Stephen Pineau / M3-Strategies


Rooted in mindset, marksmanship and manipulation, M3 Strategies seeks to build better shooters through proven techniques, a quality curriculum and superior instruction. We are dedicated to providing performance-based training solutions to shooters of all skill levels and backgrounds. With a focus on safe, intuitive and efficient weapons handling techniques, our courses cater to the specific needs of the individual end user.

The scope of our instruction includes Fundamental and Accelerated firearms training in the context of defensive applications. Classes are often structured in a 1-day format unless otherwise noted.

While we are based out of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, our mobile training team is capable of hosting classes throughout the Continental United States. For information on hosting a course in your area, please contact



Whether as a sole effort or through industry collaboration, we aim to fill the gaps in the current equipment market through quality product development. We strive to innovate; working alongside trusted industry partners in an effort to develop relevant products, evaluate them in rigorous trials and bring them to market.



M3 Strategies offers consulting services directed at industry manufacturers requiring developmental input and product testing. Our experience and understanding of the rigorous standards that your product must meet in today’s market allow us to provide relevant feedback on your product both positive and negative. The volume of shooting that we conduct on a yearly basis affords us the ability to expose any potential flaws or shortcomings in a design while simultaneously allowing us to offer realistic solutions and design improvements to the client.

Stephen Pineau is the Director of Training and Lead instructor for M3-Strategies and the Owner/Operator of 21st Century Gunfighter

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Instructor Ethos:

“People often get wrapped up in “Defensive This” or “Tactical That” versus “Competition Something Else”…..whatever happened to just being a good shooter? I fail to see how simply being good at shooting would ever be detrimental, regardless of the particular duty or circumstance.”

- Stephen Pineau, M3 Strategies

Stephan Pineau Website Screen Shot q

Rating Stars 5.0 200px  Fundamental Handgun My feedback on M3Strategies Fundamental Handgun training in North Texas Hello fellow firearms enthusiasts, this writing is to provide you information on some great fundamental handgun training I just received in Cleburne, TX (just outside of Dallas/Fort Worth). Although, this training was held in North Texas, if you are located in other areas of the US, you may still want to read on because I have seen them schedule classes outside of TX. The training was provided by Stephen Pineau of M3Strategies ( This type of instruction is not easy to find and if you did find it, you may still be hesitant. Is this training for you? It could be if you seek training that will improve your handgun marksmanship and handling…whether that is for defense, sport or competition. If your job involves carrying a handgun, I think you would find this training valuable. Chances are if you are reading this post, then you are the type of person suited for this class because you have a keen interest in firearms and gear which this class will help you get better at using. If you are new to firearms and have taken several classes and lessons at your local indoor range and are asking, what’s next to get to the next level? Then M3Strategies is for you. The range location is outdoors and well setup to allow much better freedom of instruction then one would find at a typical indoor range or classroom. That combined with Stephen’s from the heart and gut delivery provides the group a fast paced and dynamic setting. There are no chairs (unless you bring your own foldup), no projector, no foils which have been scrubbed by management and lawyers so that every word has been ultra-cleansed for the masses. Those things would only slow the class down and Stephen likes to stay on the move. He is not reading anything…its marker on target board with the group gathered around as he explains in detail the site picture or trigger pull. Stephen tries to cram as much into the day as possible. New targets go up quick, reloads just as quick. No breaks. While you sit on your ammo can and wolf down a sandwich around noon, he will continue to lecture the group on some important aspect of firearms manipulation. This environment is rather Spartan when compared to the A/C cooled, cushy chaired environments of some classes. But, if you want to break a sweat, challenge yourself, get deep and go through some of the most comprehensive drills you’ll find, then this is the perfect setting to get down to business. I don’t think I have been so focused on any subject for a whole day as I was that day, personally or professionally (and I work in IT). That is because once Stephen starts, it soon becomes apparent this guy loves doing this, he is ALL IN. He wants to teach it as bad as you want to learn it and pretty soon everyone is ALL IN. He holds nothing back. What he knows, he wants you to know. And what he has to say may not always be “main stream” or “text book”, but it is what he believes through experience. You realize that you have entered firearms training Nirvana and whether you are rookie or experienced, you will find yourself fully immersed. There is no room for day dreaming here guys. He keeps the pace moving, so there is no time to look at birds or check messages on your phone. Stephen has obvious lived it, he has sent endless rounds down range, he has competed and he has received information firsthand from top shooters in the country. But he is still a regular guy….you will be hard pressed to separate him from the students until he starts. There are no formalities with him. The entire range is his classroom and the place to teach is the place where Stephen stops to make a point. You literally move all over the range and the variety of experiences keeps it fresh. Listen, I don’t want to go overboard here. For months I have been a sponge off sites like this for information from guys like you on so many things (thank you). I’ve come across something good and I want to spread the word. Plus, when someone gives there all to teaching me something, I want to give something back. I am new to firearms but this fundamental handgun class is far from being just for new guys. It is fundamentals deep dive with live fire drills which goes way beyond typical self/home defense and CHL training. There was a LE officer in the group who stated this 1 day class taught him things which his formal training did not. There was a student which had taken serious training before and he learned new things from Stephen’s delivery both in marksmanship and manipulation. Most of us have probably had basic training on malfunctions. I’ve had 5 other pistol/AR classes in the past 3-4 months (been on a binge) and each one covered malfunctions with dummy rounds and minor practice…I was familiar but did I know enough to clear a malfunction under stress? NO! Hell a week ago I bought dummy rounds because I knew I needed to practice. But let me tell you, after Stephen’s malfunction drills…I now know. Everyone in the class now knows. And that’s what he does, he takes you from “I think I know” to “I know”. He does this by going into more detail than normal, yet in a clear way, demos the concept himself with enthusiasm and then hammers it home into everyone through a series of very effective drills which sometimes involves speed and time. If you are in Texas and want some serious handgun training (they also have AR training which I hope to take), I would encourage you to go check out M3Strategies ( If you are a group, club or organization (including LE and Security) with people needing this training, I would encourage you to get Stephen over. If you are out of state and think you can round up enough people to sign up for this type of training, I would check with M3Strategies if they will come over and do a training in your state. You will get your money’s worth and then some. We each shot about 450 rounds that day and it was agreed by all that no round was wasted. Do not be intimated if you are new, do not think you know too much if you are not…if you want to get better with firearms just get into one of these classes. At the very least, you will have a great time running through several drills with your firearm and what you already know will be greatly reinforced. At the end of my day there, my main thought was WOW, how awesome was that? I am not associated with M3Strategies in anyway nor do I personally know them other than as a student for a 1 day class. I have not and will not be compensated in any way for this write-up. This is a personal view which I will post on firearms related sites which I am a member of our visit for information regularly.

