The Sconce

Behind the Scenes in Jeff Cooper's Home at Gunsite

I’ve been to Gunsite several times...

...and have had the pleasure of visits with Mrs. Jeff Cooper (Janelle) in her home there. When she and Jeff founded Gunsite, they built a solid house on the property and Jeff used the opportunity to explore some ideas he had about secure homes. “The Sconce” as he named it, held surprises for any burglar who might have attempted a break in. From outside angles allowing cross-fire lanes — to some “surprises” inside — The Sconce is both comfortable and secure.

Downstairs is Jeff’s private area filled with mementoes of hunts and his life, and where he often held court with visitors. Animal skins grace the floors and enough “manly” art and artifacts surround you to keep anyone interested in guns, history or simply “cool stuff” — enthralled. It’s like a museum of all-things Jeff.

The colonel's office

Upstairs (gained by an iron circular staircase) resides Jeff’s office. It has a commanding view of the surrounding area and certainly gives you a sense of “commanding all you see.” I believe Jeff called it a “cupola” but can’t recall for sure. Nonetheless, this photo (supplied by Jeremy Clough) shows the very chair, desk and tools Jeff used to write much of what we’ve all read so often. I’ll shamelessly confess, to actually peek inside made me feel as if I was seeing into a place holding no small amount of history — and maybe just a touch of magic to we gun cognoscenti.

I hope this will inspire you to dig out a Cooper book from your library and re-read it. If you don’t own one — fix that. I heartily recommend the “Gargantuan Gunsite Gossip” (check, chock full of thousands of tidbits of Jeff’s thoughts, wisdom and observations of the world around him — not to mention the fact he challenges you to think!

A Jeff Cooper book worth reading and re-reading.

I count my blessings all the time over the fact I’ve met, visited with and count as friends many of the near-legendary people in our industry. I’m always a bit amazed they talk to me — and fear they may discover I’m not nearly as cool as they are…

Roy Huntington
Editor, American Handgunner

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