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Gabe Suarez knows more about guns and gunfighting than I’ll ever know. He is, unquestionably, a better advisor on all things firearms than I’ll ever be. But seriously Gabe, WTF? On December 13, the gun guru dropped this blogging bombshell on “I am well aware of all so-called safety rules, but being anal retentive about this sort of thing only hurts your survivability n the real world for which we train. Lets set the dogma aside and actually think about this. Certainly there is a place for ‘finger off trigger,’ but holding an adversary at gunpoint while he decides how to respond to your challenge and determines whether you will shoot him or not may not be it.” Well, he did say “may.” Yes, BUT—he was just getting warmed up . . .

Even earlier, gunmen of the pre-modern technique world did not suffer from fear of their triggers as is evidenced by the photos and data from that age. Look at the lead photo. It is of a young Rex Applegate in his “ready position”. Notice the finger. Did we all suddenly become a nation of jittery butterfingers in 1976? Are we lesser men today than the Jordans, Askins, and Applegates of a bygone era? No..I don’t think so. But I think a great deal of gunfight knowledge has been suppressed by the politically correct, guru worshippers, and liability ninnyhammers of the gun world today . . .

I have never pointed a gun at a bad guy with my finger off the trigger, just like I have never challenged anyone from low ready. And I had plenty of opportunity when working night watch patrol, gangs, dope, crime impact and SWAT.

I also went to all the schools that taught the finger – off methodology. Yet everytime I challenged a bad guy I did it “pointed in” and with my finger firmly touching the trigger. Everyone I worked with did the same thing.

Know what? Nobody ever got shot that didn’t have it coming.

As for you, amateur gun slinger, Gabe wants to know: do YOU have what it takes to take aim at the BG with your finger ON the trigger?

. . . as always…a man has to know his limitations.  If you can’t trust yourself, then default to “always off” until you have decided to shoot.  But if you are above the “entry level”, see what is possible.  Don’t take anyone’s word for it…see for yourself.  Test yourself in Force On Force and report back.

Gabe’s underpost acolytes are down with that. They reckon if you’re aiming a gun at a bad guy, you intend on shooting him so . . . having your finger on the trigger’s OK. Mr. Suarez revisited the topic yesterday.

To reiterate. I am advocating the finger off the trigger as a default position. In other words, unless there is a better place for it, the finger will be indexed along side the frame of the firearm. This is where it would normally be when moving or generally covering a danger area. But when approaching a specific danger point, or challenging or covering a human adversary at gun point (only a fool covers from low ready) the finger should be touching the trigger to reduce your reaction time, and thus increase your safety.

Setting aside the well-documented work on the trigger finger and the sympathetic nervous system (when you clench one hand, the other tends to clench automatically), I’ll say this: studies have shown that there is no appreciable difference in response time between shooters with their finger on or off the trigger. But every single negligent discharge by both civilians and police—of which there are many—involved someone with their finger ON the trigger. And no, negligent discharges are not something that happens to “the other guy.” IMHO.

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  1. Insane does not come close to describing that concept. The finger should never touch the trigger until you decided to destroy what your gun is pointed at.

    David Kenik

  2. I once saw a demonstration by an exhibition shooter. He had Colt Peacemakers with stage rounds (primer and wax bullet – just enough to pop a balloon). He’d take a random audience member, put the gun in their hand, finger on the trigger, pointed at a balloon by the shooter’s side. The shooter would be hands in the air, pistol in his holster. Then old west style shootout, he’d drop his hand, draw his gun, and shoot a balloon out by the volunteer’s side BEFORE that volunteer could simply pull the trigger. In one case he even re-holstered before the volunteer could fire.

    He then gave a pretty good discussion of reaction time and what it meant. Knowing that, in a dangerous situation, I’d be finger on the trigger anyway. The several tenths of a second it would take to re-position my finger is too much time to give away.

    • Don,

      You have arrived at a false and dangerous conclusion that could cause a negligent death and your incarceration.

      Hundreds, if not thousands, of negligent discharges (= criminal negligence) happen every year because a shooter had his finger on the trigger when he was not supposed to. Every one of those negligent discharges would have been prevented by keeping the finger off the trigger.

      Reaction time is not impeded by the movement of the trigger finger, rather it is slowed by cognitive reasoning. Best described by fighter pilot John Boyd: reaction time follows an OODA loop. Observe, orient, decide, act.

      Observe: See what is happening
      Orient: Determine what it means to you and its threat level.
      Decide; Make a decision as to what your reaction will be.
      Act: react

      The overwhelming portion of the time that it takes to run the OODA loop is in the first three parts: the cognitive portion. The action is quite quick.

      An exercise that I do in on of my classes to highlight the delay between action and reaction is a convenience store hold up scenario. I play a bad guy holding a gun on a clerk during a robbery. The student (good guy) walks in and points a gun at me. We are 90 degrees to each other. I tell the student to shoot me as soon as he thinks that I am going to shoot him. I am able to turn 90 degrees, aim at the student and pull the trigger faster than the student can pull the trigger—every time. I have them do it again and tell them to put their finger on the trigger to give themselves the most advantage possible and I still beat them every time. The reason is that the time it takes for the brain to realize that I am turning the gun towards them and decide to act is far longer than it takes to pull the trigger ¼ inch.

      Having your finger on the trigger when you are not in the process of killing what the gun is pointing at is dangerous and negligent and can not be justified by reducing reaction time or any other means.

      • I understand the OODA loop. I don’t agree with your conclusion. My finger is off the trigger unless I have a clearly identified threat. No negligent discharge because of a cat, or child coming home late, or tripping in the dark. I’m safe there.

        But once I see a clear threat, I’ll level my gun and place finger on trigger. Any mistakes at that point will be on his part, not mine.

