I had the privilege to talk to Larry Vickers about one concern that really came to my mind…Night Fighting… If you carry a weapon its important to realize that people fight the way they train and a situation can occur at any time – day or night – and no assailant or burglar is going to wait for you to turn on the lights to get a good sight picture! That’s why having a working knowledge of the challenges posed by night fighting and how to overcome them is so important.
Mr. Vickers is known the world over as a top tier trainer in the use of firearms and when Larry Vickers speaks, the Tactical World listens! Below you will find his advice and thoughts on low light firearms use. No article or interview is a replacement for good, solid training and you can find a link to Larry’s training schedule at the end of the interview.
Q.) What are some of the considerations necessary for night fighting with a handgun?
A.) Keeping things simple in low light is key- have a flashlight to Identify potential threats, and have the ability ( nite sites, laser, etc.) to aim and fire with acceptable accuracy without using the light – these are the meat and potatoes of shooting at night with carbine or pistol.
Q.) Which do you feel is better and why, a weapon mounted light or handheld tactical light?
A.) My theory is a weapon mounted light make sense at all times on a carbine and some of the time on a pistol; educate yourself on how you expect to use the white light with the hand gun ( duty carry, CCW, SWAT, etc.) and make an educated decision; there are pros and cons no matter what
Q.) Is a laser really necessary?
A.) Lasers on pistols provide much the same low light sighting ability as a red dot sight on a carbine- they are a real plus but should be used in combination with other options ( with nite sites for instance) – also some pistols don’t have a good laser option available ( Glock’s for example) so they may not work on your handgun.
Q.) For CCW/CPL holders, what are some of the things can they do to give themselves the tactical advantage at night on the streets?
A.) CCW users should have a white light available and practice shooting in low light- have a good point shooting technique in case you can’t see your sites and practice; remember keep it simple.
Q.) What about at home?
A.) Have a plan on how to clear your house systematically as well as how to safe guard your home or evacuate you and your loved ones in a worst case scenario – a dry run on how to clear your home will pay big dividends as no one knows your home as well as you so use that knowledge to your advantage.
Q.) What is your opinion on Tritium sights?
A.) I am a big fan of tritium sites and feel all serious handguns should have at least a tritium front site; lasers are a great addition if your pistol allows the use of one that is well designed- some handguns are not easily adaptable to a quality laser so it is not an option.
Q.) Are there any exercises or drills people can practice that will sharpen their night fighting skills?
A.) Practice proper manipulation of your white light and point shooting- chances are you will have to use one or both in a low light encounter.
Try to stay as switched on as possible when out and about at night – avoid poorly lit areas and keep social alcohol consumption at a reasonable level- drinking too much will eliminate and night fighting advantage you may have in an armed encounter.
Q.) Larry, could you tell us about your pistol class?
A.) My classes focus on mastering the fundamentals of using a handgun or carbine in the real world- it is all designed to give shooters skills and drills that can keep them alive; no fluff, no meaningless exercises, no high round count drills that fall in the category of ballistic masturbation – straight forward real world material that has been proven to get the job done. My classes have been very successful and I have made a very good living teaching so I must be doing something right! There are certainly other instructors who teach differently than I and I have no gripe with that- my advice to a potential student would be to do your research and make an informed decision on which instructor seems like a good fit for you- and remember to compare resumes; that is usually a good indicator of where the instructor is coming from.
Larry’s 2012 training schedule can be found here…