Gonna go to school, any tips?


December 26, 2002, 03:56 PM
As some of you, those that also hopped over to Gun-Talk.com, may know I won a free Roundtrip plane ticket and chose to take a course(FAS-2) at the Firearms Academy of Seattle. So I'm flying from Virginia to Washington state in the spring to take this class. Since this will be my "first" real course, I have lots of questions and would like any tips/suggestions that you all may have.

Courses I've taken
Basic Pistol (local)
Concealed Weapon (local)
NRA RSO training (local)

Steyr M-9 & 4 mags (primary)
Kel-Tec P-11 & 3 mags (spare)
Belt Holster, 3 Mag pouches, Light pouch
Eye& Ear Protection, Baseball Cap
Knees & elbow pads [Don't know if I need these]
Range bag, Aluminium Pistol case

Still need to purchase
Flashlight and extra batteries
Compact cleaning kit

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December 26, 2002, 04:02 PM
I forgot,but don't they have a "subguns" course..;)

[thinking out loud,;) ]

December 26, 2002, 04:07 PM
Didn't see a subguns course offered on their website. Besides, I have already been to that FREE Front$ight SMG course. Dang, I forgot to put that on my list. Oh well.

December 26, 2002, 04:22 PM
If it were me, I'd probably try the FAS-7 Tactical Rifle course.

But, since you are flying, it might not be all that fun to lug around a .223 "AR15 type" rifle,mags,gear and at least '600 rounds' of ammo across the country either.. ;)

As far as pistol courses, the FAS-4 course looks cool.

December 26, 2002, 04:53 PM
Be sure to bring a good topical ointment for the sore muscles, sterile eye drops marketed as "natural tears,' just to wash the gunk out of your peepers (not anything "to get the red out" as that'll just aggravate things), and rain gear.

Have fun!


December 26, 2002, 05:08 PM

I think you'll have a great time. Marty & Gila are both good teachers, and you can learn a lot from their classes.

You'll probably want the knee pads (FAS-2 does some work from high & low kneeling positions). Probably won't want the elbow pads, but you never know.

You absolutely want to bring along a cleaning kit, and spares of everything breakable. As many spare mags as you own. Spare batteries for the flashlight.

Bring some extra ammo ... and make sure the brand of ammo you choose is absolutely reliable in your gun. If you use reloads, don't load them when you are short on sleep and hurrying to get ready the night before! ;)

You'll need to bring along some basic creature comforts, too -- things like bandaids and headache pills, and a high-protein snack if you are prone to get cranky when dinner is later than usual. They tell you to bring a sack lunch along; make sure it's enough, but not too heavy, or you'll be hating life in the afternoon. Bring a water bottle (they provide a 5-gallon thermos of cold water for everyone, and dixie cups for it, but I prefer my own larger, spill proof container. And dehydration is one of the common reasons for feeling wretched by Sunday afternoon). Handiwipes are useful, too. Maybe a pair of sunglasses.

Keep in mind that the weather in Washington in the spring is highly variable. We shot a match there last March which was really wild: in the morning it was frigid cold and snowing, but by the time lunch rolled around, it was sunny and warm. There'd been 4 inches of snow when we started, but it was all gone by the time we left at 3 pm. All that to say that you have to bring lots of thin layers of clothing, not just one heavy jacket. And your outer clothing should be rain-proof, because the chances of getting through an entire spring weekend without wet stuff coming out of the sky is pretty slim. The ranges at FAS are covered, but you'll spend a good bit of time standing in the open, for one reason or another. So bring your waterproofs.

I'd recommend boots rather than tennis shoes, but whatever you choose, make sure they are comfortable. You're going to be on your feet for a good part of the weekend. Along the same lines, put an extra pair of socks in your range bag, and bring an extra pair of shoes if you can spare the space. Nothing is worse than sore feet and no simple relief.

Make sure to read the class material before you go, so that you get the most benefit out of the class. I read not just the suggested sections, but the entire book -- then re skimmed through the suggested sections the night before the class.

The class material tells you to bring a pen and notebook. Bring a spare pen, but you don't really need to bring a separate notebook for class time. The class workbooks they provide have enough space on the backs of the pages to take all the notes you'll need, and that way it's all in one place. However, it may be useful for you to bring a small notebook which stays in your range bag, to jot notes during the range portion of the class. You'll have left your workbook in the classroom and will probably hear at least a few things you'll want to remember later.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you're wondering about something, chances are there are other people in the class who are wondering the same thing and are too shy to ask. So you're really doing everyone a favor when you ask questions and especially so if you listen to the answer with an open mind.

Hope all that helps.


Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival. -- W. Edwards Deming

4v50 Gary
December 26, 2002, 07:00 PM
Ship your ammo via UPS to the school. You want to let them know first that it's coming from you and for you. Some airlines allow you only 11 lbs (that's about 275 rounds of 40 S&W) of ammo. That's nothing for school.

December 26, 2002, 07:48 PM
Pax has the right line on the clothing for that area in the Spring. A good set of sturdy boots with good ankle support will help you through a long day on the range. That's a beautiful part of the country, see if you can take a few extra days to travel.

December 26, 2002, 11:12 PM
Thanx Pax!!

Thats the type of info I wanted.

Anyone else?

deputy tom
December 26, 2002, 11:24 PM
22X9,study hard and pay attention!:D Just kiddin.Good luck in Your endeavor.tom.

December 27, 2002, 08:14 AM
Foul weather gear. Can you see if it is possible to buy your ammo out there?

December 27, 2002, 10:15 AM
Already called, spoke to Gila. She seemed okay about reserving a half-a-case of 9x19 for me. I will try to find a Wal-mart out that way though and possibly pick up a few boxes of Win. White Box while I'm out there.

December 27, 2002, 11:41 AM

There's a WalMart at exit 79 on I-5, in between the main Chehalis & Centralia exits. Dunno if you're coming from Portland or Seattle?

If you have anything whatsoever that you need to pick up before class, you absolutely have to buy it before you leave the Chehalis 'metro' (ha!!!). Onalaska has one dinky little grocery store, a post office, and nearly nothing else. And if you are coming up the Centralia-Alpha Rd., you won't even see those.

WalMart is about the only game in town, though there is a KMart (ugh), and our favorite little 'everything under the sun' hardware and home store -- place called SunBirds. SunBirds has tools and working wear, camping gear, good socks, some guns, and a larger ammo supply than WalMart, but of course it's more expensive.


The town was so small that it had 'you are entering' and 'you are leaving' on the same sign. -- my mother, talking about the town where she & dad started out in

December 27, 2002, 02:49 PM
You might want to take half of box each of different factory ammo, such as 40 S&W and 45 ACP. There may be some free time on the range, where you could try out guns of the other students if they are willing. You'll want to have quality factory ammo for that.

December 27, 2002, 08:53 PM
Take a Microcassette recorder with you so you won't miss something important while trying to write as fast as the instructor talks.

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