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Old September 7, 2010, 12:14 PM   #1
S_Constitutionist
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Practicing with a pistol(strong) and flashlight(weak)

I tried to do a search but couldnt find a specific thread.


My current HD set up is a Rem 870 12G with a flashlight clamped to the barrel (sort of a cheapy, but it works well). I recently bought a pistol (A Hi-Power in 9mm) and it now sits by the bedside as well.

It occurred to me that since there is no way to attach a light to my pistol I should begin practicing while holding one in my weak hand. I have seen this done in the movies with the weak hand bent upwards and locked under the dominant hand. I sort of played around with this dry fire, but I would like to know more about the proper way to do it. I am taking a 4 day defensive handgun course in a few months, but I would like to practice with it a bit before then.

I asked the staff of the outdoor range I frequent if I could practice shooting this way and they all looked at me silly and said that it wasnt allowed. I suppose I could try an indoor range or just go out in the desert like we used to.

Anyway, does anyone know of a good website/video/dvd/book in which someone in the know instructs this tactic? I've yet to spring for a high dollar flashlight, but im considering the SureFire 6PDL for when I begin CCW. At the moment I use a 24 LED/Laser combo 200Lm that I have had for 6 or 7 years.
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Old September 7, 2010, 12:25 PM   #2
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If you do a search here, you'll find a wealth of threads with good information.

This one should help you considerably.
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Old September 7, 2010, 12:34 PM   #3
S_Constitutionist
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Thats what I was looking for. Thank you!
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Old September 12, 2010, 07:47 PM   #4
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The flashlight technique you describe is called Harries, there are several other techniques as well. I practiced Harries at local indoor ranges quite a bit before I picked up new FBI. Now I use both. Try to find an indoor range that allows you to turn the lane lights off and try to get there before other people.

I have done two night shooting seminars and would highly recommend working with an instructor if you can get to one. It has improved my low light shooting more than I ever thought it could.
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Old September 19, 2010, 10:56 PM   #5
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Also think about using ambient light. No home is without internal and external light sources in it. Sort of like situating a night light across a room from you and using it to backlight your possible target. Or you can use it to slightly illuminate the main area of the room to your advantage too.

Another thing about ambient light is that you can use it to pick up your front sight on your Hi-power and then move the barrel of the gun on to the target. So ambient light can work for you in a variety of different ways. You have to practice with it and learn it from your particular home setting.

Now, what about lasers and night sights. Have you given any thought to those items too?
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Old September 20, 2010, 01:06 AM   #6
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That is unfortunate that they would not allow you to practice that way. I have no advice for you. But for some reason I felt like commenting that it is "silly" that the range would not allow you to practice with the light in your weak hand. Do they not allow one handed target shooting as well? hmmm

*sigh*... I guess the attitude these days seams to be that, when your dealing with the general public, you can never be too careful. What ever happened to giving someone the benefit of the doubt?

However, in the end. what they say goes... they own the place... Just too bad.
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Old September 20, 2010, 08:29 AM   #7
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Over the years, I've pretty much settled on the SureFire method for shooting with my light. I don't like hand gun mounted lights at all. I just end up blinding myself from the muzzle smoke. Plus you may end up needing to illuminate something that you don't want to point your pistol at.

The SureFire method keeps the light farther away from the pistol and seems to work better with muzzle smoke.

Definitely get out to the desert and practice this after you get some low light training. I NEVER shoot at a square range with those goofball Range officers breathing down my throat.
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Old September 20, 2010, 09:09 AM   #8
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These links may help enlighten the discussion (no pun intended):

http://www.nrapublications.org/si/HB_handgun.html

http://www.nrapublications.org/si/HB_longgun.html


By the way, an instructor I had this weekend had a pretty "dim" view of night sights, making the points that 1) if you can't see your target then you shouldn't be shooting at it and 2) that the vast majority of HD shooting is done at distances where point shooting is advisable and may be necessary if you have to shoot at all. If you can point your finger at a target under 20 feet away then you should be able to hit it. If you take extra time to align your sights then you may not even get the chance to shoot at all.

Last edited by spacecoast; September 20, 2010 at 09:47 AM.
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Old September 20, 2010, 10:26 AM   #9
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I kind of agree. I don't run night sights on my carry pistol for that very reason. If you can't ID the target, you can't shoot.

The one value night sights have is if you're shooting after you've ID'd the target with your light. You could move and shoot without your light on. Or.. if in a fight your light went down or was shot out of your hand, you could still use the sights after you've ID'd the threat.
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Old September 20, 2010, 10:56 AM   #10
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I don't know about "Harris" but we (APD) did a lot of practice with a flashlight. On our monthly qualifications in the indoor range, we (Firearm Instructors) turned down or off the lights and go through some shooting drills.

I don't understand why everyone who carries a gun doesn't practice with flash lights. Especially cops. Geess how many building searches do cops do? But not just cops, but anyone concerned in protecting their families and homes.

