2 Day Handgun Course w/ Wife - Report! (long)
Here’s the 2 day defensive handgun class @ Frontsight report.
Day 1: We stayed in Vegas so we had a 45 minute drive to Frontsight. It is in the middle on nowhere. Got there a little later than I wanted. Arrived @ 7:45 am and checked in. They did a weapons check and we got our belts / holsters etc on. They had my wife’s rental XD9 waiting there, only problem, they had a left hand holster for her. They sent her around the corner to the pro shop and got her hooked up quickly. 8:00 am start in the main building for orientation – about 300-400 people in there (Most w/ pistols on their hips, unloaded). All classes met there, the majority were for handgun courses (2 or 4 day). They went over dry practice rules and an intro to Frontsight. We were at the ranges @ about 9:30 am. 31 people @ our range. 1 RO and 2 additional instructors. A lot of impressive credentials for the RO’s. Started w/ basic safety (4 rules) then to grip, sight alignment, some dry fire, then live fire. The first time the instructors actually pulled the trigger – for a surprise break. It seemed to start a little slow for my tastes (because I know so much, or think I do), but was good to see the basics of sight picture, alignment & trigger control. My wife really liked it.
We then teamed up w/ one other student and stood directly behind them as coach whenever they were on the line. Mainly for safety, to make sure the muzzle doesn’t go wide. Also was good to have the coach remind of finger on/off trigger, positioning, stance, reholstering, etc.
Had another lecture that afternoon on when to shoot/liability. Lectures were excellent. Much better than my CCW instructors, who were both lawyers. The Frontsight lecturer was a retired cop, and brought great experiences and insight to the topic. My wife really liked the lectures. It really drives home the question - are you willing / ready to shoot someone, and why you don’t fire warning shots, shoot to wound etc (questions my wife has asked).
More range time, and then final lecture of day 1 - color code of mental awareness.
Left at about 6:30 – 7:00 back to Vegas grabbed some dinner on the way and back to hotel to rest. Watched TV and I did some dry practice. The wife not interested in dry practice that night.
Day 2: We got there @ 7:45 and went straight to range. Reviewed a few things and worked on draw from holster (learned on day 1) and firing controlled pairs to COM. Paired up w/ coaching partners. I didn’t coach w/ my wife – they recommended against that.
Worked on clearing type 1, 2 & 3 malfunctions. First we induced / simulated the malfunctions, ie. putting a round sideways in the chamber/ slide area to simulate a failure to eject. These were interesting to me and open my eyes a bit, good info on clearing them. I need to practice these more to get some muscle memory. My wife got a little frustrated w/ these, because of the strength required to pull the slide back, and hold it while placing a sideways round in. The instructors helped her out and she did pretty well.
They taught us head shots, and when it is necessary to use them. We practiced on rotating targets. Target appears – COM controlled pair, target disappears (rotates) - if it came back (failure to stop) then we made a headshot (cranio-ocular cavity). The targets had it outlined from the outside of either eye, to moustache to eyebrow. Took a little bit of concentration to hit, but consistently doable if you followed the basics of sight alignment, sight picture and trigger control. We had another shoot / no shoot and civil/criminal liability lecture. Again excellent.
About halfway thru day 2 we transitioned to a hot range. My wife got a little nervous, but as the instructors pointed out, no guns had jumped out of their holsters in the previous day & a half. We ended the day going to the shoothouse. We were in a room and some badguys and a goodguy targets popped into view and we had to stop them, one of them a headshot. My wife shot all the bad guys and the neighbor – but it was with 2 solid COM shots. I didn’t shoot the neighbor and made pretty decent shots on the BG’s. Gets you thinking about the importance of training, identifying targets, stress etc. We got our certificates of completion and headed back to Vegas. My wife was one of 3 ladies in our class of 31. About 10% - which seemed maybe a little low for the percentage I saw @ Frontsight overall. There is probably 15% women. I think several of the men in our class were jealous of me for 2 reasons. 1- my wife is a awesome :yup:, 2 – I talked to several guys that would have liked their wives or SO’s be there, but they were not interested in the whole gun thing. I will say that it would have been good either with or w/o my wife, but it was extra great to have her there and for her to enjoy it so much.
My summary – Excellent gun handling and safety habits being taught and engrained, as well as a shooting platform that provides safety, consistency, accuracy & speed in a self defense situation. I definitely need to dry practice a bunch more to build the muscle memory of all the techniques. I’m going to shoot a steel match this thurs w/ some friends – I should have improved since last one. I would have liked the 4 day course – however, the 4 day course probably would have been too much for my bride.
Day 3: We went to “The Biggest Tattoo show on Earth”, a tattoo convention at the Mandalay Bay. My wife really likes tattoos. Certainly plenty of tattoos. You know you are in a tattoo friendly environment when a couple of 300+ lb guys in their mid 50’s are sporting thongs to show off their full body tattoos in the “best overall” tattoo competition. A lot of people getting tattoos – one guy getting one on his head – he was in a lot of pain. It was a lot of fun and some great people watching.
Overall a great weekend – we both went to something that we really enjoyed, and had a great time together. Highly recommend to one and all.
I’ll let my wife sum it up with a couple of comments to her mom when we got home and picked up the kids.
After we had talked about Frontsight and the weekend for a few minutes.
Wife: It (Frontsight) is something that everybody should got to.
MIL: You mean everybody that has a gun.
Wife: No, everybody – whether they have a gun or not.
Let me know if you have specific questions about the training and I’ll try to answer them.