Federal Way Needs a Shooting Range

People ask me whether Front Sight training is as good as advertised; i.e., will it get you shooting better than a SWAT officer? Our skills improved considerably and the instruction is first rate but I don’t think I am close to being ready for SWAT duty!

I was surprised that the four-day handgun class at Front Sight did not include any shooting from cover. There was a great deal of emphasis on clearing jams quickly and extensive drilling with targets until we could draw from concealment and make headshots in about two seconds. By the time we were tested, I was getting worse rather than better. Maybe fatigue, maybe stress or both. I attended a two-day tactical shot gun class at Front Sight last spring and the instructors really made me work then, too.

At the Firearms Academy of Seattle a few years ago, we shot from cover during a two-day handgun class. Front Sight gave us some good training that was new to me on tactically entering rooms and there was a session where we engaged targets in a house. We also did a night shoot.

The FAS course and Front Sight are both good and almost any one can improve from either course. Front Sight and FAS are very different programs in many ways. Marty Hayes told me that many LEOs attend FAS as a unit at their own expense and the same probably applies to Front Sight.

Thus, my conclusion is that some of the students probably did get as good as a SWAT professional when it comes to making quick shots. Several Front Sight participants did not choose to shoot the timed targets during the test. Only a handful of students actually met the strict requirements for graduation.

We weren’t training as a tactical team and tactical aspects of the training were very basic. Front Sight has tactical classes that probably meet the tactical standards set by most police forces. I have participated in some IDPA and IPSC matches that develop related skills and the Front Sight training seems to have made a significant difference during the most recent match in which I participated- especially when it comes to clearing jams.

So the advertising has some truth to it but nothing substitutes for experience! The instructors do a good job of explaining to participants how important it is to avoid a gunfight if there is any way possible. The emphasis on safety is intense and everything is very professional. We need to construct a range with a capacity for all of the activities outlined above and institute training programs right in Federal Way.

I only paid a minimal amount for the class ($49.00) due to the promotionals Front Sight constantly runs. The time and expense going down to Las Vegas area is such that I think FAS is more practical and just as good or better in some ways than Front Sight. I wanted to see more of Death Valley area so the trip was an adventure for me!

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