In the (hopefully unlikely) event you actually have to use your home defense gun in an emergency, there’s a very good chance that it’s going to be dark. Fortunately, there is a lot of technology to help us out with this. Weapon mounted lights, lasers, night sights, illuminated optics, and powerful compact handheld flashlights are all fantastic inventions that not only help increase accuracy in low light, but allow you to ensure that your target is actually someone/thing that needs to be shot.

But there’s a bit of a problem with all of this cool-guy tactical nighttime gear. The vast majority of gun owners have never practiced with any of it. Even among shooters who practice with their self-defense guns on a regular basis, very few have had the opportunity to fire their guns in low light. This is bad, because it just so happens that shooting in the dark is really hard.

I have been fortunate enough to have taken a couple of classes on low-light handgun techniques from some amazing instructors, and have even had a few chances to practice what I learned outside of these classes. These opportunities were, pardon the pun, quite eye-opening. Lights, lasers, and night sights completely live up to the hype, and the advantage they provide is nothing short of game-changing, if you know how to get the most out of them. Employing these devices efficiently in low light is a skill in itself and just because you’re a decent shot on a well-lit range does not mean all of your abilities will automatically transfer over to low light shooting with no adjustments.

So if you haven’t taken a low-light class or haven’t had the chance to train in an environment that’s at least as dark as your home is at night, try to remedy that. Once you have a good grasp of the fundamentals of defensive shooting techniques, I’m convinced its one of the most valuable skills you can have in your self-defense toolbox.

If you have done some low light training, let us know about it in the comments. We’ll definitely be covering more on this topic in the future and we want to have as much input from you guys as possible.


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  • Knox Area Sports

    Anybody have any suggestions for some good night sights to buy? I keep a Glock in a bedside holster but I haven’t improved the sights at all and don’t even know where to start.

    • LG Chris

      The most popular are three-dot style night sights from companies like Novak, but there are tons of other options for Glocks. My personal favorite are the Ameriglo i-Dot Pro sights found here: . I would suggest heading to your local gun shop to look at the sights on different pistols in person. If you get an idea of what you like, order a similar set and have a gunsmith install them for you.

    • Knox Area Sports

      Thanks for the links, I’ll have to check them out.

  • Joe Ondish

    I can’t say that I’ve done any official low light training, although I have done quite a bit of dusk/night shooting to mimmick the low light situations. I have found that while night sights are a great addition, nothing beats a weapon mounted light. Considering target accuracy is not nearly as important as combat accuracy in a HD scenario, the weapon light allows you to better see the target and still gives you the sight silhouettes to line up quickly to engage. I will urge anyone who can, to get some low light training, it’s MUCH different and will take time to improve even basic control in the dark.

  • Randy McCardle

    If you think low light is challenging, try it with a simulated engagement and a strobe. The night sights can also get dirty/damaged from neglect you don’t seem to notice til you’ve used them and look for it more often too.

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  • Bryant

    I have trillium sights on my Sig P228. I practice weekly at night, I have a shooting range on my land so my wife and I can practice anytime.