Â Story and Photos by Thomas C. Tabor
Nothing solidifies a legacy better than focusing in certain areas for close to 20 years.
When asked what they think of the Cooper Firearms of Montana, shooters naturally associate the name with rifles chambered for rimfire and the smaller varieties of centerfire cartridges. And rightfully so. For the vast majority of the company’s two decades of production, that has essentially been the mainstay of Cooper’s well-earned legacy. Historically, that has included standardized cartridges, both new and old, and also a vast array of impressive performing wildcats.
While that tradition clearly continues to this day, I believe that there has been a yearning for some time within the company to move forward into bigger things. In this case, bigger refers to the production of rifles designed specifically for magnum cartridges.
THE MODEL 56 DEBUTS
It was at the 2011 Las Vegas SHOT Show that that dream finally came to fruition when the company introduced its new bolt-action Model 56. This new offering wasn’t merely the result of a regurgitation of one of Cooper’s previous actions; it was a culmination brought about by a completely new design, specifically meant to handle the unique and challenging requirements associated with the larger and more powerful magnums.
Even so, any connoisseur of the rifles produced in the Cooper factory will quickly recognize many of the unique characteristics and traits that are common to all of the rifles bearing the Cooper name. A few of those being similar stock configurations, the matte stainless-steel barrel and matte-blued action that has now become a type of trademark look for Cooper, the company’s attention to detail and a variety of other easily recognizable traits, but in a slightly larger overall package.
To read this article in its entirety, pick up a copy of Gun World’s December issue, available on newsstands now.