Immediate loss of light perception after direct optic nerve injury is usually irreversible. Our patient sustained presumed direct optic nerve injury because of a shotgun injury with loss of light perception, absent pupillary response, and absent visual-evoked potential. A small pupillary response was noted 12 days after injury, light perception returned by 15 days, and visual acuity was 20/100 at 4 months. A variety of pathophysiologic mechanisms may lead to visual loss after direct optic nerve injury. It is important to recognize that blindness is not always permanent in these cases despite the results of initial clinical and electrophysiologic testing. © 1987, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Inc. All rights reserved.