A trip to Front Sight Firearms Training Institute is a very fun and rewarding experience. This post will cover some planning details that I have learned from my 5 trips that will help you know what to expect.
Also be sure to read my post explaining all the gear you will need for your Handgun class.
Where to stay
Front Sight is located about an hour from Las Vegas. You can stay in Las Vegas and travel to Front Sight each day, or you can stay in Pahrump, which is about 30 minutes from Front Sight. My recommendation is to stay in Pahrump because of the reduced travel time. The first day of training starts early, and if you want to do well on the skills test, you will need time to “dry practice” in your hotel room in the evening. Also, if you are not accustomed to spending all day outside in the desert heat, you will be TIRED at the end of each day. Do yourself a favor and avoid spending 2 hours traveling every day.
A very important note if you are staying in Pahrump, be sure to book your room at least two months ahead of time as Front Sight is extremely popular and the Pahrump hotels can fill up quickly.
There are many hotels in Pahrump that are decent. I have stayed at the Saddlewest Casino every time, simply because the price is the lowest I found. It is definitely NOT the Ritz, but is a basic hotel with a great Front Sight discount costing around $49 per night (be sure to call instead of booking online so you can ask for the Front Sight discount when you book). The price includes a decent breakfast, wifi, cable TV and the rooms are clean.
Saddlewest will also allow you to take your firearm into your room so you can practice once you sign a waiver. They DO NOT want you to take any ammo into the room. This is to minimize any negligent discharges that can threaten the safety of everyone staying there.
Transportation in Nevada
You will need a vehicle as there is no public transportation to Front Sight. If you are flying into Mccarran airport in Las Vegas, there are tons of rental car companies so finding a rental car will be easy. You can use any one of the travel sites such as Kayak or Priceline to find a good deal. Most of the rental agencies are located at a location a few miles from the airport, but it is a free shuttle ride of maybe 10 minutes to get there.
Lunch at Front Sight
You will not have enough time to leave the premises and go to a local restaurant, simply because there are no local restaurants! The closest place to eat is about 25-30 minutes away, so you will only have an hour for lunch, and there are usually required lectures during the second half of the lunch hour.
Your options are:
-Excellent food but not recommended because you will likely spend a good portion of lunch time standing in line. They offer very sandwiches, snacks, coffee, soda, etc. Run by Beach Cafe.
Bring your own lunch
-Definitely the most economical way to go, plus no lines! However, this will require some grocery shopping. Not a big deal, but I hate grocery shopping and making sandwiches!
Saddlewest provides a boxed lunch for around $10 per day.
-Order at the front desk when you check in. This is a good, fairly priced option, although I have not tried this.
Beach Cafe provides a pre-order lunch menu
-This is my recommendation. It isn’t the cheap way for sure, but the convenience is worth it to me. Basically you can order your lunches on the website before your trip, and your lunch will be waiting for you in the lunch room each day. Currently the price for a boxed lunch is $13.95 and includes a good size sandwich or wrap, potato salad, fresh fruit cup, chips, bottled water and a chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie to choose from.
Go to www.beachcafelv.com and take a look!
Where to get your ammo for the class
You will need about 600 rounds of ammunition for the 4 Day Defensive Handgun course. Every time I have gone to Front Sight, I have taken as much ammo as I could in my checked luggage, which generally means 11 lbs, as that is the limit on most airlines. See my article on Flying with firearms for more details on this. The rest I would purchase in Las Vegas at one of the 4 or 5 Walmart locations in town.
I still recommend getting your ammo this way, but this year I am going to pre-order all of my ammo from the Ammo Bunker at Front Sight. Their prices are actually pretty competitive and it save ma all the hassle of weighing my ammo and trying to keep my suitcase under 50 lbs. When you pack 2 handguns and ammo in a suitcase, it does not leave a lot of room for much else!
Restaurants and Shopping in Pahrump
Pahrump is not a big city, but it has many popular chain stores. There is a Walmart, CVS, McDonalds, Dennys, Taco Bell, Carl’s Jr, Papa John’s, etc.
Naturally, there are plenty of casinos as well.
If you have not attended a Front Sight Class before, I will warn you that if you want to do well, you will want to spend time each evening practicing the drills that you will learn. They will show you how to “dry practice”. This means practicing loading, unloading and malfunction drills without live ammo.
Please DO NOT take any live ammo into your hotel room at night. If there is no ammo in the room, then there is no chance of a negligent discharge.
Pahrump is a nice little town and you should be able to find most everything you may need during your stay.