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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 05-12-2013, 10:43 AM
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Default Frontsight practical rifle

For those of you that have taken the practical rifle course from frontsight I am curious about which rifles are seen-Are there aks,sks mini 14s or just primarily ars
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:46 AM
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Mostly AR, then some AK's, a mini here and there, a few bolts, an a lever here and there. My wife just got back, she shot a PS90, there was also a Styer, SCAR and FN2000! Didn't have any SKS in her class.

Have fun!!
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dok View Post
For those of you that have taken the practical rifle course from frontsight I am curious about which rifles are seen-Are there aks,sks mini 14s or just primarily ars
When I took the 4 day practical rifle course back in 2008 there 95% of the rifles used were ar-15's with shorter (16") barrels, one guy had a 14.5" select fire M-4 (department issued), another guy and I had 20" A1 & A2 uppers. Another guy had a Remington 7615 (.223 pump action rifle), there were maybe 2 AK-47's, one M-1a and one SKS.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:16 AM
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I used an AR when I took the class in 08. The guys that got distinguished grad were running magnified optics such as acogs. Of course there are a lot more options for cheap optics these days.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:22 AM
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Gunsite Scouts are popular also.
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Old 05-12-2013, 1:39 PM
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A guy ran a Savage bolt action .308 in the class I took, one also had an SKS
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Old 05-12-2013, 2:34 PM
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I took 2 classes and have seen about everything. Mostly ARs but also a lever Marlin, bolt gun, Mini 14, M1A, and a bunch of Sig 556. Didn't see any Ak or SKS.
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Old 05-12-2013, 7:33 PM
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The practical rifle is next on my list.Does everyone think it is a good class?
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Old 05-12-2013, 9:23 PM
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The practical rifle is next on my list.Does everyone think it is a good class?
It is an absolutely fantastic class, you shoot everywhere from 3 yds hostage targets out to 200 yards prone. Lots of failure and reload drills and then an awesome canyon walk on the last day. It is physically draining especially after the first 2 days. Every night by the time I got to the condo I stayed at in Vegas I just about fell over in exhaustion. Bring lots of water and sunscreen and it will be a blast.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:06 AM
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Only 200 yards? We went out to 400 when I did it. If I take the class again, I would run a 1-4 power optic.
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Old 05-13-2013, 4:50 PM
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Thanks for the info,I'm new to AR's is there any thing I should take with me that will help me get the most out of the class?
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Old 05-13-2013, 5:45 PM
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Get a good sling, not single point. I used one in the class and got whacked in the nuts 50 times.

Bring lots of ammo so you don't run out.

Bring lots of mags.
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Old 05-13-2013, 5:59 PM
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I saw mostly ARs, a few AKs, some M1As, a few Ruger Mini-14s, a few Kel-Tec SU-16s and a Winchester lever-action.
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Old 05-14-2013, 2:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 fan View Post
Thanks for the info,I'm new to AR's is there any thing I should take with me that will help me get the most out of the class?
I'd agree with SpaceGhost. A 1-4x scope would be a big help. A lot of people, myself included were running standard red dots and having a heck of a time making shots at 200-400. There was a mix of people running ACOGs or the flip to the side EOTechs that were having a much easier time with the longer distance shots.
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Old 05-15-2013, 7:37 AM
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Thanks for the info,as always good honest help on this site.
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Old 05-15-2013, 8:08 AM
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I am trying to find a time to sneak away and take this exact class.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:46 AM
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Whenever I go to FS, there is usually at least one AK in the class. Mine

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Anybody going this weekend?
I won't be at FS, but I will be at Jim Fuller's AK Armorer/Operator class half an hour away in Vegas. At least I will be able to shoot Golden Tiger there.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:49 AM
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Sounds like you shoot to 400 in the four day class but the testing will be limited to one or two sots at 200 under time pressure-I think my old eyes will require at bit of magnification.Will be there at the end of the month.
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Old 05-15-2013, 1:42 PM
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Only 200 yards? We went out to 400 when I did it. If I take the class again, I would run a 1-4 power optic.
Oh yeah, I remember doing 400 yds prone but as said before we were only timed out to 200 yds.
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Old 05-15-2013, 1:56 PM
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Oh, an illuminated sight is very helpful for the night shoot. Using my Eotech, it felt like cheating. Of course the people with plain irons were much slower at target acquisition.

