On Jeff Cooper

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by Mercator, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    For those who have read Jeff Cooper - what do you think of his ideas and style? Specifically:
    Cooper on handguns? The art of rifle? Hunting as a primeval instinct of man? Self defense? World history? Politics?

    I'm not an all out fan or critic of his. Would like to hear from both sides! Maybe even someone who knew the man.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  2. MaineMan

    MaineMan New Member

    384
    0
    0
    I have all his books! one of the most knowledgeable gun writers ever
     

  3. MaineMan

    MaineMan New Member

    384
    0
    0
    he has a love affair with the 1911
     
  4. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    By all accounts he gave the 1911 a second coming in our culture. He pioneered the two hand shooting technique too.
     
  5. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

    6,489
    0
    0
    He was a part of the "Golden Age" of gun writers. There was Kieth, Cooper, Mileck, Skelton and of course Bill Jorden and others. The current crop are mostly rewriting their original works.:rolleyes:
     
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    11,380
    1
    0
    Cooper's earlier works were very good. He seemed to have "lost his mind" in his later years. At Gunsite (after he sold it), he would stand 15-20 yards BEHIND the students and engage their targets with his own 1911. Shooting over and around the students. The new ownership had to ask him to not come back.
     
  7. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    12,360
    30
    48
    His observations are pretty one-sided. I'm not saying that he was wrong, just my opinion.

    There is a lot to be learned from him. And not just on the issue of firearms.
     
  8. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    7,551
    1
    0
    I followed his writing closely in the '70s and '80s. He was as good as anyone back then, you could learn a lot from his writing. I drifted away as he waned.
     
  9. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    13
    38
    his ideas of the "scout" rifle are so far out of wack as to be ridiculous.

    just my opinion.
     
  10. AIKIJUTSU

    AIKIJUTSU New Member

    2,883
    0
    0
    Although I've "owned and operated" guns since 1961, when I joined the Marine Corps, I didn't start buying gun publications until about 1992. What I noticed about his writings was that:
    1. He was a staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment, and the right of private citizens to own and carry firearms.
    2. He had a love affair with the 1911.
    3. He kept up with the political scene, worldwide.
    4. He was kinda arrogant, maybe to the point of delusions of grandeur, and spoke of himself in the plural, like the old-time kings of European countries did to associate themselves with God as if they were equal partners.
    5. He was a retired Marine Colonel, which might in part be why the arrogance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  11. MaineMan

    MaineMan New Member

    384
    0
    0
    wow didn't know that...I imagine he suffered form some kind of mind altering problem brought on by old age or what not
     
  12. MaineMan

    MaineMan New Member

    384
    0
    0
    I like the scout rifle concept...what about it do you not like?
     
  13. AIKIJUTSU

    AIKIJUTSU New Member

    2,883
    0
    0
    Yep. I think they call it "Oldtimer's Disease" :D
     
  14. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    I like his Safety Rules, just to name the highlights. His concept of man as a natural predator who finds an outlet in hunting will capture you or get you thinking.

    The scout rifle project is a kind of reenactment, maybe a 100 years behind its time. But I don't live by hunting and can't judge. I did not especially like any if the scout rifles, including his signature steyr.

    His diary entries are a mixed bag. Some sharp observations made me grin. He was also a conspiracy theorist of the first order. I don't know if it was his age. Most likely he had always been that way, just opened up later.

    Shooting from behind students is quite a story. I only know him in his writings.

    Being a gruff ex military, he possessed a superb command of the English language. He never did "aw shucks". He was No Shucks. That can and will be viewed as arrogant by certain people. I found no arrogance in his writing, only conviction, and sometimes a wacky drift.
     
  15. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,403
    270
    83
    I never could get past his closed-minded arrogance and bigotry.:(
     
  16. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    13
    38
    It assumes any bolt gun is superior in dependability and reliability to any semi auto.

    Bolt guns and semis quality being equal jam either through operator error or mechanical error at about the same rate.

    It also assumes any bolt gun is more accurate than any semi auto.

    Both my bcm ar15 and scar17 will run longer and shoot rings around any scout rifle

    It assumes large caliber is automatically better than small.

    Smaller calibers like 556 and 7.62x39 are lighter and more than sufficient for any defensive engagement. In the case of the ar15 you can easily carry subcaliber conversion and 22lr ammo for small game hunting. The ar15 is more than accurate with 556 to take large game in survival. Its also accurate to 600+ meters. Most goblins hit with a bullet at very long distance may not die right off but they won't continue to close the distance if your in such a fight.

    It assumes a bolt gun with irons and optic is superior.

    Its no different than a semi with optic and irons.

    When you chop a bolt gun down to 16" you give up any real advantage in ballistics over a semi auto modern battle rifle.

    When you go to a bolt gun you give up the massive advantags a semi auto has in extremely quick followup shots and is a truly spectacularly poor thing to use in cqb

    One huge issue easily overlooked by the scout concept is bolt guns are damn difficult to repair under ideal conditions much less ohsht field conditions.

    Unless your rolling a synthetic stock humidity and temperature become an issue for wood stocks when extremes are hit and no effort has been made to test under those conditions.

    Ammunition is very heavy for scout rifles as are magazines which tend to hold ten round max can't carry a lot of either. My scar17 mags hold 20 each I can carry 7 mags giving a load of 140 rounds. Scout rifle is half that at 70 rounds. Ar15 and ak47 come in at a lighter load at 210 rounds.

    Anyway the scout concept you have to accept a lot of misconceptions about semi autos and bolt guns and ignore realities of cqb and long range realistic and hunting needs before the arguments even start.
     
  17. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

    Maybe he was an arrogant man. I never met him. One comment on the use of "we". Kings did that, but so do research scientists presenting their material. "We discovered" is a conventional way to sidestep saying "Me" too often. At the same time acknowledging those who helped, unnamed. Coopers "us" had the same natural ring to me. Again, not judging the man, only what he wrote.
     
  18. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

    1,638
    0
    0
    I agree with both sides here. I was a fan of what he wrote during the early and mid-part of his career. However, even than I thought that he was a little self-sure and . . . strong minded. As time went on his writing seemed (to me) arrogant and close-minded. He is one of the major gun writers of the mid-20th century, and his influence is undeniable; however, for whatever reasons, his talents diminished in his later years.
     
  19. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,403
    270
    83
    To paraphrase his own words. "The scout rifle is a solution looking for a problem."

    His absolute, and extremely arrogant refusal to even consider change, even when it was proven, was also off-putting.

    His disrespect for women irritated me. I served with some female officers who were damn good law enforcement officers. When he referred to them as "cop chicks" it really pissed me off.
     
  20. KG7IL

    KG7IL Active Member

    3,150
    22
    38
    You would need an open mind and show a little tolerance :)