BarryinIN Posted February 24, 2013 Report Share Posted February 24, 2013 So we had a little night shooting class tonight. A local training outfit held it. There were only five of us and we had all done it before, so it was not so much a class as a series of drills. Most night shooting portions of classes only end up running an hour or two at the most, so it is nice to spend some more time on it. This is sort of what these guys do. Since a typical class from a typical trainer might cover all sorts of areas, touching briefly on each little thing from one-handed shooting to movement, you only end up with maybe an hour or so on some things. These guys will hold a half-day class on one specific area so we can work on it a while. This was to be a pistol/carbine class, but we ended up doing mostly carbine work.Lessons learned:-Do NOT look through a really nice night vision unit like a PVS-14 and not expect to want one. If you don't look, you won't know what you're missing. Crap.-Distractions are amplified at night, and different things make for unexpected distractions. I was doing the "Figure 8", which is walking a figure eight path around barrels when they call out target numbers to identify and shoot after you get to the correct cover spot. Behind me I hear a hissing sound, then a road flare lands among the targets. Big deal, right? To me, it was a bigger distraction than the strobe or yelling crap at me. I guess because it was something unusual.-You have to see it to hit it, but sometimes it doesn't take much light. If it's really dark, any light is great.-Identifying your target is different. That might take a lot of light. -Identifying your target with a handheld, then shooting with the weaponlight prevents pointing guns at non-threats, but the process of doing it sucks. It seems to take forever from starting it to finishing it. If your weaponlight has the right beam pattern, you might be able to sort of cheat and illuminate the ground and see.-You drop something in the daytime, you know where it hit the ground and can find it later. Drop it at night, and you have no reference point. In daylight, you know it landed three feet from the brown clump of grass. At night, it landed in the dark, which looks like that dark other there, and this dark over here. Dummy cords or a piece of reflective tape might be worth considering on more expensive items. -LED lights last longer. Things still break unexpectedly, though. -Secondary plans suck at night. If your light fails and you need your spare, make sure you can get to it easily. That sounds obvious, but maybe it isn't.-Muzzle smoke/haze plays [censored] with lights. When we were doing shorter range work and moving, it cleared as we moved so was not a problem. Later, doing longer range shooting where we would got behind cover and pound rounds into the target while our partner moved, we'd build up quite a cloud at our muzzle. Since the lights are behind the cloud, that nice tight beam turns into a mess. It's sorta like high beams in the fog or looking through a greased-up window. This was new to me. I hadn't got to do any longer range night shooting before. It was doable, but more challenging. A magnified optic helped cut through it. A red dot is easily visible, but doesn't help you see past your cloud of crap.-It was in the mid to upper 20s, so that provided it's own challenges. I used the same chest rig I've used for eight years and pretty much know where everything is on it. Not tonight, because when strapped over four layers of shirts everything had moved. I fumbled for mags, looked for my dump pouch, and clattered around getting the pistol back in the holster. Guys with war belts had to get everything up past their clothing that had bunched and folded over the top. I don't know how those guys in Afghanistan do it, with the temp extremes they can see in the course of a day. They have to be adjusting gear all the time, with every layer that comes on or off.-You can hit just as easily at night. You "just" need to get enough light on target. Shooting 240 yards with a 65 lumen light is a job. Shooting 240 yards with a 320 lumen light is a piece of cake.-I used the AUG and SCAR 17 because it was my first chance to use them in a class. And because they were the newest toys. The AUG flash hider worked great, but I kept getting a small red flash that looked to be from the ejection port which caught my eye. Nobody else saw it. I finally decided it was being reflected off the red dot lens.I used the SCAR for the longer stuff (AUG=indoor rifle; SCAR=outdoor rifle). The SCAR has a combination muzzle brake/flash hider. I was dubious. A good brake usually enhances flash, and a good flash hider won't be much of a brake. It's a helluva brake, so I expected to be lighting up the world. I think we were all surprised to see it actually did hide the flash. I'd get a spark or two sometimes, but that happens. I've been seriously thinking of replacing it, but maybe not.The Trijicon scope worked great. I thought it was a little too bright and "bloomy" at first, but that brightness was nice to have when shooting through a muzzle cloud. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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