Tom, a retired US Army officer with combat experience, suggests that I should include a few useful general observations on the art of low-light pistol shooting. I have accepted his input uncritically, in deference to his greater practical knowledge in the matter and also because I already use a couple of these techniques, and now I pass them on to you.
His first suggestion, something that I’d never thought of, is that when you are using a flashlight in self-defense mode, you should keep one eye closed while the light is on. He says, “Every time you turn the light on, you sear away your retina’s visual purple and thereby reduce your ability to see in the dark. Thus, you handicap yourself. If you absolutely must use a flashlight, close one eye when you do. Then after you’ve turned the light off, you have at least one eye with which you can see in the dark.”
He adds, “In most tactical situations, having no light at all is better than using a flashlight.” My own experience causes me to agree completely. If you can see your enemy, and you can see the silhouette of the rear end of your pistol, you really can engage an adversary successfully…if you have practiced the technique. If you see only that sharp-edged rear silhouette, without any “bulges” to one side or the other, you’re holding your pistol correctly and your aim will be true.
His last comment is: “If you’re a tuck-your-shirt-in kind of guy like me, getting your weak-side hand onto your flashlight before beginning your presentation won’t work. You need that hand to pull your shirt-tail up, to expose your pistol for the draw. Your weak-side hand will only be available to hold the light after your gun is out of its holster.” In that case, I suggest that you’ll need to do a whole lot of careful practice, to make sure that your flashlight hand never crosses in front of your gun’s muzzle.