The Jeff Cooper Club


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CmdrSlander
February 10, 2013, 01:31 AM
http://s8.postimage.org/954i36a6t/jeffcooperclub.png

Welcome all,

I have recently been rereading the late, great Jeff Cooper's commentaries, I felt that he deserves his own thread on this forum. This thread will be dedicated to discussing Jeff Cooper, his techniques, his firearms of choice, his exploits and his legacy.

For the uninitiated:

The objective for this thread to be an ongoing discussion and "club" in the Colonel's honor, like any club, we don't have to focus solely on our topic, general discussion of firearms is welcome, especially those which Cooper would have been interested in. Gun politics is also a welcome topic of discussion.

Get to it.

If you enjoyed reading about "The Jeff Cooper Club" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
AZ_Rebel
February 10, 2013, 01:49 AM
Anyone who met Col. Cooper could not help but be impressed by his depth and conviction. Those of us who were honored to spend time with him will be forever changed because of that. An orange Gunsite hat has meaning to many.

BHP FAN
February 10, 2013, 01:53 AM
I grew up on Elmer Kieth, and Jeff Cooper.

CmdrSlander
February 10, 2013, 03:01 AM
Anyone?

Kingcreek
February 10, 2013, 04:57 AM
I had a beer with him once years ago in Berry Illinois. Fascinating man and all gentleman.

JShirley
February 16, 2013, 01:18 AM
Since Mr. Cooper's writings are not public domain, please limit quotes to brief ones, with attribution. This is both to protect the Cooper heirs rights, and to protect THR.

Thanks,

John

Gallstones
February 17, 2013, 06:21 PM
So, what are his firearms of choice and why did he choose them?

SharpsDressedMan
February 17, 2013, 06:50 PM
A reference to many of the guns that Col. Cooper liked for survival purposes were listed in an older book by Mel Tappan, called "Survival Guns". I'll try to shake it up, and give a list. Cooper was asked by Tappan to recommend his favorites for long termed "survival", and it was pretty interesting. In his latter days, Cooper was also interested in obtaining a Broomhandle C96 for nostalgia and personal interest, not necessarily recommending it for anything else. I just remembered that one. Reading his many books would assuredly take one through his shooting interests and favorite guns.

G'dale Mike
February 17, 2013, 08:15 PM
I always Looked forward to reading "COOPER'S CORNER". Men of his caliber are few and far between.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 17, 2013, 09:04 PM
He was certainly a man of his time. A lot of great ideas and great wisdom. But a fair amount of outdated ideas and "wisdom" that turned out to be flat wrong. Just like any man.

FIVETWOSEVEN
February 17, 2013, 09:48 PM
He spoke pretty highly of the CZ75B aside from it not being in his favorite caliber. I love mine!

OptimusPrime
February 17, 2013, 11:22 PM
He was certainly a man of his time. A lot of great ideas and great wisdom. But a fair amount of outdated ideas and "wisdom" that turned out to be flat wrong. Just like any man.
What ideas and advice of Cooper's were proven wrong?

JFrame
February 17, 2013, 11:26 PM
He spoke pretty highly of the CZ75B aside from it not being in his favorite caliber. I love mine!

Cooper must have liked the CZ's -- their design concepts worked their way into the Bren Ten.


.

JFrame
February 17, 2013, 11:30 PM
I recall in at least one of his Cooper's Corner articles that he advocated issuance of .44 Special revolvers as the weapon of choice for police officers. Noting the propensity for LEOs to spray-fire in confrontations, he thought that the LEOs would be adequately protected by the revolver, and that the general public would be better served by having fewer rounds going down-range.


.

Rock185
February 17, 2013, 11:50 PM
I did the API250 and 499 pistol classes at gunsite in '80 and '81. Chuck Taylor was still on the staff when I did the 250 and Clint Smith was there when I went back about a year later for the 499. The Colonel was still out on the range actively involved in the training in those days. I had owned 1911s for years prior to going to Gunsite, but I felt like I learned a lot there and that the money for the courses was well spent . I won the 499 shoot off on Saturday morning, with the Col. watching. He was unimpresed. He said something to the effect that the other guy, an instructor who'd apparently been away for a while and was auditing the class, just got more shook up than I did during the final ;-) I still have a photo of the Col., me and some of my classmates taken after the shoot off...

9mmepiphany
February 18, 2013, 12:00 AM
What ideas and advice of Cooper's were proven wrong?
While there is some disagreement over the validity of some of the techniques he advocated, the following two are pretty universally understood as being flawed.

