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  • How to Use a Tactical Flashlight for Self-Defense

    June 14, 2021 10 min read

    How to Use a Tactical Flashlight for Self-Defense

    Walking alone in the dark is never a good idea, no matter where you are, and in today’s world, it puts you at risk of falling victim to a crime. It’s always a good idea to carry some form of alarm or device that you can use as a self-defense mechanism if anything should happen, and a tactical flashlight is just the answer. 

    A tactical flashlight can be used in several ways as a self-defense tool. You can use it to stun and identify your attacker with its bright light if you are being threatened, or temporarily blind them so you can make a quick getaway. You can also use it to hit your attacker if you need to as they are made from weapon-grade aluminum. 

    These specially designed, military-grade flashlights are different from regular flashlights in that they have unique features that are designed for tactical use, making them good self-defense tools for everyday life. Read on to find out more about tactical flashlights, how to use a tactical flashlight for defense, what to look for in a tactical flashlight, and more. 


    What is a Tactical Flashlight?


    Tactical flashlight 10.0 BAMFF


    A tactical flashlight is a flashlight that has been specifically designed for tactical purposes i.e., to be used by the military or law enforcement. Tactical flashlights are usually smaller than regular flashlights and are made from weapon-grade aluminum for durability and resistance to damage. 

    Tactical flashlights emit much stronger light than traditional flashlights and were originally designed to be used alongside a firearm or be mounted onto a weapon for low-light target identification and shooting by the military or law enforcement officers. The combination of a bright flashlight and weapon would allow a marksman to aim a weapon and illuminate a target at the same time.


    What are the General Functions of a Tactical Flashlight? 

    The tactical flashlight was originally developed as a device for the military and law enforcement to use in conjunction with a weapon. The tactical flashlight would be used alongside a firearm or be mounted onto a weapon for low-light target identification and shooting. 

    Today, tactical flashlights are also a great self-defense tool for ordinary people and can be used in several ways as a self-defense tool in tough situations. 


    Here are some ways that a tactical flashlight can be used: 


    Tactical flashlights are small and convenient and fit into your pocket, purse, or handbag. They are ideal (and highly recommended) for carrying with you at all times to provide light when it's needed. Day or night, you could be walking in a dark or unsafe area, and your flashlight will come in handy by giving you some powerful light. 

    Tactical flashlights are designed with a minimum of 200 lumens, which is far brighter than a standard flashlight, and if you narrow the beam, the light will cover quite a fairly good distance. This not only lights up an area in which you may feel unsafe, but it also helps to unnerve potential attackers or thieves and avoid unseen obstacles. 

    Emergency Situations

    A flashlight is the first thing we look for when the lights go out and a tactical flashlight will certainly come in handy by providing super bright light. It’s also good to have on hand if you come across an emergency at night as it can provide much-needed light. 

    Signaling for Help

    Another great general function of tactical flashlights is that they can be used to signal for help if needed. Your flashlight can be used to signal other drivers if you have broken down on the side of the road; it can signal to search-and-rescue parties if you are lost on a mountain or in the wilderness, and it can signal to people if you need help after being attacked.  

    As a Utility Tool

    Tactical flashlights are specifically designed to be sturdy and tough and able to withstand rough handling. They are made from high-grade aluminum and have serrated edges around the bulb area, which makes them a perfect utility tool. 

    They can be used to break car windows in cases of emergency or as a tool for grinding or mashing a hard surface. They can also be used as a self-defense tool, which is discussed in further detail below. 


    What are the Self-Defense Functions of a Tactical Flashlight? 

    Identifying Threats

    A super-bright tactical flashlight is a perfect weapon to have in a dark area as it can help identify any threats that may be lurking in the shadows. Using the light to scan the area will not only allow you to see where you are going and any potential threats but may also scare off anyone that may have been lying in wait to take advantage. 

    Disorientates Attackers Momentarily 

    Tactical flashlights put out somewhere between 200-1000 lumens of light as opposed to regular flashlights that can put out a range of anything between 15 and 100 lumens. This makes tactical flashlights far brighter than traditional flashlights and a great weapon for shining into any would-be attacker’s eyes to disorientate them. 

