Like a Theme Park for Gun Owners

Recently I had the privilege of attending the 4-Day Defensive Handgun course at the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute in Pahrump, Nevada. I’d heard about Front Sight from a number of SDCGO members many of whom had taken multiple classes there over the years. Even after all that I’d heard I still wasn’t prepared for the absolutely wonderful experience that I had.

Firearms training is something all gun owners should pursue on an ongoing basis. Shooting is a perishable skill. We should experience training from various schools and instructors to benefit from different approaches. Front Sight provides one way to obtain world-class training in a very enjoyable environment.

The facility itself is located in the desert outside Pahrump Nevada. When you pull up to the gate it looks like a compound that anti gunners must imagine us “gun nuts” would go to. The staff uniforms probably even fit that image.

Once inside the gate what you experience is a modern, well-maintained and clean facility. Numerous staff members guide you through every step from parking through check in. Every staff member I interacted with was courteous, knowledgeable, and professional.

Our class consisted of about 35 students and three instructors. Students ranged from those with very little experience to students who obviously had a great deal of shooting experience. Over half the class possessed CCW permits and actively carried. Also about half the students had taken classes previously at Front Sight.

The class was structured such that it didn’t feel slow to experienced shooters nor did it seem overwhelming to new shooters. The instructors roamed around and provided as much one on one coaching as was desired.

The instructors began with the very basics (parts of a handgun) and gradually worked up to more advanced topics. Day three included an introduction to tactics that involved scenarios on moving through doorways and clearing rooms. This was a very basic intro but lots of fun anyway.

Day four included a skills evaluation and a good-natured shooting competition among the students. The skills evaluation consisted of timed shooting events at various distances. It also included timed clearing of various handgun malfunctions.

Overall my Front Sight experience was fantastic and I’m already planning my next trip. I would highly recommend this to any gun owner who is interested in improving his or her skills. The school offers handgun, shotgun, and rifle training from basic to very advanced levels.

One very economical way to get the Front Sight experience is to participate in the 5th Annual Sheila Hamed Charity Handgun/Rifle Course. The event is organized by Lance Reeter, an SDCGO Board member, and is supported by Front Sight. For $250 you can experience a two or four day handgun or rifle course at Front Sight. This year 185 people participated and raised well over $10,000 for leukemia/lymphoma research. Participating in this event is truly a win/win for everyone and I definitely plan to be there next year.

One last point about the Front Sight experience: People from all over the United States attend these courses. We in California live in a bizarre environment as far as how people and our government view guns and gun owners. It’s easy to forget that the majority of the country (about 43 of 50 states) doesn’t view gun ownership the way California does. When my fellow students heard I was from California they laughed (good naturedly) and were then sympathetic. It was refreshing and encouraging to interact with Americans who had a healthy and rational view of guns. Changing the public perception in California is something we could all work towards.

* The photo used here was originally posted by Tom Kuenzi on the Front Sight Face Book page

©2017 Joseph T Drammissi

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