1. Anything that portrays the shooting sports in a proper light has the potential for greatness in my view. This show…so far…has kept me interested, informed me, and made me proud to be part of a pastime and a cultural tradition that seems to be regaining its proper place in modern America. I say “bravo”.

  2. I pretty much agree with your thoughts, Massad. It does present the shooting sports in a way that might draw in the non-shooting public. The history of the weapons is great. But, I really don’t like the reality show, vote the weakest member off kind of stuff. I’ll be glad when our TV shows move away from that format – as long as it’s not to something even more corny!

    What it needs is an “Ayoob Corner” segment where you give an authoritative history of the weapon of the week. Now we’re talkin! 🙂

  3. In the end, nobody leaves without getting outshot. The skill aspect is there.

    And I think even the drama serves a purpose. Those contestants who do not indulge in it are fine examples. Many of them are straight shooters in all respects, and I believe they will rise to the top. If this show draws new shooters to the community who want to emulate them, we all win. It can only improve the general level of sportsmanship we encounter at the range.

  4. I don’t follow the gun boards anymore because of the level of moronic chatter there. Seems like the web has opened a direct channel to the non filtered brain stems of too many folks IMHO.

    I’ve watched Top Shot each week. While it doesn’t provide an hour of just gun stuff, I welcome the show. I am old enough to remember American Sportsman on ABC. It got the same kind of hits as Top Shot. Not a purist show. Contrived situations. Celebrity focused. Etc etc. But what these shows do, they do well. That is expose more non-gun folks to guns, shooting and shooting ethics. The broader audience of American citizens aren’t going to sit and watch an hour of bang and clang. Heck I can’t stomach those shows either. And the uber Tactical shows convey the killer spirit to others.

    I am not in the camp that says America has gazillions of gun owners who are enthusiasts, shooters, and 2A folks. Out of the 150 million adults in the country a very small minority falls in that category. So it is vital that we show our best side to the outside world. Top Shot is beautifully produced, and filmed. Plus it is working its way across the marksman landscape. Guys like Garry James give a little history or background to each device. It’s a heck of a way to get to a larger audience than the fringe cable channels and shows.

    But nearly everything has an upside and a downside. The most risk that comes with a ‘reality’ show like this is to the contestants. What we have found out during the last 15 years or so of these shows is that individuals can and have been permanently damaged or have benefited from the national exposure. The host for instance (Colby Donaldson) came out of Survivor with a very positive image. Hence he has moved on in a show business career. An Amarosa in Donald Trumps Apprentice will never live down her on air persona.

    During the course of the hour there’s lots of coverage of personal interaction. It is those moments that these poor souls might have to live with for the next decade or so. Example is last week with Caleb Giddings. Hard to live down the ‘rat fink’ kind of behavior he engaged in. Definitely not good. Additionally once on a show like this, better not do anything to get in the news media cause they will hold onto ya like a pitbull.

  5. I don’t enjoy subjecting myself to emotional manipulation, so I don’t care for the Survivor-genre to start with.

    I understand that a nuts and bolts shooting show wouldn’t sell, but I guess “Top Shot” is a start.

    Thinking specifically of the Nutnfancy channel on Youtube, I believe having experts (named Mas) step in and shoot a few rounds of run-and-gun giving tips and pointers would be more educational for the audience than “top Shot’s” 5 minutes per half hour show of actual shooting (the balance being either commercials or participants talking to the camera about so-and-so’s attitude.)

  6. I caught the first episode on a rebroadcast at a relative’s. (No TV in my house.) The shooting was interesting, the “Surviver” format and requisite pseudo drama were so stupid, boring and/or slow it was a deal breaker. Haven’t watched it again.

  7. Mas, I love the show. As you said, it puts the shooting sports in a great light before the general public. My only complaint is that they appear to take firearms safety for granted. Some of the events (shooting wile flying down a zip line for example) are far more dangerous than they look on camera. I hope they are not giving the public a false impression.

