30 Dec 2019 – A Hall of Fame Year!
As 2019 comes to a close, we look back on the past year with good memories and pride for what our Team Krieghoff members accomplished in their individual sports.
With two of our shooters being inducted into their respective Hall of Fame, we can truly call 2019 ” A Hall of Fame Year”.
We congratulate Stuart Welton, Trapshooting Hall of Fame inductee and Sam Armstrong, NSSA Skeet Hall of Fame inductee for their milestone achievements.
Stuart Welton and brother Tony worked at the Boise (ID) Gun Club as kids, and at the end of the day, father Dwayne would let them shoot a few rounds. In 1974 at age 12, Stu began his ATA career, quickly moving to the 27-yard line by age 14.
After his 1980 graduation, longtime shooter Bernie Voyles took Stu to the Grand. He won five trophies, including junior titles in the Doubles Championship, All-Around and High-Over-All.
Since then he has collected 40 more awards at the Grand. In 2009 he broke his first Grand 100 in doubles. He would go on to shoot two more that year, including in the Doubles Championship, where he emerged the winner after four extra rounds. Five years later he captured the Clay Target crown with 200 plus 450 more in a three-day shootoff over 49 others. He has also won the Champion of Champions twice, in 2007 and 2014. In all he has broken 200 in singles at the Grand 20 times, and he has had 11 twin-bird 100s at the tournament.
Welton has collected three overall Spring Grand titles: in 1996 the all-around and this year the singles and high-over-all. His Western Grand crowns include the 1992 and 2012 doubles plus the 2015 and 2018 singles. At Western Zone tournaments, Stuart has earned one singles, one handicap, two doubles and three all-around championships.
In 1979 Stuart claimed the Idaho junior crown. The next year, at age 17, he won the overall singles title with 200. Since then he has earned 34 additional Idaho championships. He has topped the feature 16s 11 more times and has five titles each in the handicap and doubles plus 13 in the all-around.
Stuart holds the ATA record for all-around average with .9841 in 2009, and his 2014 average of .9821 places eighth on the list. He was ATA leader in 2005 and 2009 and has earned three additional Trap & Field All-Around Average Awards.
Leading the ATA in doubles in 2009 with .9917 on 1,800 birds (seventh on the all-time list), Stu topped everyone in handicap in 2014 with .9678 on 3,200 (eighth overall). His 2009 singles average of .9970 on 3,000 targets places 10th in ATA records. He has logged singles averages of 99% or better 20 times since 1996 (including 12 seasons on a minimum of 2,500 targets).
Stu earned 11 open All-American team placements between 2004 and 2019. He was a member of the 1978 sub-junior team. In 1991 he completed his ATA Grand Slam with 100 in doubles.
In 2001 he and Ted Schlecht shot off for 25 rounds, the all-ATA one-day shootoff record, for the AA singles prize at the Idaho State Shoot. Stuart also holds the record for the longest doubles shootoff. After a four-way tie of 100s for the 2012 Western Grand title, he and Leo Harrison III went 15 rounds without a miss before Harrison forfeited.
In 1997 Stu broke 200 singles, 100 from the 27 and 100 doubles in the championship events during a weekend shoot at Twin Falls GC in Idaho.
Stu’s future goals include earning more Grand wins and gaining more shooting friendships.
Sam did a little hunting as a teenager in his home town of Hagerstown, MD. , but the skeet bug didn’t bite until he stopped by the Ft. Ord, CA gun club while in the Army in 1983.
He saw people shooting and got on the field the following week. With a little help from the locals, he managed to shoot a 23 in his first box and hasn’t put the gun down for an extended period since.
Reassigned to Ft. Richardson, AK. Sam braved the conditions and began to shoot registered skeet in 1986. This year his target total went over 200,000.
Sam works hard all winter so he can play hard all summer. If you’ve spent time with Sam, you know that he likes to keep to the same routine and that several cups of Dunkin” Donuts coffee are never far away.
In his early days, when shooting in C & B class, he was the tail-gunner with a veteran squad. He worked his way to the front and has had many “regular” squad mates over the years. As time goes by, the squad evolves but Sam keeps on going.
Not just a taker, Sam has worked behind the scenes helping run shoots at many clubs during the years. He has served as a State Director for Maryland, a NSSA Director, and has also been the NSSA EC representative for Zone II.
On the national level, Sam has made the NSSA All American team for 20 consecutive years from 2000 to 2019, of which the last sixteen are Open Teams.
His World Championships include the Doubles and 28 Gauge events in 2009, and the 20 gauge event in 2016. Podium appearances at the World Shoot include 2nd places in 12 and 28 gauge, 3rds in Doubles, and .410 events. He was also the .410 Champion in the 2018 Mini World Shoot.
He has achieved the 400×400 Mt. Everest of skeet three times.
At the Zone II and State levels, he has been a “force to be reckoned with” for many years. He has won 27 Zone II Championships (6 HOA); 40 Maryland State Championships (6 HOA); 23 Pennsylvania State Championships (7 HOA), and 7 Armed Forces Championships (1 HOA).
Sam was proudly inducted into the Maryland Skeet Hall of Fame in 2006 with his long-time shooting partner, and friend, Larry “Buddah” Seward.
He has been Maryland’s 1st Team Captain for 16 consecutive years, and has been a 1st Team member consecutively for 21 of his 23 consecutive years on State Teams.
Sam credits his success to his wife of 30 years Kimmy, for keeping the home front anchored down, so he can travel and shoot without any worries. Also, all of his friends and squad mates for keeping things competitive and fun over the years!