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Friday, January 25, 2013

Standard Deviation Arms competition pistol class reivew

I'm reposting this great review of our recent pistol training course written by Kerry of the Angry Pig Shooting Team

This weekend the members of the AngryPig Shooting Team took a break from our usual match rotation, and scheduled a training class with Standard Deviation Arms.

The impetus for this class was simple; I started shooting IDPA in February 2012 followed shortly by Jake then Jamie then Sam. Even though I taught the boys how to shoot and introduced them to IDPA, Jamie and I quickly found ourselves being left in the dust first by Jake and then by Sam. All four of us want to improve our shooting, and since both boys are beating both adults regularly I figured there really is not much more I could teach them. So I started to look around for training.

I looked at the training classes offered by some of the big national names in practical shooting and I really couldn’t find a program that if felt really met our needs. We have been shooting matches for about a year and have had some success, so we were not beginner shooters, on the other hand I didn’t think that we ready for the more advanced classes out there. In short I was looking for some training that could leverage our currently skill sets and show us a path to improvement that we could take and work on week in and week out. In addition there was the matter of cost, with some of the big national trainers you have to travel to them and the per student fee was much higher than I could afford to shell out for 3 students.

Luckily we live in an area with a strong practical shooting community with some very good shooters. I started to ask around to see if any of the local Master level shooters were offering training. One of the first people I asked was Matt Olinchak, right away Matt let me know that he and Steve Lockwood were doing just that and that they would be willing to tailor a class to meet our needs. We have squaded with Matt at several IDPA matches, as well as both he and Steve at a few USPSA match. Both are excellent shooters and have the trophies to prove it. But in addition to that Steve has been in the firearms instructor business either in the Marine Corps, working for the DOD or in the Civilian world for many years, so not only does this pair bring their shooting experience to the table they have the professional instruction background as well. This was important to me in selecting someone to train with, being able to shoot is one thing, being able to train is a whole other skill set. I was confident Standard Deviation Arms had both

We traded information, and then the emails began. I had lots of questions for Matt and Steve, and they answered them patiently and quickly. We regularly post videos of our matches online, and it was clear that Matt and Steve were not just listening to what I was saying I wanted to get out of a training class, they were out there watching our videos and evaluating our performance in order to better tailor our session to our needs.

The day started out early at the Secret AngryPig Training Facility. We started off with a good discussion of what each person wanted to get out of the class and areas where we thought we needed the most attention. We all set goals and then we moved into what I think the most important part of the class was, 1.5 hours of dry fire. Now that may not sound like much fun, and it really wasn’t, but the amount we all learned starting with improving our draw on though presentation, front sight focus and reload drills was invaluable for being able to take advantage of the live fire portion of the class. Next we hit on movement into and out of position; Matt and Steve were able to show us techniques for staying in IDPA cover while maintaining a good firing position and preparing for moving to the next position.

The live fire portion of the class was equally intensive; we did drills that forced you to find that balance between speed and accuracy and then learned techniques on how to push that balance. We worked on transition drill to reduce our time between targets (something I seriously struggled with). We were put through the paces on several live fire drills that really had us riding the harry edge of control followed up with instruction on just how to increase our control and we all watched as our times dropped on drill after drill. But it wasn’t just work, Matt and Steve did a great job of adding fun to the day and if it wasn’t for the rapidly lowering sun we could have kept going, oh and it was cold too.

By the end of a very long day I am confident that the training we received, as long as we do our part and continue to practice, will provide us with a marked improvement in our match scores. In addition I think it was an incredible value as well!

If you are looking for training for any type of shooting check them out at:


Monday, January 21, 2013

Sharing Knowledge (part 2)

This weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a competition pistol shooting class with my co-instructor Steve Lockwood of Standard Deviation Arms for the members of the Angry Pig Shooting Team.  Steve has been teaching shooting for over 5 years, starting with his time in the Marines and now in the civilian world.  I have been shooting competitively for 9 years and have worked one on one with a few different shooters, but this was my first foray into teaching a group training session.  Steve has been great to bounce ideas off of and our   philosophies gel well together.

This great group of guys from the Angry Pig Shooting Team were eager and ready to learn.  The course started at about 930 with setting up the range, followed by student and instructor introductions and some discussion on the mental aspect of the game.  We moved into dryfire training, and worked on grip, draw and presentation to the target, smooth trigger press and other important fundamentals.  Following that, we jumped right into some advanced movement techniques, shooting around barricades, etc, with the goal being to be able to cut down on time getting into and out of positions as much as possible. This is a great way to lower your overall stage times and something you can work on in dryfire at home.