  8. It’s good to see guns and shooters given a fair shot on TV. Most of the time we and our guns are not given very much good press unless you go to one of the out door style channels. The history channel seems to be good it. I like Top Shot just fine and loved there tales of the gun show from a few years back.

  9. My biggest issue with it is that the format will not allow for the best shooter to actually win. I was hoping this show would drift from the typical reality formula, but unfortunately it did not, so I don’t watch it.

    Given that participants are able to ‘vote’ out other shooters, they will naturally vote out shooters with a better chance of winning the prize money than themselves. That is, they are able to vote out the best shooters. The logical end is that the most average shooter will win.

    Just my opinion, of course.

  10. I agree on all points. I do wish they had found a way to format the show so that everyone got to shoot every week. Even in the first week, when the teams were even, we didn’t get to see everyone shoot.

    The show’s success is apparent, though — the production company is casting for the second season.

  11. I like it…it’s a little choppy on program flow, but for a first season show it’s not bad..the question will be the second season gunners…who will that batch be?

  12. I’m enjoying it and would love to be able try all the different weapons they’re using. So, yes, I’m identifying with the contestants. And I will add that the personality clashes are interesting as well.

    Of course, Tara shoots Bullseye (Conventional Pistol) so it’s clear she’s gonna be the final winner.

  13. I enjoy it, I’m not into the drama of behind the scenes but I enjoy seeing the different challenges the offer (is anyone offering a Zip Line shoot?). For the general public it’s a good way to show off the sport and skills needed for different events.

  14. I am glad to see any shooting show being aired that is showing a good side to the shooting sports and how varied they are. Sure, there is a bit of drama- what did we expect when they put a bunch of type A personalities in a house and THEN take it to an editing room. If the drama draws some non-shooters and keeps them watching, that is fine. It is encouraging to see more and more shooting, defense, etc. on TV. Look at the ones that just started on Spike TV today. After the heat at the smallbore silhouette match this morning I only watched the hour on the DVR so far before nodding off, but what I saw was encouraging. Granted the info may not be what a die-hard gun nut is looking for, but we are already hooked. The personal defense slant is certainly needed and welcome- I hope to see a lot of support for them. Oh, and I REALLY want to try that zip line as well!!

  15. I enjoy the shooting,. but hate the drama too much BS.
    That ANY type of shooting is presented as a good thing is more important than my personal feelings as to what makes good TV. I hope that this exposes some non shooters to the positive aspects of shooting.

  16. While I’m glad the show may have been watched by non-shooting folks, the “Survivor” reality-show aspect really turned me off. We don’t watch UN-reality shows in our house.

    I’ll stick with Wednesdays on Outdoor TV channel.

    If they put Top Shots on next year, I wouldn’t watch it.

  17. I wathced a couple of times. I like the shooting. But I think we could do without the drama.

  18. Interesting that you say that about Caleb, Long Island Mike, as most reaction I’ve seen has been that he was in the right, and the gentleman that they gave the most air time to trashing him was wrong there. Refusing to betray your friends isn’t generally counted as being a “rat fink.”

    As for the show in general – I wish there were more shooting, and I wish the shooting was designed to showcase what the contestants are really good at rather than throwing them at things that they are unfamiliar with. I’d much rather see the Grand Masters shooting more than one shot at a time with a pistol, for example. The eliminations have overall been much better TV than the whole rest of the show.

    I’d also much prefer if they kept the drama to more of the traditional sports “us vs them” kind of team stuff instead of infighting, but you take what you can get.

    I guess the end verdict is that I’m watching it, but I’d really love it the format allowed the contestants to show off more. Like maybe each team challenge you got to pick your best person and the other team got to pick your worst, and they have to work together on a longer challenge. As it is, there’s too much “one shot and go home”, or “none of us have any idea how to shoot a bow” to the team challenges.

