Front Sight offering Springfield XD for free


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littlegator
August 12, 2008, 09:56 PM
Front Sight is advertising a free XD with class purchase of $1,999. http://https://www.frontsight.com/free-gun.asp I did a search on Front Sight training here at THR and it seems the newest threads on their courses are over a year old. I was wondering if anyone has taken the handgun classes within the last 3 months, whether anyone can validate the free XD offer, and whether the classes (within the last 3 months) are worth the money.

Also, having read the threads that came up for previous discussions about Front Sight, I am aware that in the past, the courses have had some additional sales gimmicks including real estate deals and scientology. I would like to limit this thread specifically to the quality of the firearm training and not the residue. However, if the course as it currently exists, continues to preach collateral issues and you feel that it materially detracts from the firearms training, please indicate.

In the alternative, if you are aware of good firearms training in or around Las Vegas that a gun loving but inexperienced firearms person such as myself could go to without feeling intimidated, please so state. Thanks.

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kingpin008
August 12, 2008, 10:50 PM
Alot of people have an axe to grind with Front Sight, for whatever reason. Most times, when questioned about it, no real solid reasons for the hate come to light. I'm not saying that there aren't folks out there with legitimate gripes, just that most of the talk I've seen has been just that - talk.

From everything I've heard, their training is pretty good. Now, I've never been there, but when I get the cash to finally get some training, they're on my list of places to get it (Thunder Ranch tops the list, though!).

Anyway, about the training/free XD deal - I can't remember who it was that broke it down, but there was a thread here awhile back on just this subject, and it turned out that it wasn't such a great deal. Personally, I'd pass. That's just me though.

crushbup
August 12, 2008, 10:53 PM
Could someone explain the Scientology/real estate thing to me? What were they doing?

Soybomb
August 12, 2008, 10:57 PM
I don't think you can get into discussing training without discussing the character of the school and teacher. Presumably you're taking the class because you want to be prepared to use your gun for defense if you ever must. Do you want your training to come from someone that could be shown to be perhaps a less than great guy or a guy with ties to a group that has a bad public image?

Anyway that aside, the gun is obviously not free. You're paying for it. Perhaps not as a line item but its rolled into the bill.

CliffH
August 13, 2008, 01:27 AM
It's a couple hundred miles or so from Las Vegas... but Gunsite has a very good rep. My wife and I were impressed with the CCW class they teach - and I'm sure their classes are up to the same caliber.

http://www.gunsite.com/

Cacafuego
August 13, 2008, 07:58 AM
OK. Let me say first that I haven't been to Front Sight, so much of this is hearsay.

I haven't heard anything bad about the training. I don't know if it's better or worse than other high-profile schools. I have heard that they give you the hard sell about buying a "membership". I don't know what the memberships provide. They aren't cheap.

I've heard that no one lays the Scientology bit on you, unless you become a regular.

The place was originally conceived as a gun-friendly master-planned community. (Pahrump, NV: Guns, gambling, fireworks and legal hookers! Come and get 'em!) That fell apart; I can't remember why, but I remember seeing bits about it on the local news. There were lawsuits. I do not know the outcome.

Front Sight gives out certificates for free classes, I believe to people who buy memberships. Recipients may dispose of the certificates how they wish. Many sell them on eBay. I have one, and paid about $100 for it. (If they "included" an XD, total would have been $550:p) I hope to get out there for a four-day handgun class next month.

Patrick123
August 18, 2008, 03:55 PM
Has anyone taken them up on this offer?

Kind of Blued
August 18, 2008, 04:03 PM
If anyone is interested, I'll give you a free 1994 Honda Accord with the purchase of an air filter for $20,000.

Green Lantern
August 26, 2008, 11:51 PM
If anyone is interested, I'll give you a free 1994 Honda Accord with the purchase of an air filter for $20,000.

Uh....have you SEEN the offer?

They want $1200.

In return you get a $2000 class. Or rather a CERTIFICATE to take the class ANY time in the future, and the promise that they won't charge more if the price increases in the future.

From them:

You get the Four Day Defensive Handgun Course ($2,000 Value), the 30 State CCW course ($500 Value), All 7 Dry Practice Manuals ($280 Value), Limited Edition Stainless Steel Folding Knife with Front Sight Logo Etched in it ($300 Value), Front Sight Armorer's Bench Mat ($40 Value), Front Sight "Any Gun Will Do-- If You Will Do!" Shirt ($30 Value), Front Sight logo hat ($20 Value), Front Sight Instructor Belt, Holster, Mag Pouch, Flashlight Pouch and Flashlight ($230 Value)...

It is all included... the gear, knife, logo merchandise, dry practice manuals, even a gun cleaning mat...plus everything you need to secure permits to carry concealed in 30 States!
That's $3,400 in Real Value!

