Jeff Cooper's Commentaries

Previously Gunsite Gossip
Vol. 2, No. 16          20 December 1994

Christmas, 1994

Merry Christmas

Indeed `tis the season to be jolly, and while the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune are no less outrageous than in any other season, the greatest of all gifts is the capacity to be joyful. We feel dreadfully sorry for those who cannot see the joke, but that is what life is - a huge, Olympian, ongoing joke. Stricken as we may often be by misfortune, illness, accident, and grief, it is still necessary for us to laugh in the face of life, and deck and halls.

God rest ye Merry, Gentlemen!

We have received some negative reports from England about the Firestar, which seems to us to be a good design - possibly hampered by problematical metallurgy. On the other hand, I have a good recommendation from family member Eric Ching on the Astra A70. Time will tell.

I was even more exasperated than usual with the Billary Team when they declared Pearl Harbor Day to be an official day of mourning - with flags at half-staff. Certainly many good men died on 7 December, 1941, through the treachery of the Japanese, but the mood of Pearl Harbor was never one of sadness - rather one of fury. I was into that war up to my ears from the very beginning, and I never heard a comrade express sorrow about that Pearl Harbor perfidy. To the contrary, that act by the Japanese inspired and unified the American people as nothing else has done since, and possibly as nothing else before. For a while we were all on the same team, and that team was dedicated to the obliteration of the Rising Sun, at whatever cost was necessary. We were not sad, we were mad, and that is what should be remembered on Pearl Harbor Day.

I would like to revive the annual Waffenpƶsselhaft Award for 1994 on behalf of Senator Bob Kerrey, who has been mentioned as a Democratic presidential candidate for 1996. This fellow waved an AK47 over his head on television and declaimed, "You don't need one of these to hunt birds." If the Senator feels that the Bill of Rights is concerned with bird hunting, I suggest he trade in his Medal of Honor for a short but durable correspondence course in American Government.

The hunting season just past brought us many interesting adventures; mainly secondhand, I regret to say. One of the most entertaining was George Olmsted's borrowing of the Lion Scout to take after elk.

George had the stock split on his 375 only days before the opening of the season, and so it seemed only reasonable for him to take the Lion Scout out and harvest his venison. The Lion Scout, as all Firepluggers know, is the seniormost member of the Fireplug family, being a "Super Scout" built on the BRNO 601 action and taking the 350/360 cartridge. At 8lbs all up it is a tad overweight, but it belts that nifty Swift 250 out of its 19-inch muzzle at a measured 2500 feet per second, and handy as it is, it will do nicely for anything on earth short of buffalo.

The original 350 Remington Short Magnum was extolled when it came out by Les Bowman, Dean of Elk Outfitters, and in its slightly tuned-up version it is the ideal medium cartridge.

I used it last year to lay out my lion at eleven steps, and since that time it has scored on no less than four elk, taken at ranges from 160 to 276 paces - with one round apiece. You do not recover the Swift bullet on elk, but the wound channel is just right - broad, but without excess destruction of venison.

George's report:
"Gary made a most interesting comment near the end of the hunt. He had ridden with me a lot of the time, while I drove he had the task of holding the Lion Scout. On Monday, out of the blue, he said, `You know at first I didn't understand your thing for this rifle. I thought it was ugly. Now I realize that it is the most mechanically perfect thing I have ever seen. It has been absolutely perfect for everything we have done.'"

Already a couple of the faithful have sent in checks for a foundation memorial to the innocents who perished at the hands of the ninja at Waco. I would like to note that we do not have a foundation for this fund just yet, but if the money continues to come in we will establish one in the city of Waco for the purpose of designing and building the monument.

I find it odd that the great majority of "gun writers" insist upon doing accuracy testing of rifles at 100 yards range. You cannot find out much of anything at 100. You can begin to get the picture at 200, but only at 300 can you derive a true accuracy assessment of rifle, ammunition and sight. Of course in the field you will do very little shooting at 300 (despite what the ads say), but if you are looking for an accuracy index nothing you will find at 100 will show you very much.

