Tag Archives: Jeff Cooper

The ‘Throwback’ Yaqui Slide is Actually Still Relevant

By the 1970s, the “Yaqui Slide,” essentially the Bikini of the holster world, was often seen in both IPSC circles and in use as a practical carry holster, well-liked by such practitioners of the modern shooting method as Col. Jeff Cooper of Gunsite fame, who reportedly brought the concept back from San Salvador where it had been created by one Edwardo Chanin.

Since the early 1990s, Galco has carried the modern Yaqui Slide in its catalog, and it is still popular today. Part of it is cultural, as on-screen iconic characters such as Tom Selleck’s Jesse Stone – who carried an SW1911SC Gunsite Model – and Tom Cruise’s Vincent in Michael Mann’s Collateral used such gun leather.

Then again, the other part is that it still works.

More in my column at Guns.com.

45 Years Down the Road

In the late 1960s, Swiss arms maker SIG began working on a modern combat handgun, a double-action 9mm single-stack pistol, in an effort to replace the Swiss Army’s standard handgun, the Pistole 49, perhaps best known as the SIG P210 (SP47/8). The new model was successful and accepted as the Pistole 75 (P75) in 1975.

SIG then teamed up with West German gun maker J.P. Sauer and Sohn to produce the P75 in the FGR for easy overseas export as the Sig-Sauer P220.

These early guns were first imported into the U.S. by Browning, who branded them as the Browning Double -Action, or BDA. Offered in 9mm, .45ACP and .38 Super, it was pitched as a competition gun and soon appeared in the Bianchi Cup match.

Boom. For reference, $319 on BDA in 1977 is $1350 today

The gun was even reviewed in American Handgunner magazine in 1977, a magazine haunted by Col. Jeff Cooper, the man who would advocate for the 10mm Auto.

Now, fast forward to this week and the now-45-year-old P220 is available in a tricked out 10mm-chambered SAO model, which Cooper would likely approve of.

More on the latter in my column at Guns.com.

The neat, but probably unwise, Fitz Colt

I’ve always been a fan of the Fitz Special concept, although not a practicing fan. More of an idle curiosity you could say, as I personally think they are unsafe.

Around 1926, retired NYPD cop John Henry Fitzgerald began customizing both full-sized Colt New Service, Police Positive, and Police Positive Special models to make them small concealed handguns, much like Colt’s then-new Detective Special. This modification included shortening the barrel to two inches or less, fitting a new front sight, removing the hammer spur and carefully checkering the top of the now-bobbed hammer, shortening the grip, and—unique to this type—cutting away the front 1/3 of the trigger guard and rounding off the now open edges.

A previously auctioned Fitz Colt

This trigger guard surgery left the bulk of the hammer exposed while carefully shrouding the very bottom and back of it to avoid snagging in the pocket. The open trigger guard allowed faster firing, accommodated large or gloved fingers, and according to some accounts made the weapon easier to fire through a pocket (if needed). While these modifications were done to large frame revolvers, they were performed mainly to the smaller Colt Detectives.

Although Fitz only converted less than 200 Colts, (some say as few as 20), the concept lived on and you see many other guns converted to the same degree.

Like this M1917 .45ACP moon gun:

That’s guaranteed to set the target on fire at close range…

My friend Ian over at Forgotten Weapons got a chance to check out a Colt Fitz at RIAC last week:

The El Presidente Drill

Multiple armed assailants? Tactical reloads? Reflexive shooting? Rapid follow up shots? There is a classic handgun drill that helps hone all of these: The El Presidente

Imminent gun guru and master pistolero Lt.Colonel Jeff Cooper, USMC, developed this drill personally to gauge the skill of handgun shooters. He taught the drill at his American Pistol Institute in the late 1970s alongside other classics such as the Mozambique Drill. Working on the premise of firing at multiple targets, it included a rapid (and timed) reload and follow up shots. Since then it has become a standard drill often taught in security and law enforcement circles as well as to military and other tactical shooters. For decades, it has been used and speed raced in IPSC matches and USPSA events in gun clubs across the continent….(Find out more here)