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Col. Cooper

This category contains 17 posts

Louis Awerbuck RIP

awerbuckAnother fine shooting teacher and gentleman gone.

LOUIS AWERBUCK

Beginning in South Africa, and emigrating to the United States, he was a range officer @ Jeff Cooper’s Gunsite, before striking out on his own with Yavapai Firearms Academy.

No word yet as to what happened.

h/t Tamara Keel, Facebook

Fashion and Concealed Carry

Cotton_Guayabera

The Guayabera or Mexican Wedding Shirt

I believe for CCW folks to ‘fit in’ with the mainstream, they must dress in a similar fashion.  Most of the time here in the Southwest, this is not a problem.  Hawaiian shirts, square-cut camp shirts, and Mexican wedding shirts are in abundance, and even the lowly colored T-shirt can provide enough concealment for casual wear in this 100+ degree environment.  (not me in the photo!)

This has not always been so for me.  Working @ TMCCC, initially men were required to wear shirts and ties (management being from the Eastern United States clothing meme) and as the company prohibited weapons, one had to be discrete with regard to what kind and where one was possessing.  Being a known quantity (the gun guy) in my department, I was especially singled-out for surveillance.  One time, a black nylon eyeglass case I wore was accused of being a holster, another time, management prohibited all personnel beneath a certain level from carrying brief cases!

Style also enters into this equation.  Col. Cooper oft made pronouncements pooh-poohing fashion, saying the utility of proper concealment was of more importance.  Of course, he lived in the high desert outside a small town and could pretty much wear whatever he wanted.  He wasn’t constrained by a business environment expecting 80′s cut suits (with tiny belt loops – in the 80′s).  Last time I saw him in person was a warm day during which he wore a very heavy (and not stylish) suit coat over his 5″ 1911 (in a holster on a beefy belt).  I know he was wearing the 1911, as he removed the coat, much to the consternation of the young turk law enforcement types in the audience at the time.  You see, he was speaking on a community college campus and firearms were not permitted there.  A couple actually lunged out of their seats, as though they were going to wrestle the old man to the ground and arrest him!

They didn’t.

Women who CCW are a whole different issue.  Many choose not to carry on their bodies, but use purses, briefcases and backpacks designed for such a purpose.  This, of course, has both utility and drawbacks.  If one chooses to leave their purse in the car, or with an unknowing luncheon partner while visiting the restroom, for example.  Or grabs their wallet out of the armed purse to run into the stop and rob convenience store, because the purse is such a pain-in-the-ass to lug around!

Of course, they might utilize one of those new bra holsters, and carrying something like a .32 or .380?

The point is that one must make allowances for fashion, but decide what works specifically for them.  I’ve a fused right hip.  Wearing an ankle holster on my right leg is hardly a valid choice for me.  And wearing a heavy suit jacket in the Summer just invites attention.  (Reminiscent of those ‘guys in suits’ (security) who hang around Las Vegas casinos not gambling in the Summer!)

I remember visiting the shopping district in a high-end neighborhood some years ago.  I paid particular attention to the men I thought might be carrying a concealed weapon.  I think I spotted nine men, no women, because their clothes didn’t quite fit right (they kept adjusting their belts) and seemed overly concerned about how their jackets or shirts were riding.  One doesn’t do that with a cell phone.

Make right choices, for both your clothes AND your armament.

Be safe, but be comfortable.  And inconspicuous.

“Police Your Brass, And Move Off The Line!”

I fondly remember Col. Cooper telling the story of the grunts in the movie theater, watching some movie wherein a woman produces a semiautomatic and fills some guy with lead.  A guy in the crowd yells, “Okay Lady, police your brass and move off the line!”, to the knowing roar of the crowd.

Policing brass.  The curse of the responsible (and green) shooter.  Many times over the years for me, it meant bending over in the desert picking dusty brass out of the dirt, cactus and gravel, and putting it back into the boxes from whence it came.  Or a Ziplock, or a plastic grocery bag.  Or a jeans pocket.  To be sorted and cleaned later.  Maybe.

I’m disabled.  I’ve a fused right hip (amongst other infirmities).  This makes policing brass problematic at best.  But, when I can, I do it.

Unlike so many others who lay waste to the desert with non-biodegradable target materials and spent brass!

