Friday, July 30, 2010

An empty spot now filled, a S&W K-22 has come home


When I was fifteen, I had a shooting buddy who owned a Smith and Wesson K-22. His dad would take us to 'camp', where there was a great range, and we would shoot all day long. That K-22 was kept smoking for hours on end.... and I learned to love that pistol. It was accurate, smooth, and seemed to want to shoot straight.

Now, I am no longer fifteen. Decades have passed.... yet I didn't forget that pistol, and I have held a place in the safe for where my own K-22 would one day live. I have come close many times, but something always seemed to get in the way. Money would fade away, the deal would fall through, or someone else would get there first. Life just worked out that way.

That is..... until this week. This week the planets aligned in just the right pattern, and something done right in a former life came back to haunt me. Out of the blue, an E-mail pops up; "I have inherited a Smith and Wesson K-22, and read on your blog that you wanted one.... and......". It took me a day to decide just how big a hammer to use while smashing my piggy bank, and what seemed forever to count the change. A trip to the bank, three hours of driving, some time spent talking with a decent guy, and suddenly all those years of waiting are over. I am now the owner of a Smith and Wesson K-22.

Meet the newest member of my family, born in 1956 and owned by one man all that time.... a Marine trained and dedicated shooter.... who kept this treasure in pristine condition.

There are many kinds of gun owners, just like many kinds of car owners. Some people own a rifle and a shotgun simply so they can hunt, and think little about the firearm itself. Others use weapons as tools of their trade, and instill no love in them, just respect. Then, there are those who see their firearms as something special in their life. A window into the past, a stable rock in the maelstrom of life, or perhaps the key to their liberty and duty. Some people, dare I say it, love their guns... at least some of them.

I know a man who has a special place in his heart for his 1970 GTO. It's been his since he was a boy, and that car carries much of his life history with it. He wouldn't part with it for the world, for it is a part of him.

Some gun owners are like that, with some of their guns. That .22 rifle, nothing special to anyone else's eyes, but to the man who owns it... priceless because it was given to him by his Grandfather. The old service revolver, holster worn but serviceable, more valuable than gold because a father carried it through a war and came home to pass it on.

Perhaps, something less dramatic makes a special gun what it is.... special. The way it fits, the seemingly inherent desire to shoot straight, or maybe the quality of it's crafting shining through the generations.

I have several firearms that fall into these categories... guns I'll never trade nor sell, but which will stay with me till the end, then to be passed to my sons. A Colt 1911, an old Topper 30.30, a Mauser from the 30's..... and now a Smith and Wesson K-22.

It was not even a day after this piece of the gunmakers art came into my hands that it was on the range. A few shots to set the sights to my eyes, and then a few hundred more while memories flooded the mind. This venerable old pistol could have been the same one I fired as a boy, for it has the same qualities. Easy to shoot well, to the point where it becomes a natural event. Of course the bullets will land where the shooter wills them to go.... how could it be any different? Firing from fifty feet, the holes magically appear so close to one another, although with frank honesty. Each errant breath, even the uncounted heart beats... all appear as part of the magic. The more the shooter invests of himself, the more the old Smith responds, revealing every layer of ability, concentration, and skill earned through the years. The pistol, so finely crafted, so perfectly tuned, that only the will of it's wielder shapes the bullets flight.

Smith & Wesson made many, many thousands of these pistols and still carries the basic model to this day, although none will judge the newly made revolvers to be the equal of their ancestors. No.... the era of this kind of quality has passed, now left solely to the custom shops and gunsmiths bench.

That empty spot in my gun safe is now filled, and a tiny little niche in my soul has been filled too. A piece of deeply blued steel, hand fitted by craftsmen long gone, and reminder of many, many good times of my youth.... has come to take it's place there.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How do you choose your gun store?

I've long thought of doing a series here on Carteach0, featuring local gun shops and their owners. I thought it would be interesting to read about how they started in the business, some of their experiences, and their thoughts on where their business is heading.

Today that notion came back to me after a visit to my 'favorite' store.... and I guess I have to re-think the plan a little. Driving along, all the local shops I've haunted came up for review..... and somehow most were found wanting in one way or another.

That brings forth a question: What do YOU look for when you choose a shop to do business with? What pleases you.... and what turns you away?

As for Carteach... perhaps it's a just a general negative nature, but the shops local to me are not shining at just this moment.

