View Full Version : Which Flashlight technique?

GLP Standard
April 12, 2006, 02:50 PM
Just wondering which flashlight technique everyone uses? Harries, Modified Harries, Ayoob, Chapman or Pucket?

April 12, 2006, 03:15 PM
I don't know WHY I should be surprised that there are "flashlight techniques" named after people... after all.. :rolleyes:

I don't know what these techniques are or what they entail. I have two tactical white-lights, a Surefire G2 and a Surefire Scout, and use them as such:

The Scout - which is a mounted system for a carbine - is always mounted (I put the actuator on the front grip) and usually used in a "strobing" manner in low/no light situations. Light on, sweep, light off, and repeat in a different direction from a different angle - all while moving.

The G2 - a handheld with a tailswitch - is held in the weak hand in reverse grip either at the shoulder or crossed under my shooting hand as a platform if I have the pistol out. The same "strobing" technique applies.

You got a name for those? :)

April 12, 2006, 03:30 PM
had a hard time voting since the modified Harries that i was taught and used is somewhat similar to ayoobs

Half-Price Assassin
April 12, 2006, 03:43 PM
i hate to admit i dont know those flash light techniques. i own two combat handgun books (authurs are E. Lawrence, and M. Ayoob), maybe i need to brush up on it. for me, i use a the GLOCK tactical Light and laser, it cost me alot, but now i can just slide it on my G22, and not have to worry about it, and i can still use my pistol and light with one hand if needed.

April 12, 2006, 03:47 PM

Charles S
April 12, 2006, 04:01 PM
I did not vote. I practice all of the above and a few you did not mention.

A night combat class was very helpful in showing me the strengths and weakness of all of the above mentioned techniques.

Flashlight styles are tools to be used for individual situations, there is no prefect style, there is no tool that will work in every situation.

I highly recommend professional training if you carry a weapon at night. The course will be very enlightening, and you will quickly learn there are a lot of myths regarding fighting at night that are taught as truths.


April 12, 2006, 04:30 PM
Flashlight 'techniques'. Well I'll be darned. Thats rich. 'Techniques'. wow

April 12, 2006, 04:37 PM
I also could not vote for the very reasons Charles S mentioned.

Ditto Charles!

PPCLI 2 can.
April 12, 2006, 05:22 PM
which one is the tactic where you hold it in your mouth?:rolleyes:
that is the one i use

Tim Burke
April 12, 2006, 08:46 PM
Like Erick, I have a strong side technique (Harries) a weak side technique (Rogers variant) and occasionally use the jaw index. What is the Puckett?

April 12, 2006, 09:17 PM
The Floating Light

Some of you may have recognized that I am into fluid transitions between skillsets that are dependent upon the situation. I do not see these transitions as being overly complicated or complex. To me, they fit into the KISS principle, but more importantly, they cover all of my bases. Keeping it simple is important, but I see being being well rounded and versatile as being just as important.

My basic concept for the flashlight is the versatility of what I call the floating light. I really do not have a default flashlight technique. My technique is all situationaly dependent. The positions that I use flows from one to another seamlessly, giving me the best tool to use on each job.

The positions that are incorperated into my system are the FBI, modified FBI, neck index, centerline index, and the Harries. They all have there place and I transition through them as situations arise. I tend to keep my handgun in a one handed compressed ready. This gives me good retention and a position that I can fire from immediately.

I like the the FBI and it's modified positions due to the fact that a light source is a bullet magnent. These techniques keep the light source away from the body. If someone is to shoot at the light the chances of a solid hit are reduced dramatically. I really like this for searching, while incorporating "wanding and strobing."

Wanding is a search technique that incorporates the "light on/light off/move" principle with splashes of random, arching, light strokes. The random strokes give enough light to see an area to manuver through or to identify a threat. The strokes also make it harder for an adversary to determine your position or your direction if they do not have a visual on you already. Wanding works best in large areas.

Strobing is random, quick, bursts of light that is manipulated in both direction and angle. Strobing is best used when you are approaching a corner or a doorway that must be taken. The concept of strobing is to use the bursts in a random pattern that makes it impossible for the adversary to know where you are or where you are going. If done correctly you can "take" the corner or make entry into the door in a manner that is much more unpredictable by your adversary. If you use the old light on/light off/move without wanding and strobing, you are telegraphing your position and your movement.


GLP Standard
April 12, 2006, 09:26 PM
What is the Puckett?

