Friday, November 15, 2013

Jeff Cooper's Commentaries

Jeff Cooper's Commentaries: Vol. 2, No. 5:

Now it happens that our elected government, after a fifteen year hiatus, has resumed the destruction of 1911 45s, M1 Garands, 03s, and Springfield 22 Trainers. Note that this has nothing whatever to do with crime. This is aimed directly at obviating the armed citizenry which is historically the only guarantee ohorf human liberty. Act on this at once. If you have not got a 1911, get one. If you have not got an 03, get one. If you have not got an M1, get one. (If you can possibly afford it, get two.)

Spending a dreary Friday morning surfing the nooks and crannies of the Internet, including the corpses of lapsed blogspots, I happened upon a link to Col. Jeff Cooper's "Commentaries".

(The opening exemplar quote was taken from his May 1994, edition.)

Senior members of the IPSC/USPSA addiction (speaking of seniority in terms of longevity rather than skill, and using the term 'addiction' for the same sake of accuracy) are almost invariably familiar with The Colonel.   However, during my recent experiences introducing new initiates I have become aware that most of the 'not-senior' people are ignorant of the origins and history of this addiction we share.

Thus a short historical note on the origin of the sport, and the significance of both The Colonel and his Commentaries seems both timely and appropriate.

Jeff Cooper has had experience in the Military, and did come by the nomenclature with some justification.  He founded and ran "The Gunsite Academy" for some significant decades where he, with a staff of experienced instructers, provided training in both handgun and long gun handling.   His emphasis has ever been on military and law enforcement, but his own extensive hunting experience rounded out his qualification to instruct in civilian hunting-related application of these   techniques.  (Which is not to suggested that he taught tracking and stalking skills.)

As a consequence of his association with men who went armed daily, mostly on a professional basis, he became interested in what was at the time termed "Combat Shooting".  Generally speaking, marksmanship and gun handling skills are "degradable".  If not practiced regularly, ones proficiency deteriorates. Standing on a firing line and shooting at bullseye targets is only "better than nothing".  It certainly isn't "sufficient" and in a sense probably isn't as appropriate as plinking at tin cans.  At least the shooter has a variety in target range and attitude when it bounces around every time you hit it,

So a more realistic target was designed which, yes, DOES share a general size and shape of the human body,  The scoring zones of this cardboard target were scaled on the relative lethality of a shot in the corresponding 'vital;' areas.

This stadardization of targets made it simple to form a competition based on shooting which was obviously more "practical" than bullseye shooting.  (Hence the expression "Practical" pistol shooting.)

Originally, the folks who gathered together to challenge each other were assumed, even expected, to be armed when they arrived at the range,  Anecdote suggest that at one match, when a shooter signed in he was asked where his pistol was.  Why?  Because the procedure for the first stage of the match specified that the gun stayed where-ever it was when the shooter signed in, and if he had it locked in the trunk of the car he had to go get his pistol after the signal to begin shooting.  Well, if he was a deputy sheriff and needed his pistol while he was "on the job", it wouldn't have  been very 'practical' to keep his gun in the car until he really needed it, now would it?

Most of the basics for IPSC competition are directly based on the imperatives that these pistoleros had learned on the job ,,,. often, the hard way,

SPEED?  When you really have to shoot, you really have to be the first one to shoot,
ACCURACY?  It's not going to help to shoot first if you can't hit what you aim at.
POWER? Everybody knows that a bigger or faster bullet is more effective ... and shooting follow-up shots quickly and accurately is more difficult if the shooter has to deal with heavy recoil, so the effectiveness of the more powerful pistol in "marginal" hits is reflected by a higher hit.  Thus, Major power scores higher than Minor power in the B, C and D zones of the IPSC target.   Of course, in Combat Shooting, Jame's Bond's pocket .380 would be right out!

Also, note that these pistoleers liked the idea of several targets, often of several types, at ranges which were not always the same.  They didn't have "standard" stage designs ... they made it up as they went along and each stage had some application to a "real life" combat situation.

For example, for the Classifier stage "El Presidente",  the scenario depicted was being attacked from the rear by the Presidente of an imaginary South American junta along with his two bodyguards.

(I have included this stage as the "final exam" of the Live Fire exercise in my "Introduction to USPSA" class.  It's fast and exciting, it's a change of pace from the rest of the period in which I have been encouraging the participants to take their time and always aim carefully at the A-zone.  We actually record their score and time, and an the conclusion of the exercise we use those statistics to calculate Hit Factor.  Then we declare the stage winner based on highest HF, and show how their stage points can vary dramatically based on each shooter's percentage of the stage winner's HF.  This is a graphic representation of the importance of shooting accurately quickly.)

