Photo of the Week

Major John W. (Jack) Hession, who some claim was the greatest rifle shot that ever squeezed the trigger, won more than 500 matches during his long career, once held every record from 200 to 1,200 yards and was a member of 12 teams that represented the United States in competition abroad. Less than two months before his death in February of 1961 Hession chalked up a perfect score at the Clearwater Rifle Club range with 40 straight bulleyes from 100 yards, putting 39 of the shots in the one-inch “X” ring.” Hession was born in 1877 at Clinton, Canada. He worked as a ballistics engineer for both the Remington Arms Co. and Winchester Co. His “beavertail” design for a gun stock – which provided a wider and less tiring grip – earned him credit for improving scores of all shooters. Hession made the 1908 U.S. Olympic Team and in 1918 finished 63 points ahead of the runner-up in the U.S. tryouts at France for the inter-allied rifle competition. He once clicked off 102 straight bullseyes with a .22 rifle on a 200-yard course and had 79 in a row during practice at 1,000 yards. His best competitive run was 57 at 800 yards at Camp Perry, Ohio. During a Camp Perry match in 1913, the major scored 19 “bulls” out of 20 shots at 1,000 yards shooting across a 42-mile gale that forced him to aim 25 feet to the right of the distant target. He was a crack trap shot, in addition to his rifle and pistol target ability. During his younger days the major was a bicycle champion too, winning the Dunlop Trophy in 1898.

About 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,
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