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Am I about to partake in cancel culture? Questioning the wisdom of Col. Jeff Cooper

By Luis Valdes

First and foremost, I want to say that I grew up reading the works of Col. Jeff Cooper and he was one of the founders of what is modern pistol craft. Without folks like him, we wouldn’t be where we are today. But even the Founders weren’t perfect.

Upon reading the article. It is clear that even in 1986, Col. Cooper was confused on the purpose of a DA/SA gun. It is not and never intended to be carried with a safety engaged. The safety is a decocker, something his beloved CZ-75 does not have and was a danger until B variants were made since a slip of the hammer while manually decocking the gun meant it could go off.

The entire mindset behind a gun like the Model 645 is that the gun is carried with the safety off and hammer down. The DA pull makes it better for the shooter to bring the gun into action. Something that famed German Gunsmith and Designer, L.W. Seecamp learned in WWII.

I respect Col. Cooper and I am a fan of the 1911. But even then he was outdated with his views on what a combat pistol should be.

It was becoming obvious even by the mid-1980s that the day of the 1911 was coming to an end. I clearly discussed how that was happening in HAVE YOU THANKED BILL CLINTON FOR THE 1911 MARKET YOU HAVE TODAY?

Guys like Cooper refused to see the day of the GLOCK (tupperware was how it put it) or the DA/SA  (crunchandticker was what he called them) as the future.

Cooper was what I’d like to call a Gravel Belly. He was one of the folks with the antiquated belief that a lone soldier can command a large chunk of ground with a rifle doing 1,000 yard shots from the prone at enemy soldiers. Back in WWII, that was proven false and it was proven false in Korea and Vietnam. 
Sure, for John Q Public, a 1911 is still viable as a home defense weapon for your average scenario just as a Mossberg 500 or even a Remington Beals 1858 is capable.

And while Cooper and others laid the foundations of the modernistic shooting we have today. A number of his contemporaries were able to adapt and learn. Cooper was pretty much a curmudgeon stuck in his ways and refused to admit or more importantly, accept the inevitable change that was coming.

Look at how he reviewed the Ruger Mini-14.

Now, we know I have a soft spot for the Mini-14.( No, we didn’t. If we did ,we would never have associated with you – Shawn) But even I know that the AR-15 is its superior. Yet Cooper didn’t think so. Why? The Mini-14 was familiar to him because he was wedded to the idea of wood and blued steel.
The idea that even in 1975, the Mini-14 was the better rifle than the Colt SP1 Rifle or Carbine is laughable.

A while back; Mike Seeklanders of American Warrior Society podcasts had an interview with Ken Hackathorn. Hackathorn was talking about his early days with Cooper at Gunsite. Cooper hated everything that wasn’t a 1911, except the CZ-75. Hackathorn basically said woe be upon you if you showed up with a Hi Power or *gasp* a revolver. Hackathorn also talked about the Yaqui holster that Cooper loved to always carry. He stated that Milt Sparks absolutely hated to make it but did so just for Cooper and the fact that his fans bought anything Cooper pushed and that meant business for Milt Sparks.
I hear from others that they believe that gun reviewers back then gave forgotten reviewers honest opinions in gun magazines back then and they claim that nothing negative seems to get printed today. If a writer doesn’t mention reliability in a modern day article, they just assume the gun was unreliable. If they don’t mention accuracy, they assume the gun was inaccurate. 
The truth is, it was the same deal back then. They did bad reviews back then too. Cooper was mostly an outlier in the industry. People read Cooper’s works because they liked the ramblings of an curmudgeonly old codger. It is much like John Wayne. He couldn’t act worth a damn. But people liked John Wayne because he played John Wayne.

Gun Rags were called Gun Rags because the vast majority of reviews were simply shills and paid by the company that sent in the gun for review. They’d send buffed and fluffed guns to the reviewers for positive articles and they also bought ad space in the periodicals to make the publishers put pressure on the editors to make sure articles were favorable.

On well, that’s my rant. 
Enjoy the blast from the past articles.

I’m gonna have to say a few words on Luis’ last point here. I get sent a lot of stuff for review, guns included of course. Companies do not send me or any other writer I know “buffed and fluffed” demos for review. You get what you get and most of the time it’s after 5 other writer’s got done with it. No one I deal with has ever pressured me for a good review. Including advertisers. I’m sure it happens but if it does no one I’ve talked to will admit it. Some gun companies have told me there are a few big name writers who are infamous across the industry for not returning T&E guns and not paying for them though. The only reason they still send them to these few guys is because they are in the big name gun rags and they figure its worth the loss in money to have the gun get coverage in the rags. A couple of popular big name gun-tubers are notorious assholes too and I can personally vouch for that myself . Lastly Louis is completely wrong about the M1911 but not everyone is perfect I suppose.

