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My earliest rookie training included the already mentioned “FBI technique” of holding the flashlight away from your body to keep from being the primary target. Back then we almost always shot with one hand anyhow so it wasn’t an issue.

Much later when two hand holds became common there were several techniques proposed and there was something to be said for having support for the gun. When Surefire came out with a really bright, little flashlight life got even easier and it was then only a matter of time before folks found a way to hang them on guns. Plastic pistols made that easier still because it was no big deal to add a rail.

A few years ago I went to the Surefire Institute and learned all sorts of neat flashlight stuff but none of it involved lights on the gun and a lot of it was back to shooting with one hand. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that the world doesn’t run around in circles…

I still have mixed feelings about lights mounted on guns- especially in law enforcement because just seeing what’s going on could involve pointing guns at things that might not need shooting. Some agencies get real anal if you take the gun out of the holster and make you fill out “use of force forms” if you even think about it…

One idea that I liked was to have a separate carrier on the belt for the weapon light so it’s there if needed but I’d still carry a big flashlight because they are such handy clubs.

On the home front it’s not such an issue because if you have reason to grab a gun at night it is going to be either a room clearing exercise or the use of deadly force is probably already justified.

Hopefully Mr. Marlowe can bring us up to speed on current training doctrine.
 

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Nothing says you can't have 2 lights. Even though my nightstand gun has a light mounted on it, I keep a flashlight on the nightstand, too.
 

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I would almost rather have a good high intensity flashlight and a stick than a handgun and no light. The utility of zapping someone in the face with a 60 (+) lumen flashlight when their eyes are adjusted to the dark is amazing. :thumbsup:

I'm not sure what the local PDs are teaching. I do know the SC LEO Academy is still doing the flashlight in one hand, pistol in the other POI. One of the cop shops I go to is selling the weapons light compatible duty holsters on a frequent basis.

FWIW, my house handgun is a steel frame S&W 5906 with a SureFire light. All that weight makes a nice low recoil combination. Booya Sam had the right idea with his Beretta...
 

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Al Thompson said:
FWIW, my house handgun is a steel frame S&W 5906 with a SureFire light. All that weight makes a nice low recoil combination.
Sounds like my fantasy combo. Did your 5906 come with a rail, or did you have to bolt one on somehow?
 

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Our sheriffs office recently switched to the 4th gen G22 with a TLR-1s light as the duty weapon, and everyone seems to love it. Having another light on hand (most guys in the SO already carried two or more) is reassuring, and makes shooting in the dark much easier. The concern of using your weapon as a flashlight is valid, but training can put that down quickly.

If you're looking at a "tactical" light (gun-mounted or otherwise) I strongly recommend getting one with the strobe function. The first time I was on the receiving end of my TLR-1s (shining into a mirror) I was shocked at how completely disoriented I was and I wouldn't have been able to effectively shoot at anyone holding it. The FBI wanding technique with a handheld light is essentially replaced by the strobe, to greater effect in my opinion.
 

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Snake45 said:
Al Thompson said:
FWIW, my house handgun is a steel frame S&W 5906 with a SureFire light. All that weight makes a nice low recoil combination.
Sounds like my fantasy combo. Did your 5906 come with a rail, or did you have to bolt one on somehow?
I haven't seen Al's setup, but SureFire has made weapon lights for pistols with no rails. I've got an old 3v Surefire for standard M1911 pistols. It had a replacement slidestop with a separate cross-pin. Once pushed though the slidestop, frame, and barrel link, the cross-pin then screwed into one side of the mount. A setscrew in the bottom of the mount then pushed against the trigger guard to press the rest of mount up tight against the dust cover. Alas, my version has an undersized cross-pin compared to a typical slidestop pin. Sloppy barrel lockup in a Delta Elite can get far too exciting.
 

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I've played with weapon-mounted lights on both a Glock 31 and a Kimber RLII. I can certainly see their advantage in a SWAT type entry situation. I personally don't like them as a"permanent" accessory to a duty firearm, mainly for the reason stated by Charlie. I think (know!) that some guys will yank their pistol and use the weapons mounted light in situations that don't call for a firearm. Yeah, training should cancel that out, but it's not always the case.

