Have you ever tried to hold a flashlight while armed with a handgun? Perhaps it was when you were on duty, during your time in the military, or maybe just one night when a sudden sound made you check your home for intruders. Regardless, if you’ve gone through any training in using a flashlight and handgun at the same time you’ve likely heard of the Harries Flashlight Technique. It’s a very common and popular method. The technique was developed by Michael Harries, a pioneer in the combat shooting field. You can see it in action in the video above, but it looks like this:
This is a great way to keep your firearm stable while still having your flashlight pointed in the right direction. There are quite a few law enforcement and military organizations who teach this technique, but there are issues for some who employ it. The first is that, if done quickly or improperly, you may cross your arm in front of the barrel of your gun. If you’re careful and practice diligently this shouldn’t happen, but there’s still some risk, especially in tense situations where you’re more focused on other factors than on your flashlight technique.
The second issue is that this is a somewhat unnatural shooting position. Again, you can practice until it feels like second nature, but few people walk around shooting with their firearm in the crook of their other arm.
SureFire saw these issues and went to work on a new flashlight design. Thus was born the AZ2 Flashlight. First, I’ll run through a few of the features:
- There are two output modes: a low power of 35 lumens and a high power of 150 lumens. There’s more to these outputs than the power though, as on low power the light has a wider flood. It give plenty of light if you’re looking in a bag or checking a map, but it won’t ruin your night vision. The high 150 lumens is focused a bit tighter, providing greater distance and a better light for tactical situations.
- The SureFire AZ2 weighs only 5.1 oz. with the batteries. It uses Lithium 123A batteries, which will last about 2 hours on high output and up to 6 hours on low output.
- The lightbulbs are LEDs, so they’re very durable and will last a long time.
- The tail cap button can be momentarily pressed lightly for low power and more firmly for high power. Constant on is achieved by twisting the rear switch.
While these are great features that you should look for in any quality tactical flashlight, it’s the physical design of the AZ2 that makes it stand out. SureFire calls it the CombatGrip, and it lets you use the SureFire Flashlight Technique. The CombatGrip lets you hold the flashlight like a syringe. The mid-section of the flashlight is narrower than the rest of the body, and it has a rubber grip ring. This lets you get a nice, firm grip on the light and press the tail cap with your thumb. It’s a very nice feature that lets you hold your handgun and flashlight like this:
SureFire clearly put a lot of time and effort into designing the AZ2 flashlight, and it has gained a lot of popularity because of this. The other features make it suitable for other applications, such as a camping trip one of our Video Producers took to Washington over the summer. You can use this flashlight for tactical purposes or just sitting by a campfire. It has all the features you need for almost any situation!