Author Archives: Hap Rocketto

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, pronematch.com.

THE FIRST HAP’S CORNER-A DISTINGUISHED ARTICLE…

In 1965, The National Rifle Association established a series of Distinguished Rifleman awards modeled after those awarded to service rifle and pistol shooters.  In many respects it is one of the best-kept secrets in smallbore competition.  The details are listed … Continue reading

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UNLIKE LAVOISIER I DID NOT LOSE MY HEAD…

They were the Mutt and Jeff of the New London High School science department. Chemistry teacher Solomon Gordon was short round and placid while A. Jerome Goodwin, who taught physics, was tall, spare, and sharp. I had more in common … Continue reading

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CHURCHILL, WESTMINSTER COLLEGE, AND INTERNATIONAL PRONE MATCHES…

It was early March of 1967 when my brother Steve arrived home after a cross country drive from Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was working for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and was being reassigned to its station in Arequipa, Peru, … Continue reading

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FIVE BEANS IN THE WHEEL…

After a morning’s shooting we were idling over the remains of  lunch on the back deck of my bother Steve’s home and regaling two neophytes, Ryan McKee and Matt Joiden, with our early adventures and misadventures on the road to … Continue reading

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A CANTERBURY TALE…

Courtier Geoffrey Chaucer served England’s King Richard II as his Controller of Customs, Justice of Peace, and Clerk of the King’s Work between 1387 and 1400. In his spare time he penned his classic, The Canterbury Tales. The 24 stories … Continue reading

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KNOWN TO ONE AND ALL AS A GUY WHO IS JUST AROUND…

I grew up in New London, Connecticut and live in Rhode Island, but I am not a native New Englander. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and came to Connecticut when The Old Man took a job in the … Continue reading

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HOW DISTINGUISHED MARKSMAN CHANGED TO RIFLEMAN…

Fort Adams, the massive fortress standing guard at the entrance to Narragansett Bay, is one of 16 coastal defense fortifications built between 1703 through 1943 in  the Ocean State. The string of gun batteries was designed to defend the 40 … Continue reading

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THE RIGHT STUFF…

My family is the center and passion of my life but marksmanship and aviation occupy any time which may be left over.  The flying and shooting worlds are similar in that they are populated with folks driven to become the … Continue reading

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SHOTS ABOUT SHOTS…

In cinema a shot is defined as time between the moment that the camera starts rolling until the moment it stops. In shooting shot are the pellets in a shotgun shell, but a shot is defined as the discharge of … Continue reading

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SO MANY GUNS…

When I was a kid growing up in the 1950s there were three movie theaters I frequented, The Garde, the Victory, and the Capitol. My older brother Steve also recalls a fourth movie house, the rat infested Empire, but I … Continue reading

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HYDRAMATIC VERSES STICK SHIFT…

The first automobile that I can distinctly remember The Old Man owning was when I was about six or seven years old. It was a  very well used late 1940s or early 1950 NashAirflyte, the famous “Bathtub Nash.” It was … Continue reading

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THERE IS NO ROYAL ROAD…

One early September day in 1962 the warm afternoon sun poured through the classroom window and reflected off the page of my notebook upon which I had neatly copied the geometry problem that Mr. Pierce had chalked on the blackboard. … Continue reading

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OLD SLABSIDES AND ME EARN AN “E”…

It was about 1900 on April 14, 1971 and I had been in the United States Navy about seven or eight hours. I sat at rigid attention with my hands clasped tightly in front of me on the tablet arm … Continue reading

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THE GODFATHER OF SHOOTING KNOWLEDGE?…

April 15, 1972 was a red letter day in my life. It was, first of all, tax deadline day. As a young cash strapped Naval officer I had filed my 1040 and the money was socked away. April 15th was … Continue reading

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RIFLE COMPETITION: A COMMON LANGUAGE?…

I have been a competitive rifle shooter for over 60 years or, to put it into perspective, eighty per cent of my life. My days, as my shooting mentors Dick Scheller and Roger McQuiggan would say, have gone up in … Continue reading

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THE TWO DOCTORS GODDARD…

On March 16, 1926, Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard, a product of Massachusetts’ Worcester Polytechnical Institute and Clark University, trucked an ungainly framework of piping to a snow covered field on his Aunt Effie’s farm in Auburn, Massachusetts. After filling the … Continue reading

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THE THREE TOMMYS AND CHEERS…

While writing an article about the Lord Wakefield Trophy Match I found its patron to be one of those storied Englishmen of business whose life began in Victorian England, passed through Edwardian Era, and ended in the reign of a … Continue reading

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The USS RUMFORD…

With the possible exception of skeet and trap it seems that every shooting event is timed in some way or another, from the more choreographed disciplines like ISSF rifle and pistol events to the newer “bang and clang, run and … Continue reading

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The USS RUMFORD…

The state of Rhode Island has a long and colorful association with the US Navy, starting with the formation of the Rhode Island Navy on June 15, 1775, the first colonial navy established after the Revolutionary War began.  Although the Rhode … Continue reading

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The .30 Pencil…

My brother Steve and I were sprawled on the couch in front of the TV, watching the Muppets, idly wasting some time before heading up the Quaker Hill Rod and Gun Club for our weekly Mohegan League Rifle League match. The … Continue reading

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ENDURANCE RECORDS- SHOOTING AND BASEBALL …

Sitting on my bookshelf is a gift from the late great Art Jackson, two deformed metal discs. One is a 1947, the year I was born, Mexican one peso piece with a hole shot through it on the circumference, the … Continue reading

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