Brad Sauve started shooting competitively in 2002 attending the first F-Class World Championship in Canada. Since that time, he has been a member of the U.S. National Rifle team for Palma shooting and a member of the first U.S. F-Class Target rifle teams competing at the World Championships in 2009 and 2013. Brad won the first U.S. National Championship for F-Class Target rifle in 2004, and then won again in 2006 and 2007. He also placed as one of the top five individual shooters at U.S. Nationals four other times. His proudest achievement though is being a shooter on the winning U.S. National Championship team in nine different years of the ten times he has attended U.S. Nationals. Brad was also a shooter on the winning 2013 World Championship team and holds several U.S. National individual and team records.
Aside from shooting, Brad has four children he is proud of, has a CPA license and is a CFA charterholder and currently resides in Luxembourg as group finance director for a large specialty chemicals company where he has worked 27 years. When not working, you can find him riding Harley Davidson motorcycles somewhere around the world.
My individual and team results at the U.S. F-Class National Championships in FTR were as follows:
2004 – 1st individual; 1st team
2005 – 4th individual; 1st team
2006 – 1st individual; 1st team
2007 – 1st individual; 1st team
2008 – 4th individual; 1st team
2009 – 8th individual; 1st team
2010 - (did not attend)
2011 – 18th individual
2012 – 5th individual; 1st team
2013 – 18th individual; 2nd team
2014 – 4th individual; 1st team
My individual and team results at the World F-Class Championships in FTR were as follows:
2009 – 15th individual
2013 – 6th individual; 1st team
I was a member of the 2009 and 2013 USA F-Class FTR team, and I also am a current member of the USA National Rifle Team (Palma shooting).
I hold several U.S. National Records in open and civilian categories, both in team and individual competition.
Your favorite reloading product?
Probably my Mettler Toledo PB303-S Deltarange lab scale, my Mitutoyo digital caliper, and my Sinclair Arbor Press.
Optic you find most useful?
Nightforce NXS and Competition scopes
Rest, bipod or shooting accessory you can’t live without?
My Duplin bipod which allows me to shoot heavier rifles
How did you get started shooting?
Daisy lever action BB gun and country living, but my competitive shooting started when I was intrigued watching Ray Gross shoot balloons at 600 yards
Why did you get into FTR shooting?
I was a Palma shooter and I looked at FTR as a fun alternative where I didn’t have to wear that leather jacket and sweatshirt in 90 degree heat!
What do you find most challenging?
Accurately reading wind conditions will always be the biggest challenge. I get the biggest thrill though when I shoot a centered shot after a significant wind pickup or change in direction.
What is the one piece of gear you cannot do without?
My Seekonk T-handle torque wrench
What is the one piece of shooting gear that people would not suspect that is a mainstay in your bag?
A towel – it protects me from hot sun when I’m shooting, and protects my action from dirt when I’m not
What is in range bag for meet days?
Bolt grease, torque wrenches, allen wrench set, laminated target with dry erase pens, more ammo than I need just in case primers don’t ignite, empty chamber indicators, a pen for scoring, tent stakes and a tarp for sandy firing points, protective sun glasses for pit service, plenty of water, ear plugs and muffs, shooting hat, and my towel!
Walk us through an average day at the range. What training drills do you use?
I usually have a few different loads I want to try or shoot again to see if it is still consistently good. I might bring a chronograph. I like practicing wind reading at local matches vs. shooting alone. I use the small matches for testing and don’t fret about how I do as I view it all as preparation for U.S. Nationals.
Who would you recommend for metal work on your rifle?
There are many fine gunsmiths for metal work. I can’t recommend one really and if I had a really good one, I’m not sure I would tell anyone.
Who would you recommend for stock work on your rifle?
I like Alex Sitman from Master Class Stocks. He does beautiful work.
Who has been your biggest influence in shooting?
I like to think I learn something from observing or talking to a lot of great shooters. My local hero’s are Pete Church and Bob Steketee. They are both sling shooters with big hearts and uncanny ability to read conditions.
What rear bag do you use?
I have two cloth bags I bought at a fabric shop filled with plastic pellets. Many use bunny ear bags, but I’ve never gotten used to shooting that way.
What do you do to mentally prepare before you shoot? Walk us through your pre-competition preparation?
Try to relax, breathe easy, forget about your place or scores, and recognize that your goal is to beat the wind. Remember that you have MORE than enough time to shoot so don’t make rush judgments.
What is something you would not recommend before a shoot?
Not having in mind a wind strategy before you lay down. Its ok if you end up changing it, but have a strategy in mind to start with.
Did you come from another discipline?
Yes, I was a sling shooter for years before FTR.
When not shooting FTR what other things do you enjoy doing?
What style of action are you using? (Right feed/Right eject)
Right bolt / Right port is what I’m used to
What is your process when beginning to work up a load? Walk us through your load development.
I’ve kept a log book for each barrel I’ve developed a load for, so I usually begin by reviewing those books for ideas on starting loads. I stick to Hodgdon powders, Lapua cases and Berger bullets Quality components enable me to find a good load much faster. Usually my chambers and bore are optimal for a certain Berger bullet and I also have an optimal velocity range in mind which narrows down the load alternatives.
What would you suggest for someone wanting to get into the sport? Best advice you would give a beginner?
Don’t get lured into the race for the latest and greatest equipment – buy the best first and use your funds for new barrels and ammunition components. Ask the consistently top shooters questions and record their answers. They may not make sense to you now, but they probably will later on.
What your ingredients to the winning team Sinclair recipe? (What is your strength in team Sinclair?)
We like and respect one another and treat each other as equals. We focus on the positives and will sacrifice our ego to help the team succeed. We always have great confidence in one another and believe we are all interchangeable.
How often do you practice?
As much as I can given the place I live (Michigan) has winters that seem to last from October to April.
How many rounds do you shoot in a year?
Several thousand typically
What do you wish would be available to further the sport?
Ranges and staffing like that at the NRA Whittington Center and the Ben Avery Shooting Facility located in the middle and eastern part of the U.S.
What do you need to compete?
Unfortunately, money and time – it is not a cheap sport if you want to be competitive at the National level.
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