        As for your example (and mine), allowing the adversary to take initiative is a mistake. Should we just shoot first? Or not bother carrying? Keeping your finger off the trigger apparently doesn’t help in any fashion.

        • So what you are saying is that a negligent discharge into a cat is a no-no, but into human who should not be shot (hence your use of the term “negligent”) is OK?

          Any mistakes on your part, will NOT be his fault, it will be yours. There is a difference between when you are justified to challenge someone at gunpoint and when you are justified in shooting. The fact that you are “leveling” gun at a threat and not shooting is proof that you are not justified in shooting.

          • A negligent discharge because a cat startles me, or because I stumble, or because I mis-identify a situation will not happen because my finger is not on the trigger at that point. I thought I was clear.

            A person clearly identified as a threat is a different manner. I didn’t use “negligent” in that phrase. You did.

            Sorry, I’ve had a real bad week so maybe I shouldn’t post. But I still disagree with your point.

      • I agree with all the above and would like to add something. I trained in self defense for 8 years. My Sensei would sometimes give us all an eye opener of a demonstration to bring down the egos of the black belts in the class. He would stand on the outer line of the fighting square and have the black belt who was an a*& of particular note that day stand on the other end of the fighting square. He would instruct the black belt that all he would have to do was raise his left arm above his head in a blocking motion. He would tell the black belt that he was going to lunge at him and perform a right straight punch to his forehead. My sensei would take two bounding leaps and strike whichever black belt was standing there in the forehead every single time. The width of the square was 15 feet. The age of my sensei was 50. The age of the black belt at that time was 20. Despite health, youth and supposed speed on his side the black belt could do nothing to stop this older and man from doing what he did.

        My point (when I finally get to it) is that my sensei trained his body and mind to do this. From the age of 17 he trained for self defense and the training of others. Practice makes perfect. Know your gun better then your enemy and the topic of reaction time and finger on the trigger is irrelevant. I always try and remember that the other person may get the gun off first and I remind myself that they may not actually hit anything. Those that enter your home or assault you and yours are mostly of criminal nature. Those that have weapons illegally often don’t get the luxury of a range.

        • A real fight is eons different that training in a sterile dojo in a martial art that is more related to a dance than actual combat. If you guys have never been in combat, or used force to defend yourself you should realize that you DO NOT KNOW how you will react until it happens. Over-thinking the equation will get you killed in a fight. You guys actually think when your life is going to be threatened, and your scared for your life, your finger is NOT going to be on the trigger? You are fooling yourself with too many tacticool videos. What Suarez is attempting to convey is the difference between cool-guy range training and how the body/mind actually responds to danger. Train in Force-on-force scenario and get off the square plinking range and you will surprise yourself on how you react.

    • Don C. you are a wise man, having learned by what you found in that demonstration.
      On the other hand, the author of this hit piece has likely not held bad guys at gun point and has not done his own studies to find out what is faster when holding a threat at “gun point”. When the truth finds him, Robert Farago will be badly damaged or dead because he was not able to get his pistol to bear on someone who abruptly manouvered on him and deflected the pistol (any firearm) and opened his gut with a hidden knife.

    • Don; you & Gabe are right & the opposing view is wrong. Quite possibly dead wrong. Keep your finger clear until you decide to aim at a target; if that target is human so be it. If you’re not prepared to kill them you shouldn’t be pointing a firearm at them in the first place.

  3. This is a dangerous thing to do, but I think someone needs to question the effective utility of the finger off the trigger rule.

    The accepted logic is that we keep the finger out of the trigger guard because of the body’s well known clench response. Both sympathetic symmetrical clench (one hand clenches, the other follows) and the startle clench (you surprise me and nearly all the muscles in my body clench, including my hands).

    Here is the thing though – on most of my firearms, holding my finger straight out, against the frame, offers little resistance to the clench response. Try it yourself on an unloaded/safe direction weapon; hold said weapon as you would with your finger out of the trigger and clench your hand as if you are being surprised.

    For me, my trigger finger slips down into the trigger guard, onto the trigger and presses it either all the way or most of the way.

    Has anyone done serious studies on this? Or is this just an idea that seems logical and has been beaten into the shooting community’s head like gospel without anyone ever actually validating it?

    I wonder how many people have been crucified for having a negligent discharge when they were, in fact, following the finger off the trigger rule.

    In fact, it was RF’s citation of a cop who was conducting a search of an attic by standing on a table who got me thinking about this. He lost his footing and fell, discharging his firearm into another officer’s foot. Who’s to say he *didn’t* have his finger off the trigger, and it just slipped as his fists clenched during his (surprising, to him) fall?

    • GA,

      This can be solved simply by moving your finger higher up on the slide/cylinder. I teach that the finger should be extended as high as natural extension allows preferably to the ejection port or mid cylinder.

      You are correct that a clenching of the hand can result in the finger falling if the finger is not high enough on the slide. Give it a try.

      • Two points:

        1- One can only get one’s finger so high up on the frame of the pistol. My P229E2 and Glock 19 – easy. My HK45 and Les Baer TRS? Not so high. Funny that firearms feature absolutely zero ergonomic assistance in this area, given that my finger spends way more time outside the trigger guard and resting on the frame than it does on the face of the trigger. Anyhow, this is a user and firearm dependent technique that might not work for everyone with small hands.

        2- Still doesn’t take much force. The finger’s pivot fulcrum will always pull the finger down towards the middle finger when force is applied. Raising the finger on the frame ups the amount of force significantly, but not dramatically. Add a lubricant like rain, blood, sweat or gloves without a grippy texture and that is the ballgame.

        I’m not disagreeing with the rule or saying that the concept is not valid. Finger trigger discipline is -rightly- a hallmark of professional quality firearms handling and a bedrock safety rule that should be in place and strictly enforced in all training environments.

        I still wonder though how many folks who have had an ND were actually consciously following that rule when the ND happened. My point is, it is NOT the absolute be all solution to the problem; even with perfect trigger discipline, losing one’s footing or being startled can produce a true accidental discharge.

