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People either love or hate this guy, ex LEO, but he does bring up some good points IMO. Think outside of the box. That throws the BG off and gives you a better chance.

This is a newsletter that I get from him, I believe the info to join up is at the bottom or is avaliable at his forum.

I am not really familiar with the forum, but I do read the newsletters.

Chokes, Comps, and the Elusive Tight Pattern

I think we often fall into the ALL OR NOTHING mentality with this issue of setting up a proper shotgun. For example, some would say, "Your shotgun either puts all pellets into a coffee cup at 25 yards, or it is an alley broom.". That is a mistake in my opinion. Just like sights or no sights, moving or stationary issues, there are degrees.

A shotgun...for me is a weapon. I don't play gun games, or hunt birds or any of that stuff. Neither am I delivering less lethal or breeching door with frangible rounds. Nothing wrong with them, but its just not my current mission.

Much of the shotgun lore today comes from the efforts of Jeff Cooper and his school. Cooper was first and foremost a rifleman. And he looked at every small arm from that perspective. That is not meant as a dig of any kind, but rather a simple statement of fact relayed to me by several of the instructors at the time, and verified in discussions with Cooper himself. For example, take a look at the doctrine for pistol use. The entire Modern Technique is basically an effort to run the pistol like a rifle. In the days I trained with him there was very little shooting done inside of 7 yards.

When they began looking at the shotgun, they took the same perspective.

Shots at Cooper's shotgun class (which I attended with my duty SGN of the day) were focused on extending the impact of the shotgun as far as possible, and keeping the "groups" tight and "scores" high. Interesting to note that we shot clay birds in the rifle class, but not in the shotgun class.

Just as guns get modified to fit a shooting match's requirements, so did guns get modified to do well in a certain training class. On came the ghost rings for those 200 yard slug shots, the side saddles and buttcuffs for those required shoot-one-load-one drills, and the chokes to keep the scores up there and produce "Experts".

Eventually, just as most others things gun writers write about, it becomes almost a religion to the "faithful".

A choked up, souped up, Modern Technique (MT) shotgun will do very well as MT gun school problems. But at the price of the original close range capability of the weapon.

I worked in a very densely populated area in SoCal, and got into a bunch of gunfights. Many of those were with a shotgun. Let me show you some trends I saw.

Shotgun Gunfight #1 - Bad guy shooting people on a beach at 0300 HRS. Shot fired by me at 15 yards in low light (moonlight). Bad guy hit with 10 of 12 pellets.
Shotgun Gunfight #2 - Bad guy robbing a Store. Bad guy running and shooting at us - shot at 3 yards. Spread of impact spread over his upper chest bypassed his ballistic vest. DRT. Low light - parking lot lights

Shotgun Gunfight #3 - Running gunfight in parking lot. Bad guy running away shooting a Glock 21 at us. Two shots fired...one hit him with partial pattern, second shot dropped him. Distance was 10 yards. Saved at hospital.

Note - The spread of the pattern is what allowed the hits on the bad guys due to the low light situation (and no...turning on your light would not have changed anything in any of these except the first shooting, and then the reality is we would have taken incoming fire), the rapidly moving fight (much more dynamic than the mover/poppers at the IDPA match), and the incoming shots, preculded anything but a mount the shotgun and nearly point shoot shoot method.

The shotguns used here were all off-the-rack Remington 870s with standard 4 shot magazines, wood stocks and cylinder bores. Ammo was Winchester 12 pellet magnum (no reduced recoil metrosexual loads in those days).

So that is my frame of reference about what a shotgun needs. I think its a mistake to try to turn it into something it is not.

We are often asked about which shotgun one should buy. Without reservations I will tell you this. The Saiga 12, de-sporterized, is the epitome of the fighting shotgun today. Does everyone need the epitome of the fighting shotgun? No...they can make do with what they have for limited duties. Even an Old West Double barrel will work to kill a home invader in your bedroom.

But if you goal is the best, the suitably set up Saiga is the best. An 870 or 1187 (or even a Mossberg 500) can be made to do wondrous things as long as you keep the MT stuff off the gun, but it is not in the same ballpark at the point when certain actions are required.

A semi auto however, is miles ahead of a pump action, and a magazine fed weapon is miles ahead of a one-at-a-time loading process. Again...if your goal is other than ultimate combat efficiency, you can make do with anything.

In my book -

Ultimate Shotgun - Combatized Saiga 12
Second place - Suitably set up semi-auto (1187 for example)
Third Place - Suitably set up pump action (Rem 870 for example)
Fourth Place - Stock Saiga 12
Fifth Place - Double barrel shotgun

We were also asked about the Poly Choke system.
I had a Poly on a SGN back in the 1990s. The only problem is that you will rarely have enough intel to know what sort of pattern you need, and if something changes suddenly, by the time you have changed your choke, the problem will have changed again.

Changing to slugs is also very time consuming and in our research we are only aware of one in-fight transition to a slug load ever having been successfully done as relayed by Farnam!!

My only experience doing this was in one deal where it began as a very close range fight. I shot the first guy, and was going to shoot a second when I realized he was running away (armed and shooting back) reaching beyond what I could reasonably do with the shotgun. I changed to slug immediately.

Now...I had practiced this alot and could do it faster than anyone I had ever trained with. This was the accepted method for fixing that tactical issue. However, before I was finished, the bad guy was gone and no longer a target.

I would also have not had time to dial up the required choke. And for those who would say this is an arguement for the Comp type barrel treatment, I will reply that the first shot on the original bad guy was an airbag shot, totally reactive and barely placed in time. A slug loaded shotgun, or an over-choked shotgun would not have yielded the results I got with a cylinder bore pattern.

