Previous Post
Next Post

Some maintain that gun gurus shouldn’t get into it with each other, lest anti-gun rights jihadis exploit their divisions for their own ends. Instructor Zero himself make this argument in the video above. I’m not of that opinion, obviously. Obvious because this website is called The Truth About Guns. I reckon the only way you can get to the truth is . . .

by confronting falsehoods, including those you may be perpetuating.

In other words, the unexamined firearms-based defense strategy is not worth adopting. All the best trainers answer any and all questions about their philosophy/techniques, how they arrived at them and why they choose to make those specific recommendations. The very best never assume they’re right.

As for questioning an instructor’s credentials, sure, why not?

Instructor Zero’s c.v., as outlined by this video, is much too vague for me. For Instructor Zero to fully debunk James Yeager’s accusation that Instructor Zero is an entertainer rather than a “real” instructor, Zero needs to name names. If OPSEC demands that he shield his employers from public scrutiny, then he should remain stum. Criticizing Yeager’s background without revealing his own simply doesn’t fly.

I’m not saying Instructor Zero doth protest too much, but he doth mount an unverifiable defense. Which is, ultimately, no defense at all. As for whether or not this confrontation makes any damn difference, let’s go with this: by thy deeds thy shall be known. Fair enough?

Previous Post
Next Post


      • Makes sense. I am Italian (from Italy) and Zero embarrasses me immensely. He always has. I find him to be closer to a clown than to anything else of interest. Some swear by his skills, I only find him immensely embarrassing. The way he speaks (or not) and all the rest. I kind of feel like I have to apologize. Hopefully contemporary Italians (from Italy) are not all like that. I, for sure, am not.

        • Because to you it seems relevant, how a fellow connational speaks, rather than how he works on his tools and gear.

          Have you seen EVERY video? Analyzed, how he works?
          Do you shoot yourself a gun? Does your Life depend on doing so right?

          Then think about what he says, next to doug marcaida, a second.
          He says, that HIS way looks like this.
          He doesn?t frikkin INSULT other instructors, firearms teaches or military experts, he doesn’t bark, nor engages into something you can’t finish.

          What did Yaeger do as an example?
          Or you?

          Write it behind your own ears (there you can see i’m a connational):
          What i use, is merely pinches of salt, out of his techniques.
          Barking doesn’t get us nowhere.
          Learn even the best from the worst.
          But who ever has no respect for even others tend to be worse or better, nevertheless, then there’s something missing in advance.

  1. Have you looked at his FB page? He has lots of stuff there that never makes it to YouTube. Either he actually does train various LEO/Military units in various places or he has lots and lots of buddies with varying accents who dress up for his videos.

    • For better or worse, we know Yeager’s background. About Zero? Zero. Or a little more than zero. But not enough for him to be calling out Yeager.

      • So you say he doesn’t have a leg to stand on in the post and comments, but you headline it a “bitch slap”. One or the other, please.

        • There seems to be an ongoing, personal vendetta against Yeager here that’s been going on for far too long. ENOUGH.

        • Well William Burke. Yeager does it too him self.

          You know the old saying, “Talk quietly, but carry a big stick”?

          Yeager personal saying should be, “Have a big mouth, shoot it off reoeatedly, (on you tube,) and carry a tacticool big stick operationally”

    • I have never seen Zero clear a corner correctly and sometimes he fails to clear at all. He uses copious amounts of tactical woo and tries to appeal to his so-called background. There is no evidence that anything he says is true. Yeager is a jerk, and I would never work with him, but Zero is probably a fake. No matter how operator you are, basic skills don’t just get dropped. Entering a room while flagging his muzzle and failing to clear his corner makes him lookeuntrained, but what do I know? Maybe basic skills aren’t good enough for Italian operators that refuse to use a real name.

