Tuesday night’s episode of Top Shot Reloaded was by far my favorite, not just because it featured my friend and season 1 winner Iain Harrison, but because it had (in my opinion) the most awesome firearm selection of the episodes so far. What really made the episode interesting is that the guns were personally selected by Iain for the challenge (which itself was strongly influenced by Iain’s 3-gun background). The first gun that Iain chose for the challenge was the Sig P228, also known as the M11 in the US Army. This gun competed against the Beretta for the Army’s XM9 pistol trials, and successfully completed the trials along with the Beretta. The Army eventually chose the Beretta due to its lower overall price than the Sig P228. However, the Sig P228 still saw service with the Navy SEALs and a host of federal law enforcement agencies.
The next gun up was the Browning Hi Power. This gun was the standard service sidearm of the British military for quite some time; in fact it was the most common military sidearm in the world until it was gradually phased out by most countries in favor of more modern designs such as Glocks or Sigs. Interestingly, the Hi Power was replaced in service with the British Army by the Sig P226, the big brother of the Sig P228.
The two rifles on Tuesday’s episode of Top Shot are both icons of military service. The AR-15 rifle is the most common sporting rifle in the United States today, and has served the US military in conflict since the 1960s. The AR15 is arguably the most common rifle in the free world, with its only competitor being the second rifle Iain selected for the episode: the FN FAL. The FAL has been referred to as The Right Arm of the Free World, and has been used by more countries as their battle rifle than any other long arm in the free world. Reliable, accurate, and in my opinion just a dead sexy platform.
The challenge itself was a lot of fun, but the guns were what made it for me. Brownings and FALs are extremely evocative for me, bringing to mind images of soldiers in South America fighting against drug dealers and corrupt dictators.
If you missed Tuesday’s episode of Top Shot on History, check it out at the link.