Rhys Plum talks to the Team USA shooter, multiple World Champion and podcast host
At the age of 27, David Radulovich has been a member of Team USA for the past four years, and has a host of championship titles to his name, including 12 World Junior Championships at Sporting, FITASC and Compak.
He opened his own shooting academy in 2012, coaches some of some of the world’s top competitive shooters, and is the co-host of the ‘Beyond the Podium’ podcast alongside 2020 Olympian Kayle Browning.
How did you get into shooting?
“I was eight and we went for a family skiing holiday in Pennsylvania. It was a last-minute trip and we were going to rent skis at the resort, but then my sister was too light to do that.
“We asked what else we could do, and the host said ‘We have a gun range’ – and that’s where it all started. I had shot a bow before with my Dad, but to shoot an orange disk flying through the air and see it blow up – as an eight-year-old kid I thought that was awesome!”
Your proudest achievement to date?
“My proudest competitive achievement has to be my FITASC World Championship that I won in 2017 in Budapest. Hungary is where my family came from, hence the surname, and so to have the Slavic people celebrating with me was an overwhelming experience. Standing on the top of the podium was life changing. Now I enjoy the success of my students.”
What’s in your kit bag?
“In my bag I have my Pilla glasses. I only ever use two: the Cherry and the 18RHC. I’m red-green colour blind, so they allow me to kill targets that I wouldn’t have even seen before.
Then I have my Gamebore ammo; I shoot Dark Storm 28g 7½ at everything, no matter what the distance or discipline. And of course, my custom Perazzi High Tech S Black, with 34-inch tubes and fixed chokes, both at three quarters. I stay hydrated, and I drink a water that has a high pH level which aids oxygenation of the blood and helps me to stay at peak mental condition.”
Who has helped you on your journey?
“Obviously my sponsors are huge. You can’t make money in shooting, and without my sponsors I wouldn’t be able to make a career. So I’m extremely grateful to Gamebore, Perazzi and Promatic for allowing me to compete at this level.
“The majority of my career has been as a junior, so my parents played a massive part in my journey as a youngster – thank you to them. Wendell Cherry has been my coach since I was eight, and although I haven’t had a formal lesson from him since I was in juniors, he was instrumental in my early success.”
Where is your favourite place to shoot?
“Anywhere I haven’t shot before, presenting me with new challenges. Top Gun in Washington looks incredible, but it would be a 40-hour drive for me. Abroad, there are three places that are special to me, all of them in England. EJ Churchill hold amazing events.
“I also love Sporting Targets – we have nothing like their ginormous high towers in America. The other place is Don Brunt’s ground, Podimore. It’s not the biggest club, but I like the targets there, and Don is a good friend of mine. Kayle and I have built our own ground, Cypress Creek Lodge, which will be open by the end of 2020.”
What is your tip for junior shooters?
“Realise that you are only young. You have plenty of time to learn your craft. Even if you totally mess up an event, you will have plenty more opportunities in the future to ensure that you perform to the best of your ability.”