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Front Sight October 2007

Last week, my buddy Bill and I went on a little road trip.

We left Fremont early Thursday morning and headed south.

Our journey took us through the Mojave desert.

CA-127 near Shoshone, CA on Thursday late afternoon. Rush hour traffic here is brutal.

What is that white dusting on the ground? Is that snow? Can't be, it's 85 degrees in the desert. Ah, it's salt.

Thursday evening we arrived at our destination: Pahrump, NV. Right across the border from California and about an hour west of Las Vegas. It seemed to consist of:

  • 3 casinos
  • 3 brothels
  • Wal-Mart
  • Fast food
  • Trailer parks
  • RV parks

We checked into our hotel and immediately proceeded to...

...clean guns, of course.

Why, you ask?

Because at 6:30am the next morning, we headed out to Front Sight Firearms Training Institute, which is located in the middle of the desert southeast of Pahrump/southwest of Las Vegas, to take a 4-day defensive handgun class.

Sign-up the first morning. Several hundred people showed up for different classes. First step: Report in, gear up, and proceed to weapons inspection.

After a friendly welcome in the lecture hall it was time to hit the range. There are many ranges for different types of courses offered, such as handgun, shotgun, precision rifle, practical rifle, and submachine gun. Our class consisted of 40 students on a 20 target handgun range. The class was divided into two relays that worked together. While one relay was shooting, the second relay was right behind them watching and coaching.

Our range master, John Pierson. Great guy. Very knowledgeable, quite a character, good sense of humor.

First day: Going over the basics. Drawing, sight alignment, trigger control, etc. The course was well designed. It covered all the essentials such as safety, the 4 rules, and handling for beginners (we had a woman in our class who had never touched a gun before, and she did great) while refining existing skills of more experienced shooters without boring us.

It was great to see many female students. They made up probably close to a quarter of all participants.

Each day was long. We usually arrived around 7:30 - 7:45am and didn't leave until after 7pm. By the time we got to the hotel back in town it was close to 8pm. We had dinner at restaurants in the casinos.

Taping targets. Don't be fooled by the blue sky and sunshine in all the pictures. The first two days it was unbelievably cold. Windchill brought the air temperature down to about -50 Fahrenheit (rough estimate based on the volume of teeth chattering heard on the range). After the first day of freezing our asses off we headed to the local Wal-mart to buy warmer clothes. Apparently hundreds of other Front Sight students had the same idea.

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