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Front Sight Firearms Training Institute

Discussion in 'Training & Competition' started by benenglish, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

    Nov 22, 2011
    I guess I'm just aged past the point where I can remember things but I seem to remember that Front Sight is an organization that has engendered some controversy in the past. I just can't remember why.

    Could somebody refresh my memory? I'm not interested in starting arguments, just understanding why some people had/have a problem with them.

    The reason I'm asking is that I just got an offer to purchase a high-level membership at a very low price. This kind of discount really got my attention so I'm just trying to do my due diligence before I bite or walk.


    PS - Yes, I know how to google things but, frankly, what I've found so far is all over the map. I see accusations of outdated teaching techniques that are directly contradicted elsewhere. I see lots of emotional negative crap and lots of over-the-top fanboi posts, neither of which is useful to me.

  2. matefrio

    matefrio ΔΕΞΑΙ TGT Supporter

    Looked at them long and hard several years ago.

    At best you can say they'er setup like a gym membership where they hope most people don't use what they purchased. Look at the full cost of travel and lodging during your stay in that area.

    It's setup like a religion with Dr. Ignatius Piazza as the leader and has a hint of Scientology influence if not directly an offspring of the group and methods. Now he's going to sue me. Their instructors are the strongest followers. They even have land for folks to build houses on the property there. The first classes look for folks wanting to climb the ladder with larger packages each level.

    I'm not saying a person can't benefit from the training but I'd aware of their end goal.
  3. Acera

    Acera TGT Addict

    Jan 17, 2011
    Republic of Texas
    Ah, the 'Combat Chiropractor', I remember some legal and ethical issues with that place.
  4. Professor

    Professor Member

    Apr 8, 2012
    My wife and I have been to Front Sight twice and had lots of fun and excellent training. The online marketing is persistent, but you can easily opt out if you like. The instructors are outstanding. My wife had no experience with shooting and I've been shooting for years (ex law enforcement). Despite the disparity in our experience, we both learned and enjoyed. We took the 4-day defensive handgun course. In addition to the shooting, there were some excellent lectures on use of deadly force, gun safety and other topics.

    Depending on where you live, the travel expense has to be considered, but the training itself is well worth what you pay for it. You will receive lots of emails giving you the opportunity to upgrade your membership, but they can disappear with a click of your mouse - not a big deal.

    We took friends with us both times we went and all of them have gone back to FS on their own. I've heard lots of criticism on the marketing, but almost no criticism related to the experience from anyone who has actually been there. Everyone is different, but for us, it was fun and very worthwhile.
    glenbo likes this.
  5. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

    May 28, 2008
    Ft Worth, TX
    I have never been. I recall, many years ago, a couple of safety issues. However, I know two people who attended in 2012. They were sent by the gun range where they taught. The woman went to college as a competitive shotgunner. She obtained a degree is Range Management and she was a fair pistol shooter. The man was also college educated and had already been to other shooting schools, mostly rifle. He was an above average handgun shooter.

    Both reported that the school was professional. They both felt the basic course was appropriate for what it was, a basic course. The agreed that safety was maintained during the course. They both said they would take other classes there.
  6. RACER X

    RACER X TGT Addict

    Jun 18, 2013
    Is that range mgmt a 4 yr degree?
  7. txinvestigator

    txinvestigator TGT Addict

    May 28, 2008
    Ft Worth, TX
    I'll have to send her an email.
  8. SIG_Fiend

    SIG_Fiend Administrator TGT Supporter Admin

    Feb 21, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Random thoughts:

    I've never been, but I like to think I have a fairly well-tuned BS meter.

    Cliff's Notes: in 15 years they've had 20 injury-resulting ND's and one fatality. That's roughly one negligent shooting per year. Keep in mind, these are gunshot / powder burn injury ND's, not non-injury downrange ND's. Considering the sheer volume of students that supposedly go through the place, it is a miracle more people haven't been negligently shot or killed. That being said, on average, almost every year someone is getting injured according to the numbers. I can think of quite a few other schools and instructors I know personally or know of, some of which put a pretty fair volume of students through classes, that don't have anything remotely close to this many injury-resulting ND's.

    The sheer volume of students. This should give people pause. 5:1 student/instructor ratios are a pretty safe ratio to maintain for classes. While it sounds like, at least in some of their classes, they might actually be maintaining this, there is the fact that we regularly hear about 15-20+ students on the firing line. In certain classes with certain instructors, and with experienced students at a particular skill level, safe classes can be run with this many people present. This may be speculation but, with all of the reviews and other data I have seen of their classes, it has lead me to the conclusion that there is a fairly high number of untrained and/or completely new-to-firearms students in classes a majority of the time. 15-20+ new or nearly new shooters on the line sounds like playing with fire to me, but that's just my opinion.

    The marketing. Some of the worst in the industry. Used car salesman, scraping the bottom of the bucket level salesmanship. "Millionaire Patriot Wants You Trained to Shoot Faster and More Accurately Than a SWAT Cop or Navy SEAL... Pays $900 Out of His Own Pocket For Your First Course!" At this point, the BS meter should be going off or at least ticking wildly and raising an eyebrow... This is mail-order, MLM, Amway level stuff. Speaking of Amway...some of the negative sentiment around here has to do with students that have fallen for the MLM nature of Front Sight, like some past TGT members that have tried multiple times to hawk their "memberships" and "gift certificates" from Front Sight for AMAZING DEALS! I will never understand how people fall for this type of marketing.

    Here's a few reviews, supposedly from current and former employees/instructors. Obviously these must be taken with a grain of salt, without specific details about the individuals being present. If they are legitimate, the descriptions of low pay, high turnover rate, etc. lead to some interesting conclusions and possibilities.

    Front Sight Firearms Training Institute Reviews | Glassdoor

    I-Team Investigation: Deadly Day at Front Sight - 8 News NOW

    I-Team: Front Sight Members Take Last Shot and Win - 8 News NOW

    pdb : Front Sight Fail

    Successful class action lawsuit and temporary receivership against Front Sight at one point. Always a good sign.

    The point of all of this is, when you see a company or individual in this industry that is consistently surrounded by controversy and problems, it's usually a clue... With the number of high quality, vetted, legitimate and "peer-reviewed" schools and instructors out there, why spend those hard-earned dollars at a place like this? People are free to do so of course, and nothing against them, but I personally don't understand it. If it was me, I would much rather spend that money on going to some school like Thunder Ranch, TigerSwan, Rangemaster (their range unfortunately shut down), Rogers Shooting School, InSights Training Center, or any other number of well-regarded, vetted schools.
  9. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

    Nov 22, 2011
    Funny that no one has addressed the "too good to be true" aspect that I alluded to in my first post. Because of the coincidence of my membership in two different groups, I've been offered a Lifetime Diamond Membership, normally priced at $15,000 per their web site, for $350.

    A discount that steep tends to make me stop and wonder what's wrong.
    Rango likes this.
  10. matefrio

    matefrio ΔΕΞΑΙ TGT Supporter

    Always suspected you're a member of the Illuminate.

    I kinda addressed it above. They are in a remote location and Hotel\Travel cost a bunch. Many people pay in and few end up going.

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