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4 Day Practical Rifle

Front Sight Course Review

Kevin S. (JANUARY 2012)

Editor's Note: This is a review for the 4 Day Practical Rifle class offered at Front Sight.
  • 4-Day Practical Rifle

  • Student: Kevin S.
  • Occupation: Security Guard
  • Weapon: Smith & Wesson M&P 15 5.56mm 1/9 Twist AR-15
  • Ammo Used: Approx. 630 rounds of .223 PMC Bronze 55gr
  • Number Course Taken: First time taken
  • Student Rating: 9/10
  • Course: Front Sight Course
What other classes have you taken at Front Sight?

4-Day Defensive Handgun, 2-Day Empty Handed Defense

What are your general comments regarding this course?

I had just bought AR-15, and had only previously taken a course in SF Bay Area combining both handgun and rifle. After taking previous class at another institution, I still had limited knowledge of rifle use and more specifically the clearing of Type 3 Malfunctions. By the end of Front Sight's course, I felt that I was one of the quicker students as far as clearing Type 3 Malfunctions and that my overall rifle skills had been increased greatly due to large amount and quality of material covered in course.

Before taking the 4-Day Practical Rifle Course, I was hoping to achieve at least an intermediate skill level upon completion. However, after 4 days, I felt that I was relatively advanced and actually got second place on the skills test, missing Distinguished Graduate (90% or better) by only 2 points. Approximately 30 students were in class and there were no turning targets or night shoot.

My AR-15 was already equipped with a bullet button. However, I installed a product known as the Raddlock AR & Bullet Tool Combo. The Raddlock is a two position magazine lock that allows magazine to be released with use of tool while in position 1 or with a finger when placed in position 2. (Editors Note: Position #2 is not allowed in California, since position two allows you to kick a magazine out of the weapon by only using your finger. )
My weapon was equipped with EOTech Holographic Sights, and I used a 3X Magnifier for longer range shooting. We were allowed to shoot from up to a distance of 400 yards "for fun". However, the skills test was limited to a maximum shooting distance of 200 yards.

How do you rate this class?

I give the class a "9". I would have given class a rating of 10 if we had been allowed to shoot more steel targets and had been able to participate in a "Night Shoot". (Editors Note: "Night Shoot" is now reserved for more advanced classes unless one takes dedicated "Night Shoot" classes offered during summer months.) Overall, I felt that I learned a great deal about my weapon and got in a lot of shooting.

Do you have any tips for first-time students of this course?

I recommend purchase of a bipod for weapon stability. A type of bipod that attaches/deploys quickly with the press of a button is strongly suggested. Be aware that at beginning of skills test, the bipod must be put away, and one must attach and deploy it quickly upon command. See link below for type of bipod that I suggest for use in this course.

I also suggest that kneepads are a must for this class. Going down quickly for skills test and the overall length of time on spent kneeling over 4-Day period will kill your knees if you don't have kneepads. Many students coming from California arrive with only 10 round magazines, which are the maximum capacity allowed in that state. I recommend that these students purchase 20-30 round magazines in Nevada and either sell/give away/disable it before returning to California or any other state in which this type of magazine is considered illegal. One person in the class used bolt-action rifle and was at a great disadvantage due to the fact that this class is geared more toward semi-automatic weapons.

Would you suggest this course to others?

Yes, I would suggest this course to others.

How did you get there?

I drove from Northern California, which took approximately 10 hours.

Where did you stay?

I stayed at the Saddle West. The rooms are really out of date and the walls are paper-thin but the price out ways the cons I will stay there again. The white sheets and beds looked brand new, but the pillows were too soft for me so might bring my own for another extended stay.

How did you handle the ammo situation?

I bought my ammo online from Palmetto State Armory Online and brought it with me to save money. The prices at the Ammo Bunker were only about a dollar more a box than I could find online so if I fly in next time I would buy from the Ammo Bunker.

How did you handle the lunch situation?

I pre- ordered from Front Sight/Beach cafe I tried almost everything they had to offer other than the chicken and wraps and the food was good. The problem I had was that I got tired of an orange in my lunch every day. Afterward, I found out from the Beach Café that I could tell them what kind of fruit I wanted with my lunch.

Do you have any dinner suggestions?

I went to Red Sky BBQ and had the shrimp and steak skewers it was really good (the best steak I have ever had) but they are not open Mondays or Tuesday's and the service was slow. Some of the Front Sight instructors that live in Pahrump said it can be hit or miss.

What other classes are you planning to take in the future?

2-Day Rifle Skill Builder, 2-Day Handgun Skill Builder, 4-Day Tactical Shotgun, 2-Day Edged Weapons, 2-Day Rope, Rappel, & Climb