‘Guns & Ammo’ publishes very disparaging words about Col. Jeff Cooper

Oh my. They posted this “Reader Letter” about Col. Jeff Cooper in their October 2014 issue…

Col Jeff Cooper

“I don’t have the great opinion of Jeff Cooper that Mr. Mann has (“The Gunsite Legacy” August 2014). I once met Mr Cooper at an ISPC match held at a range off Skyline Boulevard in Saratoga California. This was in the late 1970s or early 1980s. I had never shot an ISPC match before and haven’t since. The match was a 2-Gun event. I took a Browning Hi-Power and a 6-inch S&W Model 19. Prior to the start, Mr. Cooper was walking around looking at the firearms of the competitors and making comments. Several other people who exhibited great deference to his comments followed him. When he stopped in front of me, he referred to mine as an “antiquated wheel” and made some other derisive comment about my Hi-Power. He was rude, and his sycophants were amused by his comments. He and I shot in the same classification, and he came in second to me. I went over to him with the trophy and said, “Not bad for an antiquated wheelgun and a Hi-Power.” He didn’t say anything back. He was a no-class jerk.”

-Harry Strangel


Now, I don’t want to get into a pro/con Jeff Cooper fight… Thats not why I am writing this. I don’t care what your opinion of Jeff Cooper is, and you have no idea what my opinion on the man is so please don’t put words into my mouth.

What Harry said above was just one man’s account of one lone interaction on one day in Col. Coopers entire life. You can take it or leave it as you see fit. I am sure we all have someone out there who can probably tell a similar tale of each and every one of us. He also might be flat out lying. Who knows. Who cares.

What I do want to say is how amazed I am that I would ever live to see the day that such critical words of Col. Jeff Cooper would grace the pages of ‘Guns & Ammo’. Good, bad, or indifferent it doesn’t really matter… I do think it is safe to say that for years G&A has ‘worshiped at the alter‘ of Jeff Cooper, and I am pretty shocked to see them post a critical rebuttal to Mann’s article in praise of Cooper.

If you are not aware, things changed a while back at ‘Guns & Ammo’ when new editor Eric R. Poole took over the helm. Standard stuff like the graphics changed, the way articles are laid out changed, fonts changed and stuff like that… But to see this dramatic break from the past is down right amazing. I can guarantee you that not too long ago if a writer had written such words in an article or if someone had signed off on a letter like that being published ‘heads would have rolled‘. It would have been edited from the article, and that person would have been immediately ostracized from the gun industry.

Don’t get me wrong though, they are still very flattering of Col. Cooper. They themselves are not disparaging Col. Cooper. They still are running regular quotes from the man in the magazine, and I am sure that they will continue to praise and reference him as they continue down the road. …BUT… This is a dramatic shift. And one that may be signaling that Eric R Poole is throwing the ‘old school‘ way of doing things under the bus, and that he is willing to break with some of the norms and do things that in the past many would have seen as taboo.

We will have to see.


  1. Well, thats one less sacred cow left in this world. I never met the guy, so I can’t personally attest to if he is indeed a prick or not. I do however greatly value his opinions on self defense and how to win a gun fight. YMMV.

  2. There is the possibility that the writer of this letter is one a few folks who can only make themselves look better by denigrating someone generally greater than themselves. Not saying this is the case here, but it is a possibility, especially since he had to point out he bested the Colonel.

  3. So? They published a letter from someone that had a bad experience. Col Jeff Cooper is human and has his faults. I don’t know all the stuff that he has taught since I don’t really get into what he says. I have heard nothing but great stuff about him. His teachings may be spot on but he still could have acted that way.
    Publishing that is getting to both sides. There should be no “sacred cows” when it comes to truth. Is it truth? Don’t know. Nothing wrong with publishing it though.

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