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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:

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. :damnit: 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:
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
P95Carry said:
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. :smile:
 

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Sarhog - thx.

All in all - not bad value at all it'd seem. :smile:
 

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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!
 

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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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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 :censored: course im not planning to shoot myself to find out
 

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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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Discussion Starter #13
georgebarr said:
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!:smile:

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! :smile:
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Glockguy said:
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.
 

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Sarhog....from the little that I've read....1)A guy on a range was tackled by a instructor for waving his firearm . 2) Another guy had a A.D. into his own leg. 3) something about them being sued about unsafe ranges thou i don't know much about that.

I would think its its the instructor job to make sure that doesn't happen. I've been on many range with some great instrutors never seen anything that unsafe, Just not a place i would want to be.
 

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Glockguy said:
Sarhog....from the little that I've read....1)A guy on a range was tackled by a instructor for waving his firearm . 2) Another guy had a A.D. into his own leg. 3) something about them being sued about unsafe ranges thou i don't know much about that.
Have you ever taken firearms training? Accidents happen. No instructor at any school can insure the total safety of every single person...especially when they do something contrary to training.

FS trains more than all the other schools combined. (at least that's what I've heard). That equates to millions of rounds of fired and thousands of students taught.

I took at class there and they are extremly safety minded and there was one instructor for about every 5 students. I felt very safe there and came back a much safer and better shooter than when I arrived.

But when you are dealing with guns, shooting and training there will be rare accidents when people don't follow the traning/rules. I think it's great that they publish the incidents so people can learn from the mistake the shooter makes.

The lawsuit is from people paying for very expensive memberships sueing because they say they were misled or didn't get what they paid for building lots and other amenities

It has nothing to do with unsafe ranges.
 

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Glockguy said:
Sarhog....from the little that I've read....1)A guy on a range was tackled by a instructor for waving his firearm . 2) Another guy had a A.D. into his own leg. 3) something about them being sued about unsafe ranges thou i don't know much about that.

I would think its its the instructor job to make sure that doesn't happen. I've been on many range with some great instrutors never seen anything that unsafe, Just not a place i would want to be.
While I was not there and cannot attest to the fact that an instructor "Tackled" a student, I can say that I too train on average around 1 - 2 K students per year in everything from basic to advanced tactical firearms, and presented with the same scenario as above (i.e. A student waiving a weapon around or otherwise violating the laser rule and endangering others in the class) being tackled would likely be the least of their problems.

You are correct. It is the responsibility of the instructor to protect the class from not only outside influences but internal as well. However it must also be stated that when dealing with multiple participants of varying skills, no matter how observant you are there will always be some violation which occurs which are not seen. Fortunately most of the time these incidents do not lead to any serious problems or injuries but on occasion they do. I have been very fortunate and have never had a student injured, this however should NOT be an immediate reflection on the school or instructors. The participant MUST also take responsibility for their actions. In the case listed above, who is truly at fault? The instructor for not walking the line and inspecting "Every" holster on every student between "Every" drill? Or the student for NOT following basic instructions which I can say with confidence (Unless the instructor is a total idiot which I highly doubt.) was told to "Return to a ready position, decock and recover to the holster." and failed to obey this instruction. Then upon the next drill "Drew the weapon improperly and placed their finger within the trigger guard and pressed the trigger too early? On the surface, that is exactly what appears to have happened here.

Although I have NO affiliation with FS and maintain my own personal opinions about them as a company, I do currently maintain a few graduates from their classes who continue to train with me. They have always presented themselves within a very safe manner and have no reservations about them.

As for FS being sued, that has NOTHING to do with range or training injuries, but rather a matter of business practices.

Be Safe

Bryan Scott Williams
Williams Associates Protective Services, LLC

Main website - www.wa-protective.com
New Book – www.wttrw.com
 

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I was there in 1999 not a good place then they where puting the uzis that you shot on the ground IN THE DIRT
 
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