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:


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