Chris Cheng during Top Shot - Photo courtesy of History
Rising from the ranks of Nerd Herd to Sharp Shooters, California's Chris Cheng took Season 4 by storm to claim the title of Top Shot. His path, like that of Season 3's Dustin Ellermann, was an unlikely one. Claiming no more then the title of firearms enthusiast, he managed a path through the thickets of trained tacticians to take History Channel's top prize.
"I went to UCLA for electrical engineering," said Cheng. "Eventually I switched to Political Science with a focus on a future career in politics. After grad school, I circled back to my original love and landed a technology job through a friend whose cousin worked in Silicon Valley."
His experience behind the trigger, however, started way before college. It was his father, at the ripe old age of six, who first brought Chris to the range to step behind a Ruger .22 — scattered as the visits were.
"I was really involved in baseball, music, and school at the time, so I had many other activities occupying my time," he explained. "Shooting (at the range) was a very infrequent activity."
But that wasn't about to stop him. As with most youths of the day, Chris found an outlet for his new found fascination.
"I had a BB gun, three air rifles, a blow dart gun, two rubberband guns, a slingshot, a paintball gun, a potato gun, two water balloon launchers, water guns, air soft pistols and I’m sure there are a few others I can't remember."
My first gun reinforced my love for things that explode
Learning the basics of firearms safety during that first trip with Dad to the range, Chris finally purchased a firearm of his own all of four years ago. It was with that Sig Sauer P226 (a great gun he calls it) that he began to understand the more intricate side of firearm manipulation.
A cycling Chris Cheng takes a break along the Pacific.
"As an adult, I started reading up on advanced shooting principles and pulled some videos up on YouTube to get some tips," said Cheng. "I think keeping it simple is my style, and while I appreciate the hard core shooters who can tell you all the finer details of the shooting sport and the guns, I think all those details might distract me from just having fun pulling the trigger.
"Shooting my first gun at the age of six reinforced my love for things that explode. I loved it and still do."
We'll be back with more from Chris Cheng regarding his collective shooting background and the time he spent in California filming History's Top Shot later this week.