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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tactical Light Input

I've always been on the fence regarding using a flashlight with a firearm.  My gut says it's not a good idea, as it gives a bad guy a point of aim in an otherwise dark situation.

But lots of people swear by them.

I was reading this article about 4 different ways to use a light with your gun.  The "Harries Technique" is the one you always see on TV cop shows - with the light held in the support hand, with the wrists crossed like in the picture.

I know they can be used to blind a bad guy, but I just keep coming back to the thought that it's a big target for the bad guy to aim at.

I'm a big fan of laser grips, and I guess that could have the same drawbacks, but I see them more as assisting with hitting your target when you're unable to line up your sights.

Any input?  I get questioned often in my gun classes, and I don't have any good answers.  Are they a good idea?  Have you used one?  Which technique do you use?

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5 comments:

Richard Blaine said...

I did a simunitions class a few years back, one of the things we did was clear a house, at night a very dark night. I got both bad guys, they both commented on how badly the light screwed up their vision. One of them managed to crease my jacket. I felt the tug but no pain, and having been shot twice in the stomach with SimuNitions, I can safely say if he'd hit me I'd have known.

Their expectation was that they be able to pop the student as he entered the front door, I put the light though the door and turned it on for a second then pulled back waited for the shooting to stop then went though the door. They were fairly surprised when the light hit them again from inside the house. They'd been so blinded by the light, they couldn't even see me move across the opening. They didn't have lights. Which was a big help to me.

I'd love to do it again with a weapon light (on and tracking), see if that makes it worse for me - I think it might.

The big trick is target identification, if it's really dark and you don't have one, what the heck are you shooting at?

I prefer a weapon mounted light, then the cigar hold, didn't care much for the Harries Technique. - That night I was using free hand or Cigar depending on my intent to shoot or not. The annoying part with a weapon mounted light is that you have to take your finger off the trigger to turn it off - the good thing about a weapon light is that you have to take your finger off the trigger to turn it off :)

Crustyrusty said...

6 of one, half dozen of the other. The light is going to blind the bad guy, but it's going to hack up your night vision as well.

If you're going to use a light, the "modified FBI hold" is the least likely to draw fire to your center of mass...

Adam said...

We use the Harries Technique (I guess that's the name) you have a picture of. It gives you better weapon retention and stability than a lot of the others.

The proper way to do it is to turn the light on, and then off. You NEVER turn the light on and leave it on. Also, get a tail cap switch to turn it on/off. It's extremely difficult if the only switch is a body switch.

Chief Instructor said...

Richard, nice tactic - leading with the light for just a second. Gotta remember that!

Crusty, of the ones in the article, the FBI hold - away from the body - is the one I liked the best. Keeping that light source away from your body. I would worry about shooting accuracy, though, with that arm not secured.

Adam, I like the idea of the burst of light. Limit your location marker time.

I might try a hybrid of the FBI hold with a burst. Now, I've just got to find a range that will let me try it! Sounds like an airsoft practice session coming up in my future...

Anonymous said...

I train a lot with John Farnam, of DTI. I prefer the Harries simply because in slippery conditions....rain, snow, it is less likely to fall out of my grip, it is fast on target, and I have positive switch articulation (tail cap). Using a 280+ lumen light really smashes the other guy's ability to look anywhere near your direction and deliver accurate fire. Like one poster said, if you can't ID your target, what are you shooting at? The Harries also supports the weapon better than the FBI technique. Hard to return fire when you are being blinded and hammered with accurate, volume fire.

Paul