Low Light Techniques

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Low Light Techniques

Post by Browning 35 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:57 pm

I had some interest in this topic, so I figured I'd start this thread.

It's the continuation of a discussion in this thread...http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... &start=576
Browning35 wrote:
doc66 wrote:The idea behind momentary light is to illuminate the target without drawing fire to your own position. Light is two fold; it acts to illuminate the target and also to momentarily disorient your target. It is also double edged; it gives your position away and reduces your own ability to see. When you use the light, you flash and move. In that flash you see what you need to and move to the followup position where you engage the target which hopefully has been disabled by your flash. What you don't want to see is a big white light bouncing its way down range; it's like waving a big red flag with flares and cheerleaders.

You don't actually use the light when shooting, you flash the target to identify it, and then move and engage with the light off.
Wouldn't flashing the light in darkness and then turning it off to move to a new position screw up your night vision as well?

Not as much (because you're not having the light shine directly in your eyes), but some.

If you shine the light using the momentary switch on something that needs shooting (intruder or some other assailant) wouldn't putting rounds on target and putting them down, releasing the momentary switch so that you aren't making yourself a lit up target and THEN moving to a new position (hopefully behind cover) be a better course of action?

(Just curious as to the benefits because I've never heard anyone advocate doing it this way)

I wouldn't just turn on the light and leave it on, bouncing towards cover with the light on kinda defeats some of the purpose of moving.
Last edited by Browning 35 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Mr. E. Monkey wrote:
Evan the Diplomat wrote:Why do you want to shoot penguins? What did they ever do to you?
It's that smug, superior attitude of theirs, strutting around in their fancy outfits like they're better than everyone else. Yeah, burn in hell, you snobbish bird bastards.

And don't get me started on pandas!

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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by Browning 35 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:59 pm

doc66 wrote:Sure, you can leave the light on.

But, with the flash and move, you have gotten off line so that your target can not identify you by the light of your own flash. Your own light can be used against you as easily as you can use it to your advantage. Just because you are laying rounds in his direction, doesn't mean that you are making disabling hits that will put them out of the picture. They might be able to use that light as a beacon to put rounds in your direction. A light tends to freeze targets for a moment--think about the deer--and by using the flash and move, you have hopefully frozen them long enough to move and shoot, getting away from where they can return fire on you should you miss; the hard truth is that statistically, you will miss.

We also must assume that there is more than one threat. Just because you see one target in the light of your flash, doesn't mean that there aren't two. It's like putting rounds down range; if it deserves one round, it deserves three. If there is one threat, assume that there are more. I'd rather be a live ass (get it? Ass-u-me) than a wounded or dead one. Getting away from where you were last seen lessens the chance that the targets wingman is able to use the light you are flashing to their advantage. Always get off line. Always be moving, Always be looking for the next threat.

We always like to assume that we will be the ones shooting and putting rounds down range with accuracy. Movies, our own mindset, our training, what have you, puts us in the mind of being the Winner, and that is good. But, we must also remember that we live in a 360 degree world, rounds can go both ways, and that there are more threats than what we can see and maybe handle. Movement is one way to keep alive. We train movement in all our classes, and the flash and move holds to our mantra. Even from behind cover, we train people to move behind that cover. We also like to think that we are the only ones training; I recently read a study of police shootings and the shooters spent more time practicing that the officer they shot. On many cases, they fired their weapons at least once a week, one guy interviewed shot his daily. You never know the conditioning of the guy on the other end of your barrel.

Okay, that's getting away from the flash and move a bit, but, the principle is that by moving we are never where we were last seen or where we are expected to be. If we move after the flash, we stand a better chance of survival.
I'm not sure if you get what I mean.

I didn't mean leave the light on.

I meant more...
  • See threat
  • Flash threat
  • Shoot threat (or at least make a very decent stab at it...you're right, it is possible that you might miss)
  • Let go of momentary switch/turn light off
  • Move towards cover
  • Keep scanning for additional threats
Instead of...(what I think you're saying)..
  • See threat
  • Flash threat
  • Move to cover
  • Once arriving at cover shoot threat (hopefully hitting them) while hoping that the threat is still disoriented
  • Keep scanning for additional threats
Is that what you're saying?

I get the part about not automatically assuming that you're going to hit, to shoot more than once and to automatically figure that they've got buddies, it's just that you've already got the threat in your sights, you've flashed him/her, hopefully they're disoriented...so why wait? Why not take your shots now?

I dunno, just having a hard time wrapping my mind around it.
Vicarious_Lee wrote:That's how they taught us.

