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Jeff Cooper's "Baby"

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by M99M12, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. M99M12

    M99M12 Member

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    I remember an article in a gun rag, maybe 20 years ago, about a heavy rifle that Cooper had made for him. Some wildcat or other. Been looking through my old mags (they just get lost, I never toss 'em on purpose :D ) and I can't find it. Had a safari report on it. Don't nobody waste no time looking, I was just wondering if anyone else knew anything about it.
    By the way, been going through the back pages here, GREAT SITE!!!!!!
    I've learned more in a few weeks here than in a long time anywhere else.
     
  2. Ktulu

    Ktulu Member

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    If I remeber correctly, he talks about it in the book Fireworks.
     
  3. M99M12

    M99M12 Member

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    Oughta, but I ain't got that one. Was it the .460 G&A?
     
  4. Ktulu

    Ktulu Member

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    Awwww, it's at home. I can't remeber. I'll check it out tonight, if I remeber.
     
  5. fds5116

    fds5116 Member

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    I've got "Fireworks"

    and the article is in there. Baby was built on a Z602 Czech action, chambered for the .460G&A (the .404 Jeffery opened up to .458). Has a deepened magazine well to hold 6 rounds. A 21 inch barrel, weighs 11.5 pounds loaded.

    Came across "Fireworks" in a used book store; they wanted $30 for it. Glad I bought it.
    Frank Sauer
     
  6. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    At last!

    A semi-famous firearm with which I can claim personal experience.

    I fired the original at Gunsite in March 1980. Handled it in Col Cooper's gun room and admired the way it felt. A heavy rifle, yes, but it had really superior balance. The whole thing was a work of art. A day or two later, he brought it down to the range with a handful of cartridges and offered it around. Three or four guys fired it and most of the rest passed. As a result, I got to fire it THREE times.

    Subjectively, the recoil seemed no worse than a well-fitting but much lighter .458 Model 70 I'd owned. It was distinctly gentler that an ill-fitting Browning-FN .375 H&H which I'd endured for a couple of months. :p The weight was quite well distributed and the stock fit me well. While definitely a MAJOR caliber piece, I was able to get off two well-aimed shots in very rapid succession.

    Sorry, I have no idea of the specifications of the loads used. I remember him commenting that they were the "standard" load worked up during development of the .460 G&A cartridge. I have no references at hand listing the round.

    All best,
    Johnny
     
  7. Alfadog

    Alfadog Member

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    Baby in action:

    [​IMG]

    This is from Carl Donath's website; he was a member at TFL but I don't believe I've seen any posts from him here.
     
  8. M99M12

    M99M12 Member

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    Thank you, gentlemen. That's the bird.
    What a rifle.
     
  9. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    Hey, alfadog - -

    Good looking rifle there. Is it also a .460 G&A, built along the lines of Cooper's "Baby?" The barrel sure looks heavy and short enough.

    As mentioned by fds5116 above, "Baby" has/had a noticibly extended magazine, nearly 24 years ago. Also, a beautifully executed wooden stock.

    Best,
    Johnny
     
  10. Atlas Shrug

    Atlas Shrug Member

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    I'm not sure, but I think that gun is Col. Cooper's heavy loaner, also in 460G&A. He will loan it to select "family" members for work on dangerous game (under certain circumstances).

    I've fired a rifle or two of Col. Cooper's, but unfortunately neither Baby nor the 460 loaner. I was not at that session with Carl, Rich, etc. at Whittington.

    All that said, I could be wrong, it's been a long week and my brain is tired.
     
  11. Alfadog

    Alfadog Member

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    Carl's website describes the rifle pictured above as "Cooper's "heavy" rifle, a massive .460 caliber big-game gun." I assumed this was the one and only "Baby," and did not know of another .460 used as a loaner. Although now that I think about, I sort of recall Cooper writing at some point that "Baby" resides in Africa.
     
  12. ctdonath

    ctdonath Member

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    Stumbled across this thread a little late...

    Yup, that's me firing it.

    Yes, I was on TFL until it abruptly closed. Promptly joined THR when it started, been active since.

    That IS Cooper's "Baby".
    Recoil was a surprisingly gentle but loooong push.

    (Maybe I was mistaken, but my understanding at the time was that it was indeed "Baby".)
     
  13. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

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    Interesting rifle and cartridge. I remember reading about it now, although never fired any of that caliber. I had a single shot 50BMG for awhile, it to pushed for a Looong time.
     
  14. Tom Russell

    Tom Russell Member

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    The rifle pictured above is not "Baby", it is the Kimber Crusher. It is similar in conformation to Baby in that is has a 19 inch match barrel, six round magazine capacity, Ghost Ring sights etc. It differs in the action as Baby has a ZKK BRNO action and the Crusher is built on the Kimber BGA action from the original Kimber company. Both are chambered in .460 G&A. Baby was in South Africa prior to the Colonel's passing and there was never any expectation of her coming home as she was in the hands of an unsavory charactor. While on safari with John Gannaway in Tanzania in 2004 I began a discussion with John about bringing Baby home. John spent a great deal of money and time and got it done, and one of my fondest memories is sitting in the rec room next to the Armory with Colonel Cooper at the Sconce as he and I passed the Baby back and forth admiring the truly grand stopping rifle. Under John's tutelage I built loads for the Crusher and we took it to Engonymani South Africa in 2000 but didn't kill anything with it. Rich Wyatt did kill a buffalo with in Okavango Delta (Botswana) in 98. John Gannaway owns Baby but I'm not sure where the Crusher is. If anyone is interested I will find photos of Baby that I took in the Armory after we her back from South Africa.
     
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  15. Tom Russell

    Tom Russell Member

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    Here's a photo of Baby after John Gannaway got her back from South Africa. Notice the buffalo horn piece behind the trigger guard that prevents your knuckle from smacking the guard.
     

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  16. stoky

    stoky Member

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    I had the privileged of handling it and talking with Col. Cooper in his gun room.
    didn't get to fire it though
     
  17. Tom Russell

    Tom Russell Member

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    Good for you Stoky. I run into so many who regret never having had the chance to meet the Colonel much less set in the Armory and have a one on one with him while handling Baby.
     

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