        • Yes, I can see how that can lead to an accidental/negligent discharge even with your finger on the frame. I have tested both ways and found it easy for my finger to migrate downwards if placed low on the frame, but have never had it migrate down when placed high enough to touch the ejection port-that’s just me.

  4. I am always annoyed by people who ‘Know Better’ that advocate mediocrity. Like ‘Practice for Combat Accuracy’ or ‘Glocks don’t need to be cleaned’ or ‘I carry a .22 because its all about shot placement’.

    Be as safe as you can, Strive for perfect accuracy, maintain your equipment, and chamber the most powerful round you can control. That way, when you are having a really BAD day you will degrade to accurate enough, from a reliable enough gun, with good stopping power even though you didn’t pierce the right atrium like you wanted to.

  5. David is right – I really cannot justify putting your finger on the trigger unless you’re about to shoot. I’d take it one step further for non-LEOs and CCW holders: unless deadly force is justified, keep it in the holster. This significantly reduces your exposure to criminal or legal liability. Drawing a gun when lethal force isn’t justified could be construed by a prosecutor or a jury as an escalating act.

  6. Gabe Suarez is not INSANE. I’ve always been taught to NEVER point any firearm at someone or something that you do not intend to shoot. If I aim my weapon at you, chances are real good that you’re going to be shot.

    • There is a HUGE difference between challenging someone with a firearm (pointing a firearm at someone who you do not intend to shoot at the moment) and shooting someone.

      • Bear in mind, in most states, if you are not an LEO, drawing and NOT shooting is automatically a crime: “Brandishing a weapon”. The decision to shoot should happen before the weapon is in your hand.

        • Opposing force of numbers (of bad guys) or people with weapons (knives, hammers, etc.) justifies gun-in-hand (drawn pistol), if the talk-down does not work and there is no way to exit AND the bad guy(s) state that they intend to harm you or those with you. Being FAST to get your pistol on target will often negate the need to send bullets on target, even when deadly force is justifide (at least, this has been my direct experience many times). The criminals are still the criminals and I did not become a ‘criminal’ as a result of my defensive action. It is good to let the criminal have a moment to decide if they really want to get shot to the ground, IF you have the luxury of even a little bit of time.

    • I agree That my friend is the real world. You don’t bluff with a gun if you draw a gun odds will strongly favor you using the gun.

  7. You wake up at 3:00am someone is in your home you retrieve your firearm and investigate. You come into your living room and stumble on an intruder. You detain him at gun point. You think to yourself I am not giving this guy any chance and keep your finger on the trigger. You reach your phone and call 911 for the police. You keep your firearm trained on the suspect. You are waiting for the sirens, 2 minutes you keep waiting, 4 minutes straining to hear anything still finger on the trigger strained watching this suspect. FRANK I SAW SOMEONE LURKING OUTSIDE IS EVERYTHING OK! Your concerned neighbor bellows as he come in your open front door. The police show up and arrest you for homicide because you were so startled by this unexpected event that your finger on the trigger caused you to jerk and you shot the suspect.

    I personally will not put my finger on the trigger until I am ready to fire. Because I highly value my freedom and right to own a device that can take a life.

    • Oh come on….that is a ridiculous scenario and you know it.Said BG would be instructed to lye on the floor spread eagle, once that is accomplished ….then your finger goes off trigger.

    • If I stumble upon an intruder at 3:00 in the morning, the intruder will not be “detained”. Not in Texas, anyway. My “line in the sand” is at the threshold of my exterior doors. My finger goes into the trigger guard and stays there until the BG is sufficiently horizontal. If he happens to leave horizontally (sniff…) too bad.

      • This is a looong ago post, but you bring up something I’ve thought of many times.

        If I were to come home and find a burglar in my home, depending on the circumstances, I’ll either detain him myself if I must or just call the police and wait for them. It’s just “stuff” after all.

        If however, someone breaks in at night when I and my family are home, there will be NO quarter given. I’ll identify and shoot. I’m willing to accept whatever consequences may arise. Anyone who enters my home at night is already assumed to have contemplated the possibility of having to confront and kill me or my family. I’ve contemplated my end of the equation. The answer for them is do not break into occupied homes.

  8. Gabe Suarez might be a good instructor, especially on the AK platform, but he exhibits a lack of good judgment on a fairly regular basis. I’ve seen photos where he’s stood downrange next to targets while students were firing. Many of us have read about his legal problems relating to his claimed disability. And now he advocates recklessly putting one’s finger on the trigger while holding a BG at gunpoint.


    This same thinking resulted in a 15-year-old kid here in Champaign, IL, caught trying to force entry on a home, getting killed because during a struggle, the officer had an unintended discharge because of a sympathetic contraction of his strong-side hand. Now, Gabe might say the kid needed killin’, but I think most rational and prudent folks would say otherwise.

    I think I’ll spend my training dollars elsewhere. Gabe might be a decent instructor but he doesn’t have any secret mojo I can’t get from any of a couple dozen other nationally known instructors who aren’t reckless, impulsive or exhibit poor judgment on a fairly regular basis.


    • 15 or not if he tries to break into my house in a short time he will be new in hell That is the real world.

    • You’re losing me on this one.

      Many instructors use similar drills, sometimes with students.

      And while not a legit shoot, one less criminal is one less criminal.

      • Should have added. Either you’re an armed professional (regardless of pay status) or you are not.

        Anyone can carry around their custom Kimbers without being distracted by training and be totally safe.

    • What does this have to do with Gabe’s point? We do not know if the LEO had his finger on the trigger or not. Proves absolutely nothing except that if you fall with a firearm in your hand, you are liable to fire a shot.

      We need to hear from folks that have actually been in gun fights, not Guru’s without blood on their hands. I do believe most amateurs should keep their fingers off the trigger, most professionals do what is needed.

