Talk to me about flashlight use...

Talk to me about flashlight use...

This is a discussion on Talk to me about flashlight use... within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So I have decided that with my next bit of free cash I am going to purchase a flashlight for everyday carry. Many people have ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    Question Talk to me about flashlight use...

    So I have decided that with my next bit of free cash I am going to purchase a flashlight for everyday carry. Many people have suggested in various threads to carry a flashlight and I am finally taking their advice. So, my queston is, what is the best way to hold my flashlight when I draw? You always see people in the movies place their firing hand(with gun in hand) on top of their hand with the light in it. Is this a correct way to do this or is it just hollywood hype? If it matters the light will be a Surefire 6PL. Any help you guys could provide or if you could point me in the direction of where to look I would appreciate it! I apologize if this has been posted before, I searched and got nothing. Thanks again!
    “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security” Benjamin Franklin
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  2. #2
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    There is a whole bunch of ways to do it, and I'm not one to preach one technique over another. Find the way that works for you.
    I personally think its goofy to cross your hand over each other, but thats just me. You might find thats the way that works best for you.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wht06rado View Post
    So I have decided that with my next bit of free cash I am going to purchase a flashlight for everyday carry. Many people have suggested in various threads to carry a flashlight and I am finally taking their advice. So, my queston is, what is the best way to hold my flashlight when I draw? You always see people in the movies place their firing hand(with gun in hand) on top of their hand with the light in it. Is this a correct way to do this or is it just hollywood hype? If it matters the light will be a Surefire 6PL. Any help you guys could provide or if you could point me in the direction of where to look I would appreciate it! I apologize if this has been posted before, I searched and got nothing. Thanks again!
    It really depends on you. Many people (myself included) run the danger of biting their wrist with their slide if they place their flashlight hand over their gun hand. So what you see in the movies is usually OK. I will say that in my personal experience, I do best with my flashlight over my left shoulder as I search, when my weapon raises it enters the light and I can see the sights, but the BG can't necessarily see my weapon prior to that. I also shoot real bad supporting my weapon hand from below, so this keeps me from resting my weapon hand on my light.

    On the other hand (no pun intended), one of my coworkers shoots better with the support of their flashlight hand, so they carry their flashlight accordingly.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  4. #4
    Member Array Longbow's Avatar
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    Tagged for more responses. I just got the Surefire E2D Executive Defender w/strike bezels, And just love the thing. I was thinking the same thoughts as
    wht06rado as to how would be a good way to hold wile at draw.
    "Planning to draw and chamber a round after TSHTF is like planning to fasten your seatbelt after you see the other guy run a stopsign..."

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    Glad I could help Longbow!
    “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security” Benjamin Franklin
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  6. #6
    Member Array houdini's Avatar
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    I have a surfure z2 combat light it is nice in one hand it has o rings to grab I am glad I bought this light.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    I have gun in right hand and a SF 6Z in left hand. I am usually at neck index and then transition the light to whatever position I need to.



    I have found two-hand techniques to be a hinderance to my flow when operating in low light, however I remain proficient in all of them. Make sure you find at least two that really work for you.

    This article should prime you on the topic...SUREFIRE HANDHELD FLASHLIGHT TECHNIQUES
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information and the link SemperFi.45 and the rest of you who posted. I have some good ideas now that I will have to try once I get my light. I already have a good idea of what will work for me and what will not. Thanks again!
    “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security” Benjamin Franklin
    I'm not pro gun, I'm pro rights. What are you?

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    I'm with my Marine brother, but often I practice one-handed with my flashlight down at waist level and out to my left. I believe this could distract the BG shooting at the light. My favorite home defense weapon is my Remington 870 Police Special with a Surefire foregrip. The switch is on the foregrip and can be flashed on/off. With 00 Buckshot, the spread of the light beam is basically the spread of the shot.

  10. #10
    Sponsor Array DCJS Instructor's Avatar
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    Low Light Shooting Course

    wht06rado,

    Give me a call we can go to the range and I will show you how to actually fight with a flashlight and a handgun.

