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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,


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 […]

2017 Rhode Island Outdoor 3P NRA Regional and RIRRA State Championship

2017 Rhode Island Outdoor 3P NRA Regional and RIRRA State Championship

2017 Rhode Island Outdoor 3P NRA Regional and RIRRA State Championship It was a gem of a summer morning, warm, light breeze, warm, and a bright sky, when Range Officer Brenda Jacob called the shooters to the line at the South County Rod and Gun Club for the prone stage of the 2017 Rhode Island […]

‘peace to the gentle shade’…

by Hap Rocketto One of the lessons I try to teach young shooters is to expect the unexpected. In a rifle match things can, in the words of Robbie Burns, “Gang aft agley.” You have to be prepared for events that are outside of your control and respond to them with a measured plan of […]


DAY THREE BLACK HAWK OPEN:   Congratulations to the trophy winners and thanks to everyone who attended!  Thanks too to all those who made this match work so smoothly.  A quick review of results: Winner – Mounsey – Eric Uptagrafft 3199-283 Regional 2nd – Mark DelCotto 3199-279 Regional 3rd – Howard Pitts 3197-256 Iron Agg […]

Day Four: The 2017 Mid Atlantic 6400

Day Four: The 2017 Mid Atlantic 6400   The four day 640 shot grind began its final day with a leadoff 400-39X at the hands of Justin Tracy. Two thirds of the competitor cleaned the match with Reya Kempley tailing Tracy by and X for second. George Harris pulled into second on a tie breaker […]


DAY TWO: BLACK HAWK OPEN MATCH   More beautiful weather to match some really nice targets!  Eric Uptagrafft continued his winning ways taking the Iron Aggregate and the Harry Tevis Memorial Trophy with a 1599-141X over first aster  Mark DelCotto who shot a 1599-133X.  Uptagrafft was winner of the first three matches of the day […]

Day Three: The 2017 Mid Atlantic 6400

Day Three: The 2017 Mid Atlantic 6400   With the metallic sight match completed scopes came out of their boxes and the Mid Atlantic took on a new flavor. As expected 400s bloomed like desert wild flowers after a rain storm. The handsomely mustachioed George Harris jumped to the fore with a near perfect 400-39X […]