Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Passing of a Shooting Legend, Mr. Victor Auer

On May 4th, 2011 shooting great Vic Auer lost his battle with cancer. I first met Vic at a smallbore match in 2006. Though long since retired from competitive shooting at that time, he still loved to talk about the finer points of the game and was very helpful to shooters of all ages and skill levels. Noted writer Hap Rocketto compiled Vic's shooting resume below. He was a friend to all and I as well as many others will miss his warm smile and friendly manner.

Vic Auer's Shooting Resume;

1955-Junior Prone Champion-Co-holder with Grater for rule reasons I don’t understand
1957-Collegiate Prone Champion
1960-Collegiate Prone Champion while shooting with USAFR Team
1961-National Smallbore Open and Service Prone Champion
1961-US Pershing Team
1970-National Smallbore Civilian Prone Champion
1970- Fired a 3200-297X anysight to go to a tie breaker with DI Boyd, with identical score, for any sight champion which he won by two Xs at 100 yards
1971-Pan Am Games- one gold in individual and one gold in team
1971- United States International Distinguished Shooters Badge # 159
1972-US Olympic Team winning the silver in the English Match with a 598
1973-NRA Distinguished Smallbore Rifle Prone Award
1974-World Championships-silver in team
1975-Pan Am Games-gold in team
1976-US Olympic Team
Dewar Team, 1953, 54, 55, 57, 60, 61, 62, 64, and 70

United States International Distinguished Shooters Badge # 159

The Los Angeles Rifle and Revolver Club has an annual prone match named in his honor.

Vic shot with both the Air Force Reserve and Army Reserve. What follows is his bio on the USAR site:

“Born 24 March 1937 in Santa Ana, California.  Began shooting at age 10 when his father established the Brea Junior Rifle Club.  His first match win was the 1948 California Sub-Junior Smallbore Rifle Prone State Championship.  Earned the NRA Junior Distinguished Badge in 1952.  Member of the Apache JRC that won the open smallbore rifle prone team match at Camp Perry in 1953 and of the Brea JRC that won them in 1954 and 1955 (see the American Rifleman cover of October 1954).  Won Randall 2-man team National Championship with his father in 1954.

Won the 1955 National Junior Smallbore Rifle Prone Championship at Camp Perry.  Won the 1956 and 1957 National Collegiate Smallbore Rifle Prone Championships at Camp Perry.  Placed 7th in the 1956 Olympic Trials in 3-Position and was kept home on stand-by in case he was needed to go to Melbourne.  Attended University of California at Los Angeles and won UCLA team honors in 1957, 58, 59. 

Served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve 1960-66.  Was the U.S. Air Force World Smallbore Rifle Prone Champion in 1961, 62, 63.  Member of USAF teams that won prone and four-position team matches at Camp Perry in 1960, 61, 62.  Member of the NRA Smallbore Rifle Prone Team that toured Europe in 1963.  Won the Bell Trophy Match at Bisley, England in 1963 with a new record.  Set National Records for the 3x600 50m prone aggregate with a 1799 metallic sights and 1800 any sights.  Won the first USA medal of any sport in the 1972 Olympic Games. Won the Benito Juarez International Championships in 50m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots in 1974, 75, 77 and team gold medals 1974, 75, 76, 77.  Won the 1976 Interservice 50m Free Rifle Prone 60 shots Championship.  Awarded Army Commendation Medal in 1976.

Set over 140 individual and team National Records.  Won 16 NRA Regional Smallbore Rifle Championships, ten NRA State Championships and eight NRA Preliminary Tryouts.  Was on the Dewar Team 12 times between 1953-77.  Vic was invited via the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon to coach the National Teams of Brazil (1973), Venezuela (1975), Equator (1976) and Puerto Rico (1977).  He received honors of appreciation from their shooters and federations.

Author, film writer, teacher, and coach by profession.  Graduated from UCLA in English Literature in 1963.  Earned M.A. credits from UCLA and Exeter College, Oxford University in 1963.  Was an UCLA Assistant Dean for the development of Athletes for Academics program 1981-84.  Founding member of the Los Angeles Olympic Spirit Team 1981-84.  Was one of the Olympic Torch carriers for the 1996 Olympic Games.  Author of articles on shooting for the Olympian Magazine, the American Rifleman and the UIT Journal. His articles and translations have been published in over five languages.

Was a member of the USAR Shooting Team 1972 – 1978 while also serving as a Military Police instructor with the USAR’s 828th Station Hospital in Fresno, California.”


Anonymous said...

Mr. Auer was a fine shooter and a fine instructor. The shooting world lost a lot when he died , thank you sir. RIP MR. AUER.

Anonymous said...

Vic introduced my Dad and my two brothers to competitive shooting. I can never thank him enough for a great competitive sport that brought a father and his three sons to enjoy it together for a lifetime. Thanks Vic and to your mother who taught me to be a professional child actor to help put bread on the table for our family of 9!!

Anonymous said...

I think of mr. Auer very often, I was lucky to have been trained by him and several other olympic and world champions. He was the one who is allways on my mind, I guess because he was so helpfull. Mr.auer was a definite role model for a young man. I can never thank you enough my friend , until we meet again rip.