Both Robert and I recently ordered and have now read Michael Seeklander’s new book, “The Low Light Fight – Shooting, Tactics, Combatives.” We thought it worthwhile to provide a brief review here for our readers.
Seeklander subtitled his new book, “How to Win in a Low Light Environment.” Indeed, this is an apt description of the contents of the book. The book is a quick read at 88 pages, but is nonetheless an excellent primer on integrating a flashlight into your weapon handling skill set and is a valuable reference to include in your library.
Seeklander has managed to clearly present a great deal of pertinent information in a concise package, including appropriate training priorities, equipment selection and recommendations, dealing with threats at varying ranges, searching for threats in low light environments, and suggested training drills for both dry and live fire. While the book primarily deals with fighting with a pistol, Seeklander did include a chapter on setting up a rifle for low light use. His final chapter is an excellent conclusion that reinforces the need for training and appropriate training priorities with a focus on fundamentals.
We’ve mentioned Tom Givens’ data on civilian defensive gun use on the blog before, and I was pleased to see that Seeklander includes this data and bases his recommendations on real world experience. (The short version is that in over 60 documented defensive gun uses, no one has yet needed a flashlight, so you should focus on mastery of simple fundamentals before progressing on to low light training.) Seeklander’s recommendations on integrating a flashlight when fighting with a pistol dovetail nicely with my recent training experiences. With only slight differences, the material is actually very similar to what I learned in Mike Pannone’s Covert Carry Course (AAR here). Whether this has anything to do with the fact that they both were trainers for the Federal Air Marshals at one point in their respective careers I can’t say, but the material from both is solid.
Another unique thing that I like about Seeklander’s book is that he directly addresses integrating the light with defensive combatives that may be inevitable in close quarters. Again, this material dovetails nicely with recent training, especially in terms of the retention position and other techniques taught by Greg Ellifritz in his Extreme Close Quarters Gunfighting class (AARs here and here).
Seeklander occasionally references techniques covered in more detail in his other books, and it is worth noting that he has given away free digital copies of these books in the past for simply signing up for e-mail updates from his website www.shooting-performance.com.
I found the brief section on rifle set up to be interesting simply because Seeklander provides a specific rationale for his suggested light mounting position that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Read the book, but Seeklander goes into some detail advocating for a 6 o’clock light mount to (among other reasons) avoid reflecting light off of smoke created by shooting. This may be, but I know of a lot of switched on dudes that run a light high and tight like I have my guns set up. At any rate, it’s nice that Seeklander not only tells you what he suggests, but why! This is true of almost every recommendation in the book, whether it deals with pistols, rifles, equipment, or techniques. Going back to weaponlights and smoke, I have no idea where I would ever be able to test his assertion except at a carbine specific low light training class. I’ve done low light training with pistols on three separate occasions (two indoor, one outdoor), and I don’t ever recall any problems with smoke. From prior discussion, Robert’s experience is slightly different, with a target being somewhat obscured by smoke, also with a pistol. For now, for me, this aspect of carbine configuration is going to have to remain on the back burner.
Being a first edition, the book is not without the occasional typographical error, but it is an easy read despite these minor mistakes. My only other criticism is that Seeklander refers to the Harries and Rogers techniques early in the text but does not explain them until much later in the book. Now, I would imagine that many of his readers are probably already familiar with the techniques, but some may not be. Seeklander does explain the named flashlight techniques in detail later in the text, but I think that the explanation would probably be more appropriate to read before the comparison validating his suggested technique is made. (I’m not going to give away his suggested technique here, read the book!)
In summary, for less than $20, I think this is an excellent book to add to any gunfighter’s collection. The information is directly and easily applicable to civilian concealed carry. You can purchase the book directly from Seeklander’s website, or from our Amazon Affiliate link.
Finally, if you’re not already listening to his podcast, the American Warrior Show, I highly recommend that you do. The show will going to a weekly format in the very near future, and it is always full of useful information and worth a listen!