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Thread: Lessons on Defensive Flashlight

  1. #1
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    Lessons on Defensive Flashlight

    I think this recent video hits many of the key points - ease of carry, one mode (always maximum), momentary-only tailcap control, high candela and ease of access. The staged encounters demonstrate how a defensive flashlight can be integrated quite nicely into the MUC technique.

    IMO, worth a watch;




    Another link worth a look - https://www.lowlightdefense.com/defe...s-streamlight/
    Last edited by NH Shooter; 06-21-2022 at 07:10 PM.
    Live Free or Die.

  2. #2
    I don't get the necessity for momentary only. Constant on can be used as momentary but momentary only can not be used as constant on, and if it's a shoot day, I want constant on

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    I like constant on too but thatís with Streamlightís and they have a higher bezel than some others so it takes a more deliberate push to click constant on. Though I have done it accidentally while putting it in my pocket and they do get hot on your leg.

    But Iím not schooled on fighting lights either and I use the strobe when running at night when a car gets too close. I should probably ďten tapĒ that feature off for regular carry. I am enjoying NH Shooters threads and paying attention.

  4. #4
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    The original style Surefire switch got it right - push for momentary, twist for constant on.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utm View Post
    I don't get the necessity for momentary only. Constant on can be used as momentary but momentary only can not be used as constant on, and if it's a shoot day, I want constant on
    I thought this too until I took some low light training.

    The main issue is that under the stress of attack, it's easier than you think to accidentally click to constant-on while deploying with a hand gun. Yes, it can be clicked off quickly, but the bottom line is that constant-on in a self-defense scenario is truly not desirable. Case in point: the light is (accidentally) clicked to constant-on during an armed encounter, and then you drop the light. Now the light is no longer illuminating the threat but instead marking the spot where you're standing, and perhaps illuminating you - especially if you reach down to retrieve it. Another case is malfunction clearing or mag changes, when you DEFINITELY want the light OFF while trying to get your pistol back into action. The last thing you need under those circumstances is spending processing bandwidth fiddle fucking with your light.

    The other benefit of momentary-only is that it eliminates the possibility of the light getting clicked-on while in the pocket. While a fully shrouded tailcap can mostly mitigate this, that style tailcap is not ideal for use with an ice pick hold and ease of control of light.

    IMO for a fight light, momentary is the only way to fly.


    Quote Originally Posted by BillSWPA View Post
    The original style Surefire switch got it right - push for momentary, twist for constant on.
    Agreed! Twisty tailcaps remain a great choice for fight lights.

    My only gripe with them is due to the nature of the design - they tend to flicker without a firm press. Sometimes when the light is grabbed fast to get into action, a less-than-deal grip is established which can make a firm press more difficult. Additionally the contact surfaces (end of the body and the aluminum tailcap plunger) oxidize over time, requiring a firmer press to establish solid contact. As an electrical contact, the twisty design is sort of like holding two bare wires together to make the electrical connection - there is no consistency.

    The McClicky is far superior in this regard - it's an actual micro switch that consistently produces a reliable, flicker-free connection. Regardless of how slowly you press the switch (like pressing the trigger on a precision rifle), the light is either on or off. Additionally, the pressure required to activate the light is consistent. I have found that a McClicky modified for momentary-only operation is truly ideal for a fight light.
    Live Free or Die.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by NH Shooter View Post
    I thought this too until I took some low light training.

    The main issue is that under the stress of attack, it's easier than you think to accidentally click to constant-on while deploying with a hand gun. Yes, it can be clicked off quickly, but the bottom line is that constant-on in a self-defense scenario is truly not desirable. Case in point: the light is (accidentally) clicked to constant-on during an armed encounter, and then you drop the light. Now the light is no longer illuminating the threat but instead marking the spot where you're standing, and perhaps illuminating you - especially if you reach down to retrieve it. Another case is malfunction clearing or mag changes, when you DEFINITELY want the light OFF while trying to get your pistol back into action. The last thing you need under those circumstances is spending processing bandwidth fiddle fucking with your light.

    The other benefit of momentary-only is that it eliminates the possibility of the light getting clicked-on while in the pocket. While a fully shrouded tailcap can mostly mitigate this, that style tailcap is not ideal for use with an ice pick hold and ease of control of light.

    IMO for a fight light, momentary is the only way to fly.




    Agreed! Twisty tailcaps remain a great choice for fight lights.

