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Category: Hap’s Corner

DOING IT OLD SCHOOL…

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…

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 […]

THE MALTESE FALCON MEETS THE MALTESE CROSS…

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 […]

GUNSLING DAVE, MAN AND THE MYTH…

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 […]

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 […]

QUIET BIRDMEN AND DISTINGUISHED INTERSECT…

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, […]

‘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 […]

Edgar Martinez, Ron Blomberg, Ed Jensen, And Me

by Hap Rocketto While leafing through an old Sports Illustrated magazine, as I waited for Dr. Ron Serra, my optometrist, to call me in for my annual pre-outdoor shooting season checkup. my eye caught an article celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the Designated Hitter by Steve Rushin. The minutia and out of the ordinary things […]

Morton Mumma, Mr. Bryson, and Me

by Hap Rocketto While researching an article on the Herrick Trophy I ran across an old photo taken at the National Matches featuring ‘Kernel Mumm’s Amateurs.’ LTC Morton C. Mumma, the National Match Executive Officer, had organized a pick-up team of some of the most prominent shooters of the day, the likes of Frank Kahrs, […]

Three-Oh-Eight or 7.62mm

by Hap Rocketto One of my passions is aviation. It is often said among true aviators that, even in these days of jet powered stealth aircraft; that real airplanes have axles. This harkens back to the early days of flight and fabric covered aeroplanes flown by leather clad airmen peering out from behind goggles as […]

The Westchester Trading Post

The Westchester Trading Post

The Purple Heart was authorized by George Washington as a special mark of distinction to Revolutionary War soldiers while he was encamped at Newburgh, New York on August 7, 1782. Only three were presented and the award disappeared into the mists of military bureaucracy for a century and a half. Army Chief of Staff Douglas […]

Let the Good Times Roll

by Hap Rocketto My wife Margaret was getting tired of me shooting a rifle match at least one day every weekend all summer long. In desperation she finally me asked if she could accompany me one weekend to see what attracted me to the sport which occupied so much of my discretionary time. Thinking it […]

All the People Like Us are We…

by Hap Rocketto I am a man whose hobby is collecting expensive hobbies. Shooting, flying, and baseball are my three favorite avocations. We all know how much treasure it takes to complete a summer’s shooting campaign. An hour spent aloft can pay for a weekend rifle match. Two hours in the air is equal to […]

The British .303

by Hap Rocketto Each one of the major allied powers of the 20th century has its iconic bolt action rifle. The United States fielded the Springfield 1903 and the Germans had the Mauser 98 family of rifles. The Mosin–Nagant armed both Czarist and Soviet troops and, as a little known fact, did limited service with […]

Mrs. Montford Foreshadows Eley Packaging Protocol

by Hap Rocketto It was a bright spring morning and the usual suspects had, as is our habit, gathered at Mel’s Diner on Route 163 for Friday breakfast prior to a morning of smallbore shooting. Young Nash Neubauer, in an intelligent move that belies the fact that he shoots high power-rather well I might add […]