Another big plus a million on no single point slings, I also got my balls smacked around more than once. I kept thinking of Sgt. Barnes from Platoon was telling me "Take the pain! Take the pain!" every time I whacked myself.
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Old 05-15-2013, 2:04 PM
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Mostly ar-15s when I went a ruger mini 14 was on the line as well as a m14
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Old 05-15-2013, 3:57 PM
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Any advice for somebody who's never taken that class before?
Knee pads are a must, elbow pads maybe a good idea

Wear a headgear that covers your neck area, the sun can be pretty hard on your neck by Day 3.

In the winter, it's a good idea to bring clear eye protection as it gets a bit dark (to my old eyes) late in the afternoon if you wear sunglasses.

Have 4 magazines at least. Keep an empty one for malfunction tests. a dump pouch for magazines come really handy for empty mags. I keep my loose ammo in a separate pouch. I like to keep my mag pouches, dump pouch etc. on a battle belt; it makes going to the bathroom much easier LOL

Magazine locks/bullet buttons slow you down. Everyone else are dropping magazines and you are at a disadvantage. Remove your maglock in Nevada (AK) or use a Raddlock or magnetic BB tool or something similar (AR). I heard someone losing his magnetic bullet button tool during class, YMMV.

If you run featureless, grip fins are very hard to use during malfunction clearances.

For AK shooters, if you are shooting irons, be sure to have a front sight adjustment tool for zeroing in unless you are 100% sure you are zero'ed. Keep in mind FS's advice to zero at 50 to get zero at 200 is mainly for guys shooting 5.56.

Their ammo (at Stockpile Defense's Ammo Bunker in Range 2) is average priced, but available. They will only sell you the ammo for the class you sign up for (e.g. if in rifle class, don't try to buy 9mm) for the required quantity or less.

Difficult to bring all the ammo you need for a 4 day class. Most airlines limit you to 11lbs of ammo per person. That is only 240 rounds of XM193, much less for larger calibers. I ship my 7.62x39 ammo ahead of time (Stockpile Defense will accept ammo shipments.)

Limber up. If you still have time, get used to shooting prone at the range. My neck gets one heck of a workup during class.

Bring snacks. You'll get hungry at the range. Water is always provided.

Sunscreen is provided in case you forget yours.

Sure I am forgetting a lot of other things...
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Old 05-15-2013, 4:25 PM
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I would agree with most points beanz2 made. However, knee pads are optional. I decided not to use them because I took the class in June or July and it was just too hot to wear the damn things.

I guess it depends on your level of fitness and knee strength. You only shoot on astro turf type stuff, so if you can gently kneel, you are good to go. If you are heavy or not athletic and will be crashing down on your knees when kneeling, definitely use them.

A camel back or similar hydration unit is nice. I almost forgot! Gloves, you need gloves for the class. Manipulating a rifle for four days straight chews the hell out of your hands, trust me on this one. I prefer fingerless gloves, makes it easier to grab mags.

Oh, and you will need a few pieces of gear to hold full mags and empties. When I did the class, if you had taken the pistol class you could also have a sidearm. I don't know if that policy has changed.
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Old 05-15-2013, 6:25 PM
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Thank you for the pointers. Heading out tomorrow!
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Old 05-15-2013, 6:56 PM
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Have fun let us know what you think when you return
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Old 05-15-2013, 9:10 PM
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It's good to hear all the suggestions from those that have already taken the course.

I spoke to one of the instructors during the handgun course. He helps run the practical rifle as well and his recommendation was to run iron sights.

Any recommend chest rigs? Or is that too much for the class?
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:06 PM
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When I took the 2 day rifle class (back to back with the 4 day handgun, would have done the 4 day rifle if I had enough vacation time), I had my Robinson XCR, and everyone else had ARs except for one guy had a Remington 700 bolt action.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by btell View Post
It's good to hear all the suggestions from those that have already taken the course.

I spoke to one of the instructors during the handgun course. He helps run the practical rifle as well and his recommendation was to run iron sights.

Any recommend chest rigs? Or is that too much for the class?
I ran my XCR with irons, and definitely want to get rid of the plastic MBUS for something better, like Midwest Industries next time.

A chest rig is overkill, really, at least for the first class. A sturdy belt with pouches/clips to hold 4 magazines will get you through all the drills, and a dump bag. If you absolutely want to run one, find one that's comfortable, then put magazines in it, and go out in your yard and lay chest down on the ground and try swapping magazines in your rifle.

