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RANash
May 22, 2001, 04:43 PM
Many of you have heard that these classes were being offered, so I thought you might be interested in my experience.

On 5/19, I went to Front Sight Firearms Training Institute in Front Sight, Nevada (about 45 minutes west of Las Vegas) for a free, one-day submachine gun class.

The invitation made it clear that it wasn’t just a “fun shoot” but an actual class on how to do combat with the 9 mm Uzi. The class was, in fact, the first day of the normal 4-day submachine gun class. Since the 4-day class costs $2000, the free class was worth $500.

Front Sight provided everything. The morning started with a continental breakfast. All the ammo was provided free of cost, along with snacks and sodas while on the range. At the end, we were all given lunch. We were told to bring our own hats, sunscreen, and eye and ear protection, but, in case anyone didn’t bring these items, they were provided at the range, free of cost.

The morning started at 7:30 with breakfast, and at about 8:30, Dr. Ignatius Piazza, the school’s founder, was introduced. He presented some information about Front Sight and then some information on the Uzi. Then, we went to the range.

From 10:00 on, we were instructed on the use of the Uzi. We were split into two relays. We would all be given instructions and demonstrations, and then one relay would be on the firing line, while the other watched, ate and drank, used the porta-potty, topped off the magazine with ammo, etc. It was an excellent method of giving everyone plenty of firing time along with adequate rest.

From the start, we were being taught actual combat and tactical use of the weapon. By the end of the day, I was able to modulate the trigger so as to put two rounds into the thoracic cavity and one into the ocular cavity in less than two seconds, with the weapon on full-auto. Front Sight has reactive targets powered by the instructor, so we could have “failure to stop” drills that came as a surprise.

At the end of the class, we all were given the opportunity to do two full-auto bursts of 25 rounds (the magazine’s capacity). Despite what you see in Hollywood productions, there is no tactical use of that kind of burst with a hand-held submachine gun. But--they knew we all wanted to do it, because it’s fun!

When doing long bursts with a submachine gun, the gun wants to rock back, causing the rounds to go high. Then, when the shooter realizes it, he overreacts and the result is spraying bullets all over the place. However, with proper instruction, a shooter can control the weapon, even in long bursts. By the time we did our two long bursts, controlling the weapon was well-ingrained in all of us, and we were able to keep our groups within the span of an opened hand. We were given a clean target for the last burst, and when we were done, we got to take our target home to show it off.

The instructors were all great. They were clear, patient, encouraging, and competent. By the time we were done, we had five hours of actual range and instruction time. I estimate that we shot up about 200 rounds each.

I am impressed with Front Sight. Before I went, I had heard many negative things about the place and the man that runs it, Dr. Piazza. Going there and meeting him and his staff, and seeing the place and the vision for it made me realize that a lot of the negative stuff was untrue. It’s a first class outfit getting better and better, and I have no qualms about giving it an unqualified recommendation. I will be going back for a two-day (or possibly a four-day) defensive handgun class. In fact, I already paid for it.

If you’re interested in getting in on the free submachine gun class, you better hurry. There is time to get into the June classes, but there is no guarantee that there will be any free ones after those, so sign up right away if you can do it. Go to the web site: http://www.frontsight.com/1day_smg_course.htm for more information.

George Hill
May 22, 2001, 05:40 PM
Moving to "Lock and Load".