Jeff Cooper's Commentaries
Previously Gunsite Gossip
Vol. 8, No. 1 January, 2000
Never thought I would see the day! Literally. In my school days we occasionally discussed the matter of theturn of the 21st century, but no one of us expected to see it. To make the date we would have to be 80 yearsold, and whoever heard of anybody 80 years old? In Porgy and Bess, the song goes, "Methuselah lived 900years, but who calls that liv'n when no gal will give in to no man with 900 hundred years?"Be that as it may, here we are. Politically, socially, and morally the scene may be gross, but the weather isnice, the hunting is good, and the prospects for a turnaround in the next election are not bad. Therefore, let usbe of stout heart and good cheer.The bison hunt in Texas was a huge success. It could not have been more gratifying if I had written the scriptin advance. One shot from offhand at 72 yards put the bull down within 20 paces of point of impact. While therange was short, the shooting at an unsteady target, intermittently visible, was challenging. That is first bloodfor the "Dragoon" (Oops! For the "376 Scout.") Its tactical niche may be somewhat obscure, but it is certainlyan ingenious and admirable artifact. Note that it neither replaces nor augments the Steyr Scout, which remainsin place as the "Rifle of the Century." (Here we go again!) In all seriousness, the three really interesting riflesof the turn of the century remain the "Co−pilot" of Jim West, the Blaser 93, and the Steyr Scout.Have you seen the brand new "Siamese Sig"? It seems that they took two Sig 210s, split them down themiddle and somehow bolted the two halves together into a true double pistol. Then, of course, they painted itgold. Now let's not complicate the issue by asking what such a device might possibly be for. It seems obviousthat the engineers did it just to see if they could do it. Why they should do it, was obviously to catch your eye.Well, they certainly caught mine. I do not think that I need any further
candidates for theyear 2000.It appears that piracy is on the rise again in South East Asia, and the issue, as you might expect, is confrontedby the "authorities" with the maxim, "Don't fight back. Somebody might get hurt." Where have we heard thatbefore? The way to combat piracy, as all of us learned back in the early part of the 17th century, is to kill allthe pirates. Simple isn't it?It is amusing to hear some of the culturally deprived types maintain that "no one needs an assault gun."According to the founding fathers, all adult males are members of the militia, except for a few public officials.As members of the militia, we need to be checked out on the M16. This piece is not my idea of a good gun,but it is the official personal arm of the US Armed Forces, and it is our business to understand it. Thus wehave need of it, whether we like it or not.We can wholeheartedly recommend ranch hunting in Texas. It may not be pure, in the historic sense, but it isthere and it is very satisfactory. It is as challenging as you wish to make it, and it puts good meat in thefreezer. The blackbuck and axis deer and mouflon are all charming trophies. We have sampled the bison meat,and find it to be particularly toothsome.