    While reading those article is nice:

    Hear and you forget; see and you remember; do and you understand.

    "Conflict is inevitable; Combat is an option".

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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    I'm with my Marine brother, but often I practice one-handed with my flashlight down at waist level and out to my left. I believe this could distract the BG shooting at the light. My favorite home defense weapon is my Remington 870 Police Special with a Surefire foregrip. The switch is on the foregrip and can be flashed on/off. With 00 Buckshot, the spread of the light beam is basically the spread of the shot.
    I like this idea... I might steal it and try it out but I've got so much practice in holding it over my shoulder... hmm...
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    This is taking from my "Fundamentals of Fighting at Night " article

    The Floating Light

    I prefer to only use a flashlight only when I absolutely need to use the light. But there are times when it is absolutely necessary, so these tools should be in your skill set. Some of you may have recognized that I am into fluid transitions between skill sets that are dependent upon the situation. I do not see these transitions as being overly complicated or complex. To me, they fit into the KISS principle, but more importantly, they cover all of my bases. Keeping it simple is important, but I see being well rounded and versatile as being just as important. My basic concept for the flashlight is the versatility of what I call the floating light. I really do not have a default flashlight technique. My technique is all situationally dependent. The positions that I use flows from one to another seamlessly, giving me the best tool to use on each job. The positions that are incorporated into my system are the FBI, modified FBI, neck index, centerline index (SNarc), and the Modified Harries (Gabe.) They all have there place and I transition through them as situations arise. I tend to keep my handgun in a one handed compressed ready. This gives me a good retention position, one that I can fire from immediately, and a position that I can shoot accurately through out my extension.

    I like the FBI and its modified positions for searching in large areas, due to the fact that a light source is a bullet magnet. These techniques keep the light source away from the body. If someone is to shoot at the light the chances of a solid hit are reduced dramatically. I really like this for searching, while incorporating "wanding and strobing." Wanding is a search technique that incorporates the old "light on/light off/move" principle with splashes of random, arching, light strokes. The random strokes give enough light to see an area to maneuver through or to identify a threat. The strokes also make it harder for an adversary to determine your position or your direction if they do not have a visual on you already. Wanding works best in large areas. I strive to never have my light on for more than two seconds. Along with that, I strive to move constantly during the "light on" portion. I try to make sure that I have used the light in a manner that lets me see what I need to see, before the light goes back off.

    Strobing is random, quick, bursts of light that are manipulated in both direction and angle. Strobing is best used when you are approaching a corner or a doorway that must be taken. The concept of strobing is to use the bursts in a random pattern that makes it impossible for the adversary to know where you are or where you are going. If done correctly you can "take" the corner or make entry into the door in a manner that is much more unpredictable by your adversary. If you use the old light on/light off/move without wanding and strobing, you are telegraphing your position and your movement.

    The neck index is an outstanding position. It works great with the third eye principle. As you maneuver and turret your body, your flashlight and your gun are pointed the exact same direction as your eyes. The flashlight is also in a very good position to be used as contact weapon. The horizontal elbow also works well with SNarc and Gabe’s CQB techniques; it gives some good protection to the head and facilitates good striking potential. There are good retention properties and a lot of very good options out of this position. Where this technique really shines is its use with dynamic movement. The body mechanics of the position just seems far superior to all of the other options. Of course there is the balance between making the hit and not being hit. The neck index brings the flashlight closer to your centerline and right next to your head. This could be problematic if the adversary is shooting at the light. But on the other hand the position facilitates excellent dynamic movement and accuracy. I am leaning to the fact that the dynamic movement and the accuracy outweigh the lights possible problematic position. This really gets into the fight continuum and the balance or speed and accuracy that I have mentioned prior to this.

    The centerline index brings the flashlight out of the neck index and positions the flashlight on the centerline right next to the gun in the compressed ready. The exact position of the flashlight is fluid on the centerline; it can be used to the right or to the left of the gun depending on the angle of vision/lighting that is needed. This position also gives you a better field of vision than the neck index. It also brings the flashlight elbow in closer to the body, cutting down on the chances of "leading" with the elbow. As seen in SNarc's PSP this is also a very good position for taking corners and doors in conjunction with the vertical elbow.