So much for The Colonel's contribution to the beginning of the sport, except to say that a disgusted Cooper eventually divorced himself from IPSC after the "competition" became so emphasized that "practicality" had, in his opinion, completely obviated the purpose of the exercise!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Because No One Really Needs Ten Rounds in Their Gun

Because No One Really Needs Ten Rounds in Their Gun - Patriot Outdoor News - Patriot Outdxoor News

I keep saying this .. you keep repeating this .. but nobody listens.

Perhaps someday, somebody who thinks we're all just a bunch of paranoid extremists will actually THINK about it!

Ten rounds?  It should be enough for anyone, right?

9mm?  The Gang-Bangers think it's the schitz!  But it's a mouse load.

When you laughingly discount armed citizens by saying:
            "What's the worst that can happen" ...

You probably ......  Have. No. Idea.
And if I told you, you would laugh at me.

Think it's a Politically Incorrect Joke?

Think that nobody would possibly be so lame as to invade your home with guns, and a bad plan, and a sincere intent to kill you and your family?

Think again.

Who really needs more than ten rounds, honestly?

How about the Liberal head-of-the-family who thinks .. honestly, "I've got a gun and I know how to use it, and what's the  WORST that can happen???"

"Surely, there's no scenario in which I would need to have more than (6, 7,  10 .. whatever number) round in my magazine?  Anything more would be just ...another gun nut!"

Really.  What's the worst that can happen?

You have no idea, what can go wrong when the SHTF. (Shit Hits The Fan!)

Any thing that can go wrong, WILL go wrong, and usually in the ONE time when you can least afford the slightest mistake.

Open Letter to 'Hanoi Jane'

America's top UN diplomat has high praise for 'Hanoi Jane' | Fox News:

New U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power didn't waste her diplomatic skills on Vietnam veterans at a New York speech, praising actress Jane Fonda for "being outspoken on behalf" of her convictions.

Power, 43, was speaking at the United Nations Association of the USA 2013 Global Leadership Awards in New York Wednesday, where honorees included Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived being shot in the head by Taliban thugs and is now an education advocate for girls.

 “Hi everybody,” Power said, according to a transcript. “You know life has changed when you’re hanging out with Jane Fonda backstage. There is no greater embodiment of being outspoken on behalf of what you believe in — and being 'all in' in every way — than Jane Fonda. And it’s a huge honor just to even briefly have shared the stage with her.”

But Vietnam veterans have long held a less charitable view of the Oscar-winning actress, who in her younger days took her anti-war activism to North Vietnam, where she posed with Viet Cong soldiers at a missile battery and earned the derisive nickname "Hanoi Jane." The now-75-year-old actress has since apologized for what she told Oprah Winfrey was an "unforgivable mistake" made in 1972. Fonda told Winfrey she was taken to a North Vietnam military site during the last day of her visit, despite her objections.
"I was an emotional wreck by [then]," Fonda told Winfrey last year. "I don't know if I was set up or not. I was an adult. I take responsibility for my actions.
(This article is way, WAY too long!)

Dear Jane;
I was "an emotional wreck" when I was being shot at by Viet Cong in 1968 and 1969.

The difference between you and me is that you were a stone cold camera-loving BITCH, and I was just a guy who got drafted and wanted to live out my year in Hell, come home to my wife and have babies.

Guess we both got our wish, huh?  I know my two children are happy with the result, and they don't resent you at ALL.  But then ... they weren't "there", were they?  (No thanks to you!)

Here's another difference between us:

You got stardom; I got to live.

You achieved your goal from having your picture taken in an anti-aircraft gun which shot down American airmen.  I achieved my goal by not dying.

It's kind of a Woody Allen thing:
"I don't want to achieve immortality though my work; I want to achieve it by Not Dying!"

Yes, I realize I am repeating myself.  I don't expect YOU to understand the emphasis .. you were never in your whole life threatened with being shot, regardless of the drama in your many, many movies .. which brought you fame, stardom and great good fortune.

Jane, I'm pleased for you in that you are being lauded for "... being outspoken for what you believe in ...".   I think that is just SO sweet!

Forget the definition of "Treason" includes "Aid and comfort to our enemy".  Which you provided.  You were just cute as hell in Barbarella, and so socially significant in "The China Syndrome".

We can almost forget that you were a traitor, that you encouraged the North Vietnamese to continue a war by political means .. even though they could not win it militarily and that thousands of American boys died to support your cinematic career.