1. A double tap; that two presses of the trigger, with one sight picture, would place two rounds on the target as the pistol was rising in recoil

2. The press check that hooked the index finger on the front of the slide under the barrel and the thumb in the trigger guard

splithoof
February 18, 2013, 12:48 AM
I first met Jeff Cooper when I was a teenager in the early 1980's, at a SWPL event at the old Wes Thompson's Juniper Tree Rifle Range, back when it was near Agua Dulce. I did not comprehend the significance of his position back then, but have since enjoyed the tour of his home and collection while at Gunsite.

Fast Frank
February 18, 2013, 12:51 AM
Colonel Cooper was a great influence on me back in the day.

I never met him, but eagerly read everything I could get my hands on.

His down to earth attitude about self defense just made sense to me, and his affection for the 1911 pistol (and the .45 ACP cartrige) helped lead me to a long running relationship with them.

The only thing about his writings that I could make a negative comment about was his "We are not amused" second voice style.

When a man puts as much in print as the colonel did and his writing style is the only negative I can find, he's done a good job.

We need more like him today.

jamesbeat
February 18, 2013, 12:56 AM
Colonel Cooper turned one of my anti friends into a staunch pro gun person.

He and I used to meet for a pint or three in the pub after work, but he used to finish work half an hour later then I did.
Although I used to run a few errands after work, I would still often get there before him, so once a month, he'd walk in to find me reading Guns & Ammo.

'Cooper's Corner' was always the first page I'd turn to, and so my friend would be greeted with one of the Colonel's witticisms or pearls of wisdom when he walked in.

Eventually he would walk in, grab the magazine, and read Cooper's Corner immediately.

Cooper had such a talent for articulating ideas. He had such a talent for summing up a paragraph's worth of information in a few punchy words that it got through to my friend and actually made him stop and think.

I remember the day that it was announced in Guns & Ammo that he had died, and both my friend and I felt a genuine loss.

splithoof
February 18, 2013, 03:19 AM
Coopers Corner (and the full length version in another venue) were some of the best reading ever...some of it was just plain funny, all at the expense of politicians, socialists, and liberals, and the gamesmen.

Gallstones
February 18, 2013, 04:54 AM
A reference to many of the guns that Col. Cooper liked for survival purposes were listed in an older book by Mel Tappan, called "Survival Guns". I'll try to shake it up, and give a list. Cooper was asked by Tappan to recommend his favorites for long termed "survival", and it was pretty interesting. In his latter days, Cooper was also interested in obtaining a Broomhandle C96 for nostalgia and personal interest, not necessarily recommending it for anything else. I just remembered that one. Reading his many books would assuredly take one through his shooting interests and favorite guns.

I've put some of his books on my wish list at Amazon. But other sources of information will do in the mean time. :)

Gallstones
February 18, 2013, 04:55 AM
He was certainly a man of his time. A lot of great ideas and great wisdom. But a fair amount of outdated ideas and "wisdom" that turned out to be flat wrong. Just like any man.

Like what?
What did he get wrong?

Gallstones
February 18, 2013, 04:58 AM
He spoke pretty highly of the CZ75B aside from it not being in his favorite caliber. I love mine!

Ha! I have a CZ 75 P07 40cal.
I guess he prefered .45's
Still, this is encouraging.

SharpsDressedMan
February 18, 2013, 08:47 AM
Cooper liked the orignal CZ75; the 75B hadn't been born yet. I really like the early CZ's, as they have a longer, smoother trigger pull than the B's. Other gun trainers have called some of Cooper's stuff flawed, but I think some of that is like "semantics".......they just want to do it a little different, and be recognized for it. Just as in law enforcement, there just might be more than one way to do it. The "press check" works fine, for instance, as long as your gun doesn't have one of those new fangled, full length guide rods. And double taps are STILL deadly at close range. I thnk Cooper got it right; others may do it their own way, too.

bikerdoc
February 18, 2013, 09:01 AM
Grew up on Cooper, Kieth, and Jordan.

Sam1911
February 18, 2013, 09:49 AM
I've really enjoyed everything I've read of the good Colonel's.

What did he get wrong?

He was, indeed, a man of his time and he did clearly advance the practice of defensive shooting. We all owe him (and others that most of us forget) quite a debt for helping to bring us to where we are today.

That isn't to say that he brought pistol shooting to the pinnacle -- the final end point -- of perfection. He moved it far beyond where it had been, and from there others have advanced it still further.

He's probably best well known for the "Modern Technique."

The components of that are:
1) Weaver stance.
2) Flash Sight Picture
3) Surprise Break
4) Large caliber semi-auto
and sometimes
5) Compressed breath

None of those concepts has stood the test of time, unaltered.
1) The Weaver stance was a good first step in developing a cohesive two-handed fighting style. But it is clearly surpassed by the modern Isosceles hold. While many old-school and new shooters still gravitate toward the Weaver, the underlying "push-pull" theory of recoil control doesn't hold up, and no one working at the top of their game uses it anymore.

