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August 6th, 2017

Four Marksmen To Be Inducted into USA Shooting Hall of Fame

USA Shooting International Hall of Fame induction inductee USAMU Olympic shooters
Hall of Fame Class of 2017 — Ed Etzel (top left, WVU photo); David Kimes (top right, USAMU photo); Don Haldeman (bottom left, NRA photo); Martin Gunnarsson (bottom right, USAMU photo).

USA Shooting Hall of Fame Inductions
Four outstanding American marksmen will be inducted into the U.S. International Shooting Hall of Fame on August 26th in Colorado Springs, CO. Ed Etzel, David Kimes, Martin Gunnarsson and Don Haldeman will be the largest group of inductees since the first distinguished class in 1991. Each of these four shooters served in the U.S. Army and shot with the USAMU. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will coincide with the USA Shooting alumni reunion and Biennial Coach Conference.

Etzel won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles in the Men’s English Match Rifle event and was a gold medalist in the 1978 World Championships and 1979 Pan American Games. He was 11-time National Champion and set numerous national rifle records as a member of the U.S. Shooting Team. Later, Etzel coached the WVU Rifle team from 1976-89, with a 101-3 career coaching record. He coached over 30 WVU All-Americans and guided his teams to four NCAA National Championships during the 1980s. He was an active duty officer in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps for nearly three years during the Vietnam War and subsequently for 10 years in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Kimes earned 14 World Championship medals (team & individual) during his career. A five-time World Team member from 1966 to 1986, Kimes is the only U.S. shooter to win an individual World Championship (1974) while setting a World Record and then repeating the same feat in the next World Championships (1978). He was selected as a 1980 Olympian but was unable to compete due to the U.S. boycott of the Games in the USSR. Reflecting on his induction, Kimes quoted Thoreau: “Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.” He reflected back on his last shot of the 1974 World Championships in Switzerland, the cheering of over a thousand Swiss fans as he connected on his final shot for a perfect string of 100, resulting in a world record and title of world champion.
USA Shooting International Hall of Fame induction inductee USAMU Olympic shooters
Gunnarsson won the bronze medal at the 1968 Olympic Games in the 300m Three-Position Rifle event and was a Pan American and World Championships medalist during his distinguished career. His Pan American medals were both gold and were won in team events at the 1959 and 1963 Pan Am Games 00 in the English match and free rifle event, respectively. At the 1966 World Championships, he also won a gold medal in the free rifle team event. In addition, both free rifle team performances (in 1963 and 1966) earned him a share of the world record.

A two-time Olympian who competed in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games, Haldeman earned an Olympic gold medal in 1976 in Men’s Trap. Haldeman was a member of the gold-medal winning 1973-74 U.S. World Championship Team. He was also a member of the 1975 U.S. Pan American Games Team, winning individual silver along with a team gold medal. He remains the last U.S. team member to earn Olympic gold in Men’s Trap.

About the USA Shooting Hall of Fame
The U.S. International Shooting Hall of Fame was established in 1991 by the NRA International Competitions Committee. Selection is focused on marksmen who excelled in international competition over an extended period of time, and who have been retired from active international shooting at least five years. Living USA Shooting Hall of Fame members and USA Shooting Board of Directors nominate candidates and then join with USA Shooting alumni in voting on the final nominees.

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October 26th, 2014

Walt Berger Earns 20th Hall of Fame Point at NBRSA Nationals

Here’s a feel-good story, particularly for those of us getting up in years. Walt Berger recently proved you are as young as you feel — and you can enjoy shooting success at any age. Walt Berger, well into his 80s, won a big benchrest victory last month, taking the Sporter Class 100-yard Aggregate at the 2014 NBRSA Score Nationals. In so doing, Walt earned his 20th Hall of Fame Point. That’s a great accomplishment for the Elder Statesman of Benchrest. Congrats to Walt! And, yes, of course, Walt was shooting a projectile made by Berger Bullets — the 6mm 65gr BT Target bullet.

Walt Berger NBRSA Hall of Fame

About Walt Berger
Walt Berger started making rifle bullets in 1955 because he believed he could make better bullets than those that were available at the time. He regularly participated in benchrest shooting competitions (and still does today), which requires the highest levels of precision in all components. In 1987, Walt grew his bullet making operation beyond a part time hobby after encouragement from his second wife Eunice (Walt lost his first wife Mary to cancer). Together, they grew the business into a large-scale precision rifle bullet-making operation.

Walt was born at the end of the Golden Twenties and the beginning of the Great Depression. His story is about overcoming great odds and seeing things through to success when almost everyone around him was convinced he would fail.

