January 24th, 2016

Dennis Santiago Shoots the Mad Minute with a Lee-Enfield

Dennis Santiago mad minute
British Lee-Enfield Model SHT’22/IV Rifle, courtesy www.iCollector.com.

This past week, at SHOT Show, we met up with our friend Dennis Santiago. We chatted about Dennis’s experiences as a technical advisor for History Channel’s Top SHOT TV show. One of the notable Top Shot episodes involved the “Mad Minute”, a marksmanship drill practiced by the British Army in the decades preceding World War I. Dennis observed that the Top Shot competitors didn’t fare too well in their “Mad Minute” attempts, not scoring many hits in the alloted one-minute time period. That prompted Dennis to give it a try himself — seeing how many hits he could score in one minute with an authentic Lee-Enfield rifle. So, a while back, Dennis ran the drill at a range in California.

Dennis Does the Mad Minute:

Dennis, an active high power rifle competitor and instructor, enjoyed his “Mad Minute” exercise, though he assures us that this takes practice to perfect. Dennis tells us: “Here is a ‘Mad Minute’ drill, done using a period correct Lee-Enfield (SMLE) No.1 Mk III rifle and Mk VII ammo. I got to the Queen’s Regulations (15 hits in one minute) on the second run and put a good group on the target at 200 yards. This is ‘jolly good fun’ to do every once in a while. This is ‘living history’ — experiencing a skill from a time when the sun never set on the British Empire.”

Lee Enfield Mad Minute Mark IVLee-Enfield No. 4 Rifle (1943), courtesy Arundel Militaria.

“Mad Minute” was a pre-World War I term used by British Army riflemen during training at the Hythe School of Musketry to describe scoring a minimum of 15 hits onto a 12″ round target at 300 yards within one minute using a bolt-action rifle (usually a Lee-Enfield or Lee-Metford rifle). It was not uncommon during the First World War for riflemen to greatly exceed this score. The record, set in 1914 by Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall, was 38 hits. (From WikiPedia.)

History of the Mad Minute
Commentary by Laurie Holland
The original military requirement of the “Mad Minute” saw the soldier ready to fire with a round in the chamber, nine in the magazine, safety on. This course of fire is still followed by the GB Historic Breechloading Arms Association and other bodies in their recreated “Mad Minute” competitions.

The first 10 would go quickly, but reloads were critical, this not done by a magazine change as in a modern tactical or semi-auto rifle, but through slick use of ‘chargers’. It is this aspect which fouls so many of my colleagues up as it is very easy to cause a jam and a large part of 60 seconds can go in sorting it out!

Charger clips were selected for those that just held the rounds firmly enough to stop then falling out, were sand-papered and polished with a stove / fireplace polish called ‘Zebrite’ so that the rimmed rounds would slip through the clips like corn through a goose.

lee enfield 1916 rifle

If you’re unfamiliar with the cock-on-closing Enfield action, it seems clumsy. With intensive practice it is very smooth and can be operated incredibly quickly. The trick is to whip the bolt back onto its stop and initiate a rebound movement that takes it and the cartridge well into the chamber thereby reducing the effort required to close the bolt and chamber the round.

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May 1st, 2013

Top Shot ALL STARS Premieres May 29 on History Channel

top shot all starsThe hit History Channel TV series Top Shot returns for an ALL STAR season Wednesday, May 29 at 10:00 pm Eastern, 9:00 pm Central. This season will feature a All-Star crew of competitors. The show’s producers say: “This season, it’s all about skill. No teams. No nomination range. Politics and alliances are a thing of the past.”

Past Top Shot champions Iain Harrison, Chris Reed, Dustin Ellermann, and Chris Cheng will also take part in the All-Star season. Colby Donaldson returns as host. And yes our buddy Kelly Bachand is back behind the trigger. Kelly tells us: “I can’t reveal what happens, but rest assured, this will be an exciting new series — there’s some serious talent in this line-up”. Donaldson agrees: “We brought back the best of the best — All Stars, All Skills.”

top shot all stars

Check out the Top Shot All-Stars sneak peek below:

