Is It Just Me, Or Does Jeff Cooper . . .


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bad_dad_brad
January 6, 2003, 09:07 PM
Is it just me, or does Jeff Cooper often sound like an anacronism? In the latest Guns & Ammo (February 2003), he writes this rambling diatribe on the M1911. Please, not another article on how great the M1911 is! I guess it was pretty great at the time and I think it deserves to be a legend, but there are plenty of pistols today that are better.

I wonder about Mr. Cooper sometimes, I know he is getting old, and then he writes something so true, that you have to almost cry, again from the current issue of Guns & Ammo:

"The attempt by the education establishment to castrate American youth has produced very pecular attitudes. One is the announced "hatred of violence." It seems people who hate violence as an abstraction are living in the wrong country. This nation we live in--still the last, best hope on Earth--was born in violence, and if there is any such thing as a typical American man, he is certainly a violent man. Note American football, a game popular nowhere but here. American football is a perfect study in orchestrated violence, and most of us find it to be a marvelous spectacle. Uncontrolled violence was the French Revolution, one of civilizations black marks, but controlled violence is what made this nation great."

- Jeff Cooper

I guess I will keep reading what he writes.

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Deuce
January 6, 2003, 09:10 PM
But the 1911 IS the best gun EVER.:D

El Tejon
January 6, 2003, 09:21 PM
Diatribe on the 1911?:confused:

That was sound, reasoned argument.:D

Gordon
January 6, 2003, 09:24 PM
I was just(and might) gonna post about this and vote to cannonize the dottering old Saint Jeff. G-d Bless saint Jeff. What say Preacherman, can you put in the good word in Rome? I am sorry try as I might I can't find anything as good as a 5inch .45acp 1911 that is properly set up. In "game calibers" they win all the games and in the combat caliber it always wins the combat.:p

dairycreek
January 6, 2003, 09:51 PM
He also has the experience(s) to back up those opinions. Listen to him:p Good shooting:)

waterdog
January 6, 2003, 09:56 PM
He has been writing this stuff for years.

Only starts to make sense after you have read enough history.

waterdog

bad_dad_brad
January 6, 2003, 10:08 PM
I will admit said article had pros and cons, but his (Cooper's) love of the beast, is unrequited. I know the M1911 race guns win a lot of contests, but they are temperamental, and they have little but heritage to share with the original M1911.

In .45 I would prefer a Glock 21/30/36, a Ruger P90, S&W 4506, or SIG P220/245 for everyday use.

But the posting is not about M1911's per se. It is about Jeff Cooper's writings.

4v50 Gary
January 6, 2003, 10:12 PM
He speaks of the zero-tolerance some schools have adopted since Colombine. The schools miss the point and should educate the students about affects of the media (how many thousands of media murders are broadcasted or shown on the screen every year?) on the viewing audience (densensitization).

Now, turning to the 1911, there are many many newer guns with many, many newer features but the 1911 remains the watermark against which all others are judged. Told that to some Mormans when I visited the Morman Battalion display in San Diego last year. They smiled and must have thought I was nuts. I think I also told them that my favorite Morman, John Moses Browing, was God's gun prophet on Earth. :evil:

sm
January 6, 2003, 10:15 PM
I strongly believe one of our best natural resources are our elders. In youth we think them stupid and make fun of them behind their backs. As we mature we realize the wisdom and wish to watch their faces as they teach us. Cooper has BTDT, and his learned knowledge of history did not all come from texts, but life. IMO

inthefork
January 6, 2003, 10:18 PM
Im gonna hafta second Gordon and Jeff Cooper on this one. Ive tried almost everything out there and I keep coming back to the 1911. Its not JUST the fact that its a great gun, but there are so many original and aftermarket parts.
Possibly one of its biggest advantages; the whole gun is made of STEEL. This is very important to me and I think it is to others.

m16

FPrice
January 6, 2003, 10:25 PM
Many young people do not understand John D. Cooper because he is a man of the old school. He was born, raised, and educated in a time and under standards far different than we see today. He has studied pistolcraft to a degree that many of us would find hard to match and has come to a conclusion that he feels is the truth. And he is not shy about proclaiming that truth.

Cooper also does not seem to suffer an abundance of humility. However I do not claim any personal acquaintance or knowledge of him - this I have gathered from both his writings and the writings of others.

I am not about to canonize Col Cooper, but neither am I going to dismiss him. His opinions are based on quite a bit of experience and study. It is hard to prove him wrong. But you are welcome to try.

Preacherman
January 6, 2003, 10:27 PM
Bear in mind that many of the "Cooper's Corner" articles are re-hashes of his "Commentaries" from the last twenty or more years. His health is very poor now, and he often can't write as frequently as he would wish. If any American ever deserved the Medal of Freedom more than Jeff Cooper, I don't know who that would be - but I guess it would be politically incorrect to award him such an honor... :mad:

Cooper's Commentaries for the first twenty years have been published in two books, available from Gunsite. For later versions (which I sincerely hope will be published in book form after his death), they're available online from various sources. Try here (http://users2.ev1.net/~mkreynolds/jeff/) for one such listing.

As for JC's advocacy of the 1911, I can't argue with success - it's one of the most-copied and most enduring handgun designs out there. I personally don't like it all that much: the grip safety seems to be a solution in search of a problem, and it's very heavy compared to its more modern competition. However, it works very well, if properly set up, and I think that no collection would be complete without at least one of them, if only for reasons of nostalgia. And before Glocks were available, a 1911A1 made by Remington Rand in WWII saved my priestly butt on more than a few occasions in a civil war situation... I literally would not be here if I hadn't had that gun available. Very sad that I couldn't bring it with me (thanks, ATF, I don't think! :fire: ) when I came to America. I hope it's still giving its present owner good service.

Mike Irwin
January 6, 2003, 10:33 PM
"The 1911 is the best gun ever"

And the .45 bullet will turn a man inside out if it hits him in the pinky! Don't forget that! :D

45-auto
January 6, 2003, 10:37 PM
I am more than willing to let everyone carry whatever they want.

I pack a .357 snub a lot myself.

But my true love is a Colt, carried cocked and locked. In my case, a SS Combat Commander (Series 80: it has a great, crisp, 4# trigger).

There is nothing safer to pack, quicker into action and more definitive in effect.

Cooper is correct. He has spent more total time on the range than most of us have spent breathing. And his wife packs a pre-treason S&W .38, so he's not simply married to the 1911.

But, hey, that's just my opinion.

Joe Demko
January 6, 2003, 10:47 PM
Cooper is certainly entitled to his opinions, and it is difficult to prove him wrong on much having to do with weaponcraft, though I am more in the Applegate camp than Cooper's. Cooper, though, has been getting a pass on his writing style for too long. He is, IMO, not a particularly good writer. That excuse about his writing being a product of his education and the era in which he was raised just doesn't cut it. Virtually none of his contemporaries in the field of gun writing affect(ed) that psuedo-Victorian voice in which he tends to overindulge. Applegate, for example, was a contemporary of Cooper's and a far better writer, IMO. Cooper's style of writing was the subject of mockery even in its own time, by Mark Twain among others. That, incidentally, was well before Cooper's time. I respect the man's work in the field of weaponcraft, but being one of the world's great experts in that field by no means precludes him being a windy old fogey as a writer.

Thumper
January 6, 2003, 11:38 PM
Terrible quality (a pic of a pic) but...me and Jeff:

cordex
January 6, 2003, 11:39 PM
Not to haul this thread any further from the original topic, but about 1911 being the "best pistol" ...
The 1911 is a gun that is well suited to some shooters. Period.
Defining it (or Glocks, or Sigs, or Rugers, or Smiths or whatever) as the "best pistol" is a dogmatic answer given before the question is asked.

It's not the best pistol for pocket carry.
It's not the best pistol for ankle carry.
It's not the best pistol for inexpensive shooting.
It's not the best pistol for hunting large, dangerous game, or small varmints.
It's not the best pistol for someone who limp-wrists often.
It's not the best pistol for very damp, humid environments.

Does it have an extensive list of appropriate applications and an impressive adaptability? Yes! A thousand times yes! And it is my primary carry weapon ... but it doesn't work for everyone.
"Best" varies from person to person. Mr. Cooper has made his choice, and it doesn't bother me that he waxes poetic about it. If my 1911 had saved my life as many times as his gun has saved his bacon, I might get rather teary eyed as I talked about it too.

But to the topic at hand ... yeah, Mr. Cooper has no problem with his personal image of himself and it shows in his writing. The royal "we" bit gets old fast. *shrug* But his work sells, and that's the real point of his writing it, no? Cult (or is that Colt?) followings can be profitable, and profit is a good thing. Consider the source, and adjust accordingly.

Andrew Wyatt
January 6, 2003, 11:56 PM
the 1911 is the best pistol for me.

I don't agree with everything The colonel says, But I think the old guy deserves a great deal of respect. he did manage to make it through WWII in one piece and his contributions to the world of pistol shooting are many and numerous.

jmbg29
January 7, 2003, 12:09 AM
It's just you.:rolleyes:

mpthole
January 7, 2003, 12:36 AM
Golog-13: Ditto!

Lots of respect for his contributions to pistolcraft and fighting, but think his writing pretty much stinks.

cheygriz
January 7, 2003, 12:42 AM
Jeff Cooper is stuck in a time warp in the 1940s.

The man is also a sexist and a xenophobe. In my opinion, what he writes may have been relevant in 1940, but today is garbage. Just my $.02

jame
January 7, 2003, 12:45 AM
I don't mean to discredit his experience, but he seems to use ten dollar words as if he's writing from a thesaurus.
I have no experience with a 1911, but I plan to get one some day. I'm just not sure if I can do better than Sig, but I'm willing to try.

Blackhawk
January 7, 2003, 12:55 AM
He gets a pass from me. He can write whatever he wants, and I'm glad he can still get paid for it.

Old Fuff
January 7, 2003, 01:21 AM
For a number of years it has been my pleasure to know the man who is at the center of this discussion. I learned a lot from him, and this wasn’t limited to weaponcraft. Admittedly many don’t always understand what he’s saying but I never found this to be a problem. It is said that an opinion is as valuable as the knowledge of its holder. Jeff has his critics, but most of them never met him. Perhaps if they had it might have made a difference. In any case I’m sure he’ll be remembered long after the others are gone.

mack
January 7, 2003, 01:21 AM
We will pray for the souls of those who have besmirched the names of Jeff Cooper and John Moses Browning in this thread. ;)

I love Jeff Cooper's writing - it is his style - and it isn't sugar coated or slick - and when he writes specifically about shooting techniques and training it is very concise and economical. His columns are quite a different matter, they are meant to be rambling, salty, and opinionated. I love them too, I will admit they are an aquired taste, but they have a unique qualilty that will be missed when they are no more. When I read works by the myriad of other gun writers, often it is hard to tell one from the other stylistically, only the topic or the writers byline tells me who has written it. But, let me read Jeff Coopers writing unbylined and I could tell in less than a paragraph who wrote it.

1911 - in general there is no better handgun for combat/self-defense shooting. I have a Springfield standard govt. model that some years ago I sent to Springfield for a Carry package, added an ambi-safety, adjustable tritium night sights, and then a Clark accurizing job. It doesn't misfeed and I shoot it more accurately than any of my other handguns. Of course now Kimber and Springfield and smaller shops make 1911's that you can buy off the shelf that will probably shoot as well. I don't believe you could buy any other type of handgun that would objectively shoot any better or even as well. As has been mentioned 1911's are not the best gun for everyone or for every situation, nor are they the mythical best gun. But with proper practice and application they are equal to, if not better, than any other handgun designed for a similar purpose. Given that, who designed them, and their history, why would one not want to own at least one 1911. Finally, of the good shooters I know, most own and regularly shoot one or more 1911's, of that number I have met many who have switched to a quality 1911, but I have known few, (in fact I can't think of any), that have switiched from a quality 1911 to another gun.


Father forgive them for they know not what they say.

Mike Irwin
January 7, 2003, 01:30 AM
Serious question; I really don't know the answer to this.

What was Cooper's military service?

Did he see any combat?

Archie
January 7, 2003, 02:07 AM
a commissioned officer during the Korean War. From some of his memoirs, he seems to have commanded an infantry unit at some points. (He discusses the difficulty of loading a 45 Colt SAA huddled in a fighting hole in the dark and rain...)

I have not examined his service record, but he claims to have been in combat. I'll let it go at that.

As for the 1911 question: Plastic frames have as much place on a fighting tool as front wheel drive does on a sports car.

mack
January 7, 2003, 02:15 AM
Can't give you too many specifics, perhaps some Cooper experts can. I do know that he served in the Pacific in WWII and saw combat. After WWII he saw some action while serving as an advisor in some third world countries, primarily I believe in South America.

Some of this he talks about directly in his written works, others he just makes allusions to in his columns or other works.

Dean Speir
January 7, 2003, 02:26 AM
I don't mean to discredit his experience, but he seems to use ten dollar words as if he's writing from a thesaurus. Ol' son, Jeff Cooper could author a thesaurus!

The man has an extraordinary vocabulary and gift of language which he uses very well. One has only to sit and converse with him to confirm that, as well as the enormous breadth of subjects about which he is knowledgeable. Many young people do not understand John D. Cooper because he is a man of the old school. He was born, raised, and educated in a time and under standards far different than we see today. And the style of his writing reflects that time, FPrice… actually, even an earlier time. I happen to enjoy his use of language.

Is he an 83-year-old fud who makes too many factual errors? Absolutely! But that's pretty much a separate issue here.

And bad_dad_brad , if you think of "M1911 race guns" and "contests" in the same context as Jeff Cooper, then you have zero grasp of anything about Cooper and handguns. (Or did I misread you?)

firestar
January 7, 2003, 02:28 AM
When I read his page in the back of that gun rag (I forgot which one it is), I can almost allways find something I strongly agree with and something I strongly disagree with. I think that is a good thing. There is a saying (I forget exactly how it goes) that says something like, 'if what your saying isn't making someone mad, then your really not saying anything at all'.

So, the point is, you may not like him or agree with him but at least he has the balls to speak his mind. Most gun rag writers are so worthless that they choose their words so carfully, they end up not really saying anything at all. Here is a typical example: 'this pistol showed that it has potential combat accuracy and reliability was a promising. If only we had more time and different types of ammo, I'm sure this pistol would have preformed much better'. What? Is it junk or not? See what I mean? Cooper leaves no doubt.

Nightcrawler
January 7, 2003, 05:54 AM
I've been reading his writings for a long time. Is he a xenophobe, sexist, or whatever? I don't know. I can't judge a man's character based on pages of unrelated paragraphs, without ever having met him. And, given the fact that he is well into his eighties and literally grew up in an earlier era, I'll just be content that he's entitled to his opinions. After all, he's certainly not trying to force them on anyone or make policy out of them.

I have, however, learned a great deal from him, and I take his experience to heart. Quite frankly, he's shot a lot more people to I have (and survived), and when it comes to the serious use firearms, THAT'S the kind of experience that counts.

...As for the $10.00 words...occassionally, I admit, I've perhaps had to look up a word or two in his many columns. I don't consider this bad. So the man knows more words than me; good for him. If I have to look it up, great, I've learned a new word. I don't know that his writing style is Pulitzer quality, but I don't mind it at all.

Matt G
January 7, 2003, 07:05 AM
I hate "Ditto-heads".

