APPLICATION OF THE FLASHLIGHT TO THE SHOTGUN
Let’s start by saying that mounting a flashlight on a shotgun isn’t as simple as it sounds, especially when it comes to pump action platforms.
The assembly requires a lot of attention and materials of the highest quality because the stresses that a torch mounted on a shotgun receives are substantial, but those that it receives if mounted on the pump of a shotgun are such as to invalidate most of the mounting and anchoring systems.
This is not only due to the stresses of the shots fired, but above all from the enormous stresses deriving from the mechanical movement of the pump action.
Every time we rack the pump, through that mechanical movement, we generate forces which in turn generate energy, which is discharged on the platform and on everything that is attached to the dynamic body (pump) especially when it touches the limits of retraction and advancement.
When we talk about Flashlight we must not make the mistake of considering the shotgun as a rifle because we are talking about two platforms that have totally different mechanical stresses, not only that, but as ALWAYS it depends on the type of environment/application we have to face.
POSITION OF THE FLASHLIGHT ON SHOTGUN FOR HOME DEFENSE APPLICATION
Normally we tend to position the flashlight in the front, central or lateral part of the weapon to allow better visibility and avoid possible dark areas in the beam of light we generate.
However, this is only a simple general principle that simply responds to basic physics, but which is absolutely not a DOGMA, to say it is not me but it is once again the logic and the data that we analyze coming from the tests and from the application in various environments.
In these days I posted some photographs in which I mounted a flashlight in a Benelli M4 Short platform in a more rearward position than the canonical “tactical” position, and immediately some people shouted scandal, sacrilege, accusing a danger due to generating shadows . The problem is always the same: the ignorance of people, that is, ignoring knowledge and with it the ignorance of the truth.
It’s a bit like discussing the brand or type of tires and the performances of a rally car with a professional driver but not knowing how to drive.
The refusal to use simple logic, the approximation on the subject, the absolute absence of a scientific method of verification, generate confusion and disinformation. People have always been afraid of the new, of change, they have always preferred to remain in the same path traced by others, it is a bit like a some centuries ago when they refused to accept that the earth was not flat, despite scientific evidence.
Let’s cut out all the internet dramas, and let’s analyze the positioning of the flashlight on the shotgun in a home defense application.
I therefore selected 4 types of flashlight positioning specifically for this interaction of elements:
Shotgun + Flashlight + Home Defense.
Before going to analyze the pros and cons of the various positions we must clarify some aspects which are extremely important to understand better the dynamics related with the flashlight .
DISTANCE IN HOME DEFENSE
When we talk about HD we talk about generally limited spaces and distances, we talk about 3D environment, we mainly talk about artificial environment and closed spaces.
Distance is a fundamental parameter on which a series of important dynamics depend, one of these is the management of brightness and the flashlight is the tool we will use.
Since these are limited distances and closed spaces, we should logically know that our light beam will always and constantly impact a surface, thus creating 3 types of brightness:
1) Direct brightness – Flash, point of maximum concentration and consistency of the light beam
2) Indirect brightness- halo of light that will develop by reflection according to the size of the environment of the type of flashlight, its power ( number of lumens ) and the degree of reflection generated by the environment. For example a room with colored plaster walls and ceiling white will generate a huge halo and a high induced brightness (very dangerous), a room with natural wood walls will have an extremely more consistent absorption and will generate a very low halo.
3) Passive Brightness or Negative Contrast (lighting). This is often the main problem to be faced and managed in both artificial and natural low light environments. These are basically contingent environments that have a different level of Direct or Indirect brightness from each other. When a subject passes from one environment to another or is at the intersection of the two environments with different brightness, he can run into the problem of negative lighting or contrast. To give a concrete example, if you live in the city, you will have a high light pollution, if when you return home and your home will have a lower internal brightness level than the external one, when you will be on the threshold of the front door a subject inside your house he would see you perfectly but in Negative, distinguishing even the details, because your background environment is brighter than the one in which the subject is, while if a subject were behind you on the outside he would not see you or would see you with difficulty because yours background (the interior of your house) is less bright than the environment in which he is.
THE FLASH BANG EFFECT
We have to face this condition in relation of two dynamics that of the firearm and that of the Flashlight.
Whenever you explode a shot inside your home (therefore in closed spaces) unless you are acoustically protected, the sound of the shot will send you an acoustic shock, and the flash of the muzzle will create a visual alteration of variable duration, as your pupils will react to the sudden light source, unless you are in a bright environment.
The adrenaline and noradrenaline will partially compensate for the acoustic shock but the pupils will react anyway, especially if they were previously dilated due to the adaptation to the low light environment.
In the case of highly hypersonic calibers such as the 223R or the 556, in some types of environments it could go from acoustic shock to real eardrum lesions with all the consequences.
This is the reason why, unless suppressors are used, I always advise against this type of caliber for home defense, without considering the ballistic aspect.
Every time you turn on your flashlight inside your house, if the home environment is low light or dark, you will create a return flash what is called Negative Flash, the more powerful the flashlight is
(number of lumens) the greater the return of the flash will be .
What will make the difference is the kind of surface in which you will point your direct beam (flash) , if it is reflective surfaces (white walls, glossy paints, mirrors, glass, etc.) the effect you will have is a return flash that will create a ‘ consistent visual impairment.
The shorter the duration of the time you fire the flashlight, the greater of the return flash, the shorter the distance from the reflecting surface, the greater the intensity of the return flash.
You can easily try this by yourself:
Stand in front of a white wall at a variable distance and operate the flashlight with intervals of variable duration with exposure times of a few hundredths of a second (flash) even repeated, up to 3 or 5 seconds of continuous exposure.
Let a few seconds pass between one light sequence and another.
It is vital that you understand and experience what Negative Flash means (flash back), because it is something that could make you blind for a few seconds during the fight, with obvious consequences.
To reduce this effect, simply tilt the muzzle down or up a few degrees and the torch with it.
The next step will therefore be to “map” your home in terms of reflective walls and surfaces in order to know where to point the beam and how to do it.
The bang associated with the negative flash will always come from the same source – a firearm that can be yours or your opponent’s.