What You’ll See in Season Five of Top Shot
Season Five comes fully loaded with formidable, history-inspired challenges and a vast array of weapons. The first episode calls for mastery of a Soviet semi-automatic rifle, which was used in the 1941 Nazi invasion; a Tactical OBR with 20-round magazines; the Milkor M32A1 grenade launcher; and an FN-FAL self-loading selective-fire battle rifle, popular among NATO troops. In addition, competitors must conquer a mortar-rigged barbed wire fence, an unstable platform and a bull’s eye target, where elimination is just a fraction of an inch away.

top shot all stars

Top Shot fans are excited about the new All-Star format. But, not all fan-favorites from the past will be returning this season. One Facebook commenter noted: “I’m definitely excited, but they should have brought back JJ Racaza (probably best shooter not to win) and Tara (only female to not get eliminated).”

top shot all stars

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January 19th, 2013

History Channel Seeks Gun Gurus for New TV Show

Metal Flowers Media (MFM), a talent agency for TV shows, is now casting a new guns-related show for the History Channel. This new show “is in the early stages of development”, and MFM asked AccurateShooter.com to help the agency find “gun enthusiasts who are extremely knowledgeable and love firearms”.

MFM is a well-known agency that has cast many popular shows including: Storage Wars, The Colony, One Man Army, Ice Road Truckers, and Frontiersmen. 
Here’s the text of MFM’s official ‘Casting Call’ press release:

“A nationwide search has begun to find the most enthusiastic, energetic people who know and love everything about guns! This new series will celebrate firearms in all forms. These gun experts will have their dreams come true as they get the chance to be featured on the History Channel! If you eat, sleep and breathe all things firearms – if you are the biggest ‘gun-nut’ – then this is the opportunity you have been waiting for! 
Casting Directors at Metal Flowers Media (The Colony, American Guns) are currently seeking people who are an encyclopedia of firearms. This gun know-it-all must be able to blow your typical gun enthusiast away with their knowledge of firearms.
 If you are 21 + and are able to spit a wide range of ‘gun talk’ we want to hear from you!”

If you fit the bill, have a vast knowledge of firearms, and would be interested in appearing on a new History Channel TV show, send an email to: barnett [at] metalflowersmedia.com .

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February 7th, 2012

Top Shot Season 4 Kicks Off February 14

Top Shot logo History channelTop Shot fans, mark you calendars. The fourth season of Top Shot on the History Channel begins in one week. The Season 4 premiere airs Tuesday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day) at 10:00 PM Eastern. The selection of firearms (and other weapons) should be even more interesting this season. And, with a bigger budget to play with, Top Shot’s producers are ramping up the level of challenges. Season 4 begins with the biggest twist in Top Shot history: two competitors are sent packing immediately after a surprise shoot-off in the opening minutes of the first episode. Later, two shooters get a taste of WWII combat as they fire an M1 Carbine from a motorcycle sidecar and attempt to stay in the game. Colby Donaldson returns as host.

Here are Video Profiles of Three Season 4 Competitors (others at link below):

Michelle Viscusi (U.S. Army Nat’l Guard MP, serving with the Border Patrol)

Chris Cheng (IT Manager)

Craig Buckland (Research Chemist, Revolver Champion)

CLICK HERE for photos and TEXT bios of all 16 Season 4 competitors.

CLICK HERE for Video Bios of Season 4 Competitors.

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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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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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July 20th, 2011

Top Shot Season 3 Debuts August 9th — Meet the Cast

Top Shot fans… get ready. The third season of the hit TV show Top Shot premiers on the History Channel Tuesday, August 9th at 10:00pm (9:00pm Central). Visit History.com for photos and bios of all Season 3’s sixteen new competitors. Those vying for the $100,000 Top Shot grand prize include Mike Hughes, a USPSA production division shooter from Washington, and ace ICORE and USPSA wheelgunner Cliff Walsh of Florida. Other practical pistol shooters include Amanda Hardin from Alabama and Mark Schneider of Florida. Watch the video below for a Season 3 sneak peek, including short profiles of all the competitors.

Top Shot Season 3 Preview — Meet the Cast

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May 9th, 2011

Chris Reed: History Channel’s Top Shot at the NRA Annual Meeting

This story, by Lars Dalseide, appears courtesy the NRA Blog

chris reed top shotChris Reed of The History Channel’s Top Shot TV Show has been a busy man as of late. The final episode of Season 2, which aired just over a week ago, saw Chris get the best of 10-time NRA pistol Champ Brian Zins during the final round to officially claim the title of Top Shot. Two days later, reporter Lars Dalseide found him on the floor of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the NRA’s 140th Annual Meetings and Exhibits.

