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4-Day Defensive Handgun and 30 State CCW

Front Sight Course Review

George C. (Taken October 2012)

Editor's Note: This is a review for the 4 Day Defensive Handgun and 30 State CCW Course class offered at Front Sight.
  • 4 Day Defensive Hangun and 30 State CCW

  • Student: George C.
  • Occupation: Law Enforcement Officer
  • Weapon: HK USP 40
  • Rounds Fired: 700
  • Number Course Taken: 1st Time
  • Student Rating: 9/10
  • Course: Front Sight
What were your reasons for taking this specific course?

I purchased a certificate for this course several years ago, when they were given away a handgun with it. I had just been waiting for the right time to go down and take it.

General Comments:

The course was very well done. The instructors were very professional. To be honest, the thing that impressed me most was that at a lot of the handgun and rifle courses that I have taken, the people used language that I wouldn't want to have around my wife and children. At Front Sight, there was never any profanity or crudity and nothing inappropriate. I felt like I could have taken my wife or one of my kids to the class with me. The instruction was also very well done. They were very safety conscious. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable. Even though there were only 4 instructors for our whole group of approximately forty people, they still came over and noticed any problems that we were having. They were always there for you if you had any questions and were very good at responding.

How did the training at Front Sight compare to your law enforcement training?

I actually liked it better. As I mentioned earlier, I really appreciated the professional atmosphere and the fact that a woman could be there and I wouldn't be embarrassed by what they were saying. I have never taken a law enforcement course in which I got that kind of detailed instruction for four days straight. Our range masters are very good, but they only get us for three hours. At Front Sight, the training was extremely in depth, and the instructors were able to work with me on things like dry practicing, grip, etc. I would say it was probably more personal than a law enforcement course, because there were more instructors that could go around and focus on that.

There were some things that were different than our training. Such as, when we eject the round, Front Sight teaches to catch the round; but our office just has us rack it and dump the round, because they've experienced people who have not gotten the round all the way out and then let the slide go and it blew a hole in their hands. There were a couple of other different things there, but I just adapted to it. Some of the stuff I actually brought back and introduced to some of our range masters.

At Front Sight, they teach you to stand in the modified Weaver stance. When I first started out in law enforcement, I stood in the modified Weaver, and I've always liked it. For our purpose now, they have us stand straight on in the isosceles. The reason for this is that if we turn sideways, our vests don't cover the sides of our bodies.

How would you improve this course?

The one thing that we did notice – and I don't know how they would change this – we talked to a couple at breakfast who were not on our range. This guy had brought his girlfriend with him, and she had never shot a handgun before. He said she was so overwhelmed the first day that she quit. I don't know if Front Sight has ever considered just doing a beginning handgun course, like a one-day pistol instructions course before you go into the four-day course. I've taken my wife shooting a couple times, but if I were to put her in that class, she'd be overwhelmed.

We had a lady in our class, who was getting very frustrated, who happened to be paired with my brother as a coach. My brother is an NRA Boy Scout instructor. She ended up completing the course and passing, and she was very grateful. As her coach, he was with her all day, every day. I don't know that she would have quit, but her husband came to us and told that she was very discouraged after her first day. The instructors can't just go over and sit with the people who are having trouble all day long.

The instructors were very good about noticing if there was a conflict between and coach and a shooter, and they would switch it up. The first day, they had us all switch out, and we thought it was odd. Then, they didn't have us switch for the rest of the course.

Some of the instructors, like Bill Kapeles, were very open, and we could go up and ask any questions that we had. However, I went up to one instructor and said that in our office they teach us to not put our hands over the port in case you have a bur or something that could strike the firing pin or the primer. His only response was, "That ain't happening." I accepted his opinion, but he didn't give me any reasons for it. However, when I asked Bill a question, he would start off with "in my opinion", and I appreciated that.

How did the 30 State CCW Course go after your 4-day course?

We started out with shooting in the morning, and then we sat through the legal issues. After that, we did all of the paperwork for it. In my situation, the paperwork doesn't apply, because as a police officer, the new federal law states that I can carry anywhere in the country. We also got our fingerprinting done, which I went ahead and did just so that I'd have it.

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

Practice before you go.

Would you suggest this course to others?

Yes, I would.

How did you get there?

I drove from my home in Utah.

Where did you stay?

Saddle West

How did you handle the ammo situation?

My office provided it for me and also paid for my gas to get there.

How did you handle the lunch situation?

Each traveler is only able to fly with 11 pounds (about 300 rounds of 115gr 9mm) of ammo in their baggage with American Airlines. We bought an additional 300 rounds each at a Bi-Mart in OR. We were running short at the end of Day 3, so we bought another 200 rounds from the truck parked out at Tecopa Road and NV 160.

How did you handle the lunch situation?

We just packed snacks like granola bars, beef jerky, and fruit.

Do you have any dinner suggestions?

There's place called Irene's, and they had an excellent steak for only $9. There was also a Japanese restaurant that we went to. When they saw our Front Sight hats, they said that we got a 10% discount for being from Front Sight.

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

I would actually like to take the 4-Day Defensive Handgun course again. I've been recommending it to everyone in my office.