2) The Flash Sight Picture is probably the most durable and really valuable part of the Modern Technique, and it continues to inform good, fast shooting today. As 9mmepiphany noted, its extension into the idea of two shots with one sight picture was wrong, and has been dropped by good shooters.

3) The Surprise Break is a good stepping stone for someone learning marksmanship, but it becomes really hard to shoe-horn into an explanation of good technique when firing speed gets down into the 3,4,5 shots per second range. It is probably best to acknowledge that, yes, we do know when that trigger is breaking, and we use proper sight picture and trigger control ANYWAY.

4) As we've established many times, getting hung up on caliber -- in this day of great JHP bullet designs, especially -- is silly. The only reason to carry a big .45 is that you like the big .45. Not because you wouldn't be equally well-served by a quality 9mm cartridge. When he was writing, and based on his experiences as a soldier, it made some sense to cling to the "bigger=better" idea. Today, it is merely a distraction.

5) Compressed breath -- at this point folks have figured out that it is best to just breathe. This isn't bench-rest shooting and you're likely to be moving, running, ducking, etc. You'd better be able to put shots on target even if you're panting, gasping, or even lung-shot.

Cooper thought about these things from a scientific standpoint, and he developed his ideas based on what he saw work best of the various things he and his "Leatherslap" pals tried. But that was a pretty small sample set compared to the orders-of-magnitude larger group of "researchers" :) we have now working on the same questions. Three decades of further and ever increasing research have brought us to new conclusions that build on and surpass his own.

And that's a testament to both his greatness and to the natural order of human endeavor.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 18, 2013, 10:03 AM
Thank you Sam.

Saying Cooper isn't perfectly right all the time isn't an attack on him. It's a fact. He's still a man who came up with some pretty revolutionary ideas for his time. But just like the cap and ball system was revolutionary, time marches on and some old ideas that were great get edged out by some better ones. Cooper's feelings about pistol rounds less than .45 and his opinion of the AR platform are just two of the things that time has really shown not to be that accurate. The modern 9mm round is a great self defense round and as Sam said, it's really just a matter of preference. And Cooper's comment along the line of "M16 being designed as a spray and pray weapon because Americans lost the skill of marksmanship" is just malarkey. The AR platform is an extremely accurate weapon and it is employed by highly skilled soldiers, police and civilians alike for anything from combat to hunting to recreation. He was wrong about the AR. He was wrong about the Glock. He was wrong about 9mm.

Yes, he was revolutionary. His ideas advancing firearm safety along make him a legend for shooter. But he was still just a man. And men get things wrong from time to time.

Sam1911
February 18, 2013, 10:24 AM
There's also something in who Cooper was, in his personality, that endears him to some and makes him reviled by others, but which probably should just be accepted and understood.

He was an opinionated, military, idealistic, opinionated, strong-willed, steely-eyed, opinionated, 'man's man' who, as many great men do, started out to reform the world to his ideal, and then ossified and became self-conservative over time.

That helps make him one of the great figures of our micro-culture's history. He's colorful, irascible, idiosyncratic, and a bit self-righteous -- convinced of what he believes. That doesn't make him right all the time, but it does make him noteworthy and fun and interesting.

Remember, one of the fundamentals of the Modern Technique is that the sidearm be a big .45 caliber automatic! Well, I rather believe that his contemporaries like Bill Jordan, Jelly Brice, Jim Cirillo, and a few other notable revolver guys probably thought he was full of crap about that -- and many of them could probably have outshot him every day of the week. But that's fine! Differences of opinion among respectable men, all worth listening to.

I remember all his flak about the "Crunchentickers" -- all the "newfangled" higher capacity 9mms, like the Berettas and S&W autos, and of course the dreaded Glock. He HATED those guns, at least to read most of his text. But that was a denigration of a great number of fine, reliable, accurate weapons entirely based on his own experiences and opinions which were badly in need of re-examination.

As Ragnar says, he loathed the AR rifle and what he believed it meant for the US serviceman. And he was DEAD wrong -- even though he had reasons to believe what he did. But history buried his opinions under mountains of better information and experience and concept development.

He was quite taken with the Scout rifle concept, which takes so much explaining and justifying and nit-picking to justify as more than a fun curiosity, that most folks now don't really "get" it -- even when Ruger is (sort of...kind of) selling one as a factory item these days.