      Go figure.

      “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” – Ayn Rand

      • Chieftain:

        LOL. “We do not know if the LEO had his finger on the trigger or not.”

        Let me buy you a clue, el capitan: Glocks don’t discharge all by their lonesome. When the cop reached with his reaction hand to catch the kid’s hoodie, he missed, and the gun went bang.

        Kid was unarmed (including intellectually). It turned out to be a great shot from overhead — the .45 JHP got a lung, heart, and lots of other stuff, leaving the kid DRT.

        Advocating putting your finger on the trigger in a critical force incident when you haven’t decided to discharge your gun is a recipe for EPIC FAIL.

        If you want to drink Suarez’s Kool-Aid because you think you’re professional enough and/or trained enough, that’s your choice. You’ll have to live with those consequences for your foolishness, because sooner or later it will bit you in the rear.

        Jim Jones gave his followers lots of reasons to drink his Kool-Aid and look what happened to them.


  9. I agree with Gabe and others here that if you have deployed your gun and are covering an assailant (not from low ready) your finger should definitely be on trigger.

    If you are pointing your gun at someone it is because they represent an imminent threat to your life and/or serious bodily injury and are very close to getting shot. This is one reason why I carry in double action for the 1st shot to cut down down on the potential for ND’s.

    • Sure thing, you are covering them, pointing in with finger on trigger. The only thing preventing you from shooting them is that they are not at that exact moment making a move to get to you (they see you have a weapon on them with finger on the trigger). Should the bad guy(s) decide to make a move on you it is just a matter of shooting and moving. Remember, the bad guys came to you….

  10. Some great arguments on each side here, but all were talking at cross-purposes. In the end, Paul R nailed it.

    Unless I establish that there is an immediate threat of death or grave bodily injury to me and mine, I have no right even to point my gun at anyone or anything with my finger off the trigger, much less on it. Before I determine that such a threat exists, I will need to understand the situation and have a clear view of my target and anything around it. There may be — may be — an intermediate step or two, like yelling “get the f* out of my house, you bastard.” That challenge will not typically be delivered at the point of my gun, but it might be. But once I believe that the situation is grave enough to point the gun, then I’m committed to shooting IF I HAVE TO, and I’m going to put my finger on the trigger where it can do some good. Circumstances will then dictate whether or not I will be forced to pull the trigger.

    Isn’t that what we’re all saying, even Suarez, when he talks about “challenging or covering a human adversary at gun point”? Note the word “adversary,” which tells me that Suarez has already determined that there is a grave threat.

    • Just don’t end up in a wheelchair like the one who challenged the shooter in I believe the Mall in Washington State I think

  11. I have trained with Gabe a few times. What Gabe teaches doesn’t come from Guns and Ammo. It comes from his knowledge and the knowledge of other people he has known that have been their and done that. Gabes classes are the only classes that teach you how to increases your chances of winning the battle. I live within 2 hr of Gunsite and know many people that have trained at Gunsite. Gunsites way of teaching doesn’t come close to Gabe Suarez way of teaching. If you want to increases your odds of winning visit and take some classes from Gabe or one of his instructors

    • Please put down the kool ade, you have been brain-washed.

      I have trained with Larry Vickers and Ken Hackathorn in shoot houses. Neither teach you to go on the trigger till you have decided to make the shot.

      Moving with your finger on the trigger is hella stupid and a good way to shoot your partenr int the ass. The time factor is not moving your finger, it is the brain deciding to take the shot.

      Ken is a former Green Beret and Larry one of the former top instructor for CAG aka SOFD-D aka Delta Force. Gabe’s CV pales in comparison to these two. Hell, nobody on the planet can touch Larry’s anyways and Ken is proabally the closet living thing to Jeff Cooper at this moment.

      As to where to keep it, on a Glock , I keep mine where I can feel the corner of the ejection port. High register index.

  12. Gaybe suarez is a total and complete tool. His website is for airsoft fanboys that like to shoot each other in the peckers. If you don’t believe me, feel free to peruse his trainwreck of human thought of a forum and decide for yourself.

    All I can say is the guy was a dirty cop, his knowledge of firearms is questionable, and he has some sort of cult following among teenage airsoft/call of duty boys that want to be a badass with a gun.

    Take his training, or lack thereof, with a grain of salt. It’s people like gaybe with absolutely no common sense or spine that bring shame to our gun community.

    • On his web site it is easy to see where and when Gabe will be teaching a class. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if you showed up and told him that face to face

      • As I mentioned in the original post, I have nothing but respect for Mr. Suarez’s firearms knowledge and gunfighting skills. If I go to one of his classes, I will do so to benefit from his expert insight and hard-won experience. But I reserve the right to disagree with some parts of his combat philosophy; I believe that blind subservience to any authority figure is a good way to get into bad trouble.

      • I’d rather wait for big bad gaybe in columbia. He seems to be a pretty big badass on calling people out and then turning into a total pussy when they call him to the table.

  13. I have taken two of Gabes classes as well and found nothing not offered by many other quality instructors.

    There have been hundreds of thousands of negligent discharges and all were caused by fingers on the trigger when they should not be.

    Under attack, you will experience levels of stress you have never experienced before—levels that you can not train under.

    Body alarm reaction will greatly reduce your cognitive ability.

    Body alarm reaction will greatly reduce the dexterity of your trigger finger (and all other minor muscle groups)

    Body alarm reaction will greatly reduce your ability to feel your trigger finger.

    Body alarm reaction will greatly reduce your ability to feel the trigger and comprehend how hard you are pressing.

    Body alarm reaction will greatly increase your startle reaction.

    Body alarm reaction will greatly increase sympathetic muscle contraction.

