How to Shoot in the Dark

Why Should You Know How to Shoot in the Dark?

Awake or asleep, you live 1/2 of your life in the dark. Bad things can happen at any time during the day or night. Knowing beforehand how to shoot in the dark will greatly improve and speed up your response time. [Learn more about home defense with our online course Property, Guns and Liberty.] 

Muscle memory is a key part to target practice. Getting familiar to the feel of your gun and how it shoots is part of improving your accuracy. Shooting in the dark works the same way. It helps your eyes to be able to adjust to low-lighting. This way you can more easily aim and ensure that your shot actually hits the target when your vision is more limited. Honing that night skill will enable you to focus more quickly and efficiently if/when the time comes.

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Being able to see your sights in the dark is the first step to getting started with shooting at night. Trijicon sights will improve your ability to aim when you are blinded by the dark. Even though you can't see anything around you, you should still be able to make out your sights. Because you can see your sights in the dark, you can be more confident in your shot.

How to Shoot in the Dark

A flashlight on your weapon will assist you on positively identifying your target before engaging. It is also difficult for an intruder to see past the light. Which may result in them giving up instead of shooting. Keep in mind that they are a danger until they are dead or in custody of the police.

Don’t walk around with the light on. Only turn the flashlight on long enough to identify your target and shoot. Place two shots, turn off the light and move. Why? It is an instinct to shoot at the light. Most people will shoot in the direction from which the light came from. If you move, then you will no longer be in the location where the return fire will most likely go.

Lighting and Home Defense

Shadowing –When you go to bed at night, only leave one light on in the house. Preferably near where an intruder is most likely to come in at. It should be completely dark at the other end of the house. If it isn’t, then use a smaller light (like a nightlight or close the door to the room where the light is on).

When an intruder comes into your home, they should not be able to see you. Their outline, however, should be easy for you to define. Important: Always have a flashlight on hand. You want to be sure to identify your target before you shoot. Too many people have mistaken family members or friends for an intruder. 

Avoid Deadly Mistakes

Again, only use the flashlight long enough to identify your target and shoot. Turn the flashlight off and move. Never stay in one place until you can confirm that all threats have been stopped. Using the flashlight method will not only help you ensure that you are hitting your target, but it will also serve to temporarily blind the intruder. Thus making it harder for them to return fire.

Beware of hallways, they can turn into a fatal funnel because your options are very limited on where you can go. Remember, always maintain the freedom to maneuver. If you find yourself in the hallway, the only way to get through it is to keep pushing and shooting until you are clear. Crouching down or turning sideways while you move will help reduce the chance of getting hit.

Practice Exercises

  • Work on maneuvering through your home in the dark.
  • Check for tripping hazards or noise makers that may give away your position should you step on it. It is hard to see where your feet are going in the dark.
  • Run dry fire drills (weapon unloaded) – turn on your flashlight, dry fire and then move to your next defensive position.
  • Keep in mind that you always want to keep your eyes on the threat until it has been eliminated. However, cowards do travel in packs. Don’t expect there to only be one until you can verify otherwise.
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