Front Sight Firearms Training Institute Review
If you are planning a trip to Front Sight Firearms Training Institute in Las Vegas Nevada for a Defensive Handgun Course, please read this Front Sight review. I will give you some personal insight from my 9 firearms training courses I have taken.
I will tell you right now that I recommend Front Sight for excellent defensive firearms training as you will see as I review my many return trips there.
What is Front Sight?
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute is a 550 acre training facility located near Las Vegas, Nevada.
Front Sight Las Vegas Nevada (actually located outside Vegas in Pahrump, NV) is the largest firearms training school in United States with more than 50 ranges and trains over 1000 students every week. The goal is to take people from all walks of life and all skill levels, and train them to be more proficient with a firearm than 99% on the gun owning population.
In this Front Sight review, I will be reviewing the most popular course which is the 4-day defensive handgun course. This course is designed for anyone ranging from someone who is never fired a gun all the way up to military and police personnel who already have gone through training provided by law-enforcement or the military.
They offer a 2 Day version of this course as well. The difference between the 2 day and the 4 day is an extra day of practice, some fun drills and the Skills Test.
The skills test is used as a guide to see where you are as far as proficiency at shooting at various distances as well as clearing malfunctions under time pressure. Depending on your score, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement, Certificate with “Graduate” status, or the coveted “Distinguished Graduate” Award.
Listen to this recent interview with Dr. Ignatius Piazza talking about Front Sight and what they do:
Front Sight Firearms Training review: My Personal Experience with Front Sight
I have personally taken 10 courses at Front Sight since 2011 and I’m planning to go back every year as long as I am still able.
**Update October 2021: I just returned from another trip to Front Sight! I took the 4-Day Defensive Handgun course again, as I had not had any training for over 2 years.
I live near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania so getting to Las Vegas is quite a bit of cost and effort for me but it is well worth it. Read my article on flying with a gun if you have never taken your gun on an airline.
As someone that has attended multiple courses over many years, I would like to share my experiences through several Front Sight Firearms Training reviews. I will be reviewing some of the other courses I took as well as this one.
Also, for my in depth article on the gear you will need for the best experience at Front Sight, click here.
When I first started to carry a firearm I wanted to learn everything I could and wanted to get some training. I found that there weren’t a lot of Firearms Training Schools on the east coast, and stumbled upon Front Sight. I noticed other schools charged $1,000-$2,000 for a course, but Front Sight was offering a membership for $300! I thought it was too good to be true, but I did not have a lot of money, so I checked them out and decided to take a chance and see for myself.
I attended the 4-Day Defensive Handgun Course on June 13, 2011. I traveled to Pahrump, Nevada by myself, not sure what I was getting into, but I was not disappointed! I found that the training was a lot more than I expected, the Staff was extremely knowledgeable, and my skills and knowledge improved tenfold. I have taken the 4-Day Defensive handgun course 5 times, each time I brought one or two friends and relatives with me. I have also taken the 2-Day Practical Rifle course, Tactical Handgun and Advanced Tactical Handgun.
**Update: I just returned from another Front Sight course that I attended in October 18-21, 2021. I have now taken the 4-Day Defensive Handgun 6 times in total. I am always bringing new people, and that is why I take the same class over and over. I brought a friend this time that is new to gun ownership.
If you have any questions at all about Front Sight or the courses I have taken, please leave a comment below and I will answer every one of them.
Front Sight sounds huge, how big are the classes?
Front sight routinely trains hundreds of students per day. Each class in the 4-Day course can have up to 40 people in it, paired up so half are performing the activity while their respective partner monitors them for safety and proper form. They use the Coach/Student platform, which I think works extremely well in this setting.
If large classes concern you, fear not, as there are always plenty of instructors right there with you to help you one on one as needed, and they are always watching for safety issues.
What Kind of Gun Training does Front Sight Firearms Training Institute Offer?
