2017 National Smallbore Rifle Metric Position and Overall Championship Wrap Up

2017 National Smallbore Rifle Metric Position and Overall Championship Wrap Up
(Caveat Emptor: This report is based on Preliminary scores)

The final day of the smallbore championships could only be called bitter sweet for George Norton. The inaugural winner of the Iron Man Trophy came to Bristol with just one goal, to regain his title.

He dominated position winning both conventional and metric, setting National Records along the way, with a combined score of 4729-263X. Pat Sunderman, 4681-209X, his Army team mate, came the closest to him but that was an astronomical 47 points deficit. Rhode Island’s Ruby Gomes, a junior, took third in the combined aggregate with a 4650-209X.

Unfortunately, Norton had hung a meter target during the yard match on the second day of iron sights. Down 200 points his only worry was that the godfather of the Army team, Lones Wigger, would royally chew him out. He was much relived to learn that Wigger had done a similar thing in 1992 in the infamous Match 54 incident and was not in a position to chastise him. Never the less he placed 16th overall and, absent the target miscue, Wigger’s golden rifle, emblematic of the Iron Man, would have been returned to his mantle piece by over 100 points.

The Lones Wigger Trophy went to the 2016 Iron Man Pat Sunderman who had a grand aggregate of 11,049-666X. In second place was Jared Desrosiers who out Xed the winner but was behind by 31 points, a 11,018-699X. Ruby Gomes was hot on Sunderman’s heels with an 11,103-622X.

The last day of metric position, any sights, opened with Michelle Bohren winning the prone stage posting a 397-30X just one X up on Norton. Mike O’Conner was third shooting a 396-28X.

The rest of the day belonged to Norton. His 387-14X took Standing ahead of Pat Sunderman’s 378-12X and Malori Brown’s 373-6X.

It was pretty much the same in kneeling with Norton and Sunderland finishing one and two, 389-12X and 386-17X. Former Anysight champion Greg Drown was third with a 386-16X

There was no contest for the daily aggregate as Norton had controlled the day and rolled to a win blasting out a 1173-55X followed by Jared Desrosiers, 1151-44X, and Sunderman, 1149-38X.

The results of the Grand Position Aggregate were no real surprise. Norton steam rolled his way to the top behind a 2337-104X. Sunderland and Gomes were second and third shooting a 2306 and 2283 respectively.

The 2017 National Smallbore Rifle Championships are now in the books. The brass from nearly 150,000 rounds of ammunition have been scooped up, some 7,000 shot up targets have been recycled, and the target frames have been stored away until next summer when smallbore shooters will arrive at Bristol to do it all over again.

Thanks to Joe Graf for his most valuable support in producing these daily reports.

About Hap Rocketto

Hap Rocketto is a Distinguished Rifleman with service and smallbore rifle, member of The Presidents Hundred, and the National Guard’s Chief’s 50. He is a National Smallbore Record holder, a member of the 1600 Club and the Connecticut Shooters’ Hall Of Fame. He was the 2002 Intermediate Senior Three Position National Smallbore Rifle Champion, the 2012 Senior Three Position National Smallbore Rifle Champion a member of the 2007 and 2012 National Four Position Indoor Championship team, coach and captain of the US Drew Cup Team, and adjutant of the United States 2009 Roberts and 2013 Pershing Teams. Rocketto is very active in coaching juniors. He is, along with his brother Steve, a cofounder of the Corporal Digby Hand Schützenverein. A historian of the shooting sports, his work appears in Shooting Sports USA, the late Precision Shooting Magazine, The Outdoor Message, the American Rifleman, the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s website, and most recently, the apogee of his literary career, pronematch.com.
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2 Responses to 2017 National Smallbore Rifle Metric Position and Overall Championship Wrap Up

  1. Larry Richardson says:

    I have been enjoying your narrative on the NRA Smallbore championship. I have known George Norton since he was a young cadet at St. Johns Military School here in Kansas and just learning how to shoot. It was fun competing against him in the North Central Kansas Gallery League while he was in school and watching him get better and better over the years under the guidance of his rifle coach 1st Sgt (ret) Tony Blair.
    We have been following him ever since he joined the army and have and become very proud of his accomplishments. He’s a heckuva young man and superlative shooter.
    Thanks for your great stories.

  2. Hap Rocketto says:


    Thanks for your kind words.

    What impressed me most about George was the way he shrugged off is target hanging disaster and proceeded as if nothing had happened.

    Great lesson for anyone in the sport.



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