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Light on the Gun? Does Tucker Make a Holster for It? Good Idea?

Posted by Rob Longenecker on October 25th, 2006

I get requests for holsters made to hold a pistol with light attached. At present, Tucker doesn’t make them and may never do so. Yes, he has an opinion about it. So do I. That doesn’t mean we’re right, but it does mean we don’t offer it at the moment.

A recent email prompted me to give a customer a link to an article on the “Harries Method” of using a flashlight in a way that works for many. This appeared on a the Suarez International website.

“The Harries Flashlight Position – Modified                             (Courtesy of Suarez Intn’l)

 The need for incorporating light with the firearm during reduced light confrontations has always been an issue. The methods used were limited by equipment and techniques until the late 1960s, when a man named Mike Harries developed the flashlight technique named after him – the Harries Flashlight Technique. 

This position not only allows similar weapon control to that of the standard Weaver Stance, but it also maintains a rough coaxiality between the pistol and the light before and during firing.  

There have been some new methods devised by instructors, such as the Chapman and Rogers Method, which are equally effective when practiced.  Equally effective – I should say – in coordinating the light with the gun.  The Rogers Method, promulgated by Surefire (the makers of the small super-bright tactical flashlights) is suitable for Isosceles shooters as well as Weaver shooters. 
Although I teach a number of different methods, I personally and prefer the Harries Type hold for a number of reasons.  The flashlight is not only an illumination tool.  It is also a great first response (reactive response) impact weapon.  Consider that if its dark, you’ll already have the light in your hand, but perhaps not the gun.

This is even more true if the confrontation is unexpected.

Remember that every fight is not necessarily a gun fight.  I have personally used surefire 6P, 9P, and the weapon mounted variants as impact weapons without any damage to the light (nothing a quick rinse-off couldn’t fix).
This alternative force use almost demands a “club like hold” as seen with the Harries flashlight position.  Don’t agree grasshopper?  OK, grab up your Z-series light and go for a 3 minute round on the bag.  Chances are your cigar hold will send the light flying at first impact.  So is the Harries perfect?  No.  Its critics decry that its unnatural.  Well of course its unnatural!  So is ANY lighting or shooting position.  We were not designed to incorporate weapons and lights when its dark (we are designed to huddle by the fire and hope that something big and furry doesn’t come out of the prehistoric night and eat us up).  Rather, we make certain compromises based on how our physical bodies work, the technical developments at hand, and the mission requirements we are facing.

One thing that I have seen with the Harries is that it is fatiguing.  It doesn’t need to be so.  The problem comes from a school of thought that teaches students to exert outward pressure with the hands while in the position in order to “control” the recoil of the pistol.  This is totally unnecessary.  For those who are unfamiliar with the concepts of recoil control, I go into them extensively in my books and in an article on “The Fighting Stance”.

Nevertheless, the way the Harries is often taught is to blade the posture extremely, and to exert pressure outward (deltoid power).  Even a big strong weight lifter will tire out after a few seconds.  Ahh grasshopper….there is a better way.

The mission is to hold light and muzzle in some degree of unity.  It is also to utilize a platform as similar to the daylight shooting position without compromising the alternative force aspects of the flashlight.  The mission requirements point to a Harries-like hold due to the need to hold the light in a club position.   The Harries is not bad except for the excessive blading that some schools teach, and the outward tension created in hopes of controlling recoil.  Solutions.

1).  Position your upper body in a way that the mass of the body, at a slightly forward (aggressive) incline, and the grip, not arm tension controls the pistol during the firing cycle.

2).  Rather than trying to keep gun and light in a completely vertical state, allow both arms (and elbows) to move out slightly.  This moves the inherent tension from the deltoid muscles and spreads it out evenly over the upper body musculature.  This Modified Harries is no more tiring than any non-flashlight shooting position.

Like anything else, progress demands an open mind.  Try it with an open mind and you’ll see that it does accomplish the mission much better.  I think you’ll like it.”




2 Responses to “Light on the Gun? Does Tucker Make a Holster for It? Good Idea?”

  1. Gary Taylor Says:

    In fairness to the late Michael Harris I think it’s only fair to point out his technique was develope when all we had was the large D battery cell lights. Mr. Harris’s technique allowed for one to rest the tail end of the flashlight on the strong forearm. The light would often become more heavy and fatiquing than the palms pressing against each other.

  2. Chris Edgington Says:

    I like the idea of a weapon mounted light because my personal preference is to be able to have a hand free (i.e. not holding anything) if I need it. The downside is that you have to point your gun at whatever you want to illuminate. Of course, this is just my preference and I’m in no way qualified to teach anyone anything or state that my method is the best.

    More importantly, what I’d really love to put on my Tucker wish-list is a pouch to match my HF1 holster and Tucker gun belt that will accommodate the Insight XML light that I use with my Springfield XD .45ACP.

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