Dorgan Trostel

I was born in Brighton, CO in 1984. I am married and have a 5 yr old boy and a 2 yr old boy and most fortunate to have a beautiful wife who allows me to compete nationally. I have been hunting and shooting since I was big enough to hold a rifle. Having 5 brothers and 4 sisters, my family was dependent on game meat as our main source of sustenance throughout the year. This put the burden of being an excellent shot to make ethical kills on all game we hunted. Not only that, there is/was serious competition in the family for the title of best shot. My family and I still have regular competitions, both rifle and shotgun, for bragging rights.

The only nickname I’ve gotten from shooting is Danger. A range officer misread my name as Danger and it has stuck. I had the match director come up to me afterwards and ask why I was being a “danger” so it was mildly embarrassing. All in good fun though.

To support my hobby I am work for the family construction business designing and installing fire sprinkler systems.

As a 13 year old, I participated in the Whittington Adventure Camp in Raton, NM. Out of more than sixty kids aged from 13-17 over a 2-week shooting/camping adventure, I was awarded Top Rifle Shot. I later returned to this camp and was an instructor for two years. After that, there was a gap in my competitive shooting while I went to high school, and later as I went to college. At Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO, I was Vice President of the Shooting Club. After graduation from CSM, I began Benchrest Shooting in 2009 and after a year of realizing these “old guys” were kicking my butt on a regular basis (I got a few licks in and met some great people) I needed something with a more physical aspect to it. In 2010 I made the switch to tactical style competitions and have not looked back. My first rifle was a GAP smithed Defiance action 308 with a 5-25 US Optics scope in True MOA. At my first match I was dialing my wind and could not for the life of me figure out why I was getting further and further away from the target. After the string of fire I asked and was soon schooled that I was dialing the wind the wrong direction. HA!! SO if you haven’t shot a match before, don’t be afraid of making any mistakes. We all did and still do.

As mentioned above I got into shooting competitively a few years before there were any governing bodies in the sport. Locally, there was one match and of course the Raton, NM one day match. I met my friend RJ there and have seen the sport grow from maybe 5 guys to last weekend there were over 30 competitors at a club match. In 2010, 30 people was a large match. Now there are nearly 50 matches a year with 100+ competitors. Amazing.

This coming up 2017 Season I have a few goals. First and foremost is to have fun as always. It is important to me at least to remember it’s a game and to not take it too seriously. I see too many shooters get caught up in worry about the prize table or National rankings and forget the true meaning of the sport. This was started by great people that enjoy being marksmen. Friendly rivalries have evolved but it is about the people and shooting to the best of your abilities.

Ian Kelbly

I began shooting Benchrest at 13 years old and competed in a few local matches. I really began competing at 17 years old in FTR with one of our Grizzly Rifles with a 13” twist barrel shooting 155 Grain Sierra Palma bullets. I took 15th in the country in 2008 in the FTR class. From FTR class I moved up to F-Open to begin testing our 6.5x55 GWI cartridge with a 140 Grain Berger VLD Target. With that rifle I was able to place in the top 50 in the country while testing loads to prove its efficiency.

I competed in F-Open class for 3 years and became uninterested in chasing the 7mm bullets, bullet pointing, and magnum calibers that were driving the highest scores. In 2013 I went to the PRS Finale at K&M Shooting Complex in Florida. I was instantly hooked by the high pace precision long range bolt action competitions. In 2014 we formed Team Kelbly Tactical and added Christopher Tressler, and Marcus Blanchard as shooters for us. In 2015 I began competing in the PRS series and shot The Lone Star Challenge, and the SilencerCo Quiet Riot.

2015 was a tough year as I continually got beat at every match, driving my rifle skills to be better every match, while testing new features in our rifles and in our actions. We released the Atlas Tactical action in 2015, giving shooters the ultimate action for slick and quick bolt cycling and the advantage of a mechanical ejector. We have constantly improved our products every year as we have seen better ways to make our products (Extreme Duty Bolt Stop, Tilted TG Ejector, Kelbly’s Barricade Stop, 12” Fore-End Picatinny rails).

In 2016 Marcus Blanchard left the team and we added Dorgan Trostel. In 2016 I shot the Kelbly’s VPRC, Defiance LRSE, Woody’s PRS Match, and the GAP Grind (The GAP Grind was my brother Ryan’s first Tactical Match).

In 2017 we have added Keith Baker as a shooter. We are also releasing our new Black Bear Tactical action which is a fully integral square action designed to give the best Tactical abilities in an action while maintaining the highest accuracy required for precision rifles. 2017 is also the inaugural year for the NRL (National Rifle League) which was started by Travis Ishida, Tyler Frehner, and myself. The NRL is designed to drive the best competitions and limit the number of “national” level matches, making it easier for competitors to plan their yearly shoots, so that we aren’t going to 10+ matches a year to get into a championship. 2017 I will compete in the NRL only, Dog Valley Precision Challenge, The JC Steel Challenge, and The High Country Precision’s Mile-High Shootout.

I love competing and seeing all of my friends that I have made over the years. What really drives me is to be a better shooter at every match, I don’t mind being a middle of the pack shooter as long as I am continually evolving and getting better! We use these matches to test new products, new ideas, and to constantly drive Kelbly’s to make the best products in the world.

Ryan Kelbly

I shot my first ever short range benchrest match when I was 14 years old, I had my Grandfather George Kelbly Sr. as my coach for the first match, here at our Super Shoot. I can still remember one of the greatest quotes my Grandfather told me at this match, I had asked him what should I do with that wind condition out there? He’s response was “ pull the F*****G trigger and you’ll find out what the wind is doing” I will never forget that, really taught me to figure out the wind reading on my own.

I continued to shoot short range benchrest till I was 16, I had a blast learning how to read wind and wind flags, I think it gave me a good life lesson on the wind reading. I wasn’t a top shooter or even close to competiting with the top shooters but still to this day I’m out there shooting for the fun and love of the sport. After short range game I switched over to shoot FTR with my Brothers old FTR rig he used which was a Kelbly Grizzly II pillar bedded into our HCIT stock, running 155 Bergers out of a 28” Brux Barrel. I shot a lot of local matches and eventually made my way down to Raton, NM to shoot at the Nationals. I finished in the later top half and was very satisfied with that, again I would love to win but that’s not my focus.

I focus on learning and just being a good sport about everything, I would rather help a shooter than to beat them. I finished shootng FTR at about 19 years old and then just stop shooting for a couple years besides testing rifles and just going out a plinking at our range here. When I got hooked on the Tactical style shooting was when I went to work my first year at shot show when I was 21 and got to watch the PRS finale at the Sin City Precision held match in Vegas. I think what really attracted me to this style of shooting was the degree of challenging mind and body stages, but more than that the people who were shooting in this discipline. Every shooter I know has gone above and beyond to help everyone out in their squad or who’s around them that day, and that continues to be seen. So I finally bit the bullet in October of 2016 and went down to the Gap Grind and shot as my Brother’s amateur. I ended up 44th overall out of 123 am’s, which I didn’t think was bad seems how that was my first time ever shooting steel.

I am so honored to work here at Kelbly’s and for them to have me on their team and let me go out there and test and use our products I am more than grateful for the opportunities they give me. I may not be the best shot out there but when I pull that trigger it leaves a smile on my face that a bad stage can not wipe off. I look forward to shooting in this sport until I can’t pull a trigger anymore, and I look forward to representing Kelbly’s in the best way I can because we truly care for the shooting industry and strive on the quality of our product and team members.

Pull the trigger, sling some lead, smile, and kick ass!!

Josh Lemon

I was born and raised in fabulous Las Vegas, NV and now call Tennessee home. I am married with two girls, 14 and 7 who are incredible humans! I own and operate Lemon Design, a custom paint company here in TN where we paint motorcycles, hot rods and rifles. My passions are family, shooting, motorcycles, skydiving, and all things outdoors!

Growing up, my parents and my brother spent our free time exploring the western U.S. and spending as much time outdoors and in the mountains as possible. We travelled from the highest peaks in the west to the beaches of California rock climbing, hiking and fishing. The love for the outdoors kept me engaging in activities and sports that kept me outside. As a kid my Grandad taught my brother and I about gun safety and how to shoot. He was the person who got me into guns and taught me about the responsibility and respect of firearms and how fun shooting and hunting is.

I began chasing long range shooting in my late twenties, where I had friends from active duty snipers to coaches and competitors. My first custom tactical LR rifle was built by David Davis in Clarksville TN in 2011; a slicked up Remington 700 in 308 with a Leuopold Mark 4 on top. It began there- next was my own reloading setup. I had no idea what was to follow, from the never ending quest from ultimate accuracy to the never ending humbling experiences. From 600 and 1000 silhouette to short range UBR and extreme long range, I couldn't get enough. I hung around the best shooters I could find, and close friendships were forged as well as finding incredible, patient mentors. Thanks Tony, Tim, Ken and JR! The community of LR shooters is what I love about the sport.

I began shooting LR Tactical Rifle competition in 2015. Everything changed, nothing did it for me like this did! I shot in every comp there was and made a fool of myself for a long time in the beginning; however, I saw what was possible and knew if I stayed at it, eventually I would get there or die trying. Hard work and dedication, along with hundreds of hours of reloading and testing, dominated my free time. I never knew I would eventually become a full time reloader and part time shooter, ha! I am honored to shoot with Team Kelbly Tactical and look forward to shooting with an exceptional team and exceptional rifles.

Ckye Thomas

I am a 38 year old Montana logger who loves red wine and long walks on the beach. Occasionally I also like a Busch Light and a steep hike! I have a 6 year old boss who keeps me on my toes and am hitched up with a beautiful woman who loves me enough to let me chase this crazy dream all over the country.

My Father and Grandfather instilled a love of guns, safety, and hunting in me when I was very young. Fast forward to my early 20’s and I was guiding deer hunts in the Sand Hills of Nebraska for an outfitter buddy of mine. On one particular trip Mark tells me we are going to guide a few ‘Best of The West’ hunters. When the hunters arrived they wanted to shoot deer at a long distance. I was instantly intrigued with how far they could make accurate and ethical one shot kills. As soon as I got home I had my first long range rifle built, a 6.5x284. That following summer a close friend of mine asked if I wanted to shoot in a local long range competition with him. That was the beginning of the end. I sold all of my dirt bikes and built another rifle.

The next six years I spent countless hours on the phone and in my reloading room figuring out all the details of this intoxicating sport. I am competitive by nature, and I soon realized this sport would be perfect for me. This is where the obsession part comes in. “I love you more than guns and bullets!” is the notorious line I use when reassuring my wife of my love for her. I attend matches all over the country, my favorite being in the northwest. The match directors that make these competitions possible always have their work cut out for them. It takes a great deal of knowledge and organization to put on a successful match. My favorite matches are the Team Challenges, especially the more physical ones. I like the matches that leave me wondering how to fix all the holes in my game. Last year my partner and I competed in the Rifleman’s Team Challenge, shooting .308s in the limited division. We ended up taking 1st Place overall for the season. I have a love/hate relationship with my .308. I hate it because it’s harder than my 6.5x47 but its one of the best feelings in the world when I inform my buddy that he got beat by a .308.

The 2018 shooting season is rapidly approaching and the competition is getting better and better as the sport grows. I’m excited to start working on my personal goals, including making more time to practice at the range and keeping my loading area clean and organized. Both are almost impossible! I also enjoy taking new shooters to matches and introducing them to the sport and the thrill it brings. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of the friendliest people over the years and luckily some lifelong friends. I hope to see all of you out there shooting your guns and for those of you that haven’t been to a match yet, JUST DO IT. You wont regret it, I promise, but your wife might!

Collin Zahn

I was born and raised in Rochester, NY and got started in precision rifle in early 2019. Shooting competitively has been an extremely humbling experience for me. You would think putting your reticle on the center of the target and squeezing the trigger would be easy, but as I found out, there are about 98 other variables that go into play than just point and shoot. The critical thinking aspect of this sport is what instantly sparked my interest. I never traveled much until I started shooting and I can honestly say I don’t know where I’d be without this sport. The people I have met have forever changed my life and they are people who I can always rely on.

I owe my love of the hunting and shooting to my Grandfather, William. At the young age of 4, my grandfather, along with my Father, Uncle and Great Grandfather, took me out behind our camp, threw a Red Ryder BB gun in my hand and taught me how to be a capable marksman. From there, being in the outdoors with my Pops has always been something I hold close to my heart. Whether it be chasing black bear and moose in the deep woods of Maine, riding old logging roads looking for partridge or white tails down in the Southerntier region of NY, my Grandfather has always been a driving force behind this pursuit.

I am fortunate enough to shoot with an amazing group of guys and gals here locally, known as the Western New York (WNY) Precision Riflemen. Chances are if you see one of us, the rest of the group isn’t too far behind. We come from all walks of life, but the beautiful thing about this community is no matter what any of us are going through, we can all come together and connect over making steel go ding. In June of 2021, we hosted our first long range charity rifle match to benefit a local warplane museum here in NY where we raised close to $2000 so they could keep their doors open. What a rewarding experience it was to take our hobby and be able to provide a positive impact for a struggling, local business.

It’s truly an honor to shoot for Team Kelbly Tactical – A company where every single employee knows why they get out of bed each morning and do what they do. In a recent podcast, Ian Kelbly said “It starts with culture”… and it is perfectly clear that knowledge alone won’t create a higher level of accuracy, but a team of dedicated individuals that truly care about the customer and the work that they do. I’m super excited about this opportunity and looking forward to a lifetime of friendship with this team.