Article 1 – 2010
Question: Over the past 12 months I have really started to enjoy shooting clay target shooting. I recently went to a range that shoots at night and shot very poorly. I am told you need to shoot a different technique when shooting clays under lights? Is this true and what color shooting lenses are best when shooting at night?
Vic Garfield, Sunbury Victoria
Answer: Technically Vic there is nothing different when shooting clay targets at night or day. The traps and targets are still the same. Certainly the quality of the background lights can come into play which can cause a disadvantage for somebody with poor eyesight. I will assume though for the purposes of this answer that the lights on the range were adequate and your vision is reasonable. If that is the case then I would suggest you do everything else exactly as you would during the day. One thing that I always found helpful at night was to wear side blinkers on my shooting frames as often lights from the side can cause distractions when your gun is mounted to your shoulder. If you point your shotgun with the need to use the front sight as an aid in your fore vision then a white sight may be useful. I often just painted my sight for night shooting with a touch of stationary white out ink.
As to the color of the lenses it is my belief that clear lenses are not only the best, but the only logical choice. Despite what some people would have you believe there is no color lenses which allows more light to enter your eyes than the color god gave you. ANY color lenses that you use will inhibit the amount of light entering your eyes. On bright days darker colors will stop squinting which can certainly be an advantage. My advice though on bright days would be use the lightest tint that you can comfortably get away with. Shooters that wear very dark lenses on days when the light constantly changes due to cloud cover are looking for major problems. Whatever color you chose during daylight hours is a personal choice. It is purely a matter of perception. Much the same as how changes in recoil in firearms can be a perception as opposed to a matter of fact. At night lack of light is the major problem so there is no sense making the problem worse by using colored lenses. Many shooters complain about seeing a long “trail” on the back edges of the targets at night, mainly when white targets are used. Often this can be cured by getting an ‘anti glare’ coating on your clear lenses, but in reality this is simply putting a hint of green or purple in the lenses which again inhibits light.
Personally I always found night shooting fun and in many cases offered near perfect backgrounds for target acquisition. Try to focus on the positives and I am sure you will enjoy it also.