Flashlights: The Most Underestimated Tool for Personal DefenseIf you use a handgun as a personal defense weapon, a flashlight is vital for low-light shooting. Not only does it help you to identify your target, but it also allows you to see your gun sights in the dark. Even if you don’t carry a gun for personal defense, a flashlight, when used correctly, can be very handy in tough situations. We’ll talk more below about using a flashlight when armed or unarmed. They can be taken into places like movie theaters or airplanes where guns are banned, and are great for men who live in countries with strict weapons laws, but who still want to carry something for personal defense.There are two important self-defense functions that a tactical flashlight serves, plus one bonus use.Helps identify threats. Attackers often use the cover of darkness as an advantage. A bright flashlight can help identify threats in a low-light environment and eliminate the advantage of an attacker stalking in the shadows. Simply shining a light on a bad guy can be enough to get him to take off.Momentarily disorients attackers. Have you ever had a bright light shined in your eyes when it was dark outside? You probably felt disoriented and even blinded for a bit. You can take advantage of that natural reaction to bright light to defend yourself against would-be attackers.Whenever you encounter a possible threat, shine your flashlight directly in their eyes, or as Mike says, “dominate their face.” Your assailant will likely reach his hands up to his face and experience three to four seconds of disorientation and semi-blindness. That gives you enough time to either flee or attack. Bonus use: Improvised weapon. Some tactical flashlights have a serrated or toothed bezel. Manufacturers advertise these specialty bezels as a tool that can be used to break car windows in an emergency. But according to Mike, breaking a window with a small, tactical light is easier said than done. “Me and a bunch of Military Special Operations personnel tried for hours to break a car window with the toothed bezel of a small tactical flashlight. We never broke it.”While the bezel on a tactical flashlight isn’t going to break windows, it can be used as an improvised striking device during an attack. After you’ve shined the light in your attacker’s eyes and disoriented him, strike his face with the toothed bezel as hard as you can. The motion should be like stamping him with a giant rubber stamp.
Which Flashlight Is the Best Flashlight in Tactical Situations?
So a tactical flashlight is a great self-defense tool. Which one should you get? There are literally nearly 100 different models on the market. The one you choose will typically come down to your budget and personal preference. But here are a few things you should look for when selecting a tactical flashlight for everyday carry:
- Small. You want something small enough to carry in your pocket every day. Your flashlight should be no bigger than the size of your palm.
- At least 120 lumens of light output. For a flashlight to be an effective self-defense tool, it needs to be bright enough to disorient attackers. Anything less than 120 lumens just won’t get the job done.
- Simple. There are flashlights on the market that have strobe or SOS functions, or flashlights that allow you to change the brightness of your light output depending on how many times you push the on/off switch. While many tactical flashlight users swear by these features, Mike recommends keeping things simple. You don’t want a flashlight so complex that you have a hard time using the primary feature (bright light) when you really need it. A simple on/off switch should do the trick.
- Waterproof. You want a flashlight that will work in ALL situations. Get a flashlight that’s waterproof so it will work even in the rain or other wet conditions.
- Ruggedly constructed. Your flashlight will likely see a lot of action, so get something that will withstand the use. Look for one made from hard anodized aluminum. It’s a tough, yet light metal. Also, make sure the metal on the flashlight is machined so that it’s easy to grip. You don’t want to drop your flashlight when you need it most.
- LED or incandescent? Mike prefers LEDs because in his experience incandescent bulbs break easily when dropped while LEDs can withstand a beating. Incandescent bulbs also aren’t very energy efficient. You’ll burn through bulbs and flashlight batteries faster than you will LED bulbs.