Hold the flashlight in your weak hand with your thumb on the tail of it (if you have a tactical tail switch) Hold your weapon in your strong hand straight out, with your eyes lined up with the sights. Your flashlight (weak hand) is held up to the side of your head, right by your eye, illuminating both your sights and your target at the same time. The idea behind this, is that if you dont have night sights, it makes it a lot easier to line your sights up opposed to using the Harries, Modified Harries, etc... where your sights are completely dark, and all you can see is your target.

Some might not like this technique, and im not sure many people have heard about it, and I didnt think I would like it at first, but its what I used to qualify, and I like it a little better than the Harries. I like the Harries because of the extra support it gives your strong hand, I like the Puckett because of the fact that it helps illuminate the sights a great deal

GLP Standard
April 13, 2006, 01:12 AM
Where did the name SFI (Sure Fire Institute) come from? Ive never heard of the Puckett before the other day, and the guy who showed it to us was the guy who owns Sure Fire Protection Services. Just wondering if the two are related. I doubt it, but its a weird coincidence either way.

April 13, 2006, 07:23 AM
Neck/jaw index.

April 13, 2006, 07:28 AM
I practice both the Harries and Rogers methods.

April 13, 2006, 08:55 AM
What's the one called where you have a 75 lb dog on your left hand and handgun in the right?

April 13, 2006, 10:04 AM
I never knew there were different techniques to use a flashlight. Anybody got a link to somewhere that has information on these different techniques?

Denny Hansen
April 13, 2006, 10:23 AM
I did not vote for the same reasons given earlier. I often use four techniques depending on circumstances.

For example, the Harries works great for me most of the time and is great for rolling out from a right hand corner. Rolling out to the left just enough to expose the weapon, however, and the light will bounce back off the corner and blind you. This is for a right-handed shooter; reverse the problem for a Southpaw. Different tactical problem, different technique.


April 13, 2006, 07:57 PM
Fight at Night by Andy Stanford (Paladin Press) is a good book for those who would like to learn some of the different flashlight techniques. Taking some low light classes would be even better but for 15-20 bucks the book is pretty good.



TexiCali Slim
April 13, 2006, 09:04 PM
My technique is simple, if I am in danger and all I have is my Mag Light, I'll pound the BG's head untill he see's "Tweety Birds!".
If anyone is interested in my class I will teach it at 3 different locations.
1) Scaring me while I am Camping.
2) Sneaking up on me while I am walking on a trail.
3) Threataning me in a road rage situation.
:rolleyes: :D ;)

April 13, 2006, 09:20 PM
I don't know. I hold it in my weak hand,back of hands together with flach light on top. (5 cell mag with led bulb). What would that be?

GLP Standard
April 13, 2006, 11:44 PM
^If your weak hand is brought under your strong hand, and its held next to the gun, that would be the harries

April 15, 2006, 10:53 AM
Modified Harries

But I need it for only one situation. If I were to need more options I could learn more techniques.

April 17, 2006, 12:56 AM
neck index

Para Bellum
April 17, 2006, 04:14 AM
works best for me the brain-side-shifting problem didn't occur to me. But I practice a lot and compete in international contests. If you don't practice a lot, crossing hands can become a problem because your brain "corrects" it and the impulse to turn on/off the light might lead to triggering a shot.

Barry in IN
April 17, 2006, 02:26 PM
The best thing I've learned about light usage in classes that included a "night shoot" is to practice several techniques.

I checked "Harries", because it's my first preference, but I'll use whatever suits the occasion. Whether I like them or not, I now practice a few techniques.

I found the Harries "fits" me better of the techniques I've tried, because it best points the light beam where my sights are pointed. Most others require some adjustment of my light hold.

But the Harries is more fatiguing if done properly for a long time, it is a hinderance if I would have to shoot around cover that's on my strong side (light would shine into the wall), and doesn't work well with Iso stance.

If I have to switch, I'll usually try to switch to a hold that I don't know if it has a name. I hold the light in the weak hand with the lens on the thumb side of my hand; then I'll press the tailcap switch back against my strong hand's knuckles (holding the gun) to activate the switch.
If that doesn't work, then it's the "cigar hold".
Then the "neck index".

Something interesting I saw in the last class I attended-
There were a couple of shooters who found that their chosen technique didn't work because they couldn't see. For some optical reason, if the beam came from the wrong direction, they "lost" the sights and/or the target. When they changed the hold, they were fine. One found he could only use a light if he held it on top of his head and let it shine down and forward.
Strange things. But a good reason to train- so we find these things ahead of time.

April 17, 2006, 07:18 PM
Just because I carry, doesn't mean that i go out with a "Super Special Secret Batman Utility Belt. The pistol is the extra load, not my pocket knife and cell phone.

When I did carry a flash, it was a whopper maglite and I used Harries.