Category Archives: Hap Rocketto

Jewish Marksman Hap Rocketto a National Champion!

From a recent report from the Camp Perry National Matches:

Hap Rocketto has won the 2012 NRA National Smallbore Rifle Position Senior Championship. This was Rocketto’s first year of eligibility in the 65 year old plus age group. He had previously won the Intermediate Senior, 55-64 age group, national title.
Held July 19th through the 24th, the Smallbore Rifle Position Championships are a part of the NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships conducted at Camp Perry, Ohio each year. Comprised of a Metallic Sight and Any Sight championship, each day competitors shoot 40 shots prone, 40 shots standing, and 40 shots kneeling at a target whose ten ring is the size of a dime. Competitors take a total of 240 shots in six fired matches over two days at a distance of 50 yards-the width of a football field-using both metallic and  telescopic sights.
Rocketto trailed the senior leader by 17 points after the first day’s metallic sight competition. On the second day, telescopic sight competition, he steadily made up ground in spite of heavy winds, eventually passing the leader to win the senior any sight championship and, with it, the senior grand aggregate by 14 point margin.
In team competition Rocketto was a member of the Corporal Digby Hand Schützenverein Rifle Club’s four man team which set two National Records in the Senior Category.

Mazel Tov!

Ronald D. Krelstein – Champion Jewish Marksman

Readers may recall that I recently discovered a newspaper clipping that announced the 1965 Maccabiah Games pistol team. Apparently, one of the team members, Ronald Krelstein, was already profiled by fellow Jewish Marksman, Hap Rocketto. From the CMP website:
Distinguished Rifleman 1995, badge number 1169, as Ronald D. Krelstein , of Germantown, TN
Disginguished Pistol Shot 1964 as Ronald D Krelstein , of Germantown, TN

The following biography was written by Hap Rocketto and CMP Staff

Ron Krelstein is a Double Distinguished shooter. He earned his Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge in 1964 and, after an arm injury, took up service rifle shooting in the 1990s earning his Distinguished Rifleman Badge in 1995. Krelstein has international experience and, as a member of four United States Maccabiah Teams between 1965 and 1984 he won, ten gold medals, two silvers and one bronze.

His other shooting accomplishments include membership on two United States gold medal winning team as the Benito Juarez Games in Mexico, four times National Collegiate Pistol Champion, National Rifle Association All American, Presidents Hundred with both rifle and pistol, and a holder of National Records with both the pistol and rifle making him, along with Mel Makin, one of only two people to have that distinction.

Krelstein, a practicing attorney, has donated two major National Trophy Pistol Match Trophies. In honor of his mother he presented the Rose Krelstein Trophy in 2007. It is awarded to the High Woman in an aggregate of President’s and National Trophy Individual Match scores.

To honor Gaspar Perry Defino, his, “friend and mentor for 50 years” Krelstein donated the Gaspar Defino Trophy to be a be awarded to the High Junior in the National Trophy Individual Pistol Match in 2009. Defino, a long-time United States Navy pistol shooter, was the first Interservice Pistol Champion, Double Distinguished-earning Pistol in 1955 and Rifle in 1959, winner of the U.S. Military Police Corps Trophy, Ancient Archer Trophy, and Orton Trophy and a 2650 three-gun pistol shooter

Krelstein credited DeFino with “selflessly sharing his knowledge and experience with new shooters and older shooters alike.” He noted that, “while this trophy bears his name, it also honors all of those who serve as mentors to those just beginning this sport.”

Black Hawk Bagel Boys – First all Jewish Team at Nationals

Baruch Hashem, the Black Hawk Bagel Boys were able to assemble a squad and compete at the 2011 National Matches in Camp Perry, and are believed to be the first all Jewish team ever assembled for that match! Mazal Tov!

The team was comprised of Randy Schwartz, Steve Rocketto, Don Lerner, Hap Rocketto, Larry Hoffman, and Dennis Lindenbaum. Dennis Lindenbaum blogged about the Camp Perry experience as well, so visit to learn more.

If you can’t make out the logos on the shirt (click on the picture for full-size), here they are:

Hap Rocketto – Jewish Marksman and Marksmanship Historian

I was pleasantly surprised when Hap Rocketto contacted the site, not only because he is Jewish, but also because he gave a long list of additional competitive Jewish shooters I will be telling you about this year. Even better, he had a profile already composed, saving me time (I have so little of it lately!). First, Hap himself is a great rifle shooter:
Hap Rocketto was rated a Distinguished Rifleman in 1981. He is one of few who have been a member of both Service Rifle and Smallbore Rifle All National Guard Rifle Teams, where he served as both a coach and shooter. An NRA Smallbore Distinguished Position Rifleman he has earned Presidents Hundred honors three times, has been a member of numerous open and National Guard national championship teams, the 2002 Three Position Intermediate Senior National Champion, member of the 2007 US Championship Indoor Four Position Championship team as well as a multiple National Record holder. He is a member of the 1600 Club and has served as adjutant of the US Roberts Team as well as captain and coach of the US Drew Cup Team. Rocketto was a member of the 1973 and 1985 US silver medal winning US Maccabiah Rifle Team and a member of the Connecticut Shooters Hall of Fame.

Aside from his shooting accolades, Hap is well known shooting historian, and his articles appear in numerous publications as well as online sources. I particularly enjoy how his writing style brings his subjects to life, and he knows exactly which details to mention such that by then end of one of his pieces you feel as if you have personally met the person he covers.

I have previously cited to his work when I wrote about Morris Fisher.
But here are some sources for his other works, which I am sure you will enjoy:
Hap’s Corner on the Rifleman’s Blog