Front Sight Course Critique: 1-day Armorer’s Course (February 23, 2022)

Course date
February 23, 2022
Course type (handgun, shotgun, rifle, etc.)
1-day Armorer’s Course
Range Master’s name
Chris Kaufmann
Range number

Please let us know of anyone who was exceptional in the delivery of service to you and certainly do not hesitate to inform us of anyone who failed to treat you in a manner that aligned with our stated purpose to positively change the image of gun ownership by training responsible citizens to levels that exceed law enforcement and military standards — without any boot camp mentality or drill instructor attitudes.

This visit got off to a rocky start because the confirmation letter contained at least two errors. First, it told me to be at the gate at 6:30 a.m. when the gate did not open until 7:15 a.m. that day. Second, it said I could buy Front Sight merchandise at, a site that seems never to have been online in its four years of existence. The classroom was dark when I arrived because the power was off and the generators had yet to start up. When I tried to buy merchandise at the Pro Shop, the computers were not connected so I could not use my Front Sight credits. The generators eventually got us lighting, but to the best of my knowledge the computers never came back online.

At a minimum, please rate the following on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best:

Professionalism and friendliness of the staff — 9
Everyone seemed friendly, although some of the helper instructors seemed a bit at-sea in terms of the ins and outs of Glocks, let alone armorer’s techniques.
Comments about specific instructors or staff members

(Please forgive any spelling errors of instructor names.)

Chris Kaufmann: Kaufman seems to have an interesting work history. I’d bet we would have a lot in common in a social setting. He struggled a bit with presenting the information, though, in part because the overhead projector is poor quality. There were also no prepared information materials for him to project onto the big screen. Neither was there a course curriculum, so we had no idea about the day’s schedule. Most of the time, Kaufmann presented information well, although I got the impression that there were limits to his knowledge base, despite having a ton of experience in keeping Glocks clean, maintained, and running, because he deflected most questions about Glock aftermarket parts and cheat codes. I did not mind his general bias toward stock Glocks and stock Glock parts, especially in this setting.

Chris Dickson: Seemed eager to help, although perhaps not as knowledgeable in armorer-specific information and experience.

Eric Beames: Seem shy, as well as perhaps not fully up-to-speed with armorer-specific information and experience.

Instructor Hirschi: I didn’t see him at the start of the class, so either I missed him or he joined us later. Seemed like what Canadians call a keener. My impression was that he was holding back some of his enthusiasm for the topic out of fear of being off-putting. Had a great conversation with him about his unusual (to me) Gen4 Glock, and he seemed interested in trying out a widely different connector I brought along. I observed him disassembling guns to check if they exhibited any of the characteristics of other guns about which questions were being raised.

Afternoon Instructor Matt: Seemed cocky, which is OK if you know your stuff. His distain of Glocks and promotion of CZ was off-putting, and were out-of-place in a Glock-specific environment. Not only was his demeanor different than Kaufmann’s but he contradicted Kaufmann about: using grease to lube between the trigger bar and the connector, the cleanliness of American ammo vs. that from other countries, and parts polishing. Virtually no structure to his half of the day: Those who didn’t ask questions probably didn’t get much out of his presence. My impression is that Matt would have been a better person than Kaufmann to extend the class into discussions of what Front Sight armorer’s do on a Glock trigger job, what aftermarket parts to seek, which ones to avoid, reputable Glock aftermarket suppliers, Glock aftermarket suppliers to avoid, etc.

Quality of the course curriculum — 5
I was expecting more than disassembly and assembly instruction, perhaps more in the line of troubleshooting and problem-solving, and definitely more the way of tuning and optimizing. Virtually every piece of new information I got was due to asking questions, but at least I was able to ask (and get an answer most of the time). I was surprised, however, that there was no live-fire function-testing after the course.
Efficiency, logistics, and administration of the course — 5
It would have been nice to get a course curriculum with the other paperwork. I brought everything on the list of required tools and materials, and it turned out that not all of them were used (or even mentioned). Conversely, I brought a box of Q-Tips, which was not on the list, and shared them with grateful classmates. This is the first Front Sight course I’ve ever taken where items were supplied: work pad, roll of masking tape, latex gloves, microfiber cloth, paper towels, and even a little lube after the end of the class.
Welcome, Sign-In, and Weapons Inspection on the first morning — 10
Smooth as always, after the staff had scraped all the morning’s snow off of the tables.
Classroom lectures and video presentations — n/a
Pro Shop staff, inventory, and efficiency — 7
The staff was good and the inventory sufficient, but with the computers inoperable the efficiency was down.
Physical facility (classroom, ranges, simulators, parking, toilets, etc.) — 10
Good as always
Overall course rating (1-10) — 5
I understand that the morning session had to be basic to get beginners up to speed, but the afternoon session could have gone much more in depth.

We would also appreciate seeing what you would say to a friend or family member, if you were trying to convince them to attend a course at Front Sight. In a separate paragraph please write what you will tell your family and friends about your Front Sight Experience and let us know if we can share your comments with others.

For this course specifically, interesting but not compelling. If you already know how to disassemble and reassemble your Glock, there is little to be gained from this course aside from getting to spend a pleasant day in the desert. For the shooting courses, absolutely, assuming Front Sight policies and practices are able ever to settle down again after the recent upheaval of the restructuring debacle.

Other notes

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Greg Raven, Apple Valley, CA