If you currently use or plan to use a hand gun for your self-defense one of the most important things that you will need to do is find the perfect flashlight to go with it. The reason why adding a flashlight to your self-defense tools is so important is that in most self-defense situations you are going to be in total darkness or in some kind of low-level lighting. Numerous studies on self-defense situations have been done and they all find that over 70% of the situations take place in poor lighting. Perhaps it is because attackers like the element of surprise and the cover that darkness can give them.
So, now that we have convinced you how important it is to have a flashlight, let’s talk about using the flashlight in conjunction with our hand gun. The first thing you need to do is determine where you are going to place the flashlight. The most important thing to remember here is that you should always keep your flashlight in the same location. This way when you go to grab it in an emergency it is exactly where it should be. You can purchase different flashlights for different locations, such as one you can always carry with you and one to keep in your nightstand drawer. If you carry a flashlight with you, again always carry it in the same place.
One thing that many people do is purchase a light that can be mounted onto their handgun. Some people do this so they don’t have to worry about grabbing a flashlight, as well as their weapon, but no matter what your reason might be this is not recommended. Something to think about when it comes to a mounted light on a weapon is you are literally going to be pointing your gun at everything you shine your light on. The last thing most of us want to do is point a loaded gun at an innocent person, such as a kid sneaking into a house. We have all heard the accidental shooting stories on the news; the last thing we want is to be the cause of the story.
If you don’t think mounting a light on a handgun or any gun for that matter is a good idea you are going to have to learn different shooting techniques that allow you to hold the flashlight and the gun at the same time. What follows below is a list of the most popular shooting techniques and a brief description of how to use them.
Harries Method – This technique was created in 1970 by a Marine named Mike Harries. How this technique works is you pick up the flashlight with the hand you don’t shoot with. You want to hold the flashlight in what is termed the “ice pick” grip, think of holding a knife in a way that you can swing downward and stab somebody. Your thumb will be operating the switch on the tail cap. To use the light with the gun, bring the hand holding the light up until it is underneath your gun; place your hands back to back. The light should always be underneath the gun, at no time should the light go in front of your gun.
Chapman Method – This method is named after Ray Chapman, who won the first pistol championship. How this method works is your hold your light in a manner that you would hold a sword, your thumb and forefinger will provide most of the grip on the light. Once you have the light in hand, bring the light next to your gun, and wrap your last three fingers around your shooting hand. The downfall to this method is it is designed for lights that have the power switch on the side, not the tail cap.
Ayoob Method – Created by Massad Ayoob, this method is quite similar to the Chapman method. The only difference between the two techniques is with the Ayoob method you hold the light overhand and bring the thumbs together. This allows you to use the thumbs forward shooting grip, which is a preferred shooting technique.
Rogers Method – With this method, which was created by Bill Rogers, you simply hold your light between your index and middle fingers. Holding the light, you want to bring it alongside of your gun, so that your thumbs are touching. You then wrap your bottom two fingers around your shooting hand. Many people like this technique because it gives you the best two handed grip.
Neck Index Method – This method is quickly gaining popularity. Best part is it can be used with any size flashlight and it doesn’t matter where the operating switch is located. With this method you use the “ice pick” method for holding the light, but bring the light up next to your ear, you want it right between your cheek and jaw. This allows you to light up the room without the danger of pointing a loaded gun where the light is shining.