Special Forces Association Chapter 54

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Foreign Weapons
Familiarization Course 2022

Foreign Weapons Familiarization Course
September 24, 2022
Fryeburg, Maine and Center Conway, New Hampshire

The Special Forces Foreign Weapons Familiarization Course took place on September 24, 2022 in Fryeburg, Maine and Center Conway, New Hampshire. This one-day course was offered by Vinny Pestilli and Associates, Inc. and 11 Bravo Training Company of Brownfield, Maine. Saturday morning was an informational session in a classroom environment at the Fryeburg, Maine fire station and Saturday afternoon was live firing at the Burke Gravel Quarry in Center Conway, New Hampshire.

Fifty students took part in the firearms training along with a staff of 15 instructors and support personnel. This was the Chapter's ninth annual course and featured an opportunity for the students to handle over 50 foreign weapons with a concentration on Russian weapons. The top two shooters in the competition each received a $250 cash prize. The weapons raffle events raised voer $9,000 for the Chapter treasury.

Chapter 54 Foreign Weapons Course Sep 2021

Photo: Attendees at the September 2021 Firearms Course

Course Summary. Chapter 54 member Vin Pestilli conducted a foreign weapons course for 50 participants. Attendees included chapter members, area police officers, and several members of the U.S. and international military forces. The event provideed instruction, hands-on handling, and firing of a number of foreign weapons systems. This included belt-fed machine guns, sub-machine guns, sniper weapons, and numerous long guns, shotguns, and pistols. Most of the weapons of the Soviet bloc were on hand for firing. There were individual and team shooting competition events. The Pestilli & Associates course recieved support from Benelli Firearms, Heckler & Koch, the Fryeburg, Maine Fire Department, and Burke Bros. Gravel in New Hampshire.

Vincent Pestilli instructing on the use of a foreign weapon during the Foreign Weapons Course of Chapter 54, Special Forces Association, 2022.
Vincent Pestilli providing instruction during the Chapter 54
Foreign Weapons Familiarization Course 2022

Cost: The cost per person was $250.00. The fee included ammunition, use of weapons, instruction, food, and other expenses. Also included in the fee was breakfast, lunch, and a pig roast on Saturday night.


Fryeburg Fire Department Classroom
520 Main Street
Fryeburg, Maine 04037
0700 - 0800 Registration and coffee and doughnuts
0800 - 1200 Class
1200 - 1300 Lunch. Pizza, sub sandwiches, chips, water, and dessert

Burke Gravel Quarry
170 Industrial Drive
Center Conway, New Hampshire
1330 - 1600 Range firing

1800 - Pig roast at the Pestilli's Guest House Beach, Brownfield, Maine

Eye and ear protection, hat, insect spray, cameras, jacket, camera, and folding chair are suggested for accessories. There were many guns to examine and fondle.

Shotgun Raffle: There was a drawing for a shotgun. The shotgun was donated by Vinny Pestilli and Associates and Benelli Shotguns. Read more about the Benelli Supernova Tactical Pump Action Shotgun. The raffle generated $5,584 in funds for the Chapter.

Pistol Raffle. There was a drawing for a H&K VP Series Pistol raffle held during this event. The pistol was donated by Vinny Pestilli and Associates. The raffle generated $4,328 in funds for the Chapter.

Funds Raised. The funds above the cost of conducting the training will go towards the Chapter 54 Scholarship Fund, the general fund, and other charities.

Cookout on Saturday Evening. Pig roast, coleslaw, baked beans, cornbread, Yogi & Boo Boo stew, and dessert. Drinks include Budweiser, Bud Light, Diet & Regular Coke, and water.

Pig Roast 2022 - Foreign Weapons Course


Attendees can stay in one of the many hotels in the area (North Conway, NH). There is also a camping area for tents available near the picnic area in Brownfield, the site of the Saturday evening cookout.

Driving Times.

From North Conway hotels to Fryeburg Fire Station - 15 mins.
From Fryeburg Fire Station to Saturday Evening Cookout - 15 mins.
From Saturday Evening Cookout to North Conway hotels - 25 mins.
From North Conway Hotels to Quarry firing range - 10 mins.

Air Travel.

Boston Logan Airport (BOS) - 2 3/4 hrs to Fryeburg and North Conway
Manchester - Boston Regional Airport (MHT) - 2 hrs to Fryeburg and North Conway
Portland International Jetport (PWM) - 1 hr 15 mins to Fryeburg and 1 hr 30 mins to North Conway

Past Chapter 54 SF Foreign Weapons Familiarizations:

2021 Weapons Firing Course.

2019 Weapons Firing Course

2018 Weapons Firing Course

2017 Weapons Firing Course and SOF News article on the SF Foreign Weapons Course held in 2017.

For more information contact Kevin at kpaicos@comcast.net


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