Low light / Night fire training class

Unicorn

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The problem with holding a light out to the side is that it's harder to light up the target and shoot at the same time. It makes sense for some uses, perhaps searches, but not for actually shooting. Also inside normal rooms or buildings, it's pointless. The reflection will light up the entire room anyway. Even the refletion outdoors if the light is bright enough will do so if not in wide open spaces and the light isn't pointed at the ground.

While the light is flashed, you can get a mental image of what is there when you move. Usually though, it's not truly pitch black, and hopefully your opponent if there, will be more blinded by your light than you are.

Multimode lights are fine... if the function switch is separate from the on off switch. I like the way the Surefire R1 is set up. The rear switch is high, the side switch can be low, med, or high. You cn also set the rear switch to strobe with three presses if you wish. The Newer Fenix lights that have a separate mode switch is nice also. No more trying to hal press a switch or remembering to turn the head to get to turbo.
 

TMedina

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The "shooting at the light" theory is part of why the FBI teaches (taught?) the handgun/flashlight technique - the light in an icepick grip held away from the body, the handgun online in, obviously, the other hand.

The trade-offs are fairly obvious: Muscle fatigue in your shoulders/arms, poor weapon control, difficulty aiming the light as it's held away from your LoS. The pro being: the flashlight is off-line from your body.

The majority of handgun/flashlight techniques are designed with the idea of being able to provide maximum handgun control - usually by bracing, but sometimes with a two-handed grip. Another benefit comes from being able to better aim the flashlight at a specific target. And, accordingly, the drawback is: the flashlight is now between your body and the hostile.

https://www.floridacarry.org/education/self-defense/23-using-a-tactical-flashlight
 

dss_777

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I just don't understand this obsession with "getting the light away from your body so you don't get shot." Especially because doing so diminishes control of of an already difficult-to-control weapon in a very high stress situation. This technique might have a smidgeon of relevance for active LEOs, but is infinitesimally relevant to the rest of us. IMNSHO.

Any serious/professional shooter who can is going to weapon mounted lights. Pat Rogers teaches a neck hold for hand-held lights, as it is the most stable platform to get the light where you need it and interferes the least with the already-degraded effectivness of a one-handed hold. He reminds us that the whole point is fighting with a gun. It's not dancing around like a warrior prince doing some gun kata.

I like Pat Rogers.

I think it's supposed to go something like this: "Turn light on. See the threat. Process the threat. Rinse. Repeat. Follow the threat down. Turn off light."

FWIW, guess where people tend to aim when they see a shooter holding a gun? That's right... at the gun. Maybe we should be holding the gun out to the side, too... ;)
 

BillSWPA

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I like the neck hold as a shooting position because it enables me to put hits on target quickly and easily, more so than any other hold.

Weapon mounted lights are great if we are discussing home defense, or if your circumstances allow you to wear a holster that will carry one. Most of the time, I am in business casual dress, so a weapon mounted light is often not an option. Besides, what if you find yourself in a situation where searching with a holstered gun is your best option?

Lights get shot at, and take hits, quite often in force on force training exercises. Even if there is enough light to see the person holding the light otherwise, when the light is shining in your face, particularly if it is strobing, it can be hard to see much else. This is why I prefer the FBI hold as a search position. I have practiced drawing the gun and light simultaneously to this position, illuminating the target, and placing hits on the target, and it isn't that difficult with practice. I still prefer the neck hold as a shooting position, but as a search position, where I do not know if someone is there, how many are there, where they are, etc., I want the light away from my body.
 
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TMedina

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I just don't understand this obsession with "getting the light away from your body so you don't get shot." Especially because doing so diminishes control of of an already difficult-to-control weapon in a very high stress situation. This technique might have a smidgeon of relevance for active LEOs, but is infinitesimally relevant to the rest of us. IMNSHO.

