Letter Re: Low Cost Firearms Training

I am a new prepper.  Luckily I live on a five-acre piece of land on the outskirts of a small town.  I have an irrigation well, and have been looking at deep well hand pumps as a way to get water under TEOTWAWKI.  Any advice that someone could give me on that would be much appreciated.  At approximately $1,500, the hand pump would be a major purchase.

I have been using the “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, the free LDS Preparedness Manual, and SurvivalBlog as my main guides so far.  As I read SurvivalBlog, I wonder what I could contribute, since I rely so much on what others have generously offered up.

The only somewhat unique thing that I have to offer is my perspective after having attended Front Sight Firearms Training Institute about 20 times.  Just type “Front Sight” in the Blog search box and you will find rave reviews about Front Sight from other members that have attended.  I also think Front Sight is awesome.  If someone would have told me a few years ago that I could put five shots in the same ragged hole with a handgun or consistently make hits on a man=sized target out to 900 yards with a scoped rifle and ammunition that I handloaded, I would have laughed at them.  Front Sight training has made that and more a reality for me.

I do not work for Front Sight and I will not profit in any way by endorsing them.  What I would like to do is explain what I have learned that will help you attend Front Sight as inexpensively as possible.  For anyone planning to attend Front Sight for the first time, look for certificates on eBay.  If you paid more than $200 tuition for your first class, then you paid more than you needed to.  Front Sight operates by selling lifetime memberships.  For those of you that have been to Front Sight, you know that during lunch on the second day of the course, they try and sell you a lifetime membership.  In the 3-½ years that I have been attending, they have offered the Legacy Membership for $2.500 to $3.000.  For those who have not attended Front Sight, do not worry about getting and “high pressure” sales tactics.  They offer the memberships during a lunch break, and if you do not eat your lunch in the classroom that day, then you do not even have to listen to the presentation.  The whole thing is very low key.

What Front Sight does not explain well is that once you are a lifetime member, then they send you membership offers at extreme discounts.  One example is Front Sight offered the 9/12 Membership, which is essentially the same as the Legacy Membership mentioned above, for $912.  If you purchase an upgraded membership from Front Sight, then you can give your old membership to a friend or family member.  What happens is people buy the upgraded memberships at discounted prices, and then they try to sell their old memberships if they do not have anyone to give it to.  Front Sight does not allow you to advertise these extra lifetime memberships in any public media (Internet, newspaper, etc.).  That is why you never see them offered for sale.  There is a private forum for lifetime members where you can ask for these “extra” memberships from other members that have them.  At the advice of a friend, this is how I became a lifetime member.  I bought a Self Reliance Membership for $600 from another member, then I got an insider offer for an all inclusive Diamond Membership for $2,000.  I bought the Diamond membership and gave the Self Reliance membership to my wife.  As an aside, I about had to drag my wife to her first class.  She decided that since we have guns in the home, she should get some training on their safe use.  Now she loves Front Sight, has been there several times, and even plans our trips there.

It is my personal belief that Front Sight will not be in business for too many more years.  (Though this past Spring, they have added several new ranges that are impressive.)  The reason I say that is because they have made commitments to train thousands of people for life, and those people will not be bringing any new money into the place.  My brother is a lawyer, and did a bunch of research, but still bought a “used” membership for under $500.  The advice I give people is to buy a membership that you think you can get the value out of within the next year.  That way if Front Sight goes out of business, you will really not lose anything.  For the least expensive firearms training out there, you will pay about $100 per day tuition.  For places like Gunsite and Thunder Ranch, you will pay $300 – $500 per day in tuition.  It does not take long to get your money’s worth at Front Sight.

Front Sight is a great place to train.  The staff is excellent.  My favorite instructor is a retired Special Forces master sergeant.  Another of my favorites was a Marine Corps. force recon scout/sniper.  Most of the instructors have a military and/or law enforcement background and bring a lot of real world experience to the table.  I would encourage everyone that owns a gun to get trained.  You do not even know what you do not know until you get some professional training. – S.T.