    My only gripe with them is due to the nature of the design - they tend to flicker without a firm press. Sometimes when the light is grabbed fast to get into action, a less-than-deal grip is established which can make a firm press more difficult. Additionally the contact surfaces (end of the body and the aluminum tailcap plunger) oxidize over time, requiring a firmer press to establish solid contact. As an electrical contact, the twisty design is sort of like holding two bare wires together to make the electrical connection - there is no consistency.

    The McClicky is far superior in this regard - it's an actual micro switch that consistently produces a reliable, flicker-free connection. Regardless of how slowly you press the switch (like pressing the trigger on a precision rifle), the light is either on or off. Additionally, the pressure required to activate the light is consistent. I have found that a McClicky modified for momentary-only operation is truly ideal for a fight light.
    But I do want constant on if I'm having to deploy the handgun. If I have identified a threat I've got no reason to have the light off while giving said threat some rounds. I don't see a having to reload on the citizen defensive encounter side so not worried about that (different topic for different day). On the dutu side I've got a wml so don't really care if I drop the light, but I've also got a thyrm switchback to keep it secure.

    Not a single time in any lowlight training have I wish had a momentary-only light

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utm View Post
    But I do want constant on if I'm having to deploy the handgun. If I have identified a threat I've got no reason to have the light off while giving said threat some rounds.
    In that case, keep the momentary switch depressed to keep the opponent illuminated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Utm View Post
    I don't see a having to reload on the citizen defensive encounter side so not worried about that (different topic for different day).
    Hopefully the "less than five rounds" statistics are with you that day. Or you don't accidentally drop the magazine. Or you don't have a stoppage. Or you don't have a round that doesn't go bang.

    Momentary-only operation is extremely intuitive under stress: press the button when you want light, let it go when you don't.

    It's been my experience that when firing, I neither feel nor hear the click to constant-on. Then when I let go expecting the light to turn off, it doesn't. Even if it's only a split second, I don't need the distraction of having to "click the light off" when I expected/needed it to be already off.

    For clarity, this is entirely from the perspective that my hand held does all and my pistol is not equipped with a WML. I concur that using a hand held and WML in tandem could change the conversation.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by NH Shooter View Post
    In that case, keep the momentary switch depressed to keep the opponent illuminated.



    Hopefully the "less than five rounds" statistics are with you that day. Or you don't accidentally drop the magazine. Or you don't have a stoppage. Or you don't have a round that doesn't go bang.

    Momentary-only operation is extremely intuitive under stress: press the button when you want light, let it go when you don't.

    It's been my experience that when firing, I neither feel nor hear the click to constant-on. Then when I let go expecting the light to turn off, it doesn't. Even if it's only a split second, I don't need the distraction of having to "click the light off" when I expected/needed it to be already off.

    For clarity, this is entirely from the perspective that my hand held does all and my pistol is not equipped with a WML. I concur that using a hand held and WML in tandem could change the conversation.
    I find it more problematic to have to try and keep the momentary button pressed.

    I get all of the possibilities of not worrying about reloads, but I choose to go by what I see take place in the thousands of videos out there with private citizen gunfights. Its just not a thing to need a reload.

    We all make these decisions based on our training and experience, nothing in my experience has made me feel like I need the light off once the threat has been identified.

  9. #9
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    I understand the concept of a momentary-only switch. That said, does anyone have an incident where a click switch proved to be an issue when someone dropped a flashlight or left the light on during a reload?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnc36rcpd View Post
    I understand the concept of a momentary-only switch. That said, does anyone have an incident where a click switch proved to be an issue when someone dropped a flashlight or left the light on during a reload?
    I do not, but I can offer the following;

    During the Low Light Pistol Operator class at the Sig Academy, the course premise was based on being in a confrontation with an armed opponent. They stressed the importance of being able to reload and deal with malfunctions without light, as the light would only serve as an aiming point for the opponent while we might be distracted getting our firearm back in action. I think in this case the logic is so strong as to make statistics that might or might not exist irrelevant.




    Beyond the Sig Academy, there's no shortage of low light instruction that advocates the discriminate use of light. Many stress the importance of using light only as needed in conjunction with flash-and-move techniques.

    Engaging a momentary-only switch when illumination is needed requires no more effort or thought than keeping a foot on a gas pedal. Through training, experimentation and practice, I've found the momentary-only switch to provide the intuitive control I will undoubtedly find advantageous in life-threatening situations when focus is on things other than whether the light was clicked-on or not.

    This is simply my take on the matter, obviously others can decide if it makes sense for them or not.
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