Jeff Cooper on Shooting Gallery


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JohnKSa
July 4, 2005, 02:15 AM
Did anyone else see this episode?

Did he REALLY say that the 1911 was the most "something" invention of the 20th century?

I believe the word was 'significant', but it may have been 'practical'.

Even taken in the context that he's only talking about firearms, that seems a HUGE exaggeration. In fact, I would say that even if you restrict the scope of the comment to apply only to handguns, it seems a bit of a stretch.

I was hoping someone else saw this and could shed a bit more light on the quote.

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Remington788
July 4, 2005, 08:43 AM
Jeff Coopers opinion is that the 1911 is the only handgun a person should own, all others are inferior and that any new designs are a waste of time and money.

Just for the record, I own two of them.

1911 guy
July 4, 2005, 09:09 AM
But if we use the last set of parameters you gave, handgun designs, name one handgun design that had more of an influence in the twentieth century. Yes, there are more advanced designs out now, some would even say better designs. But more influential? I think not.

1 old 0311
July 4, 2005, 09:32 AM
Coopers writing can at times be a little outrageous.He has some very valid points but after following him for over 20 years I take most of what he says with a grain of salt.

Kevin

ACP230
July 4, 2005, 12:12 PM
Cooper never said the .45 is the only handgun one should own.

He's pictured on one of his books with a Smith M29 and has written about hunting game with the .44 Magnum.
He has also had good things to say about .22 pistols for small game hunting.
He experimented fairly early with scoped .22 pistols.

He does have strong opinions and the .45 is his favorite fighting pistol.

Kaylee
July 4, 2005, 01:19 PM
That said, who today is driving a car designed in 1911, writing papers on a *heh* typewriter designed in 1911, on medication patented in 1911, traveled on a plane designed in 1911...

While certainly other innovations have changed the world much more than a pistol design, within the realm of handguns I'd have to say it's a singularly effective, resiliant, and innovative piece of work.

ACP230
July 4, 2005, 03:34 PM
When was aspirin patented?
Going to take a couple today before going shooting.

444
July 4, 2005, 04:38 PM
" In 1897, a German chemist with Friedrich Bayer and Company was searching for a treatment for his father's arthritic pain and began to research acetylsalicylic acid, which worked well. His discovery resulted in the development of a product introduced as Aspirin. "

http://www.bayeraspirin.com/questions/hundred_aspirin.htm

scubie02
July 4, 2005, 04:45 PM
doesn't seem outrageous to me...

I own other handguns, but I carry a 1911 most fo the time...

JoeG52
July 4, 2005, 05:54 PM
If you're interested in reading Cooper

http://www.jpate.freeserve.co.uk/JeffCooper/

Lone_Gunman
July 4, 2005, 06:00 PM
Jeff Coopers opinion is that the 1911 is the only handgun a person should own, all others are inferior and that any new designs are a waste of time and money.

This is not true. Its the kind of thing people who disagree with Cooper say, but I would bet none of them can actually find anywhere where he actually said that.

Anybody wanna try?

I have read positive comments from him about the Glock pistol, for crying out loud.

He dislikes DA/SA autos, and he dislikes anything smaller than 45 ACP. If your pistol falls into either of those categories, then he probably thinks the 1911 is better.

taliv
July 4, 2005, 06:12 PM
phones (1876) and lightbulbs (1879) are fundamentally the same as they were, but have certainly gone through comperable revisions to the 1911. penicillin was discovered in 1896.

That said, who today is driving a car designed in 1911, writing papers on a *heh* typewriter designed in 1911, on medication patented in 1911, traveled on a plane designed in 1911...

(these three are not in the running for most significant invention of the 20th century for obvious reasons)

JohnKSa
July 4, 2005, 06:19 PM
So nobody else heard the quote? :(

ceetee
July 4, 2005, 08:12 PM
I saw the show, but don't remember the exact quote. I did wish (for the first time) that I was in Michael Bane's place... Those were some historic firearms he got to shoot that day!

Even if you don't care for Cooper's opinions, you have to admit that he's forgotten more about fighting than most men ever will know. Yes, he's lived a long time, and he's seen more than enough different examples of firearms to know what works, and what he likes best.

