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MDTS is a New York based firearms training and personal protection consulting company. We specialize in pistol, concealed carry, shotgun, carbine, defensive knife, less lethal, physical defense and threat awareness training courses. Mobile training courses are available in N.Y. and abroad. Contact us to host a training course at your range or location. Click logo below to see schedule of classes near you.

Posts Tagged ‘low light training’

Choosing A Flashlight for Every Day Carry

Posted on: October 18th, 2016 by admin 3 Comments

Choosing A Flashlight for Every Day Carry

Here are some considerations for buying an every day carry light for personal defense. How the light will be used falls into three general categories for most of us.

Light Usage

1)   Navigation – Moving through an area during a power outage, camping, hiking or during a tactical or defensive situation.

2)   Locate and or Identify – Finding something dropped under a desk. Locating a missing family member. Locating and identifying an unknown contact or subject in a parking lot.

3)   Challenge and Control – Combined with strong verbal commands the light reinforces a verbal challenge of an unknown person. This can have a powerful effect on the human eye in reduced light conditions. A handheld flashlight also makes an excellent impact tool if necessary. A quick burst of bright white light combined with a strike can be effective, helping you escape a bad situation.

Alternate Usage

1)   Communication with friends, partners, family members or team mates

Choosing A Flashlight for Every Day Carry

You may need that light to help defend yourself.

Criteria For Selecting a Handheld

You may use the light during a personal defense situation. Making an informed decision and choosing a quality flashlight is essential. When you need that light it will matter.


  1. What will be your context of use? Civilian or Law Enforcement Professional?
  2. What will be the most likely distance you will be using the handheld? Indoors, looking between vehicles in a parking lot or taking a 25 yard shot?
  3. How much real estate do you have to carry the light EVERY DAY? A pocket, pouch, handbag, duty belt or chest rig with multiple pouches? Some simply don’t have the real estate on them to carry a larger handheld on them consistently.


The light must be able to sustain dropping or impact without losing its ability to operate. This applies to all flashlight components: body, reflector, bulb and switching mechanism.

Water resistant

Water must not affect the lights ability to operate. Operating in wet, rainy conditions or dropping in water shouldn’t effect it.


A minimum of 350 lumens is recommended.  A 600-1000 lumen light is even better; more light means better information. Better information about the situation means better use of force decisions. Be aware your own light can effect your eyes if proper techniques and tactics for using that light aren’t practiced.

We have found a decent output level between 350-600 lumens to be effective for every day carry (I carry either a 350 lumen Streamlight Pro-Tac 1L-1AA   or a 650 lumen Elzetta Bravo with high output head and flood lens) Outdoors, a high output light (500+) has distinct advantages depending on the application and context in which it will be used.


The distance the light will travel and effectively illuminate your desired subject. A minimum reach or throw of 15 yards is recommended for a flashlight for every day carry. Most flashlights available today provide reach well beyond this distance. While the flood lens on one of my lights works great indoors it lacking when I have to spotlight something at 25 yards.

Actuating Mechanism

The on/off switching mechanism of the light. A silent, elevated, momentary on off pressure driven tail cap is recommended. This means the switch does not have to be fully activated or “Clicked” on for the light to work. In the dark, noise discipline is an advantage. Clicking a light on and off can give position and direction of travel away. A momentary on/off tail cap allows a single burst of light with each press. An elevated tail cap allows the light to be activated from a greater number of hand (shooting) positions than does a recessed tail cap.

Choosing A Flashlight for Every Day Carry

While a smaller light is convenient it may not live up to the task at hand, especially during a defensive situation. Top- 600+ lumen Elzetta Bravo (PFC model) with Raven Concealment Pocket Clip with integrated O-ring. Bottom- 30 lumen Streamlight Microstream.


Like a defensive handgun, the light can’t help if you don’t have it. It must be comfortable to carry. Some of the more “tactical” type lights can be sizable in hand in a pocket a pouch or on the belt.  A handheld light approximately 1 in diameter and 4 inches long tends to be an all around good size for most people.

Variable Output Lights


The Fenix PD32 (top) is a variable output light. It has low, medium and high output setting with a lockable switch to lock the light into a single desired mode of operation. The SureFire 62X (bottom) is a single high output light. Both lights have elevated, silent, pressure driven tail caps.

Variable output lights capable of extreme output are now commonplace and readily available. These type lights can “cycle” through different output settings. Low, medium, high, strobe, SOS. This type of light, while good for navigation, camping or walking the dog is not recommended for personal defense.

A single output light is recommended.

Low Light, Stress & Multiple Tasks

Attend a low light training class prior to purchasing a light to learn why. You may rely upon that light in a life or death defensive situation. Simple tends to be better.

