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Discussion Starter #1
In our last IDPA match, this question arose:
In low light situation, if one has night sights and feels that he/she can shoot just as well with this equipment, should they be allowed to do so without a flashlight? In other words, scenario is worded in such a way as to "solve the problem" and is low-light (not No-light), should one be allowed to just shoot it, or should all use flashlights to make it "fair" or consistant?
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Unless the stage says something like
""Illuminate the target, turn off the light and engage"


You should be free to solve the problem as you wish.

I believe both low-light technique are very useful and should be practiced as often as possible.

Mike
 

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If you are playing a game, which IDPA is, then it must be the same for everyone. So all use a flashlight or all do not. We have had this happen. One thing you can do is make all targets have black or dark T shirts and then have some of them have a very hard to see no shoot markings. Make them use a flashlight. Move the no shoot T shirts around between shooters. You can force what you want with course design.
 

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If you are playing a game, which IDPA is, then it must be the same for everyone. So all use a flashlight or all do not.
Giving everyone the same choice in how to shoot it is fair. There is no need to mandate that everyone use the flashlight.
You can force what you want with course design.
Which I think is preferable to mandating a particular course of action in the stage description.
We've set up surprise stages where one will likely miss the opportunity to shoot a disappearing target if one elects to advance before tac-loading. Everyone is free to act as they wish, and pay the consequences.
 

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Personally, I favor the "in-between" approach. Make the no-shoot markings dark-on-dark (i.e. impossible to see without a flashlight), then let people solve it as they see fit. If they choose not to use a flashlight, any speed advantage they save is more than offset by the increased probability of hitting a no-shoot.

Sorta like in real life...

Scott
 

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I've run a bunch of low light matches/stages. Usually we would provide some ambient light but often not enough to be able to rely totally on night sights. Other times I force them to use a flashlight (no weapons mounted lights) either their own or a provided light. It's interesting seeing how people deal with it and let them find out what works for them and what doesn't. Most people don't get the opportunity to shoot lowlight with live ammo so IDPA club matches are a good place for them to get some experience.

If you're setting up a low light stage for a sanctioned match you have to make it so it's the same for all competitors. To the extent where they have to use a provided light (same for all).

Mark
 

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Our club runs more low and no light than most other clubs locally. I have seen shooters try to use lights that they wear on their head, held in ther mouth, clipped on hats, 5 D-Cell mag lights that are laid on the ground and light up the entire range, led lights that allow them to still use their night sights,....

We have come up with a couple options that seem to work.

Let shooters use handheld lights of their own choosing. The light has to be held in the hand, not worn or placed on the gun.

Provide the shooters with a light and specify when they can set the light down.

Let the shooters decide if they want to use a light or not.

The last option usually backfires on those opting for no light. The can see the target, but not good enough and they can hit it, but thier downs never seem to make up for the speed.

We also run low light and don't allow shooters to use a flashlight. By mixing this type stage in a match with some of the other listed above, it all seems to even out in the end.

One thing to keep in mind is what would you do if it realy happened. Would you go put on your head light and use that if you were in a shoot to protect your life situation? Would you set your flashlight down every time you were read to shoot at a person who is moving and probably shooting at you? I am not saying this is training. I am saying keep it real.

God luck
 

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Really want to mess with them? Run a low light blind stage. Set up the stage but only allow shooters in one at a time. Kick it up more by using color code targets, making the non-threats changeable from shooter to shooter. Even reloads. Keep in mind to make sure the cof is the same for each person. Encourage shooters not to discuss the COF after they have left the range until everyone has shot. It's time consuming but very fun.

I've seen guys actually use threats as cover in the dark.

Extra caution has to be taken when running low light stages. Some guys get really wound up because it's so unfamiliar to them.

Partime scoring is great for these.

Mark
 

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Sniper,
The course designer determines whether you need a light or not. If it is dark enough, everyone will grab the light:D :D :D

Mayonaise,
ditto on the blind stages. Not only does it add the element of suprise to the COF, it controls the number of people in the shooting area, making it safer.

And you never know what is going to happen. One of our guys borrowed an aircraft strobe to simulate a police car light. The shooter had been told to shoot everything that was covered with a t-shirt that didn't have hands on it. Guess what the base of the strobe was wrapped with. You got it. several hundred dollars of strobe reduced to so much plastic, wire and batteries.

Just plinking away in the dark,
Dennis
 

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Mayonaise said:
If you're setting up a low light stage for a sanctioned match you have to make it so it's the same for all competitors. To the extent where they have to use a provided light (same for all).
Is this true? The MA State Championships had low/no light stages (2, IIRC), and it was BYOFlashlight. Surely they were sanctioned.

Scott
 

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Did they run the championship at night? That must have been tough!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
dajarrel said:
Sniper,
The course designer determines whether you need a light or not. If it is dark enough, everyone will grab the light:D :D :D
I agree, so long as the course designer includes their intentions in their course description. The quote I posted was from the course designer. As you can see, he stated "solve the problem" not "solve the problem with a flashlight." Ya know whaddamean?

I think I was one of the shooters at that match that caused this question to arise. I had never shot with a flashlight before and on the first stage, after the first shot, my flashlight went out. The SO thought that when I shot it broke the flashlight... nope... Goober just didn't maintain pressure on the "on" button. :D In all honesty, I didn't realize I shot the stage in the dark and relied solely on my night sights. I didn't receive a procedural but I think they were contemplating one.

I wouldn't have argued a procedural because that's just not the way I am. However, for all intents and purposes, I did use a flashlight... it just wasn't on! :biglaugh: I don't see how the way I shot the stage would be any sort of gaming advantage.

Everyone has provided great suggestions. I will pass them on. Thanks!

:D

edited for an annoying spelling error. ;)
 

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As you can see, he stated "solve the problem" not "solve the problem with a flashlight."
Probably just as well. Based on the above post, where some shooter shot the strobe light because it was wrapped in a T-shirt, if they said "solve the problem with a flashlight" somebody would run downrange and club the targets.
I don't see how the way I shot the stage would be any sort of gaming advantage.
Nor do I. Regardless of the stage description, I would not have given you a procedural.
 

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If it was stated solve the problem, you did not need to use a flashlight. If it stated solve the problem with a flashlight, then you had to use one.

If the intention was to have the shooters use a flashlight, it needs to be stated in the COF. Especially if the stage was run as a low light stage. Depending on stage layout, you may also need to specify if the flashlight has to be held, worn, or laid on the ground. A maglight on wide beam will light targets enough to shoot without night sights. Is this fair to those using small handheld lights?

Like I stated earlier, you have to think about what you want the shootes to do and spell it out. A simple way to solve the problem is in the shooter meeting tell everyone what they can and can't do with their lights. We tell them, the light has to be held in the hand when they are shooting. if they want to lay it down to reload, that is fine. If it is not stated they have to use a flashlight, it is up to them as to how they shoot the stage.

Sniper,
Based on what I have read, I would not have given a procedural even if you dod not use a flashlight.
 

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Let me clarify my statement running a low/no light stage in a sanctioned match. Naturally you don't HAVE to make the stage the same for everyone. Though I would think the approving AC would want you to do so. I would spell it out personally to reduce the range lawyer issues that would arise otherwise.

Mark
 

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There is one of the best low light matches in the US coming up in a few weeks at The Range in North Carolina. If you can make it, you'll see how it's done.

I would not give a procedural to someone who choses to shoot without a light, unless the COF demanded it. FWIW, when I want to "game" a stage I use the light as I get better hits that way. I shot a low light match with a friend of equal ability and I smoked him in the match by 50 seconds. He used the light only when he had to to ID targets and shot using the night sights. I lit everything to shoot them. When it was done, he dropped a lot more points than I did.

As far as having "equal challenge" in a low light sanctioned match and requiring them to all use the same flashlight; I believe that would be the worst thing to do. If you used say, a mag light for the stage, all those that normally use a mag light would have a leg up over those that train with a 6z. I'd rather see them use their own equipment that they have a familiarity with.
 

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The Prado Pistol range in Chino, CA will be running a Low-Light/No-Light night match Saturday evening 11/22/03. Signup starts at 4:30 PM. 4 stages, much fun.
 
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