Good comfy knee/shin guards and forearm/elbow guards are highly recommended. Definitely get something that attaches to the forearm/shin and not just around the elbow/knee joint, since those are almost impossible to get a comfortable fit with.

And bringing a tin of Gatorade mix would be awesome, as they're REAL good about keeping the water coolers filled with ice water, and healthy supplies of plastic cups.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:57 PM
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As posted above.

I had some 5.11 tactical pants with side pockets and that worked well to hold 6 fully loaded magazines. More than enough to get you through at least 75% of the course.

Knee pads or some sort of pant with knee comfort built in would be a good idea. Almost all shooting takes place on a range that has crushed granite.

Long sleeve shirts a decent brimmed hat would be a very good idea as well since your going to be in the sun for 99% of the day.

Bring plenty of water and at least a multivitamin to replenish yourself throughout the day.

Take the box lunches they offer at the facility they are really good and there is enough provided even for the biggest of appetites.

If your taking the 2 day rifle I would bring at least 300 rounds. You won't go through it all but if you hang around and ask for some one on one time they are more than willing to help you out and show you things.

Some mechanix brand gloves or similar worked well from keeping my hands from getting eaten alive with all the different types of jams failure drills that you go through.

The class goes over a mil spec AR military version rifle so bring something along those lines as you will zero your rifle at close range and the demo is done based of the standard colt style iron sights. 50 yards IIRC.

Since OP your going into 100 degree weather you might want to plan on hydrating the night before and stay hydrated while your out there.

2 or 3 point sling is pretty much a requirement as you will be drilling in ready shoot and rest phases throughout the course.

If you show up all geared out. Meaning a chest rig, thigh holster with hand gun, and all that other crap you will be laughed at as they will make an example out of how your gear can slow you down or be hazardous to your health.

I had sunglasses, ear plugs, boonie hat, long sleeve cotton shirt, mechanix gloves, and 5.11 cargo pants.

If you forgot something they have a store that is well supplied to get you going.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:40 PM
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Heading out there to take a class is my goal for next summer.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:11 AM
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Nothing wrong with a chest rig. If you plan on using your gear if the SHTF, get some range with it at Front Sight, so you can figure what works for you and what doesn't.

No one gave me a hard time about my chest rig, and I wouldn't of given two ****s if they did. I have my so-tech hellcat setup perfect for me thanks in part to the class.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:39 AM
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Nothing wrong with a chest rig. If you plan on using your gear if the SHTF, get some range with it at Front Sight, so you can figure what works for you and what doesn't.

No one gave me a hard time about my chest rig, and I wouldn't of given two ****s if they did. I have my so-tech hellcat setup perfect for me thanks in part to the class.
Yea I don't see why they would laugh at you as long as you aren't just throwing everything on you can find. If what you are wearing is practical then I see no reason for them to laugh.
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Old 05-16-2013, 2:01 PM
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If you are a good shooter, show competency with your equipment and make zero errors they call you out on, you can wear a full camo suit with body armor, even a kevlar helmet, and the snickering will soon stop.

But wear all that armor and be a bumbling idiot, you will be legend ...
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:22 PM
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I took the class last year and a lot of poeple had chest rigs. One guy kept 12 loaded pmags on him the entire 4 days. A real work out! I came in t-shirt and shorts. 3 mags in my pockets. No gloves, pads, hats, nothing. I took a yellow hat from the instructors since it was mandatory to have a hat. My hands were fine and gravels to the knee was no biggie.

There were a few young "operators" with the afghan scarves, battle belts, rigs, tacos, loops that criss cross the chest, padded slings for some kinda pouch that stacked on top of each other. To each his own. They spent the money and they should use it. What better place to train and practice with the latest gear.

We had a Shasta County SWAT guy that came with 2 buddies. He came with full gear; nomex suit, plate carrier, chest holster, med pouches, helmet with com, everything he has on the job. Train as you fight, as the saying goes. All 3 had SCAR16's.

The easiet were the bolt actions. One had a 8mm Mauser, another guy had a CZ with 6 mags in a WW2 ammo belt. It was perfect. The hardest were the AK and bullpup M1A. The safety/rack the bolt/safe on the ak is time consuming. He did not have reliable mags either. Very frustrating. Bullpup M1A needed practice to do the malf drills. Ergonomics just wasn't ideal. Instructor demonstrated that platform by switching strong hand/weak hand and it's no wonder 95% of the class ran AR's.

other suggestion besides optics would be to watch the extended latch getting bumped or snagged on loose clothing. Especially if you're running single point sling. My gen1 latch was too big. I needed it because of optics but I had to watch it constantly when moving off the line(safety on, bolt locked back). You risk damaging the handle with it dangling loosely. If it get bent or brake off then you better have a backup.

it was the 2nd most fun class I had and I highly recomend it to everyone.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:25 PM
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I have not taken that particular class, but I remember seeing mostly ARs with a few others here and there. They offer more than one class at a time so you see the students from the other classes.

