Jeff-Cooper-.45-The-Guru-for-the-Big-Bore-GunJeff Cooper is gone, but the wisdom of the very opinionated pistol expert and Marine Colonel lives on as the underpinning of practical shooting — whether you’re talking about “practical” as in competition, or “practical” as in a back alley.

The Cooper family maintains a website, where you can order some of Cooper’s books even today — they even have a small supply of irreplaceable signed, leatherbound copies.

Welcome to Jeff Cooper Books, the official website of Jeff Cooper and Wisdom Publishing.

Jeff Cooper was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1920. He was educated at Stanford University and took his advanced degree from the University of California. He was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1941 and served throughout World War II in the Pacific, achieving the rank of Major. Recalled to active duty for the Korean War, he moved up one rank to Lieutenant Colonel before leaving the service.

Cooper has been a shottist since the age of eleven, and in 1958 he originated the sport of practical pistol competition. From this activity he formulated the Modern Technique of the Pistol, now generally observed throughout the world. For the next thirty years he was active in teaching the new method throughout the Western World.

Here ’tis, Cooper fans:

This entry was posted in Weapons Website of the Week, Weapons Website of the Week on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

18 thoughts on “Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: Jeff Cooper Books


You just know that somewhere Col Cooper, Col Askins, Mr Ed, and Elmer Keith are arguing over the best gun for EDC.

John D


And while they’re all arguing, Skeeter Skelton is out back shooting.


I got a copy of one of Cooper’s first books, “Fighting Handguns” as a high school kid. 75 cents at newsstands everywhere. It literally changed my life. Not only did he awaken my interest in firearms-shaping my career choices-but he was also an erudite, informative writer who made a clueless kid think.

I still have the book, 57 years on. Both it and I are showing some wear and tear; but it’s been an interesting ride.

His newsletters-available in bound form of “Gunsite Gossip” anthologies-make good reading.

And yeah-I did make it to Orange Gunsite. Lightsaber 250.

James F.

Reading this in a local Starbucks, I remembered the copy of PRINCIPLES OF PERSONAL DEFENSE I bought almost 40 years ago, and realised that after all these years, I’m still sitting in a seat that puts the wall at my back and allows me to see both entrances.

Condition Yellow, Cooper said, is no more irksome or “paranoid” than putting on a seat belt or locking your door at night. He was right.

Haxo Angmark

thanks. Buying C Stories ASAP

John Smith

“Opinionated” and “Colonel” are usually cues for me to utterly disregard anything one has to say- not so with Jeff Cooper. I valued the use of language and the sense that he would test his logic with confidence.

Boat Guy

The “Colonel” is kinda honorific; he left USMC as a Lt. Col.; yeah it’s appropriate to address a light Colonel as “Colonel” but it seems a number of people have taken that to mean he was a full-bull.

I like Cooper’s writing; though I think much of that is a measure of an education standard long since passed. “Opinionated” ? Oh to be sure; many of those opinions informed, others merely “opinions” (which we all have). The man was an interesting guy; one of the best endorsements one could give him, though is “Janelle married him”.

And yes, I’m an Orange Gunsite alum. Paid my own money when my unit woulda paid for me to go to Shaw’s.

John Smith

“Janelle married him” outranks Col. no matter how you pare it.


That retentive guy checking in… 🙂



Hognose Post author

Thanks, Scott, your contributions are very welcome. I actually dictated that at night with an arm load of Small Dog Mk II, and that screwed up spacing and capitalization in several posts and a section of a book chapter.

SDMkII’s “teeth cleaning” today has turned into several hours of oral surgery, and counting… poor little guy. He’ll be on soft food and treats for a few days.

John M.

If your hands being full (figuratively and literally) of dog mean an impact to the blogging schedule, may I suggest that you hit up some of the more experienced and articulate posters for some stories to post? I suspect you could come up with a short list and have Siri do most of the work of requesting.

Just a suggestion. 🙂

-John M.


When SD II was out of isolation prep and introduced to us unwashed masses, I resisted posting these three things:

1. You should get a few more of the same model and work on a sledding team.

2. These little guys always remind me of the Grinch’s dog (see, the sledding thing). This inevitably leads to not-so-fond memories of playing a drinking game when anyone says “who” during that movie.


3. Dental/periodontal dz is the Achilles heel of these little guys, and retroactive measures, sometimes quite involved, are commonly needed when they come into a new home after suboptimal care prior. You just found that out, but good of you and SD’s PCP for getting it done so soon. It’s delicate and frustrating to do (I swear, a lot, during long procedures), but the end result is a healthier, vastly more comfortable dog even when they don’t act painful or ill beforehand.


Hognose Post author

He’s home and resting, with a couple of spoons of stanky-smelling wet food from the vet’s, and 1/4 tramadol. He got an hour plus of his favorite — lap time — so that and two hours on the phone with an old SF/intel community buddy have totally queered my schedule for the day.

The vet techs, too, are unanimous that he’s half Dachshund.

John M.

I devoured a lot of Cooper around the turn of the century, partly because my University’s technical/engineering library had a lot of his stuff. There was a time when anything Cooper said was gospel as far as I was concerned. Now with a little more experience under my belt, I respect his opinions a lot, but consider his opinions on hardware and usage to be dated. He was a product of his time, as are we all.

-John M.

Dyspeptic Gunsmith

What I appreciate most about LTC Cooper is his erudition. When reading his writings, you can tell that he is a man of wide and deep learning – and not just on or about guns.

Hognose Post author

Most appreciated! That’s a great site and a long-ago Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week, IIRC.

Alan Ward

You do remember so. I saw that post a week or two after Ian recommended your site. Being a long time Cooperite, I immediately went and bookmarked it!

I came upon JC through Guns and ammo in the early seventies, and when I could afford to get the magazine, religiously read his column first. Most of the other authors were adequate writers, but none reached JC’s level of competence in my mind. By the time I got enough resources to subscribe, he was failing health wise, and old G+A wasn’t the same without him.