WML (Weapon Mounted Light) or handheld or both? It’s a common topic of discussion among those who go heeled. A couple of days ago Aaron Haskins of Twin Cities-based Acuto Training Concepts addressing this very thing.
There’s an ongoing debate in the defensive firearms community about whether one should carry a handheld flashlight, just use a weapon-mounted light (WML), or maybe even both. I want to take a look at this question from a risk management perspective.
In risk management analysis, one of the key questions in assessing the value of a given strategy is “What problem does this help me solve?” In the world of applied violence, there are three different problem sets in which one may want a flashlight.
The first is by far the most common: it’s dark and you need a flashlight to do some mundane task, no gun required. It doesn’t make sense to draw your gun to use the WML in this case — for obvious reasons, a handheld makes the most sense here.
The second is the least common: it’s dark and you’re hunting known bad guys. This is a common situation for law enforcement, military, armed security, and anyone else whose job tasks them with confronting known threats in low light environments. Here, it makes perfect sense to have a WML, as you’re expecting to engage a known threat and the light serves primarily to illuminate the target; a handheld flashlight in the weak hand reduces your ability to engage the threat accurately by forcing you to…[b]ut this is a near-zero probability event for a civilian self-defense problem…
The third…can be considered the “potential threat” environment: it’s dark and you may or may not have to apply violence to protect yourself, but there is no certain threat. In this case, you need a light to search for and positively identify those potential threats versus non-threats.
If in public, the gun should always remain in the holster until you’re certain it’s needed. If in your own home, it should remain at a low ready position until you positively identify a threat and make the conscious decision to engage. It is critical to identify friend or foe before aiming the gun at the target…
Read Handheld or Weapon-Mounted Lights? That is the Question on the Acuto Training Concepts website.
Is reading Breach-Bang-Clear worth at least $1 month to you? That’s not even a lapdance! Consider backing us!
What is Patreon? It’s a crowdfunding platform. Breach-Bang-Clear readers pledge from $1 to $50 a month to “House Morningwood” (our Game of Thrones house, complete with sigil!), to help us with expenses. We, in turn, give our supporters unique content, membership to a closed discussion group, and access to the “Morningwood Bazaar“, which is basically helluva lot of unique discount codes (up to 60%) to numerous manufacturers and retailers. “Bend the knee” to House Morningwood and help us cover costs. Rise Before Dawn!
If you wish to cite, syndicate, or curate our material, or if you’re wondering about our please be so kind as to read our Terms, Conditions, and Disclosures.
Take heed! We have advertisers, sponsors, and affiliate relationships with some of the companies you will be reading about (particularly, but not limited to, archival posts). If you purchase one of those items, we will get a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to you. A lot of work goes into Breach-Bang-Clear; by making your purchase through one of our portals you’ll be supporting our work. This will help us buy beer, bullets, and barbecue, and we won’t have to put pop-up ads and other such stupid shit into our articles to pay our expenses.