Preferred flashlight methods for low light situations

This is a discussion on Preferred flashlight methods for low light situations within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I just finished some low light training and wanted to know what is everyone's preferred method of shooting in low light situations? SureFire I usually ...

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Thread: Preferred flashlight methods for low light situations

  1. #1
    Member Array 9mm Lassiter's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Preferred flashlight methods for low light situations

    I just finished some low light training and wanted to know what is everyone's preferred method of shooting in low light situations?

    SureFire

    I usually practice FBI style. For one thing, I can use any flashlight this way whether the button is on the side or a tailcap. Also, I anticipate that most of the time I'm going to use a flashlight, it will be for searching which means 1, I don't want to accidentally paint a family member by pointing gun and light together and 2, I don't want a light close to center mass.

    Second to that, I like the Chapman technique. I found I'm pretty accurate with it, especially my follow up shots. So if I'm going to have my light close to the gun for a shootout (and I don't have a rail-mounted light), that's how I prefer to do it.
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    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    FBI style worked for me, but I now use a tac light. Xiphos NT in a serpa holster. Great combo. I think the pro's outweigh the con's. Low light training is great isnt it? :)

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Gun in one hand and light in the other. I never bring them together. Just uncomfortable for me. Move them around as needed. Never really got into doing it "this way". Depends on my environment.- George

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    My preferred flashlight technique is to use the light for target identification, not target illumination. Flashlights are bullet magnets when they're on. Even in a low light confrontation, there will usually be enough light to make out the target (unless you live way out in the boonies). Outdoors, there are street lights, light from nearby buildings, etc. Indoors there's lights from outside, light from LEDs on electronic equipment, etc. All this ambient light is usually going to be enough to shoot by. All I need the flashlight for is a brief flash of light to make sure I'm not about to make some horrible mistake.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I like to keep my flash light out and away from my body. If someone is going to shoot at me, I would rather there not be anything behind the light.

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    Senior Member Array Bob O's Avatar
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    Put yourself on the other side of the light...
    If all you could see was a bright light shining and believed the one holding the light also had a gun. Your only visible target would be the light.
    What would YOU shoot at (or near)?
    Personally, I wouldn't want to be behind the light!!!

    For me - Light in weak hand, on strobe, variably switching on and off, forward of and never directly in line with body, trying to keep reflections from walls and ceiling, etc. off me!! Light is mainly for target identification - laser is for aiming.

    BTW gun with laser in strong hand is also held away from body.

    Bobo
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    Senior Member Array C Bennett's Avatar
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    Light in left hand out from body and slightly high thats how they taught it in the academy back in the day(1990) and how ive always done it..and as someone said away and high because as they put out..they always seem to shoot at/for the light so I dont want that near my center of mass. Plus it works we did low light and even NO light(only your flashlight for ambient light) shooting and it worked. I want no part of any rail mounted light. Ive just got a $25 knockoff CREE LED light thats one of the brightest ive seen I use rechargeable 123 batteries it works great. Got it of Dealextreme or some such site :)

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    Member Array ckfarris's Avatar
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    I have always gone with a weapon mounted light, if your weapon has the attachment. While I have tried low light shooting with the flashlight separate from the firearm, it is just not for me.

    I completely understand the argument of "but then you might be pointing a loaded weapon at a loved one" but if you take some time and really practice in low light situations, you will find that a weapon mounted light held in the low ready position (approx. 45 degree angle) will sufficiently light your immediate area. This can be done without having to actually point your firearm at somebody you may not want to.

    I am just a big proponet of having a solid 2 hand firing grip on your weapon. Plus if you are mindful of the basic rules of firearms (most importantly...keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot), I think you will be good to go.
    ‘‘The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose.’’ — James Earl Jones, Actor

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    CCW Light on Gun??

    My preference and in training is on the gun. If I have a second person that I may have to cover with one hand, then the gun mounted light is golden. Also I also carry a seperate pocket mounted light in case I need to check an area without drawing the gun out.
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    Member Array hipthunder's Avatar
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    re

    ^^^ i use similar method - i do use rail mounted light/laser and the 45deg is effective as i have practiced it - there is enough illumination for me at least to identify a target this way - my rail light is also momentary which provides for a quick burst of light and then change my location which i have practiced as well - i use a pocket light also if needed but like farris above i prefer two handed control of the weapon- i am just more accurate that way with my .40
    "Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars."

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    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    Weapon mounted. I want a hand free if necessary without fumbling a light.

    If your weapons-mounted light is a "bullet magnet" I don't think you understand how you should be using your light.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    Weapon mounted. I want a hand free if necessary without fumbling a light.

    If your weapons-mounted light is a "bullet magnet" I don't think you understand how you should be using your light.
    What do you base this on? Tactics must be changed according to the goal or objective. If you are looking for a shooting suspect and are alone, you are a bullet magnet. If you are defending your home where you know the layout then a mounted light may work. Quantico still teaches both ways, as well as many academies around the country. A military search and destroy mission would again call for different tactics. And since when is a handgun a "hands" gun?

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    I've used the Harries and the Hargreaves techniques....I practice them often and they work for me...when I don't have my light on my long gun.
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    Member Array DS99's Avatar
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    The light is for assessment, not necessarily for shooting.

    What are the lighting conditions in which you're using the light and what are you using the flashlight for? Do you need it to see the target? Do you need it to see your sights? Do you need it at all?

    How far away is the target and what are you shooting at? Is it/he/she moving? Are you moving? Are there other threats out there?

    How much ambient light is there? Is there flashing light? Complete darkness? Is the target in a shadow? Backlit? Are you backlit? Silhouetted? Are you in a building or outside? Are you using cover or in the open?

    Lots to think about regarding low light. I'd recommend finding equipment and a technique or set of techniques that allow you to operate the gun and the light effectively under high stress in a dynamic environment. As the situation changes, you use of the light usually needs to as well.

    Good luck!

    Dusty Salomon
    SMT Director of Training

  16. #15
    Member Array 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    What do you base this on? Tactics must be changed according to the goal or objective. If you are looking for a shooting suspect and are alone, you are a bullet magnet. If you are defending your home where you know the layout then a mounted light may work. Quantico still teaches both ways, as well as many academies around the country. A military search and destroy mission would again call for different tactics. And since when is a handgun a "hands" gun?
    I don't see where your disagreement lies. Are you saying that you will enter into a low to no light scenario voluntarily either a) with both hands full (one full of gun and one full of a light) or b) without a light to identify your target?

    With a weapons mounted light, you do NOT have to use it. You just have the option of using that light, and your off hand is free for other purposes.

    Calling a weapons-mounted light a "bullet magnet" is ignorant, and most often spouted by those who have not, and have no idea how low light close encounters unfold. THAT is what I object to. The problem is, communicating an objection to an old saw like that over the internet is near impossible.

    And yes, I like to carry two lights in the dark. One for my off hand and one mounted to my weapon.

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