    The Modified Harries as Gabe teaches is my preferred two handed precision shooting position of this fluid system. But shots can be fire from any of the positions dependent on the situation. By simply shooting from retention, throughout your extension, or at full extension of the firing side arm, you can stay in whatever flashlight position that you choose and go at it one handed.

    Be versatile, flow from one response to another, have all of your bases covered, and have the best tool for the job at your disposal.

    WTS, does it make sense to be bi-lateral in your flashlight system? I believe so. Here is the flashlight transition that I use. Extend the pinky of your gun hand. Place the flashlight, bezel up, in between the pinky and the ring finger. Curl the pinky around the flashlight. Acquire the back strap of your handgun with your support side hand and transition over. Reacquire your flashlight grip.

    Necessary use of the flashlight

    I believe that the biggest asset of a good flashlight is in making the threat identification. Many aspect of the fight can be dealt with without the use of a flashlight, but the threat identification can be the very hardest thing to see. As in during the day, it is the hands that kill, but that is not the only thing that needs to be ID'ed. One of the most important things that one can stress in a low-light course is shoot/no-shoot situations. Of course FOF is the very best way to do this. The problem is that this type of training is not as prevalent as it should be and a full course can be a logistical nightmare due to the time limits imposed due to most people wanting to be able to sleeping at night. Often the instructors are stuck with doing the best they can on the square range. This is definitely a problem that needs to be examined and alleviated. Square range training will only take you so far, and seeing first hand the affects of a good flashlight in the eyes is an absolute necessity.

    On making the threat identification with a flashlight, there are three ways to go about this if you are in a reactive gunfight. You can keep the light on, move, and engage. You can turn the light off, move, turn the light back on, and engage. You can turn the light off, move, and engage with ambient light. This will all be situationally dependent on the amount of ambient light, and the user’s skill level. If the user is dependent on a maximum amount of visual input to get the hits, they will have to use their flashlight. But, if the user needs minimal visual input, going at it in the dark can be a huge advantage.

    Once again "darkness is your friend!"

    July 4-5, 2008
    Point Shooting Progressions and Fighting at Night
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  13. #13
    Member Array Brian@ITC's Avatar
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    Good post Roger!

    When it comes to lights, I don't think there is any one technique that is "better" than another. However, I really don't care for any techniques that place the light close to my face because if the enemy responds with shots, they are probably going to shoot where the light is.

    The placement of the light is dependent upon the situation. I normally hold the light low if my shooting hand is high. We teach one handing shooting techniques due to the fact that you run the risk of getting both hands shot when using two handed shooting stances. If my gun is low, then my light may be high.

    As far as the type of light to get, spend some bucks because you get what you pay for. You want to blind the attacker if at all possible and leave a good after image! 65+ lumens is ideal. A waterproof light is a good thing!

    Regarding deployment of the flashlight, quite honestly you should have it in hand if it is dark out!!! No one is going to think anything about a "flashlight". Since it is winter, you can keep one hand in your coat pocket which has the light and use it if necessary.

    When you use your light, MOVE because your position has been compromised! Strobbing is a good technique because it may throw the opponent off on how many people there actually are unless they KNOW it is a one-on-one situation. ONLY USE THE LIGHT WHEN YOU HAVE TO and as Roger pointed out, it is primarily used when IDENTIFYING YOUR TARGET!!! Other usage may = unwanted bullets, clubs, knives, etc.
    Brian K. LaMaster
    President, Innovative Tactical Concepts, LLC
    Instructor, Counter Force International
    http://www.right2defend.com
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  14. #14
    Member Array 12smile's Avatar
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    how about a 90degree angle flashlight like this.

    my carry pistol KelTec .380 requires a nice tight grip to avoid limpwristing....how about something like this?




    the tomahawk by firstlight
    First Light USA

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