That before they get to the =/= $600 gun...

So yeah....not QUITE a fair comparison. ;)

I also wonder if anyone here's taken the offer. By heck, if I had a spare $1200 laying around....

GigaBuist
August 27, 2008, 01:27 AM
Uh....have you SEEN the offer?

They want $1200.

In return you get a $2000 class.

And if you call now, in the next fifteen minutes, we'll throw in a 2nd set of knives ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!

Sound familiar?

What you do is ramp up the "value" of your own product and pitch it at a lower price to entice buyers. You see this on those 60 second TV ads all the time. They've been at it for decades. This is just applying it a new market.

Second, the "buy now for only $1200" lets them invest the money back into the business ASAP. They might need the money now to keep afloat. They can invest if in the business, or use it in another manner that'll earn them money. If they bomb out before you redeem, well, you're out of luck. You're basically investing in the company when you pre-buy a certificate like this.

Third, I'm sure they expect that not all of these certs will actually be redeemed. They're out in the desert of Nevada. That's not an easy place for most of us to get to. It'd cost me at least $1200 to actually attend the training. Sure, I could sell it, but who I am going to sell it to? A local that can just stop in in for some training? Pretty small re-sale market for the cert there. I could try and sell it to somebody, like me, well outside their traveling area but they'd never buy it off me for the full $1200 price, so I'm more likely to just hang onto it and say that "someday" I'll get around to redeeming it.

I've never heard anything bad about the training, but my eyebrows definitely rise when I see how they implement their "business technology" methods.

Sixtigers
August 27, 2008, 07:40 AM
I'll let you know. The wife and I are both taking this course. We had the options of the Springfield GI 1911A1, the XD, or a Glock 17. We opted for the GI.

I can tell you that my gun dealer here in southern California doesn't like them, but many of his customers have gone, and many return back for other courses that they offer.

It was worth the price for the four days of training--a sort of mini-vacation (something we don't get to do)--for both the wife and I...we paid $2400 for the two of us.

scurtis_34471
August 27, 2008, 10:49 AM
I took the 4-Day Defensive Handgun class at Front Sight last April. It was uniformly excellent. I have zero complaints and my shooting improves noticeably. My IDPA scores got hugely better almost over night. They were also awesome with my wife, who was a true beginner. They spent a lot of extra one-on-one time with her to get her up to speed.

I never heard one word about Scientology. The sales pitch for life memberships was confined to two lunchtime presentations. There was no hard sell.

My biggest gripe with them is their smarmy marketing campaign where they try to convince you that their class is worth $2000 and they are giving you a huge discount down to what everyone else charges.

It is definitely worth the $1200, especially with the free stuff tossed in. Just don't get sucked into the real estate deal.

JKimball
August 27, 2008, 12:34 PM
In the alternative, if you are aware of good firearms training in or around Las Vegas that a gun loving but inexperienced firearms person such as myself could go to without feeling intimidated, please so state. Thanks.

littlegator,

From my experience, the 4-day handgun class at Front Sight is exactly what you are looking for. It is tailored towards taking people from knowing nothing about guns to being able to draw from concealment and deliver a controlled pair to the thoracic cavity in under 2 seconds. More importantly, it will give you confidence in your ability to safely handle and carry a pistol. You will also become proficient at clearing malfunctions and performing reloads.
They pride themselves on not being intimidating. Safety is the top priority.

I haven't taken any classes in the last three months, but I took the 4-day handgun and 4-day select fire M16 classes last year and was very happy with them.

If you're in Vegas, it makes perfect sense to get your training there. The drive is less than an hour even from the north end of Vegas.

The XD offer may not be the best deal, unless perhaps if you were already planning on buying one of those pistols and gearing up with all that other stuff anyway. Check Ebay for a certificate. I think they give out the certificates with the understanding that people won't sell them on Ebay or classifieds, but people do anyway. And I think the certificates can only be used for your first class.

I never heard a single word from anybody there about Scientology.

They will do a presentation during lunch that encourages you to buy a lifetime membership. At that point you'll have a better idea of who they are, and you can make an informed decision. There's no reason to feel pressured though. Once you get on their email list, you will get offers for some pretty good deals every couple of weeks it seems like. They didn't even talk about the real estate deals when I was there. I believe the lawsuit that was mentioned was brought by a couple members who had purchased some lots and took hundreds of free classes, and then decided the development of the site wasn't coming along as fast as they had been promised.

I purchased a lifetime membership without ever having set foot on their facility and feel like I've already gotten my money's worth just from the two classes I've taken, and I have a lifetime of free classes to look forward to.

