A Jeff Cooper Retrospective

Did you catch that exchange recently in which some dim-witted…

Did you catch that exchange recently in which some dim-witted critic attacked a retired general who had occasion to run a summer camp, expressing astonishment that the young people were introduced to marksmanship training. She asked him if he did not think that teaching young people to shoot was somewhat “irresponsible.” He parried by saying that he did not think so, but he did not counterattack with the view that not teaching young people firearms technique is what is irresponsible.

● A correspondent writes in to ask why I do not make a point of strip-loading a bolt-action rifle. As I see it, the stripper clip was a military device enabling the shooter to recharge a conventional box magazine with one stroke of the hand. This was usually coupled with a bolt stop, which prevented closing the bolt on an empty chamber. Thus in a hot emergency, the soldier fired until he could not close the bolt, which told him that it was time for him to strip in another five rounds. This was doubtless a good idea in a Rorke’s Drift situation, in which a rifleman might be called upon to repel boarders armed with edged weapons. It is something of a nuisance under more normal situations in which it is desirable to top off a magazine that has one or more rounds left in it. The detachable box magazine is a more useful device under such circumstances.

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