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Old January 29, 2009, 09:47 PM   #26
Double Naught Spy
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In FoF training at Thunder Ranch, the ranch handyman was a Vietnamese gentleman named Tran who would serve as one of the opposition force guys to be sought out in the simulators. His "specialty," according to Clint Smith, was stopping SWAT teams by himself during the night exercises where he didn't use a light. He didn't always win, but he often won several times in a row.

It is really easy to say that you need to use a light sparingly, never from the same position twice, etc., but when you are navigating unfamiliar ground, such as in a parking lot at night, a business where the power has gone off, a friend's home, etc., "sparingly" takes on a whole new meaning. If you are pinned down in one spot, then you only get to use your light once and that is it?

The other aspect is that just because the light has gone off doesn't mean that you are invisible. Tran was able to hit darkened targets with considerable frequency because he noted the movement of the light and shot to where he expected the darkened target to be. As a bad guy, he didn't have to worry about collateral damage, bystanders, etc.

Like Pax, I had never heard of it as the "Good Technique," LOL. In fact in Googling the title, this is the only place on the internet that I am seeing the method giving the moniker of "Good Technique."

My pop learned the "FBI" method in Dallas Pd as being where you held the light up out and forward from your head so as to move the focus of the BGs away from oneself. He still got the benefit of illuminating the sights as well as illuminating the bad guys and often with elevated lighting that would help downplay problems of shadows caused by more direct frontal lighting as provided by the "Good Technique."

So ranburr, where are you in Texas and did you want to come out next time and demo for us?
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Old January 29, 2009, 10:08 PM   #27
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Well Double Naught, it was invented by Ken J. Good , the founding director of the SureFire Institute. It is also called the Neck-Index Technique. I learned it from John Farnam at DTI. I am assuming that you are the general area of Waco. I have no need to go up there. If you would like to come to Houston, I would be more than happy to teach it to you. I (and many others) find it to be one of the better flashlight techniques.
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Old January 30, 2009, 02:26 AM   #28
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On a stationary paper target, and me not moving off the X....about 30ft.- a car length.
The range to target for this test was 50% farther than that. In spite of that, in light too dark to see normal sights (dusk), all of the shooters were able to hit the target with the same level of accuracy using night sights that they demonstrated in normal light.

One could argue that 45 feet is way too far away to be practicing self-defense shooting--that may or may not be true, but it doesn't change the facts. The facts are that the "next to useless" night sights allowed the shooters, under conditions where they couldn't see normal sights, to perform better than you claim your point-shooting technique works for you.
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So it's a great shooting technique, but not necessarily useful for some specific and predictable non-shooting preludes.
I didn't really mean to defend the Harries technique as an all-purpose technique, but rather was pointing out the advantage that it offered in terms of additional support to the shooting hand compared to a technique that leaves the gun hand to do all the work of supporting/steadying the pistol.

Your points are well taken, for those situations where the Harries is problematic one could transition to a one-handed shooting technique (such as the FBI technique) that allows more flexible positioning of the handgun & flashlight.
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I suspect you may feel different after a little practice with both methods.
I have shot with both hands, one hand and the Harries technique. The Harries technique is definitely more steady than one hand shooting but not as steady as being able to use two hands with no flashlight involved. It clearly has some limitations, such as the ones pax mentioned, but for the situations where it doesn't tie one in knots it offers an advantage over any technique that leaves you shooting completely one handed.
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...it was invented by Ken J. Good...
That's what I figured, but I couldn't find any reference to the technique by that name.
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Old January 30, 2009, 06:29 AM   #29
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Well Double Naught, it was invented by Ken J. Good , the founding director of the SureFire Institute. It is also called the Neck-Index Technique. I learned it from John Farnam at DTI. I am assuming that you are the general area of Waco. I have no need to go up there. If you would like to come to Houston, I would be more than happy to teach it to you. I (and many others) find it to be one of the better flashlight techniques.
I am fairly certain that Ken Good didn't invent the neck-index technique and it isn't called the Good Technique by him. He doesn't claim to have invented it, at least not in the article below that he wrote. It wasn't even described until 1994 by Brian Puckett, although Good says he was teaching it two years prior and both he and Puckett refer to it as the Neck Index Technique.
http://www.surefire.com/articles-handheld_techniques

With that said, the technique was poo-poo'd back in the 50s when my pop started as a Dallas cop, hence their use of the FBI method I mentioned above. That isn't to say that the method is necessarily bad, but that Good didn't invent it...not unless he is a really old man, as they were correcting for its shortcomings of being next to the head at least a half century ago.

