Obituary: Louis Awerbuck, Trainer, Author

Louis Awerbuck

Louis Awerbuck, well-known firearms and tactics trainer, passed away on June 24, 2014.

Louis Awerbuck
The late Louis Awerbuck, well-known firearms and tactics trainer, strongly endorsed shotguns as self-defense tools. Image Courtesy of Yavapai Firearms Academy and Teddy Smith SOC.
Born January 27, 1948, Awerbuck, 66, was a native of Kimberley, South Africa. He served in the 1 Special Services Battalion in the South African Defence Force before emigrating to the U.S in 1983.

Louis (pronounced “loo-e”) Awerbuck was the owner and lead instructor of the Yavapai Firearms Academy, a Mobile Training Unit that provides training in gun handling, marksmanship and tactics.

Awerbuck was a member of the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA), the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI), and the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA). He was employed by Colonel Jeff Cooper at the original Gunsite Ranch as Chief Rangemaster until 1987, attaining the title of Shooting Master.

With more than three decades of instructional experience, Awerbuck was a contributory adjunct instructor to the Marine Corps Security Force Bn Atlantic combat small arms program and an adjunct firearms/tactics instructor for the Central Training Academy, Department of Energy. He trained extensively in the police and civilian firearms field and instructed military personnel from various United States bases, including Special Forces units.

Awerbuck authored several books, including Plowshares into Swords, The Defensive Shotgun, Hit or Myth, Tactical Reality, More Tactical Reality, and co-produced three videos, including “The Combat Shotgun,” “Only Hits Count,” and “Safe at Home.” He was a contributing author to SWAT magazine.

Robbie Barrkman, a friend of Awerbuck’s, said on his site, “Louis had a series of serious and debilitating medical problems that left him very ill, weak, and at times, barely able to move physically; but perhaps most seriously, medical problems that left him filled with despair and without hope for recovery. My friend Louis made the ultimate decision to end the many months of pain and suffering that he had been experiencing.” Awerbuck’s family, friends, associates, and former students are contemplating holding a celebration of Awerbuck’s life in Phoenix, likely in July. Contact Yavapai Firearms Academy for more information.


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Comments (25)

  1. As Louis family in South Africa we were extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of our cousin. We were not aware of Louis health challenges.

    As many of you probably know Louis was not one to communicate much, so our connection was at most bi-annual and yet we always treasured any contact that we had with him. Louis and I shared a common love of Dogs and we discussed our pets with great passion.

    It was also Louis who advised me after I was Hi-jacked at gun point in Johannesburg, that I was better off not ‘arming’ myself in case of this scenario happening again in the future, as he said that the gangster would always be in the position to be more prepared! Such good advice!

    We are so sorry that we were not in a position to offer Louis and Leigh our family support during what sounds like was a very painful period both (physically and mentally) for him, but from all these posts, we are so pleased to know that he was much loved and supported.

    RIP cousin Louis!

    All our love from Beth-Ann Keschner, Connie, Jack and Stefan Joselowitz

    1. You talked about your love of dogs. If you want I can send you a picture from August 2013 of Louis with my Landseer Newfoundland “Charlie”. It was in Lebanon, In. Louis had a Newfoundland, Curley Sue. Louis would always say to me, “Steve, play with Charlie.” I am Louis.

      E-mail me if you would like the picture.


  2. This sad news brings back a flood of memories from the “old days. ” I knew Louis from Kimberley – around 1975. Louis taught me how to reload a 9mm so wouldn’t tumble, then later how to properky “size” a “just-cast-45”. His dad sold my father our 1st pistol, As a kid, I remember Louis – riding a Honda Goldwing, a Saturn-finish Combat Commander on his hip and ever present mascot, Snoopy always around. He lived life on his own terms. He left on his own terms.

  3. I met Mr Awerbuck once and as a professional firearms instructor I had a great deal of contact with his writings and videos. I found myself in 100% agreement with all of his positions. Furthermore, he was a shotgun devotee as I am. I perfectly understand his decision to end his life. He had grown increasingly pessimistic about people and his own future. He had no family, no one to look after him, no one to worry about, no one to grieve him. Looking at an increasingly bleak future of illness and disability he decided to stop the clock. I live in Oregon where we have an assisted suicide law and I uphold a person’s right to end their lives on their terms.

    1. Wow! I met him once and know all about him. Really? Many people knew Louis a lot better than you, once? You shouldn’t write anything about anyone, with only your vast knowledge a topic you at best only slightly informed and 1/2 witted about. True, Lou didn’t owe anyone. But he was a compassionate man, empathetic to other, yet hard, firm, dedicated, and stubborn. Louis was respected and loved. And Dan, he had someone that would of stayed at his side no matter what. His life long partner Leigh.He wasn’t pessimistic about people. Louis had one fear, and he dealt with it while he could. Louis made his final choice that afternoon. It wasn’t a spur of the moment but thought out in advanced when faced with it. Please don’t dishonor this Great Man who has given so much to so many.
      Remember, Miss, Honor: Louis Awerbuck, “Keeper of The Flame”

    1. Your comment Mike clearly shows that you didn’t know the man, otherwise you would of never made such a jack as z statement as you did. So in the future Mike, please don’t try to engage in some sort of intelligent comment when what comes out of your mouth reflects the lack of brain matter in your head. That’s that lump three feet above your as z! With respect…your an idiot Mike.

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