Low Light Pistol Practice Day – Jan 2020

Jan 3rd, 2020 we organized and hosted a 1 evening Low Light Pistol Practice session.

What was expected to happen?

Following a similar format as our previous practice days, this evening was set up to practice pistol shooting specifically in low light conditions. We planned on running the same or similar drills as we had run in our previous pistol practice session.

What actually occurred?

13 shooters came to train with a good mix of different makes and models of handheld lights, weapon mounted lights, iron sights and red dots. After a general safety briefing (which included a few new items due to the low light aspect) we walked through the drills that we had set up for the night, which included:

  • Do torture
  • 5×5 Drill
  • Moving and then shooting transitions
  • VTAC Barricade work
  • Stretching it out / PID

There was nothing particularly special about these drills, other than the fact that our intention was to run then 3 different ways in low light:

  1. Handheld light only
  2. Weapon mounted light only
  3. Transitioning from handheld to weapon mounted

What went well and why?

Well… it snowed a few days before, but the good news was that there was not too much on the ground, and it was cold enough that there was no mud! It was a balmy 24 degrees F, but we lucked out with no wind, so as long as we kept moving, it was not TOO cold.

One of the various drills ran during our Low Light Pistol Practice day…

Before the practice event, I reached out to Jon at Kinetic Consulting and Bryan with SlyTac Training Solutions for some advice on how to best run a low light practice session. Both instructors are quite experienced in this type of shooting and training and were very helpful in providing some basic guidelines for us to stay safe and get the most out of out session. We hope to be able to host both in the future for some low-light training.

I thoroughly enjoyed our low-light practice! Josh’s range setup, safety brief and admin work were top notch. He understands the small things that create a great experience for the guests, and I enjoyed our freedom to practice and learn through our own processes. Everyone who attended was professional, eager and safe. I am looking forward to our next opportunity to practice!

We had a lot of fun, and got some great practice in. If nothing else I think everybody learned more about what works, what doesn’t and personal preferences.

What can be improved and how?

Host / Organizer

This was actually my first time shooting at night with a group any larger than 2 people… so it was a learning experience for me as an organizer as well. Although overall it went quite well, there are a few small things that will be easy to implement in future low light practice sessions.

  • An easy way to actually attach the light sticks that I provided 🙂
  • A lantern or other large admin light source for the classroom / briefing area

Participant

Everyone went home with new ideas about what actually works and what doesn’t. The best thing the shooters can do to improve will be to follow up!

  • What was one thing you did well and WHY did you do it well?
  • What is one thing you would like to improve, and HOW will you improve it?

Reinforce what needs to be done following the learning / training session, maybe make some notes (why do you think I take the time to type up this AAR?). Learning does not always happen in the moment, or even with the debrief – it often requires application afterwards. This could be some modification to equipment, a revision to a planning assumption or to post a report somewhere (Pew Pew Solutions Facebook group?) where others can learn from your experiences.

Summary

This is definitely something that we will be organizing and hosting again in the future! Not only was shooting at night fun, it helped the shooters learn and appreciate several new aspects and concerns about shooting with a handheld and/or weapon mounted light.

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