Almost, but not quite.  You may count me among the dissatisfied few who still resent your brain-dead gesture of support for the people who were killing American men of your generation.  I'd give you some names of the men in my platoon who died, or who were wounded, by your North Vietnamese friends ... but they deserve more honor than to be linked with YOUR name.

So I will honor them in my heart, because I lived with them and fought with them and trod through the jungle with them every day until they died.  But you will never know their names.  You might be tempted to speak of them, someday, and you would only dishonor them by speaking their names.

I've held this contempt in private for over 40 years, but until I saw you being lauded for "being outspoken about (your) convictions", I never had a reason to publicly excoriate you.

If there is a God in heaven, you will die in pain.   I watched too many young men die, in the jungle, in pain, for reasons which they never understood nor will ever have the opportunity to repudiate  if they would ... as you repudiated your actions, to your everlasting shame.

They never got to say whether or not they thought that their "public service" ... as an infantry man dying in Viet Nam .. was the best way they could serve their country.

I leave you with this one, single word:


Between The Berms: Paging Uncle Ted | Shooting Wire

Between The Berms: Paging Uncle Ted | Shooting Wire:
November 6, 2013

So, the internet began blowing up, again, with cries of betrayal and boycott.
It seems that yet another gun writer has weighed in with his considerable wealth of knowledge, years of experience and expertise to help those less knowledgeable better understand the constitution's second amendment.
Previously it was hunting expert Jim Zumbo who set us all straight on the AR-15, the modern sporting rifle...the black gun.
Now it's gun expert Dick Metcalf whose recent Backstop column in the December issue of Guns & Ammo helps us understand that the second amendment was intended to be heavily regulated, and that onerous regulations are not infringements.
Instead they simply reflect the wishes of the founding fathers.
Oddly enough this pro-regulation stance hasn't been a hit with readers, and instead of accepting the position of one of Intermedia Outdoors' - the publisher of Guns & Ammo - most respected contributors, they've taken a decidedly different position as evidenced by these few examples of comments left online in the many blogs and forums covering this story.

The story here is that a long-term, highly respected gun writer has made statements to the effect that gun owners should accept draconian firearms-confiscation laws without protest.

Dick Metcalf?  I've been reading his 'stuff' for a lifetime, and I have never had a whiff of "confiscatory laws" in what he had to say before.  Mostly, he talked about hunting.  Not a whole bunch about politics.

Now. has he had joined the Bad Boys who talk about how you and I should not contend against the Feds (eg: Obama) proposed confiscatory anti-gun legislation?

I don't know.  

I haven't read the article.  I don't subscribe to the magazine.  I don't know what Metcalf said.

I'm just putting this out her to make people aware of the controversy.  I'm not saying ANYTHING about Dick Metcalf, or his political bent.

You ought to know that this is an issue, and you ought to look it up (read the magazine!) and decide for yourself.

That  is, if you care at all about the supposed issue.  Which may not be an issue at all, except that Shooting Times thinks it is.


Sometimes I think the "why can't we all just get along?" thingie is perhaps ... if inadvertently .. the most wisdom we can expect in our modern age.

This is one of those days when I wonder why I have lived this long, that I should be inundated by so much crap.

The Latest "Appcessory" is for Your Rifle?

Shooting Wire: The Inteliscope Tactical Rifle Adapter and App turns a smartphone into a rifle scope for tactical rifles, paintball markers, and airsoft guns and records video from the rifle POV. The Inteliscope turns your Apple mobile device into an intelligent scope. Newly conceived just six months ago in April, 2013, the Inteliscope Tactical Rifle Adapter is now shipping and the App is now available for download from the Apple App Store. The adapter to mount the mobile device to your rifle sells for $99; the App is included in the price and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for evaluation at no cost. Customers may order the adapter now at or from one of over 350 firearms dealers worldwide.

From the ridiculous to the sublime.

I'm not sure whether I think: "Whoopie, this is SO great!" or "Damn!  This is even more stupid than if I had thunk it first!"

First thing my Verizon Guy said when I bought my StupidPhone was: "This isn't as robust as the last (non-smart) phone you had.  I will break.  Easily.  And the battery won't last as long."

So ... I'm encouraged to count on a StupidPhone to (a) endure against the recoil of a rifle, and (b) be 100% reliable in a SHTF situation?

I don't THINK so!

Kewl technology, if you have an IPhone (as opposed to an "Android", which I have).  But I believe I'll just stick with iron sights or ... maybe, if I'm feeling lucky ... the 6x scope on my .25-06.

Too many failure points on THIS hash-up to make me comfortable that it will be there when I really need to make a shot.