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Last weekend I drive to the Ridge in Dayton, TN to assist and participate in Defensive Concepts for Low Light Environments.

Randy Harris, founder of Harris Combative Strategies was our instructor.

Class start was 6pm, we had 15 students, including 3 ladies.

Having never shot at night, i was looking forward to it. No fancy gear, my trusty CZ 75B with 10 year old OEM night sights,  Safariland accordion-style universal single mag pouch (works like a champ) and new Fenix UC35 flashlight with up to 1000 retinal burning lumens.

This particular flashlight was $89.95 at SMKW, selected based on previous experience with the LD05, on board USB charger, and 2 battery choices.

I am NOT a light expert, so this is opinion.

A good flashlight runs $60+ depending on features.

A good flashlight makes for an excellent striking weapon or use to break glass.

Combination of classroom and range work.

Here's what I learned:

It is not illegal anywhere in the world to carry a flashlight in your hand.

As a rule, people don't like to get flashed, so a blast of light  from waist down with a firm, "I'm sorry, I can't help you," should be pretty effective.

For me, I get to see his hands

For him, I've added a huge question, who carries and uses a flashlight?

At the very least, not your typical antelope.

If unable to disengage, a blast to the eyes, with, "hey buddy back off," gives about 2-3 seconds of time before the potential bad guy has clear vision. To know is from experience, so we all got blasted in low light, but not dark - that was later.

If a light blast to the eyes doesn't dissuade the predator, and he's close, strike him in the face with that well made, machined aluminum with fantastic gripping surfaced cylinder of hurt.

Sounds really John Wick like, but really a simple gross motor skill.

Then it was dark and time to shoot.

I discovered there was enough ambient light from the other shooters illuminating their targets, I didn't really need more light.

I also discovered positioning the light is important to avoid losing my front sight from splash along the top of the slide.

Other musings

When I would step to the rear to hydrate, I was about 25 yards from the firing line. As 8 students were shooting and flash illuminating at different tempos, it was chaotic to experience. Point being, a running gun battle at night is scary.

I came to the realization that I've been approaching this shooting thing the hard way; day light, two hands, can easily see the target.

10 yards, move to cover, engage strong hand, flashlight however you want to manage it, 6" steel, don't hit the bystander or The Suit. 

Ding

Ding ding

Ding ding ding 

Ding ding ding (Randy didn't say exactly how many) ding.

I'm also pleased with my overall progress with slide lock reloads.

If nothing else, a fun confidence booster.

Feedback from the class: start earlier due to volume of content, convert dry erase to PowerPoint for classroom.

Last drill, a little after midnight, only ambient is starlight, no moon, and it's dark in Dayton.

After I flash you in the face, when you can see the target, draw and fire.

I'd estimate 20-30 seconds in my case and almost a minute for full night vision.

Tremendous amount of time to do a variety of things.

Tips from Randy: Turn off the lights when practicing dry and add your light. Hit a mirror to experience what the BG will experience in different light levels.

I am an unpaid spokesperson and talented valet for Randy Harris and Harris Combative Strategies.

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