In our September issue, we ran two articles on low-light tactics and techniques for self-defense. The first, by Gunsite Rangemaster Ed Head, covers use of a hand-held flashlight in conjunction with a firearm. The second, by Bryce M. Towsley, focused primarily on how the Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor Championships competition serves as a great way to train for low-light scenarios. In Towsley's article, however, he emphatically declares his support for using a weaponlight (a light attached to the firearm) over a separate, hand-held flashlight.
Why would we run these seemingly contradictory viewpoints within a single issue? Because both authors make valid points, and ultimately there is no single solution that is correct for every shooter or every scenario.
While weaponlights can be a fantastic tool in your self-defense kit, they require very specific training to ensure you do not muzzle anything you don't want to shoot. At the same time, hand-held lights also require a good deal of training and safety remains the number-one priority. When carrying concealed, it might be easier to rely upon a hand-held light, because there are many more holster options. Your bedside handgun, however, might be better equipped with a weaponlight, since it is most likely to be needed at night.
In either of these scenarios, knowing how to use the selected light type is vital, and that is why we presented both options in the magazine. Do you think this is overly confusing, or should we stick with providing multiple training and tactics combinations, even when they contradict each other? Let us know.