Quite a dilema isn't it? Until we develop a system to instantly operate the polychoke via telepathy, I think the only option is to -

1). Realize the shotgun is not as versatile as a rifle
2). Realize the shotgun is best used in its proper niche
3). Optimize it for that niche and avoid mis-selecting it for emotional reasons for rifle problems

That said, the art of the shotgun has fallen back due to the MT influence and excessive focus on games and school drills. Let's see if we can change this.
Gabe Suarez
Suarez International USA, Inc.
One Source Tactical
[email protected]
Office 928-776-4492

Spaniard by Heritage
Cuban by Birth
Christian by Grace
American by Choice

In Close Range Gunfighting, Gabe Suarez, the most controversial trainer on the planet, showed you that traditional range training can get you killed. He showed the basics of how to break out of the range mentality. In doing so he challenged the status quo like no one before and changed the way gunfighting is taught in America.

In Advanced Close Range Gunfighting, he shows you the rest of the material. Very fast-paced and full of full-speed concealed carry shooting action, this DVD will have you doing things most people think are impossible. Gabe shows the benefits of Appendix Carry, Ambidextrous Gunfighting, Weapon Transfers and why it is important you know how to do them, Enhanced Get Off The X Footwork, and an important discussion on the Elements of the Combative Technique of the Pistol. This DVD will move the art of gunfighting another giant leap forward.

For information purposes only.


Training Point - The Wrist In (Point) Shooting
In force on force we see that the traditional stand, watch the front sight, and carefully press the triger is not what you will do in a close range reactive gunfight. And we have had hundreds of people trained in that method in class! Yet none will use what they have been taught and drilled on at the range.

What we see are various variations of "other than front sight" shooting. As well, we see few Weavers and Modern Isoceles positions and most students shoot from whatever body position, or lack thereof, while in dynamic movement.

One constant we see in the guys who do well is that there is no wrist in shooting. The wrist must be locked and solid with the forearm. You point with the forearm and not with the finger.

I tell that to all my classes. Look at a man who is doing well in point shooting and you will see a man whose wrist and forearm is strong and locked into an unmoving unit.

Conversely, those who do not do well tend to have under-developed wrist strength and a loose floppy grip.

One big problem with the spread of the exclusive use of both hands in range-based, marksmanship focused shooting is that there is no need to develop the strength of the wrist/forearm junction. The use of both nads makes up for it in a "crutch-like" manner. If you train the use only one hand as is often needed, the wrist will develop strngth and the ability to "lock down", thus enabling a greater degree of accuracy.

Try tensing your wrist when drilling on the range and see if your point shooting improves.
The AK-47/74 series of rifle is one of the most prolific and useful weapons on earth. More than 100 million have been made in various parts of the world and the odds of encountering on of these weapons on the battlefield or in a civil disturbance is high.

Best-selling author, and maverick combat shooting instructor Gabriel Suarez has embraced the Kalashnikov rifle system for its utility, accuracy and ruggedness. In this original Paladin Press production Suarez teaches you the "caveman simple" skills you need to operate the AK rifle platform and win in a combat environment.

Gabe addresses the common myths about the AK and he explains why the AK is one of the best weapon choices for urban and close quarters combat. He will teach you about the AK fire control system, proper use of the sling, zeroing the AK and ready/carry positions. Then you will learn about ambidextrous use of the rifle, snap shooting, CQB shooting and the use of the rifle in movement.

For information purposes only. Color, approx. 120 min. total.

View A Clip


In this NEW DVD we have deliberately limited ourselves to drills which are intended to isolate the performance of particular physical skills involving Empty Hand versus Knife and the access of the pistol in that engagement.

We want people who go through training with us to have an experience of exactly how much distance they need to ensure for their particular skills and fitness levels that they can ensure a gun solution to a knife problem--and to recognize when combatives are the first step of the solution.

We want them to have a sense of how to maximize their odds with a combatives structure that will enable them to "die less often" when the excrement hits the fan. Here focus is on that structure generating the ability to access the gun (or other weapon) in the knife attack scenario. This is as real as it gets without a body count!!






November 13-14, 2008
Advanced Kalashnikov Rifle Gunfighting
Pahrump, NV

Advanced Kalashnikov Rifle Gunfighting is the class the students asked for after our courses in June and October. This class will consist of all new material and take your AK rifle fighting skills, both as a firearm and as an alternative force tool, far beyond what you would think possible.

Not for Beginners. Students should own the basic AK skill-set and be in reasonable physical condition for this class. This class will leave you gasping for air with a smoking AK barrel.

This class is taught by Gabe Suarez.


November 15-16, 2008
Kalashnikov Rifle Team Tactics
Pahrump, Nevada

This class deals with learning how to apply the single operator skills learned in the basic and Advanced Kalashnikov Rifle Program and operate in two and three shooter teams. We will examine Small Team Tactics as applied to the hasty team, Moving as a Team, Basic Immediate Action Drills, and other things not commonly seen in civilian rifle programs via small lectures, dry and live fire work, and extended fire drills. All of this will focus on the Kalashnikov Rifle Operator.

While this class will not be as physically demanding as our Warfighter Training Courses, it will involve carrying your gear and weapon all day long, as well as dropping into position and getting back on your feet quickly. While I don't need to discuss having a reliable rifle (since we will focus on Kalashnikovs) do understand how to use it bilaterally (both right and left sides). Be sure you can execute a reload on the move and retain the magazine with you.

This class will be taught by Gabe Suarez.

Bring - Range safety gear such as ear and eye protection, Rifle and several magazines (including a way to carry them), Rifle sling and any other tactical gear you normally use. Bring hydration equipment, food snacks, note taking material and a small first aid kit. The weather is unpredictable so come prepared as we will train regardless of weather. Bring about 750 rounds for your rifle.


Gabe Suarez
Suarez International USA
[email protected]

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Peace favor your sword,
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