Despite the availability of reliable firearm-mounted lights, the handheld light remains an essential tool. This is especially crucial considering that the majority of armed confrontations in civilian contexts statistically occur in low light and darkness. Mastering handheld flashlight techniques becomes imperative for personal defense, particularly in situations where a handgun equipped with a laser or weapon-mounted light is unavailable, leaving only a flashlight as the primary tool. Different situations call for different techniques, but each requires practice until you can perform them with a high level of automaticity, without conscious thought.

SureFire products are renowned for their exceptional performance, durability, and versatility, making them an invaluable asset for enhancing handgun handheld flashlight techniques. With their superior capabilities, SureFire provides reliable support and assistance in mastering various techniques for effectively utilizing handheld flashlights in conjunction with handguns.

FBI Flashlight Technique

In response to deadly force confrontations in low light and darkness, the FBI introduced and endorsed a technique where the pistol or revolver was fired one-handed while holding the light as far away from the body as possible.
Specifically this technique involves holding the light up and away from the body. This is done to provide the assailant with a target away from the vital areas of the individual using the light.

The idea behind this technique is that the assailant would target the light source. Therefore, it was considered advantageous to increase the distance between the shooter and the illumination tool. However, the main drawback of the FBI technique arises from shooting with one unsupported hand, leading to diminished recoil control compared to a two-handed technique. Additionally, aligning the beam and the weapon can be challenging when the light is held with the arm fully extended.

Harries Flashlight Technique

The Harries technique is named after USMC veteran Michael Harries, recognized as a pioneer in modern practical combat shooting. This technique was developed in the early ’70s and was endorsed by Col. Jeff Cooper, and is one of the most popular taught at Cooper’s renowned shooting school Gunsite Academy. The Harrier technique is still widely utilized today and is particularly well-suited for small flashlights.

The Harries Technique employs isometric tension between the shooter’s wrists to provide stability and recoil control, similar to the fore-and-aft pressure of the Weaver Stance. To adopt the Harries Technique, start by extending the handgun to eye level with the target. Hold the flashlight with the bezel protruding from the little finger side of your hand, then pass the light under the gun arm and press the backs of your wrists together. A frequent error is to rest the light on the support arm rather than creating active isometric tension. Ensure your elbow points toward the ground, not to the side.

The Neck index method
Neck Index Method

This technique is pioneered by the SureFire Institute. Similar to the traditional FBI technique, the gun is fired with one hand unsupported. However, rather than holding the flashlight at arm’s length, the light is positioned close to the body, alongside the shooter’s neck or jawline. This technique works best for many while moving quickly.

Rogers/SureFire Technique

Former FBI agent Bill Rogers developed this technique, which is ideally executed with a SureFire Combat Light equipped with grip rings and a protruding tailcap switch. These features were specifically designed for use with the Rogers/SureFire Technique.
The light is gripped between the fingers like holding a syringe. With the fingers of the support hand extended you can maintain your standard two-handed stance, whether it’s Weaver or isosceles.

SureFire Combat Light G2ZX

G2ZX Combat Light

SureFire Combat Light G2Z Maxvision

G2Z-MaxVision Combat Light

The SureFire G2ZX Combat Light is specifically designed for use with the Rogers SureFire technique. This single-output LED Combat Flashlight has a CombatGrip for secure hold in all conditions and can be used in the wet, in the cold, or while wearing gloves. It features a high-performance LED emitting 600 lumens of bright white light through a micro-textured polycarbonate reflector and ensures optimal light dispersion with an impressive reach of 187 meters for 1,5 hours.
The G2Z-MaxVision Combat Light is a High-Output LED Combat Light with a MaxVision Beam designed specifically for pistol Close Quarter Battle (CQB) scenarios. It boasts an output distance of 115 meters. Similar to the G2ZX Combat Light, this flashlight is specifically engineered for compatibility with the Rogers SureFire technique. Its high-impact polymer body and CombatGrip ensure a secure hold in various conditions, delivering 800 lumens of MaxVision Beam natural close-range lighting for up to 1.5 hours. The wide surround illumination aids in target identification and enhances situational awareness. Its lanyard enables the use of both hands during manipulations/reloading.

In short

The effectiveness of each handheld flashlight technique hinges on the specific circumstances encountered and to what feels the most comfortable. Depending on factors such as environment, proximity to potential threats, and available cover, one technique may prove more advantageous than another.
When paired with a reliable weapon and executed with skillful precision, these techniques equip individuals with the necessary tools for navigating self-defense scenarios in low-light conditions. By mastering the appropriate technique and employing it strategically, individuals can enhance their preparedness and confidence in challenging situations where visibility is limited.

Do you want to know more about SureFire’s large product line of flashlights? Please contact us at or directly Request Intel.

Looking for a specific solution, equipment or materiel?

Contact us at +32 (0)494 301379 or through the buttons below and we will get back to you within 48 hours.

related articles

Get in touch

Please either fill in the contact form,
call us on +32 (0)15 51 81 21
or send an e-mail to

Stay informed about the latest news of COBBS BELUX
and follow us on LinkedIn!