Flashlights as situational awareness

So guys I just bought the Streamlight HL-X as an EDC flashlight.

Question is what is the proper way to use this flashlight?

Do I keep it on High Only and only use it if I see somebody?

Or do I use it to look in dark alley ways where people may be lurking with the risk of people calling the cops just incase the light accidentally flashes through or next to a window?

Would like advice on this.

Also since I’m on the topics of lights…

I bought a Streamlight TLR-6 on my EDC Gun a year ago my G43! Originally when I got the light and laser combo the laser wouldn’t keep zero. I stripped the sight screw right after I got it and took it off and sent in to Streamlight. They fixed the screw, but as I put it on, one of the frame screws stripped on me. The laser also doesn’t keep zero so for the most part I don’t use the laser. Anyway on how to get the stripped screw out of the frame of the gun?


Good question @Forensic_Wow. For me I like to keep my eyes adjusted to the dark, plus that way you’re not giving away your location. If I’m moving around quietly in the dark and then I need to see what’s in front of me clearly or if I think someone’s in front of me, then I will turn on my light. The light you see in the picture down below on my Smith and Wesson sd40ve has a strobe setting as well. So if I’m in my house and I hear somebody come in, all I do is wait and as soon as get through the door I strobe them catching like a deer.

In reality it’s up to you. But since you’re asking having the tactical advantage of being in the dark and then flashing light when you see somebody is how I like it.

Good post by the way.


I stopped using the rail on my USP because overtightening pinched the slide and wouldn’t allow proper movement… looser didn’t work either (probably an issue with the USP proprietary rail with the aftermarket rail mount I used).

I would first try a higher quality hex bit. The less expensive brands available at many local hardware stores, as well as W-Mart tend to be soft, deform when used, and can strip the engagement a little. If the tool was included with the flashlight, I don’t know the quality of their tools. Also, make sure you are using the correct size and type, e.g. standard vs metric.

I hesitate to suggest cutting a line in the screw (to use a flathead) as trying would probably damage the light, and I doubt that would be covered under warranty. Maybe ask your local gun shop for suggestions.

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Well the flashlight is a good thing to have for walking around in dark places and identifying people in the dark. I keep mine on the brightest mode. As far as the TLR6 I have one on my M&P 9 Shield and I love it. I never had a problem with it. Those things are usually good right out of the box. You say your laser is not centered, were you shooting at targets at long distances? How did you test it?

I do not use a firearm mounted light as you can break one of the golden safety rules. “Don’t point your firearm at anything you don’t want to destroy” You could be flagging innocent strangers in an alley or if at home, maybe a child wondering through the house at night.

Sorry to pop your balloon on the new toy. :frowning:
I took all my lights off any handguns I have and use the handheld Streamlight Strion in a Harries Technique.


Then our Police, all LE agencies, Military, I guess they are all breaking that rule. Just saying.


@Forensic_Wow, regarding removing the stripped frame screw… For a stripped head, I’ve used a slightly smaller bit, and put a rubber band across the tip. Then, with pressure, the rubber band will fill the gaps in the screw head, allowing you to unscrew it. That’s worked for me before, and from the picture, looks like it might work for you.


Welcome to the family brother and you are blessed to be here.

They are not breaking the rule at all. If they are looking for someone or something they have the firearm out and intend to use it if necessary where as we as civilians should use the handheld lights until we know what we are going to be doing. If positive of an intruder then yes the one on the weapon is the one to use.


Yes they are, it is a safety rule that applies to everyone who uses a firearm.
I have watched hundreds of LE videos and really just never see light mounted handguns.
Not to say there could be some departments which allow it or don’t have rules on it but it is a very poor decision to have a light mounted and used on a handgun. You’re flagging everything.

Why not avoid the dangers of flagging an innocent by just using Harries?

Quote from the NRA:
A primary advantage of a handheld flashlight is that it can be used to search and scan an area independent of a defensive firearm. A pistol-mounted light, though helpful in illuminating and positively identifying threats, is not well-suited for searching because anything the light touches is also being “flagged” or “muzzled” by the firearm, a serious no-no for responsible armed citizens who adhere to the rules and tenets of safe gun handling.

Using an earlier example, a firearm-mounted light is a reasonable search tool in the hands of military professionals working in hostile areas—these men and women know going in that danger could be behind any door or around any corner, and they must be prepared to deal with it. But the equation for an armed citizen is quite different, when something goes bump in the night and the adrenaline is pumping, the rules of safe gun handling will go a long way toward preventing an accident without lowering preparedness.

If, in a defensive scenario, you find the rule “Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction” to be a bit vague, refer to the other common expression of this safety guideline, “Never point the gun at something you are not willing to destroy.”


Relax my brother I know that I agree 100 percent.

Brother I am not saying you are wrong I just wanted to know why and your reasons. I’m cool with that. Just I would not remove my lights from my firearms.

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Instructors will suggest carrying a flashlight separate from your firearm, in addition to the one you (might) have attached, to avoid the problem of searching with your muzzle (and, for example, ending up pointing it at your kid going for a midnight snack). I always have a Fenix E18R with me. This is a tiny flashlight capable of putting out 750 lumens, so it is temporarily blinding, yet is small enough to fit in my change pocket!

I also trained back in the days before you would ever put a flashlight on a carry gun, so Harries is my preference anyway. But with the Fenix I could easily have separate lights on the gun and in my pocket without feeling too weighed down.


For those of you who have a problem with WML here we go just watch these videos.

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By going on a flat indoor range, I would sight the laser just over the top of my sights. I’d shoot the first shot with the laser and the bullet goes where the laser is, 2nd shot goes a little ways away from laser, and 3rd shot is nowhere on the target and I have to readjust my laser. It’s not keeping Zero.

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It seems you took the correct measures brother. Does it have a warranty on sir? If so send it back and they me replace it, but call the company first.

They’ll replace it, only problem I have is one of the mounting screws is stripped so I can’t take it off my carry gun, and I’m not turning my gun in.

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Someone mentioned putting a rubber band at the end of the tool tip it makes it tighter in the gap. It was @Isaac97.

Check out this blog post about using a flashlight:


Hey @Dawn for some reason the link isn’t opening I’ll keep trying and have a blessed day.