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Advice for gun school

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Ian, Apr 2, 2005.

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  1. Ian

    Ian Member

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    I'm headed off to Front Sight in two weeks for a 4-day general rifle class, and I'm wondering if there's anything I should know or get or do in preparation. Anything you guys can tell me about gun school in general or Front Sight in particular?

    I'll be taking 800 rounds of ammo (the course description says it requires 700), a backup rifle, sunscreen, gloves, knee and elbow pads (they are required for the class, apparently) and plenty of water. Anything else I'll need?
     
  2. Neva

    Neva Member

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    Thousand rounds, couple of baseball caps, some of those heating packs to put on sore spots...

    Have fun....
     
  3. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Member

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    I've never been to a shooting school so my advice is worth about as much as you'd think, but from the reports I read, a lot of people were happy to have a camel back system. Also, a way to hold your mags will be important like a belt or leg pouch. Extra ammo, extra mags.

    I'm sure someone with experience can chime in here.
     
  4. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 Member

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    Having been to TR my best advice is to leave any ego at home and mos importantly - listen! You can learn just as much from listening as you can from doing. Also, don't get down on yourself when you make a mistake. You'll remember that error and learn from it. It could be your errors that teach you the most. Of course...have fun! :)
     
  5. DJJ

    DJJ Member

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    Stretch. Start stretching now if you don't already. Get into the usual rifle positions and note what seems tight, and stretch that.

    It takes longer to get out there from Las Vegas than they let on. If you're staying in LV, allow yourself a full hour to get out of town and get out there without being rushed.
     
  6. CAPTAIN MIKE

    CAPTAIN MIKE Member

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    The Training @ FS is First Rate

    The training you will receive there is First Rate. You will be definitely challenged, however, and you should expect that. I agree about the stretching and about the mags.

    Also plan on taking your firearm cleaning stuff. You can always stay in Las Vegas, but since you're going to be Mission Oriented, why not just stay in Pahrump, which is much closer?
     
  7. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Member

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    I think it's interesting that those who have 'been there, done that' mention almost nothing about actual shooting equipment. I guess your body and mind are always the primary weapons. ;)
     
  8. bigjim

    bigjim Member

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    Your gonna get a great class and a hard sell.

    Do your self a favor and leave the check book an credit cards at home.
    Bring just enough cash for food and lodgeing.

    Iggy might need a new car and make everyone a great deal on a exclusive
    membership....... :eek:
     
  9. Bane

    Bane Member

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    Ian, I am very jealous! Enjoy it! The only thing I can think to add is a camera for some memorable pics.
     
  10. 444

    444 Member

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    I second the recomendation of the camelback. Be on guard against dehydration. Drink constantly even if you don't think it is hot.
    I would take some snacks to eat during the class.
    Definitely use the sunscreen whether you think you need it or not.
    Take something to flush your eyes out with (blowing sand).

    If you don't keep yourself hydrated, keep your blood suger up, and your eyes clear: you won't shoot your best. And if you expect to get a distinguished graduate certificate you will need to be at the top of your game.

    I have taken the Frontsight four day Practical Rifle class. Two comments on the class. Be prepared to do some very quick shooting. And be prepared to fall into positions very quickly so you can shoot quickly.

    If you have time, give me a call and I will buy you dinner or a beer.
     
  11. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Member

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    Did you notice people with 30 rnd mags having any trouble getting into prone positions? In quite some time I'd like to take a few rifle courses and was wondering if it would be better just to use 20 rnd mags. I mainly wonder about AK mags, but I imagine the probably would be about the same with an AR.
     
  12. gazpacho

    gazpacho Member

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    1) Some good, salty beef jerky.
    2) Lifesavers, or some other sucking candy.
    3) A wide brim hat.
    4) Bullfrog 36 or Bullfrog 45. Both are sunscreens recommended by scuba divers. Total protection that you can't sweat/rinse off. Must be soaped off. Oh, completely sunscreen yourself before you get dressed. I've seen people get burned through thin clothing.
    5) LULA (any fast Loading Un-Loading Accessory)
    6) Sunglasses
    7) A windproof umbrella or a white towel. Maybe. Instant shade might be desirable. Also, covering your evil black rifle with a white cloth will keep the sun from baking it super hot.
    8) Small pair of binoculars.
    9) A native bearer to carry everything around (just kidding!)
     
  13. 444

    444 Member

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    The 30 round magazine will not be a problem.
    In any carbine class I ever took, everyone was using a 30 round magazine.
     
  14. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Thanks for all the tips, guys.

    I will be taking a Camelbak; I forgot to mention that with the water. I have a 3-liter one with backpack straps.

    The rifle I'm taking is a tanker M1 Garand, so mags aren't an issue. I have about 500 rounds in clips for it, and the rest of the ammo on 5-round strippers, to be transfered into the en bloc clips once I've emptied a bunch. I'll be taking an AK and a .308 scouted Mauser as backup rifles.

    I won't have any problems resisting tempting sales pitches - I'm way too poor for it. On that note, I plan to just stay in the back of my truck. I've got a mattress back there, and I'm quite happy with the arrangement. I've got better uses for my money than hotels.
     
