Many street cops currently mount a white light unit onto their handgun and keep it in place. Mounting the light allows you to maintain both hands on the gun while shooting, eliminating the need to have one hand holding the gun and one holding a light. When you operate in reduced or inconsistent light, you need a bright light to identify any threat before it can do you harm. The operative word here is identify. You must make identification before you take any direct action (i.e., shoot). But, since police officers must not point guns at just anything (they must be able to articulate a perceived threat), you can t use the gun-mounted light for every police function. Also, officers who do mount a light to their gun remain a minority, so the hand-held white-light source, commonly known as the flashlight, will remain a necessary piece of police gear for many years to come.
Shooting with a flashlight is difficult at best. If shooting with one hand were the most efficient way to accomplish the task, the technique would be used worldwide. The fact remains the gun is more stable when held with two hands, so numerous techniques have been developed for holding the handgun and light together. Some are better than others. You should select one or two of the simpler techniques and practice them regularly.
The problem: What do you do with the light when you need your support hand to perform some other function? Over the years, officers have tried a number of things, including putting the light between their teeth, under the arm, in the waistband, hip pocket and crook of the arm, between the cheek and shoulder, behind the knee and between the legs. All of these require a certain dexterity to accomplish, and tactically, well, they just won t hold up during a fight when mobility proves necessary.
A number of companies have developed light-retention devices to enable the officer to release their grip on their light without having to put it down or place it in a position where they will likely lose it. Most of these have involved some type of lanyard that attaches to the light and around the officer s wrist. The problem with this system is it takes considerable effort to get the light back into position once an officer drops it and lets it dangle.
A Device That Works
Recently I came across a product that enables officers to retain their flashlight while the support hand is otherwise occupied, and importantly, it allows them to achieve predictable re-positioning of the light by flipping it back into place with just a twist of their wrist. The Ultimate Retention Device (URD) from Section8 Tactical is basically a set of dual rubber loops: One goes around the body of the light, and the other goes around your index finger. You fit the device to your finger size by placing one of three plastic inserts inside the finger loop.
Once you attach the flashlight to the URD and slide it onto your off-hand index finger, you can use the light in a number of popular flashlight shooting techniques, such as the Harries or Roger s SureFire/syringe techniques, without loss of shooting skill. When you need the off-hand for other tasks, you flip the light over to the back of the hand with just a flick of your wrist. You then use this same wrist-flick motion to place the light back in a shooting position.
Over the last few months, I ve tested the URD extensively, with great success. With just a little practice, I got the hang of using it, and it s almost indestructible. The system is simple, effective and inexpensive. Hard to go wrong.
Section8 tactical Inc.
1251 NW Maynard Road #240
Cary, NC 27513