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Author Archive for 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,


In my dotage I have retreated from serious position shooting. It seems my body is a less flexible, my reflexes sluggish, and my endurance less than it was. Some of this is due to sloth as I really don’t train as I should, but some of it is just the mechanism wearing down. I had […]


Cholera,CLASS ACTION SUITS,ANDAMMOPRICES… A pleasant day of shooting had ended and we had drawn up our lawn chairs into a convivial circle. As the shadows lengthened the day’s shooting was dissected and the post mortem performed. Soon the talk meandered along an aimless stream of consciousness,eventually forming a whirlpool around the subject of the expense […]


PICKLED PEPPERS, PILOTS, AND PISTOL POTSHOTS… There are two major events that occur on consecutive days in early October each year in the United States. On the first Monday in October the Supreme Court of the United States traditionally convenes following its summer recess. Overshadowing this judicial event is the annual Abe Rocketto Memorial Service […]


  When one thinks of a gun toting Roosevelt the instant image in just about everyone’s mind is that of Theodore Roosevelt dropping a Grizzly Bear in Yellowstone or a rhinoceros in the Lado region of British Uganda. But there were two branches of the famous New York presidential family tree. Theodore’s Republican set lived […]

The Bull Moose and His Connecticut Connections…

  The Bull Moose and His Connecticut Connections… John Milius’ 1975 film, The Wind and the Lion,is a semi historic romantic adventure very loosely based on the Perdicaris Incident. Like most of Milius’ work it is meticulously researched and, even if this film does not strictly adhere to history, it is accurate in detail of […]


I DIDN’T KNOW THE GUN WAS LOADED… When I was a young lad in the 1950s, whenever we picked the old Mossberg 146B that he had bought for my brother at Billy Belgrade’s pawnshop, The Old Man ingrained the habit of firearms safety by singing the verse of a popular song of the time, written […]


DOING IT OLD SCHOOL… My brother is a pilot of The Old School. By that I means he lives, at least in his mind’s eye, in an aviation world populated by leather jacket, silk scarf, helmet and goggles wearing men with leathery tanned faces and steely eyes surrounded by crow’s feet, earned by staring into […]

And blow, ye winds, high-ho..

And blow, ye winds, high-ho.. On a typical hot humid July afternoon at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Aviation Officer Candidate School Class 17-71 stood, under arms, in five sweat stained opened ranks of nine, dressed right and covered down. Staff Sergeant A. W. Myers, USMC, had been drilling us on the broiling hot cement parade […]


YOU WON’T FIND THIS IN ANY RELOADING MANUAL… My wife Margaret was clipping coupons as we were leafing through the papers over a lazy Sunday breakfast. She passed me a dissected section and, to attract my attention,  tapped her scissors’ point on a short article she thought might be of interest to me. It was […]


Samuel Dashiell Hammett was, according to the New York Times, “the dean of the ‘hard-boiled’ school of detective fiction.” He is widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time who produced his most enduring tales, The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, in a short four year period between 1929 and […]

Culling the Herd

CULLING THE HERD… I am a student of the so called Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration because I hate cold weather and admire those who endure conditions I am too cowardly to challenge. The great white waste of the southern polar region is the most inhospitable place on earth. It is a high altitude desert […]

The Good Old Days

THE GOOD OLD DAYS… When I made my first trip to Camp Perry I was overwhelmed by the long awaited and anticipated experience. Day after day of shooting, free meals three times a day in the Mess Hall, a Spartan but adequate bunk in a hut, the company of like minded souls, and Commercial Row. […]

Shot In The Tail

Shot In The Tail… The Hudson New Hampshire Range is a small range, ten points packed so close together that the legs of spotting scopes often intrude into the adjacent shooter’s space. Some might generously call it intimate. However, an astute observer would comment that the shooters on the line appeared more like the top […]

2018 Connecticut and Rhode Island JORC

2018 Connecticut and Rhode Island JORC The Chase Hall Range Complex at the United States Coast Guard Academy was a beehive of activity during the first weekend in January as it hosted the combined Connecticut and Rhode Island USA Shooting Junior Olympic Rifle and Pistol Championship Qualifier. With 64 combined entries Match Director Debbie Lyman […]


The chime on my computer sounded indicating I had mail. Opening the message I found that my good friend and fellow shooting historian Paul Nordquist reporting that, “We got an inquiry at the NRA the other day that you may find interesting. A man wrote seeking information on “Gunsling” Dave” the brother of his Great Grandfather. In your […]

The Twenty Eighth Annual Swanson Match

The Twenty Eighth Annual Swanson Match One Hundred and forty-three juniors pounded well over a case of 22 caliber long rifle bullets into the backstop of Quaker Hill Rod and Gun Club’s Carrol Indoor Range over the first weekend in December as they contested for awards in the 28th Annual David L. Swanson Memorial Match. […]

A Promise Made Is a Debt Unpaid…

A Promise Made Is a Debt Unpaid… Saturday September 10, 1938 was the end of two long days for Coast Guard Seaman First Class Rudolph Jones. He had suffered through the typical hot humid late summer days usually found on the firing line at Camp Perry, Ohio during the National Board for the Promotion of […]

Gaul and Shooting are much the same…

Success in the shooting sports is, as Gaius Julius Caesar said of Gaul,”…omnis divisa est in partes tres.” Success is divided into three parts, physical, equipment and mental. Shooting does not require the physical abilities of a superhero. One of its beauties is that it is blind to height, weight, speed, gender, or age. A […]

Take the King’s Schilling; do the King’s Biddding…

In a time long ago the center of my shooting universe was a large concrete and granite example of Classical Revival architecture located at 360 Broad Street in Hartford, Connecticut; the Connecticut State Armory and Arsenal, headquarters of the Connecticut State Military Department. For twenty years I was a small cog in that martial machine […]


As a pilot, who is a member of the Quiet Birdmen, and a Distinguished Rifleman I am aware that Camp Perry was once used as an Army Airfield during the interwar years. What I only recently discovered was that it was also the site of an unusual shooting contest that paired my two favorite hobbies, […]

2017 US Roberts Team

2017 US Roberts Team

Heavy gusting winds, thunder lighting, rain, and hail did not deter 2017 US Roberts Team regained possession of the prodigious trophy by defeating the British 3838 to 3827. Shooting a Dewar on International targets Eric Uptagrafft, Hank Gray, Mark Del Cotto, Morgen Dietrich, Kevin Nevius, Mike Seery, Billy Azzinaro, Matt Chezem, Howard Pitts, and Kerry […]