A number of stories went unmentioned in my Top 5 Stories of 2011 list. That was bound to happen. With the privilege of covering everything from the National Firearms Museum to NRA Law Enforcement to Competitive Shooting, there's more then enough material for a Top 50 list. With that in mind ... here are a few honorable mentions:
Joe Mantegna and Samantha Virk at Patrick Kilpatrick's 2011 Hollywood Celebrity Sporting Clays Invitational.
- The arrival of Petersen's Polar Bear. The Petersen Gallery opened in October of 2010, but the collection wasn't complete until the we finally found the perfect place to house the Polar Bear he shot with a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum back in 1965.
- I know I made Tom Selleck's visit to the NRA my top story of the year, but I was more then thrilled to hear that Joe Mantegna would be at the National Firearms Museum shooting episodes of Michael Bane's Gun Stories. Joe was funny, down to earth and a great all around guy.
- Richard Childress purchased a hot rod 1950 Chevrolet pickup at the NRA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. After the purchase, the truck was returned to the donor for a few modifications and in the Spring of 2010, it was delivered to the Richard Childress Racing Museum in Welcome, North Carolina.
- Larry the Cable Guy also swung by the National Firearms Museum. Though I was unable to attend the festivities, Senior Curator Phil Scheier was on hand as fired off a few rounds of his new History Channel show Only in America.
- Sgt. Joseph Hein of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit returned to the National Rifle and Pistol Championships to claim his second Smallbore 3-Position title in three years.
- The 2011 Hollywood Celebrity Sporting Clays Invitational. Hosted by Patrick Kilpatrick out at the Oak Tree Gun Club in Newhall, California, there were stars of stage and screen swinging a shotgun as the sporting clays zoomed by ... very cool. Top billing for me was Powers Booth, Tristan Rogers, Ken Davitian, Tim Abell and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver.
- Shane Barnhart shot a record 45 straight bullseyes during the smallbore 3-position championships at Camp Perry.
There was also the Military Channel screening of their new show Triggers, the Veterans Day Shoot, SHOT Show and more. Here's hoping the Top Story choices will be even tougher next year.