The closest (and I won't name any of these....) gun store is an interesting place that's been around a long, long time. It's on a main highway, and not more than ten minutes from the house. Their stock is light, but decent, with enough turnover to make stopping in every month or so of value. The thing is.... I am aware of a few instances where their moral judgment and mine differ... to put it gently. The owner of the store was quite proud to tell me how he had bought an original WWII Colt 1911 in it's original military holster and belt rig from an old timer who clearly didn't know what he had..... for 1/10th it's real value. He laughed when he related how the old guy had come in a few days later and tried to get it back. That... grated.... bad.

The next shop out... while a decent business and has always been a place to find unique mil-surps (finding a Johnson on the their rack is run of the mill!)..... has had a dwindling stock for months now, and seems to be winding down business. While stopping there on passing is certainly worth the time, I would be hesitant to put something on layaway, for fear the store front would be empty a week later.

Moving further from the secret Carteach0 headquarters cave, there is another shop which is darn well stocked in every sense of the word, but has usually given 'Ol Carteach a feeling of 'attitude'. Their used rack is thick with interesting long arms, and their pistol cases sport the latest and greatest right alongside some oldies but goodies. The back room is fully stocked with reloading gear and supplies, and that is a rare thing these days. That said, their prices are generally set above suggested retail. I suspect this may have something to do with the $200 shooting glasses the 'pistol expert' wears behind the counter, and the financing thereof. I've stood by while he told a new lady shooter she 'needed' a .357 snubby as a first pistol.... and bit my tongue bloody while keeping my mouth shut.

My (till now) favorite gun shop... about 25 minutes from home... is a nice place. Decent shop with a good stock, both new and used, and enough related gear to keep most people happy. It seems to be a family run place, and boasts a well equipped in-house gunsmith with an excellent reputation locally. The 'Smith has asked me to look at one of his custom rifles and write about it here on the blog, and I was inclined to do, and honored he asked. The thing is, I have been having some firearms shipped to and from their shop (so I can test/review them). Today on the way home, I added up what that has cost me... and realized I have dropped a significant chunk of change there on nothing more than 'fees', with nothing really to show for it. Now, I know they need to make money to stay in business, and I don't begrudge them that at all.... but maybe the stack-o-guns I have bought there in the past could have counted for something. I haven't an easy answer..... but am left with no real desire to hurry back soon.

There's other shops I can range to, and will, yet the questions come to mind.... and so I lay them before my learned and wise readers.

What do you look for in a gun shop? What experience tends to make you loyal to a business? What drives you away?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Defensive use of a tactical flashlight..... featuring the Blackhawk Gladius

And now, for something completely different. In this post, a followup to an earlier piece on tactical flashlights, we are going all-video. Not a good video, mind you, but it's what we have at the moment. Someday, we'll all look back and laugh.....

Part one:

Part two:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ammonia as cleaning solution?


Some days, 'Ol Carteach understands he exists solely as an example to others. On occasion, a good example, but more likely a bad one. This weekend was one of those times....

We were at the range shooting some old military boomers (7.62x54mm Mosins, if you must know), and on coming home they needed to be cleaned. Surplus military ammunition is typically quite corrosive, and a thorough cleaning is always in order.

This means pulling the bolt, naturally, and numerous trips through the bore with patch and brush. Windex to cut the corrosive salts, Hoppes to break loose the powder fouling, and Sweet's 7.62 to melt away the copper fouling. In between, a bronze brush to stir things up and let it know we were still interested.

As the pile of used and filthy patches grew, and grew, and grew..... there was plenty of time to consider other options. This thought went through the mind: "Hey, ammonia melts away copper fouling... and is also a good cleaning agent... and only costs like eight cents a gallon.... why don't I just fill the bore and let it soak a few minutes?".

Friends.... that became one of those times that Carteach takes the hit, and tries something for the team. My advice is simple....
don't do what I did. It took longer, made more of a mess, did a lousy job cleaning, and yes.... ammonia will strip stock finish very nicely, thank you.

I plugged the muzzle by simply tapping in a lead slug that was a few thousandths oversize to the bore. Sadly, I forgot that it was only the driving bands that were oversize, so it did leak a bit.

To pour the ammonia cleaner into the bore, I used a small powder funnel at the breech. This itself presented a problem, as the funnel blocked the view of the chamber, and whether or not it was full. Yes... I overfilled the bore, and yes... ammonia will soften and attack shellac, much like the hand rubbed shellac finish I had applied to this rifle's stock a few years ago.

