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I just came back from the 4 day defensive handgun class at Front Sight.  Pretty intense class.  I pulled my firearm so many times my side had bruises.  Has anyone else been out there out there for training? Anyone interested in my experience? 

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Overall it was a lot of fun. I ended up shooting around 1000 rds. We had 28 in the class to start off. 10 of those were in the 2 day class so the last 2 days we had 18. That meant more time shooting. Day one started a 6:30 am with check in. They exam your equipment to make sure it is compliant and then off to the classroom for the introduction. We had lectures during lunch and then after range time. The first day was dry practice(not dry firing because as they put it you are not firing anything).  New term "dry practice"

The ranges have 15 targets and everyone teams up with another classmate and we help coach each other along with 3 or 4 FS personnel there giving instruction. 
The first 2 days I teamed up with Rick. He and I both shot about the same but he was much sharper on his procedures than I was. During some down time (which was not often) I learned that he had been in that class 6 times and had already graduated and taken the advanced HG class. I felt a lot better about where I was after that. They are very strict about how they want you to do everything which I understand but when you have done things differently for so long it was hard to make some adjustments.  One of the things I had never practiced was after fire drills.  After EVERY shot we were to do after fire drills. Look over both shoulders, move from your original firing position, scan for more bad guys and tactical reload.


I took a Gen 4 g26 because it is my carry gun and I wanted to shoot what I carry. That was a mistake for 2 reasons. 1. I was shooting the smallest gun in the class and do not normally practice head shots in a 3 inch by 2 inch box from 21 feet with my smaller guns. 2nd the dimples on the gen 4 felt like they had grown a half inch by the end of the first day. I kept looking at my hand expecting blood. I am used to lifting weights at the gym and the roughness of the bar but every time I grabbed the 26 it was painful. At the end of day 2 I looked everywhere to find a sleeve for that gun and every place was closed by the time we got to town. I ended up buying a bicycle tube from Walmart and made my own. It worked great. I would have taken my Walther PPQ gen 2 had I known what we would be doing and how many times I had to draw my gun and how much time we would spend with the gun in your hand. Also all the malfunction drills are easier with a larger guns. When you have to draw and fire in 1 1/2 seconds from 21 feet to a head shot the room for error is not much with a small gun.

Day 1 and 2 we practiced presentation, clearing malfunctions, tactical reloading, trigger reset, and trigger control. Day 3 we did door breaching and room clearing and a lot of practice for the test on day 4. They also introduced shot timers on day 3. I will be picking up one of those. That thing owned me for 2 days. It is amazing how you forget everything when that buzzer goes off. 

Day 4 was the most fun. We did more malfunction drills and another round of the practice test skills. Around 10 we started the testing. To graduate you can have no more than 13 points taken off. To get the intermediate score you could have no more than -34. If it is a head shot and you make a good shot under the buzzer you get no points taken off. If you are outside the box but still under the time it is minus 3. The first round I had no defaults. The second round I was not only out of the headshot box but was outside of the silhouette of the target. – 19 points after round 2. The rest of the test was clearing 3 types of malfunctions and tactical reloads under time pressure. -6 for a total of -25 which was the intermediate score. I thought before that if I could score in the intermediate range I would be happy.

After that we had a man on man challenge. They had 2 ranges set up with 3 targets. The first was about 15 feet away and it was steel silhouette hostage with a 5 inch by 5 inch steel head for the bad guy. Behind that about another 20 feet where 2 silhouette steel targets one red and one blue. They drew names to see who you would shoot against. If you hit the hostage you lost. If both hit the hostage neither one went to the next round. Naturally I was one of the first to shoot. I won the first round easily. I hit the head, dropped the red and hit the frame on the blue another shot and I dropped the blue. The guy I was shooting against had not hit the first target yet. The next round, same thing except I did not miss the blue. Dropped all 3 in before the other guy had hit the first one. That left me for the finals. The guy I would have to shoot against hit the hostage so it was just me. The range master said I still had to go through the course clean. So I took 3 shots for the hostage shot and dropped the other 2 with 2 shots. I WON. Because I did not have anyone to shoot against the range master got everyone behind me and when he said fire they all started screaming. Funny I did not really notice. I really appreciate all the guys that hit the hostage so I did not have to shoot against them. They teach to take your time on the head shots to "insure the hit". Well I have never practiced like that. When I get on target I pull the trigger.  I knew I had been missing low and left on the timed shots so I held high and right knowing that I was not going to take the time to bare down with it being a race. Funny how trigger control goes out the window under pressure. We also spent time on day 4 for dealing with multiple targets up to 4. 

Each day was jam packed. After day one we had dry practice at 7:40am an usually were shooting until it got to dark to see. I met a lot of great people, not only the staff but the other classmates.  One lady had never fired a gun before.  We had 2 that graduated to the advanced class  

The whole experience was a blast. If you ever have a chance to do it I would highly recommend it. All the FS folks were great, they were very friendly. The facility is top notch.

Edited by 45guy
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You did good, and chose the correct weapon.  It's not the weapon you like, it's the one you carry that you need to practice with.  Now you know to practice those hard shots with your EDC, and have time to choose a better inner tube :biglol:

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Agree 100% with what Omega said, the 26 is your EDC, it was the right gun to take and is more than capable of making those shots.  That being said, now that you’ve run the gun in stressful situations you have two decisions to make, practice with it more or start carrying a larger gun.

A few other unsolicited observations if you don’t mind.  

First, you mention you were compensating for bad trigger control by aming high right.  Don’t do that, practice more, you’ve already identified the problem.

Second, start shooting IDPA or USPSA.  These competitions aren’t substitutes for practice or training, but they will help you with trigger control under pressure and not to be ‘owned’ by the timer.

Sounds like you had a good time and learned a lot.

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I agree the 26 is capable of making those shots.  I just do not practice those shots very much.  I guess there are situations that I would need to make a tight shot under stress and time but I think the likely hood of the need for that shot is much smaller than a normal personal protection shot.  I do plan on stretching out my practice shots with the 26.   Also the class was more about muscle memory and technique that should translate to other firearms.  I also know that they only rent full sized handguns.  I figured there was a reason.  I still felt like I was at a disadvantage on some of the skills going up against larger firearms, especially the malfunction tests.  I know that holding off the target was not the adjustment I need to make but the situation called for a adjustment on the fly.  I have attached a pic of the hostage target.  In my world that is a tough shot.  


Edited by 45guy

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