It goes without saying that one should have positive identification of a target before engaging with a firearm. It also goes without saying that the controlled environment of a gun range affords optimal illumination and targets that are by default safe to perforate in surroundings that provide a safe back stop and so on.
Running with the Shadows of the Night
The third truism posits that in the “real world,” lighting conditions will often be less than optimal. This is where the low light and flashlight lessons in PSTC’s PST 103: Advanced Defensive Handgun course come in.
Let There Be More Light
While low light and flashlight use isn’t necessarily a new topic, as they were covered in PST 102, I was introduced to a couple of new flashlight techniques as well as got practice working with cover while holding both pistol and flashlight.
We learned and got to try out the Harries and (modified) Ayoob techniques, the former being something you see quite a bit on TV and film where folks run around somewhere dark with a gun and light. The latter was modified to accommodate an “ice pick” grip on the flashlight in contrast to the original “sword” grip so that one’s thumb can operate the end-mounted light switch.
We practiced both techniques in addition to the “FBI” and “head index” grips that we learned in PST 102. While neither Harries or mod-Ayoob provide the same stability of a two-handed grip, I found them to be definitely more stable than the single-handed approach. I think the “two to the body, one to the head” drill illustrated in the above photo demonstrates that.
Under Cover of the Niiiiight
Here we see Gabe demonstrating the Harries grip while leaning right from cover.
And next, using the mod-Ayoob while leaning left.
Element of Light
Marksmanship in the “real world” has to deal with a truckload of factors that do not exist in a typical range visit. Light, or the lack thereof, is a critical element in responsible defensive gun use, so learning and practicing techniques to mitigate the dark is absolutely essential.