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Jeff Coopers Commentaries Volume 10-2002

Jeff Coopers Commentaries Volume 10-2002

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Published by: Steve Johnson on Jan 26, 2012
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12/25/2012

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Jeff Cooper's Commentaries
Previously Gunsite Gossip
Volume Ten,2002
Vol. 10, No. 1 Happy New Year!............................................................................................................................1
Vol. 10, No. 2 Winter............................................................................................................................6
Vol. 10, No. 3 Never The Twain Shall Meet...........................................................................................................................12
Vol. 10, No. 4 Winterset...........................................................................................................................17
Vol. 10, No. 5 Springtime...........................................................................................................................22
Vol. 10, No. 6 School's Out!...........................................................................................................................27
Vol. 10, No. 7 Hot Spell...........................................................................................................................32
Vol. 10, No. 8 Independence 2002...........................................................................................................................38
Vol. 10, No. 9 Fire and Water...........................................................................................................................43
Vol. 10, No. 10 High Summer...........................................................................................................................48
Vol. 10, No. 11 Hunting Season!...........................................................................................................................53
Vol. 10, No. 12 All Hallows...........................................................................................................................59
Vol. 10, No. 13 Thanksgiving...........................................................................................................................64
Vol. 10, No. 14 Joy To The World!!...........................................................................................................................69
Please Note. These "Commentaries" are for personal use only. Not for publication.
 
Jeff Cooper's Commentaries
Previously Gunsite Gossip
 Vol. 10, No. 1 January 2002
Happy New Year!
The major gap in our education has been complete absence of the study of comparative religion. I have acouple of pretty respectable degrees, but I blush to admit that I am hard put to differentiate between a Suniand a Suffi − just as I cannot tell a Southern Methodist from a Northern Shrike. So I have been reading up onthe matter in an effort to find out just what it is we are fighting about, but it is not easy to investigate thephilosophical nature of Islam. To begin with, Moslem doctrine forbids the translation of what may be calledits scripture into any language other than Arabic, a language which does not translate well. The matter is madefurther difficult by the fact that the Koran appears to be dauntingly disorganized. It is only in part atheological treatise, covering as it does all sorts of oddments about lifestyle, physical conditioning, sanitation,and what may be called "differential morality." There is certainly more to it than meets the eye, since itsappeal to large numbers of people of different cultural backgrounds over several centuries is startlingly strong.I must admit that I do not find any doctrine here that is worth fighting about. Nonetheless, these people wantto fight about it, and that makes them both dangerous and silly at the same time, a condition difficult for arationalist to accept.I must admit that any body of religious doctrine is difficult for a rationalist to accept, since faith, by definition,is "the evidence of things unseen." This by no means diminishes the importance of faith in the humanadventure, but it does leave at least some of us with a strong resistance to "polypragmatocracy " (the rule of the busybody). Some people
want 
to be told how they should think about matters of faith and morals. Othersfeel that these matters should be left up to the individual. We do not object to the moral doctrines held byother people (as long as they do not result in savagery), but we do believe that people of maturity should beleft free to decide religious matters for themselves.And thereby hangs the tale. The devout Moslem demands that other people share his faith or die. That is not afoolish fancy − it is right there in the book. The devout Moslem does not necessarily hate the Infidel, hesimply cannot accept his existence, and there you have the Holy War. It may be that OBL's days are brieflynumbered, but whether he lives or dies, Islam remains the core of the Holy War. I cannot handle the Arabiclanguage, and therefore it is not possible for me to interpret the Koran. The fact remains that we do have aHoly War on our hands, and how we pursue it remains to be seen. I do not know what we have in mind for thenext step, but we do have good feelings about Mr. Rumsfeld. His conduct of what must be regarded as thepreliminary skirmishes appear to have been carried out with neatness and dispatch. Now let us remain readyfor Phase Two of the
Jihad 
.We are informed that in Africa today, north of the "Mason−Dixon Line," a professional hunter is required topack a rifle at all times. (He is not, however, required to pack any ammunition.) This is the "new Africa."We were distressed to learn that Peter Blake of New Zealand, a yachtsman with two first places in theAmerica Cup, was recently murdered by pirates on the Amazon. We have no details, but we understand thatthe governments of the world stand firm in their conviction that decent people should not attempt to fight back against pirates. Whatever the political situation may be, we insist that if you venture out on the blue water youhad best be armed and ready. Boat−against−boat action is usually best handled by the 30 caliber machinegun,but even a pistol may well suffice, if it is handled properly by the right man.
Jeff Cooper's Commentaries Volume TenVol. 10, No. 11/73
 
Now that you have your copy of the second issue of the
Gargantuan Gunsite Gossip
(
G2
), we advise that youget it hardbound as soon as convenient. That book is a
scanner,
to be browsed through at length. Best tidy itup so that you do not wear it out.THE KINGDoubtless you have noted the recent tendency on the part of various gun writers to denigrate the 30−06cartridge. The late Charley Askins demonstrated this attitude some years ago in a magazine article, and nowwe see that a currently active colleague has taken up the tattered banner of iconoclasm again.The trouble with the 30−06 is that, like Julius Caesar,
it is too good 
. It is not only too good, but it is too old −now only four years short of its centennial. People have been trying to improve upon it since before I wasborn (and that was a very long time ago), but without success. Its great virtue seems to be its unacceptableversatility, which is a drawback in the age of specialization. I acquired my personal 06 when I was in highschool, and while I have obtained a number of other weapons since then, I have never felt a real need toimprove upon the cartridge. The 30−06 is nobody's first choice for elephants, nor is it ideal for prairie dogs,but it will suffice for either of those if that is all that is available, and it will account comfortably foreverything in between − including
Homo sapiens
.The cartridge was deemed too large for optimum portability after the Korean War, and was replaced by theUS government with the 7.62 NATO cartridge, or 308 as we call it now. The 308 is a tad smaller than the 06,but this is a minor point to the individual owner, and with the advent of the more modern propellants anypower difference between the two cartridges is negligible.The 30−06 retains a minor, but not inconsiderable, edge over the more modern 308 in its accommodation of the 220−grain bullet, which renders it a practically perfect cartridge for the African buschveldt today, whereversatility in one loading can be very useful. The 30−06/220 is eminently suitable for kudu or lion, yet willnot tear up an impala or a springbok (whereas the 30−06/150 might).I grew up on the 30−06, and that makes me a dinosaur, but I am nowise ashamed of that. In my teens I took four−for−four (bighorn through moose) with four shots in Alberta, and I have since taken a fair list of quadrupeds, big and little, with the same round.Today I might fancy the 308 over the 06 simply because I can get it in Scout configuration. The Scout, afterall, comes over−the−counter in 308. The difference in "field effect" between the 308/150 and 30−06/150 isnegligible, so the handiness of the Scout favors it in high mountains and tundra. If the hunter is going to ridearound in vehicles, however, handiness hardly matters.There need be no discussion of intrinsic accuracy, since that is a function of rifle execution rather thancartridge design. Given equally fine launchers, both cartridges will deliver one−holers at reasonable ranges,and will shoot flatter than the marksman can appreciate out to where he can no longer see his target clearly.The 30−06 ("United States cartridge, caliber 30, model of 1906") was and remains king. If the 308 nowencroaches upon it that is because of improvements in rifle design, rather than new cartridges. Let him whowould denigrate the King place himself well beyond the castle walls lest he be overheard. The punishment for
lese majeste
can be both undignified and uncomfortable."But there ain't many troubles that a man caint fixWith seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."
Jeff Cooper's Commentaries Volume TenVol. 10, No. 12/73

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