As near as I can tell, Good simply started reteaching and old method, noting its strengths, in comparison with other methods, all of which have their own strengths as well.

Thanks for the offer of the instruction, but I have had it.
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Old January 30, 2009, 08:24 AM   #30
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The "FBI" method mentioned by PAX and Double-Naught is the one I was taught in training and the preferred method for flashlight use. The Harris technique came along years later.

Quite often the neck-index technique was used when approaching a stopped car (usually because your car's lights overwhelmed most flashlights of the time) as it pre-positioned the aluminum light for a strike if something went south.

In general, flashlights are not supposed to be used in a constant-on position when clearing a building or during a firefight. In these situations, lights should be used sparingly to illuminate areas of interest or identify silhouttes. You'd illuminate an area for 1-2 seconds max and unless you spotted a person, turn off the light and move using the "afterimage" on your retina before hitting the light again.

The extended-arm or "FBI" method works well out of doors but can be difficult indoors. Indoors, the light is held waist high, and a bit more than shoulder wide. Again, constant light is avoided and only used when you've found your quarry.

With flashlights like the Sure Fire, with tailcap mounted buttons, I've found that the "Modified FBI" technique (holding the light in the weak hand with the upper arm level, lower arm upraised or or similar type position) as comfortable as anything else. While this doesn't give support to the firing hand, it provides a lot more flexibility for illumination in close quarters.

There was debate for years about the FBI method of holding the light away from the body. Logic says that shots aimed towards the light held away from the body increase your survival odds. In practice, many cops found that thugs were lousy shots and often shot wide of their mark. The debate continues today to some extent.

With the advent of super-bright Xenon bulbs that are painfully bright and wipe out an opponent's night vision the issue of light placement is somewhat less important.
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Old January 30, 2009, 08:35 AM   #31
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Drat...

I meant to thank JohnKSa and Double-Naught for their work in running these tests. If you pardon the pun, the results were illuminating.

Another couple of tests that I'm sure would be of further interest would be using a laser-sighted handgun to see if it aids the acquisition of the target. I'd suggest using black t-shirts over each target to minimize contrast against the sights (and because so many thugs tend to wear dark clothing).

My interest would be on whether the laser allows the shooter to "find" the target easily and how much distraction ambient smoke in the air causes. An observer off to the side might note how much the laser pinpoints the shooter too.

This could be a good test for snubby wheelguns too. Ideally a fixed sight gun, a "Night Guard" model with the Cylinder & Slide sights and a laser-equipped unit. I'd suggest ammo be at least .38+P to determine the effects of muzzle flash on acquiring the different sight types as well.
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Old January 30, 2009, 12:30 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by JohnKSa
The facts are that the "next to useless" night sights allowed the shooters, under conditions where they couldn't see normal sights, to perform better than you claim your point-shooting technique works for you.
So??

If you ever get into a gunfight odds are that even you will point-shoot, probably one-handed, too. Lol
I will probably do likewise, only I'll have a laser dot to place on the threat. Place that dot and I'll hit that spot.

Anyway, you guys were target shooting in low-light and darkness. Great experiment and probably great fun. You learned most of the disadvantages of night sights and white light. Those were valuable learning moments.

But, keep in mind that target shooting is not the same as self-defense aiming/shooting/moving. Not even close. Target shooting is relaxed, run-a-gun practice and fun....not a startling, shocking, fear laden moment of survival.

Nor is the use of a flashlight common in most self-defense encounters. White light is ordinarily used for LE/military style planned clearing/identifying bad guys....not for a stickup in a Walmart parking lot.

There are a million scenarios to imagine, but reality says that a self-defense encounter will happen suddenly and likely in low-light where the threat is easily seen and identifiable. Because of that, I am concerned with immediate self-defense, therefore I cheat and use a Crimson Trace lasergrip sighting system on my handguns.

