GABE SUAREZ ARTICLES Feed

This time it was a crazy guy not a jihadist. In California where even the thought of a firearm gets you placed on a list. Where CCWs are as rare as white buffalo. And where all anti-gun laws tend to be born. One of the three most gun restrictive places in the country. California, not Texas, not Arizona and not Florida. The crazy guy didn't use an evil black rifle with a stack of magazines for the CA legislators to march around with in their latest rantings. He used a Glock 21 with California-legal 10 round magazines. And the most astounding thing is that At least six unarmed off-duty police officers, moonlighting as security guards Wednesday night, were at the bar. Reports are that one of them stood in front of the gunman to protect a victim. Lessons learned - 1). California gun laws didn't do a thing. Nor will more laws do a thing. As predicted we have the usual suspects calling for the usual things. No matter how hard they stomp their feet they can't make firearms disappear... Read more →


It was day one of a Sniper Course and I was teaching the Prone Position, first on the right and subsequently on the left. After explaining the details and cue points, I dropped down behind my custom Recce Rifle and placed my cheek on the stock, looking through my Leupold TMR scope. "They never quit", I thought. Our staff, like any group of tightly knit military and police veterans tend to rib each other constantly. It is all in fun and when it needs to get serious, none are better. But the finger print smudges on my scope...they could only be the work of "The Hyena". I'd get him back later when he wasn't looking. Then I switched to my left side and I realized the problem was not the scope, but my eye. I'd never noticed it before but I was beginning to grow a cataract. That was 2015 and it was very slight. It didn't affect my shooting or my back country work, so I left it alone. But this last year it had become more noticeable. I... Read more →


Ever since Glock made its debut into the LE world back in the late 1980s, there has been a quest to "perfect" its trigger. In truth, compared to many of the triggers on police pistols at the time, the Glock trigger was a huge advancement. But boy's being boys, the tinkering began. The quest seemed to take the path of making the triggers as light, and with as minimal take-up, as possible. Then with a good amount of judicious polishing, the officer ended up with a completely unsafe pistol, albeit with a wondrous trigger. And of course, since every Glock owner fancies himself a qualified gunsmith the moment they sign that 4473, the quest caught like chicken pox at a public school. TRIGGER MECHANICS - THE FEEL Now look...you can have a great trigger that is quite safe on a Glock, but you must accept that it will never have a trigger like a tuned 1911 or a single action revolver. But lets define the components parts of the trigger so you understand what is possible with a great Glock... Read more →


When we turn to the use of the shotgun in a combative, gunfighting application, we have to deal with the same issues. And I understand those issues well as I always felt better with more ammunition. But the issue we see with the shotgun which we do not see with other weapon platforms is the desire to keep that ammunition on the weapon itself. I don't dislike the idea of having some ammunition on the shotgun, but not if it compromises its handiness and utility. A shotgun is not a high volume of fire weapon. It is not intended to take part in an infantry maneuver under fire, nor to compete with a drum-fed SAW. The shotgun finds its utility in the same distance intervals the pistol does. It is a close and fast deployment weapon, and each press of the trigger has potentially the same effect as half a magazine of pistol ammo fired en mass. Think about this for a moment. Eight rounds of pistol ammo has about the same effect on a human torso as one round... Read more →


When I first saw this, I must admit I rolled my eyes and shook my head. I admit to having had a love affair with the Saiga 12 some years ago. The detachable box magazine was very attractive, and well, sexy. Images of speedy reloads by a stripped shirted Spetsnaz operator with a Ziganov cigarette perched on his lower lip flashed in the mind. But as we worked through various shotgun drills, real world drills based on the experiences we and our students had in real gunfights killing real bad guys that were trying to return the favor, we realized that the detachable box mag on a shotgun was not all that great. First we ask what the shotgun is intended for. The use of the shotgun does not require shooting it empty and then racing to load it. It is not a sustained fire weapon, like the rifle. Itis fired once or twice, and the reloaded as needed. To see the real use of a shotgun in combat, we need to look to US Law Enforcement, not US Gun... Read more →


