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Jeff Cooper

Old 03-03-2004, 08:08 AM
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bigcountry
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Default Jeff Cooper

I have read and enjoyed Jeff Coopers writings for a long time. I appreciate what he has done for the shooting sports. I appreciate what he has done for this country. But for the life of me, I don't understand his mentality. Coopers mentality is, if its slow and big, its good, if its super fast and sleek, its bad. I have butchered more animals than I could ever count. Every animal I harvested, I investigate the wound and damage the bullet caused. And from my 20 short years of investigated(compared to his 50 or so), I have came to one conclusion. Speed kills. Maybe its my (once bitten twice shy) with my muzzleloader experience. I did lose two deer in the last 5 years with good hits with a muzzleloader. But with a slug gun or muzzleloader, I see a big entrance and exit hole, but just don't see the lungs melted and major trama to vital organs around the impact. But with a 308 or a 270 shot at 50 yards, I see all kinds of damage. And if I do my part, I never lose an animal. I just don't understand his conclusions about killing power. Maybe things are different on human combat situations. I hope I never have to kill someone to find out, but for game, and 100 yards, I don't know why he feels the way he does.
 
Old 03-03-2004, 09:51 AM
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Default RE: Jeff Cooper

You are absoutely right that big, slow bullets kill more by blood loss than anything else. In this respect, they're more like a broadhead arrow. Fast bullets do a lot of damage due to hydrostatic shock and secondary missiles as well as just the bullet path alone. But in order for a fast bullet to be effective, it must get into the vitals. In other words, penetration is important, no matter the speed at which the bullet is travelling. This means that the faster the bullet is travelling, the more important bullet construction becomes.

I am not sure at what velocity level the speed of the bullet takes over as regards killing power versus the size and weight of the bullet. But it must be somewhere over the velocity of Foster and Brenneke type shotgun slugs. I have never used the new slugs that have a MV of 1800+ FPS like the Wionchester Partiton Gold slugs, so I don't know if these are going fast enough to produce the kind of effect you are talking about.

I have had better performance on deer-size game shooting a solid bullet, whether round ball or conical, from a muzzleloading rifle than I have had from Foster style shotgun slugs. But neither kind of projectile can hold a candle to a good .270 or .30/'06 bullet!!

I have never lost a deer hit with a modern rifle bullet, nor one that was hit well with a muzzleloader using full diameter bullets. But I have had to track animals shot with a muzzleloader farther than ones shot with a modern HV rifle. They ALWAYS leave great blood trails if hit behind the shoulder, and my ML bullets have always gone completely through any animal so hit! I have lost a couple of deer I thought were hit well with a Foster slug, though!!

Like you said, things may be different in combat! Animals are killed by physiological effects only, psychology does not enter into the situation, because an animal, as opposed to a person, doesn't know how badly wounded it is! This factor was certainly obvious in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, when "civilized" soldiers fought "savages"! An example of this is the abject failure of the .38 Colt revolvers the Army had adopted to stop charging Moro warriors in the Phillippine Insurrection. These guys didn't realize they had been killed by the .38's, and just kept on coming! When shot with the .45 Colt, however, they laid down right away!! The British had similar experiences fighting the Zulus and other tribes in Africa.
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Old 03-03-2004, 11:27 AM
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Default RE: Jeff Cooper

Jeff Cooper has the mindset that whatever he likes is the best and anything else is inferior. I find his writings interesting, but if you believe everything he says, you'd throw away all your weapons but a cocked and locked 1911 and a Steyr scout rifle.
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Old 03-03-2004, 11:40 AM
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Default RE: Jeff Cooper

Although a undeniable expert in his field, he is indeed a bit dated. While I enjoy reading his commentary, I use it a stepping stone toward the new and great, rather than accepting it as the final word.
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Old 03-03-2004, 11:51 AM
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Default RE: Jeff Cooper

diyj98, I do agree, but was trying to say it a little more soothing. He does remind me of my old great grandfather. Nothing is up for discussion, and he doesn't want your opinion, cause he already has a right one. I loved my great grandfather. Been dead for 15 years, but he did say alot of things that later in life I found out to be dead wrong. But as my great grandfather, with Cooper, there is more positive than negative.
 
Old 03-03-2004, 02:05 PM
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Default RE: Jeff Cooper

Hi bigcountry,

I hope you don't take any of this wrong.....because it is certainly not meant as challenging anything you've said. I don't "worship at anyone's alter"! But I do find most of Jeff Cooper's commentaries illuminating.....and I seem to be finding the older I get.....the more I like them.

But maybe there is a difference in not just the years of experience....but the actual experience. I respect the things Cooper has been credited with...and the places he has done them. He has not only had "hands on experience" in combat....but has taken much of the world's "truly heavy and or dangerous game". Certainly much more experience in either than I have! And I don't agree with everything he says......but usually I defer to his experience, (at least in the consideration of what he has said)!

Much of my experience has been on different "deer species" in North America or Europe. And I have some considerably less experience on other species of big game around the world. And the true heavy's, elephant, rhino, etc........I have none! Part of the difference in his views may emanate because of his actual experiences!

In my experience smaller animals, like whitetail deer, tend to be more susceptible to shock from bullet trauma then are larger animals. (Unless the size of the bullet is proportionally increased to match the size of the game.) And of course, if we are shooting an animal that is ten times heavier than a deer.....it is not feasable for us to use a bullet that is ten times bigger/heavier than the one used for deer......and still maintain equal velocity, (even five or six times in size difference.....it is nearly not possible). Not in a "shoulder fired" weapon at any rate. And the bigger the animal....the more penetration will become an issue. And the less likely we will be to overcome the animal with outright bullet shock.

Slow projectiles create less tissue trauma around the bullet wound, and have less of an immediate effect.....unless the central nervous system is shut down. And even though a slow projectile of reasonable size punched through both lungs will kill slower.....than a faster projectile if all other things are equal......it will eventually kill. As a group hunters lack many of the outdoor skills of our predecessors, one of those skills being tracking. And it does become more problematic recovering wounded game....the further it gets out of our sight. And as a result of that, (and increased number of unethical hunters waiting to tag a deer "we" shot), we like our deer on the ground "fast". Which is not a bad thing. But the bigger the game.....the more important penetration becomes. Those big, slow, projectiles do kill....and kill certainly, but they seldom kill quickly!

I think Jeff Cooper is most likely a person that is reflected as "the sum of his experiences".........as are most of us! He just has a "platform" and tends to be "vocal" about it. Old curmudgeons tend to be like that!

Dave
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Old 03-03-2004, 03:01 PM
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Default RE: Jeff Cooper

There have been some good points made here and I expected to hear more flack against Old Cooper. Is he a bit dated? Maybe but he has always been a fan of the 308 and 30-06. Not by writing a lot about them but by his lack of being negative to them. Thats sort of a praise from Cooper. When it comes to velocity in Combat pistols, we are generally not looking at great differences. Wound channel and size is more critical than speed. The magic number, if there is one for the speed kills idea is claimed by the experts to be about 2500 fps+. Combat pistols don't aproach these levels. Therefore according to guys Like Keith and Cooper, if there is lack of velocity, then you need bullet weight and size. Velocity and big heavy bullets both kill. They just sort of do it in different ways. As someone else said here you might compare the big bullets to an arrow. There is of course some schock involved as well. The Big bullete at High speed have it all as Weatherby proved. This of course comes with a price, Meatd damage and some pretty awful recoil.
Anyone who has read Cooper for a while has most likely been offended buy something he said or an I dea he has. Thats his strength as a writer. You can bet on one thing. He won't often change his mind.
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Old 03-03-2004, 03:04 PM
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Default RE: Jeff Cooper

Maybe you got something there. Maybe he does really like the 308 and no writing is good writing to him. Just seems he gripes alot about magnums.
 
Old 03-03-2004, 03:49 PM
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Default RE: Jeff Cooper

Just seems he gripes alot about magnums.
I think he complains pretty evenly........about nearly everything new!

Dave

P.S. Actually if you read alot of his writings.......he speaks very favorably about the .308 Winchester. In his opinion......it does everything needing done by a rifle......right up until he reaches for his .350 Remington Magnum.
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:55 PM
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Default RE: Jeff Cooper

I think most of his gripes about the magnums is that he thinks a lot of hunters try to substitute power and velocity for marksmanship and hunting skills. That is the impression I have from reading his articals. In some cases I think he is right and in some I am sure thats not the case. There was a discussion on here sometime back where someone stated that he knew some hunters that brought bigger guns out hunting everytime they failed to get a quick kill even with poor shooting. I saw that many times when I quided deer and varmit hunters. A los of good expierenced shooters and hunters that I have hunted with have admitted to me that they shoot thier magnums very little at the range. They need some extra padding or recoil shields at the range to become real familar with thier rifles. Nobody I know wants to set at the table and get pounded for hours.
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