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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, blame a lack of sleep and/or too much caffeine for my brain coughing up this possibly dumb idea, but ... has anyone tried putting crosshairs or some other sort of aiming aid marking(s) on their weapon light?

I know, I know ... weird. But hear me out a second. Rather than going on and on about over-thought pro's and con's of it or whatever, the idea kinda popped into my head a couple of months ago (and I then stashed it away until it popped up again today for no reason) when I was getting an X-ray. Y'know how they darken the room, light up their "target" with a light on the X-ray machine, and they project what's basically a large set of crosshairs on what they're lining up to zap for an image? Well ... what about doing something like that with a weapon light?



I've heard of some folks using the central "hot spot" portion of their weapon light's beam to assist in point-shooting, hip-firing, or basically any situation where they can't just line up their sights for "proper" aiming. And obviously a weapon light can't really be "zeroed" for accuracy in any way, but it does at least run parallel to your bore (or it should, anyway, if properly mounted) and give you a fair idea of whereabouts your shot(s) might go if you were to fire in that moment. Heck, I've done just that at an indoor range while fooling around with a Shockwave bird's head grip on a Mossberg 500 some time back; didn't have to look over the barrel and sorta-kinda use the bead sight while risking the consequences of recoil (a bird's head/pistol grip to the face is unpleasant, I'm sure), just sorta "aimed" with the hot spot of the light beam and found that my shots on a torso-sized target at about 7 yards were actually pretty easy to make.

Soooooo, instead of relying upon a "hot spot" part of a beam (which some lights don't have) or adding a laser, or having one of those goofy combo deals with a light AND a built-in laser ... what about just painting or otherwise applying a couple of lines or something onto the lens of a flashlight? Y'know, simultaneously serving the purpose of illuminating AND assisting with fast aiming.

Just for giggles, I might put a couple of really thin strips of electrical tape or something on the lens of a couple of my weapon lights to see if it even works as far as projecting a "crosshair" or something, maybe try it out at the indoor range, just to see if there's anything at all to it. Again, just a random hairball idea my brain puked out. Thoughts? Anyone tried it or seen something like it? :confused:
 

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I don't think it will work. The crosshairs would be de-focused to the point of probably being invisible.

Try this: Stand a few feet in front of a wall and hold a BIC pen out in front of you and a flashlight back at your ear with the other hand (the object being to get some distance between the light source and the pen). You probably have about 3 feet between ear and outstretched hand. The pen image should be pretty well focused on the wall. Now move the flashlight hand closer to the pen hand (or the pen hand closer to the flashlight hand). The shadow on the wall will start to de-focus. Once the pen is touching the flashlight face, you probably won't see a shadow on the wall at all. Maybe just a little dimming of the light spot, but no discernible pen shadow.

You would need some sort of lens setup in front of the pen to focus it with your design (assuming your crosshairs are painted/etched right at the light source). Think of an old 35mm slide projector (if you're old enough to even know what that is!) If you take the lens out of the projector you will not see the slide image projected on the wall.

Those X-ray machine crosshairs you have seen are no doubt backed up with a focusing mechanism built into the machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I gave it a try with a couple of really thin strips of electrical tape laid across the lens of the light on my 870P. You're right. Too blurry to really be much help. The normal hotspot of the light, itself, is more of an aiming aid than the "crosshairs" I added:



Soooo ... crap. Guess it works in theory, anyway, but not so much in application. :(

And yeah, I'm old enough to know allllllllll about those old projectors. Heck, I was the one that always insisted on being the one to work the slider mechanism on our projector when, about once a year, we'd pull out the projector screen and boxes of slides (those big donut-shaped things that held them) up until I was in like junior high, when VHS camcorders started to become accessible. :)
 

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DW that's a great idea. However, Haertig is right about the focusing issues as your test indicated. What might work is a combination weapon light/laser with the optics found in laser levels you can get at Home Depot and similar places. They split the laser beam so that it puts a crosshair on your wall for aligning pictures and the like.

buzzsaw
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I figured someone already had tried it years ago, but I didn't expect it had been THAT long ago - 1915? Daaaang! :eek:

Guess I'll probably just stick with using the hotspot of the light. Some lights have more of a hotspot in their beam than others, but on mine, as you can see above, it's pretty pronounced, so it works fine for this purpose. (It's the "FixedStar" brand of cheap single-mode 18650 battery-powered LED from Amazon. Been a pretty good all-around light, so I ordered two more awhile back and use them both on my duty belt at work. Surefire and Olight? Pshaw! :p )

Anyway, like I said, it was just a silly idea that came to mind. Unless I were to use a flashlight that had more of a lens-focused beam and then put the crosshairs on the inside of the lens, I don't see how I could really make it work out the way it would need to for this particular application.
 

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Yeah, I figured someone already had tried it years ago, but I didn't expect it had been THAT long ago - 1915? Daaaang! :eek:

[...]

Anyway, like I said, it was just a silly idea that came to mind. Unless I were to use a flashlight that had more of a lens-focused beam and then put the crosshairs on the inside of the lens, I don't see how I could really make it work out the way it would need to for this particular application.
It's not a silly idea. It just needs some refinement.

You can see from the 1915 advertising cutaway that it actually has two lenses. Lens D contains the spot and E focuses the beam.

