Tips for Shooting Firearms at Night

I’ve done various night shoots. The act of shooting the firearm is no different than during the day. Point the gun, pull the trigger. It’s everything that surrounds firing the gun, movement, identifying the target, and generally dealing with limited visibility that is different about night shooting.

I’ve also observed there’s a sizeable mental block with night shooting. I watched a skilled shooter struggle with a stage I know he could have blitzed through during the day. He had a weapon mounted light and no reason to be missing those shots. But it was his first time shooting at night.

I’ve you’ve never shot a firearm at night, don’t let your first experience be a home defense situation or a CCW situation. At the absolute minimum, dedicate some dry fire time to navigating your home at night with a firearm. But it’s definitely best to find a night shooting class. It’s quite educational and tons of fun.



Yes, I highly recommend this kind of training, especially for the older generations. If you have any kind of vision &/or hearing impairment, you can or will become further confused and/or disoriented in the dark/night situation.

It’s true for anyone regardless of age or gender really, but I say this from my own experience. I hunt predators & varmints at night and depth perception can & will be a challenge if you’re not used to it at all.

I’ve taken new people out night hunting with me, and that’s always been their biggest hurtle is trying to figuring out the correct yardage on the target.

Good recommendation @brianpurkiss!

BTW, I’m a follower, thought you’d like to know…
I subscribed to your channel the other day.
Keep up the good work! :+1:


Everything looks farther in the dark. It’s surprising how much that throws people off.

Awesome! Thanks so much for the kind words! I’ll try to keep it up.


Having experienced quite a few low light and no light type matches, if the gun handling skills are good, (being able to point the gun accurately even in the dark) range finding is mostly a concern with hunting.
At the distances for defensive purposes, that shouldn’t be problem.
The authorities seem to frown on shooting at distances farther than what is considered close striking and immediate threat distance.


It shouldn’t.

But I watched shooters struggle with some home defense distances. They were small targets with a handgun, and they were farther than most self defense distances, but they were within distances that could be had in the home on a long hallway that connects to a room.

It was a mental game for a bunch of these people. Since night shooting was new to them, they got in their head and the stress lowered their performance.


I’ve done some rifle night shooting on my home range since it’s a no go on any of the other ranges I can use during the daylight. For me no matter where I put the target it’s a known distance range so that aspect was gone. But for whatever reason it wasn’t a challenge. Maybe military experience kicking in? But for whatever reason it was no big deal. I was shooting supersonic using NV and suppressed. If suppression is an option it makes the best flash hider. I could see the pencil thin “flash” in the NV, but it was exceedingly tiny and ghostlike, did I actually see it? Yes. Would anyone at distance? I doubt it with NV, but maybe with IR they would.

It’s not unusual for me to have to dispatch vermin at night, and I prefer pitch dark for that. With subsonic, a can, and no visible light they never know where it’s coming from.

Yes, it’s definitely worth practicing.

I don’t see it being difficult with white light, but again worth doing to make sure. Always test to at least familiarize oneself before needing the skill.

My plan in the long hallway is to lay down 4000+ lumens of light in front of me and pointing downrange. It’s so blinding that I’m effectively behind an impenetrable curtain of light and also behind cover. I tested it, the light portion anyway. Anyone not heeding my order to vacate and to not come down the hallway I just don’t see it being anything other than suicide by homeowner.

while I’m posting… I just read an article about using bottleneck rifle cartridges indoors for home defense. That absolutely MUST be tested before it’s needed. Do it once and I doubt that you’ll want to do it twice, but a can on the muzzle makes it very doable. The blast MUST be gotten rid of. The supersonic crack is no big deal, but the blast is disorienting and painful and if anything I am understating the effect. Maybe it’s different with adrenalin pumping, but I wouldn’t want to bet on it when the chips are down, especially the effect on the wife, kids, and pets. Heck, even a .357 is like a mini flash/bang up close. Test, test, test.

It’s up to you how to explain the indoor shooting to the neighbors and HOA, and you’re on your own for a backstop.


Yessir, learning to shoot in the dark is mighty important.
Especially considering a lot of bad stuff happens at night.
Thanks for the reminder.