      • Listen, I’m a computer nerd for a living, I can’t speak to his correct or incorrect tactics when entering a room. Now if he was doing some deadlifts or squats that’s a different story, but I digress. I was just pointing out that he has lots of stuff on his FB page that isn’t like his ‘showy’ type of shooting that gets posted on YouTube. He very well could be an elaborate fake, wouldn’t surprise me in this day and age, just saying that if he is he’s seemingly got lots of people (perhaps unwittingly) in on it with him.

      • Agree, Zero is fun to watch because he has lots of flash and wow, but I wonder just how well all the tactical ballet would hold up in a real fight. Similar to a lot of martial arts, lots of flash and movement but no real substantive skills.

        There was this famous fight of some aikido master years ago where he was supposedly “unbeatable”, there were videos of him taking out his entire class as they attacked him, all while barely touching them due to the strength of his qui. Then one day he leaves his class and challenges someone with actual fighting experience and gets his nose broken and then knocked out stone cold within the first minutes because his flashy choreographed training fights didn’t hold up to a real world attack.

        Very few martial arts or self defense disciplines can be practiced at full speed or under similar conditions to an actual attack because someone would die or be gravely injured, so it leaves the door open to situations where people have something that looks cool but is completely ineffective. Zero does some pretty cool stuff, but I always wonder how much of it is wasted motion. I may not pay him for a class anytime soon but I still probably wouldn’t challenge him to a gun fight.

        • In challenging someone to a gunfight, it works best if they don’t know you are there. At least that’s been my experience. Trust me, it works so much better that way.

    • Agreed – training should be simple to understand, basic in it’s functionality and easy to recall in stressful situations. It should also be easy enough to practice on your own or with limited facilities. I have limited time to train and need the maximum benefit from the training I receive to make sure it’s relevant and useful later on. The stuff Yeager and Zero espouse looks like neither. They make too many “shit-talking” videos and not enough practical ones to be relevant for mainstream. I don’t know who would contract them. With so many high profile fights and arguments on the interwebz, I would think any company/agency that wanted to be discreet would shy away from that kind of publicity. Furthermore, government organizations tend to use resources that are free, low-cost or inherent to their own organizations, i.e. staff Firearms Instructors. Bringing in outside contractors to teach anything always gets scrutinized heavily. My old PD sent one or two guys a year to the State academy to get certified in various firearms disciplines. They’d come back and teach everyone else. My current organization runs most of us through a two-week FA instructor course and we have a professional staff FA cadre in DC. I’ve never seen an outside contractor like these two instruct any of us or our clients overseas.

      So whoever they are teaching, it’s a mystery. I don’t doubt they have skills, but translating those skills to students, effectively and more importantly lastingly is something I doubt very seriously they do regularly. I personally would never pay for one of their classes – I just don’t see where it’s practical. Entertaining maybe, practical no.

  2. God, have we not yet reach peak tacti-douche with these two yet?

    Someone just needs to hurry up and lock them both in the Thunderdome already.

    • Two idiots get their panties in a twist and TTAG treats it like it’s breaking news or something….why exactly??? Do we really need a play by play on this Farago? WTF is this, some pop sugar quasi gun-celebrity gossip blog?

      James Yeager is a tool, I wouldn’t trust him with a water pistol. And yet TTAG keeps calling him a “guru” for some unknown reason. As for Zero, I think he has some Italian military experience which some have deemed not terribly impressive. You want to waste your money and train with them? Go ahead. But can we please leave that crap off this website?

  3. Wowser.

    Two Yew-Tewbe ‘operators’ dick waving?


    Anyways. Where did that little twerp ‘god’ disappear to?

    I kinda miss giving him a well-deserved kick in the nuts…

  4. Yeager is the queen of the overweight, neckbearded, open-carry-your-tapco’d-sks, warrior. Besides his arrogance, he has that cute little video of him trying to be an operator and leaving his buddy to die.

    Oh yeah, he also defended that douche Corey after he was outed as a stolen valor dingus because “he sends business my way.”