Front sight has many courses to choose from including:
- 2 and 4 Day Defensive Handgun
- 30 State Concealed Weapon Permit Class
- Handgun Skill Builder
- Tactical Handgun
- Advanced Tactical Handgun
- Handgun Combat Master Prep
- 2 Day or 4 Day Tactical Shotgun
- 2 Day or 4 Day practical rifle
- Shotgun and Rifle Skill Builder Courses
- Night time Practical Rifle
- Precision Rifle
- Uzi sub machine gun,
- 2 and 4 day select fire M16
Front Sight has recently added Armorer Courses for 1911s, Glocks, Springfield XD and AR 15.
They also offer 2 and 4 day rope and rappel classes, empty-handed defense, edged weapons, and several children’s and youth safety courses.
Who Would Want to Take the 4-Day Defensive Handgun Course at Front Sight?
My opinion is than the answer to this question should be, “Everyone!” However, I realize than gun training is not for everyone. I also realize that Las Vegas is not close to everybody!
Gun training at Front Sight is definitely for anyone who owns a firearm for self-protection, anyone who carries a gun as part of their job, or simply anyone who is not completely comfortable around guns due to lack of knowledge on their safety, care, and use. Whether you have been trained by the US military or have had no training at all, Front Sight will help you become proficient in the defensive use of a handgun.
You will find all sorts of people attending training here. I have seen lots of men and women who come alone (as I did twice when I was unable to find a companion), married couples, unmarried couples, entire families, clergy, police and military men and women, kids as young as 15, and adults in their 70’s.
One year, a police officer attended with me and he was very impressed. He said the training was far superior to what he was taught on the job, and has since taught classes to his fellow officers.
I took my cousin and his son-in-law one year, my son-in-law two tears in a row, and a coworker yet another time and they all plan to go back when they are able. If you are not sure if you will fit in, I can assure you that is not true.
Also, worth noting, If you come with other people, the friendly Front Sight staff will be sure to put you all in the same class as class assignments are done upon arrival.
Is it Safe at Front Sight?
This is a valid question. After all, most days there are literally hundreds if not a thousand people from all walks of life walking around with GUNS on their belts!
I am not aware of any incidents at Front Sight involving one person shooting another. As you might expect, with tens of thousands of people shooting all day long for years, there have been a few accidents. They usually involve someone shooting themselves in the foot or leg trying to go too fast when holstering, or otherwise not paying attention to what is being taught.
I was present in 2013 when someone on the range next to mine managed to shoot himself in the leg while re-holstering his .45 too fast. He was more angry with himself than anything, because he knew better, and the instructors CONSTANTLY remind you to always re-holster SLOWLY! There is never a reason to rush your gun back to the holster. This gentleman made a full recovery as I read about it later.
**Update: I did witness a near-miss in October 2021, when the gentleman next to me in a 4-Day Defensive Handgun course fired his pistol while re-holstering right next to me. The round was 9mm and narrowly missed his leg and foot. He was an experienced shooter, but lost focus for just a moment and holstered his pistol way too fast. This was not documented as I do not believe any instructors saw this and it was not reported as far as I know.
Accidents will happen anywhere, but are very rare at gun ranges in general, and this holds true at Front Sight, as the staff is hyper-vigilant about safety. Here is an article discussing why gun range accidents are exceedingly rare.
What Does the 4-Day Defensive Handgun Course Cost?
The cost for this course is far less than you would imagine. This kind of training is worth $2000 at most other top-notch gun training schools. Front Sight does things differently. Front Sight charges far less for the course and makes their money selling Ammo, items in the Pro Shop and Memberships. If you go to the website you will see deals as low as $200 for a 4-Day certificate! I can also help you get discounted memberships or course certificates.
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What Will you Learn at Front Sight?
You will spend time learning both in the classroom and on the range. First and foremost you will learn gun safety. See my article on the 4 rules of gun safety. If there is one thing that is pounded into your brain at front Sight, it is gun safety. Once you see the way the staff and his safety and safety issues, any concerns you may have for your well-being quickly disappear.
Below I have listed some things you will learn.