Reasons? Anyone can shoot from the hip, shoulder, etc, under, over around, moving or from wherever....no sights are needed. There are many folks with old eyes and poor eyesight or bad night vision. Again, no iron sights are needed. And there is no iron sight fumbling stress while under the fear of death.

Finally, I find it extremely puzzling that there are still so many gunslingers out there that have not figured out that a laser sighting system is the superior handgun sighting system in low-light and darkness.
Whatever happened to 'live and learn'?
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Old January 30, 2009, 12:51 PM   #33
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Nor is the use of a flashlight common in most self-defense encounters. White light is ordinarily used for LE/military style planned clearing/identifying bad guys....not for a stickup in a Walmart parking lot.
Really? I had one in the last Walmart parking lot I was in where someone was trying to stick me up.

Actually everyone I know who CCW's has a light on them or near them at all times, maybe we're over prepared though.
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Old January 30, 2009, 10:44 PM   #34
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So??
So "next to useless", unless you meant it as hyperbole is inaccurate. They are very useful in certain situations. More useful in those specific situations than point shooting, the alternative technique you suggested.
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But, keep in mind that target shooting is not the same as self-defense aiming/shooting/moving.
To paraphrase DNS, given that none of us wet ourselves, I feel it's safe to say that none of us were under the impression that we were in "a startling, shocking, fear laden moment of survival" and were, instead, well aware that we were just target shooting.
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Actually everyone I know who CCW's has a light on them or near them at all times...
I began carrying a small flashlight long before I had a CHL. Over the years I've upgraded my lights as the technology improved and I now carry a very small LED light that puts out about 100 lumens in a package that can be concealed in my hand. I use it several times a day and "deploying it" is as fast as drawing my handgun. Not because I practice pulling out my flashlight but because I use it so much. I don't understand how people get by without having a light handy.
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Old January 30, 2009, 11:35 PM   #35
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JohnKSa..What is the name of the little powerful light you carry?
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Old January 31, 2009, 12:09 AM   #36
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Shooting with the flashlight incurred a time penalty of approximately 65%. This is probably due to the fact that using one hand to hold onto the flashlight means that hand isn't available to hold on to the gun--slowing down recoil recovery.
We qual at night, but not every qual. To me, the biggest impediment to speed is the almost subconscious desire adjust the light to point it directly at the target. You need not do that, just splash light downrange and address the target as soon as you assess the threat. You should practice that technique often. Dry firing if you can't get range time.

The point made about moving offline after using the light (or changing a mag for that matter) is a good one, but in tight quarters you often don't have the room or risk falling if there is clutter.

Quote:
If you ever get into a gunfight odds are that even you will point-shoot, probably one-handed, too. Lol
Odds are you will react like you have trained. And practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. If you haven't trained or a psychologically prepared to run away and fire over you shoulder whilst doing so, you probably will do exactly that.

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Reasons? Anyone can shoot from the hip, shoulder, etc, under, over around, moving or from wherever....no sights are needed.
Yes, anyone can. Most can't do it with any proficiency. And that is demonstrated even on a range addressing paper targets that aren't shooting back at you.

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Old January 31, 2009, 01:26 AM   #37
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But, keep in mind that target shooting is not the same as self-defense aiming/shooting/moving. Not even close. Target shooting is relaxed, run-a-gun practice and fun....not a startling, shocking, fear laden moment of survival.
While such forms of shooting are not nearly as stressful as "real life", not many practice scenarios are. We train and practice so that our reflexes, movements, and actions are coordinated sufficiently to hit the target. It also lets us identify short-comings or weaknesses in our methods - hopefully ones we can avoid - so that in a crunch, the motions are nearly automatic while the brain figures out the tactical needs.

By practicing various situations and tactics we can apply a solution quickly without panic and almost as an automatic response. There is a huge difference between how your average Joe Sixpack would treat an intruder situation versus someone with police or protective-services training.

While laser sights can be useful for some, it still takes time to train in their proper use. Simply putting them on your gun (even properly aligned) does not make you a marksman any more than buying a Ferarri makes you a race car driver. Novices tend to focus on coordinating the jerky movements of the sight with a precision X-ring hit and I've seen many shooters wonder why their shots all end up low-right as they jerk the trigger and flinch. Even some experienced shooters spend too much time centering the shots instead of trying to make hits.

