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choochboost
February 20, 2006, 03:30 AM
I'll be taking the 4-day defensive handgun course with my wife. Looking for tips on what to bring, where to stay, and any other info from those who have gone before me. Feel free to be long-winded.:D

444
February 20, 2006, 06:04 AM
As far as where to stay, I think I would stay in Pahrump. It is a little closer to Frontsight than Las Vegas. During the class you won't really have time to do anything in Las Vegas anyway. There arn't a lot of choices of where to stay in Pahrump. There is the Saddle West and the Best Western. I would choose the Best Western.
What to bring. Prepare for any kind of weather. It might be sunny and hot, or it might be cold/windy/raining. This time of the year you never know. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated, do wear sun block no matter what the weather. Take some eye drops to keep your eyes sharp and to wash out any blowing sand.
You will need to bring your own food to Frontsight. There are two super markets in Pahrump as well as a Wal-Mart. I personally take food so I can snack throughout the day. I believe I stay sharper and more focused if I eat a little somthing every hour or so. I take stuff like granola bars etc. Stuff that I can handle with dirty hands. I usually wear a Camelback to keep hydrated.
If you don't have your ammo, you might want to look into buying it at the Pahrump Wal-Mart. You can call them on the phone and they will reserve it for you.
Give your cover garment a little thought. In four day handgun, you will be shooting most of the second two days all from concealment. You might want to wear a sweatshirt on day three so you can practice drawing from a cover garment that doesn't open in the front. Then on day four wear something that does open in front like a coat, or a vest. It is much easier if this garment has a little weight to it so you can get it out of the way to draw. You can also put something in your strong side pocket to weigh it down a little.
Make sure your gear is solid. Good quality guns that are properly cleaned and lubricated. Good quality ammo. Good quality holster and mag pouch. You can get by with just a couple magazines, but the more you have, the better. You might also want to invest in some kind of magazine loading tool to save your fingers: you are going to be doing a ton of magazine loading. IMO, it helps to wear pants that are on the loose side. You will be doing some tactical magazine changes where you have to retain the partially expended magazine and you have to have somewhere to stow it. This whole proceedure is done on the clock and you can game this a little by having a loose pocket to stuff the magazine into. Make sure you can get to the pocket with when wearing your gear.

You are going to have a good time.
I have been to a couple different firearms schools and Frontsight's basic handgun class is the best that I have been to.
There are a couple of internet forums for Frontsight students. One is the Frontsight forum which requires you to be a member of Frontsight to access it. The other is: http://www.polite-society.org/

bdcc11
February 20, 2006, 03:44 PM
What he said.

The information from Front Sight has suggestions along the same lines. It is a good idea to follow them. It is very easy to get dehydrated. I stayed well hydrated but the heat still go to me. It is OK to sit out a couple of turns to recover in the shade. Your safety is important to them.

There is one night shoot so I would also bring a very bright flashlight like a Surefire. They do cover handing your gun in the dark.

choochboost
February 21, 2006, 05:32 PM
Thanks for your replies. In the interest of staying hydrated...will I be able to lug a cooler up to the range? Another question, does FS require that I wear a hat? Seems most schools do.

chrisandclauida2
February 21, 2006, 06:05 PM
take a trip by art bells station and say hi. oh and watch the sky[when not in class of course] lots of nifty stuff flying around up there.

seed
February 21, 2006, 06:08 PM
Bring a hat for sun protection...Ideally, you could wear a full-brimmed cloth hat like the military uses in the desert. That would fit the bill perfectly. Unfortunately, if you wear muffs for ear-protection, it won't work as well as a baseball style hat. And even though it might not be as hot as it is in August, it wouldn't hurt to NOT have a black or dark-colored hat for obvious reasons.

One more thing: BRING YOUR SUNSCREEN AND SUNGLASSES!!!

Mtnvalley3
February 23, 2006, 03:23 AM
I didn't find a need for a water cooler or Camelback, as they provide plenty of water at the ranges. They also have Gatorade packets there.

As for food- I've done well with a small folding cooler that takes up little space in the suitcase, along with one of those "blue ice" sealed ice packs.

The "deluxe" rooms at the Saddlewest are just a few bux more, and have a refrigerator (no microwave); some rooms at the Best Western have them as well, but they will rent you one to go in any room for an extra $6/day. I haven't stayed at the Nugget, so can't comment on that location.

A fridge, a cooler, and a couple trips to Walmart did me just fine both times I've taken the 4DDHG. With the long training days, I was not inclined to futz around with dumping and refilling a foam cooler with ice.

Also- although some wore boonie hats, the baseball caps were predominant. Given that there aren't any "lane dividers", I'd highly recommend the baseball cap route. I wound up (for a while) next to a lefty shooting a 1911 with worn springs, and he was raining brass on me. I took one down the shirt (which can happen even with a baseball cap, of course), but took several on the brim of the hat, and one scary one that went behind my glasses (prescription, and wasn't wearing wraparound shooting glasses). The brim of the cap probably saved me a half-dozen more such scares.

choochboost
February 23, 2006, 01:58 PM
I didn't find a need for a water cooler or Camelback, as they provide plenty of water at the ranges. They also have Gatorade packets there.
I hadn't heard that before. That's good to know. I was planning on stocking up at the Walmart there. Now I know I don't have to. :)

adkelly
February 23, 2006, 03:44 PM
Definitely what everyone else here has said. Check the weather report for Pahrump as it gets close to when you're going. I wasn't thorough in that department and had to make a hasty, impromptu shopping trip for warmer clothing after freezing for a day. My bad. Also wanted to emphasize the need for sunscreen no matter the temp. You're going to enjoy yourself! Have fun.

choochboost
February 23, 2006, 04:00 PM
Regarding places to stay, I understand that Saddle West has now banned firearms from their rooms, and require guests to leave firearms in their vehicles. Apparently they had problems with some Front Sight students who forgot about a very important element of dry-fire practice.....the dry part :rolleyes:

444
February 24, 2006, 01:09 AM
This is true. They had a couple NDs.
To me, when I have gone to a sleep away gun school, I didn't bring my guns into the room anyway (other than the one I was wearing). I was too tired to mess with them. I usually shower, eat, and sleep. No time for anything else.

Yeah, they provide water, gatoraide, first aid kit, as well as eye and ear protection if you forgot yours or whatever. I sometimes use their foam ear plugs because I get tired of using my ear muffs. My electronic muffs went tango uniform and I haven't sprung for a new pair yet. Rifles are much easier shot with no ear muffs.

At least in Pahrump, your hotel and restraunts will be right there together. At Gunsite, you have to drive a considerable distance to go to a restruant. Of course, if you stay in a hotel you have to drive an equal amount away from the facility, but I rent a space in a home right outside the gate and just cook my meals there.

Grape Ape
February 25, 2006, 01:45 AM
I haven't made it out to Front Sight yet :( (maybe this Fall), but its anything like Las Vegas you should probably grab some saftey sunglasses. I've never seen them in a gun shop, but if you can find a "work wear" store they should have a huge selection.