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Old August 30, 2007, 01:40 PM   #1
PhilA
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Front Sight vs. Gunsite?

Any of you folks been through training at either Gunsite (GS) or Front Sight (FS)?

I've read up on both, and I'd like to hear from people who've been through either program. Specifically, GS 250 or FS's 4-Day Defensive Handgun class.

At full price, though, FS is more expensive, but GS looks like a more intense course (and quite frankly, the Piazza guy at FS seems too slicky-slicky Tom Sellecky). I know FS certificates are available cheap on eBay, while GS offers no discount.

Thoughts? Pros and cons of each?

Thanks in advance.
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Old August 30, 2007, 04:03 PM   #2
mattro
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Gunsite is excellent! Can't say enough good things about them. I have done 2 courses and both were top notch and life changing events. I have no experience at FrontSight.

Advice: Get up on your PT before you go. running, lots of deep knee bends, etc. Maybe it's just me, but both classes I went to completely kicked by butt due to being out of shape physically. Especially legs, the rifle class was constantly up and down, prone, laying, standing, etc.
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Old August 30, 2007, 06:06 PM   #3
KC135
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Gunsite.
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Old August 30, 2007, 07:31 PM   #4
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Took the Gunsite 250 a couple of years ago, and will definitely take it again, then move up to the more advanced classes. I have taken pistol classes from two other "world class" instructors, one of which was very good+ and I'd have to say Gunsite was the best of the three. It was the most expensive, but was longer duration, and worth more than every penny I spent. You're constantly improving, and you can see it. At the time I took it, I had extreme need of self defense skills, and GS made good on their promise to increase confidence and skill. They took a load off me, and I still appreciate it. The staff goes out of their way to make it easy on you to participate. They are really nice folks to deal with. The instructors are nice folks, but no BS. There is no wasted time, and they are efficient and skillful.

Front Site has been plagued by scandals and many apparent episodes of fraud. The owner has connections to the "Church" of Scientology, and apparently, there may be other business connections to that group. Unfortunately, the tales are so many, and some are so bizarre, that it has become impossible to tell truth from fiction. In any event, IMO, I wouldn't chance my hard earned cash to a chiropractor with the reputation and legal problems that Ig Piazza has developed. Good training is too easy to acquire without venturing into the questionable or possibly fraudulent.

He does have some vehement defenders, and quite a number of folks reporting his training is excellent. As in everything, let the buyer beware.
(why do I feel that I've just entered into the equivalent of a "Taurus is crap" discussion?)
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Last edited by TWB; August 30, 2007 at 07:35 PM. Reason: corrected a typing error
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Old August 30, 2007, 08:40 PM   #5
PPGMD
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It's kind of hard to compare a "newer" school like Frontsight to what is probably the first established public firearms training school like Gunsite. Frontsight does offer some courses that Gunsite doesn't.
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Old August 30, 2007, 08:41 PM   #6
Shane Tuttle
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I haven't received training from either places...

However, I will tell you this. One of Gunsite's former instructors is Randy Cain. I say former loosely because I think he still heads down there from time to time to teach. Don't want to speak for the man, per se. But, I digress...

The training he provides is similar to Gunsite's with, of course, his own techniques in mind also. The instruction that my wife and I got was a life changing experience. I am chomping at the bit to see when his schedule comes out for next year. I will fill up page after page of info if I could. Feel free to PM me if you want some details. I'll be glad to share...
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Old August 30, 2007, 08:52 PM   #7
Shawn Dodson
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I haven't trained at either, but I'd prefer Gunsite over Front Sight simply because of the prestige of Gunsite.
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Old August 31, 2007, 06:08 AM   #8
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This is going to interesting. I'm looking into picking a place to go. I'm out-of-shape and don't think I could handle a 3-4 day training. I've also got fairly consistent weak side shoulder pain. 2 day may be hard enough. Ideally I would like to hire someone locally to train with for an hour a week over multiple weeks.
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Old August 31, 2007, 07:06 AM   #9
Dewhitewolf
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I attended Front Sight back in may for 4 day defensive handgun. I find that that the training well exceeded my expectations. It certainly taught me that I have a lot to learn.

We learned the importance of dry practice. We covered quick, smoothe presentation from a concealed holster, together with getting two chest shots, all under two seconds. We learned to judge distance to target, getting to cover, and how to handle common malfunctions. We also went over legal liabilities, criminal and civil, and how to respond when police show up (i.e., cooperate). We even had an opportunity to enter a live fire scenario in a building with pop out targets to practice everything we learned.

I did not experience any sign or indication of scientology. I believe all that talk about scientology to be rumors, as Piazza frequently uses phrases such as "God bless" (scientologists don't believe in God).

I have a life membership at Front Sight and I have no regrets about it. I took advantage of one of their specials to get it at a low cost. Now I can take any gun course there, any number of times, at no charge for the rest of my life.

If you sign up for their email updates (which you can opt out at any time), you'll get offers for life memberships as well.

I'll be glad to discuss this with you further, if you like.
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Old August 31, 2007, 08:56 AM   #10
PhilA
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Thanks for the responses so far, gang. Keep 'em coming if you have an informed opinion about either place.

I'd love to hear from anyone who's been to BOTH places, and who can discuss the differences.

