AR/Flashlight Question

Discussion in 'AR15' started by SuckLead, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. SuckLead

    SuckLead G&G Newbie

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    I've got my flashlight mounted on the bottom rail in front of the foregrip because it is the easiest place for me to reach it (I'm a girl with girl hands, slightly larger hands than average but still small). I've moved everything back as far as it can go but the bottom swivel still rests on the flashlight case. Is there a way to remove that swivel (it is not in use) or should I just stop worrying about it doing something to the flashlight while I'm shooting?
     

  2. Darkfront

    Darkfront G&G Evangelist

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    What kind of flashlight? Does it impact the window or the bezel? I generally wouldn't worry, but if it bothers you, try mounting on the 9 o'clock rail, and not using a full hand grip on the foregrip, but using your left thumb on the left side to activate it. As an added benefit, you may actually get better control, since your thumb along the side raises your hand closer to the bore axis for better recoil control.
     
  3. SuckLead

    SuckLead G&G Newbie

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    It's a Streamlight TLR-1s. And it's bouncing off the bezel. I haven't shot the gun with the light on it yet. It's sharing the light with my Glock 21, which I use for matches, so it hasn't been on the AR long.
     
  4. Darkfront

    Darkfront G&G Evangelist

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    Well it won't do any damage. The LED is pretty much invincible to shock, the window's not being hit. You'll get cosmetic damage to the bezel, but that's about it.

    I would definitely recommend the 9 o'clock rail though (assuming you're right handed), for a host of reasons you probably don't care to hear.
     
  5. SuckLead

    SuckLead G&G Newbie

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    Please, educate me. I'm all... eyes. And I'm pretty new to this modern carbine thing.
     
  6. cr107

    cr107 G&G Newbie

    I would also like to read Darkfront. enlighten us :)
     
  7. DaTeacha

    DaTeacha Things are not what they seem. Forum Contributor


    Was that a light joke??
     
  8. cr107

    cr107 G&G Newbie

    Didnt even think about it. Ha
     
  9. Darkfront

    Darkfront G&G Evangelist

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    Bear with me, this might get a little long, as the position of the flashlight directly relates to changes in stance, posture and rifle grip. So the whole thing with the "modern carbine" as you put it, is that it's mainly geared towards close distances in urban terrain. Generally we're looking at sight lines of about 100 yards or less. Keep in mind that it's being used as close as 5 yards in many cases, and the traditional rifle techniques that we were taught become limiting in terms of maneuvering and responding quickly to close threats.

    Traditional rifle technique, and I'll just use standing offhand for now, teaches us to have a bladed stance away from the target to create a solid shooting platform that transfers weight to the bone structure for stability. The dynamic nature of close combat, shooting on the move, transitioning between targets and quick target acquisition from the low ready requires more fluidity than a solid bone supported stance can give. Also the bladed stance increases muzzle flip because the direction of recoiling force is rotated away and up off the bladed shoulder, due to the small amount of mass directly behind the rifle. Fast and accurate follow-up shots become more difficult.

    Now gets to the meat of the issue. To deal with these issues, we now have to learn to square our body to directly face the target. The rifle butt is not necessarily in our shoulder pocket, but as close to the centerline as our body allows. This puts more mass behind the rifle to absorb recoil and less of a pivot point so that recoil drives straight back and forward instead of up and away. But now we can't hold the rifle like we were used to. Because you said you were using a foregrip, I'm going to address hold and flashlight in this context.

    If you grab a foregrip like a hammer with your thumb wrapped fully around it, the highest point of control on your support hand is still roughly 1.5 to 2 inches away from the bore itself. As you swing your muzzle from target to target, you may notice that you kind of sweep over a little bit because of the rifle's momentum. If you choke up on the foregrip, so that your thumb, index and middle fingers actually wrap around the forearm tube, with your ring and pinky fingers on the front of the vertical foregrip, you'll find two things. 1) You lose a lot of the overshoot, because the bore axis now is directly in within your grasp and in closer line with your arm. Pointing is more natural. 2) You can still pull back on the rifle to control recoil with a solid hold using the ring and pinky fingers. Since you shoot pistol matches, the best analogy is to say it's like using the straight thumb/high thumb pistol technique versus a "cup in saucer" with your support hand underneath the magazine.

    Now if your flashlight is on the 6 o'clock position of your rail, you'll notice, that while you have great weapon manipulation, you can't necessarily use the controls on your flashlight because your fingers are now positioned differently. Your forefinger is now busy providing barrel forearm support, as opposed to the top of your hand and wrist, and has less mobility. Placing your flashlight in the 9 o'clock position allows you to unwrap your thumb from the top of the forearm and activate the flashlight controls. After a while, you'll find that the thumb is not completely necessary to wrap over the forearm and can easily switch up to lay on the left side of the rifle to activate any controls as necessary.

    The last piece is that while flashlights are great, in unknown environments, they telegraph our position, many times well before we are in a firing or contact position. Sweeping a corner with a flashlight blazing past it for the 10 seconds we took to get to that corner has given our target plenty of time to get ready for us. Being able to keep the flashlight off, and momentarily use it to sweep and move on with it off again gives you, if not a tactical advantage, at least it gives you an even playing field. The thumb and light at 9 o'clock gives you plenty of control to activate the light without a sacrificing any solidity or mobility in your firing and support grip. In a hammer/broomhandle grip, your index finger comes off the vertical foregrip to activate the tail cap or rocker switch. Since it's the closest mass to the bore, you end up losing some bit of control momentarily while you activate the light controls as it floats freely instead of applying pressure for support.

