Suarez International; Advanced Rifle Gunfighting (Day 2)

Here are some pictures and a review of the second day of a Two Day Advanced Rifle Gunfighting course taught by Gabe Suarez of Suarez International out of Prescott, AZ. This was not a basic course so it progressed quickly. By day two the students started to know each other and joke around and talk about gear at breaks, but they ran the drills efficiently and learned a lot in these two days on the range. By the end of day two students had been worn out physically, mentally tested and experienced weather from sunny and 60* to cold, wind and rain. From what I could tell they all enjoyed it very much too


Our Rifle Gunfighting Course has set the standard for close range rifle training, but there is a limit to what can be done in two days. Where Rifle Gunfighting is all shooting and focuses on short range applications, Advanced Rifle Gunfighting adds material that pushes both the weapon system and operator to new levels.

In addition to this we have added Small Team Tactics (2-3 shooters), Team Immediate Action and Movement Drills, Rifle in Alternative Force, as well as several Rifle Force on Force exercises with our Air soft Rifles. Finally we will spend some time working on Vehicle Gunfighting With Rifles as we study how to operate in and around vehicles with our long guns. Days will be long, intense, and filled with life-saving information. This class will set a new standard for civilian and professional rifle training. Not For Novice Rifle Shooters.

Duration: 2 days
Ammunition: Approximately 750 rounds (Minimum) , 50 rounds of pistol ammunition,
Requirements: Rifle (Any Action or Caliber suitable for use within 50 yards), All weapons must be equipped with a sling, Also bring a Pistol with at least two magazines, Belt, Holster, Magazine Pouches, Rifle Ammo Pouches, Ear & Eye Protection, (knee & elbow pads are strongly suggested)

This course was held at the Casa Grande Police Range in Casa Grande, Arizona. It’s a great venue for a shooting class

The range is close to both Tucson and Phoenix. It has great views to the southwest and a big hill / mountain that the ranges point into to the east.

The weather was much colder and wetter than day one, but every student returned and they learned more about their gear and equipment than they would in mild weather

While most drills were shot in the rain, Gabe didn’t get the students wet for no reason and many lectures and all breaks were under the shelter offered by the range. The roof and covered seating is another reason I am a fan of this location for classes.

The weather had no impact on the course of instruction. After all prone in the rain offers the opportunity for students to test their gear with jackets gloves and a level of un comfort

Day two proceeded as day one, with instruction followed by hands on drills. When students were not shooting, the whole class would participate at once. When shooting however drills were done in two groups (half the class at a time) for safety, speed and for the opportunity for individual instruction

The advanced drills included more applications to each standard position than an introductory level class. For example sitting lecture covered when one might use a sitting position such as shooting up or down.

The advantages of kneeling and squatting were more than obvious in the rain. And the class was again able to see how their gear (and muscles) could stand up to these somewhat non-standard conditions.

Lectures were not cut back on for the weather, and the class was unaffected by the alternating showers and dry spells which happened throughout the day

Most drills were done out in the weather, but a few were able to be performed from under the shelter. I didn’t notice any weapons or equipment failing under the wet conditions. I think this may be a factor of the level of experience of the class.

This advanced rifle gunfighting class covered some close quarter hand to hand fighting using the rifle as an impact weapon. This was the first time (since basic training w/ bayonets) that I’ve encountered this type of instruction.

The students looked eager to practice these moves and the technique Gabe used for learning the basic moves in combination was very easy to learn and re-call. Students were impressed by these techniques and later asked for more of this type of instruction, and hands on training in future courses. In fact a week later, as I write this review, I can still remember the technique for learning and applying the various strikes without referring to my class notes.

A few shots with visible muzzle blast from short rifles (barrels). The visible blast is a function of cold and darkness. In full daylight the flash is still there, but not as visible. The quick blast is not much issue for the shooter however, it happens so fast most shooters can easily ignore it.

Most of the students had trained with Gabe in the past, and all the students had prior training before attending this advanced level rifle gunfighting class. This allowed the class to move quickly and safely. From my perspective as an observer, there was a big difference between this class and the intro courses I’ve reviewed in the past

The last half of day two was advanced drills applying the techniques learned to that point. Stress was induced by both the weather and the complexity of the drills while still ensuring safety. Again, as an observer, this was impressive to say the least. As a student I can only imagine the benefit of putting new skills to the test like this

The advanced drills required more preparation than simple “how to shoot in this position” like an introductory class. So time was spent to ensure safety and effective learning

The more advanced drills were done two students at a time with the rest of the class watching. This way safety could be maintained and the rest of class could learn from each other. These drills were an exciting review of two days of advanced rifle gunfighting drills.

At the end of day two Gabe took some time to go over the lessons learned and asked for feedback from the students. Gabe asked what classes and skills were wanted and offered to schedule classes in the future to cover things like hand to hand, force on force and other subjects that are in demand

Upon completing the class each student was given a certificate. This was an impressive course of instruction and all the students despite the weather, stayed until the end and said they looked forward to Gabes next class

This was a fairly large class, but no one was left behind, Each student received coaching and learned new skills.. Everyone returned from Day One, which was warm, mild a sunny. Day Two was cold, wet and tiring, but was just as informative and fun

Note: This class was just three days before we left for a week to attend and review SHOT show 2008, so the second day review was posted a week late. This is no reflection on the course, it was simply a factor of the computers we had available to us. Thanks for your patience


Our training courses are focused on what actually happens in a fight, and not on what happens in the controlled environment of the training site. Likewise, we are always searching for better and more efficient methods, not locked in by any school dogma. When you ask a question at one of our training sessions, you will never hear, “Because that’s the way we’ve always done it”, or “Because that’s what our instructor told us to do”. To the contrary, we know what happens in a fight. Whether with guns, knives, or fists, we’ve been there and seen it first-hand. Our training reflects the reality and ugliness of fighting to save your life or the lives of those important to you. Our training will help you prevail in such situations.