- Mike N. (Cleburne, TX – 4/14) 

Rating Stars 5.0 200px  Fundamental Handgun - A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to take the fundamental handgun class offered by M3 Strategies, Steven Pineau. I went into this class with a working knowledge of my firearm. I am ex army and had only had true experience with my M4 carbine and hadn’t really trained with a pistol. I do have my CHL and looking back I’m surprised I even considered myself qualified to carry, until now. As a side note, because I found this out more as the day went on, this class had a wide array of shooters. Some of us new to actual training with a handgun, some of us had even taken Steven’s classes before and wanted a refresher and to learn the new things Steven had learned from the last class. We even had an armed security guard that wanted to hone his skills. We started the morning with range set up, and a thieving goat standing in the front seat of Steven’s car eating his breakfast. The goat is a story you’ll have to ask about when you take a class from Steven. After we had hung targets we loaded up our mags and got our range gear on, eye pro, ear pro etc. Steven began the class with a safety briefing. He used the age old model from the NRA but with his own version that makes you understand the rules in a real world way. We were after all on a live range with loaded guns, this is not a class given from a bench. The first round of fire was simple, 10 rds from 5 yards as fast as you’re comfortable with. This was a basic assessment of can I even draw and shoot straight. Steven then went into a discussion over proper grip and stance. He even went into different variations of the grip. This part stood out to me because he made sure that everyone knew they don’t have to shoot this way or that, but in a way that was best for you. We took to the line again and were asked to fire 10 rds again with the focus on proper stance and grip. I will say that a lot of us shot a little worse. The problem with doing it the way I was it was inconsistent. I had no way to know what I needed to focus on to adjust what i was doing wrong. This played into the rest of the day from then on, good groups and being able to know why they were off to the left or right, high or low. Already early into the day and being able to diagnose what was going on. Steven makes a good point to check all shooter in the different stages of firing and giving individual tweaks to either the stance, the draw and the grip from the draw through to the firing. We went through the day practicing from different distances, different target sizes all the while Steven’s focus being accuracy. You can shoot fast and miss all over the place, or you can slow down and get a quarter size group. Steven teaches us the balance between the two which bring me to M3′s 50 point test. This test is from the draw, shot on a B-8C target. Steven uses a competition timer and goes to each shooter on the line individually to test us. This is where the class got even more fun because now there was an element of competition. We fired 5 rounds, all focused on accuracy with the element of time added. We did this for a few rounds which really hammered the skills into place about the balance of fast shooting versus accuracy. After this we moved on to reloading drills. Steven grouped up together to show us the basic way to grab and load a magazine and even how to preform a tac-reload. You will use your equipment here, it will get dirty dropping your mags into the dirt, again this isn’t shooting at a bench. We started with the basic reloads, fire a few rounds, drop the mag, grab the fresh one reload and continue firing. Every shot you fire will be at an ever changing target so there is no wasted round, you will get your moneys worth. These reload drills evolved into a sequence of different round count mags on a charging pattern of targets. This caused us to not only focus on the reload but on the changes in targets as well, surprising not as easy as it sounds. Steven does make sure that you don’t have a lot of static shooting situations which will evolve your training to real world and competition shooting. The next evolution in training was malfunction drills. Steven talked about the different types of malfunctions you may see in everyday shooting and gave us a break down of his two way to clear all of them. We staged malfunctions in our weapons by placing expended brass after a few rounds of live ammo. This would cause a failure to eject and allow us to go through the process of removing the malfunction while retaining our good magazine. We went through a drill Steven called ‘Malfunction Mayhem, which was probably the most exhausting part of the day. 3 full mags loaded with live and expended rounds fired on a human sized target with three hit boxes. You begin at the head, then move to body, then pelvis changing the order each time, with the mags all loaded differently. It a huge cluster at first because your trying to keep up with shooting order while your weapon malfunctions randomly. I feel this is probably the most effective way to even attempt a solid base of what to do when the gun doesn’t go bang. The last part of the day was spent training on how to shoot with a single hand, strong and weak. Sadly, I found out that weak hand only was the best shooting I did all day. Go figure. After a couple of rounds of practice with these shooting styles we moved on to “Dot Torture” This was a test fired from only 3 yards onto a page of small circles. Doesn’t sound hard but it was a culmination of everything we had learned through the day. 5 rounds per circle from various shooting styles, depending on your weapon you would have reloads in the middle of some of these and we even had someone stovepipe and got to add his training into it. We all laughed at the 3 yard distance, and no one shot the course of fire cleanly. We moved onto the final course of fire for the day. 3 distances, 3 mags one with 5 rounds one with 10 and one with 15. at 20 yards we shot normal stance, at 15 we shot strong hand only, and at 5 we shot weak hand only. We choose which magazine we used at each distance and had 30 seconds to fire each line. This test was a culmination of every fundamental we had been taught and everyone was happy with their performance. I don’t know how long each activity took us because there was no point that I felt I wanted a break. Steven has a way of making you feel like a sponge and I didn’t see anyone that wasn’t eager to keep going. I haven’t had many classes, but after this one I can’t imagine ever taking one from anyone else. As I said before people had already taken this class and come back again. Steven doesn’t ever stop learning and refining himself and he directly puts this into his classes. It doesn’t matter who you are this class will benefit you and I for one will be back. See you on the firing line,