    Do you really think that when you are pointing a gun at a human being under extreme stress, when you can’t think properly nor feel nor your fingers, that by definition does not need to be shot and is illegal to shoot is a good time to have your finger on the trigger?

    Finger on the trigger when not in the act of shooting is dangerous, irresponsible and negligent.

    • “Do you really think that when you are pointing a gun at a human being under extreme stress, when you can’t think properly nor feel nor your fingers, that by definition does not need to be shot and is illegal to shoot is a good time to have your finger on the trigger?”

      Point a gun at someone, whether your finger is on the trigger or not, is assault. Self-defense can legally justify us committing assault by pointing a gun a them, just like it can justify actually shooting someone. The standard for justifiably committing pointing a gun at someone is the same as it is for shooting them with it. If you are pointing a gun at someone and it would be “illegal to shoot”, you aren’t justified in pointing a gun at them either.

      • “The standard for justifiably committing pointing a gun at someone is the same as it is for shooting them with it. If you are pointing a gun at someone and it would be “illegal to shoot”, you aren’t justified in pointing a gun at them either.”


        You may be justified in shooting only when death or grave bodily are is imminent. You may challenge at gunpoint when imminence is imminent. I strongly suggest you do some more study in the legal use of lethal force.

  14. I guess it really doesn’t matter about finger on or off the trigger. If you break into someone’s home you deserve to be shot. A friend of mine said “maybe they don’t mean to harm you, they may just want to rob you. I don’t care what they intend, break in an get shot!

  15. I have not trained with Mr. Suarez, but I am currently a LEO, and I also served our country in conflicts from Grenada to Somalia. If I have to draw my weapon my finger is on the trigger because if you do not comply with my commands I am going to shoot you. If I draw my weapon and you do not pose a deadly threat I am wrong….period. I have never shot anyone I meant to shoot, and I have never experienced an AD. Those that are pontificating finger off the trigger while aiming a weapon at someone probably has never faced an armed assailant or experienced real combat. You pull/point your weapon because someone needs shooting.

    P.S. it is possible and preferable to disagree without lowering yourselves to name calling. Open your minds and expand your horizons. Cheers!

    • Chuckwheat, like you, I have experienced some shooting and holding people at gun point. It is foolish to teach people (beyond beginners) to not be ready to shoot upon drawing. That does not mean that everyone you draw on gets shot, either.
      It all comes down to training for the real world. If people do not practice force-on-force with simunition or other means, not all of the lesson is complete.

  16. I once saw Gabe Suarez eat a baby tiger while clearing a FTF on an AK that didn’t even have a gas tube. I don’t know how he did it. Plus, he was flying through the air doing a ninja kick on guys 7,8, and 9 at that very moment (helps when you get off the X to line them up, eh?). Anyway, Suarez had to put his mouth over the gas port, hold onto the piping gases, and blow them back into the rifle to get it to cycle each time. That’s pretty hard with a 40-round magazine. At least it was a Bulgarian Waffle.

    The whole thing was amazing. And he swallowed the tiger whole, so I guess I’d have to revise it to “swallowed a baby tiger” and not “eat”.

    I think I saw a Swiss Halberd in his pocket, too, but I couldn’t be sure. Might have been an ICBM instead.

    In sum, you sissies who haven’t committed to drawing down on the bad guy with the slack out should probably just cry loudly as a distraction if you ever get into a pickle. That might help those of us with intact scrotums to deal with the problem.

  17. This conversation is a circle jerk. If you can’t find something productive to do with your time other than find someone you disagree with, then something is seriously WRONG.

    If I teach the secret underhanded jungle monkey technique of kung fu and lostone likes it, but rabbi doesn’t, WHO GIVES A RIP?

    Pertaining to Gabe’s legal troubles, whose business is it, I mean REALLY? Are you saying that you’ve never done anything that may be construed by some as less than honest? If you make that claim I’ll call you a chickensh!t liar to your face. Unless you have empirical knowledge of his motives, you are far less than honorable yourself in your armchair conviction.

    Have a great day EXPLETIVE DELETED.

  18. I too have read Gabes INSANELY INTELLIGENT RANT and agree wholeheartedly with every word he wrote…

    You could sum it up with:

    To reiterate. I am advocating the finger off the trigger as a default position.In other words, unless there is a better place for it, the finger will be indexed along side the frame of the firearm. This is where it would normally be when moving or generally covering a danger area. But when approaching a specific danger point, or challenging or covering a human adversary at gun point (only a fool covers from low ready) the finger should be touching the trigger to reduce your reaction time, and thus increase your safety.

    What your missing is between the pussy whining about having your finger on the trigger is this…1 and 2 of OODA have been performed and with the finger having been in the default position (OFF THE TRIGGER) when one has 1’d and 2’d you can the 3 DECIDE to advance to TRIGGER ON and if the problem presents itself the 4 REACT…think of it as performing OODA getting 1 and 2 out of the way (but continually assessing) and then as the force continuum requires escalating to 3 then 4 if need be…

    1. Observe: See what is happening
    2. Orient: Determine what it means to you and its threat level.
    3. Decide; Make a decision as to what your reaction will be.
    4. Act: react

    I spent 10 years USMC, PMI, ARMORER, Rifle Team, then 10+ years as a SWAT COP and Entry Team Sgt…I’ve personally sent tens of thousands maybe hundreds of thousands of rounds downrange, supervised or instructed maybe a million+ rounds downrange NO AD’s and None ever witnessed…There is a pussy mindset that will get you killed…you fight like you train…ask plenty of dead cops if you can…I’ve dealt with a few bad guys before…MY FINGER WAS ALWAYS ON THE TRIGGER, I HAD OBSERVED a THREAT, I HAD ORIENTED MYSELF TO MY SITUATION and I HAD DECIDED MY FINGER NEEDED TO BE ON THE TRIGGER and I THANK GOD I NEVER HAD TO REACT and PULL THE TRIGGER…

    I have not been to any of GABES courses…he doesn’t teach cops…he teaches people who want to live how to fight and thats good enough for me…

    I’ll take someone who thinks out of the box any day over someone who whines about how something is outrageously dangerous and recoils in fear over something they dont have the balls to try…

    Capt Travis Beach

    • Good one, thanks for sharing the truth.
      By the way, I went throught the Scout-Sniper Instructor School at Quantico and met some very fine Marines while there. Finger on the trigger if it is the right thing to do in the OODA Loop. Finger off the trigger, otherwise.

