Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 39 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Another Cop Screw-up With Weapons-Mounted Lights

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

News from Colorado:

A Denver police officer will be suspended for 10 days without pay for almost shooting a man in the head by accident.

The Denver Post reports Asher Rose will begin his suspension later this month for the Dec. 15, 2017 incident.

The officer joined the department in January 2017 and did not have any previous disciplinary issues.

Investigators say Rose and another officer were responding to a report of a drunk man trying to stop traffic in south Denver. The man ran away and hid under a truck.

According to Rose’s disciplinary letter, the officer accidentally fired his gun as he was turning on his weapon-mounted light.

For the 3648th time, do … not … do … that.  It’s dumb and it violates the rules of gun safety.  If you need illumination, find another way to get it, like carrying a tactical light.

Prior: Gun-Mounted Flashlights Linked To Accidental Shootings

Managing The Pistol Mounted Light

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 5 months ago

Jim Wilson writing for American Rifleman:

In some circles the pistol-mounted light has become quite popular as a personal-defense tool. The theory in the use of such lights is, of course, that you need to be able to identify the person as an actual threat before you employ deadly force. Further, we find that when we light up the target at night or in poor light, we can deliver our hits with much greater accuracy. However, there are some problems that can arise with the use of pistol-mounted lights that the defensive shooter should consider before making the transition.

Armed citizens often have two problems when considering carrying the defensive handgun. The first is that a suitable pistol, in a substantial caliber, often seems heavy, especially when one has been wearing it all day long. The other is that this same pistol can be more difficult to conceal. Unfortunately, mounting a light on the defensive handgun makes it even heavier. And it makes it more difficult to properly conceal the handgun.

Another potential problem that occurs when a person is using a pistol-mounted light is that he is tempted to use the pistol as a flashlight. I know of several cases in which the defensive shooter shined his light—and loaded pistol—on people and things that he had no intention of shooting.

We’ve dealt with this issue before of a light on the front of your handgun, and the lack of police officer discipline causing negligent discharges because of the trigger-like actuation of the light (pressure switch near the trigger guard, along with the fact that officers stupidly go around with their finger on the trigger of their weapons while pointing them at people and things).

Don’t do it this way, and keep your finger off the trigger.  Simple discipline solves that problem.  Lack of time, discipline and training also causes sympathetic muscle reflex responses like it did with poor Eurie Stamps (Jesus was that my rifle?).  But in general I am a huge fan of pistol-mounted lights for the right reason and under the right circumstances.

I think I’ve told the story about my purchase of one, but it bears repeating.  Before my wife’s grandmother passed away, I had to work on her house, oftentimes late into the evening on the weekends, and oftentimes not getting started until after dark.  The home was once in a great neighborhood, but it had turned for the worse because of gang activity, and it was in another town so we couldn’t be there except for me on the weekends.

There were also reports of ne’er-do-wells hanging around, and visual evidence of home entry when we weren’t there (along with electronic evidence such as unexplained power bills).  The home was left dark in order to minimize power bills, and every time I had to begin work after dark, I had to perform a sweep of the entire home.  Sometimes I had my Doberman, Heidi, and I was always safer and happier to have her.

But sometimes I didn’t have her with me.  The first time I ever did entry and sweep of the home, I did so using the hand over wrist method for holding a weapon in one hand and light in another.  The home had many rooms, many closets, multiple bathrooms and a garage as well as exterior structures.  I swore I would never use that method again.  It led to exhaustion and loss of fine motor skills associated with use of my hands and arms.

Before the next time I got a weapon mounted light and haven’t looked back.  I did entry, sweeping and room clearing using proper grip technique and without exhaustion.  I’ll grant the point that the handgun is unable to be concealed, and it’s a bit too heavy to carry without a rigger’s belt.  With a rigger’s belt and the proper holster it isn’t a problem, but you don’t usually carry a rigger’s belt, holster, firearm and weapon-mounted light to the grocery store (I wish we could all do that without people freaking out).

So my gun with the weapon-mounted light sits under my bed.  I’ll carry it in the car on trips, and sometimes I’ll carry it backpacking.  Otherwise, I do the classic routine of carrying a gun and tactical light (separately) with my other weapons.  You get something, you give up something.  No solution is perfect, and one size fits all doesn’t work with firearms.

Gun-Mounted Flashlights Linked To Accidental Shootings

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

The Denver Post:

Gun_Mounted_Flashlights

Ronny Flanagan took pride in his record as a police officer in Plano, Texas. He had an incident-free career. He took safety training regularly. He was known at the range as a very good shot.

Yet he killed a man when he was simply trying to press a flashlight switch mounted beneath the trigger on his pistol.

In a deposition, Flanagan expressed his remorse and made a prediction.

