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There are many who absolutely idolize Jeff Cooper and certainly they could do much worse. But Cooper was just as human as the next guy. Cooper said a lot of truths, but there were some things where he was flatly wrong. At the risk of really offending some people, here are some topics where I take issue with El Jefe.


His advocating of FMJ-FP over JHP’s

His disdain for the 9mm was at one time very well founded and wise; but such disdain today would be just personal preference as the 9mm JHP is a very proven cartridge. Later Cooper would cast the same disdain on the .40 and that was completely without merit since it has never been a poor performer. (although I think his disdain was the mindset that you had to have half a box of .40’s in your gun)

This quote is just plain wrong:
"The M16 was designed because the genes of Sergeant York died out. Not only is the average American unable to shoot straight, he won't shoot at all unless the target is close. So we had to develop a spray gun."
The reality is the “genes of Sergeant York” never existed in anyone but York. Such soldiers were in a sore minority. Making a more inherently “shootable” weapon was just a damn good idea. Today’s soldiers armed with the M16 are a fierce foe that I would not want to square off with.

Loved Cooper’s concept of the Scout Rifle as a general HUNTING arm, but the forward mounted scope is vastly inferior to conventionally mounted scopes. The ONLY advantage of the forward mounted scope is to make use of stripper clips. And if by some chance you’re in a situation where you NEED stripper clips for anything but just a convenient way to carry ammo (and it is a damn fine way to carry ammo), then you would be much better armed with a semi-auto. In this modern world, you’d better not find yourself fighting with a bolt action rifle against those who have semi-autos. You’ll first be suppressed, then you’ll be killed; every damn time. But as a general purpose HUNTING arm, I like the Scout idea; makes for a damn nice rifle.

Cooper was right WAY more than he was wrong, and the “wrongs” that I take issue with mostly have to do with the era in which Cooper lived vs. today…things DO change.
 

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You kinda skipped over his distain for the "crunchen-ticker" and the solution in search of a problem label. I've taught hundreds to use TDA semi-autos compentently. The 'transition' between trigger pull types isn't a factor at real world defensive distances. If and when it becomes an issue, you have time to adjust the trigger finger position if necessary. Most come to find a digit position that works adequately in both phases of the trigger action.

I believe his concept of the Scout was as a rifle handy enough to have close at hand as a daily companion. I built a sort of 7x57 mm scout and used the forward scope. While there may be some problems with the forward scope mounting depending upon lighting angles, similar issues also happen with conventionally mounted scopes. I'll have to admit that old eyeballs forced my use of the optical sight, but my first time carrying it about, I decided he was a genius.
 

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In this modern world, you'd better not find yourself fighting with a bolt action rifle against those who have semi-autos. You'll first be suppressed, then you'll be killed; every damn time.
Then you misunderstand his "tactical doctrine" with the Scout. At close range your scenario will play out every time but Cooper was saying that you shouldn't be getting that close to dangerous people, and with a full-power rifle, you could easily engage them from hiding or ambush at 300+ yards, one or two at a time, and then melt back into the woods and pick your next engagement.

This is a fine doctrine but ignores the modern reality of the heat-seeking FLIR. (Which reminds me, if Bigfoot exists, why have we not FLIRed him, from ground or air, by this time?)
 

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>>>>>>>(Which reminds me, if Bigfoot exists, why have we not FLIRed him, from ground or air, by this time?)
The same reason we haven't found a carcass or skeleton... he doesn't!
 

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....(Which reminds me, if Bigfoot exists, why have we not FLIRed him, from ground or air, by this time?)
Given the vast territory of the U.S. vs. the number of FLIR units sophisticated enough to differentiate Bigfoot from a moose, I am not surprised that all we have are blurry videos of him.;)
 

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SpecialEd,

Anybody who doesn't believe in a vicious, predatory, humanoid-like creature "strolling around in North America" never SAW my ex-MIL.

yours, sw
 

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Snake45; All,

Reference "Bigfoot": I was involved in "the hunt for the Boggy Creek Monster" (YEP, the creature from that "B-minus grade" movie), when I was a college student in AR. - We "hunters" found him after several days of hunting and a state trooper put "The Monster" out of his misery, with several shots from a 30.06.

The Boggy Creek Monster turned out to be a large (over 400#), badly scarred, bear. = And YEP he caused everyone in south AR to be "scared out of their shorts" more than once and did a GREAT DEAL of property & livestock damage. The bear (reportedly) also attacked & severely injured at least 4 people over "the reign of terror".
(The late Professor of Biology, Vincent Oliver, PhD, stated in his report to the APWD, that the bear was, "- - - - likely burned in a forest fire and never fully recovered from his debilitating injuries. Most of the damage to human victims, livestock and property resulted from his inability to hunt his normal prey and likely a degree of 'madness' from severe & constant pain."

One wonders how many "Bigfoot stories" are just that sort of "monster"??????

yours, sw
 

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I have referred to both Cooper and myself as dinosaurs. But we are judging him today with information he simply didn't have when he formulated his doctrine.

I never did get aboard the scout rifle train but since I wasn't a ground pounder may have a jaundiced view.

But like Cooper I am slow to embrace change and so much of it is directed at fixing things that aren't broke anyhow.

I grow weary of the new 1911 experts who only know how to make things to a print and have no "feel" for the gun.

I almost want to throw things when someone asks for the "best" this or that and claim that a 17 lb recoil spring is "better" than a 16.

I sometimes have thrown things when someone claims to have the answer.

:soap:

I feel better now...
 

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Kevin Gibson,

SORRY, but I agree with Jeff Cooper on "The Mattel Special". = Personally, I've found it to be "barely adequate" for jungle combat and virtually worthless beyond @ 200M.
(In fact, for "close combat", I prefer an 8-shot Ithaca Model 37 with 00 buckshot.)


The M-14 is clearly superior in every way to the M-16/M4.
(Our MP "selected marksmen" use the m-14E2 with a 4x scope for "police actions" both small and large.)

just my opinion, sw
 

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There was a "Sergeant York" attitude in the US Army for years. This resulted in deliberate sabotage of the M-16 Rifle program and resulted in the deaths of US Soldiers in SVN. See various reference books.

Large caliber ball ammo is still effective, but more folks, as we age can handle a 9mm HP better in a small weapon.

Moot point cross reference the official state condemnation of semi-auto pistols and hollow points in the Zimmerman case.

Geoff
Who is re-evaluating based on the legal action of the State of Florida.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Then you misunderstand his "tactical doctrine" with the Scout. At close range your scenario will play out every time but Cooper was saying that you shouldn't be getting that close to dangerous people, and with a full-power rifle, you could easily engage them from hiding or ambush at 300+ yards, one or two at a time, and then melt back into the woods and pick your next engagement.

This is a fine doctrine but ignores the modern reality of the heat-seeking FLIR. (Which reminds me, if Bigfoot exists, why have we not FLIRed him, from ground or air, by this time?)
Ya ever been hunting and suddenly found yourself 20 yards from your prey and had no idea they were there? You don't always get to pick where it all happens. If everyone got to pick every engagement, I doubt there ever would have been a need for self loading weapons.

It's dumb to into bad places with a bolt action carbine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Kevin Gibson,

SORRY, but I agree with Jeff Cooper on "The Mattel Special". = Personally, I've found it to be "barely adequate" for jungle combat and virtually worthless beyond @ 200M.
(In fact, for "close combat", I prefer an 8-shot Ithaca Model 37 with 00 buckshot.)

The M-14 is clearly superior in every way to the M-16/M4.
(Our MP "selected marksmen" use the m-14E2 with a 4x scope for "police actions" both small and large.)

just my opinion, sw
The M14 is superior in many ways, but not every way. Give a kid from New York City an M14 and an M16 and your training time will be ¼ the time with the M16. What's more, he can carry 2.5 times more ammo, and is much more likely to hit what he's aiming at with the M16. If said kid is worthless beyond 100 yards with the M16, then you call in the DMR's with the M14's. Since the VAST majority of engagements come well inside of 100m, I'd much rather have kids who don't know the first thing about weapons use the M16 and hit their targets, than an M14 they're generally scared of and can't hit anything with. Yeah it's a training issue, but you can train more kids to effectively shoot the M16 for much less money than you could with the M`14. The M16 is the best GENERAL ISSUE weapon. Doesn't mean it's the best weapon, but the thing does what it's supposed to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have referred to both Cooper and myself as dinosaurs. But we are judging him today with information he simply didn't have when he formulated his doctrine.

