This is a LooseRounds.com Q&A session. If you have a firearms related question please email it to QA@LooseRounds.com. We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.
1. Which Night sights for a Glock 19 would you recommend?
Duncan: There are several high quality sights on the market. Since Trijicon makes the Tritium lamps for most high-quality night sights you can’t go wrong with a company that has Trijicon labeled on the side of the sight. I have used several sights and recommend the following:
For all around general use that’s easy on the pocket book, Meprolight, Trijicon or Glock factory standard three dot night sights work fine. I have carried all three on different duty Glocks and they are very close in function. I prefer the Glock factory out of this group as they have lasted the longest and are quicker to acquire in low light. There is a down side that the Glock night sights have that the others don’t. Sometimes if you are back lit, the angle of the rear sight can reflect light, washing the rear sight out. This is rare but something to consider. Out of the three, the Glock factory sights have traditionally been the lowest in cost.
If price is something you are concerned with but you want to upgrade from the standard night sights, Ameriglo is a great option. Trijicon makes all of the laps for Ameriglo, and the Pro Operator or I-Dot Pro would serve you well. For the price these sights are hard to beat and will outperform the standard night sights.
If you want to step it up, my favorite sights currently are the Trijicon HD night sites. I have these on a Gen2 Glock 19 and I can tell you they are great. One of the best sight I have ever used. They have a serrated rear operator sight and photo luminescent orange ring front sight. The profile is higher and the sights are faster and easier to acquire for me. You will pay for these but they are worth it.
Howard: I personally prefer the Trijicon night sights, I like the sight picture and they have good customer service should you manage to break one. The downside to Trijicon sights is that the white ring around the tritium vials will wear away quickly. Meprolight sights will not lose the white rings, however they have less gap between the sides of the front sight and the rear sight.
2. Shotgun or carbine , which is best for general patrol work for police?
Duncan: There are so many factors that come into play when thinking about what would be the best long gun in your patrol vehicle. Both a shotgun and a carbine have their place. What patrol environment you are in, (metro, small city, rural, or county), will also play a factor. Price is also a point you might want to look at, but when your life is on the line, price is not a real factor for me.
Shotgun: The old pump action shotgun like the 870 is a great shotgun. I can tell you the intimidation factor of a pump action shotgun will beat all other weapons. It’s awesome for felony stops or an alarm call on a house/business at night. I don’t know what it is but bad guys fear the shotgun. I have had suspects tell me to shoot them or come running at me when I had an AR-15 or handgun pointed at them. The downside to the shotgun is that it is heavy, large/cumbersome, has a limited range and it only holds a few rounds. Used properly it is very effective but after four rounds you have to reload or transition.
AR-15: The trend over the last decade has really been moving toward the AR-15 type patrol rifles. I think this probably is the best all around choice. My department replaced the Remington 870 with the Colt M4/LE6921 in about 2003. The availability and ease to obtain body armor and the increase in the number of high profile incidents where suspects were heavily armed, are both driving factors in carrying AR-15 patrol rifles. It is light, small, easy to maneuver, accurate, has a large ammunition capacity and will defeat body armor. As a police officer you can use the kind of ammunition you want, unlike soldiers in the military. Open-tip match bullets and bonded bullets have made the AR-15 platform more accurate and effective with improved terminal ballistics. The AR-15’s range will exceed what the average law enforcement officer will need. Six inch steel target at 100 yards, no problem. With the ability to put multiple accurate rounds on target in quick succession, it is the preferred choice. Add an Aimpoint and this is an almost unbeatable combination in my opinion.
These are only some of the factors that you must consider when looking at your patrol shotgun or carbine. For general patrol work I feel an AR-15 variant is best. For patrol work I would go with a 14.5″ or 16″ barrel. If you are a part time tac-team member or well trained officer, I would go with an 11.5″ barrel. One thing to think about is a good 870 is only a few hundred dollars, so if your department approves it why not have both.
3. What is the best technique for shooting a pistol with a handheld flashlight?
Duncan: The best technique is the one that gives your firearm the most stable shooting position with the light you’re using. There are so many lights out there that this all depends on what particular hand held light you have. For me, I always carried a larger flashlight. I really liked the Streamlight SL20X and Stinger series.
I found with most lights The Harries Technique works extremely well: Hold the flashlight in your support hand, like an ice pick. Come underneath your firearm/dominant hand, then hook your wrist up and put the back of your hands together. Now your weapon hand is resting on your support hand wrist and the back of your hands are together. Apply a little pressure by pushing the backs of your hands together to make a stable shooting platform.
There are several other advanced techniques, (FBI, Surefire, Neck Index), most of them involve one hand shooting. The Harries Technique gets you very close to two handed shooting and works with flashlights that have end-cap or side pressure switches. The Harries is one of the most common techniques taught in Law Enforcement Academies.
Howard: Before I learned any proper techniques, I played around with several ways to do this. I found for me that I ended up using the the Harries Technique. I also use a similar method for using a handheld flashlight with the AR15, my left wrist is placed on the mag well pulling the rifle into my shoulder and helping support it.
4. What backup gun for police?
Duncan: Once again there are so many things to think about when looking at a backup firearm. First you need to pick a quality firearm, el cheapo .25 auto or .32 auto is not going to cut it. Ideally a backup that carries your same duty ammo and magazine capability is best. For example: a Glock 27 to a Glock 22, or M&P compact to M&P full size. The operation/manipulation and familiarity of these compacts are the same as your duty weapon. If this backup is mounted in your patrol car or on your ankle you can use your full capacity duty mags for reloads. This is a huge plus (+) in a prolonged firefight.
I have always been a smaller guy, I tried to carry a Glock 27 on my ankle, but it was just too big and heavy for me. In this case a very reliable J frame revolver is a very good option. For Example: S&W 642 airweight or 340PD airlite. These J frame revolvers can weigh as little as 11 oz. While not compatible with your duty gun, in most cases this is a last ditch emergency pull. I personally would not want to carry anything smaller than a 9mm/.38 special/.357 mag round. If it is an emergency situation I want to make sure my ammunition has the ability to put the threat down. Having said that .380 has come a long way and if you want something small in an automatic this is another option to consider. Example: Sig P238.
I can never state this enough, no matter what you choose, training and practice are key. You must have the ability to put effective rounds on target with your backup, especially if your backup is not compatible with your duty weapon. You might only have those five rounds in the J frame to get the job done.
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