      It is not rocket science, only survival and winning or being a step behind and losing.

  19. The only reason to be pointing a firearm at someone is because you are imminently prepared to kill(destroy) them.
    If I’m pointing a firearm at you, it is because I am convinced you mean me or mine serious harm & have thus passed the threshold where the Law says I’m entitled to use deadly force.
    You’ve already passed the test as to whether or not you are a viable threat & the fact you are still alive is down to my generosity.
    If someone slams a door or otherwise causes me to twitch to the point where the hammer falls, I wont be telling & neither will you.

  20. Funny how as soon as someone like Gabe posts something that on the surface appears incorrect, a bunch of so-called (self appointed?) “experts” all dive for the condemnation wagon. This without putting forth the effort to understand the statements, or lacking the intelligence to discern the meaning behind the statements.

  21. I’ll bet holstering or unholstering causes most of the NDs. There are no stats gathered on NDs, but anecdotal evidence suggests that holstering is the main problem.

    It takes between .2 and .6 seconds to get that finger on the trigger. Try it with a timer. Most men can get out of your sight picture by then.

    If you are holding someone dangerous at gun point, putting the finger on the trigger is just insurance.

    Rules change when working with a team, and a finger inside a trigger guard and then bump from a team member can lead to NDs, but training to lift the finger off and out when bumped can be done.

  22. “If you are holding someone dangerous at gun point, putting the finger on the trigger is just insurance.”

    Insurance that you will be incarcerated, yes, I agree. If you are holding someone at gun point you deem dangerous, distance IS your insurance. People have sited speed (including me), movement, bumps, and startles. If you cannot keep your gun trained on a person from a sensible distance and reacquire them when they come at you or do something threatening, you are NOT the person to be putting yourself or those you protect in harms way.

    • Inside of the average home distance is a rare commodity.If you have ever been in a FOF type environment then you know how fast someone can close the distance in your average living room or hallway.I live in a free state where the law says that if you enter my home uninvited then you are bought and paid for.Noone will hold you responsible for the BG’s poor judgement.

      • FOF? What a badass acronym. I wish I could be a member of WARRIORTALK. Then I’d know the proper way of FOF shooting in the penis with airsoft.

        Like I said, gaybe has fanboys.

        • I’m not a fanboy of anyone.I’m also not narrow minded.And if you don’t mind a little advice,you should ease up on that penis fixation you seem to have.Keyboard commandoes are the terrorists of the errornet…..

        • You’re obviously impaired. Perhaps you would believe that a better tool for training yourself would be playing Call of Duty?

          Come to a class pansie, and we’ll see who can put more rounds on who, or are you afraid to be shown up? The truth can be revealed in person and not on the

          Or even better, come to a Zero to 5 feet course and we’ll see if you have any clue what combat is about at all.

          The only thing that Suarez Int’l does that makes a difference is forcing every training theory into reality, and if it works, they teach it. If it doesn’t, they trash it. That’s why I read and learn there, purchase their dvd’s and patronize their company.

          I’d wager that most SI graduates will hand your a@@ to you on any given day.

          • Oh, hell yeah, Odie.

            As anyone who has attended the HRO (and/or CQB) course will attest, SI will “deviate” from any “conventional wisdom (sic) based doctrine which is found wanting. Having taken over a dozen CQB classes over the years ( and clearing a few houses over the decades) I was amazed (though, not surprised) at the amount of info that was presented. And the number of improvements over purportedly tried and true methods.

            This latest butchering of a scared cow is but another example of said innovation.

  23. It seems to me that it is all about what you feel comfortable with.I can’t understand the closed mindedness of some who talk about how expert they are at gun handling.Gabe says there is a time for finger on and a time for finger off.How can anyone argue with that?If I am pointed in on someone then they have a very good chance of being shot.I’m not doing this to impress them,but to protect me and mine.Finger on the trigger at this point is only common sense and those who don’t realise this are way behind the curve.

  24. Yes I heard he was insane too…

    When Gabe Suarez attends a cocktail party he brings his own straw, a Stainless Steel S&W M29 8 3/8th inch barrel.

    He’s a ten-foot tall beast man, who showers in vodka, and feeds his baby shrimp scampi.

    He orchestrated the merger between UNICEF and Smith and Wesson.

    Suarez went public with his own buttocks and made seven million.

    Did I ever tell you about the time Gabe went hunting? Well anyway, Suarez decides he’s gonna hunt down all four members of the Banana Splits. He stalks and kills every one of them with a machete. They all beg for their lives, except Fleagul. Fleagul was not a sheep…

    We once had a bachelor party for Suarez. He ate the entire cake, before we could tell him there was a stripper in it.

    Suarez once hosted the Grammy’s and gave every award to Cory Hardt.

    He has a toenail on the end of his penis.

    Gabe got his wife pregnant, and she gave birth to a delicious sixteen ounce steak. The afterbirth was sautéed mushrooms.

    The Suarez family crest is a picture of a barracuda, eating Neil Armstrong.

    Suarez is ranked eighteenth in the AP College Football Poll.

    Did I ever tell you about the time Gabe Suarez was in a production of The King and I?
    Well anyway, before the show, Gabe chloroforms the entire cast, and slowly eats them in front of the audience for two hours. The production got pretty good reviews.

    Gabebreast feeds John Madden.

