By Lars Dalseide | August 21 2013 22:13

Top Shot's Game of Horse brings out a belt fed and slows down a shooting gallery

They probably wanted to leave the audience wanting more. Why else bring out some World War II relics for the opening challenge only to come to screeching halt in the elimination round? But you've got to give it to them ... there was nothing but tension at the end.

William hits with machine guns and misses with shotguns on his last episode of Top Shot All Stars
Poor shooting gallery tactics are an end for William tonight on Top Shot - photo courtesy of History Channel.

With that in mind, here are my five quick thoughts on episode eleven of Top Shot All-Stars:

  1. The initial challenge put competitors behind the trigger of a Browning M1919. That sound like fun? Well put it in the back of an M2A1 WWII Halftrack and you've got a barrel of monkeys at the ready. While there was a touch of marksmanship involved with this challenge, it was more about smart ammo usage and target selection.
  2. Almost everyone aimed at the first target — big mistake. Hindsight suggest the gun should have been pointed forward — where you're going — instead of behind. They were too busy trying to hit what they missed instead of aiming at what was coming down the pipe.
  3. Only the winner of the challenge was safe. That was Phil. Turns out the same was to be true on the Proving Ground. With an 1877 Colt Lightning (which they were saying over and over again - that a sponsorship thing?), that ended up being Gary. A surprising result given that Gunny is a bullseye shooter who seemed more than confidant with his efforts. Dumb luck? Who cares. It's a pass.
  4. Cerino, Bethards and Zins were presented with a shooting gallery elimination round. Pick your gun, pick your target, pick your distance and pick your distance. Oddly enough, it wasn't until the fifth round (Cerino shooting an egg with a slug from a Benelli M4 at 50 yards) that someone FINALLY hit the shot they called. Hubris? Who knows. But it was enough to send Cerino to the final round.
  5. It all came down to William Bethards and Brian Zins. Now we've all be giving William a hard time for his 'Hey diddle diddle' routine, but it was hard to root against anyone at this stage. But you have to pull for 12-time NRA Pistol Champ Brian Zins, right? Maybe.

    Tactically there were a lot of mistakes in the final three shots between these two. Why choose a shot you don't think you can make (Zins shooting a bow at 35 yards instead of 100 so no one will make it)? Why add to the difficulty when you don't have to (William with the Benelli and the shot glass of dice)? Why not just choose something you're comfortable with and go on from there. Who knows. Sure there's sportsmanship involved, but there's gamesmanship involved too.

    Either way, the decisions made in the elimination round were enough to send William home. Hey diddle diddle no more.


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