CHAPTER 1: THE BEGINNING
Simply handling a Scout Rifle cannot convey a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the firearm. Unlike most of the guns in circulation today, the Scout Rifle has a long history. It is also the vision of one man, who based its configuration and purpose on the historical exploits of worldwide adventurers. Factually, the Scout Rifle is a concept, not a device, and to know it you must know many other things. For starters, you must know the man who envisioned it.
John Dean “Jeff” Cooper was born on May 10th, 1920. He graduated Stanford University with a BA in Political Science and received a commission in the United States Marine Corps in 1941. He served in WW II and the Korean War and in the mid 60’s received a Master’s Degree in History from the University of California, Riverside.
Between 1957 and 1976, Cooper became affiliated with two endeavors that would lead to the codifying of the Modern Technique of the Pistol and to founding what is today known as Gunsite Academy. He had established a relationship with Bob Petersen of Petersen’s Publishing and was writing various articles about sports cars, but mostly guns, for the Petersen’s magazines. He also started the Leatherslap Competitions in Big Bear Lake California. Ultimately, those shooting matches would evolve into the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) of which Cooper was the founder and first president.
Cooper’s writings, shored up by his codified doctrine of the Modern Technique of the Pistol, which was supported by his emphasis on the combat mind set, reached readers the world over. This led to invitations for Cooper to come and teach. And, teach he did. It started in Guatemala, for the bodyguards of the newly elected President and continued in El Salvador, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, South Africa, and Rhodesia.
These experiences led to the book, The Principles of Personal Defense, which was the forerunner to the Cooper Color Code, a system that has become the standard for teaching mental conditioning as it relates to individual combat. This and Cooper’s continued study, documentation, codifying, and reporting on the developing art of practical pistolcraft, interspersed with his philosophy on an individual’s right to defend himself, his loved ones, and his country, connected with gun owners. Cooper became the professor of the art of weaponry or more precisely, the Modern Technique of the Pistol, and shooters relished the opportunity to learn from him, face to face.
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