I have been criticized by referring to our federal masked men as "ninja," when in the view of the critic the traditional role of the ninja in Japan was to fight against oppression and tyranny. Let us note that almost no one ever resorts to force and violence unless he is convinced that his cause is right, but without going into that let us reflect upon the fact that a man who covers his face shows reason to be ashamed of what he is doing. A man who takes it upon himself to shed blood while concealing his identity is a revolting perversion of the warrior ethic.

It has long been my conviction that a masked man with a gun is a target. I see no reason to change that view.

Reports provided through Barry Miller, our man in South Africa, suggest that the new government is encountering just the sort of difficulties it might have expected. It is awkward to maintain the image of a revolutionary anti-establishment movement when you are the establishment. Street crime is flourishing, and the new minister of defense has had to cope with some four thousand desertions from the SADF by members who apparently feel that since they have won the war they might as well take their rifles and go home.
"Where, oh where, is my Mercedes Benz,
So loudly promised to me?
I have seen no car since that Xhosa got hence,
Oh where, oh where, can it be?"

On a bumper sticker:
The US Constitution
Void Where Prohibited By Law

It has been a bad year for Bambi - or rather for bambiists. The whitetail deer are developing into a locust-like pest in much of rural and suburban America. It appears that we are not eating them as fast as they are eating us out of house and garden. There are bear incidents reported regularly from bear country. The cougar, once considered a completely harmless beast, has taken to running down joggers. And finally, of all things, we have discovered a creature in the South Atlantic which may be referred to as the "Brazilian Hard-nosed Dolphin," having killed a couple of people with fearful butts. A shark scarfed up a diver off the coast of California, but if he was, as reported, a Great White Shark, also known as the "man eating" shark, it should be noted that the White Shark is protected in South Africa. You remember the jingle:
"The most chivalrous fish in the ocean,
With the ladies forebearing and mild.
Though his record be dark,
The man eating shark,
Will touch neither woman nor child."
In that last connection some dimwitted journalist from California reported that swimmers have taken to carrying "plastic pistols" as protection against sharks. This is also a candidate for the Waffenpƶsselhaft Award. I have shot a lot of sharks, and I can tell you from first-hand, direct experience that sharks are not impressed by gunfire of any sort. Besides, they don't tell you they are coming.

For the FBI to investigate Horiuchi is somewhat like Hitler's investigating Himmler.

But no matter what Reno and Freeh and Rogers and Horiuchi may say, that case is not closed. Whether Horiuchi committed a procedural error at Ruby Ridge is not important. What he committed was a mortal sin, and that sin will find him out. The only appropriate demise for this man now would seem to be the traditional route of sepukku, with which he should be familiar. If he needs a proper knife I have one, which I will provide to him upon request.

It is long been considered doctrine to play dead if you are caught by a grizzly bear. Now it turns out that while this may indeed work for grizzlies, which do not ordinarily kill people for food, it does not work for black bears, who, when they attack people, usually try to eat them.

We have almost a dozen good reports now of the effect of Black Talon pistol ammunition on coyotes.

Please note that contrary to recently published and distributed information from the Gunsite Training Center, I do not test the output of the gunsmithy any longer, and I have not done so since the lynch party of 1993. To announce that I do so is blatant and probably actionable falsification.

Have you noticed that some political appointee has ruled that the expressed will of the people of California (Prop 187) is unconstitutional? Well, so is the Brady Bill, and, for that matter, Social Security, but the arrogance of the judiciary seems to know no bounds.

That rumbling sound you hear is caused by the Founding Fathers whirling in their graves.

Family member and Master Rifleman, Colonel Swerker Ulving of the Swedish Army sends the following report from the Balkans, where he is on duty with the UN:
"It might sound strange, but I like Sarajevo. If one wants one could only see ugly shot-up buildings, but the city is still beautiful in a peculiar way. It is robust and tough. It survives. It has a certain, "Go ahead and shoot, I will still be here" attitude, and now facing a third winter as a besieged city the people are still proud, hard working for survival, and polite and gentle. Of course many of the inhabitants are armed, and we all know that an armed society is a polite one."

"As in bygone wars, two types of weapons surface: sniper rifles and pistols. And also as in the past, no one really knows how to use them. Pistols are carried in Condition 3 or 4. Sniper rifles are also carried, but seldom used. The anti-sniping teams seem to like the burst from a heavy machine-gun instead. Being a trained sniper myself, I really abhor that the murderers down here are called snipers. Military snipers do not shoot at trams or six-year-old girls!"

