Round 1: The Long
challenges that you are about to read have been
designed, tested, supervised, and played by experienced
marksmen operating on a closed course. They are
extremely dangerous and should never be attempted by
anyone, anywhere, at any time.)
It's often been said that history was
written not by those who have the bigger guns, but by those who have the
stones to use them. Okay, I just made that up, but the logic is sound.
Time is ripe with the stories of those whose aim was truer than the
And now, 16 people have come together to
see whose aim is truest of all, as they compete in a one-of-a-kind
marksman shooting contest for $100,000 and the title of Top Shot.
The 16 sure shots...
- Kelly Bachand (22; Student; Kent, WA)
- Adam Benson (44; Construction Project Manager; Baltimore)
- Frank Campana (47; Retired Police Officer; Yonkers, NY)
- Bill Carns (40; Radio Gun Show Host; Pahrump, NV)
- Chris Cerino (40; Law Enforcement Trainer; Wadsworth, OH)
- Denny Chapman (41; Wild West Performer; Ocala, FL)
- Brad Engmann (26; I.T. Project Manager; San Francisco)
- Caleb Giddings (27; Insurance Sales; Fishers, IN)
- Iain Harrison (42; Construction Manager; Sherwood, OR)
- Blake Miguez (28; Semi-Professional Shooter; New Iberia, LA)
- Andre Robinson (28; Soldier, U.S. Army; Pittsburgh)
- Mike Seeklander (38; U.S. Shooting Academy; Owasso, OK)
- Jim Sinclair (48; Historical Firearms Collector; Dover, NH)
- Peter Palma (29; Plumber/Marine Sniper; Norristown, PA)
- Simon "J.J." Racaza (29; Homeland Security Agent; New Milford, NJ)
- Tara Poremba (36; Police Officer; Chicago)
The contestants are put in two teams: RED
Every round has a team challenge and an
elimination challenge. Each round will also have a practice session
leading up to the team challenge. The winning team is safe from
elimination. The losing team will nominate two of its own to go
head-to-head in elimination. Winner stays, loser pays. And in the end,
there can only be one.
Some of the competitors know each other
from the competitive shooting circuit.
The firearms to be used in the next
challenge were all used during the 20th Century.
- M1903 Springfield (USA) - World War I
- SVT-40 (USSR) - World War II
- Mosin-Nagant (USSR) - Korean War
- M-14 (USA) - Vietnam War. It is still used today.
Assisting the teams today is Ex-Navy SEAL
sniper Craig Sawyer. He'll practice with the red team first, then with
the blue. During practice, a shooter will practice with a spotter.
Mike's taking charge of the red team,
given his experience, but no one has really asked him to. The red team
seemed to have a little more fun with it, while the blue were a little
That night, everyone was tired of
listening to everyone else's war stories.
The next morning, the teams strategize
about who is going to take what assault rifle. The reds think that they
have the upper hand.
The first challenge is a relay race with
obstacles and shooting stations. In four pairs, the teams will have to
maneuver their way to the stations and shoot off the exploding targets
with the assault rifles at each. Each person will shoot and spot. The
first team to shoot all eight targets wins. The strategy is to match the
best shot with a weapon with the best person for each obstacle.
First heat is the barbed wire heat. Andre
& Mike are first out of that. Iain & Tara follow. Blue is first to hit
something, as Tara scores, but Andre gets his first hit. Tara can't find
the second target... but finally gets Iain to the right target.
Caleb & Blake start on the brush phase,
as the Red Team is still stuck at the first heat. Blue passes the SVT
and moves on...
... to the Mosin-Nagant at the end of the
rope bridge. They hit the first target... and the second.
Adam & Chris make it through the mudbog
to the M-14. The red team is still at the '03 Springfield... and it's
over. BLUE WINS! The red team has two hours to decide who will play the
Andre & Mike are literally in the
crosshairs. Andre says that it's BS that Kelly thinks about "reputation"
above ability. On the other hand, Brad is prepared to nominate himself
IF Mike is put in said position. A lot of people were sticking up for
Mike over Andre, which leaves a bad taste in their mouth.
At the range, the Red Team will vote for
someone to eliminate by shooting a target with their name on it. Their
vote will be known by EVERYONE. And you cannot vote for yourself. The
two with the most hits will compete in the elimination challenge.
But first, Mike says it straight up:
"Shot a lot of bullets. Didn't hit a target."
So Mike and Kelly will face off in...
Accuracy at various distances, 200, 400,
and 600 yards, will be tested via a sniper challenge. Each player will
be using the Remington 700 (USA, 1962), a firearm currently being used
by the US Marine Corps.
Kelly's feeling confident, so much so
that he shot a smiley-face into the target during practice. Cocky much?
First shot to hit all three targets stays
in the game. The other will be left for dead. At least in terms of their
chance at $100,000.
Mike has Bill as a spotter, while Peter
will spot for Kelly.
Mike is the first to hit a target, but
Kelly is not far behind. Kelly takes the lead at the 400, leaving only
the 600. And... CEASE FIRE! Kelly lives to shoot another day, while Mike
Seeklander just took his last shot..
Fifteen shooters are left, but fourteen
of them are just shooting off their mouth. Only one will be named Top
Shot. Next week, we get pistol whipped.
For more information on "Top Shot",