Top Shot Episode 9: The Shortest Fuse

Hey hey, spoiler alert.  Recap beneath the jump.

I watched the episode last night with Kelly at his regular Top Shot party.  It’s good to hang out with other contestants and enjoy being around fans of the show as well – and last night’s episode was a great one to watch with other people.  Three people eliminated!  Each challenge was an elimination challenge, and the nomination range has gone the way of the dinosaur.

The first challenge was crazy –  sever a burning fuse at 25 feet with a Beretta 92FS.  That’s right, they were trying to hit a string with a roundnose 9mm bullet.  Not an easy task by any measure of skill, yet eventually 5 of the 7 marksmen remaining were able to cut the fuse.  That left Blake and Kelly for the tiebreaker, which was as pure a test of marksmanship as possible.  One shot each, double action through the 92FS, and the closest to the bullseye wins.  In a HUGE upset, Kelly put another notch in his gunbelt and shot much closer to the bullseye than Blake.  To his great credit, Blake owned up and admitted in his interview that he pulled the shot, and gave Kelly credit for making an excellent shot.

On to elimination challenge number 2!  Short explanation – run up the hill, stopping at 4 different stations shooting the TZ-99, the HK93, the Mosin-Nagant, and the SVT-40 in that order.  The TZ-99 was at a target 30 yards away, the HK92 was 100, the Mosin was 125 and the final shot was the SVT-40 at 150 yards.  The slowest two times to complete the course would go home.  Simple as that.  Kelly went first and set the pace at what I thought would be the time to beat, a solid 1 minute 30 seconds.  He didn’t make any shooting mistakes, hitting each target with his first round each time.  After Kelly went Chris, Iain and Pete all posted faster times than Kelly, keeping him on the hot seat.  Adam had a miss with the Mosin Nagant, posting a slower time than Kelly and with one shooter left, he was guaranteed to go home.  If JJ, the last shooter posted a faster time than Kelly, both Kelly and Adam would go home.

Let me tell you, I would not want to be in the position of betting on JJ to make a mistake under pressure.  JJ went up the hill like a rocket, and finished with the fastest time on the course of anyone, 1 minute 20 seconds.  His speed and accuracy made sure that both Kelly and Adam would be going home that day.

We are down to just one episode left in Top Shot!  The competition is down to Pete, JJ, Chris, and Iain.  Next Sunday, we find out who’s going home, and who is going to win the ultimate title of Top Shot!  Do not miss next week’s episode!


  1. I noticed everybody cranked the 93’s rear sight when they picked it up. I wonder what aperture it was left on between runs?

  2. Well, there’s just the four settings, so I’d imagine it was left on either the shallow v-notch (100m) which, according to Marko is only used for things like going cyclic in FPF or shooting at helicopters, or the second (200m) aperture, which is the normal setting.

  3. I do kind of want to shoot an HK93 now if for no other reason than to see what you’re talking about.

  4. I was kinda bummed how it wasn’t really fair to Kelly. The other contestants had a leg up from watching him run the course. If they did it like the other elimination rounds that involved some kind of course and had 1 person do it at a time while the others sat out elsewhere it would have been a bit fairer since everyone would have had a “first time run” in a way.
    But oh’s in the past.
    If you want a HK93 on a budget, this is probably what the show used (since they never really spent much on the firearms they shown by the worn out 92):

  5. Oh thing I noticed about the 92 in that show during the first contest. Did they put snapcaps in the last spot or was it just so worn out the slidecatch didn’t work? About 70% of the time the slide didn’t lock back after they used up their rounds after shooting at the fuse.

  6. I thought they said the TZ-99 target was at 25 feet not 30 yards. Maybe I misheard him though.

  7. Last nights episode is what the show should have been like from the begining I hope Top Shot takes note and gets rid of the voting and team aspect and just makes it about cool shooting events.Also has anybody noticed that so far their has not been a 1911 or glock used arguably the two most popular hand guns in use today, Big omision of course it might be on purpose because they are the two most popular.

  8. I’m still sad at the lack of 1911 and M1 Garand.
    After seeing the Desert Eagle in the title sequence I thought there was going to be a “movie guns” competition.

  9. That’s one thing I’ve been wondering, Caleb – how much did they talk to the contestants about ideas for next season or for the competitions?

    The show has so much promise, but it really felt like it needed someone who was in the competitive shooting world to give suggestions on what makes a really cool stage to shoot. The stages got better each time, but some of the challenges… were honestly less exciting to watch and showed off the skill less than your average local USPSA match.

  10. I think the feedback from contestants and viewers will play in to the kinds of challenges that you’ll see in the next season.

  11. I’d like to see a tactical three gun match as part of the line up. It’s a natural for a team event, and a lot more exciting to watch than some of their choices so far.

  12. I’d love it if they had more events where the team’s actions influence the other team, with some back and forth. Sort of like what could have happened with the card game if the contestants had really known poker.

    I was also a fan of the competitions where there were different elements at work in the same challenge, so you could put the speed guy on the speed challenge and the accuracy guy on the accuracy challenge.

    Overall, I’d love it if the team challenges were more like watching sports coverage and less like survivor, but I think I’ll get that about a day after I get my pony.

  13. The final shot should have been at least 200 yds. In my opinion 150 yds was too close. If it were up to me it would’ve been 250 yds.

  14. Unless they used creative editing, the 92 shots by Blake and Kelly were single-action. They showed Blake cock it before shooting, and the flashbacks show them each shooting with the hammer cocked.

    I liked Blake’s exit speech – an honest laugh-it-off.

    Sad to see Kelly and Blake go; Glad to see Adam finally go, even though there’s only one episode left, and it looks like they’ve finally stopped putting in all the annoying “reality drama.”

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