(Not to worry, as a little alcohol and a brisk rub repaired the finish later....... Shellac can be wonderful stuff to work with.)

So.... with the bore full, and a very slow leak at the muzzle, the rifle was stood aside for a timed ten minutes. Then... more hilarity ensued. The lead slug refused to be pulled from the muzzle, and instead snapped off with the effort. That left only one choice, pushing it from the bore with a cleaning rod. Now... Archimedes was not a fool, and perhaps 'Ol Carteach should have paid closer attention to his teachings.

Dropping the cleaning rod down the barrel from the chamber end, physics took over as it always does. Dirty ammonia solution fountained from the rifle's barrel, and once again proceeded to rearrange the stock finish into new and interesting patterns. Knocking out the plug, the bore full drained, leaving behind...... a still dirty bore.

Okay, the fouling was softer and did clean out with fewer passes of the rod and brush, but all of Carteach's grand thoughts of "I'll just push all the nasty out in one swipe!" were a sham, and the whole operation ended up taking twice as long as a standard cleaning process.

There's are times when a full bore of cleaning solution may be the answer to a tough situation, or an application of electrolysis cleaning may be the way to go. That said... neither is worth doing for everyday cleaning.

Take it from 'Ol Carteach.... king of the bad examples.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wow..... Thanks Folks!

Sometime in the next week or two, Carteach0 will climb over 200,000 page views so far this year, and exceed 700,000 since the site came into being almost exactly four years ago.

The time-on-site stats are on the side bar, and those numbers astound me. It works out to about 1000 hours a month spent here reading.....And all I can say is..... thank you my friends.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Review: ISSC M22 .22 target pistol


In a previous article, we looked at the ISSC M22 standard version. In fact, we also ran it through a simple torture test to see how long it's little rimfire heart would keep beating in the face of abuse. Now, we get a chance to see the other offering in their lineup... the M22 target version.

What makes the target version different than the standard Glock-like M22? I am so glad you asked..... and we'll explore those differences now.

The ISSC target pistol offering is really nothing more than a standard M22 with a longer barrel, a forward barrel mounted shroud that relocates the front sight further out, and more impre
ssive... muzzle porting through the shroud. Other that that, it looks like a standard M22 frame and slide.

This is not to sneer.... the longer barrel and longer sight radius are classics in the recipe for making a pi
stol easier to shoot accurately. The muzzle porting, while not strictly necessary in a .22 rimfire, sure is a nice touch. In fact, if shooting a compensated Glock in competition is your joy, then this might be the rimfire training pistol for you.

The extended barrel (made by Walther) and it's shroud do add one chore to field stripping the weapon. Where a standard M22 tears down for cleaning in seconds without tools, the target version needs the barrel shroud removed first before the slide can be removed. This is done by loosening a set screw on the underside of the shroud, and sliding the finely machined shroud forward off the muzzle.

There was a concern with this, as the front sight is mounted on the shroud. Would removing the shroud to clean the pistol blow away the the sight settings? ISSC solved that issue by providing a very positive detent for the set screw to contact. It locates the shroud exactly back to it's original position on re-installation. That said, there is another issue. I'd expect some care must be taken to be gentle on tightening the set screw. Too loose, and the shroud will fall off. Too tight, and the set screw could strip. This might be a good case for owning a torque setting screwdriver like MidwayUSA sells.

While field stripping and examining the M22 target pistol, something interesting was noticed... a feature usually found only on more expensive pistols. The barrel and slide are serial numbered to the frame, and all carry what appear to be Austrian proof marks.

The M22 does have a failing... and that is a mediocre trigger pull. It's rough, heavy, and catchy. Perhaps this is not surprising in a pistol as inexpensive as the M22, but it does detract from the shooting experience.

Never one to leave well enough alone, 'Ol Carteach had to take it apart a little and see what can be done.

Lightening the trigger pull does not seem much of an option, as the pistol appears to use the mainspring in double duty on both hammer and sear. The gritty feeling, however seems to be perfectly workable. I didn't tear into this loner pistol and attack it with my trigger engagement stones (400, 600, and 800 grit square stones from Brownells), but I did apply several dabs of moly grease in strategic places. This minuscule change had a huge effect, and is a clue that a decent trigger is just a little stone work away.

I'll note something here..... ISSC provided the M22 target pistol for this review. The standard M22 pistol from the previous articles...
that one I bought, as I was impressed enough to loath giving it back. The loaner will get nothing more that a bit of grease applied to it, but the pistol I own now will get a lot more. While lawyers everywhere might cringe and whine about liability, I'll throw caution to the wind and treat my M22 just as I treat most of my weapons... with loving care, good quality lube, and the judicious touch of a fine stone here and there. Expect an article in the future as that little magic happens.

How did the M22 target pistol shoot? Not bad, not bad at all......

Accuracy was hampered by the less than optimum trigger, but fifty foot groups of two inches were not hard to do on a regular basis. This is just slightly better than the standard version, and can likely be pinned on the longer sight radius.

The compensating ports do nothing for accuracy... but in rapid fire shooting... oh My! Double taps from the rimfire pistol flowed quickly and surely once accustomed to the triggers reset length. The weapon stays flat and on target, and recovery is very fast indeed.

The target version proved even less finicky about ammunition than the standard M22, and that may be because of the extra barrel length. The pistol shot at the range tod
ay did not have a single hiccup in 150 rounds of .22, of four different brands. More shooting will be done... we are not done yet... but this fact alone is promising.

The thought comes to my mind, as I shoot and examine the M22 series of pistols. These things are like firearm velcro... anything your heart desires could be done to it. All the M22's come with a rail, so every light and laser on the market will fit. The trigger appears to be easily workable, and the adjustable sights can be easily swapped out too. The extended barrel with it's shroud removed.... a welcome home to a dedicated suppressor, or a barrel weight, or a sight rail, or....... the sky is the limit. I can see this thing cleaning the clock at the rimfire steel match, with a trigger job, different sights, and a weight hanging off that rail.

The American shooter market likes a weapon that is easily modified to suit personal tastes, and I suspect the ISSC M22 will fit that profile. I doubt ISSC intended that, but it's the case now. With only seven or eight thousand of these pistols on the American market so far, it will be a while till we know for sure. More are coming, and a highly tactical looking .22 rimfire long gun is coming from the company as well.

The pistol has an MSRP of $399, but as is typical they are out in the market for quite a bit less. The M22 should sell at a price point substantially lower then the Walther P22. The two pistols were in fact designed by the same man, and I suspect the M22 benefits from lessons learned with the P22. With it's Glock-like feel and utility as a training pistol, the M-22 series clearly has a place in the range bag.

I know there is one in mine now.

Oh.... and just because it was fun to do.... here is the torture test video again:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Defensive shooting in low/no light with a tactical flashlight... one man's thoughts


A million years ago (or so it seems), 'ol Carteach was treated to some indoor range time one night. One night... meaning all of one night... from late evening to early bright. A buddy and I kept the steel ringing on the range for about eight hours straight.

What were we doing, besides having a ball? We were practicing low and no light shooting techniques. There was no instructor, no class, and no professionals around. Just us, some gear, and a willingness to learn and experiment.

It would be wonderful if this piece was being written about a defensive class, with professional training, using real life experience. The simple fact is.... Carteach is pretty average amongst shooters, and that means time and money are kind of tight. Low/no light defensive shooting classes are rather pricey, from a poor 'ol teachers viewpoint. The class's generally run around $600, and with travel, lodging, meals, and ammunition tossed in the total quickly exceeds $1000.

Like most average shooters, this poor shlub hasn't got big stacks of extra cash laying around. So what we're gonna do is this.... ya'll watch close now.... we're going to take care of this problem the American way, and just figure it out for ourselves. The Carteach0 blog is all about sharing the fun with friends, and this is no different.... so lets get busy and examine the situation.

Thanks to the way this big ball of mud is spinning in space, we can count on running into low/no light situations about half of each day. Since defensive shooting is all about defending oneself from predators, and such critters prefer to operate in the dark when they can... it only follows that defensive techniques need to take inadequate lighting into account. That means one of two things; learning to shoot in the dark using a Star-War's-like 'force' to guide us (good luck with that), or bringing some light into the situation.

Like anything else in shooting, and especially defensive shooting, forethought and training make all the difference in the world. If it's professional training by people who know what they are doing, that's great! For the other 98% of us who can't buy ourselves that little present... we'll just have to do it on our own. Sure, such self training may not be the bleeding edge of knife.... but it's still light years ahead of no training at all.

So, to approach this issue in an efficient and intelligent manner (a real stretch for Carteach!) we'll need to break this down into a few parts, both closely related. Technology and techniques... with each reflecting the other to a degree. Technology is quite simply the light we'll be using, and this can effect the techniques depending on it's features and capabilities. Techniques are how we employ the light, and the techniques we wish to use greatly effect our choice in flashlight.

