Front Sight 4 Day defensive Handgun training report (long)
A couple days ago, I attended Front Sight’s 4 day defensive handgun course in Nevada. If you are interested in this course, I recommend that you read this post on the 1911 forum, written several months ago by a forum member there. It was this post that caused me to seriously consider attending this training. I used a certificate for the course that I purchased from a 1911 forum member.
Based on my experiences there last week, Bulldog Six’s post (see above) is right on target (no pun intended). I will add my observations that differ or add to those in his post, rather than repeat most of what he posted. His post goes into great detail and frankly, I'm too lazy to retype what he has already posted.
Facilities: The classroom is a large, permanent structure that seats about 260 students. It has a podium/small stage for the speaker, and there are 2 projector screens on either side for videos or powerpoint presentations. It is air-conditioned and they provide coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and water/Gatorade at no charge.
The pro shop is attached to this classroom. It has a fair amount of holsters, mag carriers, belts, gun cleaning supplies, flashlights, ammunition, hats, shirts, vests, etc. It also has rental guns (Glocks for sure, I think 1911s also).
The pistol ranges appeared to be relatively new. there were 5 pistol ranges (Range 1A through 1E) that basically surround the main classroom. The had 3 concrete walls and a high berm downrange. There is a large awning and chairs for the folks that are reloading mags and such. The range was gravel and the awning area was concrete. Overall, it was actually nicely landscaped.
The still only have porta-potties, though they stayed clean the entire time I was there. They also have several sinks with running water nearby for washing up.
Supplies: There is a Wal-Mart supercenter in Pahrump. I called ahead and had 800 rounds of ammo waiting for me. It was typical Wal-Mart prices ($19 per 100 round WWB .45 ACP. The Front Sight Pro shop ammo prices seemed a little high to me.
Instructor staff: I can't say enough about the quality of training I received or the professionalism of all the staff members that I encountered. It was a total emphasis on safety always, increasingly demanding standards for accuracy, speed and realism (last two days are all presentations from concealment), and supportive coaching designed to make you better, not frustrated. They are also all extremely fast and accurate with their handguns (as you would expect). One of my rangemasters was Rudy Waldinger. He is from Austria and he is an exceptional instructor. He is blazingly fast with a revolver, and holds a couple revolver world records.
Students: The Front Sight website claims that they teach more students than all the other schools in the country combined. That being said, I was still surprised with the number of people there. There were over 100 folks for the 2 day or 4 day handgun, and about 260 students in all for all courses.
My range (range 1A) started the week with 35 and then we lost a handful at the halfway point (2 day students).
Most of the guns on my range were a split between Glocks and 1911s, with a few XDs, a couple Sigs, a Beretta, 2 revolvers, and one guy shooting a .380.
Most holsters were OWB kydex. A couple guys had IWB holsters. I brought 2 holsters, but ended up using my Alessi DOJ with good results.
Speaking of equipment, my Kimber Tactical Pro II performed flawlessly save for one small problem. The upper screw holding the right side grip panel on kept backing out as I was shooting. I would tighten it periodically, waiting for the end of the day to loc-tite it. When I got it home and field stripped it, the bushing that threads into the frame was stripped. I put it back in with a little loc-tite and finished the course with no further problems.
The only other problem I had was that the front tip of the ambi safety sliced my support hand middle finger tip pretty bad while performing type 3 malfunction clearance drills.
I think I’m going to remove it soon.
It wasn’t until about the middle of the third day before I realized how difficult it was to achieve “Distinguished Graduate”. There is very little room for “less than perfect” shots. I ended up finishing “down 14”…. 1 point shy of DG. :badwords: After reflecting on it and looking at my target, I am still very happy with my results. :proud:
1. They still teach the “cup your hand over the ejection port” technique to catch the round when unloading.
2. They teach you to put the firing side thumb on top of the safety while firing. That was uncomfortable for me, but it worked ok. I ended up wrapping the cloth type medical tape around my thumb for some cushioning.
3. If you do NOT want all the Wal-Mart employees staring at you in the store, remove the giant nametape from your hat when you leave the range. :******: I did this 2 nights in a row!
4. Do NOT flail about with a loaded gun in your hand because a bee is flying around your head unless you want to be tackled by the rangemaster. :eek: DISCLAIMER: I did not do this, but a guy on my range did.
Final note: During the skills test on the last day, a guy on range 1C experienced a negligent discharge while drawing a cocked Sig from the holster. The bullet entered his upper thigh and exited about 5 inches later. The medivac’d him to Vegas via helicopter.
He neglected to decock his gun prior to holstering.
If anyone is still reading this novel and plans to go to Front Sight, PM me and I can go into even greater detail. I have 10 pages of notes.
Good luck. :smile: