Jeff Cooper’s First Article

Here is a scanned copy of Jeff Cooper’s first published article, from the Marine Corps Gazette, in Sept 1946. Titled “What Good Is A Pistol?”, it discusses pistol training and caliber selection.

Highlights: Cooper comments that the semiauto pistol be redesigned to have more slant and a slight curve — essentially describing the difference between the 1911’s grip and the Glock frame’s design.

More pistol design concepts from Cooper’s article: Ease of field stripping (finally achieved with the Glock and other striker fired designs in the 1980’s and beyond), a capacity of 12 or more rounds, a crisp single action trigger, and a magazine with stronger feed lips. Cooper also advocates for the shoulder holster – an idea that fell out of favor after he started the Leatherslap matches and hip holsters proved to be the fastest way to get to a quick first shot.

Cooper defines some shooting proficiency standards:

  1. From cocked and locked, holstered, draw and fire one center mass hit at 25 feet (8.3 yards) in 0.6 to 0.8 seconds. (This likely assumes a military holster, open carry, and shooting from some kind of hip or point shoulder position as was commonly taught in 1946.)
  2. Draw, fire and hit 3 targets twice each (2-2-2) in 4 seconds. Today this drill often called the “Blake drill“. In Cooper’s article the target distance is 15 yards. (This would be likely be done shooting one handed, aimed fire, if commonly used techniques of the era were employed.)
  3. Draw and hit 4 targets, spread at varying distances from 5-20 yards, in 4 seconds. (Cooper doesn’t specify but my assumption is he means one shot each target, and this would be one handed as well.)
  4. FBI Practical Pistol Course, 48 shots out of 60 to pass.

These drills could be combined in this way to make a 100 round practice session, using the B21 or B21M target (commonly used in that era).

  1. Draw and fire one shot, 8 yards, one handed, from hip or point shoulder position, 0.8 seconds. Six runs, total of 6 rounds. Score is number of hits in “bottle” part of target.
  2. Three targets, side targets spread apart so they are at “10 and 2”, 15 yards. Draw and fire two on each, one handed, 4.0 second par time. Three runs, for total of 18 rounds. Score is number of hits in bottle on each target.
  3. Four targets, one each at 5, 10, 15 and 20 yards. Draw and fire one on each, one handed, 4.0 second par time. Three runs, total of 18 rounds. Score is number of hits in bottle on each target.
  4. FBI 1945 PPC course.

This article is a great example of Cooper’s vision, as many of the ideas and recommendations in this article eventually found their way into hardware and changes in shooting qualification courses decades later.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: KR Training August 2019 Newsletter – Notes from KR

Comments are closed.