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When most people think of flashlight tactics, they think of the application of the light in conjunction with a handgun. But just as the gun is not a cure-all for all self-protection needs, the potential of the flashlight as a personal-protection tool is also much broader than just a headlight for a gun.
A good flashlight offers many advantages as a personal-defense tool. In the simplest sense, it allows you to see in the dark—a function that takes away the bad guy’s advantage of concealment. It also greatly expands your awareness because it reminds you to look around and motivates you to be alert in diminished light.
From a combative perspective, a flashlight makes an excellent striking weapon, providing all the same function as a kubotan or yawara stick, in a much more innocuous and “PC” package. Since it is more resilient than your hand and doesn’t feel pain, you can hit harder with it than you can with flesh and bone alone.
Best of all, a good, bright flashlight can be used as a force-multiplier, blinding and momentarily disorienting an attacker to either create an opening for a strike or an opportunity to escape.
Tactical Flashlight Anatomy
To function well in all possible personal-defense applications, the tactical flashlight needs to have the following attributes:
• At least a 65-lumen output with a pre-focused beam
• An impact-resistant bulb—either an LED or a
shock-isolated incandescent bulb
• Solid, high-quality construction that supports its use
as an impact weapon
• Ergonomics that allow a solid grip and effective
management of impact shock when used as a striking tool
• A large enough size to grasp firmly with at least a half-inch of the light protruding from each side of your fist
• A small enough size to be conveniently carried
• A pocket clip or carrier that allows an immediate
access and draw
• A tail-mounted switch that allows momentary
actuation of the light