Pistol/Carbine Skill Development

Pistol/Carbine Skill Development

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This two-day course focuses on the mechanics of marksmanship at speed with a carbine and pistol as well as transitioning between weapons systems. This course is not about tactics, although tactical application of all techniques taught will be discussed, but instead is about skill with firearms. Your skill at shooting drives your tactics, and the ability to make a shot with precision, rapidly, and under pressure, is of paramount importance. Our goal is for every student to finish this class with a deeper understanding of how to construct their personal training in order to improve as efficiently as possible.

Ammo available if purchased 2 weeks or more prior to class date.

Topics Covered:

  • Fundamental principles of marksmanship at speed
  • Efficiency and consistency of weapons manipulation at speed
  • Efficient and consistent transitioning between weapons systems at speed
  • Movement principles for application of shooting technique
  • Technical efficiency and individual optimization of technique
  • Isolation of skills and training methodology for improvement
  • Technical experimentation in training
  • Complex drills for training skills in aggregate
  • Maximizing performance under pressure
  • Creating a feedback loop for maximizing efficiency of training 

Course Prerequisites 

  • Good health and a fitness level sufficient for strenuous physical activity. All our classes incorporate vigorous athletic movement.
  • All our classes require safe weapons handling at an unconsciously competent level of skill. This includes drawing from a holster, reholstering, reloads, and weapons safety during dynamic movement and under physical and mental stress. Flagrant or negligent unsafe actions will result in removal from a class without refund.

Equipment Requirements

  • Serviceable pistol of 9mm or larger caliber, minimum 3 magazines (6 for single stack guns), belt, holster and at a minimum two pistol mag pouches capable of retaining weapon and magazines during strenuous movement. Serviceable carbine, if pistol caliber then 9mm or larger, if rifle caliber 5.56 or larger. Minimum 3 carbine magazines, belt and at least one carbine magazine pouch capable of retaining magazines during strenuous movement, and a secure sling. Minimum 500 rounds each of pistol and carbine ammunition although more is recommended. Eye/ear protection for range. No Serpa holsters or soft nylon/leather holsters permitted in class.

11 Reviews

  • 5
    Solid transfer of knowledge

    Posted by Frank on 30th May 2023

    I’ve had a variety of LE training and have the privilege of training with Drew Estelle (Baer Solutions) and Jon Dufresne (Kinetic Consulting). Not to take anything away from the previous two instructors, but Matt is on par and then some. Matt was able to relate ALL of the material to the wide variety of audience, especially when it came to making things relevant for LE. One of the best things that came from the class was learning the tools/processes to self-evaluate and improve - particularly when it came to the higher speed processes. I specifically sought out Matt’s training, due to his background in martial arts and firearms. It’s one thing to be a good shooter, but martial arts requires a wholistic premise that firearms-exclusive teachers don’t have. Matt’s knowledge is definitely “in the now” and not using any rehashed old doctrine that gets regurgitated. And while he looks like a mean killer dude - he’s totally approachable. He’s definitely there for the student and helpful in any (and all) ways he can be.

  • 5
    Pistol / Carbine Skill Development

    Posted by Brad B. on 11th May 2023

    Matt and Angela run a great training program. The whole process from initial registration through course AAR was seamless and easy. I hadn’t attended any formal training since my time in the Army so the combination Pistol / Carbine Skills course delivered a lot of value in only 2 days. It was a great way for me to knock the dust off some neglected skills and learn new drills to practice back at home. Matt’s blend of tactical and competition shooting techniques will push students from either discipline to rise above their existing comfort level.

  • 5
    Pistol/Carbine Nov 12-13

    Posted by Matt Rakestraw on 19th Nov 2022

    This was an awesome class that involved much more than just manipulations with the pistol and rifle. There is a lot of movement, transitions, tactics, stage planning, and much more. I highly recommend this to intermediate and advanced students looking to further their rifle/pistol or better yet, how to train more efficiently and purposefully.

    The class contained those with a lot of experience, those relatively new to shooting, and those with mixed experience. Because of Matt's background in military, LEO, and competition, he was able to relate to everyone. I really appreciated how during introductions he was able to find ways to relate to the students by their backgrounds, instead of teaching one way he modified his teaching for each student’s experience and background.

