Front Sight Firearms Training Institue
This is a discussion on Front Sight Firearms Training Institue within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Been a lurker here on the forums for a long time. Just never had a reason to post or create an account. Was reading a ...
June 5th, 2014 07:56 PM
Front Sight Firearms Training Institue
Been a lurker here on the forums for a long time. Just never had a reason to post or create an account. Was reading a semi-recent thread in this forum regarding Front Sight Firearms Training Institute and it was focused primarily on the negative stuff. There are 2 sides to every coin and I wanted to give some feedback on the positive aspects of Front Sight and its training. I have been to Front Sight twice in the last 2 months and wanted to give a review of my recent experience.
Just some quick background: I finally had talked my wife into trying some shooting at our local range and she had a blastÖ we purchased her first handgun shortly after. Iíve shot on and off my whole life but have never had any real training. I recently got my CCW and my wife is looking to get hers as well. With that in mind I wanted to find some training that we could both do. I found some info on Front Sight and was able to pick up some reasonably priced lifetime memberships that would really only require me to go once to get my monies worth.
Shortly after signing up the emails started. Iím 100% on board with the fact that Front Sight marketing is straight up crazy annoying. ďEXTREMELY LIMITED, Amazing, Limited Time Offer!Ē Blah, blah, blah. But, I just ignore all that marking stuff and for me itís about the training. Not the marketing.
After some work I finally got my wife, myself, and a friend signed up for the April 25 Four Day Defensive Handgun course and our 2 kids in the 4 Day Youth Achievement Camp. Rented a house on VRBO in Pahrump and we were all set to go. I was 100% blown away by the facility and staff. My wife and I loved it and our kids had a blast! Our class was about 30% women which made my wife feel better. She was afraid it was just going to be a boys club. My wife just started shooting and maybe had shot 300 rounds though her gun prior to Front Sight. I canít believe the improvement in her shooting ability, confidence, and safety with firearms over our 4 day course. She took the skills test timed with concealment and pulled off Graduate.
My opinion of Front Sight is from the prospective of a recreational shooter. Iíve been shooting my entire life but have never taken any formal training (other than my CCW course) and have never done any competitive shooting. But I can pick up a gun and make holes where I aim. Judd Holton was our range instructor and he was nothing short of a Rock Star! He had the perfect balance of instruction and humor while being 100% on top of safety. I simply followed his instruction and worked on dumping my lifetime of self-taught bad habits while working on the fundamentals being taught. My shooting improved drastically over the 4 days as well, more than I would have ever expected. I was able to pull off Distinguished Graduate dropping only 6 points on the shooting. Both of my grey misses where my fault after having to double sweep my cover garment (windy as all hell) and trying to rush my shot. One was on a controlled pair at 10 yards and the other was one of the timed 7 yard head shots. The instructors were nothing bt supportive and did everything they could to help you be successful.
The last exercise of the course was a hostage target which you placed the name of a loved one on. You then took 3 untimed shots at each of the hostage takers from 5 yards. My daughter was happy I didn't shoot her!
The other people in the course were awesome as well. Most were first timers like us and everyone had a great time and loved it. The overall vibe was great! Lunch lectures were sales pitches on Sport Ears, Legal Shield, etc. but no high pressure sales from anyone on anything.
Since both my buddy and I got distingued granduate we were able to sign up for the Two-Day Advanced Tactical Handgun course on 05/28/2014 and Front Sight did not let us down! We had another GREAT trip!
Our Range Master for the course was Matt Jeng:
The instructors did a great job of keeping the course safe and fun while teaching advanced techniques.
Day 1 was loooong... we pulled into Front Sight around 6:45am and got signed in and processed though weapons inspection. Then off to the white tent for a quick safety review and standard liability waivers. Before long we were off to Range 7.
First lesson of the day was a new ready position or safety position called SUL. Position SUL allows for safe 360 degree after action drills and general safety in CQB situations. We also worked on shooting from SUL.
Next we learned to shoot from kneeling and prone positions.
After lunch was close quarter engagements or emergency contacts like firing from count 3 and palm strike step back.
Everyone also got a trip though the live fire simulator house to try out the button hook entry we learned and basic fire no fire scenarios. This pretty much took us till 5pm. We hit Pahrump for a quick dinner and came back for the optional night shoot lecture at 6:30pm and were back out on the range around 7:30pm. We worked on some of the lecture topics like low light chamber checks as the sun started to set.
We then used the fading ambient light to run shooting drills with our night sights only. Once it was completely dark we switched to the Harries Flashlight Technique and ran shooting drills and worked on our flashlight discipline. We ended the night with a shooting demo of around 10 different defensive hollow point rounds to show how muzzle flash varies. This was very interesting to see!
We debated on going to this night shoot... we were ready to just head back to the hotel and call it a day. I'm glad we made the effort to go as it was one of my favorite parts of the class.
Day 2 started with one handed malfunctions and tactical/emergency reloads. My first thought on one handed type 3 malfunctions was... umm, no way in hell. But after running through it a few times it wasn't that bad. You could become quite proficient at them with some practice.
Most of Day 2 was spent on one hand shooting, ambidextrous shooting, and transitioning your weapon between hands. My offhand shooting is a disaster! I'm taking the 4 Day Defensive Handgun again with some friends in October and I might just get a left hand holster and do it all offhand. Couldn't hurt.
Everyone ran though the live fire simulator house again on Day 2 that allowed you to try out some of the transitioning and offhand shooting that we had learned. Was awesome.
We also got to do some shooting at 25 and 50 yards. I'm sure I left some other stuff out as there was so much information in a short period of time. In fact, my only complaint about the course was that it really should be a 4 day instead of 2 day course.
Yes Front Sight does a lot of things wrongÖ but it is also doing a lot of good. I know that I sound like a Front Sight cheerleader and that is fine with me. I've hunted and owned firearms my entire life. I support our 2nd amendment and have been frustrated at my lack of ability to do anything about the assault that is currently upon our rights both federally and even more so in my home state of California. Well I just found the solution. Iím going to take as many people as I can to Front Sight for training. I have a lot of friends and family that have expressed an interest in guns and gun ownership yet didn't really know where to start or were uncomfortable about owing one. We already have our next trip booked for Oct. 10th and will be 12 of us taking the 4 Day Defensive Handgun Course. Of the 12 people 9 will be new to Front Sight and 2 have never shot before in their lives. Get a first time shooter into the 2 or 4 day handgun course and they will go home and head straight to the gun shop with confidence in their ability to be a safe and responsible gun owner. I'll keep sending my letters to our lawmakers but getting people to Front Sight and creating new responsible gun owners... now THAT is a way to make a tangible difference in our fight to restore and preserve our rights as gun owners.
June 5th, 2014 08:19 PM
A good write up on your course. Thanks.
June 5th, 2014 08:31 PM
The shoot house was a lot of fun when I went. It looks like they have updated and improved the curriculum in the past three years - something that is always good to see. Glad that you enjoyed it. It was just what I needed when I went - gave me the basic skills and confidence to carry safely and effectively.
June 5th, 2014 08:36 PM
Nice review. Looks like you got to get some great training.
I've read some of the negatives on front sight, but seems most could gain a lot of good skills despite that.
The stupidity of some people NEVER ceases to amaze me.
June 5th, 2014 08:49 PM
That is the key here... "basic skills and confidence to carry safely and effectively". One of the common complaints is they teach old techniques like the Weaver stance. But Front Sight isn't about training competitive shooters. They are trying to teach huge groups of students to be safe and responsible gun owners and be able able to defend themselves with a firearm if the need should arise. They are doing a great job of meeting this goal in my opinion. We had 800+ students show up on day one for registration back in April when we took the 4 Day Defensive Handgun course, according to Front Sight this was a new record. I've never experienced anything like that before.... 800+ people walking around open carrying rifles, shotguns, and handguns. I quickly got used to it but it was surreal at first. Disneyland for gun owners!
Originally Posted by cn262
June 5th, 2014 09:35 PM
I appreciate the time you spent writing this review. You state many times this is your first time at training. How do you compare front sight with anything if this is the only training you have had? I don't have a dog in the fight not my type of place but that does not make it bad.
Glad to see you are enjoying the entire shooting experience with your wife that is a big plus.
Keep safe and enjoy the day.
