As the name suggests, the shooting event takes place in the dead of night, testing shooters’ skills to see how well they can neutralize targets lurking through total darkness. Shooters did their best to prepare, plan, and gear themselves for nighttime shooting, but you know what they say about the plans of mice and men. Things didn’t always go according to plan.
Leghorn reported that the flashlight he had duct taped to his shotgun worked wonders (low tech, but you can’t argue with duct tape). The Surefire Fury on his rifle also worked beautifully, but things quickly went south during the pistol portion of the match. He explained, “Since my handgun didn’t have a light on it I was stuck with my headlamp, and while that did a fine job of lighting up the target it didn’t help much telling me where my shots landed.” It was so difficult that he decided to take the failure rather than fumble in the darkness and take wild shots.
Learning just how ineffective your night shooting skills are might be demoralizing, but the “AWESOME” fifth stage of the event was definitely a morale booster. Shooters ran through a shoot house that was immersed in total darkness. They had to use nothing more than their night vision goggles and a PWS full auto AR-15 with IR designator to hit all 15 targets. That’s about as close as you’re going to get to full-blown SWAT or SOCOM night raids without signing your life over to a special tactics team.
The rest of the world wasn’t able to run through these exhilarating nighttime courses, but we can still benefit from Leghorn’s experiences as long as we heed his advice: “EVERY gun needs a light. EVERY SINGLE ONE. If I had a Streamlight on my P226 I could have made those shots on stage 3. Another thing I learned is that Crimson Trace’s laser grips are the absolute bee’s knees when it comes to night shooting.”
There you have it. Unless you plan on dropping some serious cash on your very own pair of night vision goggles, prospective night shooters need to stock up on gun-mounted lights, flashlights, and duct tape. Attaching floodlights to the top of your house would probably be ideal for home defense scenarios, but getting approval from your better half on that one might be a little tough.