Heh. You'll notice that only one organization has ever contemplated the idea. Every other flashlight/handgun technique with the exception of the "neck hold" emphasizes handgun and flashlight in close proximity or contact for weapon control and flashlight aiming.

FWIW, I have never been confident enough in my ability to hit a target while shooting with one hand unsupported, unless it was the broad side of a very big barn.
 

SG688

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Not that it matters, but for historical interest -- I dug in my files and found an article on the grenade ring lanyard by Garbriel Suarez in 2002.
 

BillSWPA

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Shooting with a handheld light is largely one handed shooting, regardless of which hold you use. Any of the 2-handed techniques work best with only light pressure applied to the shooting hand by the support hand.

Many other situations could require one handed shooting. If I am out with my kids, I may have to control them with one hand to keep them in as safe a place as possible while shooting with the other hand.
 

SoCalDep

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Yes, but it's not simply about support...It's about creating a consistent index between the light and the gun allowing the minimal amount of time to correlate the light with the muzzle. Of course, situations dictate tactics and tactics dictate techniques, so if the situation requires me to use my support hand to do something else I'll either need to use (and know how to use) a weapon-light with one hand - either with a pressure switch or training to activate the toggle - or simply shoot in less than ideal lighting conditions.

We train in all of these scenarios...Two-hand hand-held light techniques, two-hand weapon-light techniques, one-hand weapon-light techniques and shooting in darkness with and without night sights. I won't even go into lasers!

This is one reason I really like low-light tactics and training... We generally don't get enough of it...law enforcement and non-law enforcement, and particularly due to advances in technology in flashlights, weapon-lights, lasers, and tactics in general (everyone having video access to shootings to analyze what works and what doesn't) the ability to effectively fight in low or changing lighting conditions is somewhat underdeveloped. Add things like current NVG and IR technology and tactics employed in current military operations and there is a world out there in the dark and we've barely scratched the surface!
 

NavyDavy

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Were you able to any diminished light shooting using just night sites and no flash lights?
 

SoCalDep

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Were you able to any diminished light shooting using just night sites and no flash lights?
I assume you're asking the OP regarding his class, but I've done a fair amount of shooting with just night sights (and with irons/no tritium) ... Did you have a question about it?
 

NavyDavy

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I assume you're asking the OP regarding his class, but I've done a fair amount of shooting with just night sights (and with irons/no tritium) ... Did you have a question about it?
No I was just curious if the OP had the oppotunity. I have a little experience myself as a firearms student and instructor.
 

Kestrel

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Were you able to any diminished light shooting using just night sites and no flash lights?
Hello, I missed some of the more recent comments on this thread. Sorry for the delay in replying. :eek:

Relatively few people in the class had night sights, and I didn't as well.

However, you are asking a very good question, and it reminded me of one exercise we did in the class.

We did a small amount of shooting without using our lights at all, and 10-yd accuracy naturally suffered somewhat, although not near enough to make any real difference in outcomes.

However, I did learn something new related to that; without direct illumination of the targets (i.e. not using our flashlights), the muzzle blast of my first shot backlit my front sight rather well, permitting greater accuracy on the barely-visible target with the very rapid subsequent shots. Overall, my accuracy was more than sufficient for the short-range engagements we were training for, and I did not feel to have any significant disadvantage by not having night sights.

Plus, maybe a revolver purist shouldn't put night sights on a classic pre-lock S&W 60-10 anyhow. :D


BTW, thanks all for carrying on the conversation in my absence. :)
 
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P_A_S_1

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Plus, maybe a revolver purist shouldn't put night sights on a classic pre-lock S&W 60-10 anyhow.

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Combat reloads with a revolver in one hand and a flashlight in the other are tough. Still, J frames are quite nice, lots of fun. If your comfortable shooting unsupported you can hold your light in your non shooting hand and extend that arm straight out and high, placing the light as far from your person as possible. Serves the same purpose as the side steps in regards to an adversary targeting you via your light.
 
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