Like I said, it never caught on and there's is very little literature about it that I've been able to find. My guess is that it didn't catch on for a number of reasons. It looks like it was pretty heavy, it would obscure the irons, was likely fairly expensive, and, most importantly 1) the fragility of the wire element in a traditional incandescent bulb would ensure no more than 1-3 shots before the filament broke and 2) the light output of a battery operated flashlight at the time was so low it would have to be practically pitch black to be useful.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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I'm having trouble finding a patent,
I think it is:
Switzerland
Application CH64264A
1912-12-07
Inventor
M B H Waffen-Technische Wespi​

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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The problem you have is that your light source is too big compared to the crosshairs etched on the front of it. So the light source emits over the crosshairs, under them, to the left and to the right. Then all that light coming from slightly different directions (relative to the crosshairs) reconverges and the crosshair shadow is obliterated.

As you move the light source back farther away from the crosshairs, the light source becomes more of a pinpoint of light (relative to the crosshairs) so the shadow is focused. So instead of putting a lens in front of the crosshairs to focus them, you could alternately decrease the diameter of your light source. You would also have to up the intensity since a pinpoint of light is not going to be strong enough to cast a shadow.

But once you have decreased the diameter of your light source, and upped the intensity, guess what? You have the functional equivalent of a laser! (Not technically the same, but functionally the same) And in that case you don't even need the crosshairs any more, since the laser beam points out your impact point just fine by itself.
 

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FWIW the CT laser grip on my bedside gun has enough scatter to work as a dim middle of the night light. Just enough to see what it is I'm pointing at.
 

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If using for quick shots at close range why wouldn't a color spot work? Seems like a transparent spot of some kind large enough to be seen might work well for close range shotgun duty??
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If using for quick shots at close range why wouldn't a color spot work? Seems like a transparent spot of some kind large enough to be seen might work well for close range shotgun duty??
That's a pretty good idea. Hadn't thought of that one. Maybe a dab in the center from a colored marker or something on the lens might do...?
 

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I remember as a kid having a laser pointer that had different lenses to project shapes. It also lit up the room kinda like a flashlight because the beam was spread out.
It was something like this. https://www.ebay.com/itm/405nm-20mW-Laser-Cross-Hair-Module-Focusable-Blue-Violet-Laser-1-pcs/140992003469?_trkparms=ispr=1&hash=item20d3c73d8d:g:RHcAAOxyK~hRG-NC&enc=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&checksum=1409920034690afd33f9261f4586a4704c8357806075&enc=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&checksum=1409920034690afd33f9261f4586a4704c8357806075

This one says to avoid heavy vibration during use, but I'm sure there's someting out there like this that would work.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
And the award for most humongous link text of the year goes to... :eek:

That actually does look pretty cool, though. Very Star Wars-ish. You could freak out an intruder if you were stalking them in the house by telling them you have a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range. :D
 

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And the award for most humongous link text of the year goes to... :eek:

That actually does look pretty cool, though. Very Star Wars-ish. You could freak out an intruder if you were stalking them in the house by telling them you have a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range. :D
It was pretty gigantic. I was surprised when I pasted it in. You could also put a burning laser on it too if you wanted to freak someone out. They can kill bugs, pop ballons, and light cigarettes. Not sure what it would do to clothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Y'know, I have actually (very briefly) considered the idea of using a laser for non-lethal defensive purposes. Of course, I'm pretty sure it would result in legal drama, because the most obvious tactic would be to (PERMANENTLY) blind your attacker(s) with it, but still ... no chemical fallout like with OC spray, no loud noises and hearing loss, no blood spilled ... seems like a lotta benefits. In theory, anyway. Think I'll first wait until the military miniaturizes their current laser weapons into a more handheld form... :)

Until then ... 12 gauge #4 buckshot works nicely. :)
 

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Wespi did it in 1915. It projected a black spot "bull" at the POI. Never caught on. I can guess why. :)
I can tell you first hand having possibly the only known Wespi in the US (I only know of one other in europe) why it likely didn't catch on. Even when I placed a modern intense LED flashlight behind the lens group the illumination was poor... The bulk of the patents Wespi applied for was in 1912. My Wespi says US Patent Pending, I don't think they ever got a US patent or it's unsearchable online. I think there's a cut off date.

Like I said, it never caught on and there's is very little literature about it that I've been able to find. My guess is that it didn't catch on for a number of reasons. It looks like it was pretty heavy, it would obscure the irons, was likely fairly expensive, and, most importantly 1) the fragility of the wire element in a traditional incandescent bulb would ensure no more than 1-3 shots before the filament broke and 2) the light output of a battery operated flashlight at the time was so low it would have to be practically pitch black to be useful.
Yes the room has to be pitch black. It's not very heavy but I have no idea what battery(s) it took, it's no more than the weight of two "C" batteries. AFAIK they only made them for smaller caliber revolvers as a clamp on, the FN 1900, and Side Latch Mausers; the last two being definitely not heavy on recoil. My bulb is intact but the element does look very fragile. The bulb actually has a porcelain coating inside it to help reflect the light. I suspect the war may have contributed to their demise. It's not like people could read reviews on how bad it was. You likely had to rely more on dealer reputation and I only found reference in a book to one dealer in New York that sold them.
 

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Okay, blame a lack of sleep and/or too much caffeine for my brain coughing up this possibly dumb idea, but ... has anyone tried putting crosshairs or some other sort of aiming aid marking(s) on their weapon light?
In the words of Mr. Garrison from Southpark Elementary "There are no stupid questions, children, only stupid people." LOL
 

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Seriously, why not put a black dome over the flashlight with a cross hair slit into it? (I know this question just reaffirms Mr. Garrison's quote).
 
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