Top Shot Episode 5: The Good, the Rat, and the Ugly

As usual, major spoilers beneath the jump so don’t click if you’ve not yet seen the most recent episode.

I’m going to skip straight to it.  It had to happen eventually.  I got eliminated, and hey this stuff happens on reality TV shows.  Alright, on to the episode breakdown.

So, we shot flintlocks.  I actually felt GREAT about this challenge, because I had shot cap-and-ball and flintlock rifles with some regularity in high school, picked them again briefly in college, and had an affinity for them in general.  I shot very well in practice with the gun we had, so I felt great going in to the challenge.

As you saw, the dramallama showed up before the challenge.  Here’s the short version – I was pretty good friends with Blake and JJ, especially Blake.  Adam came to me with a plan to pit them two of them against one another in an elimination challenge if we lost the flintlock challenge.  I was uncomfortable and had reservations and said as much.  However, with 20/20 hindsight what I wish I had done was say right then and there that “no way, I want no part of this plan whatsoever and what you’re doing is shady”.  I didn’t.  However, I did do what any friend would do – I told my friends that someone was gunning for them, and they would have done the same had the roles been reversed.

Well, then we go and lose the challenge.  At the challenge itself, as you saw in the episode they did switch the rifle up on us.  I had volunteered to take the 125 yard shot based on practice and how everything had gone up to that.  Well, I missed.  No excuse for that, I had the shot and I plain sailed it over the target.  Even if we had been in dramatown, I would have likely volunteered for the elimination challenge.

And that’s when the fun began.  Honestly, I don’t know what to say about that.  I regret that our relationship deteriorated, and I regret that it had to come down to the two of us in the elimination challenge.  But that’s the game, and Adam had a big old hate on for me, so no matter what happened win or lose Blue team would have been better off for it.

The elimination challenge was awesome.  One of my childhood dreams – cutting a rope with a lever action rifle.  It’s a scene that’s been in countless westerns, and the video is just too good!  I wish I had won and actually cut the rope, but that wasn’t to be on that day.  And ultimately, that’s alright.  I learned a lot from my time on Top Shot, I made some great friends (and apparently 1 enemy!) and I came back from the experience ready to tackle whatever shooting challenges I could find.


  1. Caleb,

    First and most important, Happy Birthday!

    About the show…. I still have the question in my mind…. was there really that much Drama or did editing create much of it?

    As for how what you did and how you performed, can’t say I would have done much different. My respect for you remains, but not for some of the other shooters.

  2. You handled yourself pretty well unlike Adam. I’m glad I don’t have to work or do business with someone that is that unprofessional and childish.

  3. Well played, dude. The contrast between characters could not have been more clear, and I don’t think you have anything to be ashamed about.

  4. How can he call you a rat when he is busy conspiring to team treason?

  5. How can he call you a rat when he is busy conspiring to team treason?

    Yeah, apparently “finking” is a higher crime than backstabbing. Curious!

  6. I’m not going to lie, I was curious as to when “telling your friends someone is trying to backstab them” because a lower crime than “plotting to backstab your teammates”.

    C’est la vie!

  7. People sometimes will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid admitting that they were wrong, and Adam is a perfect example of that.

  8. Caleb you did good and Adam chose last night to show America exactly what a weasel he is.When Adam spoke to you he specifically said Blake and JJ ,when in front of the group he did not mention them,he said something like
    ‘team decisions ‘ so he is quite the story twister too .So I would say Adam doesn’t know how to ‘man-up’ either.

  9. I lost all respect for Adam after last night’s show. As wally mentioned, Adam’s telling of events differed quite a bit from what was shown as happening. That and all of his “stature” remarks I really didn’t care for.

    I do have a question, however. Why did you seem to get so many votes against you? For instance, what was Tara’s reasoning for voting against you? I think Ian mentioned that he voted for you solely based on the Kentucky rifle performance, but there was no reasoning from the others. I sure hope they weren’t buying the shit that Adam was shoveling.

    By the way, thanks for the behind the scenes posts up until this point.

