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Category: Hap’s Corner

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, […]

‘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 […]

The Wild Bunch

by Hap Rocketto Tickets in hand Larry Small, Stan Wujtewicz, Mike Franklin and I walked up the slight incline from the street level ticket box of the Garde Theater into the lobby. Passing through the double doors we took a sharp right to load up on popcorn and boxes of Jujubes, Raisinets, Milk Duds, and […]

The Three Hundred Club

by Hap Rocketto Ken Girard, then editing the Rhode Island Rifle and Revolver Association section of The Outdoor Message, must have been pretty desperate to fill a few column inches. My well deserved reputation for pontificating on any shooting subject was well known, and probably rattling around in his head, as he ambled up to […]

Rapid Fire

by Hap Rocketto It has been said that the United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language. While it may be true I, as shooter who has had some experience in Anglo-American marksmanship competition, tend to think more parochially. I believe that it is a case of two shooting communities […]

I Like Ike

  by Hap Rocketto For the first 13 years of my life I lived through the administrations of two of the most underrated Presidents of the United States. Born before Harry Truman defeated Dewey I was preparing to enter high school just as Dwight Eisenhower left the White House. As a student of history I […]

Great Teachers

by Hap Rocketto I may be Distinguished with both the service and smallbore rifle but I cannot say that I was a distinguished scholar in high school. Both of my high performing daughters finished 12th grade in the top percent or two of their classes and I told them with that we shared that distinction […]

The Cemetery Gun

by Hap Rocketto I was doing a little on line research for a prominent departed military shooter’s biography and typed “Arlington” into my search engine with the intent of checking what might be said about him on the Arlington National Cemetery website. Much to my surprise what came up first in the queue was Arlington […]

Now There is Being Lucky and There is Being Lucky

by Hap Rocketto One of the definitions of things that happen to us which are out of our control is luck. Luck can be good and luck can be bad. There are some people for whom it might be said that they are both. For example let us look at Tsutomu Yamaguchi who, as a […]

Shooters and the Search for the Philosopher’s Stone

by Hap Rocketto When I was a working man I earned my daily bread, and my ammunition money, as a high school science teacher. One thing that seemed to be a reoccurring theme, when teaching general science to ninth graders, was that there was always a great confusion in their young minds as they transitioned […]

A Rose by any Other Name….

by Hap Rocketto For War of the Roses aficionados, and particularly the Richard III Society, 2015 was a banner year, no longer a winter of their discontent it was made glorious summer by the sun of science. Six hundred years earlier two great royal dynasties, York and Lancaster, fought for control of England. Each belligerent […]