He was neat and interesting and the world is a far better place for him having been in it. He wasn't a god and like every great man, he needs to be understood in context and with a big ol' chunky grain of salt. :)

JFrame
February 18, 2013, 10:58 AM
There's also something in who Cooper was, in his personality, that endears him to some and makes him reviled by others, but which probably should just be accepted and understood.

He was an opinionated, military, idealistic, opinionated, strong-willed, steely-eyed, opinionated, 'man's man' who, as many great men do, started out to reform the world to his ideal, and then ossified and became self-conservative over time.

That helps make him one of the great figures of our micro-culture's history. He's colorful, irascible, idiosyncratic, and a bit self-righteous -- convinced of what he believes. That doesn't make him right all the time, but it does make him noteworthy and fun and interesting.

Remember, one of the fundamentals of the Modern Technique is that the sidearm be a big .45 caliber automatic! Well, I rather believe that his contemporaries like Bill Jordan, Jelly Brice, Jim Cirillo, and a few other notable revolver guys probably thought he was full of crap about that -- and many of them could probably have outshot him every day of the week. But that's fine! Differences of opinion among respectable men, all worth listening to.

I remember all his flak about the "Crunchentickers" -- all the "newfangled" higher capacity 9mms, like the Berettas and S&W autos, and of course the dreaded Glock. He HATED those guns, at least to read most of his text. But that was a denigration of a great number of fine, reliable, accurate weapons entirely based on his own experiences and opinions which were badly in need of re-examination.

As Ragnar says, he loathed the AR rifle and what he believed it meant for the US serviceman. And he was DEAD wrong -- even though he had reasons to believe what he did. But history buried his opinions under mountains of better information and experience and concept development.

He was quite taken with the Scout rifle concept, which takes so much explaining and justifying and nit-picking to justify as more than a fun curiosity, that most folks now don't really "get" it -- even when Ruger is (sort of...kind of) selling one as a factory item these days.

He was neat and interesting and the world is a far better place for him having been in it. He wasn't a god and like every great man, he needs to be understood in context and with a big ol' chunky grain of salt. :)


Sam -- that was quite a brilliant write-up there...Kudos! http://www.kolobok.us/smiles/artists/fool/appl.gif

Just to add some more reflections -- it was fascinating to read Guns & Ammo "back in the day," and witness the see-saw variance in opinions and advice between the articles when they shifted from "Cooper on Handguns" to "Jordan on Handguns" (or was it the other way around?). The advice tilted HEAVILY from being semiautomatic-centric with Cooper, to revolver-centric with Jordan. And you know what? I enjoyed the hell out of BOTH versions.

I don't know if Cooper coined the term, but he also used "poodle-shooter" a lot in reference to 5.56 AR-type rifles, and 5.56-chambered military rifles in general.


.

Hangingrock
February 18, 2013, 11:18 AM
Cooper wrote what he believed to be true. Yes he was opinionated but that’s what I liked about the man. He was man of principle and articulated those views thru his writings/teachings. It’s easy to be critical of the man. It’s especially easy for those that have no accomplishments of merit equal to Cooper’s. With out the Modern Technique where would we be? The scavengers would have neither bones to pick nor accomplishments to speak of.

Gaiudo
February 18, 2013, 11:22 AM
1) The Weaver stance was a good first step in developing a cohesive two-handed fighting style. But it is clearly surpassed by the modern Isosceles hold. While many old-school and new shooters still gravitate toward the Weaver, the underlying "push-pull" theory of recoil control doesn't hold up, and no one working at the top of their game uses it anymore.

Within reason, of course. Don't let that .44Mag do tragic, violent things to your Isosceles hold and anything that sitting behind it. Different holds for different "practical" purposes.

4) As we've established many times, getting hung up on caliber -- in this day of great JHP bullet designs, especially -- is silly. The only reason to carry a big .45 is that you like the big .45. Not because you wouldn't be equally well-served by a quality 9mm cartridge. When he was writing, and based on his experiences as a soldier, it made some sense to cling to the "bigger=better" idea. Today, it is merely a distraction.

On this topic, I've often wondered: has modern conventional wisdom established a point where "bigger≠better" is not helpful? E.g., while 9mm cartridge construction is a proven reliable platform these days, is a .30; a .25? Is it purely a matter of cartridge construction, or are there limitations to the minimum size for effective self defense use?

SharpsDressedMan
February 18, 2013, 11:45 AM
I think more people would "get" the scout rifle thing if Ruger had brough out a sleeker, lighter rifle that was 6.6 lbs. with the scope mounted. That was Cooper's goal, and it could be done with modern metals, and a little more design work. I have packed a .30-06 "pseudo-scout" in the hills for hunting, and my 7.8 lb. rifle is STILL a joy to carry, and faster on target than any other major caliber rifle I have had the opportunity to shoot. The bulk of any current .308 semi-auto rifle makes it much slower to handle on target acquisition than a well styled and balanced bolt action.

