Lately, I have had the opportunity to regularly practice my low-light shooting, and as I mentioned previously when talking about lasers the experience has been illuminating (I crack myself up). A couple of fun observations I’ve had:
- Sights that gather light are better than sights that don’t. Non-illuminated 3-dot sights are the worst for low light, fiber optics or gold beads are better, and actual night sights are best.
- Guns that produce light are awesome, whether it’s with a laser or an onboard flashlight.
- That whole argument about how “ported guns will ruin your night vision” is nonsense. In low light, my 625 shoots a fireball out of the cylinder gap that doesn’t ruin my night vision, so I have a hard time believing that 2-4 tiny jets of flame from ports will.
- Your sight picture doesn’t change when it’s dark. Seriously, if there is enough ambient light to see the sights and it’s a situation where you’d use them anyway, then you should probably use your sights.
- Point shooting can be very helpful. Last night’s stage in particular had 2 initial targets that were wide open and less than 5 yards – point shooting those guys will you fast and accurate hits.
- Marksmanship doesn’t change. I’ve seen people utterly go to pieces when the lighting changes on targets they would have shot clean in regular light. Sight picture and trigger control are the same whether or not you can see perfectly.
I really can’t encourage people enough to shoot their carry guns in low light. Take a class, go to a club match that does that, but the opportunity to shoot your defensive firearm in a situation that’s similar to an actual defensive shooting scenario is incredibly valuable. Low-light shootings are wildly different from brightly lit indoor ranges or shooting on a sunny afternoon; but at the same time they’re not so different that you have to reinvent the wheel to shoot in low light.