It has been awhile since my last post on Front Sight and I wanted to follow up with more substantive information.
The first morning went pretty slowly. There was an emphasis on range commands, safety, and basic weapon manipulation. For example, they had us sling and unsling multiple times. They also gave instruction on how to load and make ready as well as how to dry fire.
At lunch time, they bring everyone back in to the main lecture hall for academics of some sort. The instructors claim that the lectures are mandatory for new students or people who haven't been to FS for awhile, but there's nobody taking attendance. Regardless, DW and I attended all of the lectures. Day 1 was use of deadly force. It was a decent lecture. I think I got better information from the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, and I'm pretty well informed on the topic based on some of my reading, but none of the Front Sight info was wrong or bad.
In the afternoon we did a little bit of shooting and an emphasis on malfunction clearance and after action drills. It was a bit dry but not bad. They also introduce the "three secrets:" Sight alignment, sight picture, and trigger control. There may be other things also important for good shooting but I can't argue with their fundamentals. The range day ended with a review of dry fire safety practice.
There were further academics in the evening.
Day 2 we worked on zeroing, with an attendant focus on the fundamentals. The approach was to use extreme sight adjusts to initially overcorrect then dial in. For example, if the first group was 5" right, then they'd have you adjust 6-9" left then adjust a bit back to the right. I actually found it to be an efficient way to dial in sights quickly. I also learned about "natural point of aim," which is probably the #1 thing that has improved my rifle shooting out of the course.
The end of Day 2 also featured "M16 Canyon," a simulation walk through. The idea here was to ensure that the folks taking two day rifle courses could do the simulation course, which seemed good to me. I wrote about it earlier, but in a nutshell, there was a course with shoot/no-shoot targets scattered about. While they rotated folks through the course, the remainder worked on fundamentals on the line as well as shooting positions and malfunctions.
On Day 3, two new skills were introduced: Hostage Rescue and Shooting from Retention. Hostage rescue introduced the idea of compensated head shots at close range. Shooting from retention was used for close-contact type drills. These were done "by the numbers," slow, to maximize safety.
Lunch time's lecture was basic tactics. The lesson learned was Do Not Clear Your House unless you really, really have to. They did present some basic techniques for working corners and opening doors. You then get to practice going through a door with a rubber ducky gun. I did not get the impression that they were encouraging you to clear houses. On the contrary, I got the idea that clearing houses is really hard and that it should only be done in extremis. I think that is a reasonable approach; give people the basic survival skills but don't give them over confidence.
The lunch lecture was about weapons that work and don't work at Front Sight. There were really no surprises. The instructor didn't push the guns that Front Sight seems to have arrangements with (such as XDs). It was basically the "Chicken or Beef" suggestion (Mossberg or Remington for shotties; Polymer or 1911 for pistol; AR or AK or 30-30 lever for practical rifle). They emphasized training over equipment fixes. I couldn't really disagree with any of the info.
Day 4 was primarily practice for the skills test and executing the skills test. The test itself is pretty hard. It includes timed shooting from up close out to 200 yards. I found that there was enough time for a flash sight picture and shot at 25, a deliberate off-hand shot at 50, a nice lengthy off-hand shot or quick drop to kneeling/squatting at 75, time enough for sitting at 150, and time enough for prone at 200 (I may be off on one of the ranges, but that's the gist. Only one person in our class -- someone who had attended multiple times -- scored DG, a handgun were Grads, and the rest of us finished. I came within one shot of "graduating" but missed the mark -- still, I was happy with my performance.
Next review I'll look at some wrap up and final thoughts. I may have been off on some of the details here, as its been awhile since the course, but this was the general flow. I'm definitely happy to answer questions.
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