Tactical Carry: How to Carry a Torch

tactical flashlight used with gun for defence

You are just about to lay your head on the pillow after an exhausting day, as you move your sheets above your shoulders you hear a bump from what seems to be the kitchen. Your eyes dart open and you wonder what to do next. This is the perfect tactical situation for a powerful compact flashlight in order to turn the tight corners of a home.

How you hold your tactical flashlight can be just as important as the flashlight itself. When you hear someone that might be armed and dangerous there’s a particular way you want to maneuver and hold the flashlight. Though the advantage is yours if you are equipped with a torch, when maneuvering in a low-light environment, don’t leave your flashlight on the entire time.

That just makes you an easy target. Instead follow this sequence: turn light on, scan, turn light off, move. This gives you the upper hand of both vision and stealth movement.

Second is how you hold your flashlight. You don’t want to be holding it like a lazy security guard with a handshake grip blindly scanning the spotlight left to right with your eyes following. This makes your movement predictable, the flashlight is insecure and your finger is not ready on the on/off switch in case the situation dictates it. Instead you are looking for an overhand grip with your thumb on the on/off switch.

I’d even recommend having your fist with light in hand pressed up directly against your temple. This way you are constantly seeing your spotlight and anything it reveals and are ready to turn off the light on a whim.

illustration of how to carry your tactical flashlight

This advice is particularly apt if you are also carrying a gun while you are holding your flashlight. It keeps you from accidentally trigging the magazine release on your weapon. In the traditional gun and flashlight carry above your hands are close to the magazine release and in high pressure situations this must be avoided. This position also offers better recoil control due to one hand being in a standard shooting position. This position also leave you more protect from a head strike which is the most likely avenue for an attacker with the element of surprise.

Finally, and probably the most important reason is that you can shine your light on targets while not pointing your gun at them in case on non threats such as your child going for a late night snack or your weird neighbor in your garbage again.

illustration of man holding gun and flashlight above his head

As with all flashlight and firearm techniques, training is key. It’s especially important if you’ve never done one-handed firing. If possible practice this grip while shooting in low light conditions. Otherwise it is still vitally important to practice this grip while holding your flashlight with your non dominant hand even in normal conditions.


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