      • Do you mean the fact he ran from a car being shredded by a pkm (not cover), to a ditch (cover) to return fire?

    • You are a stupid ignorant idiot. Yeager ran for cover and returned fire, killing 2, after the baddies were down he ran back to try to help that guy who unfortunately passed. Maybe you should learn facts before running your big mouth.

      • You couldn’t be more wrong about everything you said. Yeager NEVER killed any “badguys” in that encounter, it’s nonsense put out by his fanboys. Read the aar- he dumped half a mag randomly and ran away into the ditch, where he laid until the “badguys” left. He wouldn’t even get up to throw smoke- thus taking the risk of putting his team in the smoke rather than behind it. He ran away, didn’t return fire from the ditch, didn’t aid the wounded, and didn’t call for support- so he abandoned his team and left them to cope without him. Get your facts straight before calling names- which only displays YOU are what you are calling others.

  5. Don’t know much about Yeager but I had a beer with ‘zero’ last fall. Despite the YouTube branding, he seems to be a genuinely decent guy in real life. Much different than the videos. Can’t speak to the tactics but the guy is fun to watch. My personal favorite video gun instructor is Aaron Cohen from Sage dynamics.

  6. I’ve had just about enough of this tacti-drama. I’ve trained with James Yeager on several occasions and I would gladly train with Zero if he ever posts a resume and opens up shop. Yeager presents himself a certain way on youtube in order to expand his channel and bring in business. Go train with the man, have dinner with him as I have, get to know him a little bit and you will see a whole different side of him.

  7. After the why .40s suck video, I never watched anything from the excessively swollen skull guy James Yeager again and I have even less desire to meet or otherwise train under him.

    • He said that 40s are harder to shoot than 9mm and/or 45ACP. He also said that 40 cal guns wear out faster.

      I can personally confirm the first and even die hard 40-fans admit that 40s ares louder and more snappy (for example hickok45). No idea if 40s wear out faster but it makes sense given the greater slide speed and I would trust an instructor to have seen more high-round-count pistols than I have.

      I would not dismiss his perspective so easily.

      • I think some of the .40 hate is based on original adoptions of the caliber where they were basically 9mm guns with the breach face opened up and a .40 barrel installed. Guns designed around the caliber (i.e. Tougher breach/slide to cope with higher pressures, and heavier springs to slow down the slide/keep barrel locked up longer) should have reliability and component life on par with any othe common pistol round. It’s the same thing with people who put a 10mm barrel in a gun designed around 45acp or shooting +p+ 9mm in a gun not rated for it.

        As far as shoot ability, yeah there’s no way around it, my former Glock 22 shooting 165gr Gold Dots was almost unpleasant to shoot. 180gr SD loads tamed it a little bit because they are loaded more conservatively. Using target ammo both of my current 45s definitely recoil more, but it is a slower shove rather than a snappy jump with the .40. Neither even comes close to comparing to my dad’s 9mm, even shooting 147gr self defense ammo.

      • Where in my comment did I dismiss what he said? Maybe it is factual. Maybe cheap guns wear out faster. I care less. I carry a .40 in a P229. That’s what I wanted. I’ve owned 9 mm. I had a .45 I wanted a .40 and don’t care what the blow hard says. I know how read and read what he wrote. As a matter of fact, I may just buy a bran new P229 Legion in .40 when they come out.
        If I paid attention to every a– hole with an opinion over brand and caliber, I’d end up crazy with a straw and spit-wads.

  8. Learning facts often involves getting it wrong a lot.

    A smart man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns fro the mistakes of others.

    If one is wise it is possible to be right without any experience at all.

    To assault someone’s credentials is nothing but Ad Hominem. I’m smarter, more knowledgeable, and more capable than almost every engineer I’ve ever met. Yet I never went to college. My resume is a blank piece of paper. I know plenty of complete fucking morons with dozens of degrees and certifications. It proves precisely dick now that any fool with an inherited trust fund can buy any piece of paper he or she wants. Qualifications are no longer qualifications.