On the same line, we don't practice near enough with one hand, again, I've done thousands of building searches of one kind or another. You have flash lights, mirrors (to look around corners) keys for other rooms (obtained from the owners), door knobs, windows, etc etc. Chances are in most situations I can think of you are gonna have to shoot a fast, one handed shot. But we do 90+ per cent of our practice with two hands.

Yes I know, and have use techniques of using the flashlights with two hands, ON THE RANGE, but I've never done a building search like that. My revolver is in one hand, the flash light or something else is in the other.

As a range officer, I tried to stir the officers away from the TWO Hand and Flashlight style. Hold the flashlight away from your body and shoot one handed.

Yeah I know, everyone says I let my Bullseye corrupt my defensive shooting, so what, I can shoot with one hand.

Another thing a bit off topic is shot guns. I don't like them for building searches, they are in the way. they are too wildly, Only good for about 40 yards, past that, I'm better with a revolver, past that, well a 357 shoots much further then a shot gun. I carried a shotgun in my patrol car, but seldum ever used it. When I did, I found it in the way.

OK there's my morning rant.
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Old September 20, 2010, 01:55 PM   #11
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Kraig - when you say away from the body, do you mean old FBI style of holding the light out to the left (for right handed shooters)?

New FBI usually involved "locking" the light against your chest, cheek, top of the head etc and allows you to search more naturally, keep a tighter composure and illuminate your sights as well as the target easily. Since the light is held in tight, there also seems to be less disconnect between shooting hand and the illumination source.

Two handed shooting styles like Harries have a very specific benefit in pieing doors and windows and sometimes more general benefit when working close to cover. New or Old FBI style does not always work as well for this sort of flashlight searching. The disconnected lighting styles have a drawback similar to raised sights and close cover. The closer you are to your cover or an obstacle, the more likely you are to illuminate the barricade in front of you instead of the open area where your weapon is pointing. Something fun to try against a white cruiser at night

Everyone finds a style that they favor, but being married to just one is almost as bad as not practicing with it.
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Old September 20, 2010, 02:23 PM   #12
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Old September 20, 2010, 03:07 PM   #13
kraigwy
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Quote:
Kraig - when you say away from the body, do you mean old FBI style of holding the light out to the left (for right handed shooters)?
Well I don't know about the FBI as I have lots of problems with the FBI, but I wont get into that here.

I meant, Away from your body, at an location from the body the situation dictates. Two reasons. The light may be a target and you don't want to stand behind it. and Two, you want it pushed away to a point where it doesn't shine or reflect into your eyes. Directly at the target isn't necessarily the best place to point the flashlight beam.

I can't say where to put it, cause I don't know what you are doing or the environment you are doing it, but as an example, if peeking though a window, you don't want to peek over the light, better to shine the light in a different window or window pain then the one you are looking trough and one that doesn't reflect light back into your eyes.

Most of the time, even at night, in building searches you have enough light, either night lights, or street lights, etc. you don't need to walk around with the light on. Only blinking into an area you can't see, BUT NOT WITH THE LIGHT DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF YOU.

I wont say which one, but some fed LE people came to our department and tried to get us to shoot two handed, with the flashlight, directly under the gun held some weird way with the non-shooting hand. No Sir, not for me. Not often when you are clearing a room that you don't have to use your non-shooting hand grabbing door knobs, using a pocket mirror, etc etc.

This is something you should try. Empty your gun, turn off all your lights and walk around the house, garage, barn, whatever. Try different ideals, be flexible.

Then if you have some trusted shooting buddies, switch, do the same thing in their house and out buildings. Try checking doors, closets, attics, basements, etc and see how easy it is to do using a flashlight with a two handed grip with a flashlight.

If you have access to an indoor range, (even outside if can be done safely). Find your target, roll the flashlight across the floor while on and aimed at the direction of the target. You'll be surprised how will you can still see your target over the front sight.

Practice every way from Sunday different methods, carrying different things besides the flashlight and gun (keys, mirrors, cell phone to police, etc.). One thing I can guarantee, if the time comes you have to clear a house or building, it will be completely different then what you practiced.

I practiced a lot of different ideals in indoor and outdoor ranges. I'll give an example, some lady thought an ex-BF she had a restraining order was in the house. I checked it and found it clear. She followed me back to my car, JUST AS WE SUFFERED A POWER OUTAGE. Freaked her out, so I have to recheck the house to make her feel better. Sure a poop, the dude had moved in and was hiding in a closet, NO LIGHTS, I got a flash light in one hand, screaming lady pulling on my non shooting arm. pistol in the other, and getting the idiot out of the closet who's screaming, "don't shoot, don't shoot", You just can't practice for everything.

Anyways, those days are gone, I just have to care for me and mine, I've found what works for me, not saying it works for everyone.

But what the heck, we love shooting, practicing is shooting, shooting, therefore practice is fun.
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