The whole concept of saying that "I unreservedly give my unqualified approval of everything you say, because of your last remark" is abhorrant to me. Why would a person do that?!? There are some who feel they must. (Many call in to Rush Limbaugh. :rolleyes: ) Some defend Jeff Cooper as a beatified saint.

Me, I learned to love 1911s at the knee of my father, who in ~1978 or '79, I think it was (heck, let him tell you; he's on this board, too!), went to Gunsite, and heard it from The Prophet himself. And you know what? My dad took Col. Cooper's philosophy and ran with it. As an LEO, it likely saved his life, more than once. And he taught me.

Now, here I am, roughly a quarter-century after my old man was lectured by Lt. Col. Cooper and taught for a week on that AZ range, and I pack my own 1911 to work every day. I've only drawn it a few times, and twice do I have vivid impressions:
1. Re-holstering after backing up a trooper on a drunk who failed-to-yield, with the deep impression of the safety on the top of my thumb. ([For those of you unfamiliar with the 1911, 'UP' means 'Safe'.) 2. Firing into a fleeing felon's front tire, and knowing I was hitting it, because that's where I was shooting, even though it wasn't deflating immediately [low speed of target vehicle.].

I rely daily on some knowledge and cautionaries that I've read from the august gentleman. Others, I believe I've tossed aside as not for me. All in all, regardless of his politics, I believe that he's the most important shotist alive.

Top. That.

TonyB
January 7, 2003, 08:06 AM
But I dare you to try and take his 45 away from him!!:D
His is an OPINION column.He is a wealth of knowledge and a great personality in a world where everyone is PC or middle of the road.I can't wait till I'm old enough to really say what I think and get away with it.
If you don't like him or his writing....just skip the last page of the magazine.:cool:

Oracle
January 7, 2003, 10:18 AM
My problem isn't with Cooper's praise of the 1911, or his writing style, it's his dismissal of virtually every technological advance since 1950, combined with his general arrogance. He dismisses out of hand anything that doesn't fit with his opinions, without any thought or research as to whether his opinions might be wrong. Anyone who patently ignores evidence that his opinions might be wrong, and refuses to even acknowledge that someone else's opinions that run contrary to his might be just as valuable, is far from wise, in fact, is just the opposite. "They all fall to hardball", yeah, Jeff, keep telling yourself that.

Monte Harrison
January 7, 2003, 10:20 AM
I guess it was pretty great at the time and I think it deserves to be a legend, but there are plenty of pistols today that are better. Boy do you know how to stir up a hornet's nest!

1911
January 7, 2003, 10:29 AM
Many of you wont remember this but he actually wrote his own dictionary once.He even made his secretary drive over in a snowstorm on a tractor to type it up one day.

Don Gwinn
January 7, 2003, 10:44 AM
Did Cooper say "They all fall to hard ball?" I thought he advocated JHP?

Anyway, I'm no expert on pistolcraft, but I know a little about writing and the English language. There is absolutely, positively nothing wrong with using "ten-dollar words" IF the word you choose in any given situation is correct and is the best choice.

People used to be taught this basic concept in school, but now I don't hear it much. One begins with simple language and then adds ever more and more complex vocabulary and grammatical devices as one matures and finds the need for them. There are times when a "ten-dollar word" is more accurate than a small word or a simple word, because it is closer to the actual meaning the author wishes to convey.

Obviously, a man can look foolish if he uses a ten-dollar word where a simpler term would have been more accurate. I refer to this as "Don King Syndrome." It can easily cause you to profligate your acclimation, as regards the systematic implosion of the imperative. . . .

Cooper does not do this.

Preacherman
January 7, 2003, 11:09 AM
My problem isn't with Cooper's praise of the 1911, or his writing style, it's his dismissal of virtually every technological advance since 1950, combined with his general arrogance. He dismisses out of hand anything that doesn't fit with his opinions, without any thought or research as to whether his opinions might be wrong. Anyone who patently ignores evidence that his opinions might be wrong, and refuses to even acknowledge that someone else's opinions that run contrary to his might be just as valuable, is far from wise, in fact, is just the opposite.Oracle, you do Col. Cooper an injustice by saying that. When he was back in the States after World War II, he and an associate in the Marines tested (exhaustively) all manner of captured enemy firearms, trying to see whether the 1911A1 should be replaced with a more modern weapon incorporating "advances" made elsewhere. After who knows how many thousands of rounds downrange, their conclusion was that the .45 was just fine as it was.

Later, in the '50's and '60's, he and others in the Southwest Pistol League (I think that was the name) tried everything and anything to see what worked best with a handgun. It was at their events that Deputy Sheriff Jack Weaver developed what was to become the ubiquitous presentation stance of its day; it was at their events that the combat auto pistol was decisively proven to offer real advantage over the revolver in terms of firepower, speed, etc.; it was at their events that most of the modern doctrines of combat pistolcraft were developed. In the mid-1970's, it was Col. Cooper who drew all these threads together in the American Pistol Institute, based at Gunsite, to teach the "Combat Pistolcraft Gospel According To Cooper".

Today there are many who look down on Col. Cooper as outdated or "past it". Yet the principles he developed and taught are the foundation of every single serious combat curriculum in the handgun training industry, bar none! There are literally no exceptions to this. Sure, new elements may have been added (some good, like Isosceles, some dubious to useless, like "getting off a shot fast to spoil their aim, then aiming for the next one" - yes, there's a school - I use the term loosely! - that teaches that...), but overall, I'd guess that two-thirds or more of any competent school's curriculum comes straight from Col. Cooper and his API.

Sure, Col. Cooper champions the 1911 to the exclusion of other good combat-worthy weapons that have come along in the past twenty or thirty years: but his championship of it is based on extensive testing and vast experience. He doesn't have that with newer designs. I can forgive him this idiosyncracy. As for championing Weaver over Isosceles, etc., this is a matter of individual opinion. I can shoot faster with a low-recoil weapon from Isosceles, but with a heavy-recoil pistol or revolver, I'm more accurate from Weaver. Maybe he has a point...?

So don't write him off, friend Oracle. If any of us accomplish half as much in the cause of RKBA and combat pistolcraft as he has, we'll leave the world a richer, better place. Col. Cooper has all my respect and admiration, and if we disagree on some issues, I'm betting he has good reason for his views, and I'll not fault him on them.

ZekeLuvs1911
January 7, 2003, 11:18 AM
But, but, Jeff is right about the M1911! No other gun has the mystique and aura that it has....and I'm not talking about a couple of strippers either. :D

Bahadur
January 7, 2003, 11:22 AM
I find the man hilarious to read AT TIMES. This is because the man is antiquated, and therefore, mostly politically-incorrect. This can be fun AT TIMES.

Other times, his innuendos about those who are not American males of European descent (or their European friends of yore) gets a bit much as does his view that Christianity accounts for much of the superiority of such men.

One thing that does bother me is his apparent view that there is only ONE right way in the world in many things and that his way, in fact, is that right way. He does not seem to understand that there are many different paths to the same end.

In a related topic, he appears to assume a great deal of sense of superiority over his command of the English grammar - he often bemoans the utter lack of grammatical and literary abilities of today's youths (i.e. those who came to age after him). Funny - because he continues to misuse the word "principal" in lieu of "principle" - a common enough mistake on the part of many, but perhaps not that, which is acceptable from one who assumes a lordly sense of superiority from his supposed impeccable command of the English language.

For someone who loves being the product of a republican society, he affects the literary manners of a European nobleman! Amusing - but only in small doses.