“Oh man it’s been crazy at times,” said Reed. “Every day events like grocery shopping or a thing with the kids can turn into a mad house. But I’m enjoying it all while I can.”

A self-described “good ole country boy” from Tennessee, Chris Reed’s sudden rise to fame doesn’t mean his role in the household has changed all that much. He still gets the kids ready for school, performs assigned chores around the house, and prepares a mean dinner. Still, they were nice enough to reserve Tuesday nights to see if Dad could survive one more week on the show. “My friends and family have been very supportive throughout the show,” Reed explained. “We’ve all got together for a Top Shot party every Tuesday night for the last 12 weeks. It’s been a blast.”

Read has received plenty of attention: “It’s almost rock star status — Lot of folks ask for pictures and autographs … it’s been real nice. Get this, people in charge of my high school reunion called. They want to move it up a year and give it a Top Shot theme. That’s something.”

chris reed top shotEven though season two of The History Channel’s Top Shot has officially come to a close, that doesn’t mean the relationship built in the hills of Santa Clarita, California have ended as well.

“I still keep up with George and Joe. I’ve talked to Gunny quite a bit. We all stay fairly close and talk about once a week. If I can work it out, maybe come up to Camp Perry (for the Pistol Championships) and give Gunny the what for. I’m squared away on that.”

Text and photos copyright 2011 NRA Blog.

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February 8th, 2011

Top Shot Season 2 Kicks Off Tonight on History Channel

The second season of the History Channel’s hit TV series Top Shot debuts tonight (2/8/2011) at 10:00 pm (9:00 Central). The second year’s package of shows, aka “Top Shot Reloaded”, will follow the first year’s format for the most part, with team and individual challenges involving a variety of weapons, both historical and modern. Sixteen new contestants, including our friend and 3-Gun Ace, Maggie Reese, will compete for a $100,000 prize. View the Top Shot Season 2 Sneak Peak Video below:

New Guns, New Challenges, and a “Whole Lot of Explosions”
Producers say that the new show will have “more action, less talking”, more pyrotechnics, and some startling new challenges. Top Shot Host Colby Donaldson says: “In the first five minutes of Episode One [Season 2], everyone’s going to see that this is a very different season. We had to go above and beyond to create challenges that would actually take [competitors] out of their comfort zone”. There are new weapons (including Thompson machine guns and Barrett 50s), and a “whole lot of explosions”. But don’t expect the show to depart too far from its Survivor-style “reality-TV” origins. Remember this is ratings-driven Hollywood fare; the interpersonal conflicts and shifting alliances appeal to mainstream TV viewers. Nonetheless, if you enjoyed watching TOP Shot Season One you should definitely tune in for Top Shot Reloaded (Season Two) tonight at 10.

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January 8th, 2011

TOP SHOT TV Show Seeks Contestants for Season Three

The popular TOP SHOT TV show was a hit in its first season, so the producers immediately started working on Season 2, which will run later this year. Since Hollywood can’t have too much of a good thing, the History Channel is now seeking seeking skilled marksmen for the third season of the “Survival”-style TV series. If you missed the show last summer, it features teams of shooters competing in weapons skill scenarios. One cast member is eliminated in each round. Near the end, the show shifts to one-on-one competition, with the “last man standing” earning a $100,000 cash prize.

Top Shot TV Casting Call

TOP SHOT Season 3 Casting Call — Applications Due by February 1st, 2011
The History Channel is actively soliciting new TOP SHOT cast members right now. Deadline for submission of entries is February 1, 2011. Interestingly, for season 3, the Show’s producer, Pilgrim Films & TV, hopes to find some paired contestants (such as two co-workers, or a husband and wife). The casting call notice states:

“We are looking for anyone with unrivaled shooting skills and a big personality to take on exciting physical challenges with multiple guns and mystery projectile weapons. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professionally-trained shooter or a self-taught average Joe or Jane! As long as you’re in good physical shape, have mastered a firearm and can adapt to new weapons and demanding physical situations, you could be America’s next ‘Top Shot’. We’re also looking for MARKSMEN PAIRS: Husband/Wife, Father/Son, Co-Workers or Siblings. If you and a close friend or relative are excellent shots, we want to hear from you both.”