Illuminate to identify, shut the light off, move away from where the threat knows you are while back in the dark, then shoot threat. Sounds more complicated than Illuminate to identify and shoot threat, but I guess with that light on the threat has a pretty visible, stationary target to fire back at while he's getting shot.
Dave_M wrote:We should start a separate threat for low-light usage.

It's not just for threats.
Mr. E. Monkey wrote:
Evan the Diplomat wrote:Why do you want to shoot penguins? What did they ever do to you?
It's that smug, superior attitude of theirs, strutting around in their fancy outfits like they're better than everyone else. Yeah, burn in hell, you snobbish bird bastards.

And don't get me started on pandas!

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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by MacWa77ace » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:16 pm

Browning 35 wrote:I'm not sure if you get what I mean.

I didn't mean leave the light on.

I meant more...
  • See threat
  • Flash threat
  • Shoot threat (or at least make a very decent stab at it...you're right, it is possible that you might miss)
  • Let go of momentary switch/turn light off
  • Move towards cover
  • Keep scanning for additional threats
Instead of...(what I think you're saying)..
  • See threat
  • Flash threat
  • Move to cover
  • Once arriving at cover shoot threat (hopefully hitting them) while hoping that the threat is still disoriented
  • Keep scanning for additional threats
Is that what you're saying?

I get the part about not automatically assuming that you're going to hit, to shoot more than once and to automatically figure that they've got buddies, it's just that you've already got the threat in your sights, you've flashed him/her, hopefully they're disoriented...so why wait? Why not take your shots now?

I dunno, just having a hard time wrapping my mind around it.
Don't all you guys mean...
See the threat, shoot the threat.
Can't see the threat in low light, flash in the perceived direction of the threat....
[and of course you've already determined that there is a deadly threat at your 12 and there are no friendlies in that direction.]

You're not saying to flash it if you can already see it in low light, right?

And then don't leave it on longer than a moment to find the threat, if you don't see the threat with the initial flash. Move, then flash again.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by Browning 35 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:28 pm

That's what I meant and that's what I've always thought to be the correct answer to be, but apparently there's another school of thought on the matter.
Mr. E. Monkey wrote:
Evan the Diplomat wrote:Why do you want to shoot penguins? What did they ever do to you?
It's that smug, superior attitude of theirs, strutting around in their fancy outfits like they're better than everyone else. Yeah, burn in hell, you snobbish bird bastards.

And don't get me started on pandas!

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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by MacWa77ace » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:30 pm

Browning 35 wrote:Wouldn't flashing the light in darkness and then turning it off to move to a new position screw up your night vision as well?

Not as much (because you're not having the light shine directly in your eyes), but some.
If nite vision is more important than binocular vision for the situation I'll keep one eye closed [non dominant] to maintain night vision in at least one eye when using flashlights. Or if you have to go from dark area to a lighted area and want to maintain full nite vision in one eye. Sort of works like using a NV monocular, once you turn out the flashlight and then open both eyes. I also blink that one eye closed when momenterally flashing a light.

Another low light technique when patrolling is not to look at any one spot but keep your eyes slowly panning. Each eye has a blindspot that is compensated for by your brain during the day, but at night you could miss something if it is in your blindspots. By keeping the blindspots moving you're less likely to miss something.

EDIT: Red lights on flashlights help you see at night and don't damage your established NV too much. I use those everynite practically. Red light can't be seen from far away unless you shine it directly at the target, also it doesn't illuminate very far either, maybe 50 ft.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:34 pm

Match it up with your OODA cycle

Observe: maybe light on, maybe listen, smell, etc
Orient: move if you lit, get where you need to be based on what you saw/know
Decide: did something need shooting?
Act: might be shoot, might be move and check the next room
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by Fr33M@s0n » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:31 pm

Good thread, now I am going to throw my question on here. I completely understand the tac advantage of flash shoot move, someone explain to me the use of the strobe that most, if not all, of our lights feature. I know LEOs and SWAT use strobe when breaching at night, but that's when they have 6-10 officers on their rear all shooting in the same direction and moving fast. Is there a use for the strobe for one man clearing his house during a perceived break-in?

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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by Murph » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:50 pm

Fr33M@s0n wrote:Good thread, now I am going to throw my question on here. ... Is there a use for the strobe for one man clearing his house during a perceived break-in?
Sure... If used properly. However that involves: proper timing of light use, movement of the light, movement of yourself, proper alignment of your weapon, reducing your level of exposure to multiple angles, maximize your depth, knowing when to move fast (or slow), and so on. But wait, it gets better... You have to be able to do all that simultaneously, and possibly under fire. That's why trying to clear a structure solo is an incredibly dangerous thing to do.

