A few random notes:
On Wednesday, a shooter to my right picked up a live round off the ground and loaded into his gun. Unfortunately, it was a .40 and his 1911 used to shoot .45. Having a KABOOM right next to you was… interesting.
The course description says 600 rounds are needed for the Four Day Handgun class. Bring at least 650.
The pitch for Front Sight memberships was VERY low-key, less than the pitch for NRA membership at one of their classes.
No, there were no pitches for Scientology. Tom Cruise didn’t show up and jump on any couches.
I did like the utter and complete lack of tacticool “Rex Kwan Do” talk at Front Sight. The instructors weren’t there to turn us into Rapid Tactical Force reserve units, they talked about how to protect our lives and the lives of our loved ones. A big plus, and one of the reasons why the women in my class seemed to be so relaxed (and good shooters).
The “tactics” part of the course dealt with primarily with securing your family in the event of a home invasion. A good idea, but why teach so much about concealed carry shooting if you’re setting up for a home invasion? Better to teach shooting on the move or shooting from retention if it’s a concealed carry course and teach home invasion defense as it’s own subject.
Ok, was it worth it?
As I said at the outset, the reason why I did this is to see if the Front Sight Four Day Defensive Handgun class was a good value.
The answer: Sorta.
If you’re like me (and I know I am), it’s not worth paying full price because I already know how to do a lot of what Front Sight teaches in this class. It was good as a refresher and good to learn Weaver and good to do some shooting drills and good to learn the malfunction drills, but as for actually stress training or tactical insights, I didn’t really learn a lot. However, given where I am in my training, I might get more out of their practical rifle or tac shotgun classes.
However, there were a LOT of first-time shooters there this week, and their improvement from Day One to Day Four proves this this class is just peachy for getting such people up to speed quickly.
But let’s look at the cost. You can buy Four Day Handgun certificates on eBay for $100 or less. Figure in six days of hotel ($500 or so) and meals ($100-ish) and that’s $700 bucks, without travel or ammo costs. Less than a GunSite class, but Front Sight ain’t GunSite.
That $700 buys a LOT of training. That’s every pistol course at my local indoor range, with $230 to spend on private lessons. And for stress-fire practice, well, that’s what IDPA or USPSA is for.
Or for that same $700, you can take an NRA Basic Pistol and both Personal Protection classes and have even more money left over for private lessons and do IDPA/USPSA for the stress fire.
Frankly, if I were a first-time shooter, I’d go with the NRA classes and private instruction with a proven teacher. Front Sight’s instruction was good, but their safety instruction, situational awareness training and after-action advice wasn’t up to what was taught in an NRA Personal Protection class. Plus, with an NRA class, you get a certification that is recognized nation-wide. With a Front Sight class, you get a certification that’s recognized in Pahrump, and bang for buck, I think an NRA class with a good teacher is the way to go. If you’re a new shooter and don’t know of a good NRA instructor in your area, then Front Sight is for you.
Front Sight has a good thing going, taking first-time gun owners and turning them into decent shooters and they certainly have a booming repeat business: Around half of the students in my class had a Front Sight membership of some kind or another. But are their Four Day Handgun Classes a good value for someone who already knows how to draw, shoot and hit center-mass twice in under two seconds?
In my opinion, no. But that’s just my body Thetans talkin’.