Here are some things you will learn on the shooting range:
The ultimate goal is to make everyone comfortable and safe with their firearm. Also, most people, regardless of experience will be able to draw from their concealed holster and deliver 2 accurate shots to the center of mass (thoracic cavity) of an opponent in under 2 seconds at the end of the course!
Here is a short video of me practicing some Front sight Techniques on my home range:
While in the range, you will first sit in the seats and listen to the instructor (usually with a healthy dose of humor) teach a particular skill. Then you will get up and actually practice what you just learned. As the days progress, you will learn new things and practice the things you already learned. You will be shooting a LOT! You will get very good at everything you learn in a short period of time.
- Proper grip and stance
- Gun presentation (draw)
- Proper loading and unloading
- Types of ammunition
- Malfunction clearing See my articles on clearing Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 malfunctions.
- Trigger control and sight alignment
- Shooting from the holster and from the Ready
and way too much more to list here.
Here is a video of me practicing the Type 3 Malfunction clearance drill I learned at Front Sight:
What You Will Learn In The Classroom:
The Front Sight curriculum takes every minute of every day to try to teach you something valuable. Each day at lunch and some days at the end of the day there will be a lecture. The lectures cover the following topics:
- Color Code of Mental Awareness and the Combat Mindset.
- Moral and Ethical Decisions Associated with the Use of Deadly Force
- Criminal and Civil Liability
- Principals of Tactical Movement
Front Sight Skills Test
If you take the 4-Day defensive Handgun Course, you will take a Skills Test on Day 4. This test is given in the morning and is to give you an evaluation of where your skills are at that time.
The skills test is completely optional as is anything else. However, in order to receive a Graduate or Distinguished Graduate Certificate, you must take the skills test and you must use concealment during the test.
In order to receive the Distinguished Graduate award, you need to lose no more than 13 point on the skills test.
Pros and Cons of Front Sight Training Institute
Here are, in my opinion, the good and the bad regarding taking training at Front Sight Nevada.
- Professional, experienced and knowledgeable staff
- Inexpensive membership (memberships are one-time fees, no monthly payments)
- Front Sight Ammo Bunker is on site so competitively priced ammo is always available. (**Update October 2021: Ammo is expensive everywhere at the moment and the Ammo bunker is no exception.)
- With a membership, you can attend as many courses as you want.
- Top Notch Training
- They deliver on the promise, “After your first firearm training course at Front Sight you will leave with skills that surpass 99% of the gun-owning population!“
- Easy to book a course usually with 2 weeks notice.
- In can be very hot (it’s in the desert, after all. I recommend going February-April or October-December
- Far away (unless you live near there of course! For me, it is a long trip)
- Classes are large- 30-40 per class
Overall Impression Of Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
I think by now you can see that I am a fan of Front Sight. I have spent many thousands of dollars to attend training here (most of it was spent on travel and ammo) over the years, and plan to continue. I will be focusing on shotgun and rifle classes as well as handgun skills over the next several tears.
I recommend checking them out, and if you need training, please consider them, you will not be disappointed! Here is the website.
I am not affiliated with Front Sight in any way other than the fact that I have a Membership. I do not receive any money or perks of any kind from Front Sight for giving them positive reviews.
If you will be carrying a Concealed Weapon for Self Defense:
If you carry a concealed weapon for self defense, have you thought about what happens AFTER you need to use deadly force to defend yourself or others? Who do you call? What do you say to the police? What DON’T you say to the police? Please read my article on Concealed Carry Insurance Coverage and Legal Protection.
If you carry a FIREARM for self-defense, I would recommend considering a Self-Defense Legal Service Plan. Using a gun in self-defense is serious business and it is not uncommon for the self defender to be arrested and charged with a Criminal or Civil offense.
A company such as FLP (Firearms Legal Protection) will provide a protection plan and experienced attorney to walk you through a very serious situation. Plans start as low as $9.95/mo if you use discount code DMONYER Click for more information about Firearms Legal Protection.
Please ask any question or leave comments below and I will reply to every one of them. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.