TWB, I defintely don't want this to turn into a Tastes Great/Less Filling argument. So no worries.
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Old August 31, 2007, 09:13 AM   #11
AAshooter
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I am a member for Front Sight as well. I have not trained at Gun Sight. I have pursued this same question with people that have attended both. I have spoken with people that prefer Front Sight and those that prefer Gun Sight. None seem to feel the quality of the training is significantly different.

One observation is that the FS class is suitable for completely new shooters. So I guess it will start out slower for experienced shooters. The GS class appears not to be for beginning shooters since they offer the GS 150, although it is not required prior to the GS 250 class.

My advice, go to both. There are many quality training schools and independent instructors and I suggest the goal is to train with all of them. I especially encourage people to take advantage of the discounted certificates to take a class at FS. Its a deal at $100 or so for a quality 4-day class.

The bottom line is that the "best" class is very personal. It depends on your personality, skills and needs. It is kind of like asking us to pick your "best" wife without knowing you.
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Old August 31, 2007, 09:29 AM   #12
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Gunsite 250 is a great place to start.
You will not have a lot of running around, just some walking.
A limited amount of shoot and roll around in the gravel type junk.

Two runs through shoot houses last time I was there, a night shoot, and lots of range time at 3, 7, 15 (kneeling), and 25 (prone) yards.
The houses will show you some basic techniques and let you realize just how tough it can be (they lke to set up problems with cross fires).
You will use pretty much all of 1000 rounds of ammunition up, and sometimes more.
If you can already shoot accurately you will be a leg up.
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Old September 1, 2007, 06:20 PM   #13
Tim Burke
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I can recommend Gunsite highly. I haven't been to Front Sight; the marketing hype turns me off. I don't think anyone pays full price there... it should be significantly cheaper than Gunsite. I know people that have done both; it sounds like the training at Front Sight is good, and could be a bargain if you live nearby. For me, after paying for a plane ticket, ammo, meals and hotel for a week, and burning a week of vacation, the difference in tuition is minimized.
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Old September 2, 2007, 08:42 AM   #14
mrshish
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Gunsite

I believe that all the top schools will give you a very good education. With that said I chose to attend Gunsite last year. I was so impressed that I'm taking my wife back this year and plan (hoping) to attend to take a different class every year. I learned a lot while I was there and the instructors are the best, no ego or machoism.

While I don't think you can go wrong with either place, there is a reason Gunsite is so prestigious.
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Old September 5, 2007, 08:49 AM   #15
PhilA
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Thanks for the insight, folks. I really appreciate your honest feedback. So far, based on my own opinions and what I'm hearing here, Gunsite is the way to go. Just wish it wasn't so dang expensive.
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Old September 5, 2007, 09:23 AM   #16
mattro
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I know it's expensive, but worth every penny to do at least one class in the discipline of your choice! The intro handgun defensive course was LIFE CHANGING for me. It will make the thousands of dollars I spend on guns and ammo over the next several years much more effective.

Look to see if any Gunsite satelite courses are offered anywhere around you. There is an excellent facility here in Indiana that offers Gunsite courses fro around $450 a class for a 3 day.
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Old September 10, 2007, 11:59 PM   #17
TX45
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Quote by Dewhitewolf:

We also went over...how to respond when police show up (i.e., cooperate).


At Gunsite, we were told "Shut up. Lawyer up."
The choice is yours.
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Old September 11, 2007, 11:48 AM   #18
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It depends on the laws of your state and your local DA. If you have good SD laws, your shoot was well within those laws, and your DA doesn't have a history of prosecuting people for fun, go ahead cooperate. But if you live in a state with bad SD laws shut up and lawyer up is the best thing to do.
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Old September 15, 2007, 10:15 AM   #19
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I was referring to what to do when the police first arrive--they don't know that you are the "good guy." They showed us dash cam videos of law abiding armed citizens that almost got themselves shot because they didn't comply and cooperate with the cops when they first arrived on the scene.

I was not referring to a blanket defense to criminal/civil charges. For those situations, they specifically tell you to contact an attorney who specializes in those matters.

When I say "cooperate," I mean comply with their orders and submit. They specifically tell you what not to say, and not to speak at all unless they have affirmed that they're not charging you with a crime.

I only posted a brief description of that lecture above. There was a lot more to it, including a number of variables.
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Old September 15, 2007, 10:30 AM   #20
PPGMD
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When I saw I cooperate I mean talk by giving a statement, listening to the cops and complying to reasonable orders is a given, well unless you feel like getting tasered.
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Old September 15, 2007, 04:50 PM   #21
brickeyee
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"...talk by giving a statement..."

The only statement you need to make is "I need to speak with my attorney."
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Old September 15, 2007, 05:50 PM   #22
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Thread veer

We're getting off topic here. Please re-read the OP.
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Old September 21, 2007, 10:18 PM   #23
Slideman
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I had a Front Sight course before they moved to Nevada. I doubt much has changed in the course, though the facility is undoubtedly a whole bunch better.

Great course. First rate instruction. Patient. Thorough. Darn near priceless.

Somehow I suspect you couldn't go wrong at any of them.
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Old September 24, 2007, 10:50 PM   #24
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How does Blackwater compare as well?
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