Shooting In Low Light
Shooting in low light
I am going to explain how to employ the useful techniques of using a flashlight with a pistol, especially useful for those flashlights that have a tactical switch.
As many of the members already have a Surefire of two or three batteries with a tactical switch or a similar one of another brand, going from 60 to 200 lumens, I am going to explain the two most popular techniques. One is the Harries which I have already explained in the previous post in conjunction with the Borealis 1050 lumens light.
The Harries technique
Michael Harries invented this position and it is considered one of the first positions ever that coordinates the use of the flashlight using the two hands.
For using with tactical switch lights (with a switch in the tail), the flashlight is grasped with the left hand around the body and the thumb will activate the switch.
For lights with switch on the top (as the Magcharger, Stinger and Borealis) the index finger is used to press the switch down without clicking it on (if you drop your light you donít want it to illuminate you)
The back of the hands are pressed together and maintain an isometric tension to help control the recoil of the gun. Your wrists will be crossed and the light will be parallel or close to the muzzle of the gun.
Holster maker, ex FBI agent, and competition shooter Bill Rogers teamed up with Surefire to adapt a rubber grommet or washer to the Surefire 6 Z (now available in most combat models of Surefire and copied by others light makers).
The position is also called the cigar position, as you grasp the body of the flashlight like a cigar, with the index and middle finger. The tail cap is resting on the fleshy part below your thumb and a little pressure back on the rubber ring will activate the light (the tail cap button resting in that part below your thumb will switch the light on).
That position will let you grasp the hand shooting the pistol with three fingers of the left hand, and it is the only position that let you use a two-handed grip on the gun
The Chapman technique
Ray Chapman was the first IPSC world champion. He invented his position for use with the Kel-Lites of the 1970ís (probably the first high quality Police Flashlight) that have a sliding switch on top of the barrel. It is still a great position to use for those that donít want to cross the wrists as in the Harries position when using a big flashlight.
It is well suited for the Maglites or Stingers and for the modification of the Maglite like the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.
You just grasp the flashlight as you usually do, with your thumb in the switch and your fingers circling the barrel and you bring it up to index your fingernails with the fingernails of the shooting hand.
In my other post I have mentioned the old FBI technique which is to separate the flashlight high and away from you in order to confuse you opponent about your position.
Another technique that doesnít offer any support to the shooting hand but it can be very useful when using a pistol with lousy sights (original 1911, Luger, etc) is the one I used more than 40 years ago when I started combat shooting.
It indexes the light on top of my head, letting the light fall on a line from the sights to the target. Even the minuscule back up .380 or the Baby Browning sights gets illuminated using this ridiculous position.
In closing, I would like to say that in my opinion lights with less than 60 lumens are out of the new low light fighting techniques.
For my belt light I will prefer to have a minimum of 200 lumens, using the Surefire C-3 and the P-91 lamp as my favorite.
But if I have to clear a big room, warehouse or backyard, I prefer a light with more power. My Surefire M-6 with the 500 lumens lamp will do, but I prefer even more lumens to really blind, disorient, and roast my opponent. That is when I use the Borealis 1050 lumens light.
These positions I have shown here will work with big lights too (except for the cigar position), the thing you will have to remember is that when you need a light in a hairy situation you need it badly and that two is better than one, so a big light in your hand to blind you opponent and another smaller light in your belt as a back up is better than only one. (two is one and one is none).
Thanks for the info
And here is the reverse Harries, it is advocated by one shooting school, it will offer the unlocking of the wrists, but you have to be careful of placing the light well to the right, out of the recoiling slide of auto-pistols.
Here Kevin is demostrating the technique.
POLAR BEAR POSITION
Here I am back again to show a new position, is to be used with my new light the POLAR BEAR 426 lumens, and the BEAR CUB, 220 lumens for 90 minutes. The Polar Bear 426 lumens compete with the Surefire M-4 (350 lumens 20 minutes run on four 123's batteries)
My Polar Bear is rechargeable so the runtime of 75 minutes is FREE, before the Surefire M-4 can run 75 minutes will have spend $32.00 in batteries
Here are the two lights:
And the position is like the Rogers-Surefire in what you hold the flashlight like a cigar, between index and middle finger, the index also activate the switch momentarily or click, as you wish and this position permits TWO HANDS ON THE GUN (The only position that permits it, beside the Rogers-Surefire)
Black Bear I watched an officer clear a dark building before and noticed he would quiclky turn his light off and on as he was doing so. Is there any particular reason for doing that?
Some shooting Schools train with strobbing techniques, that is supposed to disorient some individuals .
The recommended light is a Luxeon III LED, as the incandescent bulbs can't take the "surge" for long.
I prefer to have a very powerful light to clear a building, anything in front of me with dark adapted eyes will lost vision for several seconds, at the same time because I am not strobbing the light I will have complete visual coverage all the time.
Before anybody can claim that reflections from the walls or mirrors will blind you, I am here to tell you that my blue eyes are impervious to that, and so also my friends' eyes, so I never experience or presentiated those claims.
I donít want to assume why this officer took these actions. You may however want to consider this. A popular tactic 10-15 years ago was to initiate a search of a room using a hand held light and sweep it across the immediate area. If a suspect was identified deal with it. If nothing adverse was detected, extinguish the light and move. Then again light on to sweep another area. If a threat is spotted deal with it, if not again extinguish the lamp and move.
In a dark room you position may not be apparent to an adversary, however when you turn on your light your position has been compromised. By turning out the light and moving from that known position under the cover of darkness you decrease your risk factor from a pinpoint attack. So it was Light On, sweep, Light Off, move from the line of attack, again Light On, sweep search, Light Off, move from the line of attack, and so on and so forth until either contact was made or the room was cleared.
This method is still taught at many tactical schools and supported by many departments. Itís not a bad tactic, but it is engrossed with misunderstandings and misuse.
In the past 10 years some training schools and departments have changed their approach to a different tactic. That is, once your initial search position has been compromised by using a light device, keep the light on until the entire area/room/building has been cleared, or contact made and area secured, or contact has been made the area lost.
A better approach I endorse and many others is to use a combination of tactics based on the particular situation and conditions of the search, how large the area, what is the configuration, how many in the search (entry team) party, what type of lighting devices are available for use, etc.
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