Sunday, January 15, 2012

Books: To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth

"To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth" is a collection of writings from Jeff Cooper, one of the most influential firearms instructors who ever lived:


Cooper was much more than a teacher of guns and ammo (he served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific and later earned a master's degree in history), and the book is similarly eclectic; within its pages, you'll find stories about the operation of an M1 Abrams, an escape from a WWII POW camp, and big game hunting in Africa. Some of these tales are starkly personal, like Cooper's account of a neighbor who committed suicide, while others are more lighthearted (basically anything involving hunting). When taken as a whole, they make for compelling reading.

Aside from the nonfiction narratives, the middle section of the book contains a lengthy meditation on firearms and gunhandling. It's obviously required reading for anyone interested in the subjects, even though you may not agree 100% with Col. Cooper's conclusions (e.g., the M16 has its share of faults, but being inaccurate and uncomfortable to shoot are not among them). There's a certain scholarly self-assurance to the writing here, something that also comes across in the Colonel's live teaching sessions:

3 Comments:

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Borepatch said...

+1000 to the required reading comment. Awesome book.

 
At 10:21 PM, Blogger Tango Juliet said...

I am currently working my way through Gargantuan Gunsite Gossip Part III.

Very enjoyable reading. I only wish I had been bright enough to attend Gunsite when Col. Cooper was still with us.

 
At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Dwight Brown said...

I liked "To Ride..." so much, I bought a second copy and gave it to my nephews to read.

From my point of view, that's a pretty strong endorsement; the only other book I've done that with is the Feynman omnibus volume.

 

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