Low Light Essentials #12 – Training – Hand-held Light – The Harries Technique

The Harries technique is one of the more popular techniques out there, probably the single most popular technique among law enforcement.

The Harries technique involves holding the flashlight in your weak hand, crossing your weak hand under your gun hand, and then pressing the back of your weak hand against the back of your strong hand.


In this position you push your strong hand against your weak hand while pulling the weak hand against the strong hand utilizing the stabilizing power of isometric tension.

(Similar to how the Weaver stance works)


The Harries technique is more stable than the FBI or neck index techniques because it gives some extra support to the shooting hand.

Personally I find that my accuracy is much improved using the Harries over the FBI or neck index methods.

When used properly the Harries also makes it very easy to index the light and the sights in the same place.

The positioning of the hands tends to make it fairly easy to get the indexes aligned right off the bat.


The Harries technique is fatiguing.

While the isometric tension used in the technique helps to stabilize your shooting platform, it also requires muscle tension, and that gets old real quick.

The positioning of the hands is also pretty un-natural and it takes a good deal of muscle energy to simply hold the Harries position even if you aren’t using the isometric tension.

As a result you’ll watch guys on the line start to drop the light and the weapon down to about a low-ready position and try to bring the light and the weapon up.

The Harries is more of a committed position than the FBI or neck index.

It requires slightly more time and effort to get out of so you can transition into the FBI or neck index techniques.


1 Comment on Low Light Essentials #12 – Training – Hand-held Light – The Harries Technique

  1. Lance P. Young // February 25, 2017 at 6:53 pm // Reply

    I agree with most of what is pointed out the core of the matter is training and muscle memory. In my 30 years of teaching and practical use on a daily basis as both a patrol and SWAT supervisor I would only recommend this technique to those who will have the drive to master it. There are too many shooters that think that because they have watched beau-coup Police TV shows that they know how to handle a pistol. You can use a side by side method which is not as stable. Or you can use a flashlight under the butt of the pistol neither of which is ridiculous when you add the force of recoil. Still any of these techniques are better than what I was taught in the “old days” in the academy in Los Angeles (60s) where you stand upright and hold the flashlight straight out to your side to supposedly distract the bad guy. I’ll stick with the Harries which has never let me down. The key is it has not let me down because I trained hard to overcome the “Combat Crouch” and other not so thoughtfully critiqued techniques.

    Lance P. Young
    USAF AP/SP 1964-1969.
    Captain, Ventura County (CA) SO, retired.
    Student at Gunsite and latter Adjunct t[Training Staff at Gunsite.

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