Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the Firearms Academy of Seattle and talk to the owner Marty Hayes. FAS has a great facility, with set ups for low light or no light shooting (the picture at right was illuminated entirely by my camera flash), 360 degree shoot houses, a 200+ yard rifle range for SWAT training, and my favorite goody of them all, an all steel range with color coded targets.
The steel range (click for fullsize) has 27 pieces of steel, all painted different colors. So for example, an instructor could call out “red” and the shooter would only shoot the red poppers in front, or “black and blue” and they’d have to engage the properly color coded targets. Or for fun, you could have a student try and clear each piece of steel, hitting the IPSC chest plates twice each for a test of the student’s ability to shoot fast and reload under pressure.
FAS also has two modern classroom facilities which are necessary for the pen-and-paper aspect of firearms training. Whether you’re training cops or private citizens to carry firearms, a classroom component is extremely important to make sure the students posses a technical and “brain level” grasp of the material before rounds start flying downrange.
Marty was a gracious host and an all around good guy – part of the reason I was there was to discuss the possibility of FAS supporting the Quest for Master Class, which I’m pleased to say that they’re on board. In fact, FAS will be clearing and creating a special IDPA classifier bay with a permanently set up classifier stage to IDPA specs for use on the Quest for Master Class. That’s going to be awesome, and it’s going to allow us to do a lot more filming and shooting – a big time crunch was always the amount of time it took to set up the stage, but now we’ll be able to roll up, shoot, film and go!
If you’re in the Seattle area and you’re interested in top notch training, you should definitely check out The Firearms Academy of Seattle. I’d say that even if they weren’t providing us with range facilities for our use, because I know one of the instructors there.