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Gun guru Gabe Suarez might read the above headline and chuckle. He might read it and think Hell yeah I’m insane! The most insanely violent guy wins. One thing’s for sure: Gabe’s a bit meshugah. I made the point back in January 2011 when Gabe argued that trigger discipline never means having to say “I kept my finger off the trigger until I was ready to shoot.” OK, not never. But mostly. In a recent post on, the 12-year-vet of the Santa Monica Police Department—who left the force under less-than-ideal circumstances—suggests that armed self-defenders should consider the possibility of shooting the bad guy or guys through a wall. “For example, your partner is moving into a room and takes fire at the door from the extreme left side of the room . . .

You bring up your rifle or pistol and shoot from the area adjacent toe door to the extreme left area of the apparent room at face/upper chest level, then lowering your muzzle to where a man may go if he takes a knee, bring your shots back toward the starting point

Think of writing a long “C” with your shots.

“C” as in crazy? Now Gabe may be insane but he’s not nuts. His post includes three “don’ts” that the warrior must consider when contemplating his or her new redecorating scheme.

What is needed –

1). Certainty that the adversary is in the room alone. The only thing worse than missing a shot on a bad guy is shooting a non-combatant.

2). The ability to penetrate the interior wall. This is easily done with anything anyone would care to carry on a sling or in a holster. Note – Furniture may affect performance.

3). An understanding of human nature. When shots are fired, most people will drop their profile.

In other words, you may miss. And while missing sucks, I’m sure there’s a tactical advantage to suppressive fire through walls. For civilians. Hey, it’s an option, OK? Jeez. Get off the guy’s case.

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  1. I think he forgot about knowing your target and what’s beyond part. You may shoot through the wall and out the window in that room, and kill an innocent bystander or someone sitting in their living room.

  2. In a fight for your life,you do what you have to .The best way to reduce the chances of dead bystanders is to avoid clearing holster to begin with.

  3. Well, I was standing behind our SWAT marksman when he shot a dude in the face from 15 yards with a .308 bolt action Remington. The guy had shot his neighbor going to his car that morning. Just leaned out the window and popped him with a shotgun. We tried for 12 hours to talk to him to no avail.

    We were all looking at each other right before the shot. By then the guy had picked up a (later identifed .243) rifle and was about to point it at us. Yeah, I said About to point it…he didn’t get the chance. F**k him. from behind the house showed that the round that took off half of his head exited the back window of the house at full speed and ended up who-knows-where. Of course, that was a .308 from about 15 yards….but you have to be cognizant of where the rounds will go..if you have the chance. You might not. When your ass in on the line you gotta do what you gotta do.

  4. Keep in mind that you may be engaged from one side of a wall, too. Badguys wont hesitate to do that if they think they need to.

    Then what are you going to do? Sit there and watch some one punch holes in your wall?

    Screw that. I’ll shoot back, if I can see them, or not. And Gabriel is damn right: Hold low. Like, way low. You tend to look over your sights in real world combat more often than that, and its an involuntary reflex to crouch or lower your center of gravity during an adrenaline dump.

    • Maybe that’s realistic FOR A MOVIE, but that way is SO WRONG.

      You need to do everything you can to make sure that a room does not contain a bad guy BEFORE you go leaping into it. If one of those rooms had contained a bad guy, the first cop in would have take a bullet to the chest before he got all the way in.

      • No need to tell me that. I just posted the link as an example of getting carried away shooting through walls. And, really, it depends on what you’re doing. If you have time to go slow and careful, you’re exactly right, you need to do your best to see if theres anyone else in the room. But sometimes that luxury doesn’t exist, and you just have to go for it.

        • Yeah, that was wild all that shooting through the walls in the video. They should have shot lower.

    • Gabe claims he only pleaded to misdemeanors. If that were the case he wouldn’t be a felon.

      Given that he has NFA items (or at least posted images of himself with them on WT) and given what kind of background goes into getting NFA items, I would say its safe to assume that he was not convicted of felony counts.

  5. Sometimes you have to choose between a small chance of hitting an innocent, or almost a sure thing that the bad guy will shoot someone. In that case I would shoot through a wall or a closed door. With my .45 pistol, I would not do the big C pattern, because that many bullets would deplete my magazine.

    However, there are other ways to enter and clear a room without immediately jumping into the bad guys gun sights. I would probably “slice the pie” from outside the room, until I saw and shot the bad guy from outside the room.

    • Lots of people slicing the pie have been gotten shot through walls and doors, coincidental enough. Action ALWAYS beats reaction. If you know for sure some one is holed up in there, short of a frag grenade, you’ll need to go in hard and fast…Assuming you have a team. And if you dont, you should probably re-evaluate what you’re doing clearing rooms alone.

      • Bad guys are becoming better trained! For most people, it never occurs to them that they can shoot through walls and doors. It’s quite obvious when you think about it, but most don’t think about it. Most people act like “If I can’t see it, I can’t shoot it.”

  6. Matt…I knew that was coming: ” Why does SWAT need a “marksman” with a .308 bolt gun to shoot someone at 15 yards?” Matt…you’ve never seen shots fired in anger…when your ass in on the line it doesn’t matter if it’s 15 yards or 500 yards…the only thing that matters is who wins. We did.

    • You didnt answer the question, you just went on an angry rant.

      And how did you win? You were trying to talk him out, got frustrated, gave up, and shot a guy. Your original objective was to get him to surrender, you failed, thats not a win. Its nice to know that you at least admit to firing in anger, rather than self defense.

      And just wondering, but how do you know that the suspect was not someone involved in a defensive gun use?