Carrying both a weapons light and a flashlight is one answer, but that presents some logistical problems. Once the light is mounted, should the need arise to holster the pistol, you'd have to remove and store the light, or always use a holster that would accommodate the light.

And in a smaller, less well paid department like mine, guys have a hard time coming up with 2 or 3 hundred for a weapons light and 100 to 150 for a flashlight, plus the carriers and holsters. Might seem crass to inject money into the equation, but it is a factor.

I personally use a Surefire Z-3 Combat Light I got about 7 years ago. In plainclothes, I can slip it into my pocket. I find myself using the the old FBI method most of time when deploying both the light and my weapon.
 

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Charlie Petty said:
My earliest rookie training included the already mentioned "FBI technique" of holding the flashlight away from your body to keep from being the primary target. Back then we almost always shot with one hand anyhow so it wasn't an issue.

Much later when two hand holds became common there were several techniques proposed and there was something to be said for having support for the gun. When Surefire came out with a really bright, little flashlight life got even easier and it was then only a matter of time before folks found a way to hang them on guns. Plastic pistols made that easier still because it was no big deal to add a rail.

A few years ago I went to the Surefire Institute and learned all sorts of neat flashlight stuff but none of it involved lights on the gun and a lot of it was back to shooting with one hand. Don't ever let anyone tell you that the world doesn't run around in circles…

I still have mixed feelings about lights mounted on guns- especially in law enforcement because just seeing what's going on could involve pointing guns at things that might not need shooting. Some agencies get real anal if you take the gun out of the holster and make you fill out "use of force forms" if you even think about it…

One idea that I liked was to have a separate carrier on the belt for the weapon light so it's there if needed but I'd still carry a big flashlight because they are such handy clubs.

On the home front it's not such an issue because if you have reason to grab a gun at night it is going to be either a room clearing exercise or the use of deadly force is probably already justified.

Hopefully Mr. Marlowe can bring us up to speed on current training doctrine.
Well Charlie, Here Goes:

First let me jump to "Al Thompson's" remark: "I would almost rather have a good high intensity flashlight and a stick than a handgun and no light." and relate it to a (paraphrased) statement from my friend Ralph Mroz, who once said something along the lines of "If I see someone carrying a gun who is not carrying a light source, I am concerned about their ability to carry the gun."

Me, I just tell people that in this day and age, there is no reason to not have a light source of some kind with you at all times: either on the gun or on or about your person.

So accepting that fact (or condition), where should it go?
As to current training doctrine, unfortunately, I think things are all over the map.

I really do like the idea of fixing the light to the gun. But I must say that I am not completely taken with the way they are currently mounted. And that's coming from someone who is one of the inventors of a currently popular and patented design! And while things have gotten a lot better in recent years, I am also not overwhelmed with the way such lights are operated. Their switching leaves a lot to be desired. Finally, there are issues regarding the holsters that accommodate light-bearing handguns. For while "Duty Holsters" do exist for such guns (as "Al Thompson" so correctly points out), for the most part, they do not offer the same higher levels of retention (there are exceptions) as available in non-light-accommodating models.

Let's break this down a bit.

White light devices (as opposed to Lasers) are generally mounted under the barrel of the gun in the dust cover area of the frame. Thankfully, the rails (that I don't care for visually but that's another story) have allowed us to do away with the gargantuan bolt-on mounts of the past. And the current crop of LED's has allowed light outputs to soar. So much so, that the light itself can now be used as a "weapon" of sorts although at this point, I would describe such blinding/dazzling devices (whether they strobe or not) as "tools" and not weapons if I were asked to label them. That "term" might change in the future.

But the battery packs and the reflectors (or in some cases "optics") necessary to reach the performance levels that people are beginning to take for granted require what is still something of a large housing assembly that must be placed along the centerline of the gun (bore). And such positioning all but forbids (again there are exceptions) the use of the kind of trigger guard-engaging retention systems that have become commonplace (and in many cases preferred) in law enforcement and certain civilian circles today.

My belief is that as both LED and battery technology continues to advance, the forward facing (reflected) light source will ultimately be placed within the recoil spring guide and then all of the bulk and holster issues will go away. As a sidenote and something we can discuss separately in the future is also my belief that this is something that probably could have been done by now if people were willing to live with lower-but-still-sensible power outputs and weren't looking for flashlights that can double as plasma cutters.

