Bezel up or bezel down

The post from the other day had an excellent comment regarding splash back or fragging yourself with the bright light. It happens a lot more than people think once you step off the sterile firing line.

For a lot of people they look at the personal hand light as a lighting tool, but I love to think of it as an impact tool as well. I have hit plenty of people with the bezel, it works. So, when you can step back and look at the big picture you see the personal handheld light should be part of your combatives program.

Sure, it’s not as good as a knife for thrusting, a gun for shooting or a billy club for hitting, but at close quarters it is still devastating in the right hands. I mean just about anything can be used as an impact tool, but since most everyone carries a personal light it should be part of your overall combatives program.

Once you have implemented it as part of your combatives program and you start to train with it in more realistic settings you will learn quickly the importance of a quick draw when necessary. Like anything you will have to decide what works best for you and now a days you are given two options; bezel up or bezel down.

This is largely controlled by the spring clip on most personal handheld lights. The clip’s orientation dictates what direction. A few years back Surefire came out with their universal spring clip. I thought it was a great idea to have the option, but invariably I returned to my go to, which was bezel up so it really didn’t matter to me. Until I realized that to carry it bezel up meant that a larger portion of the bezel was exposed. Now it all fairness that was mainly due to the larger bezel, but it didn’t give me the warm and fuzzy as far as security was concerned.

Part of my light selection criteria now has the bezel orientation along with how deep the light goes into my pocket. I have found that when comparing the new E2D Ultra with the L4 Lumamax the L4 sits much lower and gives me the best grip under stress. Another reason I went back to the L4 series.

So, why the big deal about bezel orientation. We use almost the exact same drawstroke when deploying the fixed blade. The orientation is virtually the same allowing me to double up on the targeting. In other words, the same targeting I use for the edged weapons can be used, albeit less effectively with the personal handheld flashlight. The location is close enough that again I can double up on the technique used for clearing my concealment garment. Obviously there are some differences, but when moving at real speeds things balance out once you have done it for a while.

A lot of folks just see a light and therefore they think in terms of how bright can I get this thing. Others see it as impact tool and when you consider it in those terms how fast you can get to it makes a difference.