Detailed eligibility requirements are found in the forms linked below. You can also use these forms to apply for Season 3 of TOP SHOT. Otherwise, simply email TopShotCasting [at] gmail.com with your name, city/state, phone number, a recent photo of yourself and a brief explanation of why you should be selected. If you have questions, call the TOP SHOT casting hotline: (818) 478-4570.

Casting Requirements and Eligibility Form – PDF (Print Hardcopy and Fax or Mail Back)
Casting Requirements and Eligibility Form – Editable PDF (Fill Out with Computer and Email Back)

Remember the Deadline for Applications is February 1, 2011.

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September 16th, 2010

Top Shot Winner Iain Harrison Reveals Hollywood Insider Secrets

Iain Harrison, Top ShotThe History Channel’s new TOP SHOT television show was a big success, attracting more than two million viewers each week. The show, which featured equal amounts of “Reality TV” and head-to-head competition with a variety of weapons, had a winning formula that captured a large audience. The competitors in this gun-friendly series became instant celebrities of sorts, none more so than Iain Harrison, the ex-pat British Army officer who was “the last man standing” on the show’s final episode. Iain was a fast learner who had no real weaknesses with any weapons — from throwing knives to AR15s. He was a popular and deserving champion who came away with the show’s $100,000 prize and bragging rights to the title of “Top Shot”.

Iain Harrison was recently interviewed by the NRA’s American Hunter magazine. In his interview, Iain gave away a few TOP SHOT secrets — including “behind the scenes shenanigans”. To read the complete interview with Iain, visit AmericanHunter.com. In his closing comments, Iain had this to say about the overall experience:

If you ever get the chance to participate in one of these shows, my advice is to go for it. So long as you and your family can handle the separation, it will present a great opportunity to see behind the scenes of a TV show, shoot a few unusual guns and make some lasting friendships. Just remember that the show’s audience is comprised of mostly non-shooters, and whether you like it or not, you are acting as an ambassador for the sport we all love. Your behavior reflects on all gun owners. Don’t screw it up.

CLICK HERE for Harrison Interview.
Iain Harrison photo courtesy NRA Blog.

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August 17th, 2010

TOP SHOT Season One Final Episode Can Be Watched on Hulu.com

If you missed the final episode of Top Shot on the History Channel, you can watch it, via streaming video, on Hulu.com. The field is down to four shooters in this season finale. We were sad to see AccurateShooter.com contributor Kelly Bachand eliminated in the previous episode, but he’s shooting right now at Camp Perry. Watch the show and find out who wins the $100,000 prize and title of Season One’s “Top Shot”. No spoilers guys — you’ll have to watch to see who wins. But we can tell you this much — the final man-on-man challenge is a multi-stage event that tested the last two remaining competitors’ skills to the max.

Top Shot History Channel Finale

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July 29th, 2010

Top Shot TV Competitor Kelly Bachand Speaks Out

Top Shot Kelly BachandKelly Bachand, the youngest competitor on the Top Shot TV series, is a regular contributor to AccurateShooter.com. Currently an electrical engineering major at the Univ. of Washington, Kelly is a talented Palma rifle shooter who has managed to hold his own in other shooting disciplines. Kelly is the real deal — a genuine marksman, and we know many readers have been pulling for him through the grueling Top Shot elimination process.

There’s a fascinating full-page interview with Kelly in the Cheaper Than Dirt Blog. The first half of the interview covers Kelly’s background and marksmanship training. In the second half, Kelly discusses his Top Shot experience, revealing secrets about the show and the inter-personal rivalries which have become such a staple of the series. Kelly also explains how he managed to survive three elimination rounds.

Q: During the first elimination challenge you shot rifles and sent Mike Seeklander home. That was a pretty stunning defeat and seemed to surprise everybody. It does seem like your mental attitude has really helped you through all of the elimination challenges you’ve been through.

Kelly: I do have a certain mental ability that I’ve kind of picked up and practiced and begun to get better at over the last year, year and a half, to kind of shut other things out while I’m actually shooting. I’ll be extremely nervous up until the point I’m actually shooting, extremely nervous.

At the Beretta Xtrema [shotgun] challenge I got up to the line, and I’m way outside of my comfort zone holding this Beretta. I’ve fired it all of about 20 times now, and I got up there, I focused on what I need to do, and I make the shot. It all kind of goes away. What I do is I just repeat a mantra in my head. I just ask myself, “OK, what do I need to do to make this a perfect shot?”. Then I tell myself over and over what I need to do. If I continually force feed myself good thoughts — positive thoughts about what I need to do to make it perfect — I typically make very good shots. That’s right out of Lanny R. Bassham’s book With Winning in Mind.

