By Lars Dalseide | February 15 2012 17:11

Two Top Shot hopefuls removed in the first fifteen minutes

Almost 2 million people tuned in for the season four premier of Top Shot on the History Channel. If you were one of the lucky ones, like me, then you were not disappointed.

Right off the bat, they cut two from the herd by way of a M14 challenge. From the prone position, shooters were presented with a bullseye at 200 yards. Furthest out were cut. That meant Craig the chemist and Forrest the 21-year-old World Champion Pistol Shooter left before it even began.

Competitors were ranked according to distance from the center with the odds making up Team Blue and even Team Red. In the running for this year's title is Gabby the Venezuelan Shooting Olympian, William the FBI Firearms Instructor, Gary the Civil War re-enactor, and thirteen others.

As we're early in the season, it's difficult to get a grasp on potential favorites or troublemakers. Any drama, for now, has yet to emerge. It was all stories and smiles as they shared their early success. Until we got to the challenge.

Using a Ruger Vaquero (single action revolver primarily chambered in .357), competitors had to clear eight rows of six steel plate targets … with a perfect run. You miss, you start over.

It came down to Chris the IT guy from Team Red and Greg the Federal Officer from Team Blue. One row left, six shots each, first one to knock 'em all down wins. Greg missed.

As one might expect, Greg was nominated for the elimination round along with Frank from New York. Keeping in step with last season's expulsion matches, this one was a doozy - fifteen targets from a moving World War II motorcycle sidecar with an M1 carbine. Greg hit six with fewer rounds fired then Frank and thus survived.

Winchester M1 Carbine like the one used in Season 4, Episode 1 of Top Shot on History Channel

It was a good opening night. Viewership was up in most categories, Twitter was all a buzz and people were talking Top Shot this morning around the water cooler (Yes, we actually have a water cooler. Although some of you might call it a refrigerator). So here are five quick thoughts from episode one.

  1. It was good to see that both women made it through the first show without facing elimination. Michelle only needed on run and Gabby, who fired at the smallest of targets, only needed two.
  2. William Bethards, the FBI guy, could be a favorite. We didn't see too much of him because he knocked down everything they put in front of him.
  3. Kyle Sumpter, Police Commander, appeared knowledgable and commanding (couldn't resist) during the "on the flies." (On the flies are the interviews pasted in during the competition). With all the Alpha personalities, that could be problem.
  4. Greg Littlejohn didn't come off well. He talked a big game and barely hit a barn during the challenge. I'm trying to hold off judgement, but his first impression is reminiscent of last season's "Red" Mike Marelli.
  5. Next week they're using a grenada launcher. How sweet it is.


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