I'm not knocking lasers specifically, but like any other device, they need some training time to make the user accurat wit hthem.
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Old January 31, 2009, 04:34 AM   #38
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JohnKSa..What is the name of the little powerful light you carry?
It's the Fenix L1T V2.0. It runs off a single AA battery--I use the rechargeable high-output NimH batteries for economy. Fenix makes a variety of lights, but I feel that one is the best balance of features, brightness & size.
Quote:
To me, the biggest impediment to speed is the almost subconscious desire adjust the light to point it directly at the target. You need not do that, just splash light downrange and address the target as soon as you assess the threat. You should practice that technique often.
Not only is it not required to direct the light so that it's pointing exactly at the target, sometimes there are benefits of NOT pointing exactly at the target. Toward the end of the writeup I address an issue with backscatter from the light reflecting off the discharge smoke. It was found that pointing at the ground between the target & the shooter provided enough illumination of the target for the shooter to clearly see the target. Then, with a night-sight equipped pistol the shooter could line up and shoot without being bothered by the reflected light from the discharge smoke. This technique can not be counted upon to provide enough target illumination to allow the use of normal sights--night sights are required.
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Old January 31, 2009, 08:26 AM   #39
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So??

If you ever get into a gunfight odds are that even you will point-shoot, probably one-handed, too. Lol
I will probably do likewise, only I'll have a laser dot to place on the threat. Place that dot and I'll hit that spot.
No, you probably won't "place" the dot on the threat. You will be painting the threat all over with your dancing dot, watching it bounce around, and hoping that you pull the trigger when the dot has is crossing a critical area. It is one of the reasons lasers have failed to gain significant favor.

Just curious, if people don't use their sights, how is it you think you will be using your laser sights and not just point shooting?
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Old January 31, 2009, 09:01 AM   #40
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You will be painting the threat all over with your dancing dot...
There is something to this. At least one training instructor notes that the use of lasers seems to result in slower times when engaging moving targets compared to using standard sighting techniques.

The analysis was that the shooter was slowed down by first trying to locate the dot and then by trying to get it placed properly on the moving target instead of just concentrating on the basics of shooting and getting off a shot.

It's a variant of the reason that shooters may find that they're faster and more accurate when shooting offhand with a rifle if they use iron sights as opposed to a scope with any significant amount of magnification. The magnification not only magnifies the target, it also magnifies the hold wobble which can be disconcerting to the shooter by making it look like the crosshairs are racing all over the target. Instead of lining up and taking a shot, the shooter chases the crosshairs trying to get things lined up while fighting the wobble. Without the magnification the wobble is still there but it appears smaller (or may not be visible) to the shooter which means that instead of fighting the wobble he can just line up and shoot.
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Old January 31, 2009, 12:23 PM   #41
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LOL!

Strange how some target shooters with no laser experience, training or ability are so eager to condemn laser sights for low-light/darkness.

The same shooters that wear glasses or contacts to enhance their vision, wear electronic muffs to save their hearing, use red dots, scopes, night sights, knee pads, IR, NV, kydex, carbon fiber, big dots, fiber optic and on and on....just ignore the overwhelming documented evidence and the props from military, law enforcement and some of the greatest gunslingers in the world. They endorse and use laser sights.

Laser sighted shooting is very easy and very effective. Place the dot and you'll hit that spot. Simple as that.
.
For now, I have two things to say:
The first is that I have challenged a lot of target shooters to compete....for serious money....in low light shooting. I have never lost and I definitely take their money. I call their money their tuition. They've paid for 'real world' school. :)

Secondly, if an old fashioned target shooter engages a laser-sighted bad guy in low-light or darkness....it will be his worst nightmare.
Darwin will prevail.