Well, how about United States federal snipers? They seem to shoot at women with babies in their arms. Oh, but that was "inadvertent," says the New York Times. Inadvertent the way the bombing of Hiroshima was inadvertent. Perhaps we were really aiming for Vladivostok.

This from family member Doc Berger:
"Have you heard that O.J. is planning to marry again as soon as he is acquitted? Yeah, he plans to take another stab at it."

"For justice to be done, it must be seen to be done."

Ronnie Sipes

It has been reported to us, by a man whom we have no reason to doubt, that a certain prominent gunsmith has told prospective customers that the Remington bolt-action simply cannot fire when the safety is taken off - and that this has never happened since the introduction of the weapon. This man knows what he says is not the case, because he knows me, and like most of my friends, he has heard my tale of the time that I killed an impala simply by easing the safety off when I had a good sight picture. I do not wish to disparage products, but uncontrolled safety action is a matter of life and death.

I have been deluged with comments reflecting the indignation of the American people at the recent behavior of the ninja. I thank all of you who have sought to enlighten me, though I might point out that I read the papers, too.

I notice from International Defense Review dispatches that the Canadians have decided to issue something resembling a Scout rifle to their search-and-rescue people operating in the northern wilderness. The piece is a Ruger 77 in 30-06, somewhat modified (short barrel, folding stock). Curiously enough, it has neither a glass sight nor a ghost-ring.

The reason given for the change is the discovery that the 9mm Parabellum pistol cartridge simply will not do for serious work. Fancy that!

This from family member Paul Kirchner:
"Los Angeles and Ho Chi Min City have declared themselves sister cities. It makes sense - they are both Third World metropolises formerly occupied by Americans."

From Europe we now note the appearance of the 9x25 pistol cartridge. Here is truly a classic case of an answer in search of a question.

Also from Europe we see pictures of a new Mauser police rifle, strictly out of Star Wars. It never seems to occur to people in procurement offices that if you cannot shoot, gadgetry will not help, and that if you can shoot, gadgetry is unnecessary. (We must not let the salesmen find that out.)

"I noted without dismay the violent passing of Jeffrey Dahmer, but there was a lesson in the story that went unremarked in the media. We have essentially turned over our prisons to the inmates, and they do pretty much as they please. For the decent among us, the dread prison inspires is not so much the loss of freedom, but the sort of people we would be surrounded by. It is inappropriate for America to criticize Singapore, where the corporal punishment is administered officially and in measured doses, when in our prisons it is left to the discretion of fiends and perverts."

Paul Kirchner

Did you note that when it was discovered that the murderer on the New York commuter train had waited a dutiful 15 days for permission to buy his weapon, the CLAMS suggested that the proper course of action was to extend the waiting period to 21 days?

Among the new developments we note the 5.7x28 Squirt Gun from FN. This would appear to be the veritable apotheosis of the spray-and-pray concept. May it rest in peace!

In checking the outlets we discover the weapon of choice for the peasantry is definitely the SKS. It seems to us that the Enfield 4 would be a far better choice, but the SKS is available all over the place, together with its ammunition, where the Enfield is not. The Enfield, when you can get it, costs about half as much as the SKS, for those on a budget.

"Don't forget that it was Republican `moderates' who sold out Freedom and the 2nd Amendment and handed us the defeat on the Schumer `assault weapons' ban and the Crime Bill by voting with Bill Clinton instead of you. Those `moderate' Republicans are still there!"

Marion P. Hammer, First VP, NRA
Indeed so! Note that our new crop of heroes in Washington seems nobly concerned with taxation and spending, but curiously lax about liberty. Prosperity without liberty is Dead Sea fruit. We await curbs on the federal law enforcement establishment. Get on with it!

If you have not tried it, we suggest that you "fondue" your venison. You spear the bite-sized chunks on a long-handled fork, and dip them quickly into the hot pot. Do not leave them in too long, and be careful not to let the shaft touch your lip on the way out.

Please Note. These "Commentaries" are for personal use only. Not for publication.