Now comes…

Ammo-Up

Reportedly works well on concrete, desert floors not-so-much…

(That big blue plastic tarp drop cloth still looks pretty good, huh?  :-) )

h/t New Jovian Thunderbolt

FTC – Ammo Up give me nothing!

Not With A Bang…

But with a BANG! BANG! (hopefully?)

Alphecca reports:

(From Salem News)

Pat Kirby answered his country’s call to arms during the Vietnam War, serving multiple tours, suffering injuries, watching friends die. Today he has a letter from the VA telling him that because his wife takes care of their family finances, he is deemed “incompetent” and for this reason, he has to turn in his guns and relinquish his 2nd Amendment Rights, or face going to prison.

Gee, ya think this was the plan all along?  To legislate, rule and bureaucratize things so that otherwise legitimate firearms owners are forced to simply give up their weapons?

Of course, if that doesn’t work, we’ll simply say he has PTSD and take them, anyway!

It’s for the children.

I had two thoughts on initially reading this.  One – did Janelle do the Col. Cooper Family bookkeeping? and Two, how would HE have reacted to such a letter?

Condition GREY

Wirecutter shares with us a tale of people in Condition GREY…

The passengers on a San Francisco light rail line were so absorbed in their phones and their tablet computers that no one noticed when a madman pulled out a handgun and waved it around several times before opening fire and killing a random commuter, police have revealed.

Nikhom Thephakaysone is charged with murdering promising San Francisco State University student Justin Valdez, 20, in cold blood, without provocation on a Municipal Railway last month.

Police say the CCTV footage from the rail car show that neither Valdez nor any of his fellow passengers saw it coming – even though Thephakaysone pulled out a .45-caliber pistol several times – even rubbing his nose with it in his hand once.
MORE

I used to hang with a shooter who said average people walk around inattentive (Condition WHITE), but those whose faces are buried in newspapers or magazines (the cell phones and tablets of the day) are even WORSE.  CONDITION GREY!

Don’t be GREY!

cell

The Low Ready position is only low, it’s not ready.

photo by Oleg Volk

photo by Oleg Volk

My buddy KevinC of Misfires and Lights Strikes postulates the above.

Being ‘old-school’, I was skeptical.  I’ve carried and shot for too many years from The Book of Col. Cooper (low ready, up into Weaver) to be easily convinced.

You should go to the link above and watch the accompanying short video.  My only caveat is I still prefer Weaver over Isosceles, but I do see valid reasons for ‘High Ready’.  This doesn’t mean there are not sometimes reasons to use ‘Low’, or even ‘Sul’!

However, just like the adjustment I made from tap, rack, bang to tap, rack, assess, pistolcraft is continuing to evolve.

Now if these young whippersnappers would just carry a caliber beginning with 4.  Or a shotgun.

Dream ‘Weaver Stance’

American Mercenary shares with us a dream he had.  His conclusions?

Shot placement shot placement shot placement.  A good hit with a 9mm is better than a poor hit with a 45.

Trouble comes in threes, and you have to deal with them all.

Hesitation equals death.  If you have a gun on someone and they disobey your orders it is only to cause you harm.  Pull the damn trigger.

Now, I’ve had dreams involving shooting, but they rarely did they involve philosophy and Jeff Cooper-isms.  Or truths.

Take them as you will.

Training, Shooting and Fashion

Cornered Cat|Scratching Post always presents such well-reasoned wisdom.  You should read this link in particular, if you’re not already reading her blog.  Then you should remedy the situation by reading it, regularly.

Kathy Jackson walks us through the thought process of the new female shooting student.  After all, generally women are more concerned with fashion dictates.  (Yes, I know, Brigid, not every woman!  :-) )

Some student concerns:

One person expressed it very well when she wrote, “[The Cornered Cat] course requires a holster type I have no intention of ever using. So that means even more money spent on a holster and clothing that would only be used the days of the class.”

Another person wrote something similar: “I’d have to invest in pants with belt loops, belt, and holster that I would probably never use again just to take one or two classes.”

Kathy intones:

Putting a loaded gun into a holster is the single most dangerous thing anyone ever does in a professional firearms training class.

I remember Jeff Cooper poo-pooing fashion with regard to its dictates versus the need to carry safely.  An  no one would have ever called The Colonel a fashion plate.  After all, what’s more important?