  10. Caleb, as I said to you in my email, this is how I saw the episode:

    Adam to co-conspirators: Let’s get Caleb in here so I can manipulate him to go along with our plan to plot against Black & JJ.

    Adam to Caleb: We want you to help us screw over the guys who are better than us.

    Calen to JJ & Blake: Adam is plotting behind your back.

    Adam to television: That jerk Caleb was plotting behind my back! If I learned one thing in the Tall Marines, it’s that you never plot behind someone’s back!

    Seriously, this episode was enough to make me rethink my interest in the whole show. Adam was a fucking douchebag. Are we allowed to say that here?

  11. Tara and I talked, and her vote was for the same reason as Iain’s. In fact, in the team meeting that we had I actually said “I missed the 125 yard shot, I had a chance to tie things up and I let you guys down” – so those votes didn’t come as a surprise.

  12. Now I don’t have much reason to watch the show. Adam really ruined it for me. Of course I was always pulling for you though. Time to cancel the series on the Tivo

  13. The only thing I was disappointed about was what you mentioned: That you didn’t tell Adam right to his face that you found his scheming disgusting and tell him right up front that you were going to tell Blake and JJ about it.

    It wouldn’t have changed anything in that Adam would have still tried to make it all about your “betrayal”, but I think that would have removed any doubts about the morality of your actions.

    To your credit, you manned up and admitted your mistake, both on the show in the form of an apology and here in your recap. Which is much more than can be said for that whiny, narcissistic backstabber.

    BTW: the majority of viewers seemed to agree. Some 70% of the viewers supported you and voted for Adam to be eliminated…and I believe the voting was completed before they even aired the “team meeting” where you apologized for your minor stumble.

    You also showed a lot of class after being eliminated. I found Adam’s faux friendliness in his farewell to you rather slimy after all the smack talking he did leading up to the challenge.

    I have to agree with the other commenters that my interest in the show is waning quickly. The controversy and duplicity do nothing for me, exactly what I don’t like about the reality show format in general…which is what they seem to be pushing to increase the “drama” factor.

    Anyway, it was fun while it lasted.

  14. Great job on the show, and thanks for telling us all about it. I’ll definitely miss your behind the scenes posts going forward.

    While watching the show last night, I asked my girlfriend if Adam was clearly the dick in the situation or if my knowing you through the blog was clouding my judgment. She agreed that Adam came across as a huge ass. The cracks about your height were really uncalled for. We were rooting for you in the elimination (along with 70% of the audience, according to their polling).

    I thought it was bogus that once you missed the target in the team challenge it was over. I think red should have had to shoot and if they missed too, both take another shot.

  15. I don’t know what Marine Corps that man served in but you don’t conspire against your own team.

    You stood up and lost with your honor intact.

    Well done.

  16. I don’t know what Marine Corps that man served in but you don’t conspire against your own team.

    You stood up and lost with your honor intact.

    What he said.

    The short jokes were way, way over the line. I can understand Adam being upset about your actions as it frustrated his plans to frustrate everyone else’s plan, but the minute he went personal, I lost all respect for him.

    I think deep down, Adam knew/knows his attempts to backstab JJ and Blake were wrong, that’s why he went off so much on you: He transferred his guilt to you, and made you the personification of his betrayal.

    But what do I know, after all, I got a “C” in Pysch 101. 🙂

    Congratulations for staying above the fray.

  17. Caleb,

    Dont listen to sailorcut….you did nothing wrong…. Adam is a douche and as you know there is no way to go right by a guy like Adam, any way you would have handled yourself he would make it look like your fault. You came across as a good guy and he is jerk. He is a coward.


    Good Luck with Everything!

  18. Well played! It’s a shame you didn’t make it farther, but this is a hell of a thing to put on your shootin’ resume. If I was on the show, my biggest regret would have been the overall lack of shooting. After each challenge I would hope that everyone could try the events, such as the zipline.

  19. Aw, Chompers you’re just saying that because he trashed the Guard.

    But seriously to everyone, I really appreciate the support! It means a lot to me.

  20. The way that Adam responded to every true accusation from Blake at him by attacking you showed who the real jerk was. Way to go out with class.

    P.S. Pete standing in the shower spying on your meeting was hysterical.

    P.P.S. Happy birthday!

  21. All other things being equal, you certainly came out the better of the piece, while Adam appeared to be quite a dick. I hope he’s next to go.

    Oh well.

  22. Wow – I’ve gotta say Adam’s behavior really took a lot of my enjoyment out of the show. All his talk of character and yet he displayed such a lack of it.

    I was rooting for you, Caleb – sorry you got knocked out by such BS 🙁

  23. Watched the show for the shooting. After the way that Adam acted I have now lost interest in the show. I am not a fan of shows of the Survivor style format. Only one I watch is Hell’s Kitchen, because Chef Ramsey gets rid of who he wants to and the team nominations are only done as a type of testing and drama, they do not decide who is eliminated.

  24. I was really enjoying this show. There was some some good teamwork going on and people were working together. Yes, it’s an elimination type show, but to see Adam with the twisted sense of reality is unfortunate. I think Caleb was correct in telling them what they were up to since they had all decided to work together first.

    I unfortunately know people that stomp and make a bigger spectacle to cover for the real hypocrisy they are living. There is never any real introspection or self awareness with these people. “Rat this”, “Mole that” is only their way of covering for their own insecurities. These are the first ones to run to the boss when someone says something to ‘hurts their feelings’. People like this are a cancer to the group and unfortunately the one who shouts and stomps their feet the loudest gets the sheep to fall in line.

  25. I was, like everyone else it seems, sorry to see you get eliminated from the competition.

    I feel you acted properly, and you even said to Adam that you weren’t comfortable with his proposition.

    I’m interested in seeing if the Blue team can get their cohesion back.

    I know if I were in Blake and J.J’s shoes, it would take a tremendous amount of will to set it aside, if I were even able to…

    My wife and I both greatly enjoyed Kelly’s sticking up for you, with the cards.

    Hang in there man, Semper Paratus!

  26. Prediction: Next time the Blue Team goes to the elimination range, Adam gets shot.

    Oops, I mean Adam’s *name* gets shot..

    My bad.


  27. Yeah, what Kelly did was pretty cool. I honestly hope that Blue team goes on to win – I never had anything personal in the fight, for me it was always about the team. With or without Adam, I’m still pulling for Blue Team until the time comes to combine the crews.

  28. Adam came across as a tool. Calling you a rat when he tried to stab his teammates in the back.

    If this show turns into Survivor with Guns instead of a shooting competition, it will lose viewers.

  29. “If this show turns into Survivor with Guns instead of a shooting competition, it will lose viewers.”

    It’s never been anything but. You still have to lose a shooting competition to be eliminated though. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent to 4.6.1 in Top Shot, as we saw with Jim getting screwed in his elimination challenge.

    (For the non USPSA readers, 4.6.1 reads, in part: “Range equipment must present the challenge fairly and equitably to all

  30. Adam and his buddy were wrong to drag you into their scheming. It put you in a no win situation, either you betray your friends or you betray them. They hoped that you could be pressured into taking their side and then Adam lost his mind when you didn’t take his side. It’s like he felt personally injured when you didn’t pick him. He didn’t need to lose the challenge; he needed to get punched in the mouth. Tara played the stupid female in the middle of what was actually an important argument. Rather than stand up for principle, she tried to act like peace was preferable to truth. I find her actions during the meeting nearly as contemptible as Adam’s. Now we will see if JJ and Blake punish Adam as he deserves. He needs to go to every elimination until he loses.

  31. Well, the one downside to that (and why it probably won’t happen) is that Adam and Co now actually control a majority voting block. With 4 votes (Adam, Tara, Iain, and Chris) you could have a three way voting tie. Two votes for Blake, two votes for JJ, and two votes for whomever, which guarantees that either Blake or JJ would be in the challenge.

    BUUUUUUUT I don’t think that will happen. Say what you want about Adam, he’s not stupid. He saw how badly this blew up in his face, and I think that in future episodes he’ll be smarter about his machinations.