“I don’t want anyone to ever sit in a chair I’m in right now,” he said. “Think about the officers that aren’t as well trained, officers that don’t take it as seriously, and you put them in a pressure situation, another accident will happen. Not if, but will.”

Flanagan was right. Three months after the October 2010 shooting in Plano, a 76-year-old man took a bullet in the stomach from a New York police officer trying to switch on the same flashlight model.

At least three other people in the U.S. over the past nine years have been shot accidentally by police officers with gun-mounted flashlights, an investigation by The Denver Post found. Two victims were fellow officers.

In Colorado, Denver’s police chief banned the use of tactical flashlights with switches below the trigger guard after two officers accidentally fired their guns last year.

One of the officers may have shot a suspect when his finger slipped from the flashlight switch to the trigger, firing a bullet into a car window of the fleeing driver.

[ … ]

In Plano, Flanagan tried to shine his flashlight on a suspected drug dealer in a dark parking lot outside a fast-food restaurant. Instead, he shot and killed Michael Alcala, leaving a 2-year-old boy fatherless.

“I don’t think it’s a very good idea to have any flashlight on a gun. You’re turning it into a loaded flashlight,” said Luke Metzler, a lawyer who sued Plano and the flashlight maker on behalf of the son, Michael Alcala Jr.

Here’s what’s happening.  In order to depress the pressure switch, shooters (in this case, cops) are squeezing their third finger, and because they have no control over their sympathetic muscle reflexes, they are also squeezing their trigger finger at the same time.  Suing the manufacturers of flashlights is about as nonsensical as I can imagine.  That’s like suing a hammer manufacturer because I may choose to hit someone over the head with it.

But what does this also show us?  The astute reader says, “that cops are (a) using their weapon mounted light as a tactical light to see things in the dark, violating requirements for muzzle discipline, and (b) they have their finger on the trigger of their weapon, showing that they are violating requirements for trigger discipline.

Recall what I said about this?

My son was a SAW gunner in the 2/6 infantry, Golf Company, 3rd Platoon, during the 2007 combat tour of Fallujah and the pre-deployment workup.  The senior Marines had experienced a tour of Iraq, and wanted their SAW gunners to have a round in the chamber, bolt open (the SAW is an open bolt weapon anyway), and finger on the trigger.  They had seen combat and they wanted their SAW gunners with zero steps to shooting.  Their lives depended on it.  They also did CQB drills with live rounds, along with squad rushes.

My son had an ID (if I’m not mistaken it was during training at Mohave Viper).  He tripped and had a sympathetic muscle reflex, squeezing the trigger of his SAW.  He spent an extended period of time in the “room of pain.”  They wanted him trained to overcome that sympathetic muscle reflex (which can be done, but it takes hundreds or thousands of hours of drills).  He spent the time learning to overcome that reflex, and performed well during his tour.  He also tried to teach his “boot” Marines the same way he was trained, but the Marines had begun to change and focus more on cultural sensitivity training and other COIN tools.  He got out of the Marine Corps.

Why am I discussing this?  Because no matter who you are, no matter how much time you spend, no matter how earnestly you wish it, no matter how many directives you write, if you are a SWAT team member, you will never be trained in such a manner.  Never.  You will never be trained like a U.S. Marine who has spent every day for a year and a half in pre-deployment workup to do a combat tour of Iraq.  Because you will never be trained in this manner, your tactics are dangerous, all of the time, and in all situations.  I don’t care how many times you have inexperienced Soldiers spend a week with you doing CQB drills.

As for cops, if they obey the same rules as we do, this kind of thing won’t happen.  And I don’t care how sad Ronny Flanagan is over this.  The shooting is his fault.  Period.

If you keep your booger hook off of the bang switch, the gun won’t go boom.  And for the sake of everything that is sensible, good and righteous, don’t use your weapon mounted tactical light as a flashlight so that you can see things in the dark.


26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (679)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (33)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (15)
Ammunition (63)
Animals (25)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (146)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (68)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (27)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (70)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (17)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (12)
Body Armor (18)
Books (3)
Border War (9)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (36)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (2)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (10)
CIA (26)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (216)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (141)
Department of Homeland Security (20)
Disaster Preparedness (3)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (12)
Donald Trump (2)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (26)
Featured (180)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (943)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (43)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (859)
Guns (1,444)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (12)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (16)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (74)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (60)
Islamists (90)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (3)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (3)
Lawfare (7)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (254)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (41)
Memorial Day (4)
Mexican Cartels (28)
Mexico (38)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (5)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (23)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (38)
NATO (15)
Navy (22)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (57)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (218)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (54)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (379)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (408)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (147)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (29)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (243)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (27)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (19)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (3)
Survival (20)
SWAT Raids (54)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (3)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (94)
Thanksgiving (8)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (17)
TSA Ineptitude (11)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (14)
U.S. Sovereignty (17)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (55)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (216)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (3)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (60)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (20)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2019 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.