Now, on the indoor range so long ago... our choice was limited. State of the art at that time was the traditional Mag-Light, in whatever form one possessed. These are simple flashlights, and gained fame for their toughness, with many police officers adopting them as the patrol light of choice. Reassuringly heavy in the hand, and often doubling as a baton, the D-cell Mag-Light design dictated some specific methods of use. It had a tradition switch on the body of the flashlight, and was certainly a handful. It took a firm grip and some respect for it's weight and bulk. I have personally beat the hinges off a door using a Mag-light, when the situation demanded it. They are heavy and tough.... but we have other options these days.

The roll call of 'Tactical Flashlights' can run for page upon page, and everyone gets to chose what features they want... and can afford. Rather than run down all the brands, Lets spend some time looking at features.

Today we have a choice in general type of flashlight; LED or incandescent bulb. Not long ago the LED lights were simply too dim to really serve a solid defensive role, although they went a long way with their ability to gently sip away at battery power. Modern LED lights can had that are bright.... blindingly bright.... and still use the batteries sparingly. Add in the incredible lifespan of a quality LED bulb. Life span as in..... for life (for most people). Incandescent bulbs can be pretty bright, at prices cheaper than high wattage LED's, but there is a shorter life span to the bulb and they ravage batteries. On the whole, LED's are the best choice for most people.

There are many ways to 'measure' light output, but wattage and lumens are the most common. The thing is, they don't compare to each other at all. To keep it simple, for defensive uses 5 watts is considered minimum, or 90 lumens. 120 lumens are better, and climb well into the 'Blind your opponent in the dark' range.

Next to consider.... power source. Unless you want to drag a really long extension cord behind you all day, we're talking batteries here. We can chose between standard and lithium batteries, AA, C, D, or CR123a batteries, and rechargeable units as well. The larger the battery does not mean the brighter the light. A flashlight with a pair of little CR123a batteries can easily be as bright as one carrying four large D cells. Bigger batteries mean longer life, and this must be considered. Unless the flashlight is rechargeable, commonality of the battery is also an issue. A light with dead batteries is useless if none are available.

Luckily, even the CR123a lithium batteries can now be had at most all major stores, and many smaller ones as well. By mail order, they can be bought at decent prices in packs of ten. Of course AA, C, and D cells are on the shelf at every Wal-Mart in the land.

There is another thought which must be considered here. Weight and size. While a tactical light using CR123a batteries may only have an hours run time, it's also small and light enough to ride forgotten in a pocket all day. The same cannot be said for a large, heavy flashlight powered by big batteries. An old saying can be paraphrased for this purpose; A .22 in your pocket beats a .45 home in the safe. Well, an hours worth of super bright LED in your pocket beats an aircraft landing light that's home on your porch.

What about the rechargeable lights? Here... I have an opinion. For an officer (or a mechanic) who uses his light every single working day, getting into the habit of charging it every night is reasonable. I have done this myself, using a Stinger model in both school and shop. In fact, I still do.... but.... is it the right choice for a defensive light that doesn't get used every day? I would suggest not... and that battery lights are better. A pair of Lithium CR123a batteries can last for a year with the light resting on a shelf if need be, and still give good service. Should they be dead, a few moments later new ones can be installed. With a rechargeable.... those few moments stretch out to hours, and equal not having the light when it's needed.

Next feature to decide..... how should we be turning this thing on and off? The switch can show up in many places, but typically in one of two. Either on the end cap opposite the lens, or on the body of the flashlight just behind the lens bell (like Granddads flashlight). 'Tactical' flashlights normally have the switch on the end cap, and for good reason. In this placement the user can palm the light, while turning it on and off at will with the thumb; Quickly, easily, almost instinctively. It's an end cap switch that Carteach favors.

There are many, many more features out there. A ring built in that can allow the flashlight to be grasped like a syringe, that can be a good thing. Likewise good, some part of the light body shaped something other than round... allowing the flashlight to be laid down without it rolling away. Space for a lanyard to attach can come in handy, and the ability to focus the light beam might be useful too.