Nonetheless, my hats off to the man for his service to our nation and freedom!

gburner
January 7, 2003, 11:43 AM
I know little of .45's save for my experience with my own 1911A1. I have never fired a pistol that was easier to use, hit consistently and effectively with and disassemble for cleaning.
Does it carry the most rounds...no.
Is it the lighest...by no means.
Is it easily concealable...hardly.
Will it save your life...yes, indeed.
In many ways, this pistol is a relection of the Col. himself. Both are anachronisms that continue to serve effectively well into old age. Unfortunately, some are more into name
calling and nit picking than they are into continuing to educate themselves.

Soap
January 7, 2003, 11:59 AM
I'll just put it this way, the more time I spend at the range, in the field, and generally alive, the more Cooper makes sense to me.

M1911
January 7, 2003, 12:22 PM
I guess it was pretty great at the time and I think it deserves to be a legend, but there are plenty of pistols today that are betterWell, that's all a matter of opinion, isn't it? I've got a couple Glocks, a couple HKs, a Sig, several Kahrs, a bunch of S&W revolvers. What usually ends up on my hip is a 1911. YMMV.

bogie
January 7, 2003, 01:04 PM
Well, all I know about the 1911 is that I can look at a target object, close meow eyes, pick up an "out of the box, no weird stuff done to it" 1911, point it, and when I open my eyes, I'm looking dead down the sights and the thing requires minimal readjustment for a "perfect" target acquisition.

VERY nice ergonomics, and for me it instinctively points.

Dean Speir
January 7, 2003, 01:30 PM
Hey, Erick… good to see ya!

Don't know about others (Preacherman, Matt G., et al), but you certainly should know that the titles "Col." and "LTC" are not appropriate to Jeff, and he does not himself use them as he is very aware of protocol, and having resigned his USMC commission as a Lieutenant Colonel (as opposed to having retired at that rank), he is, strictly speaking, jus' plain ol' "Mister Cooper" or simply "Jeff Cooper." (Which still counts for a great deal, his detractors withstanding to the contrary.) My problem isn't with Cooper's praise of the 1911, or his writing style, it's his dismissal of virtually every technological advance since 1950, combined with his general arrogance. He dismisses out of hand anything that doesn't fit with his opinions, without any thought or research as to whether his opinions might be wrong. I hear ya, Oracle, and that used to infuriate me, starting with a videotape he made circa 1981-2 in which he arrogantly dismissed with a brief pronouncement the isosceles stance as irrelevant.

"Ye Gawds and big bore bullets," I thundered at the TV screen, "the top shooters in the discipline you co-founded use the isosceles, you old fool!" (I'd just returned from the World Shoot where Rob Leatham had made his bones, beating the pants off both John Shaw and the Gunsite-sponsored reigning World Champion, Ross Seyfried.)

Well, it took me a bit longer, but I came to appreciate that Jeff, even in his arrogance, had been right. The Weaver was and remains today a far-superior (in my never quite humble-enough opinion) technique when one is shooting full-power loads… at least for me, and, I note, a pretty fair number of very models of the modern martial artist. (Appologies to G&S.)

Yes, Jeff's obduracy is the stuff of legend, and at risk of anyone thinking I'm suggesting that he is flexible, he has upgraded his doctrine over the past quarter century, or at least between the founding of his high desert dojo and when he resigned as its Director of Curriculum ten years ago next month. API was, after all, a laboratory as well as a school, and many advances in what has come to be known as the Modern Technique of the Pistol were made on his watch. (And yes, such changes were rigorously tested before acceptance.) Later, in the '50's and '60's, he and others in the Southwest Pistol League (I think that was the name) tried everything and anything to see what worked best with a handgun. It was at their events that Deputy Sheriff Jack Weaver developed what was to become the ubiquitous presentation stance of its day; it was at their events that the combat auto pistol was decisively proven to offer real advantage over the revolver in terms of firepower, speed, etc.; it was at their events that most of the modern doctrines of combat pistolcraft were developed. In the mid-1970's, it was Col. Cooper who drew all these threads together in the American Pistol Institute, based at Gunsite, to teach the "Combat Pistolcraft Gospel According To Cooper". I think you're just a tad outta synch on some of this, Preacherman. The "events" were the Big Bear Leatherslaps, and when Jack Weaver arrived with his own synthesis of the two-handed technique, it was with a revolver… around 1956, as I recollect. Interestingly, it took Jeff and the others… Thell Reed, Eldon Carl, Ray Chapman, etc., several years to acknowledge the superior advantages of "The Weaver," and by Jeff's own admission to me in an interview ten years ago when I asked him what took him so long, he freely stated: "I was stubborn."

And upon information and belief, the SouthWest Pistol League was formed after that.As for championing Weaver over Isosceles, etc., this is a matter of individual opinion. I can shoot faster with a low-recoil weapon from Isosceles, but with a heavy-recoil pistol or revolver, I'm more accurate from Weaver. Maybe he has a point...? Preach, Brother!

My earlier point exactly… it's why thems what run 'n' gun in the fields of IPSC so favor it. (Ironically, I added to my own body of learning about the "other" stance in the mid-'90s at an LFI course… where students were required to try several different techniques. Mas Ayoob siddled up to me and said "I know you're going to go back to what you learned from the good Colonel {sic}, but just let me show you something about the 'Stressfire Isosceles' before you do." And guess what? It has some pretty good things going for it, even with full-power rounds! But it is most assuredly not the same "Isosceles" favored by the "gamesmen" of USPSA.)

BTW: here's Jeff's own recollections of those days and "The Weaver:"I wound up at Big Bear Lake in California, where I continued to play around with the practical pistol. Contests were organized, beginning with a straightforward quick-draw match called "The Leatherslap," which everyone enjoyed and became an annual event. Contestants wanted more, so a monthly program began which emphasized variety and realism. No two matches could be held in the same year, and the challenges should replicate actual gunfights - so far as practical.

The creative genius was Jack Weaver, a deputy sheriff and pistol hobbyist, who observed, thought it over, and concluded that two hands are better than one. He placed seventh the first year, then came back the second year and wiped us out. Some were using the cowboy hip-shot, some the Applegate "instinctive" method, and I was shooting one-handed long-point from the target range. Jack walloped us all - and decisively - using a six-inch Smith K-38. He was very quick and he did not miss. And, of course, he shot from the Weaver Stance, which was, and is, the way to go.

ReadyontheRight
January 7, 2003, 01:35 PM
One of my favorite Col. Cooper rants:

In my continuing, but not successful, effort to preserve semantic purity, I suggest that the Arab attack on the World Trade Center was an atrocity, rather than a tragedy. Rhodesia is a tragedy. Jeff Cooper's Commentaries Vol. 10 #4.

Important to point out? Yes. Politically correct? No.

The USA would be a sorry place if we didn't have Col. Cooper AND Rush Limbaugh AND other voices like NPR/Dan Rather/CNN... PLUS our own brains and experience to form our opinions.

We've been trained to denounce those who say what they really think without hiding it in PC terms as "sexist", "xenophobic", "racist" or whatever.

It seems we would be better off to concentrate less on words and more on people's actions and accomplishments -- both of which seem fairly commendable in Col. Cooper's case.

Unfortunately, heroic actions don't fit well into a sound bite for endless pundit pontification to fill up the cable channels. His words eloquently represent a generation that's disappearing. That generation seemed to learn better than mine that learning comes from a dialogue and personal experience, not blindly following and repeating one voice. Cooper usually makes sense to me, but I'm not going to go around calling anyone a "towel-head" just because he does.

Regarding 1911s, I can't carry in Minnesota, but I do like SHOOTING my 1911 much more than shooting my Glock 21 or the DA/decocker .45s I've shot.

ReadyontheRight
January 7, 2003, 01:38 PM
Don't know about others (Preacherman, Matt G., et al), but you certainly should know that the titles "Col." and "LTC" are not appropriate to Jeff, and he does not himself use them as he is very aware of protocol, and having resigned his USMC commission as a Lieutenant Colonel (as opposed to having retired at that rank), he is, strictly speaking, jus' plain ol' "Mister Cooper" or simply "Jeff Cooper." (Which still counts for a great deal, his detractors withstanding to the contrary.)