And once a light-equipped firearm can be placed into any holster (holsters that will take non-light-bearing guns as well), I believe that such internal lighting will become commonplace. For I believe that it is this situation that is really holding things back in regard to gun-mounted lighting becoming the norm; especially in personal defense and law enforcement applications.

Next, I still think there needs to be a better way to operate the light. Looking at the underbarrel modules themselves, there are conventional momentary switches, on/off switches and multi-position switches that are mounted to them and that are used to control what it is the light does or doesn't do. There are also remote, pressure or "tape" switches that are wired to the light, which can be adhered to other locations on the gun to control at least some of these functions. And as the functions became greater in number (on, off, high, low, strobe, etc.) or more complex (variable dimming for example), newer switching formats have become common where depending how many times they are pressed (actually: "tapped") different things happen (or happen in a different order).

So I think we have several issues going on here.

While I am fully in favor of advancing technology and in giving someone as many options as possible so that they can find which one might best suit their needs, I almost think that here, we are giving them too many. Or at least too many to wade thru under stress. Some of the lights out there can be preprogrammed to do whatever is necessary. But not all of them work that way. Some require that your selections be made on the spot. And I have some serious misgivings about those that require the user to "switch-their-way-thru" or, more likely, "tap-their-way-thru" the various options before they get to the one that they really need at the same time they are bringing the gun to bear in a deadly force situation. Sometimes, I think our concern for the user allows us to create good tools for them but sometimes I think we give little thought as to how they will actually perform with such tools once we give them to them.

Even overlooking that performance issue, if we merely look at things from a mechanical/ergonomic viewpoint, operating the switches (regardless of how they function), whether they are mounted on the light or placed somewhere on the gun, also leaves something to be desired at this point in time. Depending on hand and finger size, "reaching" the switches on the light body can be difficult for some people. It can also affect the shooting grip (if operated with one hand). And for some people, it might actually require the use of a second hand, which can be problematic if the idea of mounting the light on the gun in the first place was to "free up" the second hand (as in the case of a bunker carrier or a dog handler in police applications or of someone turning doorknobs and latches at home in civilian ones). Currently, I believe that frame mounted pressure switches aren't much better for they usually require some alteration to the shooting grip to operate them properly and/or to avoid leaving the light on when it isn't needed or is unwise to employ.

My belief here is that once the light becomes integral to the gun, a proximity switching system might become possible. I know a company that experimented with that concept years ago but the technology wasn't far enough along to fully support it at the time. But in the meantime, I think that some sort of thumb operated horizontal (already offered by at least one manufacturer) or vertical momentary switch would make the most sense. That way, only one hand would be necessary and the shooting grip would not necessarily be disturbed during activation. While I think a vertical orientation might be better ergonomically, it could pose problems in regard to both trigger access by the non-dominant index finger and overall ambidextrous operation. There is still a lot of work to do in this regard.

There is also a lot to do in regard to employing the light tactically and this too, is both a linked and a freestanding topic as it relates to what we are discussing here today.

In my lectures, I really hammer on the negative influences regarding television and the movies. Lighting and lasers (Something to be discussed some other time?) are among the biggest issues. People almost always leave the lights "on" ("on camera") and while I am sure there might be some occasion where this could be helpful (a non-dangerous search perhaps; I've been in enough fires to know the value of a good flashlight), when the light is attached to the gun, this not only leads to other issues as Charlie touched on in his opening comments ("…seeing what's going on could involve pointing guns at things that might not need shooting."), but it is not real life.

My wish for a momentary (only) switch can help limit (not eliminate) the officer's tendency to "search" with the gun as can training and a Departmental General Order insisting that in addition to the light on the gun, the officer must also carry a handheld design for use at all times when the gun is not warranted. But such a rule within the agency can also create a "circular" issue. For if you are requiring the use of a handheld light for general purposes (meaning that oft times the light will be just that, "handheld", at a point when the firearm might become necessary), then why not just employ it along with the gun and forgo the light on the gun altogether? Especially when perhaps your only other option would be to holster the light, draw the weapon, and activate the light that's on it. That's asking a lot of anybody who is facing the stress of a situation that is requiring him or her to employ a firearm.

