Lynn Thompson's "Mouse Knives" Theory

Cold Steel Mouse Folders
Mouse Knives
by Lynn C. Thompson

The legendary Jeff Cooper, Gunsite Instructor and the Father of modern tactical handgun shooting once remarked that he would rather carry a hatchet than a "Mouse Gun" for self defense. Cooper's pioneering research and training changed the way we study modern pistolcraft. When it came to guns, he knew what he was talking about.

The phrase "Mouse Gun" has become almost a term of endearment for small pocket pistols over the years. I myself often use the term to describe smaller firearms in my collection. But it's origins stem from dedicated research on the part of Jeff Cooper into the role of a handgun for personal protection. Cooper knew that when examining your self defense options with honesty you must evaluate the limitations as well as the potential of every tool in your arsenal, and a lightweight, low caliber pistol is severely limited in its uses for self defense!

This brings me to the concept of "Mouse Knives". It's a phrase I've been using more and more over the last 5-6 years as I've watched so called "self defense gurus" in the media extolling the virtue of their small tactical folders for personal protection.

It has become commonplace to see 2-3" folding knives in the hands of "tactical experts" in magazines, being sold as the ideal self defense tool - but, like Cooper, we must research the true potential of these weapons and tools. We must be intellectually honest and look at the genuine merits and failings of these modern day "Mouse Knives." For the purpose of this article, I will define a "Mouse Knife" as a blade under 4" that is being used for self defense.


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