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April, 2000

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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 aperfect day.

What makes it even more perfect is that it didn’tcost me a cent!!! What I am saying is that a full day’s course ofinstruction, breakfast, lunch, ammo and gun use was all free!!! Yes, I said free. Furthermore, you too can take advantage of this magnanimousopportunity, 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 FrontSight 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, KeithTidswell 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. Thefirst is an excellent training center with personable, warm instructors whohave vast experience in either the military or law enforcement and moreimportantly 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 studentcan practice those skills under circumstances seldom found elsewhere. Such asshooting from a moving car, shooting at night or in low light, or the abilityto fire 360 degrees, all the while in perfect safety to the shooter andclassmates.

At Front Sight instruction relies heavily on repetitionas was exemplified by our sub-gun class. Our group of about 40 was broken intotwo halves. Specific instruction was first given to group one, then the groupsswitched allowing group one to rest and reflect on what it had just beentaught.

Instruction is broken down into small segments instead ofjust distributing the UZIs and saying, This is a machine gun — nowload and fire it.

Brad Ackman demostrates
Chief Instructor Brad Ackman illustrating the ready position. The five gallon tub in the foreground wasfilled with 9mm ammo, from which we helped ourselves.

As any grade school teacher will relate — repetitionis the key to learning. An example of the use of repetition was the three-stepsafety check that was instituted each time the UZIs were picked up and beforethey were laid down.

Repetition was the key to mastering a single portion ofthe instruction, and then building on what was learned is what makes FrontSight’s instruction different. The methodology by which the coursematerial has been proportioned into segments was well thought out makinglearning 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 theperpetrator is incapacitated maintaining firing position; 2.) A quick visualright and left check; 3.) Sweeping the area with eyes and firearm foraccomplices, and 4.) Rechecking the perpetrator. By the end of the day thisdrill became second nature at the conclusion of each firing segment.

Although the chance of a person using a sub-gun forself-defense is very remote, in fact impossible in Washington since our stateis not Class III, the application of the drill would still apply if one were tofind themselves forced into a life threatening shootout.

Two to three shot bursts give the best control of asub-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 littleskill and for some it posed a challenge. I admit to taking great pleasure whenChief Instructor Brad Ackman observing one of my targets remarked, Irv,you’ve done this before.

Interestingly, a competition was held between thestudents 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 andput three shots into the kill zone. The instructors won handsdown.

Trying to recall how many rounds were fired that day isimpossible. All I can remember is that I could barely get my magazine stuffedfull of cartridges before our group was called once more to the line. Indiscussions with other students a consensus was reached that we were in no wayslighted as far as the amount of shooting was concerned. And male and femalestudents alike agreed that shooting machine guns was singularly the most fun anindividual could have while still fully dressed.

Courses available at Front Sight are extensive andcomprehensive, 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 Sightmemberships allow for certain courses to be taken repetitively at no additionalcost and the issuance of vouchers good for a number of advanced, more intenseclasses.

In my opinion and from discussions with my otherclassmates, Front Sight Training Institute offers a superior value for themoney. I have taken other courses of instruction but was truly impressed in theway that Front Sight had thought out and broken down the instruction into smallpieces, which led one not to be overwhelmed, or confused and making thematerial 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 andarmory for firearm storage, 700 yards of underground storm drainage tunnels forrescue training, a SWAT tower, a rappelling wall, a gym and a airport.

The second portion of the enterprise at the FrontSight’s 550-acre location is the construction of a gated community of 177one-acre custom home sites. These home sites are not sold separately but areincluded in the price of a Platinum First Family Membership.

Happy guests relax...
If you wonder if we're having a good time,look at the smiles.
l to r: Dan Frank, Robin Sharpless, Irv Benzion, Moe Scharhon.

Think about living in a community where everyone is a gunowner, a shooter, and machine gun ownership is allowed. And besides, thinkabout living in a place where the sun shines most of the time and it’swarm during the day even in January. I wonder what the crime rate wouldbe?

By now I’m sure you’re all asking, How doI get to shoot an UZI? Is it really free, no strings attached? Why would anyonegive away free instruction, free use of guns, free ammo and freefood?

Yes, Dr. Piazza is offering all of the above at nocharge. The good Doctor surmised that rather than use the money on a massiveadvertising campaign to let the shooting fraternity know about existence ofFront Sight Institute, he would offer a free one day sub-gun training insteadand let word of mouth do the rest.

Therefore, any shooter who would like to enroll in thisfree sub-gun class in Nevada should fill out the form found on page 16 and mailor fax it to arrange for a berth in an upcoming class. Make sure you tell themyou are W.A.C. members. We were informed that the classes are normally prettyfull so make your reservation as far in advance as possible before your plannedarrival in Nevada.

Information and reservations on the other classes taughtat Front Sight can be gained by phone or fax.

Front Sight is located 40 minutes from Las Vegas and 10miles East of Pahrump, NV (I love that name) so the rental of a car or a modeof transport is a must if one flies into Vegas.

Once again, the sub-gun course is completely and totallyfree and there is no pressure to take future classes or enroll in familymemberships.

If one is going to Las Vegas be sure to take advantage ofDr. Piazza’s incomparable offer. Then when someone asks you, Whywould anyone want to own a machine gun? You can reply, It’s because they are so much fun to shoot!!!