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Thread: Flashlight techniques and recommendations for low light stages

  1. #11
    Site Supporter taadski's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
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    Colorado
    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.

  2. #12
    Member SoCalDep's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
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    Between LA and Bakersfield
    First, nice job of fighting through an unfamiliar problem.

    Too many people will bow out to avoid ďfailureĒ because they havenít been trained for something, but life has a way of presenting us with problems For which we may not be fully prepared. Fighting through it is some of the best mental conditioning you can get.

    Low light is a lot about gear. There are so many variables from what you wear to hand size, pistol choice, light activation/user interface (UI) that it would be hard to give good technique advice without knowing the equipment, and the equipment can vary.

    If you want to run the Surefire/Rogers/Cigar technique, then a light with a ring would be good. I personally prefer a thinner light with a simple UI like the Surefire Tactician. I think itís probably the best light for pure handgun integration to come along in a while. Its only drawback is a little lack of throw, but that probably wonít hurt you in a competition setting unless they have real long shots and itís money indoors.

    I primarily use a temple/eye index ala Mike Seeklander or the Harries. Those techniques will work with almost any light and will cover almost any tactical situation. It may not be super gamer but I like the consistency. For reloads and malfunction clearance Iíll generally roll my index finger over the tail cap for dexterity, But the Mike Pannone method is pretty cool too if it works better for you. I just watched a Sage Dynamics video where he rolls the light into his thumb to give him four fingers to work with. Viable but too foreign for me to judge.

    My carry light right now is a Surefire Stilletto with a FourSevens Preon in my Ryker ankle med rig. I was carrying the Tactician but I wanted to give the Stilletto a shot and turns out I really like the versatility. I made some sacrifices to get some conveniences and some versatility. Iíd still rather have a Tactician in a gunfight. I saw that e-series Surefire with the Malkoff engine a few posts back and I gotta say thatís a great setup as well for a low light nerd like me. Mine is an e2e with the Malkoff, so it isnít quite as simple as a Tactician but nice. Some of the old-school Surefire ďpush=on, let go=offĒ e-series with a Malkoff would be a great option too.

    Lastly, iím Not a big fan of lanyards...not because they arenít good or donít work but because Iíve always had them get in the way of life with other things Iím trying to get to in my pockets, and theyíre harder/take longer to deploy, or donít work in the duty pouches I use, and I found it easier to train to run without than to make it work. I do like the Thyrm switchback and some of the old Matt Graham era Surefire rings, but bulk led me away. Thatís what I get for carrying as much crap as I do.

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