  15. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    "And, one time, at gun camp . . . " :D

    Pre-hydrate (start drinking water now), dry practice and stretch before you go. Don't eat anything bigger than your head while in school--eat light. I have like an apple and one of those protein drinks. Saw a guy at an advanced pistol class eat an entire Big Mac and fries the first day at lunch (August in Midwest where temp=humidity=99). He had no idea why he was sick the rest of class.

    Bring backup rifle, sun block (I like the Bull Frog stuff, doesn't sweat off), and burn cream (empty brass down your back will give you a road map of your own :D). Maybe one of those lightweight rock climbing shirts with the mock turtleneck underneath a t-shirt?

    Keep your gear tight. You see guys (especially day 3 or 4) will gear strewn over heck's half-acre. Keep your ammo separate from your other gear. A gas mask bag is good (well, it's what I use).

    Ian, you bringing a shooting mat (not necessary but they are a comfort)? How about something to use as a rest, like a range bag?
     
  16. bigjim

    bigjim Member

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    I really want to hear how the M1 garand works out for you in class. You had better report back!!
     
  17. The Undertoad

    The Undertoad Member

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    Ian - Have fun... I think you'll do just fine with that tanker of yours... :) Let us know how it goes.
     
  18. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    Go as if you had never fired a shot.

    By that I mean do not go with the attitude that you are even remotely good. You may have a bunch of bad habits that will need to be unlearned.

    At my first class, I thought I was a pretty decent hand with a handgun. By the second day there were complete newbies that were progressing faster than I was. Instructor made a comment of how at this point in the class it was easy to tell "Who had never fired a shot, who had been through training before and who had spent a lot of time shooting cans off a log" :what:

    :uhoh: How did he know that? :uhoh:

    Smoke
     
  19. pax

    pax Member

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    Label all your stuff. I mean, all your stuff, including ammo boxes. Funny how those all look alike. And toss a sharpie marker into your range bag so you can label all the stuff you forgot to label.

    Put some Advil or Tylenol in your range bag, whatever works better for you. Then stay well-hydrated so you won't need it. Oh, and take tinted shooting glasses to reduce glare.

    About that 'stay well hydrated' thing: Alcohol is a diuretic and will actually take liquid out of your system. If you imbibe after hours, drink at least 1/2 again as much water as you did alcohol before you go to bed (eg, if you drank 8 oz booze, drink 12 oz water). That'll stop you from starting the day behind the hydration curve.

    Spare ear plugs are a good thing. They don't add any weight to your bag, don't take any real space, and might come in handy.

    Put together a little first aid kit for yourself: New Skin, burn ointment, bandaids, eye drops, moleskin patches. Yeah, they'll have stuff there for students to use if you do something painful, but it's a lot less embarrassing to just take care of little owies yourself without mentioning it to the world.

    Wear good shoes. You're going to be on your feet a lot.

    Toss a pair of comfy tennies and a spare pair of socks into the car, or sandals if you like sandals better. No reason to let your feet hurt on the drive back to the motel.

    ***

    As far as the class itself -- repeat this sentence as many times as you can until you believe it in your bones: "I am not here to impress the instructor or anyone else with my shooting skill. I am here to learn." Repeat it every time you feel annoyed because you made a mistake, every time you feel proud because you do well, every time the guy next to you shoots better than you do, and every time you find your attention wandering away from the instructions and focusing instead on how you're shooting. Sounds silly ... but it helps keep you focused on why you're there. You can brag later!

    Have fun.

    pax
     
  20. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

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    You won't learn your best either which is what you're really there for. If you're distracted by too much discomfort you won't stay focused on the training as much as you should.
    I'd also take a boatload ibuprofen or other OTC pain reliever of your choice with you. As well as some nylon or cloth first-aid tape to tape up blisters and tender spots.
     
  21. cobb

    cobb Member

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    Did anyone mention that you have to bring your own lunch, Front Sight has no dinning facilities. We stayed at the Saddle West Hotel in Pahrump, stopped at a convenience store and picked up cold sandwiches, fruit and snacks for the first day. Then when we got a chance, we went to a local grocery store and got food to make up our lunches for the next three days. So it would be helpfull to pack some type of cooler also.
     
  22. Bix

    Bix Member

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    Lotsa good advice here already. I'd add:

    1. Be a sponge (with respect to both information and water :) ). If you learn by taking notes, bring a notepad and review it shortly after you get home.

    2. Budget time/ammo for practice after the class. You'll do yourself a real disservice if you learn a pile of skills/drills during the four days and don't touch them again until your next class.

    3. Have fun.
     
  23. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    not sure you'll need it shooting a garand, but for a lot of classes, medical tape is highly recommended. wrap strategic fingers ahead of time to avoid blisters, slippage, etc.

    probalby mentioned above, but electronic ear protectoin and a bungload of batteries, so you can hear the instruction without straining. it's also useful to be very aware of those around you.
     
  24. SpookyPistolero

    SpookyPistolero Member

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    I'm equally anxious to hear results of using the tanker for training. Ought to be a lot of fun at the least.

    If you like em enough to take one to school, I'm sure you've prepared for this, but I'd watch out for 'garand thumb' striking. It would stink to get four or five smashes and have to deal with it being sore all day. Maybe just some med tape as the previous poster mentioned.
     
  25. 444

    444 Member

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    Wow. An M1.
    I thought about doing that briefly.
     
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