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March 2011

by Chris Upchurch, Suarez International Staff Instructor This weekend I attended a Shotgun Gunfighting class taught by my fellow SI instructor Alex Nieuwland. I’ve taught classes with Alex many times, but this was my first opportunity to be his student, rather than a co-instructor. Being able to take each other's classes gratis is one of the benefits of sharing instructional duties for South Carolina. I've had a little bit of formal shotgun instruction, but not much. I’m really more of a rifle guy than a shotgun guy. If I need to grab a long gun to fight for my life, it’s going to be my AK, not my 870. This was a good opportunity to brush up on a weapons system that I don’t really get much practice with. I ran the class with my Remington 870 Express HD. This is an 870 Express with an extended magazine tube and synthetic stock. Not really high speed low drag, but a fairly standard home defense shotgun. I’ve customized it a little bit by adding a pair of sling mounts between the... Read more →


Is it important to focus on it? If you don’t get the gun out, you might die. Is that important to you? CR Williams I wonder sometimes if we, instructors or students, give enough attention to the drawstroke. Oh, sure, we practice it endlessly—I hope you do, anyway—but practice is not study, and study is what makes the technique sound when we practice it. And we need a very sound drawstroke, I think, just as soon as we can get it. There are two seemingly-obvious questions I need to ask so that you can better understand how important it is to get this down: Why, outside of practice and training, would you need to draw the gun to begin with? Obvious question, obvious answer: You draw the gun because there’s a threat to your life or someone else’s life right there, right now. It’s a lethal-force threat, however you and/or the law defines that, and the only way you can stop it is to introduce your own capability to project lethal force if you have to. So, you draw the... Read more →


Rick Klopp Staff Instructor – Suarez International, Inc. Facing a living, breathing opponent has many characteristics similar to today’s uncertain economy. Both require finding a crucial balance between the short-term steps needed to handle the immediate threat and the strategy required to influence the long-term outcome. Inasmuch as we can’t control all aspects when it comes to turning around the economy, the same is true of an adversary bent on doing us harm. We do, however, have the ability to influence the outcome and a portion of that comes through defeating the enemy of uncertainty. Uncertainty is a leading factor in economic viability which tends to diminish consumer confidence. When the media tells you that the economy is in ruins and your intellect travels no farther than the television in the comfort of your living room, it’s safe to say that a level of uncertainty will rise with respect to your consumerism. If in opposition to this way of thinking, you remain open-minded, objective and balanced, you have a more positive and optimistic outlook for the future. Finding yourself in... Read more →


-Suarez International Staff Instructor Jon Payne The best gunfight is the one you can avoid. If you can’t avoid it, you’re most likely to be reacting to someone else starting the fight. Especially if you have to use a pistol to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones, your actions are likely to be both reactive and done at very close range. The words I hear most often when describing lethal encounters is how fast they start and with little warning. Today’s handguns are not meant to be used at Camp Perry matches; they’re designed to get the bad guy off you now! You can practice using two hands and the modern isosceles, but when bullets have to be put on the bad guy chances are you won’t have the luxury of getting into a perfect stance, seeing a sharp sight picture, and experiencing the “surprise break”. Some fundamentals will be sacrificed when shooting at mouth wash distances. Your stance will be less than optimal since you should be on the move or because you’re actually in... Read more →