Originally Posted by powaybob
I too have taken the 4-day handgun course at Front Sight. I did learn a lot but I was not impressed with the 1 instructor to 15 student ratio for our range, which was typical. Front Sight is about volume training, and I think the courses are set up so you have to repeat them. Individual attention was sparse- maybe 4 or 5 minutes in 4 days. Most of the range masters' time was spent keeping 44 people with guns safe on the range (a really high priority, I would agree).
I did become a member of Front Sight in anticipation of repeating the class with a revolver and taking the rifle and shotgun courses too. However, I learned that to actually "graduate" from the course will require most untrained shooters like me to take it over. A lot of emphasis is on speed of shooting, and speed in clearing malfunctions, which are precisely defined steps that have to be done in 1.5 seconds. These are very frustrating, especially the jam with a round in the chamber and another attempting to feed. It requires that you lock the slide back, remove the magazine, rack the slide three times, insert a magazine, then rack the slide- all in 1.5 seconds! It was hard to even remember the steps let alone do them quickly. A lot of practice is required, more than one would get in the two days it is taught and practiced, hence the need to repeat the course.
It was very common to see a woman crying outside the range area with an instructor talking to her. I noticed individuals from the ranges on either side us at one point or another the first two days. One of the four women our class was brought to tears the first day by an arrogant, condescending instructor who berated her every attempt. Some fellow students finally told the guy to back off, and she was taken under wing by an excellent competitive shooter in the class, and progressed very well. The other women in the course were easily on a par with the men in their shooting skills and the other skills taught, and did in fact seem to follow the instruction more precisely than people like me.
The days are long starting at 0730 and lasting until 1730 or later, with one late night until 2130 or so with a night shoot. It was hard work just being on your feet that long, when you are used to sitting at a desk all day
I'd like my wife to attend a course but when I described the Front Sight experience she could see no logic in attending. I would suggest looking at Gunsite near Prescott, AZ, or Thunder Ranch in Oregon. Both seem to emphasize smaller classes and more individual instruction. Besides both of these have to be more picturesque than Pahrump, Nevada!