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Shooter Spotlight: Dave Cloft

The purpose of the “Shooter Spotlight” is to help shooters get to know their fellow competitors a little bit better. We cover a wide range of shooters from “Marksman to Master.” This is the 10th interview in the series.

Dave Cloft

Where do you call home?
I was born and raised in Alpena, Michigan.  I’ve moved 13 times during my 16 years in the Army.  Now the Bluegrass State of Kentucky is home.

How long have you been shooting?
I’m 34 years old and have been shooting for 24 of them.

How did you get involved in shooting competitively?
At age 10 I took a hunter’s safety course so I could legally hunt with my Dad.  At the end of the course we were required to shoot at the local range and that’s when I first learned shooting was a sport.  I quit playing little league baseball and soccer and became a competitive rifle shooter.  Focus was to get a college scholarship in shooting, ended up shooting for West Point.

What is a little known fact about yourself that your fellow competitors might not know?
When not shooting I love driving our pontoon boat around a little lake near our home with my wife and two little boys, ages 2 and 4.  Come November I hunt whitetail deer with the same intensity I take to the rifle range.

What do you consider your finest shooting achievement.
In 1999 I was shooting for a German shooting club while stationed overseas.  I won the town’s Schutzenfest and was subsequently Knighted by the Princess of Buedingen.  I was the first “non-German” to win the match in 646 years.   Unbeknownst to me at the time I quickly learned that the tradition is the winner must buy beer for all the towns people in the shooting hall.  It cost me about $3,000 by the end of the night — a lot of money for a young Lieutenant.

What is your favorite pre-match meal?
Peanut butter granola bars and V8 juice.

What is your favorite post match drink?
Rolling Rock Pale Ale or Hefewiezen if I can find it.

Do you have a favorite shooting range?
My backyard 100 yard range.

Do you have any short term and/or long term goals?
I finally got my last leg in SB prone at Perry this past summer.  So far I’m made the first to “cuts” for the US Palma Team.  I’d really like to make the final cut in the summer of 2010 and shoot in the World Championships in Australia in 2011.

What shooting skill are currently focusing your energy on?
Long Range Fullbore Palma shooting, 155 grain .308 caliber bullet at 800, 900 and 1000 yards iron sights.

Thanks Dave for sharing a little bit about yourself with the community!


Category: Shooter Spotlight

About the Author: Dan Holmes started shooting competitive smallbore in 1986. During his Junior career, he earned two national junior team titles as well as local and regional wins. After a 10 year year hiatus to attend college and start a family, Dan returned to the sport and has added local, sectional and regional wins to his shooting resume. Dan is a Distinguished Rifleman, National Record Holder, U.S Dewar Team Member, Black Hawk Rifle Club Member, Digby Hand Schützenverein member, and is the founder of He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and 2 children.

Comments (1)

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  1. Kent says:

    Dave, my fellow Richard's Associates team member, so good to see you featured here on ProneMatch!!!

    Best wishes to you always, I sure enjoyed your interview and look foward to that longgggggg jet bird ride to Australia as team mates on the 2011 USPT!!!

    Tell your Dad I said HI and thank him (once again) for getting you into shooting. I'm sure you will pass the torch onto your little ones!

    Best Regards,


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