I have a few minutes to put together my thoughts on the series finale of Top Shot; which for the two people that haven’t yet seen the episode are posted beneath the jump. If you’re not up to speed on Top Shot, go watch the finale at History.Com then come back and read the re-cap.
Now that was a great episode. Guns guns guns and more shooting than several previous episodes combined. I first and foremost want to congratulate my former teammate and friend Iain for his dramatic win – when I was eliminated I was betting on it being either JJ or Iain that won the whole shooting match, and I’m glad to see that he did. I watched the finale from Portland with Iain, his fans, and another Blue Team alumnus Tara. That environment was phenomenal and I haven’t had that much fun in a bar in a long, long, long time. Also, here is Iain’s official fan page – don’t you think that the Top Shot champions should have more than 300 fans? Go do something about that, my million annual readers.
Back to the show – the first challenge opens up with the four remaining shooters (Chris, Iain, JJ, and Pete) facing off with dueling trees. The goal is to shoot your color plates and have more of the other guy’s plates showing than yours at the end. Each shooter had 40 seconds and 4 ten-round magazines to do this, so there was a certain amount of strategy involved. JJ was up first against Chris, and you could see the look of relief on both Pete and Iain’s faces. JJ quite predictably beat Chris hands d0wn. As excellent a marksman as Chris is, that particular challenge is what JJ is renowned for. It would be like putting a high school swimmer in the pool against Michael Phelps. The high school swimmer is really good and better than 95% of the rest of the world, but they just happened to up against part of the 5% that’s better than they are. With Chris losing, he was going to face the loser of the Pete/Iain shootoff to see who would go home. In the Pete vs. Iain match, Iain took a commanding lead over Pete and maintained it for the duration of the match. This left us with Pete vs. Chris to see who would go home. An interesting match-up actually, as Chris beat Pete as badly as JJ had beaten Chris in the previous round.
Moving on to the next elimination challenge, the contestants played a game of HORSE…except with guns. Each of the three shooters got to pick a gun, a target, and a shot and the other shooters had to replicate the shot. This was the challenge that ultimately put JJ away for good, bringing it down to Iain and Chris in the final showdown.
This was cool. I mean super cool. The final contestants competed head to head, re-creating some of the best challenges from the entire show. First person to complete each stage wins. They started throwing knives at a target 11 feet away, then moved on to a 50 yard shot with the longbow. From there, they moved to 5 bottles at 25 feet that had to be shot with the Colt Peacemaker; next after the Peacemaker was the ’73 Winchester repeating the shot where they had to sever a rope. 5th up they had to shoot the Beretta 92 at the 2nd smallest tube from the Beretta challenge, 6th (probably my favorite) was 6 dinner plates with the AR15 at 100 yards. The final station was the venerable M14 at exploding targets, the first at 100 and the second at 300 yards.
The guys were neck and neck through the whole challenge. Iain got in to the final shooting bunker just a little bit before Chris, which gave Iain extra time to load the magazine on the M14. Because of his lead that he’d built up through the course, the extra rounds in the magazine were the deciding factor. Chris had to perform a reload while shooting the 300 yard target, and while he was reloading Iain made his final shot, ending the challenge and winning the $100,000 prize.
I’m very happy for Iain – he was a great competitor on Top Shot and is a good guy as well. Throughout the entire competition he played his game well, and deservedly came out on top as the first Top Shot.
Tomorrow night on Gun Nuts Radio, I’ll be summing up my thoughts about the entire Top Shot experience, season 2, and the impact it has had on the shooting sports. Join me at 9pm Eastern time to share your opinion at www.blogtalkradio.com/gunnuts!