I've taken the 4 Day Defensive Handgun Course twice now, spread out several years apart. Really enjoyed it both times. Learned a lot each time. There is so much information packed into the courses, you could take them again and again and learn something new each time.

As for gear? At least 3 30 round magazines (Pmags work best), knee and elbow pads, comfortable clothing, eyes, ears, brimmed hat are a must. Gloves might be helpful. You'll spend time on the ground with an AR. Not sure if you need a sling for the Front Sight course, but I definitely needed one at the course I took locally. Especially in the advanced courses where you constantly transition from rifle to side arm. I found a dump pouch very helpful. I used a Maxpedition rolly-poly pouch for mine. I also run a Kydex AR Magazine thigh rig from BladeTech that was excellent. Much easier than trying to access magazines in a chest rig. Those nylon pouches stick and are especially difficult to get your magazines back into them when you're worn out and ready for a pillow and air conditioned room but still have hours of training to go. The kydex thigh rig was much easier. Especially when on the ground.

I took my AR courses through a local school. Really enjoyed them as well. Though I am sure I'll end up at Front Sight again. Had way too much fun not to do it again.

Last edited by tacticalcity; 05-16-2013 at 10:39 PM..
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by beanz2 View Post
If you are a good shooter, show competency with your equipment and make zero errors they call you out on, you can wear a full camo suit with body armor, even a kevlar helmet, and the snickering will soon stop.

But wear all that armor and be a bumbling idiot, you will be legend ...
Seen it first hand when I was there good times had by all LOL.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dw1784 View Post
it was the 2nd most fun class I had and I highly recomend it to everyone.
Out of curiosity, which class was 1st?
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  #38  
Old 05-17-2013, 12:39 PM
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The FS rifle class is definitively on my "want to do" list. Probably will end-up doing it at least a couple of times. First time through I'll probably use an AR-15 since that is the "weapon of choice." I also have this perverse urge to do the course with something like my Swede Mauser or "Finned" 1891 Mosin. I've got a pretty good assortment of old rifles that can shoot 3MOA or better with handloads and these two and my Swiss K31s can do that with good surplus.)

The Swede would probably be my first choice because of the less punishing recoil but even 7.62x54R isn't too bad in the long Mosin. Fortunately I've got lots of ammo for the old girls since I "stocked-up" when late production "surplus" military ammo in most calibers could be picked-up for $0.20 a round or so. In a lot of ways, the biggest impediment for me to doing more FS courses is the cost and (currently) availability of ammo.

A really neat thing about a rifle with a 28" to 32" barrel is that the front sight is so far out there that it is focus for me even without glasses!
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Old 05-20-2013, 8:12 PM
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Default 4 Day Practical Rifle and a few other FYI's

Back from 4 day practical. Thanks for the advice. it was helpful. In no particular order, here's a braindump.

1. Class size: it was offensively big. I've been coming to fs for a couple years and this is by far the largest class size i've ever had. Double stacked from 1-25 and 3 instructors meant very little corrective training. I basically listened and shot.

2. Gear / dress. Almost everybody was 'tac'd out' to the max. Guys were wearing body armor, molle vests, camo....most students looked like extras from blackhawk down. My running shirt and sneakers made me stick out a bit

3. weather: scored on this one. mid 80's i believe. Wind kicked up on day 3, but it always seems to do that.

overall, it was fun (fs always is), but i didn't learn quite as much as i was hoping to about long distance shooting or other rifle specific topics. it was basically 4 day pistol, but holding a rifle. perhaps my expectations were wrong to expect otherwise.

Tips based on my experience:
1. bring backup weapons. i saw several malfunctions that required gunsmithing.
2. bring spare batteries for anything that required a battery (red dot). mine ran out and i was fortunate to have planned ahead.

That's about all i can think of right now.

next up: Rope & rappel
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Old 05-20-2013, 8:20 PM
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What type of gunsmithing? We talking bent firing pins, broken bolt carrier groups, etc?
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