One feature that I have become a believer in, and one that rather limits the choice of lights, is the ability to work on a 'strobe' setting. This state of the art feature uses electronics in the flashlight to 'blink' or 'strobe' the light on and off very quickly indeed. The result is a flashlight that can confuse an attacker, hide your position, and delay an opponents reaction time by valuable seconds. It's because of this feature, amongst others, that I carry a Blackhawk Gladius. I understand SureFire just added the same device to their line.

Now, time for a disclosure. Blackhawk gave me a Gladius light as a gift, for which I am grateful. It doesn't change one word I'll write about it, but I need to be up front about that. I'll also say this.... I was so impressed with the little bugger I went out and bought another one for myself. One in the bag and one in the pocket.... one in the car and one in school.... I will not be without one of these for very long, ever again.

To recap flashlight features useful in a tactical light, lets add up. Very, very bright (120 lumens or so), uses a nearly indestructible LED bulb, runs on common batteries, has a rear end cap activation switch, shaped so it can be grasped like a syringe and activated in one hand, and preferably flashes faster than the lighting at a KISS concert. That about covers it, although there are lots of other neat things to have with a light... the features listed are enough.

Is it necessary to mention the one trait any tactical light really must have? It must be tough as nails.... all but bulletproof.... and all but idiot proof. Drop it, kick it, take it for a swim, and use it as a hood prop.... but it must work every time.

Having looked at the technical end, it's time to move on to the technique part of this missive. Here, I feel the need to repeat something. Carteach is not a tactical trainer, nor is he some form of expert on this topic. He's just some guy trying to decipher the mysteries on his own, and taking his friends along on a virtual buggy ride while he does it. If someone tries to play Rambo by practicing my meandering thoughts and gets his butt lit up, that's all home grown stupid.... don't try shipping it over this way. We have enough of our own.

Now... techniques in low and no light situations; In this area I further break it down to two simple methods of holding the light, and one simple method of using said light. Lets face facts... simple is required because simple is what I are.

There are more than two methods of holding the tactical flashlight in use with a pistol, but keeping it simple allows for better training. The reason to adopt two methods, rather than the ultimate simplicity of only one..... every method has it's pro's and con's, and every method has circumstances where it just won't work. Two methods, each used when best, will cover the vast majority of defensive situations. Some of the 'methods' in all honesty, seem pretty silly... but we'll leave that judgment to the reader.

I suppose, if it comes right down to it.... what I do is really a summation of two methods, swiping the best of each and combining them as needed.

Long ago on that indoor range, over the hours, we practiced what's called the 'Harries method'. This involves holding the flashlight in the off-hand, across the shooters body, and resting the pistol to the left of the flashlight (for right handed shooters), with the wrist of the hand gripping the pistol laying on top of the other wrist. In the olden days, when all flashlights had their switch on the body in the traditional place, the Harries method called for an uncomfortable positioning of the off hand upside down, so the thumb could activate the switch. While difficult to describe, a few images will make the method clear. Here is the Harries method, adapted to a rear switched flashlight:

As the second photos reveals, there is a problem inherent in the system. Looking closely at the muzzle of the pistol and the lens of the flashlight, it's clear they are not pointed in the same direction. In fact, with the unnatural positioning of the arms and wrists, it takes a lot of practice and training till they will point together at the same spot.

Next up in the bag of techniques, the 'Rogers' method, which has the flashlight held in the offhand and positioned between the fingers like a great big syringe. The rear tail cap switch of the flashlight is pressed against the ball of the thumb, and the fingers need only squeeze the flashlight to turn it on. The off hand holding the flashlight is then pressed up against the side of the hand gripping the pistol, with thumbs aligned as in a good shooting grip. Again, an image shows the process better than words can describe it.

The advantages to the Rogers method should be clear in the photo. The hands and arms are in a far more natural position, and the flashlight indexes to the bore much more readily. This is backed up and verified with low/no light practice, especially valuable if the pistol is equipped with a laser. Alignment of the laser dot and the center of the flashlight beam is almost automatic, with a little practice.

How do I combine the two methods? Well.... I use the rogers method as shown, except when clearing a room from the left side of a doorway. Then, rather than expose more of myself to an un-swept room, I simply pass my flashlight hand from alongside the pistol hand, to underneath it... effectively using the Harries method while still holding the flashlight in hand with the Rogers method. Once again... images help.

So, we have covered tactical flashlight features and also techniques of holding the flashlight with a pistol. In the next article, we'll explore this author's poor amateur attempt at using this information in clearing rooms in the dark. Following that, an in depth review of the Blackhawk Gladius tactical flashlight.

Stay tuned, my friends!