I will eliminate the use of "Col. Cooper" in the future. Thanks!

moxie
January 7, 2003, 01:40 PM
I'm a big 1911 fan. Having owned and/or fired many 1911s, I settled on a Star PD. This is a lightweight 1911 clone, very similar to an Officer's Model. But it fits me a little better and my copy is 100% reliable and shoots very straight. I've put over 10,000 rounds through it in about 15 years and it still perks right along. My favorite automatic. So I share Col. Cooper's love of the 1911. Of course I also own others. My favorite revolver is an S&W 625-3.

Col. Cooper has his faults, and his style can be annoying to some. Nevertheless, listen to him when he talks about guns.

Regarding the Medal of Freedom. I'd nominate Joe Foss who passed away a few days ago at 87. He was a true American Hero, having been awarded the Medal of Honor over Guadalcanal. He was the second highest ranking Marine Ace after "Pappy" Boyington. State governor, head of the AFL, etc.

Most importantly for our purposes here, he was a staunch advocate of the rights of gun owners. He in fact was president of the NRA and longtime member of the board of directors. See this:
http://www.nrawinningteam.com/bios00/foss.html

They don't make many like him anymore.

Lictalon
January 7, 2003, 01:43 PM
The man's a teacher, in addition to many other things.

With any teacher, some things you take, some you don't. I don't like the Weaver stance; my wife and I can whisper to each other "orange" or "yellow" in a crowded mall and know exactly what to do and how to do it. You don't need to agree with, like the way he talks or writes, or believe his opinions to take what works and leave what doesn't.

As far as championing the 1911...I think anyone who thinks about it for a minute will awknowledge that Americans, in particular, and people in general, have a "newer is better" mentality. It's our idea of progress, and it's often true.

"Often" is not "Always."

If it sounds like Cooper harps on the 1911 too much it's because he's fighting the same mentality in shooters that plagues those who claim the Second Amendment is anachronistic. As many of us know, arguing "times aren't as different as you think" is often a tough argument to make--but just because it's a tough case to prove doesn't mean it isn't true.

Rant done. ;)

444
January 7, 2003, 01:52 PM
As has been mentioned, Jeff Cooper has been there and done that. Here is a man that was one of the fathers of modern combat pistol shooting. Here is a man that was one of the fathers of modern action pistol shooting sports. Here is a man that had one of the first formal shooting schools. Here is a man that has made a lifetime study of pistol shooting in general, and combat pistol shooting.
The older I get, the more I realize how little I know, and how impressed I am with other people that have walked the walk. Yet many believe that after reading a few gun magazines and doing a little plinking they know more than people that have made these things their life's work.

Wylycoyte
January 7, 2003, 01:57 PM
The man often seems like the Jack Handy of the firearms world to me, but I must admit I consider what he has to say, even if I wind up rejecting it.

Delmar
January 7, 2003, 02:04 PM
Cooper has had his own learning curve with the mighty 1911. Read some of the things he wrote about in the late 50's/early 60's, that it wasn't accurate nor was it designed to be, the "death trap" grip safety and all that. Makes me wonder why he was involved on the D&D 10mm if he thought the 1911 was the do all and end all? I do like the fact that as he learned, ole Jeff passed the lessons on.

Spoonman
January 7, 2003, 02:19 PM
Everybody is entitled to their opinion and we, as a forum, are very opinionated folks (or we wouldn't be here). I'd like to think I've learned from the good colonel, as well as from some (many) of our members. On a personal level, never having met Col. Cooper, I like and respect him. Hey, I'm nearly 50. I like having a good role model for being a tough, salty, plain-talking old man. :D

Harold Mayo
January 7, 2003, 02:54 PM
Gotta jump in...

Cooper's writing style is bad? Entirely subjective. I happen to enjoy the style. I remember reading a review of the most recent adaptation of the book "Last of the Mohicans" by James Fenimore Cooper into a movie (starring Daniel Day Lewis). The reviewer said that he tried to read the book before seeing the movie but found that Cooper's writing style was antiquated and entirely too wordy. Hmmm...I wonder if the guy realized that the book was written in a TIME that he would consider antiquated. Trying to compare "Last of the Mohicans" to a modern-day book by someone like Dean Koontz, Stephen King, or some other popular modern author is ridiculous. Does it make the book less good because it is written in a style that the individual reader dislikes? Only for that reader. I suppose Shakespeare's writing style is too antiquated.

Sexist and a xenophobe? Probably so. The role of women in Jeff Cooper's youth was far different than it is perceived to be now...and today's view will likely be considered antiquated in another 60 years. Does that make our views wrong? Xenophobic? If a patriot who firmly believes in the classic ideals of what the United States should be and what it should represent is a xenophobe, then count me in. Both of these terms are subjective.

I do not agree with everything that he says, but he has an opinion to which he gives voice and he stands by that opinion and holds that opinion for a reason, right or wrong. Just because he doesn't "dumb down" his writings or bow to political correctness doesn't make his opinion any less worthwhile. We would do well to have more MEN like him again. That generation and its ideals are dying out and we are the worse for it.

Finally, on the 1911, I must say that I have tried pretty much everything else (Glocks, Sigs, P7s) that many hold to be superior designs and I keep going back to the 1911 (and the hi-power). There is just no better handgun for all-around use. John Moses Browning WAS a genius and the veritable god of firearms design. His firearms are STILL some of the best available, even nearly a century after their initial introduction. There are many good innovations and other handguns, but the 1911 is STILL the standard by which others are judged. How often do you hear anyone saying, "The Sig is better than the Glock and this is why"? Rarely, because everyone is concerned with debunking the 1911 myth. And we're not talking raceguns, either. Even if we were, why aren't more people using souped-up Glocks and Sigs in competitions against the souped-up 1911s?

:D

Keith
January 7, 2003, 05:03 PM
If you don't think Cooper is correct on the 1911, it's easy to disprove.
Simply set up a combat competition using any scenario you like and invite as many people, with as many gun styles as possible, to participate.

What you'll find is that the 1911 shooters will dominate the top of the list because the style of gun is quicker to get into action, has a superior trigger system, etc. I'm not even going to argue calibers or magazine size, because there are 1911 variants to cover any of that.

Glocks don't dominate (or even compete well) in combat competitions because the long trigger is harder to use effectively under duress. Revolvers don't compete well because they are slower to reload. SA/DA systems have the difference in trigger weights to overcome.

That doesn't mean that any style of handgun can't be an excellent choice for defense, obviously the man behind the gun is the determining factor in a gun fight. It's just that the 1911 has fewer drawbacks to overcome and that's why when you actually MEASURE performance (as in a competition), the 1911 rises to the top. You are free to say that a competition doesn't measure real-world performance, and in many cases that is quite true - I mean, something requiring a 3K "racegun" with MOA accuracy doesn't mean much in the real world. But any of these "move and shoot" competitions certainly do.

Heck, design your own shoot with any realistic criteria you like and see. I'll bet the top spots are taken by 1911 shooters.

Keith

Keith
January 7, 2003, 05:20 PM
Weaver vs isosceles.

I've taught a number of people to shoot handguns. All fairly informally, family members and friends, etc.

Anyway, almost without exception I've found that people who have experience with rifles and/or shotguns tend to prefer the Weaver, while complete novices to guns tend to prefer the isosceles.

I *think* the Weaver feels right to rifle shooters because it mimics the position of the rifleman, something they've already mastered and feel comfortable with. If that's true, then the isoscelese may be the more natural and ergonomic position since the novices tend to prefer it and have no pre-learned habits to overcome.

Or... my experiences may not be wide enough to support such a conclusion.

What do you guys think? Have you noted a difference in stance preference between those who started on rifles and those who came to the handgun first?

