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Category: Hap’s Corner

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 […]

Gunpowder or Gruyère, It is all the same…

by Hap Rocketto Late one recent autumn afternoon the family was gathered to quietly celebrate the 85th birthday of our patriarch, Uncle Frank, when an explosion startled us, rattled the windows, knocked a few pictures askew, and otherwise disturbed the relaxed atmosphere. One of our politically well connected relatives whipped out his cell phone and […]

A Quartering Wind

by Hap Rocketto I was desperate to get out of the infantry. It is not that I ever been to the field in the ten years I was a member of “The Queen of Battle.” I had been attached to Company C, 1st Battalion, 169th Infantry in Middletown, Connecticut-the famous “Middletown Charlie for administrative purposes […]

James Fenimore Cooper and NRA Rule 16.1

by Hap Rocketto One of the defining activities of my youth was my participation in the Scouting movement. It neatly tied into my preoccupation with rifle shooting allowing me to spend a handful of carefree and pleasant teenaged summers running rifle ranges at several Scout camps, my first and favorite being Camp Wakenah in Salem, […]

A Legion of Targets

by Hap Rocketto An appreciation of good marksmanship is prehistoric and can be traced back, via archeological finds, to all corners of the earth. For example, the oldest archery artifacts in Europe date from the late Paleolithic Era, about 9000-8000 BC. In Biblical times Genesis 21-20 speaks of Abraham’s son Hagar living in the desert and becoming […]

When I am dead and opened…

by Hap Rocketto Calais lies just 21 miles across la Manche from the White Cliffs of Dover. The closest French territory to England, it was annexed by Edward III in 1347, and would remain an important English economic entity for the next two centuries for it gave the “Sceptered Isle” entry to Europe and its important wool, […]

Jacksonville and Bristol

by Hap Rocketto Being a New Englander one can never be far from some of the nation’s greatest philosophers and writers. Not only because Bay State author John Cheever once proclaimed that all literary men are Red Sox fans, but because the Boston area is a hotbed of philosophy and literature that began with the […]

The Emperor’s New Clothes…

by Hap Rocketto It has been more than six decades since I wiled away lazy days in the cradle of my education, Mrs. Levinson’s kindergarten class, at Harbor School. The boxy three story red brick building, known to its inhabitants as ‘The Old Brick Jail,’ had the usual elementary school fixtures, baseball fields, asphalt basketball […]

Imponderable Questions

by Hap Rocketto For over a half of a century I have been involved in various shooting sports and from time to time I have come across things that seem imponderable. By definition that means a question or situation that is either difficult or impossible to be assessed. We are all familiar with some of […]

Tunes of Glory

by Hap Rocketto Smallbore rifle shooters, particularly prone ones, actually all shooters, are always on the hunt for something that will reduce group size. The quest for the Holy Grail of a ten shot 0.50 inch group at 100 yards usually begins with testing lots and lots, of lots of ammunition. This quest can reach […]

Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Me

by Hap Rocketto Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Me As both a pilot and Boston Red Sox fan the New York Yankees draw my attention. From an aviator’s point of view Red Sox left fielder and the “Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived” Ted Williams and Yankee second baseman Jerry Coleman stand out. Both served in […]