  19. I think its too much like the survivor show that they vote each other of the Island. I lost interest pretty quick.

  20. I think it is great publicity for the shooting sports. It has shown the public that advancing your level of marksmanship is a challenge, and is usually very fun and rewarding. Could do for shooting what American Chopper did for custom motorcycles. Don’t forget there was a LOT of drama in that show.

  21. They are all competitive and some tension will show, I have been watching .It`s a good show and shows that guns can be part of a sport like bow and arrow..etc.,and not just for self defense.
    As long as they can keep it professional, it will be somewhat a reflection on the poeple behind the Trigger.

  22. If it is “showing the shooting sports to the general public in a positive light,” I am all for it.

    But, I don’t like those kinds of shows so I won’t watch it.

    However, if Mr. Neilson calls, I will tell him I did.

  23. Mas, I have lived long enough to stop taking myself so seriously. I’m just not all “that” and may not have been when I thought I was. Honing my skills with firearms and patiently teaching others the enjoyment found in the shooting sports have brought great enjoyment to my life and hopefully the life of others. I’ve watched Top Shot on occasion and found the reality side useless blather… until the shooter I was rooting for LOST. The fact is some days our best isn’t good enough. Does not mean we could not have done better, it’s just our best for that day missed the mark. Makes the program a bit more interesting when the best of us don’t come up to the task and we’re sent home. I hope folks watch, see a need for practice and how safe firearms are in the well trained hand; let alone how much fun and a sense of accomplishment can be found in the shooting sports by those of us from all different walks of life as we/they compete in the fine art of marksmanship.

  24. I actually learned of the show from my 21 year old daughter who watches it regularly. Being younger and from “that generation” she would tend not to mind the “drama” part of the show. I’ve recorded a few episodes and I’ll scan through them – they are a bit heavy on the drama side for my tastes. That said, I’m happy to she a major TV show highlighting shooting as a sport.

    Mas, you line about screaming your way down the zip line almost made me fall off my chair laughing. Then, your line about grabbing the quiver full of arrows and sprinting to the target and stabbing it finished the job!

    Best wishes,


  25. I think the show is a joke BUT with that in mind for regular non-shooting public it’s a good thing. Any good publicity for the shooting sports is good but personally I’d rather “wash my hair” or wax my back than watch it LOL

  26. I enjoy the shooting aspects of the show, and would rather be watching a good IDPA match, but having a DVR I get to skip through the drama and the personality BS. I have a few historic weapons (Springfield 1903, Arisaka 99, Russian M44) and have taught riflery and archery in the distant past. I’m currently a pistol instructor and teach concealed weapons classes, and would love to be on the next series of shows.

    Keep up the great work, Mas!

  27. The drama and such has become the typical fare for reality shows, which apparently this is, in lieu of a ‘shooting’ show. The title should have been “Survivor: Gun Range,” instead of Top Shot. I watch it but I don’t like the survivor format. Hopefully in Season 2 the producers find a way to ease up on the drama. This is NOT what the shooting sports are about. The show has soiled the image we have, want and should project to the public.

  28. I enjoy most of the show, but primarily the shooting. Josh is correct in that the best shooter will likely NOT win because he/she will be eliminated early on. When you have a group voting on which two should compete to eliminate one (and the prize at the end is $100K) the logical thing to do is to vote to pit the two best shooters against each other and thus eliminate one. Eventually, the best average shooter will prevail.
    I don’t like the darma/reality part BUT it is necessary to draw in the non-gunner audience. I’ll suffer through that cr** to watch the shooting because I think that part will be getting people who wouldn’t watch a pure shooting competition to watch and then perhaps they will gain some interest in the gun part. We will likely gain shooting supporters this way. ANYTHING that portrays the shooting sports in a good light is a good thing.