Keith

Pendragon
January 7, 2003, 08:26 PM
I greatly enjoy reading the writings of Mr. Cooper. One of the things I like about his writing is that so many people get bent out of shape by it. I would not put things the way he puts them, but I do think he has more than earned the right to speak his mind.

I would like to go to Gunsite while he is still with us, but that does not seem likely to happen.

Now - as to the 1911 vs. the world arguments:

Please, not another article on how great the M1911 is! I guess it was pretty great at the time and I think it deserves to be a legend, but there are plenty of pistols today that are better.

Now, if you changed that to read:

Please, not another article on how great the M1911 is! I guess it is pretty great for many people and I think it deserves to be a legend, but there are plenty of pistols today that are better for me.

Then I would have no argument with you.

I think the arguments about the 1911 being "outdated" are just ridiculous. I really do not care how "modern" or "hi-tech" your pistol is. The fact that something is "hi-tech" means nothing to me. It is a stupid marketing term that people throw around to catch suckers.

Guess what? For less than $10.00, you can make a watch that will keep perfect time, is easy to manufacture, never needs servicing (since it is replaceable) and comes in a variety of fashion colors.

So why the hell do people still buy old fashioned mechanical watches? Why do they pay so much for "old technology"? A lot of lesser mechanical watches keep poor time - sure the top of the line stuff is awsome, but who can afford it?

In my entire life, I will probably never own a Sig, an H&K, a Glock or any other poly pistol.

Understand, I am not an old curmudgeon - I work in the "hi-tech field" and have for a decade. I have a cutting edge PC and I own all manner of new fangled gadgets like TiVo and a pocket computer.

I have nothing against the newer designs - if people like them, they should buy them. But my 1911 and my revolvers are "low tech" guns and I like it that way. To me, new also means "unproven" (or less proven).

I understand how my 1911 works, I can take it apart easily. I shoot it tons better than any other gun and I have tried most of them. It is made out of the best steel available and fitted with a degree of precision that is not possible with mass production techniques (1911 newbies take note). It is extremely accurate and has never failed to go bang when it is supposed to.

Yes, some 1911s are unreliable, but to say it is due to the design is like saying that because my Fiat broke all the time, the internal combustion engine cannot be trusted.

The only other handguns I trust to be as reliable are revolvers.

Newer <> Better

bad_dad_brad
January 7, 2003, 09:01 PM
Wow, this thread sure took off.

OKAY! I am just going to have to add a M1911 to my collection. Gee you folks do like to spend my money! :)

Pendragon
January 7, 2003, 09:17 PM
Yep.

Push the right buttons...

;)

Old Fuff
January 7, 2003, 09:21 PM
I think the problem with ten-dollar words is that too many of today's readers graduated from two-bit schools. Reading is becoming an endangered skill.

In another vain: How many other handguns have been copied by so many companies as the Colt Government Model? There must be a market for them. Even Smith & Wesson is about too get into the act. John Browning's 1911 design has lasted almost a century with only a few minor modifications. Will the more modern competitors be able too do the same?

DrDremel
January 7, 2003, 09:34 PM
I grew up reading Cooper's articles in my dad's gun rags. Now as a 32 year old, I must say that there is very little I disagree with from his writings, other than the quality of his daughter's poems. He is a wise old man that speaks his mind. If you have bought or shot a handgun in the last 20 years, if you have ever taken any class on handguns, you owe him as he was one of the founders of the modern pistolcraft as it is taught today. He talks of the decline in responsibility and dignity, chracter in the people born in the 1960's-through today. For the most part his is right.

Butch
January 7, 2003, 09:48 PM
Cooper is correct. He has spent more total time on the range than most of us have spent breathing.


If I'm not mistaken he has spent no small amount of time in combat as well.

Pointman
January 8, 2003, 01:20 AM
His writings have taught me a heck of a lot not only about shooting rifles and pistols, but also about life and the responsibilities of a man. As a 30-something Col. Cooper's writings had great impact on me as a teenager and young adult.

As for 1911's, I too, have tried and owned everything from G21's, USP's, Sig 220's and have ALWAYS come "home" to a 1911. That does not mean that I dislike these other weapons, but to echo another post again, the 1911 is the yardstick by which all others are measured.

Whether someone agrees with the Col.'s commentaries or not, all shooters owe something to him for the state of weapons craft today.

So lets all hoist a glass of Bombay to the man and thank the good Lord we've had the honor and pleasure of walking the same earth with the Col.

Zander
January 8, 2003, 01:52 AM
The whole concept of saying that "I unreservedly give my unqualified approval of everything you say, because of your last remark" is abhorrant to me. But that's not what 'ditto' means at all. If you had actually listened to what Rush and his callers have had to say rather than trust what some disaffected whiner gave you as a defintion, you'd know that.

Col. Cooper is a gentleman and an officer...still. I admire his writings because they are at once sparse, entertaining and educational. If you don't understand every word or reference he uses, buy a dictionary [preferably an older, non-PC edition] and avail yourself of a good thesaurus.

You might actually add a word or two to your vocabulary...

I think the problem with ten-dollar words is that too many of today's readers graduated from two-bit schools. Reading is becoming an endangered skill. -- Old FluffPrecisely! Most of the "graduates" of today's government indoctrination centers imagine that a good vocabulary is expressed by monosyllabic utterances...half of them vulgar or obscene. Indeed, remove the swear words and a half-dozen phrases [ya know what I mean?] from their vocabularies and most would be rendered mute.

sixgun_symphony
January 8, 2003, 02:40 AM
Cooper had some good things to say about the CZ-75.

So why do some people claim that Cooper is not open to new pistol technology?

pax
January 8, 2003, 03:17 AM
I think the problem with ten-dollar words is that too many of today's readers graduated from two-bit schools. Reading is becoming an endangered skill.

Old Fuff nailed it.

pax

If teachers and grammar school editors find my jawbreaker sentences shatter their mushmilk teeth, let them eat stale cake dunked in a weak tea of their own ungodly manufacture. -- Ray Bradbury said it, but I bet Jeff Cooper would agree!

ezoeni
January 8, 2003, 03:50 AM
JMB designed some really cool stuff!

Pendragon
January 8, 2003, 05:48 AM
One thing I like about Cooper - reading about his opinions on all the "new" rifle cartridges.

I have to say that not being a big rifle guy, it does seem puzzling to see a few dozen cartridges that shoot ~.308 sized rounds.

When I get a few rifles, I will own them in .45-75 (lever and single shot) .308 (bolt) .223 (EBR) and .22LR

Before I read Jeff Cooper, I would have thought I needed the most expensive "tactical" rifle imaginable.

His discriptions of practical marksmanship and the skills of most people have convinced me that if I am hunting, I do not need MOA accuracy, I need a modicum of marksmanship skill and good sense to shoot inside of about 200 yards.

Reading Cooper made me understand more about hunting and want to learn how to do it properly and pass it to my son.

I like when he talks about going hunting and coming back without a kill - people say "oh, sorry you wasted your time" and he thinks "it was not a waste, I was HUNTING!" As in - its the journey, not the destination...

Bahadur
January 8, 2003, 09:12 AM
Pendragon:
I would not put things the way he puts them, but I do think he has more than earned the right to speak his mind.I respect the man's service to our country and freedom. BUT "the right to speak one's mind" belongs to all in this country in accordance with the freedom of speech, not just salty Grognards. What Cooper did earn (from me as well as from many others apparently) was respect.
quote:
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I think the problem with ten-dollar words is that too many of today's readers graduated from two-bit schools. Reading is becoming an endangered skill.
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I don't get that at all. I find his writings to be full of lordly proclamations, but not necessarily full of "difficult" words. I would think that anyone who graduated from a university was exposed to more "difficult" vocabulary than that employed by Cooper.

