I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I attended college in St. Louis, meeting my wife of thirty-six years at Maryville University. We are still in St. Louis. I’ve traveled to thirty-eight countries (If I can include a few U.S. Territories) but have never been away from St. Louis for more than two weeks at a time. We have two grown children, Kiki and Alex. I own a distributorship of printing supplies.
My father, a disk jockey and radio announcer was not a shooter but did have a number of firearms. Most were interesting wall-hangers, but he did have a couple of modern (?) handguns, each with a legend attached. The Spanish 38 Special revolver was supposedly loaned to a policeman in Illinois. When it was in his possession, he killed a man with it. I assume the event was in the line of duty. The other was a Walther PPK my uncle took from a German lieutenant in Kaiserslautern, Germany. My Uncle Walter said that the German, considering his physical condition, didn’t need it any more.
In 1968, a few weeks before the Gun Control Act of 1968 took effect, my father bought a Remington 513T and a High Standard Supermatic Trophy for me. I was fifteen. There was an indoor range a few minutes from our home. I joined the club and shot weekly. I shot the rifle a bit but really took to Bullseye Pistol. I still shoot informal Bullseye.
Over the years, I bought and sold a few firearms and did some hunting around Missouri. Shooting was not a focus in my life.
My neighbor and friend, Mike B., was an active and successful NRA Highpower competitor. In 1996, he introduced me to competitive rifle shooting (NRA and CMP). In 1993, I had purchased a Colt AR-15 because I thought it was an interesting rifle. When I became involved in Highpower, I sent the rifle to a gunsmith and had it configured for Service Rife competition. In my first match (200 yard Reduced Course), late in the 1996 season, I took second place. My first NRA Classification Card arrived in 1997, with an Expert Classification. I was never a Marksman or Sharpshooter. Within about eighteen months, I held Master Across-the-Course and Long Range Classifications.
In 1997, I made my first trip to Camp Perry. I competed at the National Matches, every summer, through the 2005 season. In 2000, at Camp Perry, I made the President’s Hundred (#99) on Tuesday and legged out on the following day, receiving Distinguished Rifleman Badge #1447. I again made the President’s Hundred in 2002 (#56). In 2005, I became the Missouri State Service Rifle Champion. Then I quit.
Highpower Rifle competition attracts a wide range of shooters and most are wonderful people. Not all, though. There was a certain faction that made no secret of their anti-Semitic and racist views. I was unsuccessful in getting either the NRA or the state association to take any action. Due to the complicated circumstances, I don’t blame either organization. After two seasons of a hostile environment, I quit. I was still the State Champion. I said I’d never shoot competitive rifle again.
Over the next two seasons, my son and I shot IDPA and had a great time. It wasn’t my passion, though. Although I wasn’t competing any more, my gun collection continued to grow. That’s rather easy when you are an FFL holder.
I hunt often. On September 1st, I hunt dove on opening day. I like dove. Later in the fall, I go deer hunting because I want to spend the weekend with my friends David D. and his father, Mike D. Both, by the way, are Jewish. I do not like venison. During the winter, I spend many days hunting (controlled) pheasant, chukar and quail. I don’t like any of them. I do this to be with my dear friend Mitch P. and my God Daughter, Scout (Scout is a German Shorthair Pointer and is not Jewish) Scout is assisted by Gem and Gem’s daughter, Radley. All are German Shorthair Pointers. In November 2012, I hunted wild pheasant in South Dakota. As of this writing, they are still in the freezer. Later in the season, I hunt duck with my friend Don S. As far as I’m concerned, wild duck is inedible. I have never shot anything in the wild that is remotely as good as a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
My hunting passion, though, is the prairie dog. I lie in bed thinking of killing them. 2013 will be my ninth season helping the Lakota Sioux rid Rosebud Reservation of the vermin. In 2011, I spent sixteen days hunting prairie dogs in South Dakota and Southwest Kansas. In 2012, this was reduced to eight days. This type of hunting is a true rifleman’s sport. It’s all about accurate rifles, high quality telescopic sights, binoculars and lasers. I’ve spent a small fortune on prairie dog hunting.
Prairie dog hunting is very difficult. The targets are small, about the size of a beer can. You are shooting at unknown ranges and typically with variable winds. It's a challenge.
After being away from Highpower competition for five years, I returned to the sport at the end of the 2011 season. In 2012, I returned to Camp Perry. I didn’t shoot well but still made the cut in the National Trophy Individual Match. I’m currently building a Match Rifle and will shoot it and Service Rifle in 2013. Reservations have already been made for a condo at Camp Perry.
Starting in 1999, I became a columnist for Precision Shooting Magazine, writing articles about handloading, Highpower shooting equipment and a few military subjects. Through my Highpower competition, I met many active-duty military members. My acquaintance with the commander of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit resulted in the Army inviting me to visit Ft. Benning and writing an article about the USAMU. In 2004, I received a contract from the U.S. Army to teach advanced marksmanship at Ft. Hood, during the early days of the Squad Designated Marksman program. An article about that experience was published in 2005.
I’m an NRA Life Member and CCW holder. I think my Reform Jewish family thinks I’m a bit crazy and, at family gatherings, they avoid these subjects. You don’t choose your family but one does choose their friends. Most of my friends are involved in shooting.
My daughter, Kiki, is also involved in competitive shooting. After graduating high school, she received an athletic scholarship to University of Nebraska, shooting on the Women’s Rifle Team. While a Junior (20 and under), Kiki held a Master Across-the Course and High-Master Long Range Classification. She also received her Distinguished Rifleman badge while a Junior. In 2004 she made the President’s Hundred. She has been my shooting partner since 1997. Alex, my son, is an active shooter and hunter. Both Kiki and Alex share my passion for prairie dog hunting.
I’m glad to be back shooting Highpower Rifle. I am enjoying my return to competitive shooting. This winter, I'm building a Match Rifle since my 59 year old eyes are having problems with the post front sight of a Service Rifle. I continue to collect interesting guns, make custom holsters for friends and hunt.
In most endeavors, your success might be due to so many factors such as friends, contacts, good luck, etc. Not so with competitive shooting. If you succeed, it’s completely due to your own efforts. You stand up on your back legs and shoot.
Mazal Tov to Jeffrey and the Chosid mishpacha!