    The majority of the class involves multiple progressive drills that evolved from shooting still, to multiple shots, to shooting on the move, manipulating cover, and more with pistol and rifle. The drills are then put together in the intermediate and more complex stages. The highlight of the class is Calvinball, which was the funnest exercise I've had in a shooting class. There is a lot going on in this class and you'll earn every second of it.

    While you will learn how to better manipulate your pistol and rifle and move with it, the best part of this class was showing us how Matt trained. By showing all stages of training, from beginning experimentation to advanced combinational drills, Matt was able to not only show us how to manipulate pistols and rifles better, but how to make ourselves better.

    Matt is a phenomenal and humble teacher who strives not only to teach his students better techniques, but to teach them how to better themselves via their training. I once again highly recommend this class and Matt as an instructor. This class is exactly what I needed in my personal development as a shooter.

  • 5
    Pistol/Carbine Skill Development

    Posted by Mark Knight on 18th Nov 2022

    Matt did an excellent job teaching this class. He chose the daunting task of teaching and challenging students to excel with both pistol and rifle in two days. He did an outstanding job of reaching that goal. Our class ranged from beginner to very experienced. Because of his in depth understanding of how humans learn and his individual attention to each student, everyone came away with new skills and a plan for further improvement. For the simple thinker, there were easy drills to replicate on our own. For the deep thinkers, he ended the class with a long discussion on theories of learning and shooting and how to apply that in practice. He gave enough information to make a very detailed and thorough training program. Matt was respectful to his students but did not allow anyone to stay in their comfort zone. Everyone was pushed and everyone improved. Matt is a lifelong learner and always pushes himself to get better. That hunger and the insight that it brings makes him an excellent teacher.

  • 5
    Exceptional instruction

    Posted by Michael Coan on 27th Jul 2022

    I attended the pistol/carbine skill development class and would recommend it to anyone looking to further those two skill sets. This class doesn’t seek to teach you everything in the two days allotted but instead shows you how to diagnose your own shooting and how to build an effective training regimen for yourself. Matt and Angela are extremely hands on and give each student direct and personalized feedback. Most of all it was just plain fun getting out and learning with these folks.

  • 5
    A Training Essential

    Posted by Nate Schwartz on 26th Jul 2022

    This class is truly worth every penny and every second of your time. Matt has a vast wealth of knowledge that will help you take your next steps into growing as a shooter.

  • 5
    Drive your training

    Posted by Gregg Dorsett on 4th May 2022

    First and foremost, Matt, Angela, thank you for such a well-run class. Efficient, well-paced, thought-provoking, two days of learning. You two do it very well.

    Pistol/Carbine Skill Development is NOT your usual "shooting" class". You know, the one where you show up, shoot some drills, shoot them some more, have a little competition and then wash, rinse, and repeat for day two.

    Matt tells you upfront what this is. He is here to help you learn to train yourself. The concept is broken down to the "why" you should or should not train a certain way. Matt gives you the tools to learn the process of training yourself. From the evaluation of your training process to the honing its efficiency and speed of it.

    Matt gives the shooter a myriad of tools to use to better not just your shooting but your overall performance in the process of learning. These skills and learning process can be applied to most skills any LE, MIL, or civilian may use in their preparation and practice. The "why" is always the trigger for me to learn at a different level. And my "why" was answered right out of the gate.

    Invest in yourself, and this is the right investment.

  • 5
    Pistol/Carbine Skill Development

    Posted by Heath P on 4th May 2022

    Matt is an extremely professional and competent instructor that takes his vast amount of experience and knowledge from multiple walks of life and translates it into easily digestible information and training that will enhance anyone’s abilities. If you are a competition shooter looking for that slight edge, a tactical shooter trying to become more lethal or just someone looking to increase their ability to run a handgun and a carbine then this is a must have course.

    In two days, not only will you be pushed to be a better shooter but you will learn how to train and how to properly create a training plan. He gives the ‘why’ to everything that he teaches and how it was chosen to be part of his curriculum. Due to these reasons, anyone who takes this course will continue to be a better shooter long after taking the class.

    Take this class. You will get more out of it than you can imagine. His instruction will continue to have profound impacts on my training for many years to come.

  • 5
    Pistol/Carbine Skill Development Open Enrollment

    Posted by Crue Romero on 3rd May 2022

    Very knowledgeable and helpful.
    Learned more techniques and training than my 3 years in the military. Two days was definitely not enough time. Waiting for the next class!