Operating a handgun, a light, moving, searching, locating, identifying and accurately engaging can be difficult. A lot’s going on in the dark. With variable output lights theres too much thought required by the user to select the appropriate output setting in the moment. Often the user just cycle’s through the various settings randomly. Never utilizing the best one for the situation. This is due to the numerous other factors the user is thinking about during a stressful situation.

A single output light is recommended.

Low Light Training and Handheld Carry “Hack”

I first saw this hack when reading Tiger McKee’s excellent book “The Book of Two Guns”. Not a new trick but it is very helpful. Using this $0.25 “O” ring allows the user more space in the hand and better dexterity when handling both gun and a light.

Choosing A Flashlight for Every Day Carry

Recommended Handhelds & Accessories


Streamlight 66604 USB 250 Lumen

EDC –  Every Day Carry

Streamlight ProTac 1L AA

Fenix PD35Tac

Elzetta Bravo

Eletta Alpha

Surefire 6PX

Surefire P2X Fury Tactical

Concealed Pistol Low Light Skills

Posted on: November 25th, 2014 by admin No Comments

This course takes your Concealed Pistol Skills and applies them in a low/no light environment. This course will provide attendees with the most up to date concepts and strategies for effectively controlling their environment and potential unknown contacts, attackers or home invaders with light. In this course students will learn concepts of firing, manipulating and operating a firearm with and without a flashlight in a low/no light environment. A number of low light skills will be presented and practiced via force-on-target drilling. Modifiers will be introduced to simulate realistic stress and environmental considerations such as movement and verbal interaction with an unknown contact then drilled extensively. Finally, attendees will engage in force-on-force scenarios testing fundamental decision making, core skill sets and the attendees ability to deal with possible real life situations in reduced or no light. This is the closest you can come to an actual gun-fight or a critical personal protection incident in a safe environment. There is NO LIVE FIRE IN THIS COURSE AND A PISTOL LICENSE IS NOT REQUIRED. It is strongly suggested that you attend this course with a spouse, partner or other family member since they will likely be the only “Help” you will have until authorities can respond.


This course is a combination of lecture, discussion, dry-fire drilling, force-on-target drilling and force-on-force scenarios. It is recommended for both new and seasoned gun owners/carriers due to the dynamic, self evaluation benefits associated with this type of training. *For safety reasons this course is limited to 10-12 participants depending upon range or facility.


Course content will include but is not limited to:
Firearms Safety/Training Safety
Illumination Tools and Tool Selection
Low Light Shooting Techniques
Use of Ambient Light Sources
Target Identification and Engagement
Proper & Improper Lighting Methodologies
Low Light Problem Solving & Strategies
Force-On-Target Drilling
Force-On-Force Scenarios

Equipment List:
Pistol simulator – blue gun, red gun, SIRT Trainer or airsoft pistol (we will have a number of pistol simulators available but may not have one that is identical to your personal carry firearm), comfortable clothing or duty uniform, paintball mask (these can be found at WalMart or Dick Sporting Good stores),  sturdy belt & strong side holster that replicates your every day carry set up and fits your airsoft pistol, eye protection, weather appropriate clothing, hydration, note taking materials and cover garment.


Airsoft pistols, SIRT Trainers, Blue Guns and both inside and outside the waistband holsters and face masks will be provided but supplies may be limited, it is strongly recommended you utilize any equipment that best replicates your daily carry gear.


****Contact us today if you would like to host MDTS at your range/facility or come to us here in the Mohawk Valley region for one of our Concealed Pistol Low Light Skills courses. We have range and classroom facilities available that can accommodate large groups (12+), semi-private (2-4) or private training (1 on 1).

EDC: Streamlight Microstream

Posted on: May 5th, 2014 by admin No Comments



EDC: I am continuously working to prioritize and minimize the gear I EDC. Last November some friends recommended the Streamlight Microstream. This is a ~30 lumen micro led light with throw out to 38m according to manufacturer specs. I have utilized this small light more than any other light I own. Am I advocating this light for “Tactical” applications? No. However, for the environments in which I travel and my personal defense profile this light is extremely viable. My primary goals for a white light include: 1) Navigation (90+% of its usage) 2) Location or searching 3) Challenge of an unknown contact and possible force multiplier. This light accomplishes these goals with the exception of force multiplier. This light run by (1) AAA battery allows me at 7+ yards to easily visualize people and objects. The on/off pressure tailcap works just like my tactical handheld and the small size allows me to carry this everywhere everyday no matter what I am wearing. A larger, tactical light can be very cumbersome depending on the environment and how you dress. I still EDC a tactical light however that light is kept off-body in a coat pocket or daily carry backpack. Just something to consider if you require or desire a minimalist approach to EDC. Streamlight Microstream- $20 shipped from amazon. com ‪#‎lowlight‬ ‪#‎streamlight‬ ‪#‎microstream‬ ‪#‎mdts‬ ‪#‎mdtstraining‬ ‪#‎edc‬ ‪#‎edcgear‬ @everyday_tactical