    • >I’m smarter, more knowledgeable, and more capable than almost every engineer I’ve ever met
      >Yet I never went to college

      I get the feeling you still take orders from those dumb engineers.

      • I feel a little dirty, but I agree with Sexy Rex. @CRF, don’t take a word Dustin says to mean anything. The world is full of people who didn’t go to college or have business degrees that think they are more capable than engineers. Some of them are right. Most are Dunning-Kruger study candidates.

        I am an engineer who manages a lot of people. I prefer to hire engineers even for non engineering roles simply because they are trained problem solvers who tend to be resilient and hard working. There is a trial by fire in engineering programs that only intelligent fast learners that are willing to work hard can survive. Back in my day less than 50% survived to the point of applying to a particular engineering college. Of those probably 10% didn’t get selected to any engineering program and cycled involuntarily into being business majors.

    • Somehow I doubt this. I’m no engineer, but went to school with a bunch and work with a bunch. I suspect if asked to calculate structural loads, need to solve some differential equations or calculate loads and size service feeders, you’re probably not my guy.

      If it’s negotiating a deal or looking for out of the box problem solving, you may be, but that’s not part of an engineering curriculum. You’re basically saying “I can do non-engineering things better than engineers! They’re so dumb!” and justifying your life choices. Your claims don’t prove or substantiate anything. I know plenty of clever engineers who’ve made great life choices and successes in pretty much any arena you could care to judge them. Of course, my anecdote doesn’t prove anything other than cancel out your anecdote 1 for 1.

  9. Got an idea, not necessarily a good one, but an idea nonetheless. Here goes: why don’t they take each others courses? Always found that, as a student of anything, there’s always something to learn.

  10. Regardless, Zero can handle guns far better than Yaeger. Watching the two of them move, I could believe Zero has actually had to fight before, while James yaeger gives me the impression he’s been a policeman before. If I needed to train pistol combatives, i could see taking a class from potentially either, but if I wanted to get better at shooting and manipulating my weapon, I don’t know that Yaeger has anything for me.

  11. I imagine that a trainer/coach need not be terribly skilled/experienced shooters themselves – just know how to teach the techniques and evaluate progress. I have not seen either teach.

    • To paraphrase an old saw, “Those who can – do! Those who can’t – teach! Those who can’t do either, post on Youtube.” Sarcasm aside, I’ll admit I’ve never heard of either instructor, but I’m from an older generation that was limited to reading the often exaggerated hunting, shooting, and combative exploits of others. I later learned that some of the giants of that time had feet of clay, but they all possessed one common skill, the ability to spin a yarn. If we aren’t being informed or entertained, then we aren’t fully engaged. That’s what sold printed periodicals, and that’s what sells their modern online successors. TTAG is no exception to this rule, which would explain its popularity. If you want to see a movie that spoofs this very concept of style trumping experience, check out the old Rock Hudson film “Man’s Favorite Sport”.

  12. The truth about guns is this: 99.99% of TTAG readers will never get a chance to meet or train with either of the fellows involved in this little internet-based pissing match. So we have no reason to care.

    Lots of good schools out there. Bad ones, too. Lots of trainers posting videos. Enroll at your own risk.

    I look forward to getting back to actual gun-related news. Hopefully soon.

    • I tried to train with Yeager. He had a defensive pistol class scheduled near me in N. IL. I emailed a question about the ability to train with both a small concealed carry 9mm (single stack high recoil) and an easier to shoot Glock 19. I never received a reply. It made my decision easy. If his organization doesn’t care about a prospective student question before sending money, I doubt if they would care after.

  13. Didn’t even watch the video, I’m only here to comment on the line by RF:

    “The very best never assume they’re right.”

    The very best understand that there are multiple choices which are often compromises that are judgment calls and often dependent on a person’s risk assessment/tolerance. Tactics are a gamble and there are better and lower odds gambles to make depending on circumstances. The very best understand the situation, gear, skill, likelihood that need to be considered and explain why they make their choices relevant to those factors; and can discuss other options they rejected based on those factors that someone else might choose instead.

  14. In my very limited experience with a few real professionals I have found that almost by rule they are humble and unassuming guys. If you train with them they will “instruct and educate” you in a respectful but ruthlessly honest way that is highly effective. FWIW, I’ve never met Zero or Yeager but based on what they put out there publicly they both seem like clowns to me.

    If you are a regular law abiding citizen and want to get some highly professional training conducted by instructors that know what they are doing I would recommend Sig Academy. Disclaimer: I don’t work for Sig (truthfully, I still can’t find one of their guns that I like even though I keep trying) but have trained there on several occasions and do have a few friends that work there. It is serious training and not unusual to have the opportunity to run through a class with active SWAT/SRTofficers and military operators as part of the class mix.

    • So true!

      I have had the same experience with both a retired Green Beret (Vietnam Vet who later served as a Security consultant to an Oil Company in Nigeria) an a former NAVY Seals (due to OPSEC politely refuses to say were he served) and my own father in law served 20 years with the French Paras (Elite Parachute Commandos).

      They are the most unassuming, non-macho and humble people I have ever met. They don’t brag about their experiences, in fact while they are proud of it they hardly mention it at all. There is something about saying nothing that speaks volumes.

      These are the guys I would train with were I a professional (which I am not) not a bunch of loudmouths with dubious credentials on the internet.

      • Through the years I have meet ex delta guys, ex navy seal guys and rangers and they all had a very mellow way about them. I just meet zero and I got the same impression from him as well I have no doubt be is the real deal. Now taking into account for sake of argument he turns out to be a fake with fake military background. the fact remains the same the guy can shoot and he can shoot great so there is still something you can learn from him without a doubt. People do not seem to realize that the Navy SEALs and delta scour the earth looking for the best fighting methods they possibly can and in their pursuits they have used guys such as Paul Vunak and the Gracies to train them as well as the sayco kali guys and none of those people were military but still the Navy SEALs and delta utilize them for training.

  15. Glad I went to bed before seeing this clickbait. Not a fan of yeager-now I have to check out the Zero dude…

  16. The only “gun guy” that’s worth my time is Hickok45, because he’s about nothing but guns and shooting. No blind, jingoistic brand loyalty, no shit-talking, no treating theories as fact, and no stupid, dangerous videogame-inspired stunts. The only messages he wants to send are A: Guns are freaking awesome, and B: There are far more bad operators than there are bad guns, and you can get good with just about anything.

  17. To much thought / words / discussion for what amounts to draw, point and apply 8 pounds of trigger squeeze to stop a threat.

  18. I’d train with either. Of course neither is a “just-the-facts, ma’am”, straightforward instructor. You want the utmost professionalism and a distinct no-nonsense relative lack of bullshit, train with Haley Strategic. All of these schools have their own marketing niche. Gunsite is old-school, classic and historic. Gabe Suarez is about cutting-edge methodology. Instructor Zero trains aggressively and is a little tacticool. Vickers Tactical has lots of expertise and experience. Tactical Response is very in-your-face gun culture, love it or leave it. Living in New York City at the moment, I find their attitude refreshing. Valor Ridge is like Tactical Response without most of the chest-thumping and “my opinions are facts and everyone else is a fucking idiot” attitude.

    If you’re really serious, you’d train with whoever you can. Every trainer gives some bad advice. Take what’s good from them, and discard the bad. Resume’s mean nothing. Who is a good teacher, and can they teach what you want to learn. That is what matters. I’d be happy to train with Jeff Bloovman (Armed Dynamics). His qualifications: failed soap opera actor who beat James Yeager on a reality television show. But it doesn’t matter. I’ve heard him talk and he sounds like someone I could learn a few good things from. Be open minded. I took an NRA class recently where I thought I could teach class much better than the rather inexperienced teacher, and I didn’t really learn anything I didn’t know, but I still really enjoyed it and I focused my attention on the instuctor’s area of expertise, local gun politics and law. When it came to local issues he really was an expert, the best instructor in the city. So I focused on learning that from him, even though a lot of it didn’t apply or wasn’t useful to me.

  19. It took all of 5 seconds to find Zero’s qualifications as he has stated. His page shows him training with people all the time who are obviously not weekend warriors. Yes he does lots of trick shots and stuff for fun (who doesn’t). However, it’s not hard to figure most of the stuff out about him. Yeager is a small town cop who went to Iraq as a hired gun with no experience when they would pay anyone to go there. That qualified him to be an “expert.”

    A former Instructor of the 5th Assault Battalion, Italian Military – Folgore Parachute Brigade,

  20. I think they’re both clowns.

    Agent Zero or whomever comes off like the lead henchman is a bad straight-to-DVD Bond film knockoff, circa 1998.

    Yeager, well, it’s always hard to look at that guy and not see the pudgy, pushed-around little kid I’m sure he was. He’s cleary, desperately devoted his life to erasing that self-image and remaking himself into some kind of supposed badass.

    I would avoid them both and just head down to the local tactical training outfit partnered up with your local range. You won’t get the celebrity experience ans there won’t be any autographed dollar bills passes out.

    What you will get, is value for your training dollar, from unassuming, unpretentious, low key guys who actually have kicked down a door or two in Khandahar; but who don’t make a big deal of it.

  21. Zero has verifiable instructor and military experience which can be found with a simple internet search. Yeager is a joke. I have met Zero, and he was extremely humble, gracious, and kind, the complete opposite of Yeager. Zero’s videos are fun to watch because he has skills, and trick shots are cool to see, but to conclude from those videos alone that that is all he has to offer is ridiculous.

  22. Let’s be real. Zero posts vids of stuff you can’t do. Yeager only shoots with his ass out of his mouth.
    Zero was military and trains in SOF circles. Yeager was fired from one or more PD’s and has a following of pinknecks. Robert Farago has 0 credibility.

  23. You can go and look at some of Zero’s background…he is ex special forces from Italy…and as for him not having skills, he teaches real life skills in many of his videos in concealed carry and how to draw quickly from concealment/appendix carry…also teaches to shoot center mass…..there are many many videos of him training military and leo groups….if you look….unless he has countless friends with different accents or they pay actors……..Yeager called him out then turns out Yeagers own background gets called out and being fired from multiple positions….

    just take the time and search for zero and some of his background and you will find it….all this talk about him being flashy and not doing real shooting that’s not what I see, see many videos of him doing the opposite but its the internet and everyone is right.

  24. I know it’s an old post, but I just came across these two characters. Yeager is a blowhard. None of the trainers for his organization (Tactical Response) seem to have much real world experience, and that’s a red flag for me. They post ridiculous CV’s on their website: ( Personally, I look for professionalism when seeking trainers.
    As for this Zero guy – he looks like a Pat McNamara wannabe to me. Just saying.

  25. Zero real name is YECO BICCELLI (07/31/1974), he has real zero background in the special ops world, he served in his youth for 10 month in Italian Army (I noticed all 18 yo Italian guys were forced to serve for 12 months in the Army since 2000 y), he was kicked out from the Army service due to psychiatric issues. He was just a restaurant owner… you can find his corporation on google (something like BUZZ SAS), btw after his “career” in the restaurants sector he created the weird Zero character. That’s it; no more no less.

  26. ALL these internet “Experts” are Losers & Wannabes! Under gunfire, they’d ALL be the first ones DEAD, with piss stains in their pants!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here