To get a better idea of what they're about, go to their website (http://www.frontsight.com) and order the free Legacy DVD.

mgkdrgn
August 27, 2008, 12:52 PM
I wasn't there within the last 3 months, but rather just under 2 years ago.

Training was TOP NOTCH (2 day defensive handgun). If I didn't live on the wrong coast (and had more free time), I'd probably have gone back since then.

There was a sales pitch for their memberships ... but it was -very- low key, and might have been a whopping 15 minutes of the two days I spent there.

WoofersInc
August 27, 2008, 01:49 PM
I was there back in May. I took the 4 day Handgun course. I felt that the training was very good. My shooting improved dramatically since this was my first formal training class. The instructors found some flaws in my shooting I wasn't even aware I was doing and that definitely helped.
I did not hear a single thing about Scientology during the 4 days.
The sales pitch was a video presentation during lunch on the third day and there was no pressure involved at all. It was simply "here is what we offer". I did become a member while there since being in Vegas I can go easily for more classes. I posted about it before but one aspect about the place that really struck me was the people there taking the classes. They were the most down to earth friendly people you will ever meet. I am still sending E-mails and talking with several of the people I met there even though they are from other states. A few are trying to coordinate return trips at the same time so we can shoot together. The other was the large number of female shooters. It was great to see so many women there learning. Most said they liked it because they didn't feel pressured by the staff, even if they were total beginners.
For the OP, Find one of the Certificates on E-bay and try them out first hand. Seeing for yourself will tell you more than what any internet board will.

nplant
August 27, 2008, 04:03 PM
*sigh* Okay, I'll wheel out my defense once again.

Disclaimers: I am employed part time for Front Sight as a rifle instructor. I have not actively worked at the site since May 2007. I am also a First Family member (Gold level) which means I can take any class offered without paying a tuition fee. My last such class was the 4-Day Defensive Handgun in May of this year.

That said, let me flatly refute two things I see tossed about online like it's true:
1. Since my first visit in 2002, subsequently taking at least fifteen separate classes since then, not including the classes I've taught, and the ongoing instructor training I've received, I have never, not once, ever, overheard or been involved in a conversation about scientology. If I had ever, I would no longer be associated with Front Sight - that's how negatively I feel about scientology.

2. Apart from a very early and restricted membership class involving a long term lease on an acre plot on site, there has never been a "sales pitch" about "real estate." They will have some timeshare or condo property available eventually, but it is not currently being sold. The "sales pitch" is for a membership.

Currently there are no memberships that include land of any kind. They sell you what amounts to a "season pass" for life, which allows you to continue taking classes without paying additional tuition. It's like gym membership for life. If you're not interested in buying, you don't even have to attend the presentation. They play a video in the classroom during lunch, and if you want to eat in the classroom, you either watch the video or sleep or read or whatever, but it's not like those horrid timeshare presentations where you're captive for 90 minutes.

I'll refrain from specific comments on the rifle training because I don't want to sound like I'm a know-it-all, but the handgun, auto-weapons and shotgun training I've taken there has always helped me immensely, and even re-taking the basic courses has netted me results, because there's always something new to pick up on.

Piazza no longer instructs at the school, and instead he employs a large instructor pool with varied backgrounds, including law enforcement, military and private citizens (myself, I've never served in LE or Mil, but have been an avid shooter all my adult life, and much of my childhood).

The instruction is arranged in scripts, so that regardless of the range you draw on your weekend, you get the same as everyone else across the board. The differences come in as quirks of your particular instructor panel - some have better "bedside manner" so-to-speak than others.

In fairness, Front Sight is not for everyone. They train a huge group of students each year, most of them first-time students. A lot of those first-timers are new to shooting. Some have literally never picked up a gun before. When they leave, everyone has the same number of body orifices, and they all handle a gun pretty darn well, and some with sheer excellence. That says something, to me.

If you have taken training already at other schools, Front Sight will seem boring because they require you to take THEIR beginning course in order to get to the higher level stuff. They teach essentially the same stuff as every other school, but with a different flair. They have great higher-level courses.

The basic courses are friendly and open to all comers, but once you make it to the higher levels, they sometimes dispense with pleasantries and begin to give you the real "combat mindset" drills. Some people don't like that, but if you're interested in learning to survive a gunfight, I think it's what you need.

Each class has simulators, and some have walkthrough scenarios. The advanced classes include force-on-force with live opponents (using Simunitions).

If you live in Vegas, I can't possibly see a downside to going for a weekend course. And yes, I have met people who have taken advantage of the deal, and they do in fact get a new XD in the caliber of their choice. Be warned, though - the holster and mag pouches are the crappy Fobus stuff that Springfield ships with the gun (as far as I know).

Hope this helps, and feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.

-Nathan Plant

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