H/T Lenny Ladner
No other man in firearms training history has had more influence and persuasion that Colonel Jeff Cooper, USMC (Ret.)
The Modern Technique of Pistol Craft that Colonel Cooper invented and taught revolutionized Handgun Training forever.
The MT can be divided up into four major parts:
1. The Big-Bore Autoloading Pistol
Cooper favored this pistol for its proven fight-stopping characteristics, its ease of handling, and the ability to reload it very quickly. While he personally preferred the Colt 1911 in .45 ACP, he also gave the nod to the CZ-75, the Browning Hi-Power and a few other guns. He was not a big fan of the 9 mm, however, and called double-action semi-auto pistols the answer to an unasked question.
2. The Weaver Stance
Cooper borrowed this technique from Deputy Sheriff Jack Weaver, who was consistently beating them all in the combat matches. It is a balanced combat stance that uses a two-hand, isometric hold on the handgun. The shooting hand pushes forward and the support hand pulls back. It is the key to fast, multiple shots using full-power ammunition.
Since the MT was developed over 40 years ago, there have been a myriad of other shooting stances developed that are worth checking out.
3. The Flash Sight Picture
Early on, Col. Jeff Cooper realized that when shooters focused on their front sights, their number of center hits went up dramatically. He also realized that, at close range, you really don’t have to carefully line up both the front and rear sight, nor do you have the time to do it in a gunfight. Just get the front sight on the target as quickly as possible, see the front sight clearly, and launch your shot. The effectiveness of this technique is amazing.
4. The Surprise Break
Cooper taught his students to press the trigger instead of giving it a healthy jerk that would throw the sights off target. In practice, one begins this technique very slowly, pressing gently until the shot is launched. Done properly, the shot should come as almost a surprise. With further practice, one learns to compress all the right moves and deliver his shot quickly and accurately. The combination of No. 3 and No. 4 is why you hear instructors admonish their students with “Front sight, Press. Front sight, Press.”
News Piece from 1979 on Cooper and Gunsite Academy.
Jeff Cooper’s Handgun Fundamentals Instructional Video (1985)