Sam1911
February 18, 2013, 12:47 PM
Within reason, of course. Don't let that .44Mag do tragic, violent things to your Isosceles hold and anything that sitting behind it. Different holds for different "practical" purposes.I use the same grip for my 629 as I do for the 9mms. I've run 6-shot "Bill Drills" that way with 300 gr. 1,250 fps loads. No Weaver necessary or desired.

When Jerry Miculek did a demo video with the new X-Frame .500 Magnum, he didn't switch to a Weaver, either.

Sam1911
February 18, 2013, 01:21 PM
With out the Modern Technique where would we be? The scavengers would have neither bones to pick nor accomplishments to speak of.

Now that raises an interesting point. Without the Modern Technique, without Jeff Cooper, where indeed would we be?

Some ideas' times have just come. If the person who thought of them or popularized them hadn't done so, when s/he did, someone else would have, soon.

Others are completely revolutionary. True genius.

It is interesting to speculate whether, if Cooper hadn't formulated and popularized the Modern Technique, would one of his other Leatherslap pals (or someone else entirely) have done something similar, and what would it have looked like?

I rather do believe the time had come and someone would have begun and popularized the study of these matters. But I do I wonder if we'd be more advanced than we are now, or less so?

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 18, 2013, 01:42 PM
Less so I dare imagine. So many good ideas coming from one person who also managed to be able to get those ideas out and teach on his own and through proxies, tends of thousands if not hundreds of shooters.

Frank Ettin
February 18, 2013, 02:49 PM
I'm fortunate enough to have met and spent time with Jeff.

In 2002, I took my first class at Gunsite -- a special 250 with Jeff as Range Master. During a break, he and I were chatting, and he discovered I like auto racing. That was another interest of his, and he invited me up to his home on the Sunday after the class to watch the Monaco Grand Prix. I of course took him up on the invitation and had a wonderful afternoon with him and Mrs. Cooper.

In March of 2006, I was again at Gunsite for 270 (General Rifle) and had a chance to go by and visit with the Coopers once again. Jeff was rather frail at that time. He died in September of that year.

...He was an opinionated, military, idealistic, opinionated, strong-willed, steely-eyed, opinionated, 'man's man' who, as many great men do, started out to reform the world to his ideal, and then ossified and became self-conservative over time.

That helps make him one of the great figures of our micro-culture's history. He's colorful, irascible, idiosyncratic, and a bit self-righteous -- convinced of what he believes. That doesn't make him right all the time, but it does make him noteworthy and fun and interesting....An excellent and spot-on assessment. He was also a gracious host (as Janelle is a gracious hostess -- having visited with her a couple of years ago).

And his writing is a great pleasure. He uses words well, and his work is always fun to re-read.

I don't mean to step on the OP's action, but I'd like to mention that Jeff Cooper's Commentaries can be found on-line here (http://www.molonlabe.net/Commentaries/). Also, a wealth of information on Jeff Cooper can be found here (http://www.frfrogspad.com/) (scroll down to "The Jeff Cooper Pages").

9mmepiphany
February 18, 2013, 02:49 PM
Within reason, of course. Don't let that .44Mag do tragic, violent things to your Isosceles hold and anything that sitting behind it. Different holds for different "practical" purposes.
I remember when a shooter took the Second Chance Championship (the original bowling pin match) with a M-29 loaded with full magnum loads. We were stunned, as he was shooting from a classic Isosceles...because it allowed faster transitions

9mmepiphany
February 18, 2013, 03:06 PM
It’s especially easy for those that have no accomplishments of merit equal to Cooper’s. With out the Modern Technique where would we be? The scavengers would have neither bones to pick nor accomplishments to speak of.
I also think if Cooper hadn't done it someone else would have...the first name that comes to mind is Masaad Ayoob.

One has to remember that Cooper didn't invent any of the techniques he championed. What his contribution was, was collecting all the techniques and finding a platform to market them from. That will really be his legacy...he is the Bill Gates of defensive pistolcraft.

Cooper in his later years was less accepting of the evolution of the Modern Technique, if it conflicted with his original beliefs. This was understandable, but it did taint his creditability when it conflicted with real world testing. Writing that one should fire their first defensive round into the dirt with a DA/SA pistol to access the SA trigger pull, would have met with immediate derision if put forth by anyone other than Cooper, but it was actually given serious consideration by many shooters

Hangingrock
February 18, 2013, 03:20 PM
Additional thoughts on Cooper the founding of API (American Pistol Institute) Gunsite in 1976 is it not a pivotal moment in firearms training? At the time period was there a comparable facility outside of the institutions of the Military or Law Enforcement that taught firearms defensive applications and mindset?
One could say the NRA taught basic fundamentals to citizens but beyond that in reality no. As of today there are various training venues but are they not the follow on of API-Gunsite in varying degree?