Charlie, among others, has also suggested the use of "…a separate carrier on the belt for the weapon light so it's there if needed…" and as both an instructor and a contributor to the design of one of the more popular such belt-borne platforms, I think that there is some merit to the concept. Especially, because as a side benefit, it somewhat (not entirely) solves the problem of needing a different or special holster for the gun with the light attached. However, depending on the design and function of the device, you could be asking a lot of the officer to draw the light, draw the gun, mount the light to the gun and deal with the threat. Then, you could be asking even more of them, if after the even more stressful event of having fired the weapon, they must disassemble the two components and individually resecure them to the belt.

So while "gun lights" have come a long way in a relatively short period of time (the past twenty-some years) and I really do believe they have their place in many applications, I am thinking that with all the shortcomings I have described just by hitting the high points here (there are still a lot more things to be said), maybe we should look to the handheld light for most situations.

I recently drafted an article for someone where I mentioned that the first police-type flashlight I used back in the '70's more closely resembled an aluminum baseball bat than it did a lighting instrument. Over time, the technology allowed me to get more light out of smaller packages and the last police-type flashlight I actually used for work was only a fraction of that size. Today, things are even smaller and often made from a resilient polymer instead of a lawsuit-inviting metal. As a liability conscious trainer, I'm afraid that I must disagree with the suggestion to "carry a big flashlight because they are such handy clubs" for while I certainly understand they can serve well in that role, I think that somewhat smaller ones can be employed very effectively not as a billy but as a striking device much in the manner of an oversized Kubotan® or a Monadnock Persuader™.

But I also believe that the size of even some of today's "police" flashlights (the widely used and well-respected Streamlight® PolyStinger® for example is only about 7½" in length) can be improved upon for personal use. If you still want to be able to use the light as some sort of impact weapon, that same company makes a blinding miniaturized handheld (their Stylus Pro®) that is about 5 5/16" long and only about 5/8" in diameter. I carry their MicroStream®, which is only 3½" long and about 5/8" in diameter. It clips to my pocket like a knife but takes up even less room and it fits within the width of my hand when used. Its push-button (momentary and on/off) tail cap allows me to use it with a number of accepted and long proven gunfighting flashlight techniques.

As a civilian these days, I think carrying such a light on my non-dominant side, allows me to illuminate my way in the dark at home, thru a power failure in a hotel while traveling and in just about any other occasion I can think of. And because I have become used to always employing it with that hand, it in no way interferes with my possibly having to draw or produce a firearm as I would under any other circumstance. All this goes back to my friend Ralph's remark about the need to always have the light with you and being able to employ it seamlessly with whatever you are doing at the time.

As to the techniques people use these days, they are many and a lot of them have almost become "traditional" by now. Light bodies are available to facilitate syringe grip techniques. Some people still bring the fronts/faces/palms of their hands together and head-mounted switching or adjustable angle "heads" facilitate that. And many people, either due to simplicity, limited range of motion physically, or only a limited amount of time to practice and become/continue to be proficient, still prefer techniques that employ the kind of tailcap mounted momentary switches that I tend to like.

The biggest issues today (besides the need to practice, practice, practice) tend to revolve around the design of the light and how it and one's own personal habits can get you into trouble.

I already mentioned how television and the movies misrepresent the use of tactical lighting and one of the most glaring (sorry) but I am sure interesting to "watch" programs (by the untrained anyway), was the X-Files. Routinely, they not only left gun-mounted lights "on" but generally, all the lights they used (gun-mounted and handheld) featured lenses/bezels that all but glowed when the lamps were illuminated. This looked great on TV: shafts of brilliant white light slashing thru generally hazy rooms like light sabers. But generally those beams traced right back to their source and even at those times when there wasn't enough in the air to create that (in real life, dangerous) effect, the glowing ring around the end of the device itself would give the user away to anybody nearby who was either off to the side or behind.

Yet those lights weren't modified for TV, they were one of the more popular brands at the time.

So not only must you be careful for "mechanical" things like that (flaws in the design of the light itself) but as light outputs are increasing but sometimes beam quality and dispersion characteristics are not, it is way too easy to have an awful lot of light reflecting back off of things and onto you. This bounceback can not only unintentionally illuminate you but it can also easily mess up your vision in much the same way such gun-mounted and handheld lights are being used to mess up the vision of others.