  29. …it does seem to bode well with the younger generation,probably due to “the drama” you,and others spoke of,ironically i saw it by accident because my daughter was watching it.She has been taught some firearm manners,and aint a bad shot for her peer group…
    …myself,i hate commercial TV,so i won’t go looking for it,but if it gains an interest in the shooting sports i’m all for it…


  30. Mas, I like the show very much. I’m glad to see a show that demonstrates both the skill required in shooting and the fun that can be had while shooting. It’s time to let the non-shooters out there, see that guns are not only utilized to kill something. My wife just began shooting with me and immediately recognized the ejoyment I get out of recreational shooting. Although I’m disabled, shooting sports is one I’m still capable of doing. Both of us find shooting to be relaxing and a great stress reliever. I only wish I were able to compete in events such as the IDPA. While I’m able to walk short distances with the aid of a cane (I must use a wheelchair for extended walking or standing situations) I don’t believe I could be able to compete in the local IDPA events. So, I get much enjoyment in watching the competitors on Top Shot every Sunday evening.

  31. I too struggle staying tuned due to all the manufactured melodrama and redundant clips and resets, ala every other reality show. However, ANYTHING that may *potentially* communicate to the general public and perhaps illustrate that firearms and shooting are not inherently evil or ‘redneck’. I can only hope. But then again, those folks likely aren’t tuning in anyway.

  32. The good: Top Shot has great camera work, I love the slow motion and the reactive targets they tend to use. This makes shooting look like fun to non-shooters too.

    The bad: Not enough shooting! Too much talking!

    The ugly: By focusing on the “drama” and setting up two teams instead of being individual competition the show alienates some shooters who just won’t put up with the drama and dislike the way the team situation sometimes forces out good competitors. The over-dramatization may make shooters seem petty to non-shooters.

    On balance, I watch the show and hope they will do more shooting next season. I’d like to see each show be a series of shooting contests with the worst performer leaving the show.

  33. The ‘reality show drama’ was pretty much predictable. I stopped watching Last Comic Standing after the semi-finals, because I feel like they eliminated all the really funny people. The nature of these shows is that some of the really talented people get knocked out mostly by chance, and I suspect the producers whim sometimes.

    Mike Seeklander has a blog where he talks about the 1903 and getting eliminated, though I can’t remember the web address. Although he seems to be holding off on crying foul, it kind of seems like something hinky was going on.

    I was disappointed that Caleb got nominated into the shoot-off for doing what I considered the “right thing.” I kind of hope that that comes back to bite them in the butt later on.

    Oh, and in the same vein, I want to point out that the Spike network is running shows called, Because Lives Depend On It, Practical Tactical, and Concealed Carry Class. Not sure what to make of the shows yet, they’ve really only started to introduce what the shows are about. The shows are on Saturdays from 9:30-11a.m. EST locally.

  34. Interesting shooting contests, look like great fun.Gary James adds a lot of interest, more would be better. Uncle Marc says “lose the drama “.

  35. The drama (mostly fabricated) aspects of it turned me off the show. I even fast forwarded through the drama, but I think that only left maybe 10 minutes of show. at that point, I found it more worth my time to watch Outdoor Networks HD shows on Wednesday nights. even the reruns are better than Top Shot. Shooting = neat, fake drama = lame.

  36. Mas, I hate the venue, but anything that helps to mainstream the shooting sports is a good thing. That’s the only way we’re going to win the battle for our rights long-term. It’s more a cultural issue than a legal one.

  37. I like the show, but I am a Survivor fan as well. Folks from the shooting community need to understand that this show is targeted to a larger audience. My wife rarely shoots but watches this show. My preteen daughter watches this show. Like it or not the reality TV show is here to stay and can be a viable medium to get our message out.

  38. @ Zack: You’re a “luddite”? No cable TV, but you comment on a website from a computer? Hmmm…. Not sure that meets the definition. I also don’t have cable/satellite TV, but watch on a computer via (see Mas’ link above).

    The show’s good enough to keep people interested. I like how they take historical weapons and do their computer generated 3D twirling to see from all angles as they describe them. That keeps my teenage son interested.

