October 31st, 2011

Texan Dustin Ellermann Wins Season 3 Top Shot Title

Editor’s Note: We told you last week that Dustin Ellermann was the best natural marksman among Top Shot Season 3 competitors, and sure enough Dustin proved it, with a totally dominating performance in the final head-to-head battle. And before that Dustin made what was probably the most difficult rifle shot ever on Top Shot — hitting a golf ball with a .22LR rifle at 100 yards — with no sighter shots and no windflags. You try that sometime. It ain’t easy, even with a rimfire benchrest rifle and $15/box ammo.

In winning the Top Shot Season 3 title, Dustin, a self-taught shooter in his first-ever real competition, beat 15 other skilled marksman, most with much more impressive “shooting resumes”. Displaying poise, speed, and superior accuracy, Dustin proved he had the “right stuff”. Time and time again, Dustin sent “big name” shooters (with years of competition experience) packing. And throughout the Top Shot season, Dustin, a Christian Camp Director, exhibited good sportsmanship, unlike one foul-mouthed ex-Navy SEAL. Bravo, Dustin — you deserved this victory.

Top Shot Season 3 Dustin

Dustin Ellermann from Zavalla, Texas Wins $100,000 Top Shot Prize
The good thing about being sent to the elimination round on the The History Channel’s Top Shot TV show is that you get to shoot some pretty cool weapons. Everything from full-auto pistols to Gatling Guns. Bad news is you could be going home. For Dustin Ellermann, that possibility almost became reality during the first round of the season finale. Escaping elimination, Ellermann went on to win the overall title in a rout, soundly trouncing second-place “Big Mike” Hughes.

In the closing credits, Dustin said: “I came, I shot, I won. My victory proves that, hey, normal everyday people can be good shooters and can have fun doing it. I actually won this thing!”

Starting with a Glock 34s and a dueling tree, Ellermann took the lessons he learned from the first round and sent Chris Collins home with a perfect 12 for 12 as time ran out.

Next was the shooting gallery. With an assortment of firearms and targets, Dustin started things off by nailing a golf ball with a Volquartsen .22LR rifle at 100 yards. Mike and Gary couldn’t match that. The competition continued until Mike called for shooting an AK-47 with one hand. Mike and Gary were successful while Dustin was not. Then Gary, down by one point, failed to hit his final “called” shot (with a .40sw pistol at 25 yards), so Gary was eliminated.

That set up Dustin with Mike Hughes for the final one-on-one elimination round. This required the two men to move rapidly through multiple stages, using a variety of weapons: 1875 revolver, Benelli slug-gun, re-curve bow, semi-auto rifle, and so on. Mike and Dustin were pretty much even with the 1875, with Mike having a slight edge. But then Dustin “dusted” Hughes on the shotgun stage. Dustin was fast and accurate, while Mike struggled big time. Mike literally lost his sights. Using the notch instead of the front sight to zero in on the target, Mike spent the rest of the challenge killing the jars, never getting beyond the Benelli stage.

Meanwhile, Dustin was methodically cleaning the course in record time. He made his bow-and-arrow trick shot on the first try. From there it was two rapid shots with the Vltor TS3 (AR-type rifle), a quick thumbs up to the wife and a few more rounds through a Smith & Wesson 500. One final Tannerite flash from the S&W 500 target signaled Dustin’s dominating victory. Dustin Ellermann became Season 3’s Top Shot. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

CLICK HERE to Watch Repeat of Top Shot Season 3 Finale on History Channel (45 minutes).

It’s too late to audition for Top Shot Season 4, but if you want to learn some of the skills required to be a Top Shot, then sign up for a class at http://nrainstructors.org/ near you.

Story by Lars Dalseide for The NRA Blog.
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October 25th, 2011

Tonight’s Top Shot Season 3 Finale Decides $100,000 Winner

Top Shot Season 3
The Season 3 Finale of Top Shot on the History Channel airs this evening. Only four competitors remain. Tonight, one will win the title of “Top Shot” and a $100,000 prize. So set your Tivos for 10:00 pm Eastern Time and get ready for a very entertaining hour of television this evening (October 25th).

Top Shot Season 3The four remaining shooters are: Chris Collins, Dustin Ellermann, Mike Hughes, and Gary Quesenberry. We’re rooting for Dustin, a modest Christian Camp Director who taught himself to shoot. Though he had virtually no competitive shooting experience prior to Top Shot, Dustin has been fast and steady. He’s out-shot more experienced competitors in every episode, all the while showing humility and good sportsmanship. In the very difficult “Wheel of Fire” challenge last week, Dustin hit dozens of targets, while most of his fellow competitors struggled to hit one or two!

Dustin is a “natural” — a born marksman. We’d have to say he’s the favorite to win it all, based on past performances. Dustin is motivated to win: “I’m from Zavalla, Texas, a small town of 647 people — I sure don’t want to let them down.” A minister, accountant, lumberjack, husband, father of two and foster father of three, Dustin lives in the middle of the Angelina National Forest and considers himself a Renaissance man.

The “dark horse” among the three other Top Shot Finalists is “Big Mike” Hughes. Mike was actually eliminated in a previous episode, but he was invited back after former Navy SEAL Jake Zweig quit the show rather than go to an elimination challenge. Hughes, as the last competitor to leave before Zweig’s surprising withdrawal, was given a second chance. Mike faced elimination again last week, but he performed brilliantly in a zip-line challenge to make the Final Four. In the video below, you can watch Hughes win last week’s elimination, with a perfect 20 for 20 run:

Trick Shooting with Jerry Miculek
Here is a sample from the trick shooting episode a few weeks back. On this segment, legendary pistol shooter Jerry Miculek demonstrates some amazing trick shots, including snapping Q-tips in half with a .22LR rifle.

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