  25. I’m not a cop. I’m not drawing my weapon…ever…unless someone is about to get seriously hurt or killed. My finger will be on the trigger as soon as my sight picture lines up, and I will be pressing that trigger until the target is no longer moving.

    If the weapon leaves the holster, I will not be talking, or shouting, or trying to reason with someone. I’m not trained to take anyone into custody, so I won’t be trying to “talk anyone down.” The only reason that weapon comes out is to kill.

    I would prefer that no one get hurt or killed, but if (God forbid) I am forced to draw, the only choice that I will have been left with at that point is WHO gets hurt or killed.

    • That was the best damned response, and answer in this discussion. Well said my friend. Well said indeed.

  26. The author of this piece should read it again. It clearly states that, once you’ve identified a threat and you’re holding your weapon on him/her, you keep your finger in the trigger housing to decrease reaction time and error.

    Try both using airsoft FoF and see for yourself. If you’re not used to the adrenaline rush of font or flight, you’re in for a heck of a surprise. Have the BG come at you full force and try to shoot him accurately, each way. Then ask yourself, honestly, how many times you had to mentally adjust your finger to find the trigger guard and insert properly. Now try this while moving. Which one are you going to concentrate on? Getting out of the (albeit virtual) scumbag’s way or finding the trigger?

    Recall that when you’re in this situation, you’ve already a) identified the threat, B) figured out that it’s worth shooting and C) decided to draw your weapon. Why the heck would you want to keep your finger off the trigger in this situation? On the square range yes, but in real life?

    Then recall that, as you train, so you fight. Which is what FoF is all about. Take your training into a reality based situation with non-lethal firearms and proper safety gear, and go for it. See if your training works, and adapt as required.

  27. I have met Gabe Suarez, purchase most of his books, a few DVDs and yes I actually attend a course. Gabe prides himself on offering tested combat techniques to his clients. I enjoyed his course and would train with him again.

    BTW: Three days ago, I purchased a copy of David Kenik’s book “Armed Response” with an endorsement from Gabe Saurez on the back cover.

  28. I have met Gabe Suarez, purchase most of his books, a few DVDs and yes I actually attend a course. Gabe prides himself on offering tested combat techniques to his clients. I enjoyed his course and would train with him again.

    BTW: Three days ago, I purchased a copy of David Kenik’s book “Armed Response” with an endorsement from Gabe Saurez on the back cover.

    I am not a “wannabe anything”. I am a career military and law enforcement professional with 30 years of experience and a graduate/attendee of several other tactical schools. I continue to seek out training to better my tactical acumen, shooting skills and to protect my ass and family. I may not agree with every point Gabe advocates, but he provides his reasons/rationale to support his case.

  29. I have met Gabe Suarez, purchased most of his books, a few DVDs and yes I actually attend a course or two. Gabe prides himself on offering tested combat techniques to his clients. I enjoyed his course and would train with him again.

    BTW: Three days ago, I purchased a copy of David Kenik’s book “Armed Response” with an endorsement from Gabe Saurez on the back cover.

    I am not a “wannabe anything”. I am a career military and law enforcement professional with 30 years of experience and a graduate/attendee of several other tactical schools. I continue to seek out training to better my tactical acumen, shooting skills and to protect my ass and family. I may not agree with every point Gabe advocates, but he provides his reasons/rationale to support his case.

  30. I heard that Gabe Suarez may have been one of the shooters on the grassy knoll.

    Also does anyone know if there is any truth to him needing to wear wire mesh underwear because his scrotum can’t support the weight of his huge brass balls?

  31. “He is, unquestionably, a better advisor on all things firearms than I’ll ever be.”

    Then perhaps you maybe should listen to what he has to say, and ACTUALLY READ his article you referenced in your piece.

    Seems most just saw ‘finger on trigger’ and got all emotional without taking what Gabe said into context.

    • I read it carefully. And I still think it’s bad not to say dangerous advice. OK, dangerous; I’ll be publishing my rebuttal later today.

  32. I see much concern here over this topic. I also sense much fear over having an ND or having a neighbor stop by to check in on you. I believe what we have here is 2 things. 1 / the lack of training or the lack of owning a set of stones. and 2 / Many have been indoctrinated with LCD tactics and Political correctness.

    I have been in gunfights and living here as an American in Colombia in a predominately Guerilla controlled area……… i have also had adversaries that i completely covered them point in and finger on the trigger. To do otherwise would be unthinkable……….. and quite honestly in my opinion, reckless and irresponsible.
    I have trained with Gabe in Central America and here at a few spots in the USA. I have also ate food at his table with him and shared a few adult beverages with the man. To say you can find a dozen other instructors like him is pure BS. I went to Gabe for training after many interviews with other instructors. Gabe simply has been there and done that, he is an excellent orator and he knows what it takes to survive a real life threat. That was apparent to me when we spoke. He has ever disappointed me and i accredit living longer thru the training he provided. Anybody here may read about one of my gunfights in Lessons from Armed America.. a book written by Mark Walters of Armed American radio. I also have been written about in CCW magazine. This post isn,t about me. I only mention it to show credibility.
    To the gentleman who mentions Gabe,s legal concerns over his disability…….
    I suspect that you do not know the whole nor real story. Have you never gotten jammed up or steam rolled in life…….

    What has one of his life,s problems have to do with his knowledge or ability to instruct.
    And do not talk about his integrity……….

    Like i said, i know him and his family well. The man has more integrity then just about anybody i have ever met. And his Christian Foundation is strong and true. That matters to me……….. does it matter to you! Thanks for allowing me a say………. best regards, Vincent Savage

  33. Gabe Suarez is knowledgeable, and does a good job in presenting his techniques. You ain’t gotta agree with everything he says or teaches; use what works for you and ditch the rest.

