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Consider a hypothetical scenario for a moment. You're at home asleep in your bed, when you awake to your dogs barking aggressively at something near the back door. You've heard reports of burglaries in your town lately, so you quickly climb out of bed and grab your carbine to investigate. As you prepare to leave your bedroom, you tap the pressure switch on your weapon-mounted flashlight. Nothing happens, and there's no time to troubleshoot the problem. Your stomach drops as you realize you can't effectively respond to a threat you can't see.
This situation may seem unlikely, especially if you choose a primary light from a reliable brand and change batteries regularly, but it's far from impossible. The cause could be depleted batteries due to accidental activation after your last range trip, or damage to the tail cap, pressure switch, or wiring during a high-stress situation. Even something as easily fixed as a loose mount could take your carbine's light offline temporarily. In any case, knowing how to use a backup flashlight with your AR or other home-defense carbine is essential for SHTF situations.
In the following RECOILtv video, Dan Brokos of Lead Faucet Tactical shows three ways to use a handheld backup flashlight with his AR. Specifically, he's using a SureFire G2 with a raised collar around the body. This enables the light to be used in the SureFire/Rogers technique — gripping the body between the index and middle fingers, and pulling it back into the palm to depress the tail cap switch. The Haley Strategic D3FT flashlight is another model designed for this technique. (Keep an eye out for a detailed review of that light in Issue 38 of our print magazine, which goes on sale in June.) Brokos also shows one method of holding the light in an overhand “icepick” grip beneath the rifle's forend.
For more tips from Dan Brokos, check out the RECOILtv Training Tuneups channel.