The live fire session focused on transitions between easy and difficult shots, changing tempos, calling your shots and decreasing target transition times.  Each shooter showed improvement during each of the drills and I look forward to seeing each of their progress throughout the year and into the future.  I think each shooter also walked away with an idea of what they need to work on, and more importantly, how they can work on it in order to achieve their goals.

Jake and Kerry tied for the win on the walkback drill. Both were able to ding the 8 inch mini target from about 40 yards before they threw a miss.  Congrats to both of them, you win an internet fist bump from Steve and I.

For additional training opportunities, to ask a question, or just talk shooting, email me.

check out the rest of the gallery here

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sharing knowledge

The primary purpose of this blog is to share my shooting experiences and videos I record, in order to share what I have learned in this sport along the way.  With that being said, I'm happy to announce that I'm joining former US Marine Combat Arms instructor Steve Lockwood and his company Standard Deviation Arms in teaching an intermediate pistol class this coming Sunday for a great group of guys from the Angry Pig Shooting Team. These guys are perfect students for what we offer because they already know the basics of safety and gun handling, and are looking for ways to improve their competitive shooting scores. I don't come from a teaching background in this field but I feel like I have a lot to offer to the students after my almost 10 years in the shooting sports, and Steve has been a great help in developing the class curriculum and working in his own knowledge into our program.
We are hoping to offer a lot more of these classes in the future, so if you have shot a couple of matches, but are looking to make big improvements, we would love to hear from you.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I shot my first BRCV match since the 2011 PA state match this Sunday.  Kevin puts on a nice, short and sweet, simple match. That's nice from a time stand point; you are able to get in and out in about 2 hours and setup and tear down for the staff and shooters if really easy. I do wish the match had a bit higher round count, but it is what it is.

Looking back, I really need to let go of the ego and force myself to push myself at matches and see what level I can achieve without having the wheels fall off. There are no payouts in IDPA and local matches obviously don't count for anything so the only thing holding me back from trying to go all out is the requirement I put on myself to win.  I feel like I've been a bit too conservative in the recent months and I need to break out of that....but then again, I shot the Liberty Match with a goal of shooting a very clean and accurate match, and whatever speed it took, and was able to do really well.  As always, there is a balance that must be achieved, and my goal right now is to speed up, without sacrificing any accuracy at all.

As always, this video was brought to you by Pivothead video recording eyewear. If you're interested in checking them out, click the banner ad above this post. If you'r interested in buying, contact me and I'll see if there are any specials or extra incentives I can pass on to you.

Monday, January 14, 2013

2013 Goals

So here we are, two matches into 2013, and I'm trying to work on my new years resolution.  There's an IDPA forum thread that I replied to where I set a pretty aggressive goal in response to the whole new years resolution question: Win every local match I go to.  Thinking back, I'm not sure if that was an overly arrogant statement to make, or actually a valid objective to strive for this year.  I definitely think it's possible, especially if I keep up the same improvement pace I've been seeing for the past two seasons, but is this a valid goal? Should I target something more quantifiable, like make M class in USPSA?  To be honest, I'm hoping a couple of new guys I haven't seen anywhere start showing up to local matches and kicking my butt. I know when I started shooting and training with AJ that my skills had to improve pretty quickly in order to keep up. I think we both need someone else to try and catch up to to break the plateau and achieve the final level.

How about you?  What are your goals?  Attend more matches? Attend your FIRST match (I want to hear from these people!) Move up in classification? Win your division at a major?  Let's hear it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

First match of 2013

Well 2013 is here and even though matches are getting cancelled left and right until spring due to weather, I did manage to shoot a match today. One range is still putting on IDPA matches year round and Mark and Annette do a great job of working with the weather limitations to designs fun and challenging stages. There was a couple inches of snow and some ice over top on a few of the ranges today, so there was not a lot of movement on most of the stages, but I still had a good time.

I'm still playing with my front sight widths. This is the second match I've shot recently with the .100 sight after using the .09 one for most of last year.  I think I will stick with it for a while and see how it goes. So far so good.

I'm also working on an excel document that I'm going to use as a log for all the matches I shoot in 2013. What other columns should I include in this table?

Match Date Location Match Type Divison Results Results Link Video Link
1/6/2013 <Undisclosed> IDPA ESP ?

Not sure if I like the .100 sight or not. Still need to work on speed. Accuracy is pretty good except for a random missed headshot at 10 yards

 Once again, this match video was brought to you by Pivothead video recording eyewear.

Results ( http://www.nepaidpascores.net/nhrpa/2013-01-06.htm )

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Hello internet. Welcome to my blog.This is the best damn tactical site on the interweb, and we are going to spend most of our time talking about the competitive aspect of the shooting sports, my adventures along the way, and hopefully posting some fun videos and match breakdowns as soon as I teach myself Adobe Premiere.

As always, this post and all of my videos are brought to you by Pivothead video recording eyewear.