LEARNING LESSONS BELOW:

See shooting accuracy on the move: http://www.crimsontrace.com/Home/Vid...0/Default.aspx

See conquering low light - Ken Hackathorn: http://www.crimsontrace.com/Home/Vid...7/Default.aspx

For those still behind the learning curve, go here for a free laser-sight education: http://www.crimsontrace.com/Home/Vid...6/Default.aspx

See real experts like Todd Jarrett, Ken Hackathorn, Michael Bane, Wes Doss, and hear why they say Laser sights offer a clear advantage. See simple little videos that teach the 'new' art of survival.
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Old January 31, 2009, 01:00 PM   #42
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See conquering low light - Ken Hackathorn: http://www.crimsontrace.com/Home/Vid...7/Default.aspx

For those still behind the learning curve, go here for a free laser-sight education: http://www.crimsontrace.com/Home/Vid...6/Default.aspx

See real experts like Todd Jarrett, Ken Hackathorn, Michael Bane, Wes Doss, and hear why they say Laser sights offer a clear advantage. See simple little videos that teach the 'new' art of survival.
Nice sales videos.

The last class I had with Ken Hackathorn was BEFORE he was a spokesman for Crimsontrace, hence not on their payroll. You are right. He is a fan of lasers. He thought they were great for inexperienced shooters, those who didn't know how to use their regular sites, had significant vision issues, etc.

Those real experts may be real experts, but they are also being sales people. If you have followed their careers, you will see where they highly promote products from whatever company for whom they are working.
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Old January 31, 2009, 05:21 PM   #43
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Strange how some target shooters with no laser experience, training or ability are so eager to condemn laser sights for low-light/darkness.
First of all, I didn't condemn them. I posted the comments of a trainer/instructor with considerable experience using lasers.

Second, I didn't condemn them. I merely pointed out what the trainer felt was one disadvantage to lasers. Any technique or device has advantages and disadvantages. Pointing out a single disadvantage is a long way from condemnation. I believe that the instructor in question is actually a proponent of lasers, but he does realize that there are some limitations and disadvantages to using them.

Third, I think that perhaps it's a bit egotistical to assume that those who disagree with you are "target shooters with no laser experience, training or ability". That's a lot of assumptions packed into a small sentence. While it may well be true that there is no one here who matches your "laser experience", your training, or your ability, and while we may all qualify as merely "target shooters" in light of your experience as an operator, that's not to say that we have NO experience, NO training, NO ability and NO experience with anything other than targets.

Furthermore, attempting to make points in a discussion by belittling/denigrating the people you're arguing with is called an ad hominem. Not only is it a logical fallacy, it is prohibited at TFL.
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Old January 31, 2009, 06:04 PM   #44
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I remember when I was younger and new to LE work. I had what might charitably be called 'casual disdain' for night sights.

Many years farther down the road, having acquired some experience and having listened to other experienced folks who I have come to respect, I find that many of my personally-owned handguns are equipped with night sights of various design. My last couple of issued weapons had them installed, too.

When we equipped our folks with new pistols which had night sights I started hearing how useful some of the younger had found them in various situations. Some were 'firearms enthusiasts' and some were just 'professionally armed gun carriers'. They did seem to find common ground that night sights seemed to offer them some advantages in some situations, though.

Having a piece of equipment is one thing ... but knowing how to properly and most effectively use it is often another thing. Having it be practical and useful in a given situation is another thing, too.

Lasers? Advantages and disadvantages ... just like other optional equipment increasingly found on firearms nowadays.

User familiarity, training and experience with equipment is important. The equipment isn't going to be using itself, you know.

I'm not in the business of shilling for firearm equipment companies. I'm more interested in the knowledge, skill and training of the equipment user, as well as the proper maintenance of the equipment.

I've come to find it's increasingly easier to avoid becoming mired down in fruitless arguments about a number of equipment issues.

Training with an open mind can be an illuminating experience.

Learning from experience and being able to apply those lessons to training can be pretty helpful, too.

FWIW, I've heard it said, with some surprise on the part of the person saying it, that it's sometimes hard to see the Taser's laser dot against a moving surface of varying color, texture and shape during an active situation is some light conditions, too. Imagine that. They aren't offered with night sights, though.

Familiarity with your equipment when used in various conditions and situations - in which it might actually be necessary to use it - is arguably helpful to anticipate and address difficulties when using it.

Learning to gain any and all advantages ... and effectively use them to your advantage ... might be handy, too.