Whether you love the Top Shot show (for the shooting) or hate it (for the Hollywood reality-show nonsense), we recommend reading Kelly Bachand’s interview. Kelly has managed to adapt and learn quickly and that’s why he’s still “in the running” while other, more experienced competitors have been eliminated. Kelly offers many insights that can help any competitive shooter.

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July 14th, 2010

Top Shot TV Show Seeks Cast Members for Season Two

The History Channel’s new Top Shot television series is half-way through its summer season run. It has attracted millions of viewers already and has been renewed for a second season. The show has been fairly controversial among the “real gun guys” who have tuned in. Some folks say that any show which portrays the shooting sports in a positive light and helps broaden interest in shooting is a good thing. Others have complained that Top Shot has too little actual shooting and too much “Survivor”-style inter-personal drama. This Editor has watched all the episodes so far. I think the last two shows, which featured AR15s and Kentucky rifles, certainly showcased the competitors’ rifle skills.

Top Shot TV Casting

In any event, Top Shot has garnered a large-enough TV audience that it will be renewed for next year. The show’s production company, Pilgrim Films & Television, has issued a “casting call” for new cast members for Top Shot’s second season. Below is the casting announcement, with links to application forms. Note the DEADLINE: Candidates must apply on or before August 12, 2010!

History Channel Now Casting for Season 2 of Top Shot!

If you are skilled with a pistol, rifle or any other firearm, you could win $100,000 in prizes on season 2 of History Channel’s hit competition show TOP SHOT. Producers are looking for anyone with mind-blowing shooting skills and a big personality to take on exciting physical challenges with multiple guns and mystery projectile weapons.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a professionally trained shooter or a self-taught, average Joe (or Jane!). As long as you’re in good physical shape, have mastered a firearm and can adapt to new weapons and demanding physical situations, you could be America’s next “Top Shot”. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, a resident or citizen of the United States and reasonably proficient with shooting and marksmanship.

To apply, email TopShotCasting@gmail.com with your name, city/state, phone number, a recent photo of yourself and a brief explanation of why you should be on the show.

Deadline to apply is August 12, 2010. For more info, visit www.PilgrimFilms.tv and click on “CASTING” or call 818-478-4570. You can get a head start on the casting process by downloading a casting application and eligibility requirements form below:

Download Casting Application (Hard Copy) | Download Casting Application (Editable .PDF file)

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June 10th, 2010

Top Shot TV Show Can Be Watched on Hulu.com

If you missed the first episode of Top Shot on the History Channel, you can still watch it on Hulu.com. While the show’s “Survivor”-style battle of personalities disappointed some gun enthusiasts, Top SHOT is still engaging television that brings the shooting sports to a large audience. Over 2.1 million viewers watched the debut episode of Top Shot. Click below to watch in embedded flash player, and you can click an icon to zoom to full screen. (Advert may load first — be patient.)

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June 5th, 2010

Watch 11-Minute Preview of Top Shot on History Channel

Top Shot is a new 10-episode TV series premiering this Sunday, June 6 at 10 pm (9 pm Central) on the History Channel. (Top Shot repeats Tuesday, June 8 at the same hour.) Sixteen experienced shooters were chosen to compete for a $100,000 cash prize. The 16 contestants are divided into two teams. Each week the teams compete against each other, then one contestant from the week’s losing team is eliminated from the show in a head to head elimination round. We’ve previewed Top Shot’s first two episodes and we can say that Top Shot makes for good television. The cinematography and editing are first-rate, even if hard-core precision marksmen might quibble about some of the equipment used. In addition to modern rifles and pistols, contestants must master antique black-powder arms as well as crossbows, throwing knives, and even tomahawks. Hey, it’s Hollywood remember?

Top Shot TV show

Among the 16 competitors is Accurateshooter.com contributor Kelly Bachand, a talented young Palma shooter from Washington state. Kelly figures prominently in episode one. The History Channel has released an extended 11-minute Series Preview you can watch now on HULU.com.

CLICK HERE to Watch TOP SHOT 11-minute Extended Preview. (Advert may load first.)

