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As a follow-on to the unecessary modifications thread, what do you think of the proliferation of accessory rails on handguns?

Pistols have been around for centuries without mounting lights, and pistol bayonets fell out of favor around the time repeating firearms became popular.

Tell me your thoughts.

Personally, I regularly carry a Sig P226R with a streamlight M3 mounted on it in a duty holster (Safariland 6280) I find it actually quite useful for certain activities such as felony traffic stops and some building searches. It does not replace a regular flashlight by any stretch of the imagination (something about muzzle discipline), but I have found it to be useful in some limited ways. However, I do not feel that I would be tactically unwise to go out on the street without it, my SL20 has served well for many years and continues to do so.

While out of uniform, I have never used the rails, and see no reason for them on a gun that is just a shooter.
 

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I have been debating having Robar put a light rail on my Glock 19 (1st Gen.)so I can have a light on it beside the bed at night and such. I think they are useful but don't like the rails on a 1911 because it takes away the classic look.
 

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I think they're special-purpose only. I've not trained with a pistol equipped with anything hanging from it and will therefore not use one.

I think they'd best serve entry teams, but I could be mistaken.

Josh <><
 

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Hello,

I flat hate them, and think it's a sin to put rails on a High Power or 1911.

Take Care,
The Sockman
 

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I also hate the light rails on pistols and see no useful purpose for them for the average person. Those who I have talked to in LE have actually referred to the pistol mounted lights as "Bullet Magnets."
 
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I recently passed on one with the accessory rail..I wouldn't use the rail anyway..partly because I think they are ugly
 
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I can't stand them. I'm with SOCKMAN on the sinfulness of their application to any creation of JMB. I've also referred to them as bullet magnets myself, and demonstrated an international understanding of such with soldiers from the Georgian Army here on FOB Warhorse. In the best slow broken english I could, I asked if they were approached by someone with a bright light on their weapon, and they were armed, what would they do. They all motioned with their AK's that they'd unload in the general direction of the light. That said, would I want that light directly in front of my face? Probably not.

I suppose if you are absolutely paranoid about low light target identification, such that you're willing to hang a target in front of your face, you may be willing to invest in a set of AN/PVS-14's, and an ACH to mount them on.

Anthony
 

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Hi there,

I don't passionately dislike them, but feel that they are unnecessary for those properly trained to use a flashlight.

Chris
 

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Just lately bought a barely-used Beretta 96 Vertec, which has that straight backstrap (which helps me shoot it better than a regular 92/96) and the gadget rail up front. Absolutely would have turned down the gun--in spite of the bargain $425 price--if it hadn't fit at least one of my existing holsters. Rides perfectly in a Don Hume PCCH made for a Ruger P-97, as does my Border Marshal Beretta 92.

No plans to add anything to the rail btw, unless somebody comes out with a grenade launcher that will fit.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Dustcover rails...NOT

Just what I need is another item to throw off the speed and balance of my handgun. A Surefire 6P takes care of lighting issues AND I don't have to point my pistol at everything I want to look at.

Rails look cool...so they sell. Same for rifle rail systems. Lasers in the same category. Makes me wonder if the designers have ever searched a house for something
that wanted to kill them.

Guess there is some good news in all this...you can always use the overburdened POS for a boat anchor!

Wes
 

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Hi there,

I don't passionately dislike them, but feel that they are unnecessary for those properly trained to use a flashlight.

Chris
I used to think so too. That was until one night when I was chasing an armed robber.

Now, I keep the light on my duty Glock full-time. They don't, by an means, replace the flashlight. The do, however serve a very valuable purpose.
 

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I have a Springfield "Operator" tactical that I bought specifically because of the rail. I live out in the country, and I'm often outdoors at night chasing some sort of critter, usually an armadillo, but there have been cases where one of the local meth skanks will get out prowling the area at night.

Truth is that I could live without the light, and I could live without the rail. But the considerable extra weight up front adds a level of stability that's really nice, even without the light, though around here the light has proven invaluable on a couple of occasions.

I don't carry the Springfield regularly, and it doesn't even leave the premises very often, but when that intense beam of light centers on a target my sights become sharp, clear silhouettes, making nighttime accuracy much less of a challenge than previously.

