Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Gabe Suarez gives sage gunfight advice:

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by SkyGuy, Jul 30, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. SkyGuy

    SkyGuy member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Messages:
    189
    "SOME NOTES FROM FORCE ON FORCE

    We recently returned from several force on force training courses. What follows will eventually be written up in an article of sorts, but the points are quite important and so I thought sharing the raw data with you would be beneficial.

    1). All fights involve one party taking the initiative and the other party responding. There are no mutually agreed upon fights. You either start the ambush, react to it, or avoid the danger area altogether. Most so-called modern training makes the assumption that, due to a developed mind-set, that the operator will never be surprised and thus always have the initiative. Wishful thinking IMHO.

    2). If you have good information and can trust what you see, you can take the initiative on the adversary. This may mean preemptive drawing and shooting, as well as preemptively leaving before the fight begins. Distance benefits those who wish to be preemptive which is why the insistence of certain trainers in always maintaining distance, and always being alert. If you can guarantee always being alert, 24/7/365, and will never be surprised...and can guarantee it 100%, then just work on your marksmanship and don't worry about anything else. The rest of us will look at other solutions.

    3). If the adversary also has the initiative the result will either be suicide drill where each man kills the other, or a stand-off where nothing happens until on decides to either act or leave. We see the suicide drill a lot when training first time FOF students from certain gun disciplines. They rely on a fast draw without thinking that the other man may also have a fast draw, or even get to start the fight.

    4). Even in cases of unequal speed, but equal initiative, when men rely only on draw speed, unless one screws up the draw, the drill ends up with both men shot. The hits may be separated by 1/4 or 1/2 second, but excluding a head shot, I do not believe a pistol shot will be likely to stop the other man from pressing a trigger.

    5). All gunfights are 50% shooting and 50% not being shot. I think most sane men would agree that the "not getting shot" is more important that the shooting part. Moving sharply off the line of attack drastically decreases the odds of receiving a hit from the adversary. Staying put in a Weaver or Isosceles increases the odds of taking a hit unless you have total surprise or are behind cover (again preemptive).

    6). Some directions of movement tend to increase the angle away from the gunman's muzzle. This means it takes more time for him to get his muzzle back on you. It also means it gives you more time on the trigger. With sufficient hits, he may not ever be able to catch you. I say "may" because there are no guarantees in a fight.

    7). In a reactive event (which most non-cop fights will tend to be) it is imperative to move off the "X" to avoid being hit. As well, drawing and getting your own shots moving toward him is highly important. If either one is delayed you increase the chances of getting shot.

    8). Most guys get shot when they stop. They initiate movement and avoid the first few shots, but then stop to take a precise shot. At that point they get hit. Keep moving until he's down, you have escaped, or you are behind cover. Movement is life, stationary shooting in the open is death.

    9). The most important step once the game opens is to step off the X. Make that dynamic!

    10). As hard for some people as it is to hear this, in a reactive gunfight, your physical conditioning is a factor in your survivability. Agility is an issue. If you lack agility, you'd best be hard on the alertness phase so you do not have to be reactive. The problem is that it is hard to guarantee such things. Historically there is a belief that the gun trumps everything, and that there is no need to do anything else. The first force on force evolution changes that. Instead of trying to shave a tenth of a second off your draw, or shooting a tight group, get to the gym and lose weight!

    11). Centerline Draws - Appendix Draw or Cross Draw are markedly faster than strong side hip or behind the back. The lines and amount of motion required to get the gun on target are dramatically less. Why these two modes of carry have been ignored by many is primarily due to artificial restrictions at competitions and competition-based shooting schools.

    12). No one has seen a traditional sight picture for the first three shots in our Reactive Drills since I began teaching this material. Each FOF student must understand less than optimum methods of aligning the pistol. Point Shooting, Meat-N-Metal and other methods have value and their place in the fighting progression.

    13). An understanding of the ranges of combat and what is applicable at each distance interval is important. When people are pressed, they change the interval by either running away, or closing the gap. The idea that you will always be able to keep your distance no matter what is ridiculous. Learn how to fight up close when the time arrives. Your ability to understand this and exploit it will make you a better fighter.

    14). Concessions of accuracy and movement. When moving do not concede your movement to gain an edge in accuracy. Rather than modifying your movement to accommodate range-based shooting, modify your range-based shooting to accommodate your movement."
    .
     
  2. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    Cross draw

    I wondered why I see so many pics of old west gunfighters with their guns holstered for cross draw.

