Front Sight 4 Day defensive Handgun training report (long)

This is a discussion on Front Sight 4 Day defensive Handgun training report (long) within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 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 ...

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Thread: Front Sight 4 Day defensive Handgun training report (long)

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    Member Array sarhog's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 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. After reflecting on it and looking at my target, I am still very happy with my results.

    Miscellaneous ramblings:
    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. 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.
    Sarhog
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Good Stuff i think ya should post the rest here i doubt ill everget out there but hey like reading about it

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    That SIG ND is disturbing - but oh so avoidable of course.

    You may not wish to say of course but - approx how much did this all cost?

    Thx for the write-up.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  5. #4
    Member Array sarhog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    That SIG ND is disturbing - but oh so avoidable of course.

    You may not wish to say of course but - approx how much did this all cost?

    Thx for the write-up.
    I copied this incident report from the Front Sight website:


    Incident occurred on November 14, 2005 , the final day of a four-day defensive course at approximately 4:15 p.m.
    15 students were on the firing line along with the Front Sight Range Master and other Line Coaches.
    The students were at 5 yards and shooting at turning, electronic targets.
    The student was presenting his weapon from a concealed holster when the incident occurred.
    The student was doing very well in the course with no indications of improper procedures or safety violations.
    Weapon used was a Sig 9mm handgun with no obvious modifications.
    Bullet was 115 grain, full metal jacket.
    Powder burns on the student's pants and at the muzzle end of the holster indicate that the weapon was fired while the gun was at least partially still in the holster.
    The student was immediately cared for by two of Front Sight's medics and a fellow student who was also a medic.
    The bullet entered the lateral aspect of the upper thigh about five inches below the point of the hip, traveled just under the skin for approximately five inches, exited from under the skin at about mid-thigh.
    The bullet struck the ground near the student's feet and was not recovered.
    First aid in the form of a compression bandage and vital sign monitoring was administered by Front Sight's EMT's. The student remained remarkably calm with strong vital signs, and relatively no sign of pain from the injury.
    The student was transported by helicopter to a hospital emergency room in Las Vegas .
    The student was cared for at the emergency room and discharged within two hours.
    Opinions:

    The only way a weapon can be fired is to place a finger on the trigger and then press the trigger. Using the physical evidence available and discussions with student, it appears the only explanation for this incident is the following:



    The student stated that he probably did not decock the hammer after his last firing drill and before holstering. This resulted in the holstering a loaded weapon with the hammer cocked. On the next presentation or “draw stroke” of his weapon, he swept the concealment garment away, established the proper firing grip with finger along the outside of the holster. As he began to withdraw the weapon from the holster, he likely violated Safety Rule 3 and allowed his finger inside the trigger guard which contacted the lighter, single-action trigger instead of the heavier double-action trigger causing the weapon to fire.



    Remember that the proper draw stroke involves keeping your finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until the weapon is pointed downrange at the target. Again, the only way a weapon can be fired is to press the trigger.


    As the students involved in the above incidents have requested, let their negligent discharges be a learning experience for all. Again, realize that millions of presentations are performed every year at Front Sight without incident by students of various experience levels, many of whom have never shot a gun before in their lives. This clearly demonstrates Front Sight’s stellar safety record and proves that if you learn the proper techniques to present your weapon from the holster, you too can be fast, effective, accurate, and safe.
    As for the cost, I bought a certificate from a 1911 forum member for $150. Ammo was $152. Roundtrip airfare from Pensacola, FL was $309. Rental car was $12/day x 5 days. Hotel was $55/night x 4 nights. Total cost was $891 not including food and beverages.
    The cost of the course ended up being cheaper than all other aspects of the trip except for the rental car.
    I would (and probably will) do it again in a heartbeat.
    Sarhog
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    Sarhog - thx.

    All in all - not bad value at all it'd seem.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Member Array grnzbra's Avatar
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    But did you buy...

    ...a platnum membeship?
    There's a reason The Sopranos is set in New Jersey.
    Basic Pistol

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    Thanx Sarhog for the report. I've had a couple of the inexpensive 4-day certificates stashed away for the wife and myself. Your story is reinforcement that it wasn't a wasted investment....might go out in the spring!

    Kimber Ultra CDP Elite STS II

    A gun is a tool...the real weapon is between your ears!

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    Thanks for posting your report sarhog. I alway like reading first hand accounts from the various gun schools.

    -Scott-

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    At least the guy didnt start spouting it just went off and was up to admitting it was his fault ... Still to shoot your self and pretty much remain calm and not be in pain???


    I would imagine that would hurt like a course im not planning to shoot myself to find out

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    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

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    Member Array sarhog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD
    Yes, I saw that a few days before I flew out there for my class.
    Fortunately it had no effect on the training conducted out there.
    Sarhog
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    New Member Array georgebarr's Avatar
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    I just bought a $1200 Front Sight Lifetime certificate which will allow me to take five 4-day classes. Also, I am brand new to guns and still have to buy my first gun. I have a few questions:
    - I live in the Los Angeles area which is about 5 hours drive to Front Sight. If I fly to Front Sight, how can I transport my handgun?
    - Should I just drive to Los Angeles to Front Sight and bring my own gun/ammo?

    Any comments?

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    Member Array sarhog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgebarr
    I just bought a $1200 Front Sight Lifetime certificate which will allow me to take five 4-day classes. Also, I am brand new to guns and still have to buy my first gun. I have a few questions:
    - I live in the Los Angeles area which is about 5 hours drive to Front Sight. If I fly to Front Sight, how can I transport my handgun?
    - Should I just drive to Los Angeles to Front Sight and bring my own gun/ammo?

    Any comments?
    Hello, and welcome to the Combat Carry CCW forum!

    Sounds great. I would love to get that membership, but I think I am too far away for it to make sense. It is certainly a good deal though.

    If I lived in LA, I would drive to Front Sight. If you fly, you can take the weapon and 11 lbs of ammo as CHECKED luggage. Check with your airline's website to ensure THEY allow it though. I flew from Florida with mine.
    If you already own a handgun, I would definately take it, so you become familiar with your own weapon.
    You can also rent a weapon there, for $100 for a 4 day course.
    Good luck, and write up a range report when you return!
    Sarhog
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    Member Array Glockguy's Avatar
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    Maybe its just me , but how can someone recomend a place like this, I also live in NV. Doesn't sound to safe to me from what I'm reading.

  16. #15
    Member Array sarhog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glockguy
    Maybe its just me , but how can someone recomend a place like this, I also live in NV. Doesn't sound to safe to me from what I'm reading.
    Well, what are you reading, that makes you feel unsafe?
    I went last month, and thought that the training was top-notch.
    I don't think I've ever spoken to a Front Sight student that was not completely happy.
    Sarhog
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