David Lange earns two more distinguished badges

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David Lange, 54, of Glen Rock, NJ, is number one — in fact, he’s been number one three times.

A talented marksman, Lange holds five distinguished badges: pistol (2001), .22 EIC pistol (2015) and rifle (2018), as well as his new air pistol and service revolver badges which he claimed in 2022.

Three of them – air pistol, service revolver, and .22 EIC – were No. 1 badges.

David Lange’s career in marksmanship began in the late 1990s and has flourished ever since.

(Note: Dave Lange also wrote great dry-firing technique for an article on the bullseye gun which you can read here—Ed.)

The Distinguished Badges are the highest individual honor authorized by the U.S. government for excellence in marksmanship competition. Since the late 1800s, the realm of distinguished badge possibilities has expanded from rifle and pistol to many other disciplines – each individual badge bearing a specific number at the time its holder claimed it and held it high. esteem, especially the coveted No. 1 badge.

“What I like about precision shooting is that it’s very accurate. It takes hard work and dedication,” Lange said. “The reward, at any level, is achieving your own goals.”

During his career, Lange has been a member of several national championship teams, holding numerous individual successes, such as becoming the 2015 National Indoor Champion, National Revolver Champion, National Standard Pistol Champion and Individual Trophy Champion. national national matches and the civilian champion. He also earned spots in the National Matches President’s 100 in pistol and rifle in 2021. Additionally, he set several national individual records and was one of the record team shooters.

His wife is Kathy Chatterton, a sponsored athlete, captain of the Les Baer Custom Pistol and Distinguished Pistol Shot team with a High Masters classification who also holds several national and international titles and records.

“It’s an unfair advantage,” Lange joked of the pairing. “Kathy’s knowledge, wisdom, experience and 100% support have helped me achieve my goals. Kathy also introduced me to a network of national and international champions whose friendship and support have both encouraged and inspired me.

Lange grew up hunting with his family. When he realized he had a knack for shooting, he joined a local bullseye gun league and started competing with a Ruger MK II. He then bought a Colt Gold Cup and shot his first game in April 1998.

“During my first year of filming, I shot a lot,” he said. “I shot three, sometimes four, leagues during the week and at least one game at the weekend.”

David Lange and his wife Kathy

Lange is married to Kathy Chatterton, a talented shooter who holds national and international titles.

During that first year, he earned an expert classification and went to Camp Perry for the experience with the goal of returning to Camp Perry as a master in 1999.

“Both years it was suggested to me to hold back and stay in the lower class until Camp Perry was over,” he said. “I never held back and I was proud to shoot with the Masters in 1999. Even though I was shooting scores at the bottom of the top rankings, I think that made me a better shooter. Shooting against better shooters m made me work harder and improve faster.

When Lange began to learn more about competitive shooting, he found that dry firing helped improve his scores just as much as live firing. He combined each with mental training learned from Lanny Bassham’s “Mind Management System”, and his scores rose to the High Master Class and above 2650 (his first time in May 2002, after reaching 2600 minus a year ago).

“Shooting as many regional and state championships as possible has helped me become more comfortable in bigger games,” he said. “At first, I was just shooting in the six or seven neighboring states. Eventually, I was shooting Regionals from Florida to Maine and as far west as Phoenix. I shot matches where I didn’t know anyone, and no one knew me. Shooting in a strange place away from home is a great way to gain match experience.

From 2003 to 2006 he was a member of the UltraDot team before joining Springfield Armory in 2007. He also began revolver shooting in June 2006 and became the seventh person to receive the NRA Distinguished Revolver award.

In 2009 he participated in the Mountain Competition Pistol team with Aimpoint, Atlanta Arms and Ammo and KKM Barrels as supporting sponsors. The following year, he joined his current team, Zero Bullet Company’s bullseye gun team, sponsored by Zero Bullet Company and Lapua.

“I’ve been lucky enough to shoot on teams with some of the best and most famous shooters in the country,” he said. “I am proud to be a member of the Zero Bullet Company team and owe much of my success to sponsored company bullets and ammunition.”

Dave Lange at Camp Perry

Over the years, Lange has won numerous NRA and CMP pistol shooting events.

Lange is also vice president of the Riverdale Police Pistol Club and a range officer and administrator for the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC), the NRA-affiliated rifle and pistol association of New Jersey.

“Some of these sponsors are not giant corporations and spend a large portion of their marketing dollars supporting shooters through teams, picnics, prizes and donations,” he explained. “I hope all competitors will support companies in the shooting industry that give something back to our sport.”

He continued: “Please also remember that sponsored shooters are not professional shooters and their support is limited. The real reward is in the glory and accomplishments that come from hard work and being part of a team. I encourage all shooters to participate in team matches and seek new sponsors. I believe that mutual support and involvement will help strengthen this sport. The opportunity to be part of a highly visible team encourages new shooters to improve and gives them an extra focus.

Since his debut, he has maintained the same high competition schedule. Its location in New Jersey has allowed it to compete indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summer less than an hour from home – sometimes two games on the same weekend, others always available if he wanted to shoot more.

“My most intense training is in the spring when I’m on the pitch six days a week, practicing for Match Pistol, until the Camp Perry games in July,” he said. “My main focus on the range is rapid fire, while at home I’m dry shooting and using mental training techniques like visualization and rehearsal.”

Even though pistol competition is his primary focus, Lange still competes in service rifle matches in the summer and practices casually in an indoor shooting range with a .22 rod in the winter. Admittedly, earning the Distinguished Rifleman badge has been the hardest to obtain.

Lange also believes that the most elite shooters are those who have earned the original three distinguished badges, Service Rifle, Service Pistol, and International.

“I enjoy shooting service rifle with my wife and friends and helping them achieve their goals of becoming Service Rifle Distinguished,” he said.

His advice to other athletes looking to achieve their own marksmanship goals:

  • Focus your practice on this event.
  • Practice of dry fire.
  • Seek help from one of the various clinics that can be found across the country.
  • If you don’t have stage points yet, compete in SAFS and Marksmanship 101 EIC matches for a chance to earn your first four points.
  • You are allowed to shoot in five EIC matches plus the National Championship each year. Be sure to film all of these matches every year (you have to be in to win it).
  • Bring a friend with you. If everyone brought a friend, there would be twice as many legs in every game.

Next on Lange’s list is to hit 2670. It’s an ambition he’s had for a long time, having come close to 2666 on three occasions. No matter where his career takes him, Lange will forever go down in history, paving the way for his fellow snipers, one badge at a time.

“I did these things far from alone,” he said. “Almost all of my friends are shooters, and this great sport is filled with great people.”

Learn more about the Distinguished Badge program at thecmp.org.

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