    What is annoying is his legion of fanboys who spend all their time jerking each other off on Warriortalk. These are the guys who have no opinions about anything, other than “what Gabe said”. Some of the drivel that comes out of their heads is laughable. Warriortalk is a good site, once you get past all the self fellating that goes on by his newest “convert”.

  34. Insane indeed! I can’t believe people like Gabe own guns. The post title reminds of the time Gabe Suarez almost went on a shooting spree but then stopped because the voices in his head told him to. He needs to be locked up in an institution and have his 2nd Amendment rights revoked.

  35. Wow, got a bit vitriolic on here. I have been in multiple gunfights as a military cop. Some were LE in nature and others were force protection in nature. In an LE situation your weapon is as much a deescaltion tool as it is a lethal weapon. In force protection its combat plain and simple… Usually. Working in an urban environment with civilians around is tricky sometimes. From an average Joe home defense perspective(which I have now) its about discretion and survival. Cops have a million more legal worries than a civilian weeping because he shot someone who broke in. For a cop, 99% of encounters are about deescalation and everyone going home vertical. For a homeowner its about staying vertical first, and learning to cope later. In a true combat scenario whether cqb or field work, its about accomplishing the mission which may or may not involve firing a weapon. All of these applications have widely varying skill sets in use but the common denominator is having a weapon in your hand. Almost everyone consistently spoke consciously or subconsciously about pistols. I use a carbine for home defense because I am very comfortable with a rifle for cqb. There is no drawing or holstering in my house, there is only moving ready to fire. Where my TF is, is irrelevant. I am prepared to fire because my peremiter has been breached. Similar to any perimeter defense but the mental preparedness needed to discern cat from con is the thing. I have never failed to fire when needed, and I have fired in questionable circumstances. Nowadays, I fall back on six years of constant training while making mental allowance for the fact that drunks break in to houses they think are theirs, and also remind myself that my childs bedroom is between me and the front door. I have never, in any situation worried about where my finger was, but unless I was firing it was not on the trigger. The amount of time is down to mental preparedness, and worrying about where one guy says to put your finger is like worrying what one guy says about how deep your foxhole should be. Having a gun and a hole in the ground both add up to advantages. Know where your hole is, and know where you bullets hit and be ready to fire up in the gourd on your neck. And remember to always gallop toward the enemy, but trot away.

  36. Rook, I think covered it very well. Mr. Suarez i think has been very very fortunate, if he really has always had his finger on the trigger when pointing a gun at someone. Due to this statemnet i would think that individuals that are considering using his training or his staff’s training may want to look elsewhere.

    I have read some of Mr. Suarez’s writings over the past years from magazine articles years ago to his Warrior Talk Forum and he and the Warrior talk people seem be, inmho, a little over the top and pretty arrogant in their opinions. Tunnel vision is always a problem wneh discussing deadly force in relation to personal defense.

    • Force Science Institute has recently come to the conclusion (through separate research) that supports Gabe Suarez training and what Suarez says about finger on/off the trigger. Maybe the Suarez critics are smarter than the FSI scientists who testify about the dynamics of real shootings…. Maybe not.

  37. I have seen this Suarez charicter post on a few forums (Mostly “Warrior Talk”)… he seems to be a true “Rambo Type”, even challenging an online friend of mine to some RL Gun Fight on a tropical island when they got into a discussion about some firearms semantics. He was full of pure internet boistering nonsense.

    In this case his oppinion crosses the border into the VERY BAD IDEA zone and quite dangerous for any mall ninja willing to follow this advice to Federal Prison. Whatever this guy was at one point, whatever good advice he once gave, has been destroyed as he drank his own Kool-Aid.

  38. Oh how I wish I could take back my comments from January 8th 2011. I have since discovered the truth about GS. It is a damn shame because many of us respected and liked the man before discovering what a lying rude arrogant selfish jerk he turned out to be. Now I suspect he’ll call me a bank robber or narco trafficker to discredit me. hahahahaha

    • Larry,
      You discredit yourself. You were GS’ biggest cheerleader/butt kisser until a group of instructors left WT/SI to join their own group. Now you go in the complete opposite direction spewing hate and insults about GS and WT. Were you lying then or are you lying now? Many think you protest too much. Grow up and take care of your own business.

  39. I don’t think Gabe is insane in his view. What is “MORE” important is the view the Bad Guy has of YOU. If you have you gun pointed at someone do you not you already have the intent, IF need to, to “destroy” said target? I for one would have my finger on the trigger because I would be ready to defeat him. What idiot would not? This is not in the realm of Police officer vs “possible” bad guy. For civis to draw down on someone means we have seen something so socially unacceptable that we were compelled by Moral Obligation to someone’s lives or your own. Nothing says stop better than a gun being pointed at you by someone who knows you will use it. Period. That is the view the “bad guy” should have of you. Not a cowardly stop with a gun limply held with the safety on and pointed down at the ground with your finger OFF the trigger. After all isn’t just the mere act of pointing a gun at someone against all safety regulations know to man? You’ve gone that far. What’s the point not being truly ready?

  40. This IS a ridiculous discussion, he’s right, and anybody that’s actually been there, and done that knows that.

  41. Well,
    It is really easy to have an opinion about theory, then applying to experience. Being in possession of the basic skills of introducing any kind of weapon in a fight and having control over that weapon throughout the event cycle of the “fight”, is a reality that will only be known in the moment of the engagement as the reality presents itself. Perception of reality can be a cruel task master.

  42. Suarez international is solely based on Mr. Gabriel Suarez, who through teaching relatively good tactics and excellent marketing created a legion of potbellied tactical pant wearing sycophants eager to enrich Mr. Suarez every time he presents a new toy or gimmick to “the tribe”
    Someday Mr. Suarez will take his millions and retire, his school will be no more. Laughing on a beach in Maui he can reflect about all the overpriced unnecessary shit he sold over the years to get there. Good for you Gabe.

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