We Owe Much to Jeff Cooper

New Jovian Thunderbolt has some interesting blast from the past videos, one of them is this one:

So at the time, even the FBI was teaching point shooting with one hand. The Modern Technique of the Pistol put an end to all this nonsense. It’s almost hard to believe anyone used to think shooting using this method was a good idea.

Jovian Thunderbolt has another good video on offensive driving, so be sure to follow his link.

9 thoughts on “We Owe Much to Jeff Cooper”

  1. Part of the reason “Point Shooting” held on for so long was the fact that many early 20th. Century LEOs were trained by the old-time Sheriffs and Marshalls who used Colt Peacemakers and their kin. Remember, except for the 1911’s, very few Police Depts allowed Semi-Auto Pistols to be used until well into the late 70’s. Plus, there was the 50’s Cowboy Craze and the Fast Draw competitions. That helped to extend the Point Shooting training.

    But it was Col.Cooper and others back in the start-up days of the IPSC that broke the cycle, by showing over and over in matches that using 2 hands and the sights were much better.

  2. When I started in LE in 1963 this was the method of training used. We were still getting the same training in 1969, but when we got through with the authorized course, most of us stayed on the range and used up the rest of our training ammo in 2 hand grip practice.
    I think the biggest problem in adopting new forms was that old police problem of (R)esistance (T)o (C)hange.

  3. I remember watching that exact film in 1976, while in the USAF Law Enforcement Academy at Lackland AFB, TX. Still, while they did show that film, we only fired unaimed from the “low ready”, not drawing from the holster. And that, only for familiarization from 3 and 7 yards, but not for score.

    Otherwise, the course of instruction was pretty much Modern Techique, but with plenty of balancing emphasis on strong hand and weak hand “1 handed” shooting.

    Qualifiying pretty much mimicked a PPC match course of fire.

    And indeed, though we owe TONS to Mr. Cooper, it’s interesting to go back in time, and read “No Second Place Winner” by Bill Jordan. Watching some of his old demonstration films, I daresay that he would likely run neck n’ neck, and sometimes beat Jerry Miculeck for the first six rounds, one handed and point-shooting, from the holster or low ready. That’s in speed, with both being equally accruate, which is presumable given their respective records. Once the reloads happen though, Jerry’s moon-clips would prove to be unbeatable.

    I’ll go further and state that there is merit to shooting enough point-shooting (but without that silly, thigh-muzzling draw) to have it as another tool in one’s shooting toolbox. No, I’d never advise it as a primary technique, nor would I include it as a scored match stage. Just the thought that it can’t hurt to add that skillset to one’s abilities. Like weak-hand shooting, it’s there in the hopes that you won’t need it.

    Still, I’m a die-hard, 2 handed “Modern Technique” shooter, whenever possible! I don’t argue that it’s the best, most proven, most effective of all handgun practices. I’m merely suggesting to not throw the baby out with the bathwater as far as all of the old-timey techiques.

    Notice one other thing in that film? Never once did you see any of them dump their empties on the firing line to help speed the reload. Always dumped ’em into the hand, then into the pocket. That’s another thing about the Modern Technique…. train like you’ll fight, and fight like you’ve trained.

    I don’t wanna be caught dead with empties or an empty mag in my pocket, either.

    At least I get to shoot some IDPA tonight. I think I’ll use the S&W Highway Patrolman, but with speedloaders and a clean-safe draw. To eye level. Using the sights. With both hands.

    But, I hope Mr. Jordan will look down and smile, all the same.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  4. Was listening to an old Philip Marlowe radio show, and Marlowe bumped into a hired gunman. Marlowe was carrying a Luger, the gunman a Colt Woodsman with the front sight filed off.

    According to the dialogue when the two sized each-other up, Marlowe was deemed more serious than those who carried revolvers or smaller autos. The gunman was deemed a deadly shot as he was using a .22 with no sights.

    That was how they saw things back then!

  5. I wonder if today the pendulum has swung too far. I believe that one handed point shooting should have a place, if used within appropriate limits.

    The old 1961 FBI technique of prefering hip-shooting at ranges up to 10 yards, with a double-action revolver yet, seems quite a stretch to me. But would anyone argue for the absolute superiority of aimed fire over point shooting if the range was only two meters?

    One thing I am always sure to check when trying a new handgun is how well they point shoot for me. Some do very well such as the M-1911a1 and some do poorly such as the Glock 17. It’s a very individualistic thing.

  6. One of the cops my father used to work with was a wizard with the techniques shown here. Dad, who was (and is) a spectacular marksman with a rifle, used to be a very poor second to him with a revolver. I was utterly useless, and used two hands to shoot Dad’s revolver, which I think was allowed because I was a child. When I used the sights, I could generally hit the paper, sometimes on the printed part. Mr. Hank (as I knew him) seemed to be able to just will the bullet to hit the center of the target.

    Two handed techniques came into vogue about the time Dad was contemplating retirement. Mr. Hank died before then. I wish I knew how he’d do with the newer practice.

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