January 25th, 2012

SHOT Show: Dustin Ellermann, ‘Top Shot’ Champ, Speaks Out

We ran into Dustin Ellermann of ‘Top Shot’ fame at the Volquartsen booth at SHOT Show. Dustin is Top Shot’s Season 3 Champion. Dustin demonstrated his shooting abilities with a totally dominating performance on the Season 3 Final episode. 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. That’s not easy, even with a rimfire benchrest rifle and $15/box ammo.

In the video interview above, Dustin explains how he made his now-famous golf ball shot, and he also talks about some of the more extreme marksmanship challenges on Top Shot — such as shooting at plates while being attached to a giant rotating wheel suspended off the ground.

Dustin Ellermann Golf Ball

Dustin Ellermann Top ShotIn 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, kept a positive attitude and exhibited good sportsmanship.

Dustin is a “natural” — a born marksman. But he’s not just a “gun guy”. In real life he serves as 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.

From Fellow Top Shot Competitor Kelly Bachand (Season 1)
On an NRA radio segment before Top Shot Season 3 got underway, Colby Donaldson said that in Season 3 we would see one of the most talented shooters Top Shot has ever had, while not using Dustin’s name for obvious reasons. Colby went on to say that the performance was nearly unbelievable. When the season was complete, and Dustin was crowned champion, Colby declared: “Dustin may be the best shooter we ever had. He surprised everybody, it was across the board”.

I watched Dustin surprise the other competitors and America over and over again on Top Shot Season 3. I grew to respect him as I saw that his deep faith in God encouraged humility and sincerity that was lacking in many other competitors. Whether watching twelve hits in a row while spinning upside down, or watching Dustin hit a golf ball at 100 yards with no practice shots, he impressed us all at some point. To me, however, even more impressive was the way Dustin always remained humble and showed good sportsmanship towards those he had out-shot. I congratulate Dustin on his win, and was glad to be able to meet him recently. — Kelly B.

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