Friday Fundamentals 04 – Shooting With a Flashlight

This article originally appeared on  tacticalprofessor.  It appears here in its entirety with permission with the good professor’s permission. Mad Duo

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Friday Fundamentals 04 – Shooting With a Flashlight

As originally seen on tacticalprofessor.

Several Negative Outcomes were brought to my attention this week. One was yet another incident of someone shooting their spouse, thinking it was a burglar. She died as a result of one shot to the chest.

The husband told police it was an accident. He told officers he woke up around 4:15 Saturday morning and heard noises in his house … He told investigators he grabbed his gun and when he saw a light on and someone standing in the distance, he took a shot. He said the person he ended up hitting once in the chest was his wife.

This sad situation bolsters my contention that when we pick up a pistol at home, we have to pick up a flashlight at the same time. That’s why I made flashlight shooting an integral part of The Tactical Professor’s Pistol Practice Program. To get some repetitions in and reinforce the habit for myself, I went to the range this week and shot the entire NRA Defensive Pistol I marksmanship program using a flashlight.

As a curiosity, I also used a timer instead of going by the PAR times in the program. The pistol I used was a Beretta Jaguar in .22 Long Rifle. Many in the industry poo-poo the .22 as a defensive tool but .22s have worked for me. An aspect of .22s I like in the practice context is that shooting several hundred rounds in one session isn’t punishing, either physically or financially. I shot it at my gun club but the way Defensive Pistol I is structured, it can be shot at just about any indoor range. That’s an aspect of the program I really like.

What I did was to have my pistol, my flashlight, and the timer on a stool in front of me. The target was downrange at the specified seven yards.

The target was a B-27 with the NRA AP-1 8 ring and X ring marked on it with a template.

When the timer went off, I would pick up my pistol and flashlight simultaneously, assume the cheek position, and then shoot the specified string of fire. For the phases requiring loading the pistol on the clock, I picked up the pistol and magazine, loaded it, and then picked up the flashlight. After each string, I recorded my times. The NRA provides a scoresheet but it is set up for Pass/fail scoring, so I made my own scoring matrix.

I checked the target after each string to make sure that I had the required 100 percent hits. At the end of each phase; Pro-Marksman, Marksman, etc., I marked the target with blue dots to cover my hits.

For most of the program, I used the cheek technique.

The Expert and Distinguished Expert phases require shooting from behind cover. There weren’t any barricades readily available so I used the dueling tree in the bay to simulate cover.

The Expert phase requires shooting around both sides of the cover. When shooting around the left side, I continued to use the cheek technique. When shooting around the right side, I used the Harries technique.

The Distinguished Expert phase doesn’t specify shooting around both sides of the cover. However, it does requires eight runs instead of four, so I shot four around the right side and four around the left side.

I was able to maintain the 100 percent standard and got a good idea of my times to accomplish each Phase.

To finish off the day, I used the dots to create some eyes on the target. Then I shot a couple of groups at five yards.

Getting in relevant practice isn’t necessarily hard; it just requires a little creativity and forethought.

This article originally appeared on the Tactical Professor blog.

We hope you got something out of this article. If you’re looking for more fundamentals and critical thinking, visit the author’s home page at The Tactical Professor. While there take a few minutes to read through the Gunfights and Gunbattles section. Some great stuff in there. you can also find him on Facebook, /ATLFirearms/.



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“If you don’t own a rifle, you’re wrong. Doesn’t matter what caliber, even .22 Long Rifle such as a Marlin 60, own one. Have some basic idea of how to use it and practice periodically.” Claude Werner

We met up with Werner at the NRA Convention in Atlanta and asked him to smile.

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2 thoughts on “Friday Fundamentals 04 – Shooting With a Flashlight

  • Pingback: Low-Light Shooting Tactics and Self-Defense | Breach Bang Clear

  • July 24, 2017 at 9:11 am

    It’s not hard to find examples of residents shooting someone who belongs. In the darkness, woken from sleep it’s easy not to recognize a family member sneaking in or looking for a 3 AM snack. We tell people to always identify your target, but without a flashlight you’re giving up the stealth of hiding in the darkness. (Warning: shameless self-promotion )

    I like the idea of incorporating flash light in a training certification program, but I am perplexed about the value of training with a light in daylight. Having been trained and practiced in the daylight and darkness I would have to say training in the daylight has no significant advantage. You don’t get proficiency pointing or using the light in the daylight, you need enough darkness to have shadows.

    I like the use of .22lr, but would go so far that with airsoft you can close the garage door and work in the darkness to figure out how to do it. It’s not perfect, but unless you have access to a dark range it might be the best you can do.


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