And like most people that have lived a long time, he's not shy about letting you know just what his opinion is. Whether you agree with his opinions or not, they usually make sense, and are usually based on real-world experience. That's hard to argue with.

bakert
July 4, 2005, 09:50 PM
I've been reading articles by Jeff Cooper for many years. Although I disagree with some of his statements strongly at times he's very knowledgable about most kinds of firearms, shooting and hunting. I personally don't think the 1911 is the best gun for everyone but it's one of the best for someone trained in it's use. For the most part you can't go far wrong with his advise . Guess I'm a bit biased toward the old gentleman because my own father was a Marine on Saipan.

Ky Larry
July 4, 2005, 10:30 PM
Only the passage of time will tell if any handgun design will have the influence of the 1911.This is just something to argue about.

P.S. Penicillin was first observed by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928. Serious research with it began in 1939. Mass production was started in the late 1940's. http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blpenicillin.htm

logical
July 5, 2005, 12:15 AM
For the average person who is neither a LEO or someone who trains constantly under stress...I sometimes think a first shot that requires a much more deliberate and long trigger pull is a pretty good idea. I like the Sig actions myself for the average CCW carrier. The toughest call to make is to start shooting or not. For me personally it's probably better that it's not a light short pull.

For a well trained serious gunfighter...sure, nothing beats a 1911.

GunnyBob
July 5, 2005, 03:52 AM
Am unsure if the Colonel is mellowing with age, but could have knocked me over with a feather when he recently expressed a favorable opinion towards the .45 GAP. Never met him, but joined the Corps far enough back to have been stationed with men who served with and/or knew him, and haven't heard a negative thing about the man himself in all these years. Not counting the NCO's who tsk tsk a lot when the Colonel goes off on a rant, but most senior NCO's will gladly tell you that they teach officers just what they need to know and no more.

all the best

gunny

1911 guy
July 5, 2005, 09:36 AM
Col. Cooper did in fact express great confidence in a particular pistol very unlike the 1911. The CZ-75, in fact. He said that while he considered the 9mm. to be less than optimal, the design was sound and reliable to the extreme. This is my paraphrase, not a direct quote. The gist is the same, though.

Texian Pistolero
July 5, 2005, 11:45 AM
As a weird piece of trivia, Cooper was, at one time at least, a BIG fan of the .38 Super (if my memory serves as the right name), in the 1911.

And that's a hot 9mm!

hillbilly
July 5, 2005, 12:12 PM
Did it strike anyone else who saw the show that Cooper looks like an ancient mummified corpse?

I know the man is in his 80s, but compared to what he looked like 10 or even only 5 years ago, the transformation was striking and startling to me.

I've had relatives even older who looked much more lively and spry.

Sadly, he's not long for this world, if that's what he really looks like now.

hillbilly

Old Dog
July 5, 2005, 01:40 PM
Yeah, the Colonel did appear ill ... as though he's suffering from COPD or some other heart/repiratory condition ...

It was a interesting interview. And yes, Michael Bane is a lucky man (my wife wants Martha Stewart's job -- I want Michael's job).

Regardless of one's personal feelings on Cooper's opinions, the man has done much to advance pistolcraft, the concept of self-defense, RKBA and even the firearms industry, so I hold him in considerable respect. He's very well-educated and speaks and writes the King's English in a way that, sadly, is rarely practiced anymore ...

buzz_knox
July 5, 2005, 01:47 PM
I've had relatives even older who looked much more lively and spry.

I'd say those relatives had less . . . lively lives than Cooper. He's one of those "been there, done that" kind of folks.

mhdishere
July 5, 2005, 03:35 PM
IIRC correctly in "To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth" the Colonel said that grade A and B shooters should have 1911's, grade C shooters should have .44 special DA revolvers, and grade D and F should have clubs.

He's also suffered a couple injuries in the last few years, I seem to recall him being shot :what: a few years ago, never found out the circumstances. He also broke his back a couple years ago.

bad LT
July 5, 2005, 04:25 PM
Cooper was also influential in the development of the Bren 10 (in 10mm). He seems to advocate large caliber pistols with a consistent trigger pull; not just 1911's.

