Legends: Dr. Paul E.R. Nordquist, Jr

by
posted on August 31, 2017
paul_er_nordquist.jpg

The 1957 NRA Collegiate All-American roster was loaded with talent that would soon become household words in the smallbore shooting community, Frank Briggs, Allan Luke, R. Barry Trew, John Foster, and Lones Wigger. Chief among them was Paul E. R. Nordquist, a soft spoken Winchester 52C wielding home town boy representing George Washington University. Nordquist would again earn All-American status in 1958 before heading off to the University of Minnesota where he would earn a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1964.

Academic life and professional responsibilities did little to dampen his enthusiasm for shooting activities as he followed his passion throughout the Midwest while a student in Minnesota and later working in Saint Louis. He was named to his first Dewar Team in 1965 and would appear on the team’s roster five more times―culminating as captain in 2010. While in the Midwest he would complete the requirements for the NRA Smallbore Distinguished Position Rifleman Award in 1968 making him the 26th to achieve this honor.

He left Saint Louis in 1970 to take up a position with the Naval Research Laboratory where he worked until his retirement in 1995.

Upon returning home Nordquist set up his shooting base of operations at the Fairfax Rod and Gun Club where he continued to hone his skills with both smallbore and centerfire rifle. He was classified a High Master with the bolt gun in the 1980s.

He became Double Distinguished with the smallbore rifle in 1999 when he picked up his final step for prone and had a taste of international shoulder-to-shoulder competition as a member of the 2001 Roberts Team.

No slouch at scope shooting, the 79-year-old Nordquist lost a point in the first stage of the first match of the 2015 National Any Sight Championship and then ran 220 consecutive 10s and Xs for a 2399-186X, earning him the National Any Sight Championship and with it the U.S. Cartridge Company Trophy. By way of preparation he had taken home the Marianne Driver Trophy, awarded to the any sight only competitor at the National Smallbore Rifle Prone Championship, in 2011, 2012, and once again in 2016.

While his shooting accomplishments are worthy of note―Nordquist’s true legacy will be the numerous articles he authored about the history of the shooting sports. His well worn homemade kneeling roll and a set of his Redfield Olympic sights adorn the cover of NRA All-Americans: A Commemorative 1936-1998 while his meticulous research and writing fill the pages of The National Matches 1903-2003 The First 100 Years. His passion for the history of the sport will enrich future generations of shooters.

It is oddly serendipitous that his penultimate article, Great Moments In Sportsmanship: Vere Hamer appeared on the Shooting Sports USA website the day he passed. His last work, Coats of Many Patches, will appear posthumously in the future.

With his passing the shooting sports are diminished.

Latest

A Burrows Dec 2022 1
A Burrows Dec 2022 1

Team Federal’s Alysia Burrows Captures Practical High Lady Title At 2022 PCSL 2-Gun Championship

“This match is known for attracting some of the best around, and it’s always a privilege to shoot alongside them,” Burrows said.

Results: Battle For The North Coast V

There were 186 competitors at the 2022 Battle for the North Coast USPSA match held in August at Crooked Creek Conservation Club in Rome, Ohio.

Collegiate Rifle: Over Academy Weekend, Akron Lands Between Air Force, Navy

Akron rifle team in the middle of the 2022 Academy Day Matches, with Zips’ shooters Gavin Perkowski and Rachel Engels both hitting high marks.

2022 Rocky Mountain Airgun Challenge

Since making its debut in 2018, Utah’s Rocky Mountain Airgun Challenge has been called the airgun community’s de facto world championship.

Competitors’ Corner: December 2022

Highlights from the December 2022 issue of Shooting Sports USA, the NRA’s competitive shooting journal.

New: Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P9 M2.0 Competitor Pistol

Smith & Wesson has revealed a new Performance Center M&P pistol that’s designed for competition right out of the box, with a slide cut for optics, five-inch barrel and oversized mag release that's also reversible. All for less than $1,000.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Sports USA delivered to your inbox.