    Why are security and cops forced to wear their irons @ 3 oclock then?

    is Appendix Draw the same?

    loose weight? ...did my ex girl friend tell you to say that?:evil:
     
  3. carebear

    carebear Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,373
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    If you can't carry openly and want to wear an open jacket or overshirt and no cover garment over the top of the grip, crossdraw and appendix are less than optimal. The gun is on the front of your body with nothing to block any viewer from a front arc.

    Jackets and overshirts can blow open and turning quickly will flare out your garment even with spare ammo and such in the pockets. Without a sweater or tee or that overshirt/jacket buttoned an bit your gun's grip is open to view.

    A gun holstered just behind the hip is essentially invisible even in a stiff wind with the same cover garments, there's typically just too much fabric structure to fold an open jacket or shirt all the way back, throw in a little weight and you can move as you please.

    All things being equal I'd take a speed draw from behind the hip with just a jacket against a two-handed Hackathorn rip of a sweater and draw from appendix. As Gabe points out, the time differrence is going to be hundredths of a second either way, but 3:00 carry is easier to conceal a full size handgun day in and day out in more climates and dress codes, standing and sitting.
     
  4. FLCLIFF

    FLCLIFF Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Florida
    Regarding cross draw and gunfights I found this on a history of the Texas Rangers website:


    Modern-day Rangers (as well as their predecessors) do not have a prescribed uniform; rather, they wear what they please. Historically, according to pictorial evidence, many Rangers preferred to wear broader-brimmed sombreros as opposed to cowboy hats, and preferred square-cut, knee-high boots with a high heel and pointed toes, in a more Spanish style. Many wore their handguns in cross-draw holsters, which made it easier to draw while riding a horse.
     
  5. Dave R

    Dave R Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,628
    Location:
    Idaho
    I always knew those Rangers were practical guys. ;)

    Good info. And welcome, FLCLIFF.
     
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    48,594
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Welcome to THR!
     
  7. Srigs

    Srigs Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Good information to have and good training.
     
  8. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    I'm not sure if appendix carry is that fast, because you're pretty limited as to what angle the gun can be. Behind the hip, the gun is generally canted forward, which is ideal for drawing while crouching.
     
  9. crofrog

    crofrog Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    503
    Location:
    Severna Park, MD
    Uh? I guess maybe if you wear an OWB holster.

    However using an IWB I can conceal a p226 and g19 fine in nylon shorts and a t-shirt using appendix carry. The gun poking me in the dick when I set down gets old quick though.
     
  10. carpettbaggerr

    carpettbaggerr Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,676
    They rode horses. Try drawing from an appendix holster sitting in a car......
     
  11. carebear

    carebear Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,373
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Even with an IWB you have to have something covering the grip, which is above the beltline and visible without a cover garment over the top, because an open jacket and normal movement sure won't keep it truly concealed.

    That's what I mean. I guess it'd be ok if your build can handle it (a build I can't picture) but I tried it way back when I started carrying and it was never comfortable for the amount of driving, sitting and stooping/bending I had to do daily.

    For short jaunts and such, maybe. For 16/7 carry with a standard desk job? No way I could do it with my Commander. I can IWB at 3 and forget the gun is there no matter how I'm sitting and for as long as I like. An open jacket or light overshirt will keep the butt concealed without effort and no need to "lift" a shirt or sweater up to uncover it for the draw.
     
  12. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,468
    Location:
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    I don't get this point.

    I have to disagree with the cross draw issue. Moving your hand past centerline, drawing, then moving back to centerline is more movement and therefore more time than moving your hand up to your beltline, drawing and moving to centerline. Assuming even that, actually. Inside "gunfight" distances, you can start pushing lead before your muzzle gets past your belt buckle. A very good skill to have, IMHO, because I agree entirely that 99.99% of engagements will be reactive.
     
  13. TallPine

    TallPine Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    7,734
    Location:
    somewhere in the middle of Montana
    i'm guessing the crossdraw might be a lot faster with a 7 1/2 inch barrel ;)
     
  14. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,431
    Location:
    North Central Florida and Miami Florida
    so much of this seems simply intuitive. Almost reminds me of that little book about learning everything you need to know by the time you are 5 years old.
    I guess if you pay big bucks to have some one tell it to you though, it seems more worthwhile.
     
  15. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    2,128
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Art's Gramma

    Please keep the language safe for work, kids and Art's Gramma.

    Note: I'm not a moderator, and I don't even play one on TV. Nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express.
     