June 5th, 2014 09:59 PM
I've sometimes called Front Sight the firearms training equivalent of McDonalds. A fast, filling meal at a fair price that caters to the masses. Nothing wrong with that and I think they would do better reputation-wise if they would focus on that and downplay the salesmanship stuff. The training is good basic instruction, but that sometimes gets lost because of all the other stuff.
June 5th, 2014 10:14 PM
Great write up. My fiancť and I had the opportunity to do the 4-day handgun course last year in February. Like you, i was a little skeptical at first because of all of the fire sale marketing techniques they use, but we really, really ended up enjoying ourselves and learning a ton. It was a great experience and we're hoping to be able to be able to take the rifle course at some point down the road. Your pictures are bringing back some awesome memories!
After the course, we spent the next couple days in Vegas and that's where I popped the question. I always joke saying that Front Sight training was the ultimate test for her to make sure she was the one.
June 5th, 2014 10:38 PM
Excellent report, thanks!
ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!
"A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
June 5th, 2014 10:54 PM
Good Question! Other than my CCW course I do not have any other training to compare Front Sight with. What I do have are my expectations for what I was hoping to get out of Front Sight and the resulting experience. I can say without a doubt that Front Sight met, if not exceeded, all of what I was hoping for. Even with the record setting enrollment during our first trip everything was well organized and never felt hectic or mismanaged. The course curriculum was presented in a logical and thoughtful way. Topics were taught via lecture and example. Then students were walked through the steps via dry practice and repetition. After that you moved on to live fire execution and feedback was often given to refine and fix any issues. Firearms safety is drilled into the students at every step. It really felt, to me, like the perfect basic handgun course. I can't think of a way that I could make it better.
Originally Posted by manolito
I'm sure there are a ton of places that are doing it better than Front Sight... especially in the intermediate to advanced training. However, in my opinion Front Sight has some GREAT basic firearms courses. I have watched first hand people go from straight up scary with a gun to safe and competent in just 4 days. The results I have seen are nothing short of amazing.
I will expand to other training in the future for sure. But I plan to milk Front Sight for everything it has first. The fact that I can take my whole family to Front Sight is another huge plus. My kids love the 4 day Youth Achievement camp and wife loved the handgun course too.
June 5th, 2014 11:07 PM
I love and analogy... and don't disagree with the marketing opinion. They are really doing themselves a disservice by tainting people with negative marketing that puts a dark cloud over what is otherwise a great facility. The pricing is also crazy... they list the 4 Day Defensive Handgun course for $2,000 on their website. Yet you can easily pickup a 4 day certificate for under $100. The lifetime memberships are listed between $15,000 and $25,000 on their site yet the reality is that you can get them for a fraction of that... far less than the value of a single class. I really don't understand it... but whatever I'm taking all the classes I can while I can!
Originally Posted by David Armstrong
June 5th, 2014 11:08 PM
Excellent write up. Thanks for spending the time.
I have had my 2 kids and wife go through their 2 and 4 course. They are much better for it; their shooting abilities and confidence have grown tremendously.
June 5th, 2014 11:16 PM
I look forward to when I can take my kids though the basic courses. My son is 12 and although he is technically old enough to take the courses with my supervision I'm holding off till he is more in the 14-15 year old range.
My wife on the other hand... I finally got her out shooting for the first time in her life less than a year ago. I tried to teach her the basics but she had zero muzzle awareness and made me pretty nervous. After the 4 day basic handgun course she was transformed from being timid and scary around guns to safe and confident. Simply amazing in my opinion. I couldn't be happier.
June 5th, 2014 11:44 PM
That's good to read about your wife, excellent.
I try to get out there at least 4 times a year. I'm planning on taking the 4 day shot gun class, soon.
June 6th, 2014 09:00 AM
It's just another marketing technique. They list the prices comparable to getting a small class with Larry Vickers or Pat Rogers in person and then when you can buy the membership or get a course certificate for $150-$300 you don't feel cheated to find it's a 30 person class taught by "Joe".
Originally Posted by Breez
This is not an indictment, it's a tried and true marketing method and it works. I have a Front Sight membership but I haven't been to any classes yet. I will eventually get there as I have heard the same report from everyone that I know who has attended. Good, solid training once you get past the sales pitch.
BTW, all of my prior training is either military( a long time ago) or one on one with "no name" trainers locally. It will be nice to compare a dedicated facility's curriculum and methods to my limited experiences to date.
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