I wouldn't let the bright lights of night sights and lasers distract the user from developing and maintaining the mindset, knowledge & skill base/set generally helpful to survival ...


Just my thoughts. Not interested in 'taking sides'.
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Old February 1, 2009, 12:27 AM   #45
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It is one of the reasons lasers have failed to gain significant favor.
This is factually wrong.

Amusingly so!

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Old February 1, 2009, 06:58 PM   #46
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I'm not condemning lasers either, they do have their place. Especially for those of us with aging eyes, decreased night vision and other issues.

But my experience with lasers shows that too many people spend more time trying to get the laser on targe than taking the shot. Even though a laser can help you lead a moving target, it's seldom used that way. That and jerking the trigger seem to be common.

Quote:
Laser sighted shooting is very easy and very effective. Place the dot and you'll hit that spot. Simple as that.
It's not that simple because real opponents move from place to place, duck, bob, weave and try to take cover. Trying to "keep up" with a laser is pointless as you'll be reacting. Without the laser it seems people are able to switch into "lead compensating" easier and score hits.
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Old February 1, 2009, 09:30 PM   #47
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But my experience with lasers shows that too many people spend more time trying to get the laser on targe than taking the shot. Even though a laser can help you lead a moving target, it's seldom used that way. That and jerking the trigger seem to be common.
Yep.

Quote:
This is factually wrong.

Amusingly so!
Oh do tell!
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Old February 14, 2009, 11:14 PM   #48
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Sorry to be a little late on this post...I've been bopping around the country a bit lately.

To set the record straight, Crimson Trace sponsors SHOOTING GALLERY...however, if you saw the episode last season working with Wes Doss, you'd have seen my original Laser Grips — 1911 first generation, the first month they were available...like 1993 or so. When I agreed to do the CT video I waived any fee, because I believe in the product. My bedside gun, a Sig 226 (who doesn't sponsor anything of mine and lots of stuff from my competitors) has Laser Grips, night sights and a SureFire weapon-mounted light...belts and suspenders and, I suppose, duct tape.

I like to have as many tools in my toolbox as I can get. I fully understand that the question "which tool is best?" is meaningless without a specified use. A hammer's a great tool, but not if you need an adjustable wrench. A power saw is also a great tool, but not if you have no idea how to use it. Some of the descriptions of problems with lasers on this thread are function of a lack of understanding/training with the tool. Any sighting system is what it is.

RE: Flashlights...Bill Rogers taught me the Harries technique and his own hands-extended-alongside technique sometime in the early 1980s when we were shooting IPSC in Florida. We were using Mini-Maglites back then and treated any situation with a light as a one-handed shooting drill. The first time I saw the neck index technique was from Captain Dave Arnold in I believe the early 1990s...he'd been working with the firearms instructors at Quantico and called the technique the "FBI style." He also used the hand with the light extended to the side, with the caveat (as mentioned above) that a bad guy's round could be "flinched" into your body. By the time I worked with Bill Murphy at the SureFire Institute, we ran through all of those techniques.

As much as possible, I try not to overly favor any flashlight technique, but I default to the Rogers, which to me is easiest and least awkward to bring back into a high ready position. I also spend much more time practicing one-handed shooting than I used to.

BTW, I remember when Kenny Hackathorn used to razz me about my enthusiasm with lasers. Then one day out of the clear blue he called me up and said, "Dude! You're right! Dude! They work great for what they're for. Dude!"

If you know Ken, you know I'm not exaggerating the "dude" factor!

Again, my apologies for taking so long to get to this thread.

Michael B
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Old February 16, 2009, 10:23 AM   #49
Sparks2112
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Join Date: July 3, 2008
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 479
Quote:
Quote:
This is factually wrong.

Amusingly so!

Oh do tell!
I can think of a lot of departments that issue lasers, or laser/light combos to their officers. And that's just in the Southwest Ohio region. I have heard (though not confirmed) that Cincinnati PD itself authorizes the use of Crimson Trace grips for their M&P 9's.

It's impossible to see a police owned M4 around here without a Laser hung off a rail and an Eotech or ACOG on top of it.

I will agree with everyone else though. Saying lasers haven't caught on with LEO's is so wrong it's funny. I think your information is about 5 years old.
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