Optics and Low-Light Shooting

Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 1999. The Marine Corps infantry company to which I was attached had a night-fire exercise. Everyone only had iron-sights and tracer rounds. You could barely see the target silhouettes. The results were depressing because the targets were hardly blemished. From the four o’clock position behind the shooter, I could see that everyone was aiming over the targets. Each shooter, seeking the invisible front sight post, had elevated the front of his rifle way too much. These Marines were instructed to aim lower to remedy the problem.

Accurate shooting requires seeing the target and being able to properly aim. At the time we could identify the target well enough, but we were unable to properly aim our rifles. I’m glad that this company of Marines had the opportunity to practice and learn about some of the pratfalls of low-light shooting. Properly aiming is harder than it would seem and is not to be taken for granted. We now have affordable, dependable, illuminated optics to help solve this problem. Don’t take aiming for granted.


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