MBane666
August 16, 2005, 12:24 PM
Sorry it took me so long to find this thread!

I'll stand by my statement that the 1911 is one of the few machines from the late 19th/early 20th Century that is pretty much unchanged; I suspect that the metal zipper is one of the others, but that's another story.

Col. Jeff has had a profound effect on 20th Century handguns and shooting (I always liked Ken Hackathorn's statement that, "Jeff invented us all"), and I'm glad to have had the chance to put that interview together.

Funny story, when Ms. Cooper saw me shooting the Colonel's personal guns out of an *isoceles stance*, she gasped, "The boy doeesn't know how to shoot correctly!" I'm told the Colonel assured her that I once knew how to shoot properly, but forgot, and that there was hope for me yet...

Michael B

PS: And yes, I do have the best job in the world! In the past weeks, I've played with John Browning's personal Colt Single Action Army (a 1st Gen in .38/40), two of the five original 1911s submitted for military tests in the early 1900s, the uber-Fitz Special, a .45 Colt, New Service revolver cut down into a belly gun by JH Fitgerald at the Colt factory and presented to Rex Applegate before WWII (engraved "To Rex; From Fitz"), a bunch of Thompson subguns and semis, the S&W semiauto that's likely to be entered in the upcoming military trials for new small arms, an FNH P-90 and the only Taurus Thunderbolt pump action rifle presently in the country. Oh, and a tank.

hillbilly
August 16, 2005, 12:48 PM
So when do the rest of those Thunderbolts show up in the country?

hillbilly

JohnKSa
August 16, 2005, 05:48 PM
Michael,

Can you elaborate on the quote I mentioned in my first post? I couldn't remember it exactly.

Thanks!

John

MBane666
August 16, 2005, 05:53 PM
I'm told they're in full production in Brazil right now. I figure 30-60 days until they start into the pipeline.

I have to say the Taurus Gaucho pistol that's on my desk is the best new SA revolver I've handled and shot this year (and, no, it's not nearly as nice as John Browning's Colt, but there you go). It'll give the Italians and the Americans a run for their money...especially at an MSRP of $500. I talked to a couple of my gunwriter friends this week about Taurus, and both of them report that the last couple of Tauruses they've received (one of the 24/7 semis and the I-framed 9mm revolver) have bordered on flat-out excellent.

Michael B

PS: They're not a sponsor of my show, either!

P. Plainsman
August 16, 2005, 06:05 PM
Col. Jeff has had a profound effect on 20th Century handguns and shooting (I always liked Ken Hackathorn's statement that, "Jeff invented us all"), and I'm glad to have had the chance to put that interview together.

When his time comes, which I hope is not for a long while yet, Cooper's absence from gundom will be profoundly felt. There are not enough really gifted writers in the gun world; far fewer who also have Coop's wide general reading and learning; and fewer yet who can combine these traits with Cooper's great practical experience.

I've read To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth and Fireworks through many times. The man's a gifted essayist; I'd enjoy reading him even if I didn't care much about shooting. Of what other gunwriter today can you say that? Anyone?

I don't think so. John Taffin writes with authority and dignity gained from a long life, and is capable of some memorable phrases, but he's not a belletrist. Young guy John Connor has a compulsively readable style and could develop into a real writer if he'd tone down the schtick. Plenty of people on the Web produce solid, clear prose and know their guns, and I'm glad they're out there to teach and entertain me. But I'm talking here about a different level of writerly aspiration. The Col. in his heyday was something else again.

hillbilly
August 16, 2005, 06:51 PM
Thanks for that update on the Thunderbolts, MBane.

I can't wait to get my hot hillbilly hands on one....I'm thinking stainless, in .357 mag.

I see me running through many, many, many .38 special reloads with this thing.

Fifteen rounds of .38 special, as fast as I can work that pump.

Yee-haw, indeed.

hillbilly

19112XS
August 16, 2005, 08:45 PM
MBane666, any idea when the Cooper show will run again? Who is the "carnie" hiding under the white hat in the opening segments? Thanks, 19112XS

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