MDFI – Low Light Shooting

Low light shooting is a skill that is difficult to master and can be dangerous and difficult to learn on your own.


This 3 hour course of instruction and skill building drills taught by Steve Fisher of Michigan Defensive Firearms Institute was offered to the students of his two classes held during mid January 2008 at the Pima Pistol Club north of Tucson, Arizona.

The students were eager to learn and thankful to Steve for offering to add this bonus class to the end of their two day Handgun / Carbine como.

Low Light Class

General Information:
3 Hour training.
Limited to 8 participants.

CPL or other pistol marksmanship certification.

Topics Covered:
Class is held from late evening until after dark.

Clear shooting glasses.
A good flashlight and batteries.
Strong side holsters.
400 rounds of ammunition.
3 magazines.
Magazine holders.
Snacks and drink for 3 hours of training.

Shooting in Low light uses more equipment, requires more thinking and is many times more dangerous. For these reasons Steve took the time to go over lighting options, their pros and cons. He also covered many methods of mounting and manipulating a weapon light.

Students would be shooting both handgun and carbine in the low light / night drills.

As with most aspects of shooting, lighting options for the handgun are varied. Some are appropriate for various situations. Steve stressed knowing a few techniques, but practicing what works best for your circumstances. which for most of us is typical CCW and defense shooting. This means weapon mounted lights would not be used as often as a hand held light and our daily carry handgun

Drills were done slower and with total supervision during the night drills. Students were tired, but attention was heightened in the extreme conditions. We had a 3/4 moon, so it wasn’t really pitch black, but as the sun set at about 5:30 it did get much darker. It was about 45 ° for the low light class, cold enough to wear a jacket.

A light was set up in the parking area behind the range so that the students could retain their night vision, but they had enough light to reload during breaks

Both handgun and carbine drills were performed under low light and dark conditions. Both with lights and with just night vision. Students kept sharp and safe and some drills were done one at a time, this was effective

Students used all the skills they learned in the last two days during the low light drills; manipulation of the light, shooting technique, transitions, reloads, and after actions were all part of these last drills

Students did drills in low light for hours, they each kept at least 200 rounds of both handgun and carbine for this portion of the course, and some students shot much more than that

One of the last drills of the evening was this wave drill with all shooting in quick succession. These before and during shots help illustrate how impressive this display was. Stay tuned for the video we took with the night vision camera equipment

After the class was over students looked for live rounds left behind on the ground as a safety measure, since an ACTS match would be held the next morning. Most of the students would be returning the next morning for that ACTS match, so they opted to leave their brass on the ground so they could come back early to retrieve it in daylight. However they were beat by someone who came out even earlier because the range was picked clean of brass before the earliest shooters arrived Sat morning.

This was at the end of Day Two of a Two Day, Three Class visit from MDFI

Day One – Handgun 1
Click here for the review

Day Two – Carbine 1
Click here for the review

Day Three – Low Light
Click here for the review

Michigan Defensive Firearms Institute is a Michigan-based training company that has been providing real-world firearms training to military, law enforcement, and qualified civilians since 2001.

Classes available for groups or individuals, beginners or advanced training.

American Confederation of Tactical Shooters
ACTS Purpose

To provide a sport in which Civilian rifle owners along with Military and Law Enforcement professionals can practice ‘real world’ shooting skills in a sporting venue that has not been offered by any other shooting discipline or association.

To promote the safe practical, proficient use of rifles. To foster sportsmanship and camaraderie among rifle owners, and to support and defend the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

MDFI was brought down to Tucson by Scott who runs the Tucson ACTS matches each month. Scott knew that Steve was a good instructor through his participation in ACTS, so he invited MDFI to Tucson. Scott coordinated the range and collected students.

Thanks to Scott. Also big thanks to Jim another ACTS shooter who also helped out by driving the Michiganers to and from the airport and to the range, to dinner, to the gun shop, etc. . and thanks to Tucson Guns who provided some supplies for the classes.

Look forward to seeing MDFI in Tucson again soon

Are you interested in shooting an ACTS match?
Come down and check us out. Visitors are welcome, just check in at the office and let the range officers know who you are and they will get you a tour of the ranges, and you can talk to the shooters and see how the stages are shot. We are all proud of our safety record (zero incidents) and are happy to answer questions. If you live in Phoenix, Casa Grande, Benson, Serria Vista or anyplace else within driving distance. Come on down and shoot with us. You will literally have a blast. It’s not like shooting at any range you’ve shot before and the skills you’ll learn could one day save your life.