Competitive Shooting

Top Shot All-Stars — Big Boom

With only eight competitors left, it is starting to feel like we’re getting down to the wire. Kelly’s shocking elimination last week was a wake-up call for the remaining shooters to bring their A-game from now on. In this week’s challenge, the “Great Eight” would be divided into pairs, with each pair using two shotguns, a Benelli Vinci and a Benelli M4. One shooter would use the M4 to hit a moving plate with a slug, triggering the launch of two clays, which his partner would engage with the Vinci, and as Colby said, “Drop those clays like fifth-grade French…” What? I hope that was something they wrote for him. The two shooters would switch positions, and continue in this manner for three minutes. Each broken clay was worth one point. I knew this one was going to be close.

Colby drew names for the Captains, who were Phil, William, Joe, and Peter. Practice went especially good for Chris and Adam, so they were the first two snatched up when the captains picked their partners.

The competition got start with Phil and Chris, who struggled at first, but finished strong. William and Adam worked well together, and Joe and Brian struggled with both guns. Peter and Gary made up a lot of ground after a sluggish start. It was a good, exciting shoot-off, and finished up like this:

Phil / Chris
William / Adam
Joe / Brian
Peter / Gary

This sent the bottom four to the Proving Ground, where they would shoot the Walther P99 at a bullseye fifty feet away. Predictably, Brian and Chris hit exactly 1.125” from the center, sending Phil and Joe to the elimination challenge.

The elimination was a head-to-head challenge using a Bowtech Strykezone 380 crossbow. The targets were six-inch discs spinning around at a distance of 90 feet. Both shooters tore the target up at practice, so this looked to be a good match-up. The loading process for a crossbow is laborious, however, and Phil had it down, while Joe had major problems. Phil moved ahead four to one at one point, before sealing the deal, hitting his sixth disc while Joe only had two.

Joe Serafini is a great shooter, and a great person. Everyone who meets Joe loves Joe. He’s a seriously down-to-earth, humble, nice guy, and in true Serafini fashion, he graciously offered these words of appreciation for his participation on Top Shot All-Stars: “Some people get fifteen minutes (of fame), I got thirty.” We’ll miss you Joe.

Congratulations to Phil on his victory! I have to say, I am gratified that four of the remaining seven All-Stars are Marines, it makes me feel better that two of my projected top four have already been eliminated. Some of the shooters are showing cracks however, so we’ll have to see what happens next week.


About the Author:

Daryl Parker

Daryl Parker is a combat veteran and retired U.S. Marine. He is also a 2002 Rifle Gold Medalist, Texas Peace Officer, firearms and law enforcement instructor, and standout marksman from History Channel's Top Shot (Season 2). Parker is the author of Sacrifice of the Season, The Death of More and Journey of Fear.
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