  32. I can’t defend anything Adam did or said and I wish you were still on the show. Having said that, if you had not said anything about Adam approaching you to JJ and Blake

    a. there wouldn’t have been such a huge and immediate rift in the team which ended up costing your team a win

    b. you would probably still be on the show because the red team may have voted for you to sit for this challenge. and even if you had to go to elimination it might have been somebody other than Adam who you matched up with, and you might have won it.

  33. You did well during the challenge. Honestly, if I were you I would have decked Adam at the team meeting. He’s the sort of man you just don’t want in the Marines. Or any social/military/team activity. A bully.

  34. “Well, the one downside to that (and why it probably won’t happen) is that Adam and Co now actually control a majority voting block.”

    Bad behavior MUST be punished, else it will be viewed as successful and will be repeated. JJ and Blake should make every effort to crush the little bug, not only to teach him a lesson, but to teach everyone else a lesson. The reason so many people are saying that they don’t want to watch any more is because they think that justice would have had the bad person punished and the good vindicated. They fail to realize that justice isn’t always swift. If JJ and Blake work at it, they can make it happen. It’s one thing to play petty junior high school politics, but after the narcissistic rage, he needs to be squashed. Public humiliation and shunning is too good for him.

  35. I just want to start off by saying that I’m not really a gun fanatic or anything (in fact, I’ve only shot a few times), but I came across this thread by Googling “top shot adam asshole” after being so disgusted by the show. How he ignores the hypocrisy is just beyond me. I actually said “what a douchebag” out loud while watching (and no, there was nobody watching with me).

    Anyways Caleb, from a completely impartial observer you came out with your integrity intact.

  36. Caleb, you went out with class.

    I think one of the biggest distinctions about shooters I’ve found over the years is that, almost to a person, they are people of warmth, generosity, and values. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been to the range and been offered a chance to shoot someone else’s equipment, or been loaned tools I had forgotten, or been offered advice around a tough problem, all by complete strangers. I have occasionally seen bad behavior at a range, but almost never by an experienced shooter.

    I only started watching Top Shot because I wanted to see an elimination format show played by people with ethics. What I saw in Adam disgusted me. The cost of rent being what it is in Hawaii, I share my home with two senior NCO’s from Marine Corp Base Kaneohe, and have been pleased to socialize with a couple dozen other folks from the base. I think they’d all be revolted by Adam’s behavior, and several of them said so when we watched the episode. Never seen so much outright disgust on those faces.

    I don’t know what Adam did in the USMC, but the ones at my place last night said that screwing your team for personal gain far outweighs letting the victims of the attack know that there’s a knife headed for their kidneys. His “Rat” comments drew howls of derision (and a few pointed comments about hoping that the next Marine he comes across will give him some incentive to review the specifics of his behavior).

    I know reality shows are manipulated for drama and I know they got all the drama they were hoping for in this episode. I hope that the people watching the show have more good sense than to reward this by continuing to watch, but I don’t have any real expectation that they will. As for us, the “Top Shot” DVR gatherings are over. I hope they got what they were looking for.


  37. Dude, you were way calmer to that POS than I would have been.

    Sorry to find out you won’t be on the show anymore, I was mostly interested in it since I read your blog.

    Best regards,

  38. I have a question about the team competition. Since each target was a head-to-head competition between the teams, why did the Red team not have to shoot the 125 yard target? If Pete had also missed, then the two of you would still need to determine a winner for that target. The way I saw it, they still needed to shoot at that range. Was that explained but not aired?

  39. Blue team was already down by 4 points, since Caleb missed, they couldn’t earn any points from the target. Even if the last shooter misses, Red still has the lead.

  40. I’m done with the show! I wanted to see a shooting compitition…not this crap. And I wonder…so far the verterans have done nothing but make jackasses out of themselves on both teams. So…Caleb, was there a hidden agenda. Did the producers go out of their way to find the most anti-team former military types they could. Anyone who watches this show wondering about marksmen or the sport of shooting is going to come away thinking the worst. And lord help anyone who thinks these idiots are what the military usually turns out.

  41. The worst possible behavior in a team is to have people going behind other people’s backs to screw them over. It would have been better to stop them when they talked to you, but I’m ok with you going to JJ and Blake to let them know that the others were going to stab them in the back.

    The blue team won’t get trust back, ever, and it will cause them to lose even more challenges.

    There is plenty of time to play the games after you’ve knocked the other team out. Until then, you need your strongest shooters with you so your team keeps winning! It was a stupid strategy in the first place.

  42. As for why Tara voted against you, she was just being smart. She knew that you and Adam had to go against each other. She said there was way too much testosterone and she was just going to keep her head down and wait for it to settle itself. That’s good strategy, as she is probably the worst shot left on Blue team.

  43. Caleb, I just found out on another site that you too are a veteran. That sort of blows my theory out of the water…

    But I still wonder if the producers have a hidden agenda, because overall they seem to be making shooters look like…well…gun nuts.

  44. Caleb, I’m sorry you had to put up with that jerk. Any decent person will immediately realize how poor a soul Adam is. After making himself to be an a$$ on national TV, you should be happy to know that the rest of the decent world has lost respect for him now. His relentless personal attacks was just to project the focus on you. There’s nothing more lower than a backstabber. History has always been full of them. The greatest of them all is Lucifer. I hope he gets kicked off real soon, gets fired from his job for being such an unprofessional idiot on TV, and get beat up by people who hate him.

  45. Guys, I really do appreciate the support! I will ask that everyone back off Adam a little bit – while his actions were not appropriate, I think here at Gun Nuts we should hold ourselves above name-calling as well.

    But wow, you guys – I am blown away with all the support!

  46. Just another causal reader/top shot viewer who wanted to let you know that I found nothing wrong with your actions. Adam’s actions are clearly based on trying to save face by deflecting blame after his conspiring against JJ and Blake. Caleb, I believe that this whole experience will only serve to increase your reputation within the community.

  47. Caleb, you’re right. You were the calm one and you prove once again you are the better person. I’ll back off some. I don’t normally get angry over TV shows, but that was the first time in a very, very long time that I became upset at the endless immature actions of Adam. I thought it would stop after awhile but it just kept going on and on. He really showed what kind of person he is and he has brought great shame to the armed forces, just knowing that someone like him would even be allowed in uniform, and given the responsibility of trying to protect our great country. My salute to you, Caleb.

  48. Congrats on your class, Caleb; and it’s a shame about the way it went down.

    Interesting to watch, as we go on, how much less “careful” editing is required to bring out the attitudes.

    Adam went active too early; I dunno how well he’s going to survive after this. Depends on whether he can hold the bloc together, I suppose. I would bet a donut on Chris having second thoughts after that team meeting, for sure. I’d go a Munchkin on Team Blue dropping into three factions (Adam+Iain, Blake+JJ,Tara+Chris). Depends on which team is at the nomination range and how vicious the host is feeling in exposing the private stuff.

    (I know it’s his job, but dang did he go fishing in troubled waters with dynamite at the challenge range)

  49. BTW- the unreferenced He in my last sentence is the host, if I was unclear

  50. As stated on your facebook page:

    Just watched Ep. 5 of TopShot on hulu. You competed well, kept your dignity and bearing, stayed focused on competing with little of the dramatic b.s. of Adam and I was proud of you to the end. You were just barely out shot, Coastie, but your INTEGRITY was more sound than the Marine. Jarhead myself and I admit, we have a few weak links. Kudos!

  51. I finally watch the epasiode.
    I agree with Blake.
    You may be half in stature but you are twice the man Adam is.
    Adam, is the bad guy and a idiot.
    as a fellow short guy, the short joke were immature and uncalled for.

  52. Hey, first time I have ever felt the need to comment on anything on the internet, but after watching Top Shot I felt I should. Caleb you showed an amazing amount of integrity. I was sad to see you leave the show because my interest has certainly waned now. You are obviously a loyal individual and the type of guy I wish I could go to the range with. Glad you at least got to have fun in the elimination round. The smile on your face when you saw the challenge was priceless!

