Did some night time shooting over the weekend...

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Thread: Did some night time shooting over the weekend...

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    Did some night time shooting over the weekend...

    The shooting range that I belong to holds a defensive pistol match monthly from March to November. Last year they did one on a Saturday night insted of the usual Sunday morning. I missed the one last year and decided I'd at least make one of them this year (2 scheduled). So I head over there Saturday evening and I hadn't fired a round in a couple of months (2 months of hell). The range bought some 4 inch steel targets, they consist of a pole stuck in the ground and then 2 plates welded together at an angle that sit on top of the pole, I'll call them little bastitches. We did some scenarios during daylight and then did the same scenarios after dark. One stage involved the little bastitiches and another stage involved the "mover". The little bastitces took most people a lot of rounds to knock off, but it made you slow down and concentrate. So the daylight stages I did pretty good on, only one miss (not including the little bastitches) and that was on the mover, window of opportunity for the mover was about 7 yards. I'm feeling pretty good about my shooting and having fun. Then the darkness creeped in and I had to try for the first time shooting with a flashlight. I don't have nightsights, lasers, or a weapon mounted light on my GLOCK 19. To make an already long story short, I really struggled with operating the light and firing at the same time. I finally heard someone mention to another shooter to hold the flashlight above to just above your ear and that way it follows your head movement and puts a little light on the gun. I tried this and did much, much better.

    Lessons learned: Shooting in the dark is challenging even with a flashlight.
    I need to practice more shooting with one hand. When I'm doing a mag change the guys behind me should watch their eyes.

    All in all I had a lot of fun and learned a lot. I don't know if I will do the one next month, I didn't get home until 12:30 am after an hour drive.
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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    It's amazing how different things are at night and it really points out how much we rely on our vision.

    Personally I prefer Night Sights, having shot a fair bit in the dark. I also like lasers, but for a competition such as the one you described I don't think they are considered "sporting".

    I commend you for using your EDC without altering it for this shoot. It helps to show the strong and weak points in your selected platform / gear, and gives you things to consider. While we may have to use a gun in bright daylight the odds don't favor it. I believe in preparing for the worst condition you could realistly find yourself in and train around that. Anything else will be a piece of cake, relatively speaking.

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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    That sounds like you had fun I always wanted to try a night competition, The
    closest I came to it was at our hunting club range, I did'nt do too bad ; )
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    Shooting at night can be a whole different monster. The vast majority of my night shooting has been job related, whee I get to play with nvgs, thermal imagers, laser designators and all that good stuff. It's too bad those things aren't practical for civilian carry, because they really do help.

    Sounds like you had fun, kudos for stepping outside your comfort level while training, too many are guilty of just staying inside the box.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
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    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments guys.

    Some people had guide rod lasers, one had a rear sight laser (shot a M&P 9 Pro during the day then switched to a GLOCK 27 for the dark). One guy had just got a guide rod laser for his XD and it crapped out pretty quick. Another guy had a light on the rail of his GLOCK 30 but he shot in another group and I didn't get to ask how he liked it. Of course he had to come up with a different holster than what he normally uses.

    I don't know what would be best, night sights, laser (not guide rod), weapon mounted light, or handheld light. I know it will depend on what kind of ambient light is available. I know a lot of situations happen at night but usually there will probably be more ambient light to work with than what we had.

    As far as being sporting with using lasers, it really doesn't bother me as it is a pretty loose competition (no prizes, just bragging rights). My theory is to train with what you are gonna carry. Some of the guys shoot with guns other than their EDC, some use a different gun every month, some of the holsters I wouldn't consider to be concealed carry holsters.

    I like to use my CBST and my EDC the only thing I use that I don't normally carry with is a double mag holder which I'm pretty sure I couldn't conceal. It doesn't bother me that I win or lose, I want to improve every match and do it as realistically as possible. I don't wear a cover vest, just my normal loose fitting t-shirt. I figure I've got a lot to learn and I might as well make it harder so I'll learn faster.
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    Sounds like you enjoyed the night shooting. I took an evening SD pistol course...add in diagonally moving targets with only a flashlight, and you begin to understand your limits......pretty realistically training IMHO.
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