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2-Day Practical Rifle

Front Sight Course Review

Scott L.

Editor's Note: This is a review for the 2 Day Practical Rifle Course class offered at Front Sight.
  • 2 Day Practical Rifle
  • Student: Scott L.
  • Occupation: Commercial Real Estate Agent
  • Range Master: K. Pfeifer
  • Instructors: K. Cress, M. Jeng, K. Streker, and C. Chrysochou
  • Weapon: AR-15 Carbine
  • Rounds Fired: 130 rounds (39 the first day, 85 the second day, and 6 for practicing malfunction clearance)
  • Number Course Taken: 1st time
  • Student Rating: 10/10
  • Course: Front Sight
What were your reasons for taking this specific course?

I took this course because I wanted to learn the AR-15 platform (I'm currently building an AR-15) and because I wanted a basic introduction to tactical shooting (not shooting from a bench rest like I typically do at the range).

General Comments

As I said in my review of the 4-Day Defensive Handgun course, I went to Front Sight not knowing what to expect (was it going to be a pseudo boot camp? a fantasy camp for Soldier of Fortune types? a training camp for competitive shooters?) and could not have been more impressed with the experience. This course provided me exactly what I needed--a primer on the AR-15 platform and an introduction to shooting in a real-world environment.

The Front Sight facility itself is quite impressive. Most of the reviews I'd heard/read were from Front Sight's pre-indoor-plumbing days, and I was very pleased to find a large restroom facility near the main classroom. The ranges on the outskirts of the property are still equipped with portable toilettes (commonly referred to as the "brown rooms" due to their brown color), which were a nice alternative to jumping in the car and driving up to the main building.

The instructors were knowledgeable and competent and managed to make even subjects as mundane as how to use different types of slings informative and enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed the introduction to zeroing a rifle (a skill I've never quite mastered but now feel much more comfortable with) and the practice acquiring various shooting positions (i.e., prone, kneeling, squatting, sitting). Here is a rough breakdown of the focus of each day:

Day 1: Safety, slinging/unslinging, technique, malfunction clearance
Day 2: Zeroing, acquiring various shooting positions, tactical canyon

Now that I've had this introduction, I'm definitely going to return to take the 4-Day Practical Rifle course. On a fun note, I enjoyed shooting the fully-automatic MP5 during our lunch break on day one.

For more information on my First Sight experience, check out my review of the 4-Day Defensive Handgun course.

Did you go through the shoot house? What were your thoughts about it?

Instead of a shoot house, the Rifle courses have a tactical canyon where students engage steel and photo-realistic targets. I actually found this more beneficial than the pistol course shoot house, because the canyon took longer to run and, therefore, gave me time to try to improve from target to target. Still, as was the case with the handgun shoot house, I feel that I (and probably most students) would benefit a great deal from being allowed to run the canyon more than once.

How would you improve this course?

As with the handgun course, I feel that I would have benefited greatly from having a chance to run the simulator a second and possibly even third time, to work on those areas where I needed improvement.

How do you rate this class?

This course is perfect for anyone looking for an introduction to one or more rifle platforms.

What you do differently next time you go to Front Sight?

I took this course immediately following the 4-Day Defensive Handgun course. Next time, if I plan to take more than one course, I'll schedule some down time between the courses. Six straight days of training in the desert sun takes a physical toll.

Would you suggest this course to others?

I'd definitely recommended this course (and Front Sight as a whole) to anyone interested in improving his or her proficiency with a rifle.

How did you get there?

We drove.

Where did you stay?

Extended Stay America in Las Vegas (we got a weekly rate).

Did you go with family or friends? If so, what did they think about the course?

I went with my friend Daniel Crocker. He's extremely proficient with a handgun, but this was his first experience shooting rifles, and he felt that the two-day rifle course didn't provide enough practice to make him comfortable shooting rifles.

How did you handle the lunch situation?

We brought a sack lunch each day.

Do you have any dinner suggestions?

El Jefe Restaurant (excellent Mexican food at an affordable price). Stockman's Steakhouse at the Pahurmp Nugget Casino (a very good high-end steakhouse).

What other courses do you plan on taking in the future?

I plan to take the 4-Day Practical Rifle and to retake the 4-Day Defensive Handgun. When I can find the time, I'd also like to take one of the shotgun courses, a couple of the hand-to- hand courses, and possibly an Uzi or M-16 course.