- Josh C. (Cresson, TX - 2/14) 

Rating Stars 5.0 200px  Basic Handgun - I attended the M3 Strategies Basic Fundamental class 2/22/14 because of recommendations from people who took the course in the past. They kept encouraging me to attend the course, so I went ahead and signed up. As a woman, I was a bit stressed about the course because I figured it was going to be all tactical, hardcore firearms teaching. However, to my surprise, the course turned out to be very informative. As I was the only woman in the class, Stephen made me feel comfortable and helped me when I needed individual attention. As a novice shooter, this class helped me with recoil management and other techniques I needed to work on. I will continue to practice the techniques learned. The only disappointing thing of the course (which Stephen had no control over) was the fact that ammo is difficult to find. There could be some additional dry firing drills to conserve ammo.

- Tina L. (Cresson, TX - 2/14) 

Rating Stars 5.0 200px  Handgun 1 & 2 - It’s clear that when you watch Stephen teach that he care about the curriculum. He is articulate and thoughtful in his presentation. Anyone seeking to increase their performance should seek out his instruction.

- Kyle H. (US – 2014) 

Rating Stars 5.0 200px  Handgun 1 & 2 - As an officer in the US Army, one would think that oodles of training are available. Not so. Restrictions on dollars, priority to deploying units and other anomalies are effecting the ability of units in certain locations to go out and spend real time at the range. Based on that reality, it was highly recommended to me that I go train with Stephen. After 2 days of long training, expert advice and lots of trigger time I came to a few conclusions. The most glaring was that: STEPHEN’S CLASS IS TOP NOTCH!!! I have never received the type of training in the military that I did with Stephen. His fundamentals are fantastic and his training curriculum is based on physics, his technical expertise and the mentorship he has received from big names in the shooting industry. I would highly recommend you TRAVEL to one of his classes and see for yourself. You WILL be a better shooter, your mindset will change and you will become a more conscientious confident citizen capable of exercising your 2nd amendment rights.