In my last article on Adding A Laser To Your Pistol, I wrote the following - "What about a light? My position, based on over a half dozen urban gunfights in darkened environments is that it depends on application. For police duty use, or SWAT applications, yes...without a doubt. Those are proactive events typified by - "I am going to the fight on purpose" applications. But for UC/OD/CCW work (under-cover, off-duty, concealed-carry), I prefer to not have a weapon mounted light. A separate hand held light will be far more useful in the second application than a weapon mounted light. I am certain the Lumen-Mongers will attack me shortly but that is my position on the matter.' The points of discussion are these - First - Who has the initiative in the fight. This is an aspect that the gun world at large seems not to grasp, but it is a determining factor in tactics used as well as weapons selected. Are you specifically going to that fight, on purpose, with several team mates to execute a pre-planned event? If... Read more →


There are a couple of points we must make at the beginning of this discussion. First: Our goal, whether in training or in building equipment, is to optimize the fighter and his equipment. To make both as adaptable to changing situations in context of the real fight as possible. We base our positions and perspectives on the lifetimes spent by our staff studying and applying force in the real world against enemies bent of hurting innocents. There is nothing theoretical or sport-based about it. Second: Nothing is perfect, and nothing is free. All weapons and sighting systems are designed and fabricated by men and anything man-made can, under certain circumstances, fail or malfunction. Certainly, more robust systems could be made, but everything is driven by the desire for profits. Something absolutely damage and failure proof could be made, but the cost would undoubtedly limit the market. Third: One is none, two is one. And by extension, three is better than two. Redundancy may be undesirable in conversations and essay’s, but not in weaponry or safety systems. The topic of this... Read more →


At the Force on Force class we had one resistive student. I rarely get these guys much any more because you have to commit to come up here, beyond the wall, to train with me...its not as easy as having a convenient class down the street on what happens to be your day off. But once in a while... Anyway...his main complaint was that he did not believe a kata was a good thing and sent a tome of an email explaining why. I have found through the years that the more words you need to use to argue a case, the more emotional that case is and the less intellectual it is. The western student...specially gun people have a disdain for rote training. You will hear terms like "adapt to the situation", "build bad habits", "you can't predict the attack", "adversaries are unpredictable". At that point I simply shrug, and wave "bye" as I no longer need to bend over backwards to convince anyone of the validity of our work. If you agree, come and train...if you don't, don't... Read more →


Katsujin-ken / Satsujin-ken In the last few years I have been revisiting my origins, but from a perspective of experience. So much of what I do...and did, is based on those early brutal lessons a lifetime ago, I remember the heady days of my first black belt. Not the strip mall after school stuff most people think of today. Shodan, or level one test took two days and even at 16 years old my legs were bruised so bad I couldn't walk without a limp for a week, and the following day my arms were so beaten I could not hold a cup of coffee. But when my name was called followed by Shodan - black belt - the blood on my uniform and knuckles bore testament that this was earned, not bestowed. The tradition was that afterwards, the Sensei and Sempai (Instructor and seniors in the dojo) would take the new black belts to Little Tokyo in LA and we would watch a Toshiro Mifune film, or two, then retire to a fine meal in typical Samurai style to... Read more →


The students at the recent Force On Force class will recall a vociferous student making an issue about the importance of controlling distance, and our response that distance was not something you could control in our study. Anecdote Number 1: The call was of suspicious circumstances…screaming and glass breaking at a house. On arrival, everything was dark and no answer when we knocked on the door. I moved toward the back of the house and moved quietly as possible as I scanned and tasted the air. There was something here…I didn’t know what, but I could sense it. As I moved toward the garage, my back up continued to knock on the front door. I could hear them announcing “Police Department…open the door”. I soft checked the garage door, and it opened. Suspect at three feet. As much as it would have been great to be thirty feet away, there was no way I could increase my distance…but I could change my angle. Problem solved…one single shot to the face. Anecdote Number 2: Someone was using the laundry at an... Read more →