    I’d rather see the worst shooter leave than be “nominated”. And yes, like the other commenters, I’d like to see Mas on the show.

  39. I love it. Colby is definitely a graduate of the Jeff Probst school of reality show hosting. I think it’s very interesting to see how the different specialties of the contestants are put to use with the wide range of weapons, and how they adapt their specialties to the weapon at hand. Seems to put some of them out of their comfort zone, which is always a good thing. Would loved to have seen more women represented though.

  40. I like the show which is odd because I generally dislike the survivor style reality shows. What I think makes this show work for me is that those who leave are not just voted off in some popularity contest. They had to lose at least two different shooting matches. The first one is lost on the team level and the second against another shooter. In the end I think the best well rounded shooter will win. I think it is interesting to see some of the best shooters in different segments of the shooting sports compete in other areas other than their core competency. It really showcases those shooters who are able to adapt or who are more well rounded in their shooting experience.

  41. I like it and consider it to be a Must See. I do NOT normally watch TV and prefer the video player and computer for my electronic entertainment. That said I heard about the show and caught one episode. I then was able to see a repeat on History of the 1st three episodes I had missed and now I wait for Sunday nights.

    It is a good thing thing for the shooting sports but a dumbing down of the message to get wide appeal.

  42. This show also uses high-speed cameras. These take about 200-1000 frames per second as opposed to more tame 30-60 frames found in standard video cameras. This allows you to watch the bullet leave the barrel, the action of a Beretta 92 after firing, or you can watch the terminal results of the shot. This is best enjoyed in a High Definition television, but using high speed greatly increases my interest and I would like to see it used in other shooting oriented shows.

  43. I really like the show. I’d like it to be different but I can say that about most shows I watch. The Survivor aspect of the show is expected for a “reality” series and the deal making/alliances come with that territory.

    What I really love about the show is all the back information that we have been getting through the gun boards, podcasts, internet radio, Facebook, etc. All the competitors are honoring their non-disclosure agreements but once a show has aired, they all pipe up on the stuff that was not aired.

    With no outside lines; IE no phone, no TV, no radio, etc., the contestants will get more edgy than a normal competition. I’ve heard about the teams doing Cody impersonations (hands on hips pose) that did not make the show, an informal dart league, and a few practical jokes as well as some insight of what really happened before the editing took place.

    Overall, I can’t wait until next week. It’s the one show I don’t want to miss. So yeah, I guess I like it.


  44. I have been proud to say that I have never watched an entire episode of any reality TV show in my life. I would brag about my ignorance of such mindless drivel when the topic of reality show TV came up in conversation. That changed after I watched the first episode upon Mr. Ayoob’s request. I didn’t really know what I was getting into. If I had known, I may not have watched.
    But after the first episode, I watched the second. And the third. Then the fourth, and after a making a snack, ate it while watching the fifth.

  45. Reminds me of, and makes me miss, a similar show from 2002 – Combat Missions.

  46. They should do a similar show using the National Tactical Invitational. People voted off the island would be those who are killed in their staged scenarios. Those who survive would move on to the next level.

  47. I’m glad to see something (anything) on TV that shows shooting, and the people who do it in a positive light. Even from the History Channel, which is sinking into a conspiracy-theory, space aliens brought us the light bulb, sort of nonsense. The program shows shooters as we really are – level-headed, calm and rational – instead of the way we are sometimes portrayed. Like other people who commented, I don’t care for the reality show drama. It’s manufactured for the camera. When I was shooting in competition, I was competing against myself and my last score, not the person standing next to me. The most negative thing I’ve ever heard at a match was something like, “Look’s like you had one flyer, there.”

    Mike S.

  48. I have to agree with Joe Ballman. I’m not into TV, but anything that will bring shooting sports to others, can’t be a bad thing. The more they know what we are about, the less they will support the Brady-ites.