There's no magic weapon or tool that makes it safe. But if you want a reason (or excuse) to buy a fancy flashlight, see the first word of this reply.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:26 pm

I am not saying a strobe has no merit, but the gun world is full of worthless shit marketed as the next great thing.

Low light is easy to work out. Turn off your lights and play hide and seek with a buddy. After a couple of turns each, add air soft to the mix. See what works and what doesn't against some trying to defeat you.

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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by doc66 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:03 am

Strobes are instantly negated with the use of a good flashlight. One of the exercises I would do with my department is to turn on the strobes of the car and have everyone shoot with just strobes. The complaints were that the targets seemed to move, the officers would get momentary confusion when shooting multiple targets, they couldn't concentrate on sights, etc. The use of a white light stops the strobe effect and that flash picture allows for the target to be seen as a "solid" object.

We can't assume that we are the only ones with a flashlight. Prepare like the BG is as qualified as you are; or more so. Prepare your mindset to cope with every contingency, not just the jerk who broke into Greg Focker's home, but also Dave_M looking for cigarettes at two AM.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by Murph » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:05 am

doc66 wrote:Strobes are instantly negated with the use of a good flashlight. One of the exercises I would do with my department is to turn on the strobes of the car and have everyone shoot with just strobes. The complaints were that the targets seemed to move, the officers would get momentary confusion when shooting multiple targets, they couldn't concentrate on sights, etc. The use of a white light stops the strobe effect and that flash picture allows for the target to be seen as a "solid" object.
I'm not sure it's a fair comparison of a single handheld momentary activited strobe flashlight to a multiple light source high intensity light bar.

Not to mention I can't fit a patrol car in my living room. :wink:
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:21 am

Having shot with a jackass next to me using a strobe on a decently lit range, it was a pain in the dick. I wasn't seeing the target jump, so much as watching my pistol appear to run like a maniac over the target. It was difficult to focus on the sights, and TBH kind of made my head hurt. Like, "doing algebra" hurt.

If you;re going for disorientation, then invest in a class on proper norse battlecries instead.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by phil_in_cs » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:22 am

phil_in_cs wrote:I am not saying a strobe has no merit, but the gun world is full of worthless shit marketed as the next great thing.

Low light is easy to work out. Turn off your lights and play hide and seek with a buddy. After a couple of turns each, add air soft to the mix. See what works and what doesn't against some trying to defeat you.
I got a PM that I was unclear. What I mean is go try this stuff out; test what you're reading. Doc is laying down solid advice, but like most skills you must experience this.

Do you believe that getting a 100 lumen light in your eyes will dazzle you into not being able to shoot back? That's easy enough to test. Get in dark room for 15 minutes so your eyes adjust, and have your buddy shine the light in your face. Try to shoot him with your airsoft and see how well you do.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by Browning 35 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:23 am

So Doc66....what's the idea behind Flash-Identify-Move to cover-Then shoot ... rather than... Flash-Identify-Shoot-Move to cover or shoot While moving to cover?

I'm just clarifying as I'm interested. Whenever you took your initial instruction in low light shooting were you told the reasoning behind doing it this way?

Also wouldn't doing it this way depend on what cover is available? Say you're in your living room with very little cover available besides a thin sheet-rock door jam or a sofa from Sears? I wouldn't want to count on those stopping much of anything.

Is it because even if your rounds are on target and you hit the intruder/BG/robber/whatever they're not guaranteed to stop?
Mr. E. Monkey wrote:
Evan the Diplomat wrote:Why do you want to shoot penguins? What did they ever do to you?
It's that smug, superior attitude of theirs, strutting around in their fancy outfits like they're better than everyone else. Yeah, burn in hell, you snobbish bird bastards.

And don't get me started on pandas!

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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by Chris@MTCT » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:09 am

Browning 35 wrote:So Doc66....what's the idea behind Flash-Identify-Move to cover-Then shoot ... rather than... Flash-Identify-Shoot-Move to cover or shoot While moving to cover?
Your adding too much thought into the process. This is all done in less then a few seconds. Ill let Doc explaine more but here's a quick and dirty.

Milcopp: Flash on, ID, flash off, move and shoot
Lights on for a fraction of a second you get off the line of fire, Your not moving 30 feet to a solid piece of cover.

Defoor: Flash on ID Shoot move flash off ,all together it possible.

Lights on for a fraction of a second the same fraction of a second your engaging the target and moving

Room clearing ops in combat : Enter flash on scan for threats flash off, rinse repeat as necessary.

Lights on for a few seconds but multiple lights from different angles is confusing to a mofo at 2am.

I dislike white light use at all, unless I cant see shit because of lack of ambient light. White light is bad in my previous line of work and was only used to measured amounts while clearing for PID and or not kicking babies.

A combination of any of these techniques is g2g, Biggest thing is MOVING and not keeping the light on for longer then you absolutely have too.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by MaconCJ7 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:27 am

phil_in_cs wrote:
Do you believe that getting a 100 lumen light in your eyes will dazzle you into not being able to shoot back? That's easy enough to test. Get in dark room for 15 minutes so your eyes adjust, and have your buddy shine the light in your face. Try to shoot him with your airsoft and see how well you do.
I think this is the point of most confusion. Lights on the market are bright as hell and are uncomfortable to look at, blinding even. But, people are thinking of this rationally. Yeah, you shine a light in my face, I will look away, or put an object between me and the light. I don't enjoy being uncomfortable. Now, if I were a BG that broke into your house, knowing that you and your family are there, I'm likely not in a rational state of mind. If you shine a light in my face, I will start firing blindly in that direction. Why? Because I broke into your house with the intent of causing harm. I no longer have the element of surprise and you're an asshole shining a light in my face.

So, flash your light, identify what you need to identify, move away from where you had your light on. My preference is to flash a light, and move while my mind is processing everything I just saw. Practice low/no light stuff. It's free to try, just wait for the sun to go down. You will see everything you need to with a flash so quick that all you did was tap the button. Your mind will process everything just as quickly. Your next location will already be in your thoughts, so your mind will clear that location whether you realize it or not.

Pretend to be the BG and have your other half do some light shining. Learn how their position is given away, as well as the progress they make as they move. In a dark house, a bright light reflects around corners very well.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by doc66 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:35 am

MaconCJ7 wrote:I think this is the point of most confusion. Lights on the market are bright as hell and are uncomfortable to look at, blinding even. But, people are thinking of this rationally. Yeah, you shine a light in my face, I will look away, or put an object between me and the light. I don't enjoy being uncomfortable. Now, if I were a BG that broke into your house, knowing that you and your family are there, I'm likely not in a rational state of mind. If you shine a light in my face, I will start firing blindly in that direction. Why? Because I broke into your house with the intent of causing harm. I no longer have the element of surprise and you're an asshole shining a light in my face.

So, flash your light, identify what you need to identify, move away from where you had your light on. My preference is to flash a light, and move while my mind is processing everything I just saw. Practice low/no light stuff. It's free to try, just wait for the sun to go down. You will see everything you need to with a flash so quick that all you did was tap the button. Your mind will process everything just as quickly. Your next location will already be in your thoughts, so your mind will clear that location whether you realize it or not.

Pretend to be the BG and have your other half do some light shining. Learn how their position is given away, as well as the progress they make as they move. In a dark house, a bright light reflects around corners very well.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by MacWa77ace » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:56 pm

phil_in_cs wrote:
phil_in_cs wrote:I am not saying a strobe has no merit, but the gun world is full of worthless shit marketed as the next great thing.

Low light is easy to work out. Turn off your lights and play hide and seek with a buddy. After a couple of turns each, add air soft to the mix. See what works and what doesn't against some trying to defeat you.
I got a PM that I was unclear. What I mean is go try this stuff out; test what you're reading. Doc is laying down solid advice, but like most skills you must experience this.

Do you believe that getting a 100 lumen light in your eyes will dazzle you into not being able to shoot back? That's easy enough to test. Get in dark room for 15 minutes so your eyes adjust, and have your buddy shine the light in your face. Try to shoot him with your airsoft and see how well you do.