Walt Berger with two younger generation Berger Bullets employees at the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting.
Walt Berger NBRSA Hall of Fame

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April 14th, 2011

Shooting Community Mourns Passing of Ferris Pindell

Ferris PindellWe are sad to announce the passing, on April 11, of Master Gunsmith and cartridge designer Ferris Pindell. Co-inventer of the 6 PPC cartridge with Louis Palmisano, Pindell was a legendary figure in the benchrest community. A member of the Benchrest Hall of Fame, Pindell was revered as a great machininist and a true pioneer in the pursuit of ultimate rifle accuracy. The short, fat PPC cartridge he helped design has proven to be the most accurate cartridge ever created. For decades it has dominated the sport of Benchrest for group and the PPC holds virtually all the major 100- to 300-yard group accuracy records.

We are all diminished by the passing of Ferris Pindell. As Tim Oltersdorf wrote on Benchrest Central:

“I wish to express my sadness at the passing of Ferris. He was a great innovator and master craftsman. His time on earth was too short for someone with so much to give. He is either wildcatting with God or giving Satan lectures on machining; come to think of it — given Ferris’ gifts — probably both.”

Palmisano is in Poor Health
Lou Palmisano, shown below (on left) with his friend and colleague Ferris Pindell, is ailing. Patti Palmisano posted this request on Benchrest Central this morning:

Palmisano and Ferris PindellJust to let everyone know that Lou is in extremely poor health. I know it would mean a lot to him to hear from shooters. He loved shooting and shooters more than anything throughout his lifetime. Please…just [send] a card or note… or even a call in the afternoon. He is 80 now and very frail… asking you to please reach out to him at this difficult time.

Thanks so much — Patti

CLICK HERE for Lou Palmisano address.

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September 25th, 2009

Records Fall in Calm Conditions at NBRSA 100/200 Benchrest Nationals

NBRSA Benchrest logoThe 2009 NBRSA 100/200 yard Benchrest (for Group) Nationals are underway this week in Missouri at the Benchrest Club of St. Louis. Conditions have been extraordinarily calm, with very little wind. As a result, a host of potential records have been set. At the completion of Unlimited (UNL), Sporter (SPTR), and Light Varmint (LV) classes, there have been thirteen (13) possible new World records shot, and more may come in the final Heavy Varmint (HV) relays. Potential records set so far include:

UNL 10-100: Tony Boyer and Eric Stanton
LV 5-100: Jack Neary and Tony Boyer
LV 5-200: Gene Bukys
LV Grand: Jack Neary and Tony Boyer
SPTR 5-200: Tom Libby
SPTR Grand: Jack Neary, Gary Ocock, Mike Ratigan, Mark Buettgen, and Rodney Brown.

Thus far, Jack Neary has won the Sporter Grand Aggregate, and he won the LV 100 with a spectacular 0.15+ Agg. We’ve been told that Gene Bukys won the SPTR 200 with yet another 0.15+ Agg. That’s amazing shooting by Jack and Gene. Tom Libby also shot a .093 in Sporter at 200 yards to set a potential record.

To give you an idea of how many shooters have turned in truly superior performances, there were 20 teen aggs in the LV 100 alone. Below are the Top Ten LV 100 Aggs. As one observer commented on Benchrest Central, “I can’t imagine how it must feel to shoot a .1690″ Agg and finish 7th…or worse yet, a .1498″ and NOT win!”

1. Jack Neary .1482 (Possible New World Record)
2. Tony Boyer .1498
3. Mike Conry .1574
4. John Horn .1626
5. Larry Costas .1648
6. Tim Courtney .1660
7. Larry Scharhorst. 1690
8. Lester Bruno .1708
9. Eddie Harris .1794
10. Bob Scarborough Jr. .1800

On Day 1 of the Unlimited Match, Tony Boyer shot brilliantly at 100 yards, nailing a 0.1894 Agg which lowers the existing record by 0.0271, a large margin in short range benchrest. The previous UNL 8-10-100 NBRSA World Record Agg was 0.2165 set by Lester Bruno in 2001. In the same St. Louis UNL 100 match, Eric Stanton also broke the existing record with an 0.2161.

We will update this report as more official results are received. If you have photos of the NBRSA 100/200 Nationals in St. Louis, please email them to Please include caption information (Date, Event, Shooter, Equipment etc.).

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May 16th, 2009

Interview with Olympic Shooting Legend Lones Wigger

Lones Wigger Olympic ShooterLones (pronounced “lon-ess”) Wigger is the first and only American shooter to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. At the NRA annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, we were privileged to chat with Wigger at the Eley booth where he is answering questions and providing information about Eley products.

We discussed many topics, ranging from Cold War politics (he was not allowed to shoot in the 1980 Moscow Olympics due to the U.S.A. boycott), to barrel tuners. Wigger is a true legend among American shooters, having participated as shooter or coach with five USA Olympic teams. He also set many world records during his long shooting career. In the video below, Wigger talks about his Hall of Fame Olympic accomplishments, and offers advice to young persons getting started in competitive shooting.

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