There was a bit of a ‘covert’ Survivalblog gathering at Front Sight recently. Along with Tim R & Tantalum Tom I was also in attendance earlier in March. I have two grown sons, both of which had expressed a desire to have a handgun for home defense. As a law enforcement officer and former SWAT team member I am familiar with the operation of and responsibility with owning a gun. I am confident in my training and ability to defend my home and family through that training. My two sons, however, had barely even held a gun, let alone fired it. This spurred me to obtain the proper training as any responsible gun owner should do, and when I heard about the “get a Gun ” promotion for the four day Defensive Handgun course that Dr. Piazza was offering, I jumped on board for all three of us.
Both of my sons were shocked when I made the presentation to them last year. Before doing so, they knew something was coming, but had no idea as to exactly what it was. When I gave them the course, including transportation and lodging, they were both flabbergasted and ecstatic. Imagine how amazed they were to find they would also be using a brand new gun of their choosing which would belong to them upon completion of the course, with Front Sight sending it back to our local FFL dealer. I gave them this present last July, and thanks to Front Sight’s generous scheduling policy, I had the luxury of planning the trip at my convenience, choosing dates in mid March.
The trip to Vegas was go od, where we rented a car and drove out to Pahrump, about 50 miles to the west. We even had enough time that first day to go back to Vegas where we feasted on the sights and sounds of ‘The Strip’ and one of the many great buffets, catching a show afterwards. On Friday we drove up to the front gate at Front Sight where we were welcomed and directed to the check in location. Often times any of us are nervous when doing something for the first time, especially in unfamiliar territory far from home. But here we were greeted with a smile by a well organized and helpful staff. Nerves disappeared almost immediately, replaced by the excitement of what was to come.
The five days there were phenomenal, especially as I had the honor of sharing that voyage of discovery with my two sons. You’ve undoubtedly read the commentaries from other attendees, so I will spare you from repetition other than to say the education I received was excellent. I put some 800 rounds through my [Springfield Armory] .45 XD and by the end of my time there it felt so natural in my hand to be almost a part of me.
I was most taken back by the staff who make it truly phenomenal. I will refer to my range-master as the ‘Stair’-Master who took us, step by step, through their procedures in such a natural way. He was informative, professional, friendly, o pen and knew what he was teaching inside out and back to front. But to be perfectly honest, you could say the same for all of them. There were times when we had seven or eight instructors on the line with us. Talk about individual coaching and instruction! Unheard of! This by far is the best firearm instruction I have ever received, and would recommend it to anyone, both novice and expert alike.
In addition to receiving great instruction on the range, we were also afforded some informative and well thought out lectures introducing the concept of owning, using, choosing and carrying a gun. The presenters make it interesting and use their experience and real life situations to better relate to the student body. I even found myself enacting one scenario out with them in a realistic, unscripted way that I have to say, would be very realistic given the situation they presented.
I would also recommend the lunches available through pre-order from ‘Beach Café’, linked through the Front Sight web site. They deliver lunches daily and I found them more than sufficient to get me through the day. As others have said, make sure you hydrate, dress appropriately (layers) and expect to spend long days there which whiz by with all that you do. The coffee is plentiful and the friends you will make from those around you will make it even more special. Come the last day I ‘slowly, carefully, reluctantly’ placed my gun back in its holster and shook the hands of the new friends I had made, determined to return and further my education on a later date. Cruise eBay for some first time student gray course certificates and you too can attend some of their courses at a great rate where you will then discover the awesome deals available to return students. Folks, you will not be disappointed, and you will feel so much better prepared in your ability to protect yourself, your home, and most importantly, your loved ones. – DeFuz