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Gabe Suarez
Pirates Have No Borders
Warrior Capitalist, Maker Of Evil Plans, And Part Time Bon Vivant
Interests: Black Guns, Shiny Gold, Good Wines, Expensive Watches, Fast Cars, and Dangerous Pursuits
Recent Activity
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So I received many emails about the last piece. Here is more on the discussion. An NPE pistol MUST be DA, or have a heavy trigger, because an NPE pistol will be carried without a holster. NPE, by the way, stands for NON-PERMISSIVE ENVIRONMENT. I would never carry a striker fired pistol that way for reasons mentioned. Specifically, the deeper the concealment...in pocket...in jock strap...without something protecting that short light trigger, you will in fact at some point, touch the trigger while accessing. And if the "touch" is during a time of duress, you will shoot yourself. It is not a training issue...it is a life and circumstance issue. Do it if you wish, but you will one day remember what I wrote here. Thus a Glock 42, 43, Shield and any SIG based on the 320 trigger - including the P365, is a Social Compromise Pistol and NOT an Non Permissive Environment Pistol. I will clarify the three basic carry categories below. They are based on the environment you will carry in and the legal/social/physical repercussions if discovered. Standard... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Access and Concealment work against each other. The more access 9or speed of access) you want, the less concealment you must settle for. Conversely the more concealment you want the more you compromise access. And access doesn't mean some IPSC speed draw...it simply means getting the weapon in hand, quickly under duress and possibly while moving. Concealment is relative. You don't need an undercover operative overseas' concealment for every day life in normal America. I go about my life in AZ with either a Glock 17 or 19 under anything between a simple T-shirt to a polartec hoodie. I have no issues hiding a big pistol like this. Sure it requires some clothing choices, but like I have said for the last twenty years...the gun comes first...the clothing comes second. Do that and you will see what you can carry. Sadly, most people do the opposite and buy the pistol they can hide in their skinny jeans and justin Beaver t-shirt. That said, there are times when you compromise. Sometimes the social requirements might preclude large pistol carry but concealment... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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The Stakeout (or as the common people call it, a Tac-14 or Shockwave) is a different animal than a regular shotgun. Its like the difference between an AK and an AR. They are used in a different manner and from each other. First a discussion on the traditional use of a Shotgun with a bead. The stock and mount are crucial. Sports Shotgunners take great pains to fit their stocks because the stock places the face and the eye in the same place every time...hopefully anyway. The eye is in essence the rear sight...and the bead is the front sight. This works well enough unless you are shooting an extremely tight pattern...or slug rounds. With the Stakeouts, the rear sight...ie., the stock, is missing. And what happens is that Tac-14 (yes...I am going to use the words...Stockless Shotguns) users will always tend to shoot high. The reasons are two fold. One is the desire to keep the pistol grip lower than the face. Two is the way the stockless shotgun recoils (see the videos), back and down. Third is the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Continuing with the discussions on marksmanship, an important pair of aspects are the issues of breathing and coordinating it with trigger press. One is strictly skill related, the other is skill and gear related. Breathing is a muscular action, whether voluntary or involuntary. The muscular action of breathing, or of holding the breath creates movement, which is the bane of a stable shooting platform. Not an issue in run-and-gun CQB, but a crucial consideration for accurate shooting anytime that a crucial shot is needed. In sniper school we teach the natural respiratory pause. And we find that method works admirably when shooting a pistol as well. We breathe normally...maybe taking a deep breath or two, and then allowing the air to expel naturally from the lungs without forcing it. At the point that the lungs feel "empty", you will have between 6 to 10 seconds of oxygenated blood flowing before the breathing must resume. Its during that period of time where, maintaining the visual focus on the sights or red dot, you begin pressing the trigger. That is the timing.... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Which one? Well, it depends. To simply suggest you always do it the same way regardless shows a complete lack of understanding about the fundamentals of marksmanship. So unless you can guarantee that all your gunfights will be in elevators with obese aggressors, read on. The question of sighting with with one eye or two eyes while shooting has been around for a long time. As in much of what we are doing, it is a matter of context and distance. If you are fighting a bad guy at five feet as you explode off the x, intent on shooting him to the ground, keeping both eyes open and focusing on the threat will work fine. Try the same thing at 7 yards, shooting past an innocent, and your results will not be as good. As most things, it depends on the problem at hand. Like degrees of movement (from stationary to sprinting), the use of the pistol's sights (from focus on sights to focus on threat), the rate of fire (from carefully pressing the trigger to machinegun mashing it... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Remington sends out many of their shotguns and weapons based on shotguns with two dimples in the magazine tube. This was a manufacturing shortcut for Remington, but the effect is that it prevents installation of any magazine extension on the weapon. So if your Remington has dimples, no matter whether you want to add a Suarez Plus one, or any other company's extensions, it will not work right, and you will not be able to add any more rounds than the four that fit in the dimpled magazine. Solutions? Remove the dimples. Many will try to do this at home with varying success, often damaging the magazine tube or leaving unsightly holes in the tube. The problem is that if you mess it up, it creates far more problems than sending your 870 to us for work. A far better solution is to send the 870 to us for dimple removal. Our gunsmiths have the tooling and expertise to make the dimples go away and allow you to mount any magazine extension you wish on your 870. REMOVE THE DIMPLES... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Time for a perspective check. Every so often, the temptation returns to us all. It could be the Youtube video with the cool guy doing something really fast. It could be the competitive shooter running a stage. But the bug nibbles on your earlobe. "Gooooooo fassssssterrrrr". I have my opinions on this. I have read all the old time killers. Askins was the quintessential killer. I read everything about him. I think we would have been the best of friends actually. I have read Jordan. He is reported to have done some killing but nothing of record that I can find. And Bryce...he was quite the killer. And I worked with a great many killers in the old days. What all the killers shared as of the utmost importance was not speed. What the killers shared was not blinding speed. It was the ability to make a deliberate decision to kill that man standing there in front of them, diregarding whether that man be in the process of deciding what to do, drawing a weapon, or already have begun shooting.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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I was recently taken to task by a commenter on another blog because I do not use standards testing in my training courses. I don't, never have, and do not believe in them. Perhaps there are other instructors that have been wrestling with the same issue, so here are my reasons. You can agree or disagree, but nobody can argue that Suarez International is a success in the training world (internationally I may add), and that our students, both in and out of uniform, have not merely survived street fights, but won them outright. There is a difference between training and learning. Learning is what you do in class. Nobody wants to pay me $2000 per day to take them through endless drills, making mountains of spent brass, simply to reaffirm those skills they already possess. Nor would I be inclined to take their money for such a thing. But that is what many instructors do. They run their classes like an endless mass of drills because it is easy for them, does not require them to speak or form... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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On the face of it, the title seems obvious. Sort of like saying water is wet. But it is something that must be discussed in the realm of combat shooting as there seems to be a great deal of the "complacent quest for adequacy" creeping into the study. "Its good enough for gunfighting", one man may say as he views his pizza sized group on the cardboard, not taking into consideration that what he is viewing was not the result of an hour of busting off the x in reactive drills...but rather his best in non-pressured proactive group shooting. The combat crowd might scoff at our standards of all shots touching as an indicator of accuracy (both of man and gun and ammo). But the more accurate the shooter is, and the more accurate his weapon is, the greater a margin for error he has if things are less than optimal when he has to shoot. Think of a custom pistol that is capable of all shots touching at ten yards, compared to a pistol of lesser development that is... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Companies like Glock are great. They almost get it...but not quite. Oh, sure they sell their pistols, but then again, so does Hi-Point and Kel-tec. The latest is the 19X. A Glock 17 frame with a Glock 19 slide. (Cue the Facebook orgasms of the mindless followers in three, two, one...). OK...so bear with me here. What part of the weapon is hardest to conceal - 1). The length of the slide/barrel? or 2). The frame/butt area? If you answered #2 you win the prize. That is why guys concerned about concealment will opt for a Glock 19 over a 17...or for a 26 over a 19. The slide and barrel are usually in the waistband already and well hidden. So a short slide and barrel on a large frame makes very little sense except to the engineers at Glock. Who on earth told them that was a good idea? Too bad for them, but good for the aftermarket. A Glock 19 frame with a Glock 17 slide makes far for sense to everyone except Glock. See the Guttersnipe 17... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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By Eric Tull In the firearms world, it’s supposedly common knowledge that an ankle gun is ideal for gun fights that go to the ground. Some quotes from popular instructors: “When you are down on your back, with a bad guy on top of you, your body weight is no longer pressing down on the legs, and your balance is no longer dependent on having two feet solidly on the ground. Your back is bearing your weight, and now it’s a piece of cake to snap your foot toward your hand and your hand toward your ankle, making for an extremely fast ankle holster draw.” “If you are on the ground when you go for the gun, the ankle rig can be handy.” “When you’re getting your a** kicked and you’re on the ground getting your a** handed to you, even at my age with all my busted up sh** I’ll carry an ankle gun because if they’re on top of me I’ll get the freaking gun out…” However, is it actually the case that an ankle gun is even... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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One of the areas where we can make the, now popular again, Remington 870 better is by the addition of an on-board ammo carrier. I was initially unfavorable about these as the original versions of yesteryear were heavy and clumsy. But the newer versions seem to have overcome this. Lets discuss the things that make them good and the things that do not. But first let's establish some truths about how shotguns are really used in gunfights (which is what our focus is here). Shotguns are not sustained firepower weapons. They are used in quick fast engagements, three or four rounds are fired, and that is usually that. If you hit, the devastation of the 12 ga round tends to conclude things even if the wound does not result in death. To be used well, a shotgun must be light, sleek, and fast into action. It is as much pointed as it is aimed with sighting systems. Anything that decreases the utility of the weapon in the realm it is intended for, without providing tangible value in return, is to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2017 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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It was July, 1992, right after the Rodney King Race Riots in Los Angeles. My partner Al Acosta and I were assigned to a perimeter surveillance point in Los Angeles on what I recall was a bank robbery takedown. We were both Gang Officers and sported the shaved head, steroided-out looking Gold's Gym physiques and Fu Manchu facial hair. The surveillance was likely going to turn into a gunfight so while attempting to fit into our environs, we were armed to the teeth. Hour after hour we waited with our team, posted in various locations, for the target to arrive. It was hot and staying hydrated meant drinking water. As as many of us know...what is taken in, must go out as well. We were parked in an alley and needing to check my hydration levels, I got out of the Mustang and walked over to a dumpster to check for color of stream. Apparently my cover shirt had ridden over my belt pistol (strong side carry back in the old days) and someone happened to be looking out the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2017 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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A few years ago, Dr. Allen Fox made some useful observations about tennis and emotional control. His advice has a lot of carryover to martial endeavors: "In a match, it's very necessary to maintain emotional control. By 'emotional control' I mean two things: "One is, you don't have anger or discouragement or these emotions that hurt you. And number two, you create emotions that are helpful to you, like aggression, and excitement, and optimism. Now with most people, their emotions tend to follow what's happening on the court. If they're playing badly, their emotions go down, and their game tends to follow. "The great players don't let their emotions be determined by what's happening on the court – they use it, but they're trying to create the emotions themselves. Maintaining emotional control is one of the keys to winning tennis matches." My Perspective: What Dr. Fox says about tennis is just as applicable to winning the gunfight. Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2017 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Recently we have had a very spirited discussion here regarding the Mesa PD Dust Cover issue. Much of it I must say I drove with my article called, "YOU'RE FUCKED". But I should have known that so few people ever read anything anymore. So here are some points that we will make...numbered. THE MESA PD EVENT 1). Reading is what winners do...scanning is for fuck ups. So read before you speak...just like you listen before you reply. I would think here of all places we would be above the short attention span of the modern snowflake. Please...read. 2). I killed a boatload of bad guys and tried earnestly to kill a bunch more. In fact, in one performance eval, one Sergeant said I was a "scary guy that just wanted to shoot people". I still have that...I should frame it I suppose. All of mine were armed bad guys...all justified. I say that to put the perspective forth that if shooting was justified...by my mind not necessarily by law or policy...I would have been the first one shooting. But just... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2017 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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The DM models are not an advancement at all, and actually make the shotgun more difficult to use in the realm where shotguns are really used. I have no interest in the DM models for the 870 and believe they solve no problems at all, but they certainly create more drama for the user. Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2017 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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This has made the rounds now. I have watched it many times over the last few days, and while others have been pontificating of all the things that went wrong, I did my business. It is a busy time, I am looking at contracting with some new manufacturers, I am getting back into training after an arm surgery, and well...it is Christmas. But I must comment on the video because there are lessons to be learned here. Some are hard lessons that I am certain I will be vilified by the snowflaky gun-pussies for bringing up. Funny...those with the least real life experience bark the loudest...but I digress. I need to say these things because they are important. 1). Those who are terrified of being "on the street" (military context - "downrange") will always over react. Overreaction is the equivalent of the fear biting dog that is afraid and has no recourse but to bite. Guys (and gals collectively) that are "fear biters" are afraid of under reacting due to inculcated fear and will over react as compensation. Kinda like... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2017 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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One very important visual skill the red dot pistol shooter needs is to learn the "Visual Hand Off". This is a term we use to describe what happens with the eyes as a shooter new to the red dot system is learning to use it. On a rifle, the head and eye is automatically positioned to pick up that red dot as the rifle is brought into the shoulder. A pistol however, floats in space, held there by the two hands. There is no third and fourth point of contact to place the eye correctly. Regardless of the uniformity of your draw, if your eye is not in the visual cone of the red dot, you will not pick it up...nor the sights for that matter. The way to solve this is with the use of the back up iron sights, and we insist that they need to be placed in the traditional positions on the slide. It is best to look for the iron sights FIRST. Especially with contorted field shooting positions or from positions required for using cover... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2017 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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This material is taught to security operatives and to law enforcement in the spirit of detecting "illegal" gun carry. I offer it here in the spirit of the fact that you should know who around you is also armed because their motivations may not be in favor of your interests. As well in the spirit of knowing what others may be looking for as well. If you know target indicators, you can avoid producing them. I am not even going to get into show-giving-away moves like wearing "gun clothing". Common Behaviors Security Check: Often those who are uncomfortable carrying weapons will touch and/or adjust the weapons on their bodies as the go through the day. This may be as subtle as a soft bump with the elbow, wrist or hand. Or it could be a distinct grasping of the weapon as they adjust it. The more comfortable the gun carrier is in their position of legitimacy, the less they might care about giving away the fact they are armed. Some carrying in a less legitimate manner might wish to security... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2017 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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In a recent intelligence paper, I read that it is common for terrorists to stake out and study a target before committing to action. And if such surveillance is not detected, their plans continue unabated. So in the hope of keeping you more alert, and safer, lets look at this topic to detect and then evade the surveillance team. There are two parts to this discussion. One is identifying a tail, the second is eluding them. A big part of this is daily preparation to make yourself difficult to track and to facilitate eluding any tracker. Now look, if you are Joe Stockbroker, or Phil Physicalthreapist, taking the same precautions as an active Intelligence Agent in a foreign and unfriendly nation is excessive. So keep it all in proper perspective for your current position in life. First consider equipping yourself in a way that you do not excessively stand out in a crowd. There is a great scene in the movie "The Thomas Crown Affair" where every "suspect" is dressed the same way, facilitating Pierce Brosnan's character to elude the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2017 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG