Hall of Famer

Hall of Famer

July 2008

He is "Wig" to his friends. To the shooting world for many years he was simply The Man. Lones W. Wigger, Jr., was recently inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. He is the first shooter to be so honored, and he joined such elite athletes as wrestler Bruce Baumgartner, marathoner Joan Benoit, boxer Oscar de La Hoya and others in the Class of 2008.

Over the course of his quarter-century international shooting career--which included Olympic team berths in 1964, '68, '72 and '80--Wigger won 111 medals and set 29 world records, an accomplishment unmatched by any shooter in the world, ever.


I served with Wigger for couple of years at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, where he spent much of his 25-year military career, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. I remember watching him practice at the indoor range in the winter. International highpower season had recently ended, and we were just beginning to tune up for gallery season--smallbore four-position--and the fact that he'd just spent much of the year competing in (and winning) national and international championships in two disciplines didn't matter one bit.



Wigger would immediately start training for indoor sectionals, regionals, whatever. He'd practice the standing position for hours on end--picking up the rifle, putting it back down, repeating as often as necessary until he could break the perfect shot.

He'd be the first to tell you he's the product of determination and effort, not natural talent or ability. As he told me years later when I interviewed him for an article on his retirement from international competition, the shooter who wins is the shooter who works the hardest. "And nobody outworks me," he said with a grin. His induction into the Hall of Fame is a recognition of that hard work and the domination of a sport few will ever match.


I guess you could say this is a Hall of Fame issue. Check out Jon Sundra's article, "Sporting Rifle Hall of Fame," (Sept./Oct. 2008 RifleShooter)in which he inducts the 10 hunting rifles he believes are the greatest of all time. (And in the cartridge category, I'll bet there are more than a few readers who would nominate one or two of Craig Boddington's retro faves as potential Hall of Famers.)


There may be some debate on Jon's choices, but not many will argue with his nod to Winchester, a theme that's picked up in Rick Hacker's primer on collecting guns from that firm--a great read for those looking for a new hobby/addiction.

Recommended for You

Ammo

Winchester Twins: The .264 and .338 Magnum

Craig Boddington - May 24, 2019

Winchester's .264 and .338 magnums were both born 60 years ago but took very different paths.

Reloading

Reloading Ammo – Why?

Craig Boddington - March 26, 2019

The handloading question: With large availability factory ammo on the market, why bother with...

Bolt-Action

Review: Performance Center-Thompson/Center LRR

Alfredo Rico - April 09, 2019

Thompson/Center and S&W's Performance Center team up to build an entry-level long-range...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Springfield Armory Saint Victor

The SAINT' Victor Rifle delivers a lightweight and agile rifle solution while maintaining effectiveness at extended engagement distances.

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Semi-Auto

Review: Hi-Point 1095 TS 10mm Carbine

James Tarr - April 04, 2019

The Hi-Point 10mm carbine, technically the 1095 TS, sports a 17.5-inch barrel, is 32 inches...

Bolt-Action

Browning's New X-Bolt Max Long Range Rifle

Rifle Shooter Digital Staff - April 11, 2019

Browning's new X-Bolt Max Long Range rifle is an accurate rifle tailored for long range...

Ammo

New 30-06 Springfield Elite Match Ammo from SIG SAUER

Rifleshooter Online Editors - April 03, 2019

SIG SAUER adds to its Elite Match ammo line with the 30-06 Springfield.

See More Stories

More How-To

How-To

To-Do List for the Rifleman During the Offseason

Craig Boddington - March 10, 2015

During those months without an open season, use that time to do some prep work with this to-do...

How-To

Simple Steps to Setting Up a Scope

Wayne van Zwoll - December 01, 2016

I'm surprised how many shooters buy riflescopes without knowing how to use them. At a seminar...

How-To

Varmint Rifle Battery

Layne Simpson - April 21, 2012

  A varmint rifle battery capable of serving the needs of everyone does not exist. This...

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×