    If you ever encounter a possible threat, shine the tactical flashlight directly into the assailant’s eyes. This will throw them off guard and they will likely put their hands up to their face to block the light. The brightness of the light may also temporarily blind them or disorientate them, which gives you time to counter-attack or run away.  

    Improvised Weapon

    Most tactical flashlights on the market have a toothed bezel or serrated edge. This feature was added to the design of the flashlight so that it could be used to break car windows in emergencies. The sharp bezel edges of the tactical flashlight can also be used as a striking device during an unexpected attack. 

    After you’ve shined the bright light in your attacker’s eyes and thrown him/her off-guard, you can use the flashlight as a weapon and strike at the face with the toothed bezel as hard as you can. Even if you have had no self-defense training, this is a good way to defend yourself using just your flashlight. 


    BAMFF self defense

    What are the Differences Between a Tactical Flashlight and a Traditional Flashlight? 

    There are several distinct differences between a tactical flashlight and a traditional or everyday carry (EDC) flashlight. Take a look at the table below to see how the two flashlights differ: 

    Regular / Everyday Carry (EDC) Flashlights

    Tactical Flashlights

    Made from cheap aluminum / low-grade steel / plastic.

    Made from aircraft-grade aluminum and armor-coated.

    Cheaper models are not resistant to weather, shock, and corrosion.

    Weather-resistant, shock-resistant, and corrosion-resistant

    Some regular torches are large and bulky. 


    50 – 100 lumens of light (approximately 10 – 15 feet of light) 

    120 - 200+ lumens of light (approximately 50 feet and more of bright light)

    Uses: Only as a flashlight

      Uses: Flashlight, self-defense weapon, a tool for breaking glass (car window), and as a digging tool for grinding through a hard dirt surface.

    What Features are Important in a Tactical Flashlight?

    So, we know that a tactical flashlight is a great self-defense tool. Now, which one should you get? There are hundreds of different models of tactical flashlights on the market, and ultimately, the one you choose will typically come down to your personal preference or your budget. 

    But here are a few things you should look for when deciding on which tactical flashlight to get for everyday purposes:

    Size: You want a model that is small enough to carry in your pocket or your purse every day. Ideally, the flashlight should be no bigger than the size of your palm.

    Light Output: The flashlight should have a minimum light output of at least 120 lumens. Anything less than 120 lumens will not cast a bright enough light for the flashlight to be used as an effective self-defense tool, so in this case, the brighter, the better. 

    Simplicity: Go for a simple tactical flashlight with bright light and a bezel edge. There are plenty of flashlights on the market that are packed with extra features such as SOS functions, brightness output adjustors, etc. Keep things simple so that you don’t have a hard time finding the right button when you need to switch the flashlight on when you really need it.  

    Waterproof: You want a weather-proof, waterproof, corrosion-resistant, and shock-resistant tactical flashlight so that it works for you in every condition. There is nothing worse than needing a bright light in the rain and your flashlight suddenly doesn’t work! 

    Rugged Housing:  Your tactical flashlight needs to be tough and be able to withstand being dropped, kicked, or manhandled, but at the same light to carry. You want to go for a flashlight made from hard-anodized (Type III) aluminum as this is lightweight and super-tough. Also, make sure the metal on the flashlight is machined so that it has a good grip. 

    LED Bulb Type: LED bulbs are more durable and energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs, which tend to break easily when dropped and drain batteries faster. 

    Established Brand: Tactical flashlights, like any other product, are best bought with a guarantee so it’s a good idea to go for an established brand and steer clear of cheap knock-offs. Well-known brands like STKR Concepts offer a range of flashlights from basic to technical models and a one-year warranty, so you are covered for any mishaps. 

    BAMFF info

    How to Hold a Tactical Flashlight

    This may seem a no-brainer as holding a flashlight, whether a tactical model or not, seems obvious. But there are several ways of holding a tactical flashlight, which can be used in different situations. The most favorable option for holding a tactical flashlight is the “Icepick” position where the light is held at eye level. Another popular way of holding a flashlight is in the underarm position as if you have just pulled the device out of your pocket. 

    There are several ways to hold a tactical flashlight when you are in a defensive stance or a possible attacker situation. While these methods are primarily to be used in conjunction with shooting a weapon, they can also be used without a gun. 

    Without A Weapon

    When you are holding the flashlight without a weapon, then you want to carry and hold it in your strong hand (usually your writing hand) at all times. You can then use your off-hand for other tasks like opening doors or moving objects aside. 

    When using the tactical flashlight as a self-defense tool, keep the light in your dominant hand as this has more power than your off-hand. You want to place as much power behind your strike as possible. 

    The way you hold the flashlight is a question of comfort – hold it in a way that is most comfortable for you, but always keep the bezel edge downward in a striking position. A good hand position is to have your thumb on the same side as the strike force. 

    Watch the video below to see how to hold your tactical flashlight when using it as a self-defense tool.

    Holding a Tactical Flashlight and a Handgun

    The FBI Technique 

    Another way of using a tactical flashlight as a self-defense tool is to use it alongside a handgun. The flashlight will not only help you avoid obstacles and create a path of light through the dark, but it will also provide low-light target identification and possibly stun or temporarily blind the assailant. 

    Named for the method used by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FBI Technique is a popular method of holding a tactical flashlight in a defensive position. Grab the flashlight with your supporting hand (your strong hand will be holding the gun) and wrap your palm and fingers around the body of the flashlight. Place your thumb on the tail cap. 

    Extend the arm holding the flashlight away from your body, high and away from the support shoulder, and angle the light toward the target. The reasoning behind this technique is that in the case of an armed attacker firing shots, they will fire at the source of the light instead of you. 

    Harries Technique

    Named after firearm instructor Michael Harries who developed this method, the Harries Technique, which involves holding the flashlight directly below the firearm. Grab the flashlight with your supporting hand (your strong hand will be holding the gun) and wrap your palm and fingers around the body of the flashlight. Place your thumb on the tail cap.

    Move your supporting hand holding the flashlight underneath the magazine of the gun, which is being held in your strong hand. Cross your arms at your wrists, press the backs of both hands tightly together, and raise the strong hand with the support hand. This technique provides extra stability to the shooting hand while illuminating the potential threat. 

    Neck-Index Technique

    The Neck-Index Technique is a stable and supportive way of holding a tactical flashlight and handgun. Holding the flashlight in the usual position with the palm and fingers wrapped around the body and the thumb on the tail cap, hold the light in the natural curve at the intersection of your neck and the shoulder. 

    Rogers Technique

    Developed by former FBI Agent Bill Rogers, the Rogers Technique is a slightly more technical method of holding a flashlight in a defensive position and requires a combat ring to be executed successfully. 

    Using your supporting hand, place the body of the flashlight in between your middle and index fingers. You can turn the light on and off by grasping the body hard and pressing the tail cap into the palm of your hand. 

    Once you are securely holding the flashlight, bring both your hands together in a two-handed grip with your ring and pinky fingers around your strong hand which is holding the gun. This method can be quite difficult to master, so it’s advisable to use a simpler technique of holding your tactical flashlight.    

    No matter which technique you decide to use for holding your tactical flashlight, practice it until it comes naturally as this will give you an extra edge in a defensive encounter.

    Suggested Tactical Flashlights

    As mentioned above, the B.A.M.F.F. line of tactical flashlights offers a range of models for every budget and need. From the basic B.A.M.F.F. 2.0 with 200 lumens of light to the high-end B.A.M.F.F. 10.0 with 1,000 lumens of light, a gun mount kit, and a remote pressure switch, the B.A.M.F.F. line up will have the right tactical flashlight for you. 

    BAMFF lineup


    Take a look at the B.A.M.F.F. series right here on our website.

    Final Thoughts

    No one wants to think about being in a dangerous situation, let alone prepare for it, but being prepared may just save your life. Carrying a tactical flashlight with you every day can go a long way towards getting yourself out of danger, whether it's to light your way in a dark and unsavory area, blind a would-be assailant and make an escape, or use it as a self-defense weapon in a moment of need.

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