I never did get aboard the scout rifle train but since I wasn't a ground pounder may have a jaundiced view.

But like Cooper I am slow to embrace change and so much of it is directed at fixing things that aren't broke anyhow.

I grow weary of the new 1911 experts who only know how to make things to a print and have no "feel" for the gun.

I almost want to throw things when someone asks for the "best" this or that and claim that a 17 lb recoil spring is "better" than a 16.

I sometimes have thrown things when someone claims to have the answer.

:soap:

I feel better now...
Agreed,

I sure hope my post didn't convey any contempt for Col. Cooper. I thought he was brilliant for the most part. But there are some who consider any words from Cooper to be Gospel, and I'm just picking a few things that certainly ain't gospel.
 

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Kevin Gibson; All,

Just a few questions/comments.

May I inquire about how much time that you have actually training Skill Level ONE service-members?
(I'm aware of what "the experts" say about training a "kid from New York City" but I suspect that "the experts" have never been "on the firing line with" those trainees.)

Also, do you EVER foresee a time in the future that we will have a massive military, that is largely composed of draftees, as we did in WWII & Korea? - I think that anyone who believes that we will ever have another draftee military is ignorant, unrealistic and "just plain NUTS".
(Furthermore, I know of NO data that shows that we had great difficulty training draftees in the proper use of the M1 Garand in either WWII or the Korean Police Action.)

ImVho, "the spray and pray" school of "experts" is why the M-16 was proposed/adopted. - The theory in the 60s for RVN was "massed fires" and at CLOSE range in the jungle.
(The training data of the late 1960s & early 1970s,when we still HAD draftees, indicates that FEW trainees FEARED firing their weapon. - Those who did feared ALL weapons.)

BTW, due to the HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of AK rifles that were seized in the early days of the war in Iraq, we are ISSUING the AK rifle by the thousands to CSS and some CS troops.
(My brother-in-law is a COL in the USAJAGC & he was issued a Polish-made AK 74 on his latest OCONUS tour in 2011-12. - Frank told me that everyone in his "theater legal office" was issued an AK.)

A personal note: I wonder if you have any idea of how many BCT trainees that the military forces currently have from NYC or from any other large city from the Northeast. - If you do know, I would like to have that number.

just my opinion, sw
 

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When you watch newsreels of GI's during WWII, you don't see everybody carrying the Garand, the main battle rifle. You see guys carrying what suits them. Some tote Tommy Guns (and later, the grease gun). Some have carbines. Some have shotguns. Some have BAR's. Some attack doorways and hideouts with pistols and grenades.

I see the same thing in modern videos of our troops in the sandbox. A great number carry (and apparently love) the M4. The grenade launcher seems to be popular. Some are using M-14's when they're available. Snipers are more common now, with bolt guns, and semi-auto 7.62's, .338's, and .50's. The scatter gun is still around.

The point is, soldiers in combat seem to gravitate toward what works, and generally ignore orthodoxy about what's "proper", or "pretty", or "traditional". If it's black, and plastic, and it's the best tool for the job, they embrace it.

An M-14 may be ideal for shooting across at guys in the other trench, or snipers in the trees; not so much for clearing a mud hut in the dark. I'm glad our troops find solutions, and I'm glad our modern military gives them the latitude to do so.
 

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Captain Gyro,

I don't argue with anything that you said. - In point of fact, when the Army, "in its great wisdom", took away my M14 (and gave the M-14s to the RVN troops & "village defense forces"!), I "picked out" a "commercial buy" Ithaca Model 37 with the long magazine & "acquired" some boxes of 00-Buck.
(ImVho, the pump shotgun is THE weapon for "clearing houses", especially at night when you cannot see the sights on a rifle. -When I was last OCONUS, nobody but "special operations forces" HAD night scopes for individual weapons.)

Note: In RVN, MANY GIs were carrying "personally acquired" weapons of many sorts. - I knew a WO3 chopper jockey, who routinely packed a long-barreled .44MAG Ruger SA revolver in a shoulder holster. - During Tet68 he was said to have made several "kills" using his six-gun.
I also "knew of" a SF E-7 who carried/used an M-2 carbine that had been "locally converted to a handgun" to GOOD EFFECT.

yours, sw
 

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Well, there ya go.

If it ever comes down to it, my wife will be clearing OUR shack with an 870.

I'll be backing her up from under the bed.
 
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