It can happen in many ways but one of easiest to describe here is when rolling out from behind cover to look and/or take a shot. Following good procedure, you are behind and some distance away from the covering object. You move to the side, exposing the muzzle of the gun and its sights. You blip the light to illuminate the area downrange and while some of the light goes that way as expected, if the diameter of the beam is too large (or perhaps larger than expected), part of it (not that portion that follows your line of sight thru your sights) will reflect off the back side (your side) of the barrier possibly illuminating you and possibly affecting your low light vision. With some of the extremely high outputs that some of these lights provide, such reflection issues can actually result from the interaction downrange as well. And that can happen in any situation; with or without the barrier. This was not a problem with most of the lights from our past.

Finally Charlie, we should probably talk strobing separately. I agree with some of what "Maggot" has to say and as you know, I was very much involved in this concept when it first appeared in some of the more sophisticated hand and gun mounted lights. I think it can have great applications in Law Enforcement but I think its use for civilian defense should be discussed in depth when we have more time. The needs, the situations and the legal aspects are all different there and need more than just a cursory once-over here.

And in closing, I'd also like to leave the door open on beam shapes and configurations. Work in that area can eliminate the overspill issues I mentioned above. They can also can create a more uniform light within the entire projected (covered) space. The spaces themselves, can be tailored for specific shapes and/or sizes. And depending on how things work (there are competing technologies here), a conventional head can be designed to project more than one shape or configuration. Bushnell is offering one of their lights with this technology. It offers a single square beam that that projects as a "block" of amazingly uniform white light.

And that idea of "white" light too needs to be addressed, as there are perceivable differences in how we "see" colors within light projected from the LED's discussed here and those we see under the more traditional incandescent (bulb-type) lamps that us "old folks" are used to. Work has been done by some people to filter their "colder" (harsher) and sometimes bluish-white light in order to more closely resemble the "warmer" (and familiar) colors most people raised with the earlier and more conventional forms of handheld lighting remember. While I think that over time, most people will just get used to (adjust to) the new "colors" as they got used to mercury and sodium vapor municipal lighting, the real potential value of such filtering efforts for law enforcement purposes should be the greater similarities between (or parallels to) the way colors appear under sunlight (natural light) and the light projected by such devices.

Whew! I hope you find this interesting. And just remember Charlie, you asked me to chime in here! Hope things have been good with you.
 

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Mr. Marlowe certainly brought up some good points both pro and con concerning both gun-mounted and handheld lights. The momentary switch being one of them. Another reason why I like my 3D Maglite, it has a momentary switch function which I use exclusively when things go bump in the night Which brings up another, I think, pertinent question. When I use the momentary switch it does have a Strobe effect. Now, while I have the beam focused as narrow as possible and always have newish batteries and a good Krypton bulb, I do keep my dominent eye closed when I use it so as to not destroy my night-vision for shooting if need be. I also have a Surefire Executive Elite I carry constantly, this is the light I worry about, it's brightness well surpasses my maglite and it worries me about losing vision even with the eye closed that I rarely use it.

Question; What, if anything, can be done to protect your vision in low-light/no-light situations? Blinding the intruder does no good if you're blinded also.

BTW, I have tried to develope some sort of practice in employing the surefire as a weapon. I believe the Scalloped lens is made for that. But, there is little information out there that might guide one in this.
 

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Snake, the SureFire is a bolt on. I upgraded the bulb and reflector to get good illum.

flashlights that can double as plasma cutters
:thumbsup: I'll buy three when they are available! :mrgreen:

protect your vision?
It has not been a problem in the dozen or so times I popped someone. FWIW, my default position is the neck point for some reason. Flash and move, flash and move seems to work well.
 

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We had two officers that tried the separate gun flashlight combo (separate holsters for each and put them together and take them apart as needed). It didn't work very well. One officer carried it for almost four months before he gave it up. The other officer for even less time. Both spent well over $100 just for the gun holster. The light and light holster were also very expensive. Another officer carried a light mounted on his duty pistol. He stuck with that for almost a year then gave up the package as being too bulky. In all three cases the officers spent quite a lot of money on something that they eventually decided not to use. I carry an old Springfield Champion (no rails, no whistles or bells, ect.). I looked into getting Champion/Combat Commander sized gun with rails and a light, but gave up as I didn't have the approximately $1500 needed. When I win the lottery, I'll chime back in with some personal experience. On duty, I usually have three flashlights on me (sometimes four or five). I carry a Surefire 6P, G2, AAA maglight, key chain light, department issue Streamlight, and an LED booklight attached to my ticket book. I need to gain weight since my belt is not big enough around to carry everything I want to carry!