    Keep in mind, that this technique is not the end all, be all of rifle technique. It's one of many, but it has been adopted quite readily in the competition and military/LE arenas. You may have to adjust the stance and your rifle's accessories to fit your particular body's ergonomics, but I think the principles are sound and they've served me well in matches.
     
  10. Kyl63

    Kyl63 G&G Newbie

    I agree with the 9 o'clock (3 o'clock for the southpaws out there) position of the light. It's easier to function and gives you much more "play" with your forward hand, since different situations require different depths of hold and angles of hold. Having a light on the bottom severely limits your options.

    There are disadvantages to the 9/3 positions too, though. You are likely to wear out your light, physically, more quickly, as it is more exposed to smacking up against your gear, truck, random crap on the ground, etc. That position also takes away a few hold options, but those losses have significantly less impact on your ability to maneuver the rifle.

    I usually pouch/pocket the flashlight until I think I will need it. You can load up your rifle with a bunch of crap, and trust me, I have, but most of it is situational. Your best bet would to keep it off the rifle, but learn to shoot it with the light at the 9 or 3.

    This is also more tactical than practical as well. It's good to have that practice, but if you primarily take your rifle out the range, I would leave the light off all together.
     
  11. SuckLead

    SuckLead G&G Newbie

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    Oh, odds are, that light won't remain on the rifle. I'm on a budget and that light was a major purchase for me, so the AR and my Glock 21 are being forced to share. It's on there right now in case of an emergency in the home where I need to grab my rifle (I fear my shotgun won't work, as I bought it used and have no place to test fire, so until I find a place to test fire, the AR is serving backup). However, I shoot pistol matches with my Glock 21, so the light will probably find a semi permanent home on its rail instead.

    Darkfront: thank you for your feedback. I actually saved it to my desktop so I can review it again later.
     
  12. I roll with a Surefire on the left rail with a pressure switch attached to the vert grip. What I would do is go for a night shoot and see how it actually functions. There are so many people who have lights attached and have never used them for their purpose, shooting at night.
     
  13. cr107

    cr107 G&G Newbie

    my biggest thing is deciding if I NEED a light. I dont have any chances to do a night shoot. More like no where to shoot at night. Other than getting one to have if I were to need it (SHTF, Nat. Disaster) is there any real reason to have a light?

    I want to keep my build usable, but effective. No mall ninja stuff for me. Minus the EOTech
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  14. TACAV

    TACAV G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    Similar to what Darkfront said, good post btw, I have a stuby vertical foregrip on my carbine. I use it more as a handstop than anything else. Pretty much only my pinky and ring fingers are on it with the rest of my hand pointed foreward down the rails inline with the barrel. I have my light mounted far forward on the O'clock side where I can activate it with my thumb. If Im shooting week hand I cant still activate it with my other thumb if I wrap around the top of the rail.

    It works very nice in that squared off combat stance that Darkfront spoke of earlier. The shoulder stock is collapsed one click out from all the way in. Its a very stable shooting platform for close to medium targets where you may need your light.*

    If its farther out than that you probably wont be using your light anyways as your light wont reach that far.

    *As for using your light, if your using it properly it wont give away your position and it will be more of an aid to you than a hinder.
     
  15. SuckLead

    SuckLead G&G Newbie

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    Well, I have not been to afraid to admit from the get go... my AR is nothing more, right now, than a fun gun for me. My SHTF gun is my AK, nothing fancy on it, just lots of mags and ammo. I may eventually do some matches with the AR, I have been invited to teach some rifle classes at a local range with it, etc. But all the new stuff I put on it... I did it purely because it looks cool. I've never dressed out a gun for anything other than function and just once I wanted one that was pleasing to the eye as well as functional. I can use the light on my match pistol, my AR doesn't need it, but I like it there. Plus, it's good for that back up situation if my shotgun goes bad. But, when I get something to add on to a gun, I usually go all out. LOL! My distance match rifle... only gun I own with a scope on it, and it has a Zeiss. But this flashlight and that scope are the only high dollar accessories I've got for my guns. And they're just fun.
     
  16. Darkfront

    Darkfront G&G Evangelist

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    Sounds like you've got your priorities in line. If you don't have the time or inclination to train with it, then I wouldn't worry about it either. Although you should try a couple multi-gun matches, you might be pleasantly surprised. I've seen plenty of AKs at some of the local matches too.
     
  17. SuckLead

    SuckLead G&G Newbie

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    I do my own kind of training. I'm not really comfortable yet with my rifles to really get into match shooting with them. I always found those matches rather intimidating. I'm still always really tense at pistol matches, too. I've always wanted to try a 3 gun, but I don't know. One of these days. I've got the guns, I just have to get the guts. LOL!
     
  18. Darkfront

    Darkfront G&G Evangelist

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    Heh, I know what you mean. I always get worked up before a run. That shot timer is like the Men In Black mind eraser. They press the button and you completely forget the whole plan you had before you started your run! :p
     
  19. SuckLead

    SuckLead G&G Newbie

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    Exactly! The first match I ever went to I just freaked out as soon as I heard the buzzer. Blew that match real bad!