And men, don’t gloss over going to Kathy Jackson’s link because it’s aimed at women.  Her above quote applies to you, as well.

Both in training and (daily) carry, safety should be our foremost concern.  We are dealing with lethal instrumentalities, after all.

Fashion should come second.  Or even farther down the list.

As I’m on disability, my daily wear is usually a colored T-shirt, a long-sleeve over-shirt, Wrangler jeans, a belt from The Wilderness and my diabetic orthopedic walking shoes, with my right one built-up (aka ‘Ed’, the really big shoe).  On more formal occasions, I’ve been known to substitute a polo shirt.  George Clooney eat your heart out!  (I know – your bodyguards probably dress better!)

My shooting wear isn’t much different, except for the addition of my Tilly Hat and eyes/ears.  And sunglasses.

If you need to purchase (or perhaps borrow?) some clothes or holsters to meet the requirements of a particular class, I say go for it.  More training is always better.

h/t Kathy Jackson, Jeff Cooper

Message Received

So…

Ol’ Guffaw has his routines.  Routines are comforting, because they provide order and structure in an otherwise disorderly world.  I like my routines.

I’ve been ‘carrying a gun’ now, on-and-off since 1974.  Thirty nine years.  That’s a long time.  And since Arizona has had CCW laws in place, almost daily, unless I was severely restricted (like at my former workplace).  I carried.  Of course, I did carry to-and-from the workplace.  Don’t tell anyone.

It’s part of my routine.  Shower, dress; put wallet in one pocket, keys, cellular telephone, speed strip and folding knife in another, the snub in her holster in another. (Unless I’m carrying the 1911 IWB).  I’ve taken to carrying the snub more.  Laziness, I guess.  It’s my routine.

Unless I’m distracted.  My roomie had to work late, so, I was on my own for din-din, a rare occurrence.  Not my normal routine.  A distraction.  Went to Ted’s, a Buffalo NY origin hot dog place (charcoal-grilled, don’t ya know!).  Then to an event at a nearby public library (I know, I’m wild and crazy!)

Upon arriving at Ted’s, I did the usual self-frisk, checking to have keys before locking the car, wallet, knife, and sidearm.  (This is known in my circle as ‘spectacles, testicles, wallet, watch’, if you know the joke.)

And I had no firearm!  For some reason, I simply didn’t gear up before leaving home!  I had my wallet, keys, cell, speedloader and folder.  No gun.

I thought, “Oh, well, I have my knife” (like I’m a freakin’ ninja!) and had dinner @ Ted’s, then went to the library thing.  The usual door was locked, with a sign reading, “Must Enter By Front Door”.  So, I had to walk all the way around to the front, a semi-serious distance for a disabled guy like me.

And I asked at the information desk.  Seems they are now locking secondary entrances after 1830, due to increased crime in and around the facility!  WTF?  Fortunately, nothing happened.bugs-bunny-pointing-copy1  (There was a security guard who looked up from her smart phone long enough to see I was in the building, then went back to more important stuff.)

And tonight’s the night I was the opposite of vigilant!  What a maroon I am!

Message received. 

It’s gonna be ‘spectacles, testicles, wallet, watch’, with more emphasis on the watch, in the future!

(FTC – Ted’s gave me nothing – I paid for good food, myself.  WB didn’t either.  You’re maroons, too!)

Warning Shots

Stately McDaniel Manor has a post (linking to an additional post) with regard to warning shots.  And how they may or may not relate to the Trayvon Martin case.
One conclusion:

Warning shots—and shooting to wound—are a really, really bad idea.

He does expound on this at the link.  And the legal ramifications.

But, the whole subject got me thinking.  There are many folks who receive their firearms training via television and movies.  In other words, they don’t have any.  And in these venues, sometimes, warning shots are employed.
Why?
Because they can show the hero shooting a firearm.

I believe Col. Cooper said warning shots are not a good idea, as they waste ammunition.  And, unless you are engaging a substantial backstop, as a heavy steel dumpster or advancing assailant, you might be discharging a round in an unsafe direction.  It also wasn’t particularly good tactically.
Or something like that.

The whole ‘use of lethal force’ legal thing gets involved, even if that’s not your intent.  Don’t use a lethal force tool for non-lethal purposes.  Mike McDaniel and the Colonel are correct.

h/t Mike McDaniel, Jeff Cooper

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

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