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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody have any favorite low-light drills??

I've got a couple guys (3) coming out tonight to work with lights (HH and WML). Plan on doing some modifications of regular drills (El Presidente's, movement, Mozambiques etc.) along with this, which should be a blast in low-light:


I think tonight we'll stick with handguns, and next weekend work on some long guns stuff. Besides just working the standard flashlight techniques, anybody have any favorite low-light drills??

Thanks,

Chuck
 

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Barricades - left/right: why - what does going right/left/over/under around the barricade do in terms of light shadowing (hardware/mounting) as well as techniques?

Positions - kneeling, prone (including modified left/right), supine: why - how do I get the light out?

Reloads and manipulations: why - how does having the handheld light affect my dexterity

Different lights versus differences in target PID: why - because different lights have different limitations
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Barricades - left/right: why - what does going right/left/over/under around the barricade do in terms of light shadowing (hardware/mounting) as well as techniques?

Positions - kneeling, prone (including modified left/right), supine: why - how do I get the light out?

Reloads and manipulations: why - how does having the handheld light affect my dexterity

Different lights versus differences in target PID: why - because different lights have different limitations
Got to some of it!

Thanks for the suggestions, last night went pretty well. Weather was about perfect, with a little more moon than I would have liked, but "it is what it is" (or was). We each went though about 250 rds working some variations of drills and by using different handheld techniques. We ran everything on AR500 plate, so we wouldn't have to paste targets.

Favorites turned out to be:

1. A version of El Presidente using 8" plates staggered in depth, going down using FBI technique, coming back using Cheek/neck index, then going back using Harries, then Roger's etc. etc. until you'd covered most of the standard trained techniques. Really made me appreciate the enhanced accuracy of the Roger's, Harries, and my favorite the Graham method's over the index(s) or old FBI.

2. A version of the Pincus drill, in that while the shooter had his back turned, non-shooters placed cardboard numbers 0-6 (and H for Head-shot and F for fail to stop) above the targets. We broke the area into 4 zones (like the Pincus Drill), at the Command "Gun" shooter had turn, strobe to ID (and count) fire, then light off before moving to next zone to strobe on again. Like the Pincus drill you had to spend time in each zone and complete a reload.

I think the numbers played big dividends as it forces light alignment onto the target. Normally with a good enough light a near miss with the beam is enough to illuminate for a hit. The numbers made us work a little harder on the light to slide/bore alignment to read the number or type of shots required. I think it makes it a little more realistic in terms of target ID. Also as a good friend of mine pointed out in a FoF exercise, the tact light blinding effect only works when you shine it in their face.....they really can shoot back at the light when you light up their legs.....

Also we worked some barricade/cover. Tried to make use of my VTAC 9 hole barricade, but the holes were just too much of a PITA and the splash back from the brighter lights sucked. Good lesson here for anybody that wants a gazillon Lumens for indoor work, I think there is a point of diminishing returns. Right/left cornering, not as bad, but still sucked on right corners for the Harries as you're leaning out more, unless you want to go "uncrossed". Between the barricade and stacked blue barrels we got some good use of cover in. Did kneeling as we worked cover, skipped prone both due to time and safety, I really, really like to see where the rounds are impacting when we shoot prone at my place. Would have taken some additional set up, so we saved it for another time.

WMLs got limited play. We all brought them, but decided after a couple runs to spend the time where it was needed rather than with the much easier to shoot with WMLs. I think the tactics are the same, it's just the HHs are so much harder to shoot accurately and quickly with. Every time I do this sort of thing I just come away more a fan of WMLs.

Finished up with a couple of rounds of low-light bowling pins (we always finish a session with man on man bowling pins). Overall a pretty good way to spend the night.

Chuck
 

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I think the numbers played big dividends as it forces light alignment onto the target. Normally with a good enough light a near miss with the beam is enough to illuminate for a hit. The numbers made us work a little harder on the light to slide/bore alignment to read the number or type of shots required. I think it makes it a little more realistic in terms of target ID. Also as a good friend of mine pointed out in a FoF exercise, the tact light blinding effect only works when you shine it in their face.....they really can shoot back at the light when you light up their legs.....
The same kind of "in your face" thing also happens (actually even moreso) with strobe. As your friend with FoF experience can tell you, there's a world of difference between taking away the threat's visual horizon versus rendering them ineffectual. ;) That the blast of overwhelming light gives me a temporary advantage is just that - be sure you make good use of this very limited opportunity!

Also we worked some barricade/cover. Tried to make use of my VTAC 9 hole barricade, but the holes were just too much of a PITA and the splash back from the brighter lights sucked. Good lesson here for anybody that wants a gazillon Lumens for indoor work, I think there is a point of diminishing returns.
This may be a technique issue - or a concern for some rather specialized scenarios.

The problem with not having enough light is that there's simply no way to make up for it - so my personal take on the problem is that my light needs to first and foremost meet any conceivable need within my mission. For me, for the defense of my very modestly sized home, I don't need much, but in the unlikely case that I needed to step outside my home, I need a bit more to insure sufficient distance for positive target ID, so that becomes my minimum criteria. If that light is "too much" for my indoor use, I've got to find ways of mitigating that back-scatter/glare via either a temporary hardware fix (or hardware features) - or technique.