BigG
January 8, 2003, 10:29 AM
...writing affect(ed) that psuedo-Victorian voice ...

I find his writings to be full of lordly proclamations, but not necessarily full of "difficult" words.

Right out of medieval times. Took the words right outa my mouf. :D Strictly an affectation and pretension of literary prowess.

He has contributed a lot to firearms knowledge; I'll give him that.

ReadyontheRight
January 8, 2003, 10:58 AM
Strictly an affectation and pretension of literary prowess.

It's worked though, hasn't it? ;)

BHP9
January 8, 2003, 11:08 AM
Sure, Col. Cooper champions the 1911 to the exclusion of other good combat-worthy weapons that have come along in the past twenty or thirty years: but his championship of it is based on extensive testing and vast experience. He doesn't have that with newer designs

I could not agree more Preacherman. No one could have said it better.

I once thought, just as Cooper once did that in 100 years surely something must have come along or would come along that was better than the 1911. I tried just about every new hangun that has come out in the last 35 years and just as Cooper did I came full circle back to the 1911.

I can think of no other full size combat gun that I was able to completely strip down to the frame in seconds and with the use of no tools whatsoever.

I can think of few handguns that were so rugged that you could use them for a club and they would not fly apart or break.

First hit probablilty and reliabilty with 1911's built to John Browning specs are legendary.

1911's dominate just about every type of pistol competition and are the first choice of world class champion shooters in bullsyeye competition. Nothing else even comes close.

The 1911 has been the benchmark by which every gun writer worth his salt has compared all pistols that came before and came after it.


I like the Colonel's style of writing and even though I often do not agree with him he gives me pause for thought and he is certainly entertaining and controversial. Such a pleasant change from the politically correct crowd of mundane , transparent, crowd pleasing , inexperienced, and shallow writers that one finds haunting many of todays gun rags.

The Colonel's integrity is without question, his experience without peer, his advice well worth pondering. And when he goes west he will be regarded as highly as the legendary gun writers of yesteryear such as Jack O'Conner, Elmer Keith, Townsend Welen, Charles Askins, Ted Trublood, Warren Page, Nash Buckingham, Corey Ford, and John Taylor.

I think the 1911 will be with us in the shooting world for a long, long time to come and considering what is available out there in regards to the competition it is easy to see why.

bad_dad_brad
January 8, 2003, 11:04 PM
BHP9 wrote:

"I think the 1911 will be with us in the shooting world for a long, long time to come and considering what is available out there in regards to the competition it is easy to see why."

I totally agree. As a single action semi-auto, it may have not any peer, except for the new CZ-75SA or a SIG 210. No matter, they are all John Browning clones.

I just think for everyday use, other pistols are better and safer.

And I agree with everyone's comments on Jeff Cooper, pros and cons. It is good to share opinions! Thanks all THGers for this useful and entertaining thread.

Pendragon
January 9, 2003, 04:18 AM
brad:
Say what you will about the 1911, but it is one of the safest pistols ever created.


Bahadur:
Excuse me. I was not suggesting that only certain men like Jeff Cooper have the right to speak their mind. If that is how you took what I wrote, then you should seek to further your understanding of our society.

As I wrote it, the word "Right" which, in the context I used it, is defined as That which is just, morally good, legal, proper, or fitting.

You protest that we all have the "right" to speak our minds. I reject that assertion because in our society, much of what a lot of us would like to say is seen as "unjust", "morally bad", "improper" and "unfitting". However legal.

Much of what some people say is "improper and unfitting" because they lack the experience and wisdom of the years.

What Cooper did earn (from me as well as from many others apparently) was respect.

Well I speak very differently to people I respect and people I do not respect. I suspect that most people do the same and that is why I said what I said. It seems a small matter to bring it up like you did.

Sean Smith
January 9, 2003, 09:29 AM
Side note: can anybody actually provide evidence (read: quotes) of Jeff Cooper to prove that he is racist or sexist? Just curious, because I've even flipped through his way-old books and not found any such thing.

Historical oddity: in one of his old books, he explains the virtues of Tequilla, apparently before it had "caught on"in the U.S.A. :D

buzz_knox
January 9, 2003, 01:47 PM
Mr. Cooper's completely opposed to new technologies? Statements like that are clear evidence of a complete lack of knowledge about the subject. For example, Mr. Cooper is the godfather of such "backward" items as the 10mm and the Bren 10.

444
January 9, 2003, 02:01 PM
Sean, I would not say he was racist as much as I woudl say he was politcally incorrect to use the common modern term. An example would be an article in one of his books where he got to drive and fire the main gun of an M1 tank. He was talking about how high tech it was and how well trained and intelligent the tank crews were. He made a statment something like; this technology is beyond the capabilities of a towel head or a potato digger or something to that effect. I guess you could call that raciest. But what he was saying is that he felt that the US had the best troops out there using the state of the art equipment and didn't pull any punches in saying so. He wasn't worried about making everybody happy or hurting anyone's feelings.

Dean Speir
January 9, 2003, 02:04 PM
Mr. Cooper is the godfather of such "backward" items as the 10mm and the Bren 10… I'll (grudgingly) allow you the Bren Ten, but the 10mm as we know it today dates back to 1972 and Whit Collins, when it was yclept the ".40 G&A." While two others were involved at that point, as Jeff himself acknowledges in the Nosler Reloading Manual #3: John Adams and Irv Stone (of BarSto), he was not one of them. At the time that Dornaus & Dixon brought the Bren Ten project to him, seeking the credibility of his endorsement, Jeff had actually been experimenting with the 9mm Magnum round, not even a .40 caliber one.

I think the problem here is that while everyone has an opinion about Jeff, his writings, and his achievements, very few seem to have any solid information much less a clearer idea of what's real versus what is myth.

buzz_knox
January 9, 2003, 03:10 PM
The way I have always understood it, while the 10mm existed prior to Cooper's involvement, his support of it helped keep it alive after the Bren 10 project failed. Then again, I could be wrong.

BigG
January 9, 2003, 03:30 PM
Somebody once noted Jeff must read his own stuff and sit there thinking "that guy is a genius -- and a wit, too!"

Dean Speir
January 9, 2003, 03:54 PM
The way I have always understood it, while the 10mm existed prior to Cooper's involvement, his support of it helped keep it alive after the Bren 10 project failed. Then again, I could be wrong. Not to be unkind, but boy-o-boy, are you ever!

When D&D tanked, Jeff distanced himself from everything Bren and 10 as quickly as possible. It is one of his bitterest experiences, second only perhaps to his sale of API in mid-'92. But that was a personal/semi-private thing; the Bren 10 was very public!

The sole responsibility for anything to do with the 10mm surviving past the D&D debacle, belongs to Colt… and they had to fight Norma every step of the way to do it!

To be fair, Harry Stanford and AMT/IAI helped, but how many would even try to make a serious brief that with the "Javelina" as the sole 10mm production pistol around, the FBI would've taken any sort of look at that cartridge as their service round?

Make no mistake, it was Colt's introduction of the "Delta Elite" that kept the 10mm cartridge in production.

buzz_knox
January 9, 2003, 04:04 PM
As I said, I could be wrong. Perhaps I misunderstood Cooper's having written an article on the Delta Elite when it first came out and discussing his involvement with the 10mm.

HS/LD
January 9, 2003, 04:05 PM
Cooper is bad ‘coz he uses big words!!!
________________________________

It is humorous to note that people who have problems understanding some polysyllabic words, rather than educate themselves wish to deride the writer of these words.

Amazing.

Should Col. Cooper write ‘down’ to the level of the lowest common denominator, or perhaps his writing should give impetus to stretch and gain a greater vocabulary.

As for the 1911 pistol I think there is a very simple reason the basic design is still “the best”. Our hands are still shaped the same now as in the year 1911 and basic cartridge design is also the same.

