Col. Cooper

This category contains 14 posts

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.

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!


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


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.
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

.25 ACP Stopping Power

There’s an old axiom among gunnies (believed to be originated with Jeff Cooper):

“If you have a .25, don’t load it.  If you load it, don’t carry it.  If you carry it, don’t shoot it.  If you shoot it, you might hit someone, and make them mad.”

Colt 'Vest Pocket' .25 ACP

.25s – mouse guns -  are widely derided in the self-defense community as underpowered crap.

The Smallest Minority again enters the .25 ACP as stopping power debate.
It’s been said that anecdotal evidence is not evidence.
The expression anecdotal evidence refers to the use of particular instances or concrete examples to support a general claim. Such information (sometimes referred to pejoratively as “hearsay”) may be compelling but does not, in itself, provide proof. (Grammar and Composition –
Kevin begins:  There have been comments to the post below concerning the lack of “stopping power” of the .25ACP cartridge, and I can’t say I disagree with them, but I would like to share one story of how a .25 saved one man’s life.
an excerpt:
Within a few seconds of my friend’s car leaving the parking lot, in comes the guy, walking real fast down the main aisle of the store. I’m still waiting on the phone to ring, when he suddenly produces a 3 ft Ninja Sword from behind his back and states “This is a Ninja Sword”, and sticks it into my right shoulder very deeply.
Go read the conclusion of the tale at the link to TSM, above.
A powerful read, and while not evidence, is an example not to be taken lightly.

The First Rule of a Gunfight – Have a gun! – Mark Moritz

Believe it!

h/t Kevin Baker

Pay Attention!

Pay Attention!
I’m not just speaking of Col. Cooper’s Color Codes of Awareness, Condition Yellow at the minimum.
I’m speaking of myself and my life.
And to you.
Most people (and I’m certainly including myself in this category) get in a routine and drift through life.  Specifically, I try to organize things in a routine to minimize my stressors during the day.
e.g.  X is when I normally arise, Y when I shower, Z when I eat breakfast, do my daily blog stuff, etc., etc.
The point being I don’t have to think about it.  It’s 0830, have I taken my morning medication? (diabetes, blood pressure, neuropathy pain, etc.).  I have evening meds, as well.
It’s 0830, I KNOW I have, because do that @ 0700!
This is a great system, except one can start doing snippets of the same regimentation in other areas of life.
It’s 1330 and so-and-so hasn’t called, yet.  I wonder if anything’s wrong?  (aside-my 1330 person just called, a little early!  @1120)
Some of my friends ‘do’ daily (or almost daily) communication.  Some weekly, some every-other-week.
And, I reach out to some folks daily.
We get into routines.  I think that’s a human thing.
But, in my case, sometimes, I get lax.  I take others for granted.  Hell, they’ll be there tomorrow-I don’t wanna talk to them today.
And, coupled with this attitude, people become too comfortable in our lives.  Expected to always be there.
I feel most fortunate that I was able to get together with my friend Mark on Sunday, January 29.  Most of the day.  Went shooting @ the blogshoot, then lunch.  We spoke on the telephone Tuesday January 31st.
February 1st, he died.
People pass away, they grow apart, they move.  I’ve had some friends for over 50 years.  Some with whom I no longer associate.  Some I treated poorly, selfishly, and they left.
What’s common in much of this?
I wasn’t paying attention.
That wouldn’t have necessarily saved my marriage, or some friendships, but it might have.
Other situations I’ve no control over.
A few years back, I tried to re-connect with a former lover with whom I remained in good stead.  I found out she had passed away a couple years before that.  Sad.
I try not to use this blog as therapy, but, sometimes I do, anyway.  Hell, it’s my blog.
I often intone all of you to hug those dear to you, and tell them you love them, because you never know…
Today, pay attention to them, to what they are actually saying, to how you treat them.  For the very same reason.
Because, you never know. – Guffaw

What? More Rules?

We here at Guffaw in AZ, and many other gunnie blogs, have touched upon The Four Rules more than once.  They are on my sidebar, and should be committed to the memory of everyone in a gun-owning household, ages three and up.
We owe Jeff Cooper a great debt for distilling out these rules.  Others, like the NRA, have subtracted one rule:  1.  All guns are always loaded.
(The NRA seems to think one will have time to load, when needed.)
And some have added a Rule 5 Don’t try to catch a dropped gun (or knife).
But, there are more rules out there.
One of the more popular television shows (since 2003) is N.C.I.S., about adventures of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

“A slap to the face
is an insult — to the
back of the head
is a wake-up call.”

Generally entertaining, flawed characters, diverse plot lines.
The main character is Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon.  His tragically deceased wife (in the show) is said to have created a number of rules, which he adopted, and passed on to his agents and agent trainees.  There are more than 50 rules, I’m cherry-picking ones I find of interest:
Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife
Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine’s coffee if you want to live.
Rule #27: Two ways to follow: First way, they never notice you, — second way, they only notice you.
Rule #35: Always watch the watchers.
Rule #45: Clean up your own mess
Rule #51: Sometimes — You’re Wrong!
If you’d like to see more of the ‘rules’, here’s a link:  Gibbs’ Rules
(Obviously, being a fan of the show would help.)

PS – Yes, I had to get past Mr. Harmon’s support of gun control in his private life to watch the show.  Unlike some Hollywood types, he separates his private and public life.

h/t CBS television

"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

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw



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"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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