The Column, No. 39:
2008 Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence Award
The average sportsman may not be aware that each year, the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence nominates and selects an outstanding individual in the field who best represents personal and professional dedication to service in the shooting community. The award is sponsored by FMG Publications, the publisher of Shooting Industry, GUNS, American Handgunner and American COP magazines; however, no one at the publisher level is permitted to vote. Unlike self-serving awards given out by Hollywood, the Shooting Industry Academy is composed of 500 industry executives, gun dealers and outdoor writers (present company excluded). The award represents recognition by ones’ peers.
This year’s recipient of the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence Award is Bob Hodgdon. Bob is the Treasurer and Board Director of Hodgdon. He received the award for his many significant achievements in support of shooters and the firearms industry. For those readers who do not know, Hodgdon is a family business, founded in 1947 by the legendary Bruce Hodgdon (Bob’s father). Bruce started out with 50,000 pounds of military surplus 4895 powder in a boxcar on a rented farm pasture and a dream. He placed a one-inch ad in the American Rifleman and was in business. With his wife, Amy, as bookkeeper and saleswoman, they worked to turn their dream into a reality.
Their boys, J.B. and Bob were recruited to deliver shipments to the REA or Merriam Frisco train terminal each morning on their way to school. The family car, a 1940 Ford served as carrier for thousands of pounds of powder during that time. By 1952, the business had grown enough that Bruce resigned from the Gas Service Company and founded B.E. Hodgdon Incorporated; they were officially underway.
J.B. and Bob entered the business full time after graduating from college in 1959 and 1961. (Like my dad, Bruce told his boys that going to college was not an option, their only option was what they studied.) Bruce passed away in 1997, but was recognized in 1995/1996 with the same Shooting Academy Award of Excellence that his son Bob received this year.
The rest is pretty much history, the company has expanded to include the finest smokeless propellants available anywhere. Today, more than 60 years from its simple beginning, the company manufactures IMR and Winchester powders, in addition to the original (and expanding) Hodgdon line. There is not an F-Class shooter in the world that doesn’t recognize Hodgdon powders as among the best (if not the best). As a hunter, I have been using Bruce’s H4895 for over 50 years. The .300 Weatherby Magnum that Roy built for me in the 1960’s just loves that stuff.
There is no question in my mind that Bob Hodgdon is most deserving of this year’s award. He has done his parents proud. Every hunter and sport shooter in the world owes this man a debt of gratitude for his dedication and devotion to our sport. Thank you and congratulations, Mr. Bob Hodgdon!>
Copyright 2008 by Dr. Jim Clary. All rights reserved.