thing as a fair fight...

Finally, I have a standalone Surefire 9P. Not fond of WML (for civilian purposes). If necessary in a darkened home area, use it indirectly. Instead of waving it around the room, just bounce it off the ceiling while using the door jamb for cover/concealment. Doesn't work in a warehouse, but reflects and lights up the whole room in an average house.


______________________
An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing. --Nicholas Murray Butler
 
Posts: 4288 | Location: Northeast | Registered: June 29, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Others have already said it: if you think there’s someone in your house, call 911. If you’re expecting contact, make it on your terms not theirs. Set up to ambush, not be ambushed.


------------------------------------------------
Charter member of the vast, right-wing conspiracy
 
Posts: 1639 | Registered: June 25, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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