  16. RioShooter

    RioShooter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Brownsville, TX
    There were Spanish cowboys a long time before Texas cowboys. It's just good sense to copy those with experience.
     
  17. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Messages:
    4,708
    Location:
    TEXAS!
    I simply carry my pistol in an appendex IWB holster and a t-shirt that goes well down past the belt buckle. Yery fast and very concealable. And you can bend over and the weapon will not print. What is more if in a stuggle it is much easier to defend if the other guy figures out you have a gun.
     
  18. SkyGuy

    SkyGuy member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Messages:
    189
    Quick-draw is a fun range game, but:

    4). Even in cases of unequal speed but equal initiative...and when men rely only on draw speed...unless one screws up the draw, the drill ends up with both men shot.

    The hits may be separated by 1/4 or 1/2 second, but excluding a head shot, I do not believe a pistol shot will be likely to stop the other man from pressing a trigger.

    7). In a reactive event (which most non-cop fights will tend to be) it is imperative to move off the "X" to avoid being hit.
    As well, drawing and getting your own shots moving toward him is highly important. If either one is delayed you increase the chances of getting shot.

    10). As hard for some people as it is to hear this, in a reactive gunfight, your physical conditioning is a factor in your survivability.
    Agility is an issue. If you lack agility, you'd best be hard on the alertness phase so you do not have to be reactive. The problem is that it is hard to guarantee such things. Historically there is a belief that the gun trumps everything, and that there is no need to do anything else.

    Instead of trying to shave a tenth of a second off your draw, or shooting a tight group, get to the gym and lose weight!
    .
     
  19. crofrog

    crofrog Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    503
    Location:
    Severna Park, MD
    Another random thought on the plusses of appedex carry. You can't be detected by the normal "bump check"
     
  20. pax

    pax Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,762
    Location:
    Washington state
    Having played at gun-retention games with well trained friends, I have found that appendix carry is a lot more easily defended than a gun carried at 4 o'clock. It prints less to begin with, so you're less likely to be the victim of a gun-grab in the first place. Once the fight is on, it's a lot easier to protect something near your midline than it is when you must fight with one hand behind your back.

    Drawing from appendix while seated in a car -- I practice this pretty often with a dummy gun. It works just fine, is more accessible and far more comfortable in the car than one behind the hip.

    Concealing appendix carry. I dunno, I must be weird. I've never had any significant problem with it. Going on 6 years now and don't feel any inclination to change.

    pax
     
  21. crofrog

    crofrog Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    503
    Location:
    Severna Park, MD
    You are lacking um. one poetinal source of pain from carrying appendix style. That being said the overall benfits outway the few downsides. IMHO
     
  22. pax

    pax Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,762
    Location:
    Washington state
    Never mind... :eek:
     
  23. carebear

    carebear Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,373
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    crofrog,

    Do you have a picture from the front of your carry both standing and sitting? I'm wondering if I was doing it wrong. :D

    Cause it sure as heck didn't conceal my Commander under my suitcoat, IWB over my shirt moving around. And sitting with the coat on and unbuttoned it spreads nicely showing the butt for all to see. Though the barrel didn't hit my junk, it was levered into my "just above" region pretty good when I sat upright. Just retried it and got the same result. The gun is spanning the point at which my body folds and I couldn't sit upright (good posture and all) for any length of time certainly not all day at my office with clients in and out.

    Maybe it is a body type thing, the sitting part anyway.
     
  24. crofrog

    crofrog Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    503
    Location:
    Severna Park, MD
    I don't have any pics perhaps I can take some though...

    the gun is sitting right on the front of the thigh basically, canted with the barrel towards the inside... the grip is completely above the belt line. I wear loose fitting pants, and loose fitting somewhat long shirts at all times. Generally in the style of today. To clear the gun the right hand (I'm right hand dominat) flags the thumb tucks it under the lip of the shirt and goes straight up, then with the garment clear the hand comes straight back down onto the grip of the gun and pulls it up into number 2, hands come together in number 3 and presses forward to number 4.
     
  25. carebear

    carebear Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,373
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    I'm wearing it correctly then. Aside from the untucked shirt requirement (won't work with a suit) I don't see how you do it comfortably daily with a lot of sitting involved (assuming a 4"+ barrel). :uhoh:

    At any rate, now that I'm kinder and gentler, I guess I should temper my flat "not as good" opinion to a more realistic "not as good for me, YMMV".

    Consider it done. :D
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page