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weapon-mounted light technique

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by SCMtns, Aug 6, 2008.

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  1. SCMtns

    SCMtns Member

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    Just bought a Streamlight TLR-1 for my Glock 21SF. After years of reading pros and cons (esp in comparison to using a flashlight in the off hand) I finally took the plunge and got one for HD.

    I live in the woods, with lots of wildlife and other people's animals roaming free, crawling around under my house, jumping off the deck railing, etc. If I got up to investigate every sound outside, I'd never get any sleep. However, those times I have heard something loud enough from the direction of my truck and toolshed and have gone to investigate, it would have been very nice to have the weapon and light unified. That's why I got one, for all those of you that hate lights and the mall ninjas that buy 'em.

    Here's my question: what's the accepted technique for using these things?

    From what I've read in my searches on here, it seems most folks say you should illuminate only briefly, then shoot and move. Makes sense. Seems to me like the 1-2 in boxing: the jab (the light) finds the target, the straight right (the bullet) crashes through behind it, and then you move to a new angle and reset for another attack before getting tagged.

    So, on the TLR, do I use the trigger finger to activate the light, or do I use the index finger of my support hand (left)? I see disadvantages to either approach, the worst of which is that the "momentary on" position is downwards on the left side-- if I'm holding my finger in that area and fire, won't the muzzle flip knock my finger off the control? I haven't fired the weapon w/ the light attached yet-- probably this weekend. I just want to know what's worked for other users of the TLR and similar lights.

    I've been boxing and grappling and doing mma for 9 years, so I know intimately about the importance of not only having muscle memory but having also performed techniques under stress, w/high heart rate, pain, disorientation, tunnel vision, etc. If I'm gonna add a complication to my weapon, I want to master its use.

    Thanks to all of you for your help. Sorry for the long post. And don't let the low post-count fool you-- I've been a regular visitor to THR for years.
     
  2. FreeinAZ

    FreeinAZ Member

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    Im sure you figured this, but try both. See what you like better. I mash the trigger way to much when I illuminate with my trigger finger, then go to trigger. Off hand thumb works well for me, but obviously only in a two handed hold. For extended range sessions at night, this will tear up the thumb also. I currently use this from surefire (I am pretty sure streamlight makes one also)
    http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main...rfnbr/24360/X-Series-DG-Remote-Tailcap-Switch
    It also takes training with grip, but allows you to activate the light one handed, and still have trigger control. If you are not careful, you may activate the light inadvertently, which may not be helpful. Good luck
     
  3. YammyMonkey

    YammyMonkey Member

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    I run mine with the support hand thumb. Typically the on-look-off-move technique is the way to go. I would leave the light on while firing but- & this is a big but- you'll have to move to keep the light reflecting in the smoke from obscuring your view. In my opinion you should be moving anyway because if someone warrants getting shot then you need to make yourself as poor a target as possible. If you were to go on-look-off-shoot you would only know where the attacker was, not necessarily where he/she/it is.
     
  4. possum

    possum Member

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    light on shoot, light off, move, light on, shoot, light of move, repeat until desired results are achieved.
     
  5. Scoutsout2645

    Scoutsout2645 Member

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    It depends on what your anticipated threat is. If you're going out to handle a renegade raccoon or coyote ransacking your garbage, throw on the light, keep it on and simply keep a good 2 hand grip while you look for the offender.

    However, if you anticipate a more two legged threat, then the first question is whether you need to perform a movement to contact? (and there are plenty of opinions pro and con on that decision in this forum) If you do, I would agree with the offhand thumb technique as the best way to control the switch. Then either it's: light-on, no threat, light-off, move; or light-on, ID target, determine if deadly force is needed/legally allowed, shoot, light-off, move, light-on and re-assess threat.
     
  6. Bix

    Bix Member

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    Santa Cruz is not that far from Santa Clara. Here's how I would approach your problem:

    Sep 21 //1-Day Low-Light Defensive Handgun// Santa Clara, CA

    http://www.yfainc.com/schedule.html
     
  7. possum

    possum Member

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    Bix,
    good point, i think everyone that owns/carries/and /or is serious about the defense of thier life should take training and low light is no different as a matter of fact as it is a fact that the majority of defense encounters happen in low light conditions it makes perfect sense to get good solid training in the low light area.
     
  8. SCMtns

    SCMtns Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    thanks

    Thanks to all for the replies. I hadn't considered using the thumb of the off hand, but trying it just now (w/o firing) felt pretty natural. It's probably the first thing I'll try when I get to the range.

    And I agree about needing those classes you're referring to, Bix. I've even been to Reed's range a couple times while one of those classes was going on. I just started a better-paying job, so my main excuse for not seeking out firearms training-- not being able to afford it-- is slowly going away. I've heard nothing but good things about Yavapai's classes, and will probably take at least one of their classes in the near future.

    I do most of my shooting on federal lands, esp Nat'l Forests out in the Sierras. (Don't worry-- I pick up all my brass and trash, and sometimes others' as well.) That's probably where I'll have to go to really try this gun/light combo out at night. Doing anything remotely "tactical" will get you kicked out of Bay Area ranges faster than a Hillary Clinton t-shirt. You're not allowed to have a holster on the firing line, must leave 3 seconds between shots, etc.

    Anyway, thanks again, guys.
     
  9. sevin8nin

    sevin8nin Member

    Joined:
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    I use the thumb of my support hand to activate my TLR-1 and I practice that way, but I toggle down (momentary). On one of my railed guns the light is a little closer and this maneuver is easier, but on the other it's far away and rotating my support hand around is uncomfortable.

    I haven't practice one handed drills with the light, shame on me
     
  10. mpmarty

    mpmarty Member

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    I have regulated my mount for my TLR-1 so the beam center when tightly focused is the poi at fifteen yards. I practice by holding the weapon at arms length to the side with the wrist cocked so the gun points forward turn light on and leave it on, illuminate, identify, eliminate. That's I, I, E.
     
  11. mkonops

    mkonops Member

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    +1 Well put.
     
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