100% agree, try it, and its just as important is to train against the tactical light so you know what it looks like on the other end, what works and what doesn't. [airsofts do work for that. BTDT] You can even use mirrors if you don't have any friends. :(

100% of the people I know who use tactical lights use either a weapon mounted light or the Roger's technique, which to me means that the light source they're throwing is in line with their head and upper torso if its shined directly at you. Isn't that a weakness in both techniques? So with that percentage, if a tactical light is used against me by a threat then the center of the light would be the target, and that's thinking pretty rationally MaconCJ7. FWIW that's why I don't mount my lights, I've practiced both, but I don't really use lights that way.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by MaconCJ7 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:08 pm

MacWa77ace wrote: 100% of the people I know who use tactical lights use either a weapon mounted light or the Roger's technique, which to me means that the light source they're throwing is in line with their head and upper torso if its shined directly at you. Isn't that a weakness in both techniques? So with that percentage, if a tactical light is used against me by a threat then the center of the light would be the target, and that's thinking pretty rationally MaconCJ7. FWIW that's why I don't mount my lights, I've practiced both, but I don't really use lights that way.
That's very rational, that's why you flash, then move. If a light is flashed at me, that would be where I throw bullets. Flashing then moving is not a guarantee against getting shot, it's simply an aid to limit exposure.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by phil_in_cs » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:15 pm

Harries is common, neck index less so, and some have success with FBI. It is more important to get the concepts and process down and use techniques to accomplish that, than to pick a technique to drive your process.

The light draws the incoming fire. Neck Index became an unpopular choice pretty quickly when we started FOF.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by Browning 35 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:41 pm

gravediggerfour wrote:
Browning 35 wrote:So Doc66....what's the idea behind Flash-Identify-Move to cover-Then shoot ... rather than... Flash-Identify-Shoot-Move to cover or shoot While moving to cover?
Your adding too much thought into the process. This is all done in less then a few seconds. Ill let Doc explaine more but here's a quick and dirty.

Milcopp: Flash on, ID, flash off, move and shoot
Lights on for a fraction of a second you get off the line of fire, Your not moving 30 feet to a solid piece of cover.

Defoor: Flash on ID Shoot move flash off ,all together it possible.

Lights on for a fraction of a second the same fraction of a second your engaging the target and moving

Room clearing ops in combat : Enter flash on scan for threats flash off, rinse repeat as necessary.

Lights on for a few seconds but multiple lights from different angles is confusing to a mofo at 2am.

I dislike white light use at all, unless I cant see shit because of lack of ambient light. White light is bad in my previous line of work and was only used to measured amounts while clearing for PID and or not kicking babies.

A combination of any of these techniques is g2g, Biggest thing is MOVING and not keeping the light on for longer then you absolutely have too.
Okay. Sometimes I tend to over-think stuff. I guess I was just thinking that the moving to cover part would take too long and that the situation might change too rapidly and then you might not get the same chance. Also wasn't envisioning cover being within a couple paces.

Guess I've just heard of the Defoor Method (never heard it called that though) of doing this rather than the Milcopp Method of doing this.

Yeah, I hear you about not wanting to use the light at all or using it very sparingly. Only way I've ever used a flashlight is checking out noises ('Honey, did you hear that?'). Even then I don't usually actually turn it on. I've had a flashlight on my bedside table for as long as I can remember, but I've only used it a handful of times. Most of the times it just turned out to be my brother-in-law. We were helping him out for a bit by letting him live with us, he just used the time as an opportunity to party. Kicked him out a few months back. He was always coming in late.

Only ever actually turned out to be something once, a homeless guy who I think was squatting in the house that we had just bought and had just moved into (We found a bunch of clothes, deodorant and toothpaste in a bag that morning when we moved in, so we just put the stuff on the back porch). My dog took off after him after my wife heard the noise and I went to check it out and opened the back door. Was kinda shocked that this guy was standing in my backyard. He got back over the fence right before Oscar slammed into it and that was it. I had my pistol and flashlight in my hands, but he didn't have anything in his and I wasn't going to shoot him for hopping my back fence, dude probably thought that it was still vacant.
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Chris@MTCT
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by Chris@MTCT » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:54 pm

[quote="Browning 35Guess I've just heard of the Defoor Method (never heard it called that though) of doing this rather than the Milcopp Method of doing this.
[/quote]

I ment it as the method that Kyle Defoor teachs in the low light part of his class not as the "defoor" method. My bad.
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by MacWa77ace » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:08 pm

phil_in_cs wrote:Harries is common, neck index less so, and some have success with FBI. *snip* Neck Index became an unpopular choice pretty quickly when we started FOF.
:?: Can you elaborate?
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Re: Low Light Techniques

Post by Murph » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:20 pm

MacWa77ace wrote:
phil_in_cs wrote:Harries is common, neck index less so, and some have success with FBI. *snip* Neck Index became an unpopular choice pretty quickly when we started FOF.
:?: Can you elaborate?
There's a picture I'm trying to find of two flashlights that had the lenses shattered by airsoft. If you go off the idea that light draws fire, then you're putting a nice big target right next to or in front of your head. Getting shot in the face is generally bad news.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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