Colt WW2 M1911A1 Re-issue

Today we have another COlt M1911A1 from Karl ( www.KGBcustom.com) This is the Colt re issue of the WW2 model or “reproduction” if you want to call it that. One of the guns I really regret not buying was one of these when they came out. Before you move on to the pictures I want to say this upcoming week will be very picture heavy with more guns from Karl.

Smith & Wesson Model 645: The Gun of Miami Vice Season 2 & 3

By Luis Valdes

The Smith & Wesson Model 645 in .45 ACP. It wasn’t Big Blue’s first foray into the .45 ACP cartridge, they did that with the DA .45 Hand Ejector M1917 backing during the Great War.

But the Model 645 was Big Blue’s first attempt at building a Double/Single Action automatic. Riding the wave that started with their Model 39 and its adoption by the Illinois State Police in 1968.

S&W made a number of 9mm DA/SA automatics in fullsize and compact varieties starting in 1979 with the introduction of their 2nd Generation guns. But a .45 chambered blaster was not in the cards; that is until 1985.

Hearing the market demands, and the knowledge that the mindset of police were moving away from the revolver as their duty sidearm. S&W decided to make a gun that rivaled and beat the quality of a Colt 1911, with the added function of not being relegated to Single Action Only like the famous Colt .45 Slab Side. You see, what made the Model 39 and its progeny popular in holsters of America’s cops was the fact that the gun was a Double Action design. Agency Brass feared the “Cocked & Locked” look and mechanics of the 1911 and Hi-Power design. They didn’t trust their Patrolmen to carry such a gun. In fact, some agencies didn’t even allow Single Action to be a feature on their duty revolvers. Some agencies went so far to have their armorers bob the hammers and make them Double Action Only capable.
Well, the Model 645 was S&W’s answer to the market demands for a big honking steel framed .45 automatic.

As you can see, the Model 645 is a big honking chunk of stainless steel and it takes its design queues from earlier S&W 1st and 2nd Generation guns along with the 1911. The gun is one smart looking piece.  Everything on it is stainless steel except the plastic orange insert in the front sight, the grips, and the carbon steel rear sight.

Taking the gun apart if a breeze if you’re familiar with the 1911. Make sure the gun is unloaded and remove the magazine. Pull the slide about half way back until the take-down notch aligns with slide stop lever and push it out from the right side towards to left. Take the guide rod and recoil spring followed by the barrel out. Simple as that. But be careful though, the recoil spring likes to eject to guide rod into low Earth orbit. 

The rear sight is the classic S&W white outline and is nice and visible. It isn’t some tiny nub like what you’d find on a Mil-Spec 1911.

The front sight stands out nicely too with the bright orange insert. All in all, for a mid 80s period gun, sights are damn good. 

The gun shipped from the factory with two 8rd single stack stainless steel magazines. Giving the shooter a total of 8+1 capacity. Which again, for a period .45 automatic, that’s damn good. 

The gun also came with an ambidextrous safety/decoker. Which was a nice feature since the original 1st Generation guns like the Model 39 and Model 59 didn’t have that. Also the trigger guard is the squared off “combat” pattern. 
So other than the Model 645 being such a nice pistol. What does it have to do with the TV Show Miami Vice? Well, during the Pilot Episode, a Sig P220 in .45 ACP and in Season 1 & 2, a Bren Ten in .45 Auto was used. Yeah, you heard right. .45 ACP and not 10mm. Why? Well, 10mm Auto blanks were impossible to get. Anyways, by the wrap up of Season 2, the parent company making the Bren Ten was out of business. With ‎Dornaus & Dixon Enterprises gone, Director Michael Mann was looking for the hot new thing for his lead character to use. 
Enter S&W and their new Model 645. It was in stainless so it showed off nicely on camera and it was chambered in .45 ACP. Which meant that the ample supply of .45 blanks they had was perfect. Don Johnson used the Model 645 for two seasons while portraying Sonny Crockett of the Metro-Dade Police Department down in Sunny South Florida (my stomping grounds).

Season 2

Season 3
Here’s the Model 645 in action on screen.

So S&W was doing damn good. They were really riding the wave. The gun was a big hit and folks wanted it. So, Big Blue being who they usually are. They marketed off the show and the life style it was promoting.

Yeah, if you bought the gun in 1988; S&W would send you a stylish jacket. But lets take a look at the ad itself. The car, the hair, the women, the confidence. Yup, S&W was definitely selling the vibe from the show. 
But nothing lasts forever. The gun was replaced in Season 4 and in real life by S&W’s new 3rd Generation Model 4506 and in 1988, the Model 645 was finally retired from production. But that doesn’t mean during its short lifespan, that the gun wasn’t well liked. The Model 645 was so popular that S&W even made factory cut away guns for their sales department to take to police departments. 

While the Model 645 is retired, mine lives a comfortable life and is well taken care of.   

If you see one for a good price, don’t let it escape your grasp.