As a side note, the only use I've found for lasers is to torment cats . . . :roll:
 

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P. Marlowe;
I, too, use the Streamlight Microstream. You wrote that its switch is a momentary one.
In case you haven't experimented with it, were you to push the switch in a little deeper (by pushing on it harder) you will find that the light then stays on until you press the switch a second time.

You also mention that there are times when your cover will reflect light back at you, making sighting difficult and perhaps even briefly destroying your night vision.
If you are right-handed and attempting to fire from the right side of your cover, using the Harries technique may place your light in a less self-destructive position. The Harries technique would place your light outboard of your pistol, relative to your cover.
(What one would do from the left side? I dunno-maybe use the separated-hands, light at far left method?)
 

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Steve M1911A1 said:
(What one would do from the left side? I dunno-maybe use the separated-hands, light at far left method?)
There are some left sided techniques, the Rogers/Surefire/Syringe/Cigar technique & the Chapman technique among them.
 

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That's correct; the sinister types can use Harries around the left side of barricades... but then they have to use something different around the right side.
 

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V-Man said:
We had two officers that tried the separate gun flashlight combo (separate holsters for each and put them together and take them apart as needed). It didn't work very well. One officer carried it for almost four months before he gave it up. The other officer for even less time. Both spent well over $100 just for the gun holster. The light and light holster were also very expensive. Another officer carried a light mounted on his duty pistol. He stuck with that for almost a year then gave up the package as being too bulky. In all three cases the officers spent quite a lot of money on something that they eventually decided not to use. I carry an old Springfield Champion (no rails, no whistles or bells, ect.). I looked into getting Champion/Combat Commander sized gun with rails and a light, but gave up as I didn't have the approximately $1500 needed. When I win the lottery, I'll chime back in with some personal experience. On duty, I usually have three flashlights on me (sometimes four or five). I carry a Surefire 6P, G2, AAA maglight, key chain light, department issue Streamlight, and an LED booklight attached to my ticket book. I need to gain weight since my belt is not big enough around to carry everything I want to carry!

As a side note, the only use I've found for lasers is to torment cats . . . :roll:
Please forgive me for the delayed response. But besides the usual stuff, I have a few other matters that are keeping me occupied at present.

I am not surprised at the comments from "V-Man". While I'm proud to say that I contributed to the design of one of the more popular gun-mounted-light belt platforms, and I do believe such a thing has its place, as I said in my first posting within this thread, I think that you are asking officers to do a lot to both assemble and disassemble the two components (and then re-stow them) every time they need to employ them and many times during periods of increased stress. Some people will just grow tired of the process and obviously, some people will have difficulty in mastering it. I don't think either officer can be faulted for giving up on it. In fact, I give them a lot of credit for trying it out to see if it was for them.

And while gun mounted lights have come down a lot in size (and at the same time they have increased in terms or light output and overall performance), they are still "big" and, depending on the model chosen, perhaps even clumsy when in place. Again, in many applications and for many people, this is not a problem. But even though versions like BLACKHAWK!'s Xiphos NT (which, for the sake of discloser, I was involved with several years ago) are getting smaller and more streamlined (and no, that's not a play on words), as I stated in that first post, I really don't think that until such lights become even less bulky and more likely, integral to the gun, will they become widely popular.

Finally and for the record, even though I am no longer on the job, just in my typical wandering-around-through-civilian-life existence these days, I carry a Streamlight® Microstream® clipped to my pocket or waistband, a Streamlight Nanolight® attached to my key ring, and a Photon Micro-Light® hooked to my car keys.

Steve M1911A1 said:
P. Marlowe;
I, too, use the Streamlight Microstream. You wrote that its switch is a momentary one.
In case you haven't experimented with it, were you to push the switch in a little deeper (by pushing on it harder) you will find that the light then stays on until you press the switch a second time.