      • Because someone involved in a lawful DGU will typically lower their weapon when the police come and talk them out, not grab a weapon…

        Mistakes happen like Tony Arambula, unfortunately, but once the police arrive on the scene I think disarming is the logical response.

  7. interesting point brought up. does anyone have any stats on how many times, if ever, that a shot fired in the swat type action described above goes on to hit an innocent 3rd party. real stats, not just that”it happens all the time, they just cover it up” crap.

  8. Normally, police snipers/marksmen serve in more as spotters/intelligence gatherers. Which means they’re typically employed above ground level so they can see a little better. Which means they’re shooting at a downwards angle, into the biggest backdrop around.

    Because a sniper/marksman typically chose their location, they will typically have a backdrop. They know exactly what a 7.62 shell will do. So I imagine that from people employing a precision shooting platform, it is incredibly rare to wing some one on accident.

    • When a round ricochets it can go in any direction. Also the only story in the comments by a swat member (Joesph) would further contradict your assertion.

      “ from behind the house showed that the round that took off half of his head exited the back window of the house at full speed and ended up who-knows-where.”

      • I’m gona go out on a limb here and say I trust common sense, everything i’ve seen professionals do, and all the TTPs/SOPs over a strangers comment over the internet. Its not unheard of for some one to engage some one real close up with a DMR/Bolt gun/what ever, but its very rare. And you can get a ricochet from shooting at just about anything. I seriously doubt people try and do entries with precision rifles and remove peoples heads with them every day, is what I’m trying to say.

  9. Disturbing . Confirmation of what many have suspected for some time that Mr. Suarez and too many of their acolytes are into double stack sidearms precisely because they are zealous advocates of suppressive rather than aimed fire. I pray that this “technique” does not become SOP for LEO’s. If it does all homeowner defenders and their dependents are in extreme danger when the “professional” assistance arrives to “help.”

  10. Eggplant for a brain Gabe Suarez is a dickhead. If you don’t completely trust the government, of believe in putting away some food for a rainy day, he thinks you are nutters.

    So it’s easy to question just who’s side he is on as well.

  11. I guess I am with Gabe. In the situation you stated, I am taking fire from the ANY side of the room. I am returning fire through the door or any wall that I can.

    Now you can WHAT IF the situation all day. If my kids are also in that room, then the answer is No, I am not shooting blindly through walls. However, if I am taking fire and I can not simply leave and get out of the situation, then all bets are off and shooting through doors and walls works for me.

  12. I read all the articles. Extrapolating all sorts of things that Gabe didn’t say into the article only serves to satisfy the needs of those with anti-Gabe agendas. Probably jealous because he’s a millionaire, and they are still living hand to mouth with their own firearms trainer businesses.

    Knowing that a wall can be shot through, and how to do so, is nothing more than some knowledge about a strategy and tactic that could be of use someday. No more; no less.

  13. You people who are enslaved to the dogma of Cooper’s 4 safety rules, your inability to adapt to a situation for survival would be your undoing in a critical situation. How ignorant is it to worship Cooper’s 4 rules as if they were handed down from god, at the expense of your own life? How did people survive handling guns before these “rules” were developed by Cooper? So if someone is pointing a gun at me with the intent of killing me, am I supposed to just accept death because I am not sure of what is beyond my target? So am I supposed to not carry a gun because it will inevitably point at things I am not willing to destroy? Its surprising that some can even make it through the day with that mentality. I see some instructors so neurotic about the “4-rules” that they waste hours of their lives attempting to justify everything into their context.

    Cooper’s 4 rules were developed to help simplify training for newbs, because the NRA 10-rules and other systems were too complex for the average person to commit to memory. Unlike most of these posters, your average LE / SWAT has training and experience beyond NRA pistol fundamentals or shooting paper targets for groups. Shooting through barriers is not only a necessity at times, but also a sound tactic.

    I do not agree with everything Suarez teaches, but he is right on this one. And its good to have instructors that break away from “common knowledge” and “political correctness” to teach effective tactics.

  14. WHY bubbas and mall ninjas continue to give Gabe Saurez any consideration is beyond me. Happy he survived his workers comp fraud case after getting run out of Santa Monica PD( that tawny beach town agency has had dirty goings on for years) but folks make him out to be the “be all, end all” tactics guru he really isn’t !

    Firearms instructor that’s good? Yes, but some of his advice just does not jibe with current good tactics taught to military and police operators, or even rank and file coppers.

    Gabe is about hype to make MONEY. His “Vick Mackey” look and tough talk sales DVDs and fills his classes with backyard dirt shooters who fantasize about “SHTF” /”ELMO”( last man on earth) gun battles

    No cop, military operator, or high end security specialist wants to be on a class with bubba fudd or jane home maker that is taking the class to learn “something cool”- real professionals have to stake their LIVES on real world training; there is little time to play “I’m on the stick” in what amounts to an adult ” fantasy camp” with guns .

    As for the PTR 91? It’s supposed to be a decent copy of the G3, but it is NOT a mil spec combat arm. I have one and at best it will do 2″ to 4″ groups at 100 yds(mine does 2″ @ 50 yds at Angeles Crest range in L.A on .308 commercial and some old Greek 7.62 x 51 I stocked up on years ago)

    As an SD/ HD and range gun, it’s decent. It has the look of a classic firearm, based on a reliable HK design. But for me ? In an urban environment for a “SHTF” realistic scenario ( major riot or earth quake where govt resources and public safety are affected) my ” go to” is the lighter , more accurate and more reliable BCM mid length M4…


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