This Preview is VERY well done, and well worth watching.

CLICK HERE for Video Bios of TOP SHOT Contestants, including Kelly Bachand.

Editor’s Note: The video Bios include footage from team challenges on upcoming episodes. Watching the contestant Bios gives you a “sneak peek” at much of the future action.

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June 2nd, 2010

‘TOP SHOT’ TV Show Premiers on History Channel June 6th

Top Shot History Channel‘Top Shot’, a new 10-episode TV series, debuts this Sunday, June 6th, on The History Channel. The show features 16 competitors (all experienced shooters), vying for a $100,000 prize. While competitors were selected on the basis of marksmanship skills, ‘Top Shot’ is NOT just a series of multi-gun matches or target shoots. Contestants are grouped into two teams which compete in a different type of challenge each week. This requires competitors to master a wide variety of weapons, both modern and antique. One of the 16 competitors is AccurateShooter.com contributor Kelly Bachand, a promising young Palma shooter. Kelly plays a prominent role in the premier episode.

Top Shot History Channel

After wrapping up his filming stint with ‘Top Shot’, Kelly visited us in Southern California to do some testing with an Eliseo .308 Win tube gun (photo above). Kelly explained that, for the TV show, he and his fellow competitors had to demonstrate skills with a wide variety of historic and modern weapons. In addition to modern rifles and semi-auto pistols, competitors used black-powder revolvers, crossbows, throwing knives, and even tomahawks. In some episodes the competitors were tasked with recreating a historically significant feat of marksmanship — such as cutting a “hanging rope” with a pistol shot. Each week, contenders will face both team and individual elimination challenges until one winner remains. In the series opener (Sunday, June 6), contestants are immediately divided into two teams and then compete in a “Rifle Relay,” an obstacle course using standard-issue rifles from four different wars. In the elimination round, two contestants go head-to-head in “The Long Shot,” a long-distance sniper challenge which will send the first person home. ‘Top Shot’ will air Sundays at 10 EDT, with ten episodes slated for the upcoming season.

CLICK HERE for TOP SHOT Website with Episode Summaries and Contestant Bios.

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December 9th, 2009

New 'Top Shot' TV Series looking for Ace Marksmen

Are you a crack shot and want to be a Hollywood Star? Pilgrim Films (producers of American Chopper, Dirty Jobs, Ghost Hunters, and The Ultimate Fighter) is casting a new television show about marksmanship for the History Channel. If you are skilled with a pistol, rifle or any other firearm, you could win $100,000 in prizes on Top Shot, a new marksmanship competition TV show. The History Channel is looking for anyone with “mind-blowing shooting skills and a big personality” for the new show. According to the producers, “As long as you’re in good physical shape, have mastered a firearm and can adapt to new weapons and demanding physical situations, you could be America’s first ‘Top Shot’.”

top shot casting

To apply, email TopShotCasting@gmail.com with your name, city/state, phone number, a recent photo of yourself and a brief explanation of why you are America’s “Top Shot”. For more info, call 818-728-3729. Deadline to apply is January 18, 2010.

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July 29th, 2009

Ermey Hosts New "Lock N' Load" Series on History Channel

Gunny’s back — starting this Friday (7/31/09) on the History Channel. Marine Corps veteran R. Lee Ermey will host “Lock N’ Load”, a History Channel series which debuts July 31st at 9pm ET. Ermey, acclaimed for his role as a Marine Drill Instructor in the movie Full Metal Jacket, previously hosted the popular “Mail Call” show on the History Channel. The focus of Lock N’ Load will be firepower — and lots of it.

History Channel R. Lee Ermey

Lock N’ Load will be an hour-long weekly series featuring the engineering and development of military weapons. In the new show, R. Lee Ermey, the U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, former drill instructor, Vietnam veteran and actor, will get “hands-on with some of the world’s fiercest firearms, including machine guns, tanks, pistols and rockets”. For example, in the debut episode Ermey demos the 3000-round-per-minute Dillon Aero Minigun, and then traces the evolutionary steps that brought the gun to its present place in history. Check out the promo video below:

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In each episode of Lock N’ Load, special high-speed photography reveals the inner workings of a particular weapon — how it performs and what really happens at the point of impact. Advanced 3D graphics help illustrate the technology and design principles behind each weapon. In addition, expert consultants explain the history and engineering of each weapon.

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