You also mention that there are times when your cover will reflect light back at you, making sighting difficult and perhaps even briefly destroying your night vision.
If you are right-handed and attempting to fire from the right side of your cover, using the Harries technique may place your light in a less self-destructive position. The Harries technique would place your light outboard of your pistol, relative to your cover.
(What one would do from the left side? I dunno-maybe use the separated-hands, light at far left method?)
"Steve M1911A1", I don't want to sound nit-picking or argumentative (and any confusion might well be due to my inability to express myself clearly) but in regard to the Streamlight Microstream, what I said was: "Its push-button (momentary and on/off) tail cap allows me to use it with a number of accepted and long proven gunfighting flashlight techniques." I do realize that it has both the capability of working in both "momentary" and (separately) "on/off" modes.

And while not stated at all, one of those techniques it allows me to use is the Harries.

The problem even with it, however, is that with some of the larger, more intense and broad-beamed lights out there (two separate characteristics by the way), if the often larger-than-traditionally-found-beam-diameter (especially now that most of the better lights are uniformly bright out to the edge and they no longer taper down in intensity as one moves away from the center) is allowed to strike and reflect off of cover (which it can if you are tactically positioned away and behind it and not alongside and upon it), the problem I mentioned can still occur.

In fact, and I don't like calling attention to specific techniques when it is not necessary, had I detailed it or called it by name, it would have been the Harries' that I would have been using in my previously posted description had I intended it to be a right sided/right handed example only: "It can happen in many ways but one of easiest to describe here is when rolling out from behind cover to look and/or take a shot. Following good procedure, you are behind and some distance away from the covering object. You move to the side, exposing the muzzle of the gun and its sights. You blip the light to illuminate the area downrange…". For that way, the light as described would have been to the outboard side of the covering surface; hopefully minimizing the chance for this happening.

[Note also that this can be a real problem with gun-mounted lights where the light would not be "outboard" to the side but would be in line with bore in regard to the vertical centerline of the bore. A wide beam in this case cannot be shunted "over" to keep this from happening for it is (obviously) not just tied to the bore but to the sights themselves. It creates a true dilemma: for in trying to NOT reach out too far with gun (exposing both it and you), the chances for the wider-than-the-bore-line/sight-line- beam to catch the backside of the covering object become greater.]

I like the Harries Technique. It's not the most current or en vogue way to use a light but it works for me and I am comfortable with it. Maybe I'm just getting old.

But even if that's true (me getting old and set in my ways), I still think that we should look at new things and study their merits and applicability and one of the things that I only mentioned in passing in that first post (adjustable angle 'heads' to facilitate certain techniques) is something that I think needs to be really looked at more closely.

Traditional straight bodied flashlights with in-line heads can allow for a number of different employment techniques depending on the type and location of the switch (momentary, momentary and on/off, on/off only; found on the head, body, or tailcap). But from an ergonomic and performance standpoint, the gripping surfaces of our hands run in more of a vertical than horizontal manner when we extend our arms in front of us. So if we just "held" a straight-bodied, in-line head lamp in one of our hands with our arm pointed forward, any light projected by the device would not necessarily strike what it is our eyes are focusing upon. An angular or better yet, an adjustable head flashlight would perform differently and, perhaps, better.

While the military has long used angle head flashlights (more likely for other reasons altogether), some of the lights recently produced either for them or actually per their request, take this concept to new heights and I think that they should be looked upon for possible use in LE and personal defense circles as well.

The Streamlight Sidewinder®, the First?Light USA®'s Tomahawk™ and Liberator®, and even others like the Energizer® Hard Case® Professional® and Hard Case Tactical® lights all bear serious consideration and study to see if their angular, adjustable and, in some cases, dogleg styling can help improve employment under stress.

Just a thought.
 

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One of the major issues with the separate holsters for weapon light & weapon, as well as the separate hand light & weapon is that both assume that you will have unlimited use of 2 hands to deal with the various parts.

This is one of the great advantages of the weapon mounted light & dedicated holster. One hand can (if need be) access, the weapons system, operate the light and stow the whole system if necessary.
 

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In my previous post, I was more trying to point out the costs that the officers incurred while trying out the different systems. My department doesn't pay for anything except our vests. All other expenses are out of our pockets. This is primarily what has kept me from trying out the various light systems. If I ever win the lottery; then I'll be a "premier" tester!!
 
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