The God of Gunsite

Gun Culture 2.0

I am only 2 days into my observation of the 5 day Gunsite Academy 250 Pistol course — “the Gunsite Experience” — and I can already tell it is going to take me some time to digest all that I am seeing.

So, for now something brief (and not at all novel). The only published academic study of the American Pistol Institute/Gunsite that I am aware of was by James William Gibson, a chapter called “Becoming the Armed Man: Combat Pistol Shooting at Gunsite Ranch” in his book Warrior Dreams: Violence and Manhood in Post-Vietnam America. (I have discussed Gibson’s unique take on guns, holsters, shooting, and ballistics in the same book already.)

In the summer of 1988, Gibson took the 250 Pistol course “as an ordinary student” (p. 172) and wrote about his experience. At the time, Col. Jeff Cooper still did some of the teaching, which makes…

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