I watched with satisfaction last night as the gang nailed up Littlejohn’s target, along with a Top Shot range flag that Pete “appropriated” in the best tradition of Marine scroungers. The sun rose at Colby’s command, and the shooters manned their benches. Colby drew three names at random (Chee, William, and Alex), who took turns picking their squads, the Grey, Blue and Red. I gagged a little at the thought of returning to the team format, but since it didn’t reintroduce the voting strategy, I was okay with it.
For this challenge, each team member would take three shots at a trick-shot station, with each hit being worth one point. At the last station, however, shooters got four shots, worth 3 points per shot. I’ll tell you why in a minute. During practice, all three squads looked really good, and it was shaping up to be a great competition.
The first station was the tried-and-true Annie Oakley shot. Lever-action rifle fired back over the shoulder, using a hand mirror to see the sights. Honestly, I’ve done this before, and a rifle shot at 30 feet is child’s play. As expected, Pete and Kelly went 3 for 3, with Gary missing one.
Mannequins smoking corncob pipes were at station two, just like in TS2. Joe made it look easy then, but this station was a wash when he, Chris and Gabby all went 2 for 3.
Speaking of Joes, the Average Joe could have aced the third station. Three bowling pins were lined up, and the shooter had to shoot the middle pin without knocking over either of the other two. It was silly, and Chee, Kyle and Phil all went 3 for 3. I don’t know, maybe History wanted a high hit ratio to make the shooters look good.
The next one was definitely more challenging. Two cans were filled with water and stacked. The shooter had to shoot the bottom can, which sent the top can flying, which then had to be hit in mid-air. The hit ratio suffered as Adam and Blake went 2 for 3, but Jamie came up big for his Red squad, hitting all three, tying the other squads with 10 points each. I would have lost that bet…
The last station was splitting a bullet on an axe blade, hitting two balloons on either side. I managed it on TS2 with a 1911 and copper-jacketed ammo, but this time they were using a Colt Peacemaker. I disagree with Alex Charvat’s comment that bullseye shooting was not what this revolver was designed for though because I have one, and it is extremely accurate! Nevertheless, I was surprised when Brian went 1 for 4, William 0 for 4, and Alex 2 for 4. Result: Blue squad was going to the elimination range.
The elimination range was no surprise; Kelly, William, and Gabby are rifle experts, leaving Blake and Kyle as the two farthest from the bullseye with the Henry rifle.
Their challenge was comprised of three trick-shot stations; shooting a bottle with an upside-down Smith & Wesson 686, a gum-ball off a golf tee with a Volquartsen .22 rifle, and double-fisting two Ruger Security Sixes to simultaneously shoot two horizontal plates.
Blake is a world champion shooter, but he’s also a specialist, and as I said in my first article, specialists will have trouble with this format. It was still extraordinarily close as the two battled through the stations to a dramatic tie, which necessitated a shoot-off—gumball on a golf tee. After Blake’s three misses with the Volquartsen, Kyle hit on his second shot, eliminating Blake from the All-Stars. Who says you can’t have drama without the melodrama?