Jeff Cooper & Gunsite Academy


Colonel Jeff Cooper

Jeff Cooper was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1920. He was educated at Stanford University and took his advanced degree from the University of California. He was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1941 and served throughout World War II in the Pacific, achieving the rank of Major. Recalled to active duty for the Korean War, he moved up one rank to Lieutenant Colonel before leaving the service.

Cooper became a shootist at the age of eleven. In 1958 he originated the sport of practical pistol competition. From this activity he formulated the Modern Technique of the Pistol, now generally observed throughout the world. For the next thirty years he was active in teaching the new method throughout the Western World.

In 1976 Jeff Cooper founded the International Practical Shooting Confederation. In 1977 he founded the American Pistol Institute at Gunsite in Arizona, where he lived until his death in 2006.

He served as editor-at-large of Guns and Ammo magazine, for which he wrote a monthly column. After having served many years as a director of the National Rifle Association of America, he was elected to the Executive Council.

Jeff Cooper spent a long and active life reading, shooting, hunting, fighting and teaching. Internationally respected as the “Gunner’s Guru,” Jeff Cooper is a philosopher, moralist, and political commentator — a true modern Renaissance man. It is to the benefit of his many readers that he developed the passion at an early age to write it all down. 


About Gunsite

Gunsite offers firearm training to elite military personnel, law enforcement officers and free citizens of the US.

We knowledgeable Americans take our rights very seriously, and the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees each citizen the right to keep and bear arms.  However, with each right comes an equal responsibility to discharge that right effectively, legally, safely and within the bounds of morality.  Rights demand responsibility.

Gunsite was founded in 1976 by Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, author, columnist, professor, WW II and Korean War combat veteran. Col. Cooper intended Gunsite to be the vehicle for spreading the Modern Technique of the Pistol, which he created during his years in Big Bear Lake, CA.Jeff Cooper built the facility which was known then as the American Pistol Institute (API),  just west of Paulden, Arizona, about twenty miles north of Prescott, in the high Sonoran desert on 210 acres originally. Located in rolling hills at 5000 feet, our western sun and wide-open landscapes delight the eye and contribute to our relaxed western atmosphere. Jeff passed away September 25, 2006 at the age of 86.