9mmepiphany
February 18, 2013, 07:16 PM
Yes, API was the first, followed by LFI (Mas Ayoob) and Chapman Academy (Ray Chapman)

oldbear
February 18, 2013, 08:11 PM
I fondly remember Mr. Coopers writing in the gun rags and always enjoyed reading his books. Mr. Cooper was always the gentlemen and took the time to answer several of my questions when I purchased my first Colt automatic pistol a combat commander in as advised by Mr. Cooper .45 caliber.

Mr. Cooper offered two pieces of advise in one of his books, I hope I hope i will never forget. 1- if you are expecting a fight you need to have a rifle or shotgun in your hand, not a pistol in a holster. 2- The purpose of any weapon used for defense is to stop someone from doing whatever they are doing, not to kill them.

CmdrSlander
February 18, 2013, 08:33 PM
I also think if Cooper hadn't done it someone else would have...the first name that comes to mind is Masaad Ayoob.

One has to remember that Cooper didn't invent any of the techniques he championed. What his contribution was, was collecting all the techniques and finding a platform to market them from. That will really be his legacy...he is the Bill Gates of defensive pistolcraft.

Cooper in his later years was less accepting of the evolution of the Modern Technique, if it conflicted with his original beliefs. This was understandable, but it did taint his creditability when it conflicted with real world testing. Writing that one should fire their first defensive round into the dirt with a DA/SA pistol to access the SA trigger pull, would have met with immediate derision if put forth by anyone other than Cooper, but it was actually given serious consideration by many shooters

It's worth noting that Cooper first brought that up as ONE of the ways one could get to an SA trigger pull on a DA/SA gun, not THE way. He advised against it but he said he had seen it work in a gunfight and that if you didn't have the time or the training required to use a better technique it was an option.

splithoof
February 18, 2013, 09:30 PM
My favorite Jeff Cooper lecture was on combat mindset. In the Gunsite Academy 250 classroom lecture portion, it was for me the most anticipated segment. Listening to the well seasoned and experienced instructors comment during the range portion of the classes was something I will never forget. These opportunities to attend the finest shooting schools are part of what make America a great place; let us work together to preserve our ability to do so.

Sam1911
February 18, 2013, 09:36 PM
...he had seen it work in a gunfight ...Hmmm...someone shooting the dirt during a gun fight? Yup!

Someone later saying, "Oh...ahhh, yeah, that was on purpose! I wanted to get to that good SA trigger pull!" Uh huh...yup. Sure! :D

I think the Col. must have had a very good sense of humor.

9mmepiphany
February 18, 2013, 10:10 PM
he said he had seen it work in a gunfight
I've read Cooper's recounting that he had only been in two encounters where he fired shots at another human...both while in the military...and in neither case was the other person shooting at him. Are you referring to a gunfight were he was a passive observer or a training session?

I also remember reading...I think it was Cooper on Handguns...that he advocated thumb cocking a DA/SA pistol, on the draw, for the first shot; remembering that the DA/SA combat pistols at that time were the Walther P-38 and S&W M-39

I found it interesting that he had a lot of respect for the revolver as a defensive pistol, considering the full load .357Mag the equal of the .45ACP hardball load. I believe that lead to his belief that managing a DA/SA's first DA trigger stroke required that the trigger finger placement be different than that for subsequent shots.

He did accurately observe that there was no speed/accuracy advantage, to the first shot, between the SAO, DA/SA or DAO trigger actions

CmdrSlander
February 19, 2013, 12:16 AM
I've read Cooper's recounting that he had only been in two encounters where he fired shots at another human...both while in the military...and in neither case was the other person shooting at him. Are you referring to a gunfight were he was a passive observer or a training session?

I also remember reading...I think it was Cooper on Handguns...that he advocated thumb cocking a DA/SA pistol, on the draw, for the first shot; remembering that the DA/SA combat pistols at that time were the Walther P-38 and S&W M-39

I found it interesting that he had a lot of respect for the revolver as a defensive pistol, considering the full load .357Mag the equal of the .45ACP hardball load. I believe that lead to his belief that managing a DA/SA's first DA trigger stroke required that the trigger finger placement be different than that for subsequent shots.

