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.... Read more →

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... Read more →

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... Read more →

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... Read more →

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... Read more →

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... Read more →

It is a timing issue of course. Continuing on the discussion of how to not get shot by police. I was pointed in by neighboring agencies at least a dozen times when I was working narcotics and gangs. So lets look at this. And I will say too...you need to think quickly, be quick to adapt, and don't let your ego get you killed. 1). Police arrive first and contain matters before you are ever involved. Your role as an officer - whatever your agency says to do. Your role as a Pvt. Citizen - nothing...go home and do some pullups. 2). Police arrive as you are engaging, or police arrive immediately after you engage. Statistically this is unlikely as there has always been...at least in the events I have studied, a marked lag in response as the information is relayed through channels. Add to that the lack of undirected initiative on the part of most LE Personnel today and you will get nothing until dispatch gets the info out to the field units. At Virginia Tech, there were units... Read more →

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... Read more →

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. Read more →

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... Read more →