  53. Well there is another reality show that boiles down to tv drama…. I was really hopping that you won… O well at least i did not bet any money. Good shooting.!

  54. Adam was saying the unwritten rule of the Marines was “Don’t Fink”. And here I was thinking the more important, written, rule of the Marines was “Semper Fideles” — ALWAYS FAITHFUL.

    I have a foreboding about Blue team now. If Adam had gone, the problem would have truly been resolved. But he stayed, and now the Blue team always has to wonder when the next plot will start with him.

    But you stood tall, fought bravely and with skill, and left with class. Whatever you think your failing was in the debacle, you came out the better man.

  55. I’ve started reading this blog about the same time Top Gun started airing. I’ve got no particular reason to line up behind you, I have no particular oar in the water so to speak. That said, you’re certainly clean and Mr. Rat Fink came out smelling a lot less clean. Besides, architecture is to engineer as finger painting is to Monet.

  56. Adam’s behavior is due to his own insecurities, and I would guess this isn’t the first time he has acted out like this. That guy is so scared to death of Blake and JJ, it is actually comical!
    Caleb, you were put into an impossible situation and there is no way you could come out clean, and in the end you did the right thing by my point of view. I almost think that Adam put you in that situation knowing you could get punished for doing the right thing.
    If you had confronted Adam right away it might have made things better, but few people would have the presence of mind to do that at that instant.
    I was really enjoying the show up until this point. Blue team was doing so well with keeping it together, but I guess it is bound to happen sometime. I’ll probably watch just to see Adam get his, hopefully at the hands of Blake or JJ.
    Great elimination challenge by the way. Wish you had made it. I like how they made a big deal about adjusting the sights when for that challenge I don’t think it would have mattered much… you know, going from shooting horizontal rungs to a vertical rope….

    Anyway, did you shoot the exact same gun in the elimination as you did during the practice session?

  57. Hey Caleb:

    Like several others on this blog, I NEVER post in forums, but this episode had me so perturbed that I couldn’t stop thinking about it, even on my way to a job interview yesterday. My girlfriend and I watch this show religiously and she almost had me convinced that I should audition for the next season. After this episode, however, I’m going to have to decline: I just couldn’t deal with the sophomoric drama and antics.

    Adam’s sense of honor and integrity is non-existent. I’m not name-calling: I’m just telling it like it is. He accuses you of being a snitch when in fact he was the one that was attempting to commit the worse crime of fragging two of his teammates. And frankly, his strategy was plain stupid: the red team has been whittled down to some extremely competent shooters (not that the ones already eliminated weren’t good, just that the remaining ones seam to actually like each other because their “Adams” (ie hypocritical instigators) are gone.) (Apologies to Frank: he seamed like a good guy, but I didn’t like the way Bill and Mike picked on Kelly: very Adam-like.) Brad may be a bit of a whiner (or at least portrayed that way through the wonders of editing), but Blue Team will need the likes of Blake and JJ to deal with him should they have another pistol challenge. And something tells me Denny is going to tear-up next week’s challenge. Kelly and Paul are deadly with long-guns and Andre has been consistently strong, so Adam’s strategy really was premature as Blake pointed out.

    I’m sorry you had to deal with such a bully and I hope you didn’t take his comments to heart. You protected your friends and you did initially tell Adam & Co. that you didn’t like the idea. When I listened to Adam’s tirades, I was reminded of part of a line from Shakespeare: ” a tale told by an idiot — full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” You showed great poise under pressure, you competed well, and had fun to boot. I felt bad that you were the one that got eliminated, but even in narrow defeat you showed class.

    I honestly believe that other team members were put-off by Adam’s behavior (note Chris’s facial expressions when listening to Adam) and I think they may have new ideas about any plan of Adam’s. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Blake and JJ form a casual alliance just to survive (even if the Conspiring Four split votes between them, they’d still have to shoot 2-2, leaving Blake and JJ to shoot 2 at someone else, ending in a 3-way tie. And if one of the Four questions Adam’s sanity, then we might have a conspirator in each elimination challenge from this point out.

    I must add that this episode increased my estimation of both Kelly and Blake: Kelly because he speaks out against bullies (did the same with Jim in the last episode) and Blake because he called Adam on his behavior (and those great comments he made to Adam at the challenge re a) you being twice the man of Adam because of your integrity, and b) that he kind of wished it was The Ultimate Fighter (ie he wanted to beat the &*^% out of Adam.) A classic, and frankly one of the best lines of the show!)

    Anyway, for someone who never posts, i think I’ve outlived my welcome here, so i better sign-off.

    Congrats again for being a great competitor and a great human being and know that no one in their right mind thought that Adam’s behavior was amusing or even acceptable. You are the bigger man and I’m sure you will do well in anything you apply yourself to.

    Hopefully someday we’ll get to meet on the firing line!

  58. First and foremost I am not a gun enthusiast, i only watch the show. If i could speak to Adam right now I would tell him to get the f$#% over it that someone with better character foiled his little slink scheme to shatter the integrity of his own team (dumbass). Adam is the kind of person in society often personified in books and other media as someone pulling strings behind the scenes, using others as tools to accomplish a goal only beneficial to him. Congrats to you Caleb, for showing your high caliber (excuse the pun) integrity and informing Blake&JJ of Adams BS shortsighted operation. No one deserves to be “lab rats” (once again, excuse the pun) in someones idiotic machinations. You were not, by far, ratting on anyone. Adams behavior once found out you were “ratting” rubbed me worse than Kelly (kudos to you for sticking up for the right side) rubs Bill ( I wonder what he said anyway..). That was the most immature thing I have seen a grown man do. Quoting Bill “you could have been f#$% 5 years old and not have done what he did.” Once again if I could speak to Adam I would tell him “boo fucking hoo! somebody screwed your shitty little scheme? Gonna cry!? get the hell over it! No you cant do you`re too weak, too pathetic… instead you just decide to go after him! Go after someone else because YOU`RE NOT MAN ENOUGH TO ADMIT THAT YOU WERE WRONG. grow up you stupid dousche” that just… bullshit about your size was like branding a bull in front of a red flag. pissing someone off and giving them a target. I was often screwed with because i was the runt in my athletic family& school. god Adam just PISSES me off!
    as for you, Caleb you are a very high class person who should have won that challenge. that host was screwing with you guys at the team range. Shame you didnt hit that 125 target. Glad you got to take a stab at a childhood fantasy. 😉
    One last word to Adam. that man is a cancer to all people with more moral fiber than he. He gives veterans a bad name.

  59. There were some angry fellas on that show following the “drama”. I couldn’t help but think “if this were some other ‘reality show’ there would be fists thrown”. Indeed, an armed society is a polite society. 🙂

  60. You know, that’s a really good point, and one of the things that I wish people would focus on. Despite the anger and the drama, no one got shot, no one even got punched – we took the drama to the range and settled it without ever coming to blows.

  61. I find Adam absolutely wrong in calling you names. You were under no duty of silence to Adam, because you never agreed to be part of the plan. You were therefore completely free to act as you thought best. That is always the risk when someone is conspiring and wants to bring in co-conspirators.

    Aside from all that, hearing Adam use the term “rat fink” so many times… it makes me wonder if he has personally been the subject of such adolescent name calling.

    Caleb, I thought you acted like a gentleman through a very tough situation and in the face of very unfair and inflammatory remarks. Kudos to you!

  62. Caleb,

    I second and third all of the above comments regarding your behavior and overall class showed under serious duress. You did the gun community proud.

    One question: why didn’t you adjust the sights on the rifle you used during the practice for the elimination round? Would a properly zero’ed weapon have made a difference when shooting at the rope? I’m just curious.

  63. What happened after you were eliminated? Did they sequester you somewhere like Survivor does, or were you allowed to go home as long as you kept quiet about it?

  64. My 13 year old son and I watch about 25% of the show. We DVR it. Then fast forward through any part of the show that someone doesn’t have a gun in their hands.

