If you haven’t yet seen the series premiere of Top Shot, you can watch the entire episode on Hulu. Go watch it now, then click below the jump for my recap of the episode – if you hadn’t already figured it out, there are major league spoilers in the recap!
The episode opens with us walking up to the house and being divided in to Red Team and Blue Team. I ended up on Blue Team, along with JJ Racaza, Adam Benson, Blake Miguez, Tara Poremba, Chris Cerino, Iain Harrison, and Jim Sinclair. Red Team consists of Pete Palma, Mike Seeklander, Kelly Bachand, Andre Robinson, Bill Carns, Denny Chapman, Brad Engmann, and Frank Campana (who has the best hair on the show, sorry Tara).
What’s interesting about the teams is the backgrounds we come from. Mike, Blake, JJ, and Brad are all USPSA Grandmasters, and while I’m an IDPA Master I’m nowhere in their league in terms of action pistol shooting. But we have a wide array of backgrounds, Frank is a retired NYPD officer, Tara’s a Chicago PD officer, Chris trains cops, etc – so it’s not just competition shooters.
So we settle in to the house, and somehow I get shafted with a top bunk (being little and all) and then head out to the range to practice. We’re greeted with 4 old-as-dirt rifles, a Mosin-Nagant, an SVT-40, an M14, and a 1903 Springfield. I had only fired an M14 once before, and all the other rifles were alien to me. Blake and I paired up as spotter/shooter, and we spent most of our time with the SVT-40. Shooting in to the setting sun, the glare off the sights was absurd, but we managed to establish a point of aim/point of impact.
Blue team went back to the range and hand a little strategy session. Since we’d all essentially only had time for one rifle per spotter/shooter pair, we decided that we’d just stick with those pairings for the competition the next day if that was an option.
The challenge gets here, and sure enough it’s spotter/shooter pairs hitting exploding targets at 50/100 yards. Like you saw in the episode, we stayed with our plan and ended up winning. Getting through that thicket was actually harder than it looked on TV – History made Blake and I look pretty good with our run.
Of course, with Blue Team winning, that brings us to the elimination challenge between Mike and Kelly. I have to admit that I sold Kelly short – I thought that even with his rifle skill that he might buckle under the pressure and not be able to make the shot. He absolutely proved me wrong, and showed that he’s a true competitor and a classy guy. Both he and Mike treated the whole process with class and dignity, and were a credit to the shooting sports.
That’s all for this week, but I’ll have episode breakdowns and commentary that go more in-depth as the episodes get more complicated! There was a lot of “intro time” and stuff like that in the first episode, the next ones are going to be even more action packed.