He did accurately observe that there was no speed/accuracy advantage, to the first shot, between the SAO, DA/SA or DAO trigger actions
The exacts words were "I have seen it work on the streets of Phoenix..."

...take that as you will.

bannockburn
February 19, 2013, 01:05 AM
I remember when I was a lot younger having a subscription to Guns and Ammo magazine and the first thing I always read was Cooper on Handguns. He was very direct with his answers to readers questions and pretty much told it like it was (at least from his point of view). After writing for a number of years I think even he got tired of answering the same questions month after month so eventually he wrote a somewhat tongue-in-cheek multiple choice answer response which I recall went something like:
A) .45Acp
B) M1911
C) Colt and S&W
D) An answer to a question nobody asked (DA/SA semi-autos)
E) All of the above

Years later I still enjoyed reading his thoughts and commentaries on everything from guns, politics, and domestic and international events on the last page of Guns and Ammo in a column called, appropiately enough, Cooper's Corner...Thoughts from The Gunner's Guru. Each monthly session was filled with a little bit of this and a little bit of that; mostly gun related but some that were taken from his own philosophy on life.

I do remember one in which he wrote something that really stayed with me as being a very fundamental approach to ones own defensive mindset. He was writing on how even a .22 revolver could make for a decent defensive handgun if the user practiced enough with it and hit what they were aiming at. He then went into how the 1911 was still the top handgun of choice for defensive use. But it wasn't so much that the 1911 was the best handgun; there was more to it than just having the right equipment. To Cooper it was all about having the right attitude that was essential to taking the initiative and winning the fight. This meant more than having this gun or that; it was having the proper mindset to take whatever actions were necessary to survive and win the encounter. To me this has always been very good and very sound advice.

9mmepiphany
February 19, 2013, 03:13 AM
The exacts words were "I have seen it work on the streets of Phoenix..."

...take that as you will.
Thanks

I do know what that means. I am familiar with Cooper/Ayoob speak

CmdrSlander
February 19, 2013, 04:04 AM
Thanks

I do know what that means. I am familiar with Cooper/Ayoob speak
So what does it mean then?

Blackstone
February 19, 2013, 04:16 AM
Yes, please share exactly what the "streets of Phoenix" are?

Sam1911
February 19, 2013, 07:14 AM
That would be these: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42553238,d.dmQ&biw=1600&bih=1085&q=google+maps+phoenix,+az&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x872b12ed50a179cb:0x8c69c7f8354a1bac,Phoenix,+AZ&gl=us&sa=X&ei=bV4jUZbBPOXj0QHxyYGYAQ&ved=0CC0Q8gEwAA

Sam1911
February 19, 2013, 08:49 AM
On this topic, I've often wondered: has modern conventional wisdom established a point where "bigger≠better" is not helpful? E.g., while 9mm cartridge construction is a proven reliable platform these days, is a .30; a .25? Is it purely a matter of cartridge construction, or are there limitations to the minimum size for effective self defense use?Sorry, forgot to address that one -- and it probably should be (and certainly has been, many times) the subject of a thread of its own.

There are various tests for, and theories of, cartridge effectiveness. The FBI's minimum penetration standard is probably the most accepted and used.

The generally accepted balance point appears to be that .380 ACP is just on the edge of "enough," but is usually relegated to a secondary, backup, or deep concealment weapon. .38 Special (especially the '+P' loadings which more closely resemble the original loads), 9mm, and on up seem to work as well as a handgun round generally can work. (Remember, 80% of gun shot victims survive.)

The really small stuff -- .32, .25, .22LR, and so on -- is not usually trusted to perform as well, though any of them can certainly do the job if pressed into service. Again, extreme deep concealment, tiny guns, contact-distance shots, and so forth.

A few of the new oddball rounds like FN's 5.7 really have a following these days with folks generating data to support their utility for defensive use -- and some claiming that their velocity gives them an edge over 9mm, for example. The jury is definitely still out on those.

Again, of course, any CAN do the job. Shot placement is King. Penetration is Queen. Expansion/diameter is sort of the debated wild card. Everything else is much less important, except to marketers.

arizona_cards_11
February 19, 2013, 02:53 PM
I recall in at least one of his Cooper's Corner articles that he advocated issuance of .44 Special revolvers as the weapon of choice for police officers. Noting the propensity for LEOs to spray-fire in confrontations, he thought that the LEOs would be adequately protected by the revolver, and that the general public would be better served by having fewer rounds going down-range.


.
I support that!

9mmepiphany
February 19, 2013, 03:21 PM
So what does it mean then?
I believe that it means that he was informed of the occurrence/incident/response and he believed the creditability of the source.

I'm a bit surprised that it wasn't phrased as, "We have observed..."; however, it could also mean that he saw the technique demonstrated on a range after it had been used.

