Quote Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
Not necessarily. I find a syringe hold to work very well for me, with minimal disruption of grip. Of course the light needs to be held in the syringe grip to begin with, so in the real world this does limit the usefulness of the technique - if you are holding your light in an ice pick grip and things start happening, you probably won't be twirling the light in your hand into a syringe grip. But in an IDPA stage, a very effective technique. Empty chamber reloads can be done holding the flashlight in the hand. Loaded chamber reloads get a bit interesting as you probably don't really have the space in your hand for two magazines and the flashlight, so it's stove the old magazine first, then get the new one. But at least in the matches I go to, I'm usually the only dork who ever tries to do one of those. Most everyone else sprints to the next shooting position, shoots off the few remaining rounds in the gun and then does an empty chamber reload standing still.

Right handed shooters shooting pistols with push button magazine releases may run into issues. Being left handed, I don't really know how much of that is a training issue. Most right handed shooters I know locally tend to prefer some sort of a bastardized Harries stance - but most shooters I know of train very little low light shooting, so hard to say if that's just something that seems easier with minimal training or what.

Some of the key elements of the light for this technique are the width of the light body; the standard 1" tube is much too wide for me for this application. The light should not be very heavy up front since you are only holding onto the rear bit; but then again narrow lights usually aren't. The switch has to be compatible with this technique; the only way to know is pretty much test it and see. And the light needs to have a sort of a ledge for your fingers to hold onto. But if the light doesn't have one, I simply wrap a rubber band around it and then it does.

That's a good post.

I break the handheld techniques into two camps; those for searching and those for when one is at gunpoint or actively shooting. The one handed techniques offer the most searching versatility and can quickly be utilized in the event of an emergency up close. But developing a comfort level with a two handed technique is important. Aside from a weapon mounted light, I shoot best with the Roger's/Surefire (syringe) technique or the Ayoob method depending on whether the light has a side clicky or not. Those are what I'd likely be employing in a shooting stage where a WML isn't legal. The Harries, for me, performance-wise, is a distant third, although it's arguably quicker to adopt transitioning from a one-handed technique.

The key is spending some regular time in practice familiarizing and then testing the various options. While it's convenient to use dryfire for this, realize that recoil is going to play a big role in what works for you and what may not, so be sure to be vetting and practicing them livefire too.

Regarding reloading, as That Guy mentioned, the reload with retention is probably your best bet with a handheld light in play. Having spent a LOT of time gaming IDPA stages, the RWR is definitively the faster option for me regardless of whether there's a light in my hand or not. And it's more repeatable/consistent/dependable for most folks too. IME, that's especially true when the handheld light is in play.

Another point that gets overlooked sometimes is that there's a tendency for shooters to want to perfectly align the beam of the light on the threat (or target). The excessive 'steering' of the light can cost a lot of extra time and very often isn't necessary in order to identify and engage. I'd suggest getting used to using the (pretty substantial) indirect splash of the lights available today.