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Front Sight: A review. (Part one)

I recently completed the four day defensive handgun class at the Front Sight Training Institute in Pahrump, Nevada. If you are like me, you have seen many advertisements for Front Sight and may have been curious as to how effective the training actually is. This is the first part of a review of my experience.

First, let me tell you a little bit about my shooting background. I have been shooting for over 25 years, with minimal formal training. On average, I shoot around 150 rounds per week at my local range, and have shot IDPA matches and qualifiers. I am definitely not someone who shoots and practices as much as they would like to, but it is what it is.

Next, let me tell you why I was a little bit skeptical about going to Front Sight (FS) I have received numerous advertisements for their discounted training plans and free gun offers over the past 10 years or so. I came close to purchasing one training membership several years ago, but really did not have the funds available at the time. I was always leery of a training plan that seemed to offer unlimited courses at a low price. I mean, with that model, how good could the training actually be – regardless of if they were actually underwritten by a ‘millionaire patriot.’ The advertisements also seem a bit, pardon my words, sleazy and slick. I had also heard tales of tie-ins with Scientology and expected that any trip to FS would include a big sales pitch similar to what you might receive at a timeshare presentation.

With those assumptions, I received (yet another) email from Front Sight in late 2017 offering a free four-day defensive handgun class. Free was just the right price for me, so I accepted the offer just to see what a class would be like. After I accepted the offer, I was “presented” with the opportunity to purchase a training video that would prepare me for the first day for just one dollar. I purchased that video upon which I was presented with another “opportunity” to purchase a patriot membership at an extremely discounted price. This was similar to the membership I almost purchased several years ago, so that peaked my interest. Paired with some free front sight credits, as well with the offer go a “free” shotgun, I did purchase the membership. After I purchased that, I was presented with another “opportunity” to purchase a gift membership for a friend at an even lower price. Because I really didn’t want to go to the class alone, I did purchase a membership for a good friend. And of course, after that offer, I was invited to purchase yet another, higher level of membership for myself. That option was way too expensive for me so I declined. So after spending around $350, for my “free” class I think I understand how the front sight marketing works. Get you in at a lower price and then keep offering more and more options. Similar to a timeshare model.

I live in Alabama, so I needed to make travel arrangements. I was able to get a relatively cheap ($350) round trip flight on Southwest Airlines to Las Vegas, and my parents were kind enough to let my buddy and I use some of their timeshare points for a place to stay in Vegas. Staying in Vegas meant that we would have about a 45 minute trip one-way to FS, so the trade-off was that we would be leaving early each day. I cashed in some Hertz points to cover a free rental car, so with That last detail I place, I was all set.

There were a few other items that I needed to buy for the trip. I needed a hard shell case and locks, which I picked up at Harbor Freight. I had ordered one from Amazon, but decided to send it back and buy a larger case to hold 2 Glock 19s – 1 to shoot and a reserve in case of malfunction – 2 is 1, and 1 is none, right? I already had the other gear that I needed – belt, holster, magazines, mag pouches, cover garment, electronic hearing protection, and eye protection.

We also had to decide what to do about ammo. The course guideline said that we needed 600 rounds for the class, which was more than we could carry in our checked luggage, from a weight perspective. My buddy, MSM, found a place online that we could order from, Ammo Supply Warehouse. They had competitive pricing, and we could pick the ammo up the day before class, so MSM placed an order with them for 1200 rounds. In hindsight, we should have ordered from somewhere in Las Vegas, so we didn’t have to make an extra trip to Pahrump, but they were very friendly, answered some newbie questions for us about FS, and were very easy to work with. I highly recommend ordering ammo from them.

Our flight to Las Vegas was uneventful. I had printed out rules and regulations about flying with firearms, just in case we ran into any issues. We had no problems at all. Maybe that’s because we flew out of Birmingham, because we followed the rules to the letter, because people really do fly with weapons all the time, or because Southwest trains their people well, but our agent at the baggage counter was completely nonplussed about the weapons.

Up next: the course itself.

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Repeal the Second Amendment?

Today, the tag/topic ‘Repeal the Second Amendment’ was trending for most of the day on Twitter. It was due to the op-ed article written by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ NYT piece about the Second Amendment. To no one’s great surprise, Stevens is still against the very idea of *shudder* firearms in the hands of the common man.

Dear Former Justice Stevens –

No. Hell, No.

Sincerely,

DBM

By the way, just remember that Stevens was appointed by a Republican, and supposedly still considers himself as such. Still think that there are real philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats? Enjoy your visit from the Easter Bunny this weekend.

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Tom Gresham gets it

I had a few minutes yesterday to go back and listen to the Guntalk podcast yesterday. I listen to it periodically – usually when I’m doing yard work – and for the most part I enjoy it. On this previous weekend’s show, Tom Gresham, the host of the show, spent about the first 20 minutes of the show talking about the about all of the anti-gun marches that took place over the weekend. He made 2 statements that made me replay them (Please excuse me if the quotations are not exact):

1. “I don’t think the NRA is up to this fight” – THIS.IS.SPOT.ON.

Unfortunately, I agree that the current NRA puts more focus on financial gain (*cough* CarryGuard *cough*) instead of truly protecting the 2nd Amendment. I’m an Endowment member of the NRA, and have sent them several emails over the past 2 years about this very topic. But for me the last straw was when they so willingly suggested that maybe bump stocks *should* be banned after all. To suggest that a piece of plastic – whose function can be duplicated by a rubber band, a belt loop, or even a few pieces of wood – should be equivalent to a Class III weapon is absurd. Gun owners have heard for years about those in our community that are referred to as ‘Elmer Fudds’ – they only care about their hunting rifles and shotguns, and how they should stand up for the whole community, and not just their favorite past time.

By that logic, if you’re on board with the bump stock ban, guess what: You are a Fudd.

FYI, I took the money that I had contemplated using for a donation to the NRA, and upgraded my GOA membership to Life. I would encourage you to do the same.

2. “After this weekend, it’s a whole new ball game”

I think many gun rights supporters have been content to let someone else fight the fight. Those that *do* join the NRA just sit back and let them fight their battles for them. No more. If you are a gun owner, you have to be active in this fight. You have to write and call your representatives. Write editorials. Leave comments on websites. Be civil. Get away from cliche’ arguments. Talk with people about gun facts and culture. Take others shooting. Volunteer your time to educate others. Train. Don’t be a douchebag. If there’s a march or rally, go.

I’m challenging myself to that commitment. I’m using this blog as a way to stay accountable to myself, and the 1 other person that reads it.

The fight is here. What are *you* going to do about it?

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A return to blogging

Shortly after I started blogging here, I took on a new job. What I thought was going to be a good move essentially sucked up all the free time I had. But recent events have re-motivated me to start blogging again.

From my cold, dead hands…

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The Hysteria Continues…

Ammunition continues to be gobbled up as soon as store owners place it on the shelf. This has led to something strange, at least in the .223/5.56 ammo category. Have you ever seen brass cased ammo selling for less than its steel-cased counterpart?

Prices from gun-deals.com

I thought that maybe it was because the steel-cased Wolf ammo was available today, but it is also backordered.

Price comparison is from gun-deals.com

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Gun Rights

Larry Correia, author of the Monster Hunter series of books (and many others), has written what I believe is the best discourse on gun rights that I have read in a long, long time. His first post in a promised series is directed to well meaning but people who dont know the facts.

Go read it. It is a lengthy post, but well worth your time. You will walk away with several key pieces of information about gun usage in America. I believe that we will all need to stand at the ready – as intellectual minutemen, if you will – to have an intelligent discourse about our gun rights in America. I fear that the upcoming fight will be a brutal one.

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My Weapon

This is my Springfield XD chambered in .45 ACP.

It is a semi-automatic pistol. It is shown holding 11 rounds, though it is capable of utilizing extended magazines.

It, along with millions of other firearms in the United States of America, did not harm anyone today.

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New Memberships

After watching the politicians, human enhancement media moguls, and anti-rights activists dance in the blood of the innocent victims of the Connecticut massacre, I debated going ahead with the purchase of a Glock 19 that I’ve had my eyes on for several months now. I wanted to buy it, before the prices jump even further.

I re-considered my purchase, and did not make it (yet).

Instead, with the money I’d set aside to purchase my Glock, I joined the Second Amendment Foundation. I also renewed my membership with Gun Owners of America. I believe that our gun rights organizations in America (including JPFO and the NRA) will be fundamental in the defense of our God-given rights.

Fellow gunnies, I believe that the majority of us have remained silent purely out of respect for the CT victims. But that time is quickly coming to an end. Therefore, I challenge all of you to set aside some funds to join our pro-2A organizations.

There are so many factors that need to be addressed in this tragedy – mental health care, mind altering medication, etc – that need to be addressed. The solution is not to remove an individual’s right to defend themselves.

Anyone who believes that law guarantees their safety is a fool.

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.22 beats .45

So says “Molotov Mitchell”.

There are enough eye-rolling moments in this video you’ll be able to number the hairs in your eyebrows. But hey, it’s WorldNetDaily. Would you expect anything less?

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BAG Day, Part II

My other Ruger 10/22 Breakdown came in today!!

Alas, the Mark‘s gunsmiths were all tied up with an activity at Lay Lake, so I was unable to have the swivel studs installed.  I’ll either do it myself, or take it back another time.

Time to take these bad boys out to the range!!

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