Sheepdog1968
February 19, 2013, 05:00 PM
Thanks Sam1911 for pointing out some of the Cooper disagreement points. I agree with you on some but disagree with you on others. It would make for nice beer or fireside chat in person.

langloisandy
February 20, 2013, 02:51 PM
Very cool... I am an avid Cooper fan myself! (I also run the Scout Rifle Forum!).

Thanks for starting this section.

Andy

BigG
February 20, 2013, 03:02 PM
I read em all back when he was posting them. JC was a real innovator and very interesting to read.

Baba Louie
February 20, 2013, 06:47 PM
A link to Col Cooper's Commentaries for those who knoweth not.

http://myweb.cebridge.net/mkeithr/Jeff/

Some good reading therein. I also highly recommend ALL of his books. They make great gifts for like minded friends and family members.

Sheepdog1968
February 20, 2013, 11:45 PM
Lol. I just looked at my signature line I've been using for quite some time. I guess you could call me a Cooper fan. I've also been lucky in that Loui Awerbuck comes to the bay area often and I've taken a bunch of his classes. On occasion he tells a good Cooper story.

chriske
February 21, 2013, 09:40 AM
The photographs of Mr Cooper shooting a 1911 .45 auto are noteworthy:
If you find one taken from his left side, you'll see that he hooked his left thumb over his right.
I do as well, but I never was as good as he was. & never will be.

Sam1911
February 21, 2013, 09:46 AM
If you find one taken from his left side, you'll see that he hooked his left thumb over his right.Ah ha! So there's another bit of technique surpassed through further development.

(Not that I recall the thumbs question being a fundamental of the Modern Technique.)

Frank Ettin
February 21, 2013, 11:58 AM
The photographs of Mr Cooper shooting a 1911 .45 auto are noteworthy:
If you find one taken from his left side, you'll see that he hooked his left thumb over his right.
I do as well, but I never was as good as he was. & never will be. Which is indeed the way the grip was taught at Gunsite when I took API 250 in 2002.

9mmepiphany
February 21, 2013, 01:54 PM
The photographs of Mr Cooper shooting a 1911 .45 auto are noteworthy:
If you find one taken from his left side, you'll see that he hooked his left thumb over his right.
I do as well, but I never was as good as he was. & never will be.
Gunsite taught the thumbs up grip. The intent was to keep the thumbs off the gun to not influence unwanted pressure.

This evolved into the grip you see, as the correct placement of the right thumb is riding the thumb safety. If you bend your left thumb down, it opens your field of vision....and is works best with the Weaver arm geometry...but it compromises the contact between the gun and the support hand.

This is not the same as the Thumbs Forward Grip. This is Thumbs Up Grip w/ thumbs pointing forward
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n79/9mmepiphany/Gripping%20the%20gun/grip058.jpg

A correct Thumbs Forward Grip pronates the support hand forward to extend it's thumb towards the muzzle...notice the angle of the knuckles
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n79/9mmepiphany/Gripping%20the%20gun/grip063.jpg

Hangingrock
February 21, 2013, 05:27 PM
Quoting from Gunsite Academy website” We offer multiple levels of instruction in handgun, carbine, shotgun, bolt action rifle and precision rifle”. It would appear Copper’s American Pistol Institute of 1976 was a different vision than Ray Chapman’s Chapman Academy of 1979 and Massad Ayoob’s Lethal Force Institute of 1981.

If my information is correct after Ray Chapman’s death in 2008 followed by medical problems of his chief assistant/operations manager the Chapman Academy fell from prominence. From what I see it is now associated with the Green Valley Rifle& Pistol Club and offers an abbreviated training schedule.

Massad Ayoob in regard to LFI quotation “The separation was based strictly on differing business philosophies between myself and the other major partner in LFI. I expect LFI to continue the proven curriculum that was developed over 28 years, and with many certified instructors I’ve personally trained, I expect Lethal Force Institute to continue to provide top-quality professional training around the country.” At the present Ayoob teaches through Massad Ayoob Group.

Cooper’s American Pistol Institute is now Gunsite Academy a 2000 acre facility teaching multiple firearms disciplines. I understand that when Cooper sold the facility he came to regret his decision so much so that he recommended Clint Smith’s Thunder Ranch over Gunsite until the individual he sold it to relinquished ownership. Cooper was much more positive towards the new owner of facility than the previous he had sold it to.

The Modern Technique that Cooper espoused seems to be a point of argumentative discussion. But it would appear that Cooper was much more than that in regards to various firearms disciplines’. That said maybe he was an excellent communicator with a better/different business model than others had.

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