Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Mag Light

I was wasting some evening hours the other day and ended up on Gangland or one of the copy cat shows. It was about the Sons of Silence who are a Colorado based Motorcycle club of the 1% variety.

An interesting thing they do is carrying large flashlights, it looks like the mag light is about the universal choice though some others may be present. The reason they do this is that it is entirely legal as well it's a flashlight but they are a pretty effective club.

For places or situations where you either want a less lethal option in the mix or are banned from protecting yourself this option is worth thinking about. 

Pictured is a 3 d cell mag light and a belt clip thing. Not sure where I got the clip thing but it has a snap to easily slip on and off your belt and does a nice job of carrying the light.

I do not see the need to carry something like this all the time but at night or in certain situations it's a nice option to have.

Little 9000 lumen flashlights are all the rage these days but the good old mag light is a solid performer at a great price that is still useful and relevent. Some folks like the uuber tactical titanium pocket lights but there are times when a good old mag light is the right answer. With a going price around twenty bucks you can afford to have one at the (maybe less than gun friendly) office, another in the car and a third in the house.

They last forever, are cheap and can put a hurting on somebody. What's not to like?


Aesop said...

Yeah, but...

I still like Mag-lites, but the product is still state-of-the-art 1980 tech.

In a familiar story, the wife got the company after the divorce, and it's clear the husband was the innovation brains behind the operation, given the 30 year stagnation of the product line.

They were a vast improvement over the plastic and tin craptastic flashlights being put out by the battery makers, back in the day. But even at their price-friendly point today, other than a single AAA Solitaire that sits on my keyring, I'd druther get something a lot brighter.

While legal to carry as a big black club that lights up, the PD universally regard them as weapons (which is why almost all agencies forbid their use nowadays to stop suspects from getting "tuned up" by flashlight), which means if you're confronted while carrying one, they're usually reaching for their sidearms until you put it down. Given the training and reactions per media reports of most LEOs on any given day, being in front of them when they clear leather is rather iffy. As a couple of newpaper delivery ladies hereabouts can attest.

If I'm that hard up for personal protection, I'd rather carry a small light, and a far more harmless-looking cane. In a situation where I hadn't even time for that prep, but had a bit of time, filling my removed socks with rocks etc. would be my choice.
Under improvisation, given my career, I note that getting walloped in the face with a heavy stethoscope head swung at the end of two surgical rubber tubes would give nunchucks a run for their money, and give me time to either finish my business, or deploy the New Balance defense strategy. YMMV.

John said...

When my wife was in Germany as an MP in the mid 80's the 5-cell Mag-Lite was commonly carried in place of the issued wooden baton (night stick).

When she reported to duty her first night at Ft. Hood TX with her Mag-Lite she was told to put it in her POV and not to bring it on post again as it was considered a weapon.

While shows like 'Gangland' tend to over-dramatize certain aspects of motorcycle clubs, I can verify that a 4 or 5 cell Mag-Lite is a common sight with SOS and other clubs.

Ryan said...

Aesop, They do have a bit of a time warp in terms of tech or lack their of.

As they should. Sticks and stones have been killing people for a long time. The benefit is that they are not to the best of my non lawyer knowledge considered a weapon in a legal sense the way a gun, big knife, baton, etc are. The problem with canes is that your ability to blend in with one is generational. If I am packing one and not visibly hobbling it's a stick. I like 'New balance defense strategy'.

John, Told by who would be my question. People (particularly well meaning junior NCO's) often say things they think are true without any basis. I would be quite surprised to see a genuine command policy letter that forbids them. Heck, bought half of mine in a PX.

Anonymous said...

Well I actually used a 4 cell to discourage a dirtbag on the 7th ave Subway in NYC. I was working as an exterminator ca 1986 and had my chemical box on a cart, with the light on my hip in one of those belt loops. Creep decided he wanted my box, got clocked with the light as I picked up my box and exited at the next stop.

Damn thing would not work after that, could not get the batteries out until I used a vise grip and vise to get the tail cap off. Didn't think I hit him that hard...oh well.

Switched to rechargeable Streamlights after that, still have all four and they still work after 25 years. They aren't as hefty but I whacked a rat or two with them over the years and only lost a bulb or two.

Ryan said...

@2:53, Did you whack the guy with the tail cap or the front end? I wouldn't think a whack on the back end would mess with the threads.

Worst case they are priced to be semi disposable.

Commander_Zero said...

Get the LED version. Then, for giggles, add:
this and this. Lets you maul the hell out of someone if you use your light as an impact weapon.

Ryan said...

Zero, I have one of the LED models and it is an improvement. Am going to replace the rest (of the bulks I think there is a kit) when the bulbs die.

Not sure about those, seems a bit less Joe Everyday than a plain old light if difficulties occurred. I will have to settle for good old blunt force trauma.

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