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Handgun muzzle flash in total darkness

This is a discussion on Handgun muzzle flash in total darkness within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I've never fired a gun in total darkness. But I am being told that to do so, I would be temporarily blinded by the muzzle ...


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Old April 16th, 2017, 08:24 AM   #1
 
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Handgun muzzle flash in total darkness

I've never fired a gun in total darkness. But I am being told that to do so, I would be temporarily blinded by the muzzle flash say from a pistol.

So my question is this: what about if the handgun is using a weapon light? Will that lessen the "blinding" factor in what is otherwise total darkness?



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Old April 16th, 2017, 09:43 AM   #2
 
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That blinding stuff is BS. I've fired 44 Magnum and 357 Magnum without temporary blindness.

I can't see firing in total darkness as you can't see what your shooting. That's Ill advised.


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Old April 16th, 2017, 11:32 AM   #3
 
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Exactly. If you can't see your target, what are you firing at?


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Old April 16th, 2017, 01:49 PM   #4
 
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This was a discussion about HD at night in a dark house. Using just night sights or using a laser/light like the Viridian X5L Gen 2. I'm a proponent of the latter.

I have had my HD handgun setup with the Viridian for 5 years, but I saw an ad for it today and posted it on another forum. One of the regulars came back and said this

Quote:
I believe home defense, as well as self defense, is going to occur at 10 feet or less. Point, shoot until empty, call police! mho
I then answered with this:

Probably -- but you can't be sure. For instance -- my bedroom door faces across our great room and then down a hallway that in total is 51 feet.

I also can guarantee you that in the middle of the night, this laser (with or without using the light) at a minimum cuts in half the time it takes to acquire the target.

Next, another person chimed in with

Quote:
In the dark you will be blinded by your own muzzle flash after the first round.
I am not sure which of us he was referring to.
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Old April 16th, 2017, 02:06 PM   #5
 
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Snubi's can be very bright. They will not blind you like a flash bang that has a much hotter white signature. They will do very bad things to your night vision effieceny. It takes hours for you eyes to reach maximum effectiveness in timer night vision and only a millisecond of bright light to reset them back to daytime.

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Old April 16th, 2017, 02:56 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeagerHair View Post
Snubi's can be very bright. They will not blind you like a flash bang that has a much hotter white signature. They will do very bad things to your night vision effieceny. It takes hours for you eyes to reach maximum effectiveness in timer night vision and only a millisecond of bright light to reset them back to daytime.
Thanks -- I think that pretty much answers the question.
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Old April 16th, 2017, 04:22 PM   #7
 
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I know you have no idea of flash until firing the GP100 in low light conditions. You may find you just cant look at anything else regardless of how well your eyesight is at that time.
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Old April 16th, 2017, 07:28 PM   #8
 
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If it's dark enough to worry about how night blind you will be I would be very worried about seeing my target. And the whole "10 feet, just point shoot" concept, ask Oscar Pistorius how that worked out for him
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Old April 16th, 2017, 07:43 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubshooter View Post
If it's dark enough to worry about how night blind you will be I would be very worried about seeing my target. And the whole "10 feet, just point shoot" concept, ask Oscar Pistorius how that worked out for him
+1
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Old April 17th, 2017, 02:58 AM   #10
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I do a fair bit of shooting around dusk. I enjoy going outside after dinner and engaging in a little recoil therapy. I rarely bother walking down to our range because it's almost impossible to use iron sights unless they're night sights. Even then precision shooting is tough because it's hard to see a specific point in low light. I'm not talking about full dark either. The sun is below the horizon but it's still light enough to read your watch. Consequently I usually just shoot down into a creek we have near the house. Every gun/caliber creates a muzzle flash bigger and brighter than you might expect, even a 22LR. However, unlike a light pointed at you muzzle flash is pointed away from you so the effect of being night blinded is also less than you would expect. I don't have any difficulty seeing to shoot after the first round.

In my experience unless it's pitch dark muzzle flash isn't very debilitating to the shooter. It affects your night vision but it isn't incapacitating. I suspect it would affect the intended recipient more than the shooter. Obviously being shot at would be more disconcerting but the topic at hand is night blindness.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 04:00 AM   #11
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IN NH legal hunting is 1/2 hour before and a half hour after sunset. At the extremes of legal it is low light and I have fired long guns then and am still able to watch the animal if they run.

In your first post you said total darkness. If that were the case I would shine a bright light from a flashlight to identify the potential threat. At that point your night vision is in the toilet. I would not fire in total darkness as I could not identify if it was a threat or not. If it were some stupid kid with no weapon then I would not want to have to explain why I thought my life was in danger. Oh it was dark and I though he was carrying a MOAB just wouldn't cut it.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 04:11 AM   #12
 
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There was the advice in low light to close one eye when shooting in low light and then pen the other. 30 plus years ago many common handgun rounds had more muzzle falsh due to not using flash retardant powders. this type of powder was not available years ago and shooting a short barreled 357 was quite memorable. I shot 23/4 inch ruger service sixes in 357 and the flash was visible in indoor well lit ranges. Ask anyone who had a 21/2 inch barreled smith 257 then and you will get a similar answer.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 06:06 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwinters View Post
There was the advice in low light to close one eye when shooting in low light and then pen the other. 30 plus years ago many common handgun rounds had more muzzle falsh due to not using flash retardant powders. this type of powder was not available years ago and shooting a short barreled 357 was quite memorable. I shot 23/4 inch ruger service sixes in 357 and the flash was visible in indoor well lit ranges. Ask anyone who had a 21/2 inch barreled smith 257 then and you will get a similar answer.
The one eye trick works. I use it in the middle of the night when I get up for the bathroom. Close one eye when I turn on the bathroom light. That way when I walk back I won't trip over a dog
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Old April 21st, 2017, 11:02 PM   #14
 
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First, keep in mind that a lot of powders have flash suppressants added - especially ammo for military applications will have flash suppressants. Downside to flash suppressants is reduced longevity.

I have fired handguns in complete darkness in the Third World during power outages at threats and your vision will be temporarily impaired. If you shoot within the confinement of a small room, the flash will light parts of that room that are close to the flash up to quite an extent. In general there is enough ambient light so that it isn't noticeable.

I the military I had fired the belt fed machine guns, MG3A1, in moonless nights and the flash hider was doing an impressive job!

I love to read all the keyboard jockeys who have never been in a gun fight claim that fights will be close up and parrotting internet lore as if it were Gospel. No two fights that I was in were the same, not even alike.
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 08:42 AM   #15
 
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If you're firing in total darkness, you will be firing on "sound information", so the bigger concern is what the muzzle blast will do to your hearing. Unless you're wearing ear muffs, you won't hear much after firing a pistol indoors.

I'd have to be damn sure of my target before shooting under light conditions so dark I have to worry about what the flash does to my night vision. My solution to the problem is a flashlight - it not only eliminates the worry of "flash blindness" but also helps to positively identify the target and reduce the risk of shooting someone you don't want to shoot. I keep a flashlight in the gun locker in my bedside table, right next to my GP100.

The only scenario I can imagine (right now) where I would shoot in darkness is if I were pursued into darkness by someone I had already positively identified as a threat, and then only if I was positive no family members might have gotten into the line of fire. Under pressure, it is possible to get disoriented and turned around in your own home.


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