Would I carry this weapon on a daily basis? No, I don't, nor would I, though if I found a good duty rig for it, I might.
 

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You know. I was always taught that you didn't use a rifle scope to take the place of binoculars, or a spotting scope because it forced you to break the first rule of gun handling, and that is to never point your gun at something you aren't going to shoot. Don't those pistol mounted flashlights make you do the same thing?

Then there is that bullet magnet issue.
 
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I can't stand them. I'm with SOCKMAN on the sinfulness of their application to any creation of JMB. I've also referred to them as bullet magnets myself, and demonstrated an international understanding of such with soldiers from the Georgian Army here on FOB Warhorse. In the best slow broken english I could, I asked if they were approached by someone with a bright light on their weapon, and they were armed, what would they do. They all motioned with their AK's that they'd unload in the general direction of the light. That said, would I want that light directly in front of my face? Probably not.

I suppose if you are absolutely paranoid about low light target identification, such that you're willing to hang a target in front of your face, you may be willing to invest in a set of AN/PVS-14's, and an ACH to mount them on.

Anthony
That is an interesting statement on the distinction between military usage of a firearm and police use of a firearm.

Police and civilian shooters are obsessed with low light target identification (as well as low light verification of a target, once identified, as a threat). Also, in any non military application that I know of, the unloading of an automatic rifle in the general direction of anything unidentified as a lethal threat usually results in the indictment of the shooter.

In some situations the use of a weapon mounted light could be viewed as a targeting aid for anyone who is attempting to ascertain your location, but the use of a handheld flashlight in a Harries, Rodgers, neck index, Chapman, etc shooting style would have the same effect. The only white light technique that I have been exposed to that would not is the old FBI technique, which has been decreasing in popularity for several years.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
You know. I was always taught that you didn't use a rifle scope to take the place of binoculars, or a spotting scope because it forced you to break the first rule of gun handling, and that is to never point your gun at something you aren't going to shoot. Don't those pistol mounted flashlights make you do the same thing?
No, not if properly applied to situations where the target is to be taken at gunpoint in a low light environment anyway. It does not replace the normal flashlight, only replaces it in situations where 3 hands would be required to do all of the necessary actions (such as holding a light, weapon and loudspeaker mic at a felony stop).

The third rule of firearms safety as taught to me was to never point a weapon at something you are not willing to destroy (as opposed to something you are going to shoot). It recognizes that there are situations where a target is held at gunpoint in situations short of the use of deadly force (but close to it) where given some additional development of the threat, deadly force may be used, but its use is not inevitable.
 

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You know. I was always taught that you didn't use a rifle scope to take the place of binoculars, or a spotting scope because it forced you to break the first rule of gun handling, and that is to never point your gun at something you aren't going to shoot. Don't those pistol mounted flashlights make you do the same thing?

Then there is that bullet magnet issue.
I don't see my own use of a rail mounted light as inconsistent with safe handling techniques. Quite simply put, the use of the light is to identify potential targets, i.e. anything or anyone who is not supposed to be on my premises. Thus, I'm intending to shoot, only the light makes it easier and faster for me to identify a shoot or no shoot situation. It's similar in a police encounter, in that an officer will only draw his/her weapon if there is a potential threat, and when an actual threat is identified, the officer will aim that weapon at the threatening party until (a) the threat is proved to be non-threatening or (b) the threat is neutralized or removed.

I aimed my Streamlight equipped weapon into a mirror in a darkened hallway, and I determined that any shooting I did towards a light source that bright would have to be strictly instinct shooting. That light is blinding... YMMV

PS: Did I mention that the light makes my sights really, really clear and easy to see?
 

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before this thread gets goofy...there are flashlights, and there are weapon lights... we all know the difference, if you like them cool, if not, cool... .......Pax
 

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Where I live even on your own property, if you point that weapon with the rail mounted light on it at another person to identify what you may think is a potential threat and it turns out that, that person is not a threat you are going to jail and at the very least your pistols and pistol permit will be confiscated and revoked. You can't just go around pointing pistols at people and IMHO a rail mounted light gives one the false sense that this is okay because you are using the light to identify.
 

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If you are using one of the fairly standard flashlight techniques (Harries, NY, Ayoob, etc) the issue will be the same. The gun and the light always point together.
 
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