Night Shooting with Handguns

The following information on night shooting with handguns comes from Section 51 of Shooting by J. Henry FitzGerald. Shooting is also available to purchase in print.

It is very important for a police officer when firing at night to move either to right or left after each shot. Many times an officer will go into a dark alleyway or a building after a criminal, where it is too dark to see any one hiding there. If a shot is fired by his opponent he is ready to fire at the flash and the criminal will be just as ready to fire at the flash of the officer’s revolver; therefore, he must move immediately after each shot. One course in the New York State Trooper’s School instructed the men in firing at twelve yards at two silhouette targets, alternating targets after each shot.

It is easy to tell in what direction the shot is fired by the flash. If a streak of fire from eight to twenty inches long should be seen going toward the left or right, then the officer who should see it knows that he is not the one being fired at. If he should see an oval flash about the shape of a Rugby football, then the bullet is coming in his direction. If lying on the ground, roll over after firing; get away from that flash. In night shooting neither sights nor revolver can be seen, and it is then the officer who by constant practice knows by the feel of his revolver when it is pointing as he would point his finger that will shoot with any degree of accuracy.

If a prisoner is caught in a place as above-mentioned and there is no chance to search properly, handcuff his hands behind his back. It will keep him out of temptation and the officer may get out alive. In night shooting each officer should know the position of the other officers, as it is easy to make a mistake in the dark.

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Night Shooting with Handguns

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