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

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bad_dad_brad, Jan 6, 2003.

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  1. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Member

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    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.
     
  2. Deuce

    Deuce Member

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    But the 1911 IS the best gun EVER.:D
     
  3. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Diatribe on the 1911?:confused:

    That was sound, reasoned argument.:D
     
  4. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    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
     
  5. dairycreek

    dairycreek Member

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    Jeff Cooper is an older American with strong opinion!!

    He also has the experience(s) to back up those opinions. Listen to him:p Good shooting:)
     
  6. waterdog

    waterdog Member

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    He has been writing this stuff for years.

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

    waterdog
     
  7. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Member

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    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.
     
  8. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    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:
     
  9. sm

    sm member

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    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
     
  10. inthefork

    inthefork Member

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    1911

    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
     
  11. FPrice

    FPrice Member

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    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.
     
  12. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    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 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.
     
  13. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    "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
     
  14. 45-auto

    45-auto Member

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    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.
     
  15. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2003
  16. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    Terrible quality (a pic of a pic) but...me and Jeff:
     
  17. cordex

    cordex Member

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    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.
     
  18. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    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.
     
  19. jmbg29

    jmbg29 member

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    It's just you.:rolleyes:
     
  20. mpthole

    mpthole Member

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    Golog-13: Ditto!

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

    cheygriz Member

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    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
     
  22. jame

    jame Member

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    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.
     
  23. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    He gets a pass from me. He can write whatever he wants, and I'm glad he can still get paid for it.
     
  24. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    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.
     
  25. mack

    mack Member

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    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.
     
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