- Kevin R. (Cresson, TX - 2014) 

Rating Stars 5.0 200px  Trauma Treatment, Advanced Handgun Manipulation, Defensive Handgun - To start of with, Stephen has caught flak over the years that he is not military and most people think one needs to have worn the uniform to teach. I myself, am a medically retired NCO and I can tell you first hand other NCO’s in my Unit could barely teach a private how to tie their boots, let alone fire a rifle effectively. Stephen is a student of the gun, and he IS one of few people that evolve and change his curriculum if he finds that there is a better way to do a specific task. He conveys the information to the student in the most direct and simplistic manner so the student does not have to over analyze what they are learning. During the time that I’ve known Stephen, both professionally and personally, he has been an outstanding mentor and friend. During the two classes I’ve attended, Stephens attention to detail and safety is second to none. He does not overuse the word tactical, and takes a more practical approach, even at one time asking why people were at a certain course of his instead of taking an open hand defensive course, or a class in tactful speech. During the classes, drills and courses of fire are staged and planned to reinforce the lessons of the day and to continue repetition of the topic at hand. I highly encourage anyone that is looking to maximize their proficiency with their chosen firearm platform to seek out and train with Stephen.

- Mathew C. (Round Rock, Texas / Las Vegas, NV - 2013) 

Rating Stars 5.0 200px  SWAT Firearms Training - Stephen is a brilliant instructor. He shoots extremely well and imparts his knowledge on other in a way that everyone understands. I would highly recommend any class he teaches. The courses of fire he presents will not only make you a better shooter but a faster, more accurate gunfighter. M3 is the way to go.

- R. S. (Rockwell, TX - 2/14) 

Rating Stars 5.0 200px  HG1 & HG2 - Having never trained with M3 Strategies, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Stephen is a younger trainer in the industry but he has the experience and the know how to make great shooters. You can tell he has done extensive research on each of the topics discussed. He knows not just how to implement each drill but why. That is something that will bring me back to his classes in the future.

- ChadZ. (Pinckney, MI 10/13) 

Rating Stars 5.0 200px  Handgun 1 - 21CG, Handgun 1 – In March 2013 I took Stephen’s Handgun 1 class in Austin, TX. As a 12 year veteran of the military and someone who grew up shooting and hunting I went into the class feeling very comfortable with my ability to operate a firearm; however I also knew that the skills that I had were not necessarily the right or best way to do things. The day started with introductions, and what we as a student hoped to gain from the class. The students ranged from extremely new shooters who were trying to learn the basics to intermediate shooters trying to revisit the fundamentals and ensuring that training scars had not developed over the years of shooting. Stephen then went into the safety briefing. I enjoyed his perspective on firearm safety. As a firearms instructor in the military, CHL instructor, and Private Security firearm instructor I have been teaching Jeff Coopers four firearm safety rules for years. I have always been of the opinion that “Big Boy Rules” apply when handling firearms and if you cannot handle a firearm safely then you have no business touching them until you can do so. We then covered the fundamentals of shooting and how each one had an effect on accuracy or recoil control. Stephen went down the firing line to check each shooter and answer any questions. After shooting 20 or so rounds using the proper fundamentals, Stephen talked to us about kinesthetic alignment. We taped up our sights and just used kinesthetic alignment to still be fairly accurate. I was impressed at how accurately one can shoot without sights by using the fundamentals and proper kinesthetic alignment. After that we went into malfunctions. We worked on clearing different malfunctions and saw what worked, what didn’t and what worked best. After we covered fundamentals and malfunctions we when into drill to put it all together. We ran drill using a shot timer, and competing against other shooters to induce some stress. We had other shooters load our firearm and set up malefactions so we did not know what to expect, but simply react with the appropriate immediate action and get back into the fight. The class was very informative and well put together. Stephen’s passion for teaching and the firearms community is clearly visible in his words, curriculum, and actions. His ability to speak intelligently on mindset, anatomy, current events affecting the firearm community was impressive. I would highly recommend any of Stephen’s class to anyone whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the correct fundamentals or an advanced shooter looking to improve upon your skills, you will leave at the end of the day having learned something and feeling that you received your money’s worth.

- Ace C. (Austin, TX - 3/13) 

Rating Stars 5.0 200px  HG1 & HG2 - Simply put, Stephen is an excellent instructor and has knowledge beyond his years. He takes the time to work with each student to make sure that he or she gets the maximum benefit out of his class. He is a genuinely nice guy who will keep the class fun and challenging – both mentally and physically. Drills, as well as topics of discussion, are well thought out and relevant to improving your shooting abilities. Safety and fundamentals are paramount in his classes. His emphasis on mindset shows that he is as interested in making better thinkers as he is in making better shooters. I highly recommend any of his classes.

- Kenny S. (Cresson, TX - 2014) 

Rating Stars 5.0 200px  Fundamental Handgun - Excellent teaching and training in a one day small class course with lots of personal teaching. Rebuilt my handgun grip which improved my accuracy and speed. Stephen provides a tremendous value in a budget friendly class. It’s not easy to find an course that is fun, safe and challenging, but every time I take one of Stephen’s classes I find all three!

- Jeff (Cresson, TX - 2/14) 




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