Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
A few weeks ago, I spent a week out near Pahrump, Nevada at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. I took two classes, their “4-Day Defensive Handgun course” and their “30-state Concealed Carry Class”. Prior to this class, I had fired a few rounds, but, definitely did not know what I was doing. Adam, who purchased Las Vegas Geeks from me several years ago, was in the same 4-day defensive handgun class. It was my first trip, his second trip.
During the course, I learned just how much I didn’t know about handguns! We learned trigger control, the importance of using the front sight on the gun, and the Weber stance.
I think the class was great. After hours and hours of drills, malfunction clearings, and more, we got to go to a small live fire house. We had to go into it and take everything we had learned and save our loved ones who we had to imagine were being held inside the house. Its amazing how stressful and how much adrenalin you have doing that.
Another activity we got to do was to write the name of a loved one on a “hostage” target. We then had to save our loved ones from a hostage taker. From the 5-yard line, we had to take a single head shot to the hostage on the left, ignoring the one on the right. We did a few drills and then came back and had to take a single head shot to the hostage on the right, ignoring the one of the left. I am happy to say that I saved my Wife both times. 🙂
The classes were awesome and the knowledge I gained is life changing. The class comes HIGHLY recommended.
The worst part of it was the heat in June, but the heat, of course, is not the fault of the dedicated staff at Front Sight.
The facilities: The good
We spent the first two days on range 1A and the second two days on range 10. There are a total of 15 hand gun ranges, if my memory serves me correct, and two rifle ranges. The ranges themselves were great. Plenty of room to work with and good targets. They used to have rotating targets but in the entry classes (including the 2-day and 4-day defensive hand gun courses) they stopped using them. There is also a rope and repel area for a different class. Their long term plans calls for lots of other things, but we’ll see what happens.
The facilities: The bad
I think its crazy that, for example, each range doesn’t have its own bathroom and that the hotel is 30 minutes away. There is a spot outside of the gate for “dry” camping, but even a RV park would be a nice touch. There are no drinking fountains but rather a water cooler at each range. There is an onsite trailer that sells food, but no real restaurant. There is also no Internet for student use at Front Sight. There internal roads and parking areas are gravel. After having the car sit in the hot desert sun all day, the inside got pretty toasty. I’d be willing to pay for a covered parking spot. There is “Front Sight Road” that is paved to the facility. They supposedly paid about $2 million dollars on building this road. Someday all the interior roads are suppose to be paved also.
Even though its only about 80-minutes from Front Sight to my house, the classes start early and run late and I did not want to have to drive back and forth each day, so Adam and I rented a hotel room from the Saddle West hotel in Pahrump. They offer discounted rooms for Front Sight students and a larger discount to Front Sight “First Family” members. Their standard room felt dated. It had nothing too exciting or fancy about it. There was free WiFi in selected rooms, which I did not try. They had a consumer Linksys Wireless router hanging on the wall by the front desk when we got there. Definitely not an ideal public wireless network to use. I had my iPad with a data connection that I used when needed.
Front Sight has pretty bad cell service, although there is cell service. They gave everyone a sheet of paper with their location and asked us to contact our cell phone providers to request better cell service.
Front Sights’ marketing reminds me some what of the stereotypical used car salesman. Ignore it. Or, at least know that the training you receive more than makes up for any frustration you feel from the marketing.
Membership and cost of classes
If you go to Front Sights website, please ignore the prices listed on the individual classes. Going back to the marketing I talked about earlier, the prices posted are way too high. I purchased a “life time membership” that allows me to take as many classes as often as I’d like.
I am planning a return trip to Front Sight in September to take a 2-day class. Mikey, my 6-year old, will be taking a 2-day kid class out there. And, I want to take more classes again after that!