Regards,
HS/LD

BigG
January 9, 2003, 04:15 PM
I think you are mistaking having a well-rounded vocabulary and having delusions of grandeur. There is a difference. Judging by his writing style, JC thinks he is a 14th century EuroLord.

I can't help thinking of the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland) saying "Off with his head!" when I read Cooper's stilted, hackneyed, painfully contorted prose.

As I mentioned before, JC has contributed a lot to firearms knowledge.

Dean Speir
January 9, 2003, 04:26 PM
when I read Cooper's stilted, hackneyed, painfully contorted prose. Now wait just a minute, BigG, you can have "stilted" and "painfully contorted prose," or you can have "hackneyed," butcha can't have both!

We have spoken! :p Should Col. Cooper write ‘down’ to the level of the lowest common denominator… And there's the rub.

Ironically, the publisher of his (considerably redacted¹) "Commentaries," caters to that very LCD. :(

¹.- And if you don't think so, compare that which is currently available on-line with what appears in print three-four months from now.

BigG
January 9, 2003, 04:43 PM
I think the "hackneyed" comes from Cooper's self-congratulatory chortling when he occasionally coins a word yet never tires of reminding the reader. "Hoplophobe" (where is the barf icon when I need it) is one that for some reason generates disgust in my mind while "Crunchenticker" I admit elicits a chuckle. ;)

Dean Speir
January 9, 2003, 04:58 PM
Okay, so you yourself are not adverse to "reinventing" the language a bit, we see.hack·neyed adjective
Overfamiliar through overuse; trite. See synonyms for trite.

Tha's all right, I am the proud (actually, pleased as punch!) holder of such coinage m'self. It's what we, as writers, do… or at least should be doing.

BigG
January 9, 2003, 09:41 PM
That's right. But the real test is when OTHER PEOPLE sing your praises as a wordsmith. It don't count when you blow your own horn!

I just imagine (I admit) Mr. Cooper sitting there smirking with self satisfaction each time he inserts the word hoplophobe into JC's Commentaries, which seems to be at every opportunity. In fact, it seems to me he makes sure to use it at least once per commentary and I've been reading it since Volume I, real time on the Internet, before there were any gun forums to speak of.

Goblin is a cool word but I don't hear it or read it elsewhere so I assume it has not passed into the language as a truly successful coined word should. Crunchenticker I use myself to describe the DA/SA auto pistol.

Joe Demko
January 9, 2003, 09:48 PM
I have far less of a problem with JC, however annoying I find his writing style, than I do with some of his followers. At times, they seem to have confused him with the other JC.

Pendragon
January 9, 2003, 09:53 PM
"hairy chested nut scratcher"

Always makes me giggle. :neener:

Art Eatman
January 9, 2003, 10:18 PM
Well, I just happen to enjoy the heck out of Cooper's writing style. I find it to be great fun. His ten-dollar words aren't nearly so much of a problem as some of the $25 variety from Bill Buckley! :D

And I just don't understand what is so off-putting from his use of the editorial "We". I grew up in a world where that was standard procedure. I find his writing to be refreshing, particularly after too many years of having to write engineering reports exclusively in third person, past tense.

As far as the 1911, there are few handguns I haven't shot, during the last five-plus decades, from Lilliput to Raging Bull. I have found that the Weaver stance and the 1911 to be the best for me. What's best for you is your business and not mine.

:), Art

Harold Mayo
January 9, 2003, 10:45 PM
Goblin is a cool word but I don't hear it or read it elsewhere so I assume it has not passed into the language as a truly successful coined word should.

Mr. Cooper did not coin the word "goblin"...

It has been part of our language for centuries. It is unlikely that "hoplophobe" is in Webster's but I assure you that "goblin" is.

Pendragon
January 9, 2003, 10:52 PM
Wow!

I thought he just meant that Coopers use of goblin had not caught on. Of course Cooper did not coin that word... :rolleyes: :cool:

Art Eatman
January 9, 2003, 11:00 PM
Possibly he was the first to apply it to Bad Guys? (In print, anyway.)

"Hoplophobe" is a lovely word. I've thoroughly enjoyed dropping "Hoplophobia" into gun discussions where anti- to mildly-anti- types were present.

"Well, that attitude is merely hoplophobia, readily dealt with by any competent psychiatrist..." and said with a shrug, of course; sort of a "toss-off" remark. :D The implication is "MY mental health is superior to YOUR mental health," without it being spoken of as such.

And folks don't expect Greek words from a redneck, particularly in the context of psychiatry. :D

Art

bad_dad_brad
January 9, 2003, 11:38 PM
Regarding the M1911, this is sort of what I was referring to. I still want one though, just for fun.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2940

Honestly, I would rather have a Glock for the intended purpose of handgun self-defense. I won't debate that the M1911 is more accurate, it is. But I think the .45 modern pistols are less finicky.

Thumper
January 9, 2003, 11:49 PM
Dean...good to have you here. Can I tell people I know you?

:D

H&K Fan
January 10, 2003, 03:38 AM
When he is good he is very very good. When he is stilted he is very very stilted. Though he certainly is an original.

DAL
January 10, 2003, 04:43 AM
In fact, I'd rather deal with someone of strong opinions; at least I know where they stand, right or wrong. Jeff Cooper is a man who doesn't leave you wondering where he stands on any number of issues, and he's too old to care about "political correctness," whatever the ***K that means.

True, he's not the best writer in the world, but I like his sometimes odd, sometimes quaint mingling of words. As someone else said, his writing is an acquired taste.

"They don't make many like him anymore." They sure don't, and that's a pity. What will we be left with when he's gone? I'll miss his "Commentaries" dearly when that inevitable day comes.

As for the 1911, it's a hell of a handgun. Is it the right gun for everyone? Hardly. But its balance and power is THE standard for any combat handgun to emulate. Of course it isn't perfect, and from what I've read some small parts can be a bit fragile, but the basic design is quite user friendly. I have one 1911 and more than anything else, I love its balance in my hand.
DAL

P.S. My newly-acquired Glock 26 will be my carry gun when clothing permits (the job goes to my S&W 642 otherwise), and I'll even use it in IDPA competition, but for the sheer joy of a wonderfully-designed instrument, firing a 1911 is a hard act to beat.

H&K Fan
January 10, 2003, 05:06 AM
I never was a big fan of Elmer Keith's until he passed on. Then I realized what we had lost. Cooper is not the worst or best writer about guns today but he is definitely his own man with his own ideas of what works and what does not.

BigG
January 10, 2003, 11:41 AM
Just started reading Keith's Rifles for Big Game again. Elmer at his worst was a better stylist than Jeff at his best. JMHO

Mind you, I agree with most of the stuff Jeff writes. Just don't care for how he packages it. Quaint -- yes, that's a good word for Cooper's style; quaint.

longeyes
January 10, 2003, 01:31 PM
I enjoy Col. Cooper for his sage observations on life in general, not so much for his specific opinions on pistolcraft. He has a lot to teach us about how to get through this world, based on deep experience.

GSB
January 11, 2003, 11:07 PM
Ahh, the 1911. It's like a beautiful, witty, intelligent but temperamental woman. Its moods infuriate and confound you, but its charms keep luring you back for one more try.

Alas, my days with the actual woman who met that description are gone, but the nice thing about the 1911 is that you can always come back to it to begin the relationship anew.

Greybeard
January 12, 2003, 12:17 PM
Quote: a beautiful, witty, intelligent but temperamental woman. Its moods infuriate and confound you, but its charms keep luring you back for one more try.

Well said! Unfortunately, the 1911s usually result in far less expensive experiences.

Steel
January 13, 2003, 12:43 AM
"Jeff Cooper is stuck in a time warp in the 1940s"

Sounds good to me! Beats this era.

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