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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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Suarez Plus 5 Magazine Extension - Part 2 from Suarez International on Vimeo. Continue reading
Posted yesterday at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Suarez Street Comp Part 2 from Suarez International on Vimeo. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Braced Tac-13 from Suarez International on Vimeo. Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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It is not about speed, it is about timing. This is something the speed focused gun sports maniacs will never understand as their only adversaries are the timer and the cardboard. My adversaries...the ones I am training to face are flesh and blood and they hate me and want to kill me. So I am not driven by speed, but rather by timing. What helped me defeat the active shooter, the robbers, the armed home invaders, the gang members, and all the bad guys I faced? I wasn't faster than they were...but my timing in the continuum of the fight was impeccable due to my training and application of concept. Yet another facet of the fight that is impossible to even see in the clinical and isolated world of gun sport. I learned timing from Karate, not from Gunsite. Here is what Karate Timing is like - Go no sen: Go no sen means to "receive" the attack, block it physically and then attack the opponent after their attack has finished. For example, an enemy throws a punch at my... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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For a very long time I have seen the Lumens race and the complexity race take the personal light to almost ridiculous levels. Rather than "brighter is better" perspective some industry people have, I take the position that the light should be bright enough, not not excessively so. As well, being compact and easy to carry is just as important - maybe more so because the light that is uncomfortable to keep with you, or that stands out ridiculously in your pocket, will likely be left at home. My perspective is not at all theoretical. I base my opinions on fifteen years of police work mostly during hours of darkness and several gunfights in reduced light. Oh, and I am not getting free flashlights from Surefire to promote their products. My purchasing staff bought the first Stiletto from one of our distributors for examination and when I first saw it, it looked more like a folding knife than a light - hence the name. I have been working with this light for about a month now and I believe it... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2019 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Every single fighting system (as you know, I despise the term martial art so I use fighting system instead) loses a great deal of its combat value when it becomes a sport. When something becomes a sport its adherents focus on winning the contest within the context of the rules, and that is far different than combat application. Usually right about now someone will point out how this UFC fighter won a fight against someone on the street, etc. But there have been just as many that have been shot or stabbed because their frame of reference did not include stabbing or shooting. Sport focused systems, whether hand to hand focused or gun related, are not good choices for combat focused goals. The next point is that a system will tend to stay to its roots and its culture. Until Karate and Jujitsu began its transformation to sport and made it to the west, they were combat focused systems and its leaders were extremely hard men who had done their share of beating and killing other men. You did not... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2019 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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So reality discussion then - The role of the rifle It is a given that a fight is either reactive or proactive. In reactive, you find yourself there and must fight to win...and live. You have no time to evade, escape, or anything else, move. draw, shoot, etc. It is happening right now! I doubt that you will have anything to fight with other than your pistols...hopefully you have one. In proactive, you aren't in the fight but you choose to go and get into that fight for tactical, moral, or familial reasons. We discuss this in the Interview classes extensively. (Incidentally - Any man that allows a thug to go into a school or public place and kill children when he has the present ability to stop him is repugnant to me). In a proactive event there is a time factor. The bad guy is killing now. While running in with a hearty "Banzai" is not the answer, you really do not have time to "go get" something bigger to fight with. Again, time is of the essence. Moreover,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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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... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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One of the members at Warriortalk asked about this so I thought a pictorial describing it would be a good thing. Now, having shown all of this, I will add that I do not understand the lust for lumens. This is where personal real-life experience is so important...otherwise the focus is driven by dudes that may have creds, but are being directly paid by flashlight makers to promote the Lust For Lumens. (And please don't tell me such doesn't happen) I was directly involved as a primary shooter - often the sole shooter - in seven gunfights between 1800 HRS and 0300 HRS. These were not theoretical shoot house events, or "surround and capture" events with fifty guys against one...they were killings, in reduced light, of killers that would have shot and killed me if I was careless with a light...regardless of lumens. So I have opinions on the matter developed in the real world. There is no need at all to speed draw a flashlight. If you cannot see because it is dark, you have the time to bring... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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We made our own pins after our good friend and CT operator showed us a Glock factory pin with a broken tip. I still have that pin as an example of what a MIM pin will eventually do. But the tip is not the only thing that will wear. The base, or leg of the pin is a crucial matter as well. When that part wears, contact with the trigger bar will be diminished to the point the pistol becomes unsafe. The first time I saw this happen was on a student's Glock 19 in Texas. Using all factory parts, the old twenty-five cent trigger job gave him a Glock that emptied the magazine in one trigger press. A perusal of the internals revealed minimal contact between bar and striker. Glock does not give a timetable of parts replacement, but they should. Just like the oil should be changed every 4000 miles and the tires changed periodically on your car, there should be some periodic checks and parts replacement on your striker fired pistol. Nothing lasts forever no matter what... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Firearms training seems to have become the “Nail Salon Business” for men. Everyday there are more new schools and classes. Much like the “Karate Kid” craze in the 1980s when you saw everybody that could afford a set of black pajamas and a set of stripes on their belt suddenly opening a school to cash in. I plan to get into some detail on what to look for in a fighting instructor. Notice I said “fighting” instructor and not “shooting” instructor? The reason I made the distinction is that shooting and fighting are not quite the same. Shooting is a part of fighting, but rarely is fighting a part of the shooting instruction you see today. My focus and that of my readers is gun-fighting and self-defense, not competitive shooting – and the two are quite different. Different enough in my opinion that they can be considered separate disciplines. The discussion of attributes is for fight teachers. What makes a great instructor – and subsequently what you should look for when searching for one. 1). Personal fight knowledge and life... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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We tend to face the same things year after year. We do videos, we teach classes, and write articles like this. If just one mind is opened up and one more bad guy is unsuccessful in his depredations, we consider it worthwhile. 1). Over Reliance On The Shooting Range - That combat preparation centers on running drills on the shooting range, or shooting matches, or high round counts. It doesn't. Winning a gunfight requires shooting skills, but far more important are tactics, proper movement either proactive positioning or reactive evasion in relation to the enemy. Little of this can be trained on a shooting range with its artificial safety rules. The safety requirements of an artificial training environment do not apply to a gunfight. When a "range shooter" tries to use range methods that have been modified and made safe to fit the limits of a range he risks himself unnecessarily in a fight. Whether he wins or dies then is a matter of luck not of design. Fortuitous outcomes reinforce bad tactics. 2). Focus On Fun Over Function -... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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TO FIGHT TO YOUR RIFLE? We have all heard it.... "You carry a pistol to fight to your rifle" Valid statement or silly range-based nonsense? How arrive at your answer? Look at your day-to-day travels. Where is your rifle? For most it is at home in a safe...or at best, secured in the vehicle. How close is the rifle from you at any given time? The answer may vary depending on these points - 1). The presence and proximity of the rifle 2). Your location in relation to #1 For the vast majority of non-uniformed personnel, off duty or CCW personnel, it is a silly statement that should be forgotten. Not only will the fight be over (perhaps with you dead) by the time you go and get a rifle, but the mind set places you in defensive retreating mode from the outset. Not only this, but if you are a CCW, non-uniformed shooter, the visual impact of a rifle may well get you misidentified by responding police officers. A better solution that makes sense for our times? Carry a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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It was Halloween Night...1972 or 73. I chose to go to Karate than to go trick or treating. I was twelve...I think. I had been dabbling in Karate as an after-school activity. This was at the Burbank YMCA mid-week, and Saturdays. It was fast becoming a passion...or an obsession if you listened to my grandmother. I liked it. The instructors were good...but they were what we would consider hobbyists. They had their regular lives and did this to stay in shape and to lose weight. Truth be told, none of those instructors would be considered physically impressive by our standards today. But they had knowledge we wanted, and it was only $30 per month...so we listened and overlooked the warts. Then one night we had a visitor to the class. As soon as the stranger walked in, the black belts recognized him and all came to attention. They called the class to attention. The call was "SENSEI". We all faced the door in a very military manner and bowed. The man was "Sensei Bob". He walked over and waved us... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
NEVER AGAIN What a great phrase. The Jews use it and rightly so, but I think it applies to these two as well. Nobody would ever say a thing about a Jewish man taking a defiant position and saying, "Never Again". I think we all need to take a page from their book and stop being pussies. I wonder how many deaths communism is responsible for. I can personally think of several. Never Again was coined by the Jews in response to the Nazi atrocities. Never Again is a great phrase in light of the attitudes toward socialism and communism we see today. I don't see too many Nazis around today...but communists? And on this Veteran's Day specially - remembering all the brave, American and otherwise, that have given their lives to stop communism's cancerous crawl. Never Again is a promise. Those who embrace communism today should take heed. Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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1). People are becoming weaker and more stupid...some become teachers, some become police. They do not stop being weak and stupid with their new positions. 2). Bad guys are still bad guys...some may be like the guys in item 1, and they get caught all the time...but not all guys are like what is described in item 1. 3). Your safety depends, and has always depended on you, your skill, your preparedness and your cleverness. Nobody is coming to save you. The best they will do is to take a flattering pic of your dead body for the report. 4). Rules are about controlling everyone in item 1 and 2, but as we see, they fail and will always fail. Your safety depends on you. If a rule interferes with item 3, ignore it. 5). Get good at understanding item 3 and carrying out item 4. Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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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... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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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... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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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... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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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... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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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... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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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... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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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... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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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... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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Posted Oct 18, 2018 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG