Front Sight - My Experience


April 18, 2008, 10:28 AM
Last year, my wife and I took advantage of Front Sight's offer of a free training certificate in exchange for posting their advertising on our blogs. We did not actually have blogs, so we each created a MySpace account with a blog entry and posted the advertising there. We received our training certificates shortly thereafter.

Before I go any farther, I need to let you know that I've always been a bit turned off by Front Sight's marketing. Its a bit too late-night infomercial for my taste and comes off a bit smarmy. That impression, combined with some things I read on various forums made me wonder if the place was any good. With free training, I figured I had nothing to lose. My wife and I went for the Four-Day Defensive Handgun class last weekend.

The first myth I need to lay to rest is the hard sell. The sales pitch for life memberships was a video shown during lunch one day, a hand-out and a QA session. There was no pressure, no pushing and no "hard sell." We did not hear much of anything about it outside of that presentation.

The second myth I'd like to kill is the Scientology thing. It is completely untrue. We did not hear a single word about Scientology the entire time we were there or receive any literature that so much as mentioned it. Chalk another one up for the Internet rumor mill.

Now to the important stuff. The training was fantastic. Most of the instructors had pretty impressive resumes in military, law enforcement and security contracting, but there was nothing para-military about the place or the program. The instructors were very professional, but also very patient and very nice. My wife is a complete newbie who really struggled and they gave her a TON of one-on-one help. They took what could have been an extremely frustrating experience for her and made it so positive that she wants to go back.

The training was very technique intensive, especially for the first couple days. I've never performed so many chamber checks and magazine checks in my life. Safety was absolutely paramount, as it should be. Moving into the last couple days, we started shooting under time pressure, did a night shoot with flashlights, got put through a tactical simulator and worked a lot on presentation from concealment.

By the time we took the final assessment test, I was able to consistently make thorasic cavity hits at 5, 7, 10 and 15 yards in under 1.5 seconds from a concealed holster. I've got some work to do on head shots. In order to count, the shot has to go in the 3x4 inch box that represents the area below the eyebrows and above the bottom of the nose. At 3, 5 and 7 yards, I was only able to make that shot from a concealed holster about half the time in the 1.5 seconds allocated. I scored well enough on the test to get a Graduate certificate, but nowhere near well enough to receive the Distinguished Graduate required to advance to the next class. Their standards are pretty tough, but I cannot argue with the results.

I went from skeptical to unabashed fan in four days. I think the biggest problem with Front Sight is that they need to fire their marketing people. The image I had of the place before I went and the experience I had when I was there were completely different things.

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April 18, 2008, 10:40 AM
Glad you enjoyed it.

Don't think I'd be able to get there any time soon. Too far away and kids still to young.

April 18, 2008, 10:56 AM
Nice write up - thanks for sharing.

April 18, 2008, 10:58 AM
Don't think I'd be able to get there any time soon. Too far away and kids still to young.

I hear ya. This was the first time the wife and I got away for more than 2 nights in 10 years. We flew my mother-in-law down to watch the kids and made a week of it. We spent a few days in Vegas before training, saw some attractions, caught a few shows and won a few hundred dollars. It was fun and WAY overdue.

Between frequent flier miles from work, agreeing to watch a 90 minute timeshare pitch and making good use of PriceLine, we were about to get three round-trip tickets, 7 nights in 4-star hotels and 8 days rental car for $900. The training was free, but we did have to pay $50 each for a background check and we had to bring about $400 worth of ammo. Show tickets were a bit pricey, but completely worth it. We saw Mamma Mia!, Spamalot, Phantom of the Opera and Folies Berger. The first three shows were fantastic. The last one was alright.

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