Operator, what are you doing? Operator. Stahp.

(Alternate title: How Paul ensured that Kel-tec would never send him a product to review, ever.)

Erin Palette posted a review of the Kel-tec C-43 light.

Now, I was skeptical, just like I’m always skeptical of everything Kel-tec puts out until I’ve been convinced that it’s not either made out of potmetal or tremendously poorly designed. I’m not here to argue about this. Three of the four Kel-tec firearms I’ve owned have been more hazardous to the shooter than the shootee. The best design I ever saw from them was the P3AT, and I went through two of them before I got tired of carry guns falling apart and bought Ruger’s superior copy.

In the case of the light, I was willing to give it a chance, because I know from experience how tough the problem of tactical lighting is when you’re a police officer who isn’t allowed to put a light on his gun. (We eventually got the go-ahead to put lights on our guns, and there was much rejoicing, especially on midnights.)

However, my mild optimism came only from the fact that it’s not a terribad design as an off-hand light. Then I saw one of the uses that Kel-tec thinks is OK for this torch.


NO. No. Nope nope nope nope nope. Stop. Put the gun down. From now on, you are allowed to hold a pistol, or a flashlight, but never both at the same time, until you’ve got this figured out.

I have pointed pistols at people. It sucks. It’s not fun, and it’s not easy. It’s terrifying and stressful. Are you telling me that you’re somehow able to, under stress, grip two objects in one hand, squeezing with your middle finger but not your pointing finger? It’s not going to happen. You are going to point the combo at something, scared out of your wits, and then you are going to put both 420 lumens and a pistol round into that object. Hopefully it’s not one of your kids.

If Kel-tec doesn’t put a warning on the box NOT to attempt to do this, they’re providing a real disservice. Then again, they also tried to sell the KSG to people who might actually have to depend on it, so who knows.

7 comments on “Operator, what are you doing? Operator. Stahp.

  1. Pingback: pdb : A Review of A Review of A Review: Applying Your Critical Filter On The Gunternet

  2. As I believe I said when you pointed this out in the comments, this is something I would not have thought of until you brought it up. I posted that picture mostly to illustrate how small and ergonomic it was.

    You make a good point. I know I would not choose to do this, because I will always choose to hold my pistol with both hands, so the error would not have occurred to me.

    About the only thing I can say is that if someone wants to do this, I suggest they train, train, train with it to make sure they can do it without pressing the wrong switch.

    I know for a fact that Derek Kellgren has seen my review, and I told him that there were lots of good suggestions in the comments. I’ll also send him the link to this blog post, just to make sure.

    That’s the best I can do. Sorry it isn’t more.

    • If someone else pointed that out in the comments, it wasn’t me. I haven’t seen them.

      I’m glad you aren’t going to try this! It’s a bad technique and those encouraging it should feel bad. What type of pistol do you carry? You might consider a dedicated light for it if you’re wanting that sort of capability.

      As for training: If someone wanted to drive with their feet, would your recommendation be that they train thoroughly to perfect the technique? Some things are just a bad idea, and getting better at doing something dumb doesn’t make it smart.

      I had to Google Derek Kellgren, but I hope that if he reads this, it’ll inspire him to move the company away from the innovation-above-usefulness vector that KT seems to be stuck on. And for God’s sake… QC!

      • I have a Gen 3 Glock 26, but that’s for EDC. Any weapon that I plan to use for home defense has rail-mounted lights — in fact, I mounted the CL-43 to my Sub-2000.

        Your question about training is a loaded one. You are correct that a dumb idea is a dumb idea regardless. However, people execute dumb ideas all the time.

        Example: skydiving. I have no idea why any sensible human being would want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, plummet thousands of feet, and then risk broken bones or death by hoping a thin sheet of material is enough to arrest their fall, but apparently it’s a popular hobby. So, if someone is dead-set on jumping from a plane — yes, I would rather they get training and practice it before doing it for real, as it lessens the chances of a screw-up.

        • I don’t have a problem with people skydiving, and I wouldn’t have a big problem with someone using that light with the pistol pointed at themselves.

          I would have a problem with someone throwing someone ELSE from a plane after strapping them into a parachute, and I have a big problem with someone using the C-43 like this when it’s pointed out into the world in an attempt to identify friend from foe.

          There’s a difference between assuming risk and forcing the unwilling into risk.


          • Look, what else do you want me to say here? I do not work for Kel-Tec and I did not design this light.

            Is it possible to misuse this light? Absolutely.
            Does that indicate the light is bad? Absolutely not.

            Do I think someone should use this method? Absolutely not.
            Will that stop anyone? Not at all.
            If they’re committed to this course of action, wouldn’t it be better if they practiced it on a range? Perhaps. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.

            Do I think it’s an effective visual? Yes, it demonstrates the size and ergonomics of the product.
            Do I think Kel-Tec should remove this picture? I honestly don’t know. I’m not a product liability lawyer.

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