    But this episode we were doing other things and ended up letting the episode run uninterupted in the background.

    Late in the show, just before the elimination round my dear wife walked into the room just in time to hear my son say “Boy that Adam is really a whiney little bitch isn’t he?”

    Only quick talking on my part saved the kid from discovering what Dial softsoap tastes like. After the challenge, during which we were all cheering for Caleb, my wife agreed – Adam is a whiney little bitch.

  65. I know from your latest posts that you don’t want any hating on Adam, man. Sorry, but I am left scratching my head wondering which Marine Corps the dude was in. It sure as hell wasn’t MY Marine Corps! MY Marines don’t prostitute their integrity, regardless of the payoff. I expect that conniving backstabber trash out of a REMF, not a combat Marine. Certainly no kind of Marine I’d want covering my back. Perhaps the faux-outrage came from whatever vestiges of a conscience was burning from having a Coastie burn his ass for the breach of standards.

    Ah, well. For whatever it’s worth, I trust you will regard being called a “rat-fink” by a no-integrity, no-honor, REMF-ass, lying, conniving, backstabbing buddy-f*cker as the finest sort of badge of honor.

  66. No matter whether you want hating on Adam or not, no matter whether you made mistakes or not, get this: Adam was an asshole.

    His scheming was unworthy of a man, much less a Marine or Navy vet, and his faux outrage was at once laughable and a cover-up to attempt to cover his own unrighteousness.


    I really wanted you to beat him in the shootoff. Better luck next time…

  67. Finally got caught up on Top Shot, and maaaaan are The Inconvenience and I bummed about the results. Thanks for representing the shooting community with dignity and integrity, Caleb. I wish everyone on the show were doing the same.

    I know you asked everyone to ease up on the namecalling, so I apologize in advance for quoting The Inconvenience directly:

    “Well, you can tell him this Marine thinks that guy was a total f***ing f***nut, and was DEFINITELY NOT a grunt.”

    Yeah, what he said. 🙂

  68. Thanks for the support, Laurel! It has been really edifying to hear all the positive comments from readers and viewers.

  69. Hi Caleb – a bit late to the party, but I just wanted to add my two cents that you handled a difficult situation is the most honorable way possible.

    I’ve been watching the show up to now because I’ve followed your blog for a long time, and it was pretty cool to see you compete.

    I think the show has missed the point – it really is more about the interpersonal drama than the shooting. I wish they’d used a formula more like “Top Chef” than “Survivor”.

    Instead of set teams, they could have easily mixed and matched from the whole crowd. There doesn’t seem to be much incentive to be a “team player”, when at the end of the day you need to decide which person to eliminate. Since at least a couple of the elimination challenges have been more about personalities than skill, it’s distracting and not all that entertaining to me.

    I really think they should have devised a format the put a lot more emphasis on the SHOOTING, which is what we’re all really interested in, instead of the silly temper tantrums that plague all “reality” shows.

    Sorry you didn’t make it the end – it would have been cool.

  70. Caleb, good shooting. Your integrity is intact and the producers accurately reflected the good guy you are. See you next IDPA at Atlanta CC.


  71. Caleb. Seriously. WTF with shooting a ’94 thumb-over-bore? That nonsense is silly-looking enough when people do it with their ARs. On a lever gun it’s just ridiculous.

    Seriously though– sad to see you go. Adam is a scumbag.

  72. i loved top shop up until this episode, now im not even sure ill keep watching it. if i wanted powerwhore intrigues id just watch bachelor. adam totally disgusted me – is he really that big of a douche or or have they cut it to look like something it was’nt? it stinks to see people have to leave for standing up, but i also think adams victory is likely to be of the pyrrhic kind; he’ll most likely get kicked of the show in the next few episodes, and then he’ll be returning to normal career, where he’ll spend the rest of his LIFE explaing to people how he is really not the dick history channel “made him” look like.

  73. Adam likes to talk trash to the smaller Caleb ,but he sure backpedaled when confronted by the larger Blake.Adam is a punk that i would never trust

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