While in St. Louis for the 2012 NRA Convention, we located Top Shot Season 4 runner-up Greg Littlejohn. Greg was nice enough to take a few minutes to talk about a variety of things. With all that happens here at the NRA, a majority of the material from that meeting has been sitting in the to-do pile. No more.
St. Louis, Missouri -
"The show was a chance to reach out to the public and jump in to the professional (shooting market)."
That's how Gregory Littlejohn viewed his time on History Channel's Top Shot. Coming in second to California's Chris Cheng, Littlejohn's persona on the show at times appeared aloof before turning into the hard nosed competitor who withstood three elimination challenges. While he might not be all that happy with his public perception, he has found a silver lining in the exposure.
"I'm sure there's a hundred people in this convention hall that could outshoot me in a variety of firearms," said Littlejohn. "But I was lucky enough to get appear on Top Shot. So even if I'm not the best shooter in the world, there are opportunities now available that were unavailable before."
That's when Angela Barrett walked into the picture. Daughter of Barrett Firearms' legend Ronnie Barrett, Angela handles a good deal of the company's marketing effort. She was there to talk to Greg about possible sponsorship opportunities. Talk about timing.
"I am good, and with training I'll be better, but you can't become a world class marksman with out a little help," explained Littlejohn. "It's expensive. Because of the show, I'm able to reach out to manufacturers and firearm trainers like Mike Hughes from Season 3 who are at the top of the field. That's the benefit."
His reasoning rang true. Finding the time and money to develop your skills in a majority of the shooting sports can be daunting. The question is are you able to do it on your own or will you be restricted to a limited training regiment. Natural ability can take you so far. Eventually you need time behind the trigger of a quality gun.
Some join the military, some struggle along and some find sponsors to support their passion.
Finding the real Gregory Littlejohn
Top Shot runner-up Greg Littlejohn shakes the hand of a young fan at the NRA Convention
Finding Littlejohn amongst the sea of thousands attending the Annual Meeting was tricky enough. The ultimate challenge, however, proved to be interviewing him as fans huddled round for pictures, autographs and time with the Top Shot contender. A few were quick to make their own introductions, but most stayed off in the shadows. Not sure if an interruption would be welcomed. It was.
"I understand," Littlejohn mused. "I came off wrong on the show. Unapproachable. But that wasn't me … it was the editing."
That's when we hit the bandana incident.
After a successful elimination challenge, Littlejohn presented his conquered foe with a bandana — wrapping it around his opponents wrist. One spectator called it a friendship bandana … a term that is unappreciated at best.
"It was a gesture, it wasn't a friendship bracelet," explained Littlejohn. "It came off wrong because of the editing.
"It's just like the crying. That lasted a couple of seconds in real life but it felt like an hour on the show. And when Frank went out, I shook his head and told him to keep shooting … they left that part out. So if you watch the show, and you think you know what's happening, then think again. There's a lot more to the people pulling the trigger that ends up on the cutting room floor."