Passing On…

I see this morning that Col Jeff Cooper has died.

World-renowned firearms expert Jeff Cooper, founder of the Gunsite firearms training center in Paulden, died Monday afternoon at his home near the training center.

Cooper, 86, had been battling several health problems in recent years.

The family plans a private burial ceremony and will announce a memorial ceremony at the National Rifle Association Whittington Center in New Mexico in the near future.

Cooper had been a member of the NRA Board of Directors.

Born on May 20, 1920, in Los Angeles, as John Dean Cooper, Cooper who always went by “Jeff,” earned a master’s degree in history and taught history.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II as well as in Southeast Asia and Korea.

In the 1960s, he organized a group called the Bear Valley Gunslingers and the Southwest Combat League. During the organizations’ shooting competitions at Big Bear, he formulated the Modern Technique of combat handgun shooting which incorporates a large-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a two handed Weaver stance, breath control and a surprise trigger break.

In 1976, he founded the American Pistol Institute, or Gunsite, at Paulden to teach those pistol techniques and later added a full curriculum on pistols, rifles and shotguns.

Since then, more than 18,000 students, including celebrities like Tom Selleck, law enforcement officers, military members from many nations and many civilians have graduated from courses there.

He was quite possibly one of the most, if not the most, influential gun writers and instructors of the modern era.  His writings on mindset influenced hundreds of other instructors and may be more important than any of his tactical or technical methods (although those must not be discounted).

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