I stood there at the "ready." Feet splayed, knees unlocked, leaning slightly forward to better control the recoil, elbows tucked in, my trigger finger resting on a frame rivet as we had been taught. Waiting for the target to turn, my focus was intense. This was the last shoot of the day and was for the record.
The target spun towards me. The UZI sub-machine gun jumped to my shoulder, instinctively finding the pocket. The target was acquired, trigger depressed, and brass began to arch out from the gun. The firing only lasted a few seconds but with my focus narrowed to shooting the smallest group possible, the sub-gun’s sights danced and the gun seemed to buck forever. The UZI clicked empty.
My eyes shifted to the target. The entire magazine had been emptied into a nice tight group, without a single flyer — an end to a perfect day.
What makes it even more perfect is that it didn't cost me a cent!!! What I am saying is that a full day’s course of instruction, breakfast, lunch, ammo and gun use was all free!!! Yes, I said free. Furthermore, you too can take advantage of this magnanimous opportunity, but more on that later.
A number of individuals in attendance at the Shot Show were proffered a chance to participate in a one day sub-gun class at the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute located 40 miles outside of Las Vegas.
Others partaking of this stupendous offer were fellow W.A.C. BoD members, Dan Frank, John Barnett, W.A.C. member Moe Scharhon, Keith Tidswell from the Sporting Shooters of Australia, NRA BoD members John Cushman, Robin Sharpless, and NRA Clubs & Associations Division Manger, Bill Bigelow.
Conceptually Front Sight is quite unique. Dr. Ignatius Piazza, Front Sight’s founder, modeled it after the numerous, lavish golf resorts dotting the country. Dr. Piazza saw a need for a top level training facility surrounded by a quality residential community where individuals interested in firearms and the shooting sports could make their homes. The end result was Front Sight, NV.
Front Sight is actually two intertwined enterprises. The first is an excellent training center with personable, warm instructors who have vast experience in either the military or law enforcement and more importantly have a true understanding of how to teach.
Instruction in the standard self-defense skills, handgun, rifle, and shotgun is taught in the normal manner, but in addition a student can practice those skills under circumstances seldom found elsewhere. Such as shooting from a moving car, shooting at night or in low light, or the ability to fire 360 degrees, all the while in perfect safety to the shooter and classmates.
At Front Sight instruction relies heavily on repetition as was exemplified by our sub-gun class. Our group of about 40 was broken into two halves. Specific instruction was first given to group one, then the groups switched allowing group one to rest and reflect on what it had just been taught.
Instruction is broken down into small segments instead of just distributing the UZIs and saying, "This is a machine gun — now load and fire it."
As any grade school teacher will relate — repetition is the key to learning. An example of the use of repetition was the three-step safety check that was instituted each time the UZIs were picked up and before they were laid down.
Repetition was the key to mastering a single portion of the instruction, and then building on what was learned is what makes Front Sight’s instruction different. The methodology by which the course material has been proportioned into segments was well thought out making learning enjoyable and easily managed.
Since the general theme of Front Sight is self-defense, the correct procedures to be used once firing ceases were: 1.) Verifying the perpetrator is incapacitated maintaining firing position; 2.) A quick visual right and left check; 3.) Sweeping the area with eyes and firearm for accomplices, and 4.) Rechecking the perpetrator. By the end of the day this drill became second nature at the conclusion of each firing segment.
Although the chance of a person using a sub-gun for self-defense is very remote, in fact impossible in Washington since our state is not Class III, the application of the drill would still apply if one were to find themselves forced into a life threatening shootout.
Two to three shot bursts give the best control of a sub-gun and all except for the final two magazines were fired that way. Squeezing off three rounds on a "go-fast" gun does take a little skill and for some it posed a challenge. I admit to taking great pleasure when Chief Instructor Brad Ackman observing one of my targets remarked, "Irv, you've done this before."
Interestingly, a competition was held between the students and the instructors to see if any student with an UZI at the "ready" could beat an instructor with a holstered handgun to the draw and put three shots into the "kill zone." The instructors won hands down.
Trying to recall how many rounds were fired that day is impossible. All I can remember is that I could barely get my magazine stuffed full of cartridges before our group was called once more to the line. In discussions with other students a consensus was reached that we were in no ways lighted as far as the amount of shooting was concerned. And male and female students alike agreed that shooting machine guns was singularly the most fun an individual could have while still fully dressed.
Courses available at Front Sight are extensive and comprehensive, running from two to four days and costing from $500 to $1500; prices which are in line with courses taught by other master instructors. Available also are several levels of family memberships. Front Sight memberships allow for certain courses to be taken repetitively at no additional cost and the issuance of vouchers good for a number of advanced, more intense classes.
In my opinion and from discussions with my other classmates, Front Sight Training Institute offers a superior value for the money. I have taken other courses of instruction but was truly impressed in the way that Front Sight had thought out and broken down the instruction into small pieces, which led one not to be overwhelmed, or confused and making the material easy to remember.
Upon completion the Front Sight complex will have 780,000square feet of ranges with a 7,200 square foot gunsmith facility, pro shop and armory for firearm storage, 700 yards of underground storm drainage tunnels for rescue training, a SWAT tower, a rappelling wall, a gym and a airport.
The second portion of the enterprise at the Front Sight’s 550-acre location is the construction of a gated community of 177 one-acre custom home sites. These home sites are not sold separately but are included in the price of a "Platinum First Family Membership."
Think about living in a community where everyone is a gun owner, a shooter, and machine gun ownership is allowed. And besides, think about living in a place where the sun shines most of the time and it’s warm during the day even in January. I wonder what the crime rate would be?
By now I'm sure you're all asking, "How do I get to shoot an UZI? Is it really free, no strings attached? Why would anyone give away free instruction, free use of guns, free ammo and free food?"
Yes, Dr. Piazza is offering all of the above at no charge. The good Doctor surmised that rather than use the money on a massive advertising campaign to let the shooting fraternity know about existence of Front Sight Institute, he would offer a free one day sub-gun training instead and let word of mouth do the rest.
Therefore, any shooter who would like to enroll in this free sub-gun class in Nevada should fill out the form found on page 16 and mail or fax it to arrange for a berth in an upcoming class. Make sure you tell them you are W.A.C. members. We were informed that the classes are normally pretty full so make your reservation as far in advance as possible before your planned arrival in Nevada.
Information and reservations on the other classes taught at Front Sight can be gained by phone or fax.
Front Sight is located 40 minutes from Las Vegas and 10 miles East of Pahrump, NV (I love that name) so the rental of a car or a mode of transport is a must if one flies into Vegas.
Once again, the sub-gun course is completely and totally free and there is no pressure to take future classes or enroll in family memberships.
If one is going to Las Vegas be sure to take advantage of Dr. Piazza’s incomparable offer. Then when someone asks you, "Why would anyone want to own a machine gun? You can reply, "It’s because they are so much fun to shoot!!!"