I thought some of you may be interested in an after-action report from my recent attendance (with 36 y/o son--trained by yours truly) at the 4 Day Defensive Handgun Course at the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute located about an hour west of Las Vegas. The course is normally $2000 per student but we managed to get severely discounted tuition so we bit the bullet (see what I did there) and decided to go. we arrived on a Sunday night before course start up early on Monday morning. Prerequisites included a criminal background check (I was greatly relieved to have passed). We were told to bring the pistol we relied on for personal defense and a back up. Since my usual carry gun (the new Springfield Armory X-D-S .45acp single stack mini-gun) was at the smith getting night sights, I fell back on my old reliable HK .45acp USP Compact and my 1911 as a backup. My son is a .40 S&W guy and had his X-D40 subcompact with X-D40 Service model backup. Due to the ammo shortage we also brought 300 rounds each so as not to totally deplete the stocks on hand at the Institute that we purchased (actually at below market rates) there. Total round count for the 4 day course was 900 each. We had 4 long days (0800-1700) days of moving and shooting on conventional ranges and in a shoot house scenario. Distances ranges from 3 yards to 20 yards and all shots were taken either from the low ready or strong side holster. Each class (there were at least 3 I know of going on simultaneously) was comprised of 40 students of all levels of expertise (active duty military and LEOs to housewives on a shooting vacation with their spouses). I would say the average was a reasonably experienced handgun shooter with only a few scary ones who I tried to stay away from on the firing line due to their marginal gun-handling skills. One fundamental of the instruction and philosophy there is the importance of dry firing. We did a lot of that during the day and were expected to do a lot in the evening. It really does make a huge difference and is cheap to boot, especially in this day of $.75-$1.00 per round ammo costs. One drill they did to underscore this is to have us shoot 5 rounds as fast as possible at a 1 inch square black dot from the 7 yard line---fire 5 shots, then fire 5 dry fires and then 5 more shots at a second square. there was ALWAYS improvement in the second groups. The wider groups were the first strings and the tighter groups after the dry firing. Excuse the bad focus on some. We also did hostage taker drills with steel and paper targets out to 20 yards (had to hit hostage taker head partly showing alongside hostage's head). The course culminated in a single elimination shoot-off on a course involving a steel plate torso (hostage) with 4X4" hinged steel plate alongside head of hostage that was the target at 7 yards, then (if you did not hit hostage), 2 more steel torsos about 10 yards behind and to each side of the hostage plate. Fastest accurate shooter won the round. In all humility I would note that the last 2 standing in the final face off were my son and I. He beat me by about 1/2 second. All in all it was a very well run course that I can commend to anyone wanting to up their game with a handgun. Here are a few other pics of the facility: To some Front Sight has a bad reputation due to the unbridled marketing by its founder who is a chiropractor by training but the facility itself was expertly run by former military and LEO operators.