Hall of Fame Inductee
Hiram Bradley began registered trapshooting in 1963, and when he retired from the sport 17 seasons later, he had collected 21 Grand American trophies, won 16 State championships, captured four zone titles, been named to 13 All-American teams, amassed eight seasons of 99% or higher singles averages, set a 16-yard long-run record, shot on a 500x500 squad, earned two Trap & Field magazine All-Around Average Awards, and led men’s or industry yearly average standings on five occasions.
Hiram registered 400 singles and 400 handicap targets in 1963, and from late March 1964 to the Grand American of that year, he went from 20 to 26 yards, ending his first full season with a .9817 singles average on 4,150 targets, .9272 on 2,500 handicap, and .9133 on 900 doubles. He was just 700 targets into the 1965 target year before reaching the maximum 27-yard line.
Then a high school English teacher from Greenville, Ohio, Bradley started making a name for himself at the 1964 Grand American. He earned the Dayton homecoming crown by posting a lone amateur 200 in a record field of 575. Three days later he finished third in Class AA of the Clay Target Championship for 199 plus 115-24-23 in shoot-off.
The following year, Hiram captured the High-Over-All title by three targets with 959x1000. He almost repeated as Dayton Homecoming champ, ending with Class AA laurels for 200 plus 149x150 in overtime.
In 1966 Bradley won the first shoot-off held under lights at the Grand American. In a 19-way tie of 100s for top honors during Saturday’s preliminary singles, he prevailed with 150-23.
Bradley smashed 200 in both the Introductory and Class singles during the 1967 Grand, and he earned awards in each. During that 1967 Grand, Hiram ended a record singles run of 1,469, eclipsing by 35 the eight-year old mark held by Arnold Riegger (1975 Hall of Fame inductee). This record held until 1975.
Bradley spent 1968-69 as a representative for the Wanda Cartridge Company, earning industry runner-up honors in the 1968 Clay Target for 199 plus shoot-off and placing third in the Class Singles for 199 and 124 carryover the same year.
Returning to amateur status in 1970, Hiram was runner-up in the Clay Target Championship for 200, and 299x300 extras.
He shot the 1971 season as a representative for Garcia Corp. and Beretta and captured four industry awards at the Grand: Clay Target title with 199, top Class Singles with 198 and 24 carryover, second place in Class Doubles with 94 after shoot-off, plus the rep trophy in Saturday’s preliminary doubles for his 98.
Bradley did not shoot the 1972 Grand because of a broken wrist, but the following year he won the Champion of Champions crown with 100 and 75 in shoot-off and placed second in the Doubles Championship after a tie at 99 for the title. He captured the Clay Target crown in 1974, needing just 75 in shoot-off after 19 deadlocked at 200. The same year he won Saturday’s preliminary singles with 100 plus 225 shoot-off and carryover, and he was runner-up in the Dayton Homecoming for 200 and 174x175 carryover. In 1975, he took home third place AA laurels in the Class Doubles with his 99 plus 20-19-17 in overtime, and he was a member of the winning Kentucky squad in the State Team Race.
Hiram posted nine 200 straights in Grand American competition, parlaying all into trophies except for ones in the 1977 and 1978 Class Singles Championships. In State competition, Bradley entered a lone in-state 97 to win Ohio’s Doubles Championship in 1966, and his 393 all-around score was a new Buckeye record that year. In 1967 he retained the doubles crown, again with a lone 97, and repeated as all-around champ for 386. He also captured the singles title for an additional 50 straight in a four-way shoot-off of 200s.
Following his two stints as an industry representative, Bradley moved to Kentucky where he was born. There he owned a general store in Vest and later returned to teaching. He began earning Bluegrass titles in 1973. He won the singles crown in both 73 and 74, one with a lone 200, the other requiring a 25 target shoot-off following another 200 straight. Again in 77 he won, and again with a lone 200. In 79 he repeated his ‘77 performance, becoming the third person in history at that time with five or more state singles championships at 200.
Bradley’s zone and other major tournament competitive scores were no different, capturing honors in most every event entered. He had 99% or higher singles averages (on a minimum of 2,500 targets) eight seasons: 1965 through 1967, 1970, 1973 through 1975 and 1977. In 1965 he broke 43 100 straights which held for 10 years as the one-season record.
In 1960 and ‘67 he led ATA singles averages. In ‘66 he hit 99.40% (second-high on record at the time) of 5,200 targets, and the following year topped the list with .9937 on 3,200. He also paced industry standings three times. In ‘69 and 71 he headed 16-yard ranks with .9884 on 2,250 and .9886 on 2,800 respectively, and his .9512 on 2,050 led rep doubles averages in 71.
Hiram was 1968 All-American captain following three straight years on the first team. In 1969 he was selected for the industry squad, and in 71 he again made the amateur team. He was on the 72 industry list, and he appeared on amateur teams from 74 through 79.
Bradley’s .9638 to head the list for 1966 set a Trap & Field All-Around Average Award record. The next year he was also high, only .0001 below his performance of the year before. In 1978 at Central Kentucky GC in Berea, Hiram shot in number two position on a singles squad with a perfect score: 500x500.