That said, if one is pairing a laser with a white-light, wash-out of the laser needs to be kept in-mind. There needs to be a balance between the laser and the light, in terms of visibility. A high-powered white-light may mandate the pairing of a green laser instead of a lower-priced red.

Good stuff, Chuck R.! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The problem with not having enough light is that there's simply no way to make up for it - so my personal take on the problem is that my light needs to first and foremost meet any conceivable need within my mission. For me, for the defense of my very modestly sized home, I don't need much, but in the unlikely case that I needed to step outside my home, I need a bit more to insure sufficient distance for positive target ID, so that becomes my minimum criteria. If that light is "too much" for my indoor use, I've got to find ways of mitigating that back-scatter/glare via either a temporary hardware fix (or hardware features) - or technique.

That said, if one is pairing a laser with a white-light, wash-out of the laser needs to be kept in-mind. There needs to be a balance between the laser and the light, in terms of visibility. A high-powered white-light may mandate the pairing of a green laser instead of a lower-priced red.

Good stuff, Chuck R.! :)
Thanks!

We worked the cover like we normally would with the appropriate amount on standoff, not crowding etc. Worked well on your standard corners/walls, I just don't think the VTAC 9 hole is conducive to light work (or we really were messed up trying it). It's like scalping a corner with part of your beam, but doing it on all 4 sides. The only way we could make it work was the light through the hole (worked well with WMLs, not so good with HHs), exactly what you wouldn't want to do normally shooting through cover.

I'm running a couple SureFires 300 & 500 Lumen, 300s on handguns and the 500s on long guns. I think the 300s are fine for indoors, my favorite is an old 200B (wide beam) that they don't make anymore.

I've run/trained these techniques before, but here's my take from SAT night:

FBI: Not a fan, does nothing to aid in accuracy or recoil mitigation. Also had to get 3 things on the target prior to firing, light, eyes and weapon. All of us had the hardest time working plates with this. I guess we need to sopend more time practicing one handed while holding the off hand up and away from our bodies.

Neck/cheek index: match eyes with light, so pretty good for searching. IF your an eyes-sights-target tracking kind of guy it works pretty well. Again nothing for accuracy or recoil. A 500 Lumen light does light up the back of the gun and your hand though.

Harries: Probably my fallback, just because it works with modern tailcap switches, and I can get in and out of it so well while searching, and it does offer some amount of two handed hold on the weapon. I find it a PITA to hold for a long time, and it sucks for shooting left side of cover.

Rogers: Works well if you've got the light for it, but does take some practice making sure light and slide are parallel. Does help with accuracy and recoil this used to be my favorite hold IF I knew I was going to have to shoot, like an IDPA CoF or a shoot-house.

Graham: My personal favorite, just a modification of the Rogers, but allows me to get more of my support hand on my gun.

I'm going to shoot some more this Friday night, but really would like to do some more FoF or indoors work non-live fire. I've got a couple barricades and enough barrels to replicate some walls, but it's not the same as an actual building.

Where do you train the "tactics"??

Chuck
 

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Nice summary/dissection! Thank you!

I think for "tactics," there needs to be context, and for us everyday people, that it most likely comes in the form of an "armed movement through structures" type of class, but that vehicles and concealed-carry also should be explored.

This is my next step.

I'm lucky in that the Alliance PD training facility is close-by, and that TDI isn't too far of a reach.
 

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Here's a fun one, and you can do it in the daylight. Once, in a competitive Night Shoot, I noticed a fast-flash of my gun-mounted Surefire left a "ghost image" of my target on my retina (or in my brain). And, if I didn't change positions, I could hit center-mass (at defensive distances) in COMPLETE darkness. So my primary shooting buddy & I have practiced the same way...in the daylight! Stand, back toward the target, with your gun at low-ready & eyes closed. Turn 180 degrees, quickly open your eyes for a flash-view of your target and immediate close them again. Then raise your pistol, keeping your eyes closed, and fire using only the orientation you got from your momentary view. You'll surprise yourself with your "blind hits".

>>Please note << This takes exTREME awareness of range safety & prudent handgun handling. So don't sue me if your stupid brother-in-law wants to join-in. Although your kid sister might...thank me! :biggrin2:
 
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I would run the same drills using the flashlight for target ID only. There is often (in urban/suburban areas) enough ambient light for shooting (at the oft-sighted average engagement ranges, anyway) but not for clear identification. So run the ID, drop the light and then shoot. Also, add a displacement after use of the light for ID or location. So it would be light 'em up/ID/displace/shoot.
 

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I would run the same drills using the flashlight for target ID only. There is often (in urban/suburban areas) enough ambient light for shooting (at the oft-sighted average engagement ranges, anyway) but not for clear identification. So run the ID, drop the light and then shoot. Also, add a displacement after use of the light for ID or location. So it would be light 'em up/ID/displace/shoot.
Agree on the ambient light, Curious as to why you drop the light?

We always work the displacement after illuminating; light- move, light-ID (shoot/don't shoot) move, but I've never dropped the light.

Chuck
 
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