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Top Shot Season 4 Episode 11: Machinegunning and Memory

Browning M1919 30 Caliber Machine Gunning - From a Half-Track - and Memory Games

By

April 24, 2012

And then there were five.

Really, the only remaining Top Shot contestant who bugs me, and who I believe doesn't deserve to be there, is Greg Littlejohn. Interesting. Usually, there are folks on this show so arrogant and grating that by the time they make it to the final five, I'm just a big fat hater. Hmmmm.

Challenge Practice

The gun to be used in the challenge was a popper that I would love to spend some time with: The Browning M1919 30 caliber belt-fed machinegun. Oh my! It will gobble up a slew of 30-06 groceries in short order - and I would love to be behind one while it does so.

Their instructor was a returning favorite: Craig "Sawman" Sawyer. Well, he's one of my favorites anyhow. They have had some losers on this show as "experts," but I don't think The Sawman is one of them.

We were blessed with hearing Greg discuss his extensive experience with belt-fed machine guns. I could barely contain my joy. Apparently Augie also has experience with belt-fed guns, but he managed to not crow about it. At this point in the show, I suspected we were seeing some foreshadowing of a Greg loss. I sure hoped so, anyhow.

Challenge

The half-track drove up and we had the happiness of hearing everyone oooh and aaah about it. Do I want one? Of course! But I don't need some goobers on a TV show to tell me it's cool. The best part? That particular vehicle had been deployed to Europe in the 1940s, during Big Rumble Two. Nifty.

Anyhow, each shooter had to ride in the back of the moving half-track and shoot a machine gun. Harumph. That sounds simply horrible, and I don't know if I'd be able to stand doing it for more than a week at a time...

Fifteen targets varying from 12 to 25 inches were placed at ranges from 25 to 100 feet from the road. Half-track drives by, shooter must try to hit all the targets - and only has 100 rounds with which to do so. The two shooters who hit the most targets are safe.

Gary went first, and he tinkled away his hundred rounds in no time. He hit 4 targets. Next went Greg, who seemed to fall behind trying to hit a gang of four targets and did a lot of missing after that, but got 8 targets. Kyle fell behind early and got 5, and had more than half of his ammo left at the end of the run.

While watching, we learned that the shooters were handicapped by a defective gun mount on the half-track. It was very tight and didn't allow them to move the gun freely. Are you kidding me? How lame. That's almost - but not quite - as bad as having the contestants shoot round balls from muzzleloading pistols without using patches.

Chris seemed better at ammo management. He hit 6 targets and burned up 69 rounds of ammo. Then Augie went and he started out well but soon crumbled, burning all 100 rounds of ammo to hit 5 targets.

So Greg will definitely be in the finale. Heavy sigh.

Nomination

Pre-nomination talk was pretty boring. The consensus seemed to be that Gary and Augie would be eliminated. At the nomination range, Greg voted for Gary while Chris, Kyle, and Gary all voted for Augie. Augie decided to change things up since he was definitely going to have to fight it out anyhow, so he shot Kyle's target so he could watch Gary and Kyle shoot it out.

The shoot-off was close, but Kyle lost and thus was headed to the elimination challenge to face off against Augie.

Elimination Practice

Wow, the FN FS90 (which shoots the 5.7x28 - same as the FN Five Seven pistol) is one butt-ugly shootin' iron. And I still love the super slow-mo on this show.

During practice, each shooter had to try to remember things under pressure. Kyle was pretty pro-active, hollering names of things in order to remember, and asking Sawman Sawyer to push him hard. Had a good laugh watching Sawman holler at him, and Sawman gave him kudos for going at it with such abandon.

Augie's approach was much more internal, and he had more doubt. Didn't seem to remember sequences as well.

Back at the shack, Augie alienated us by threatening to shoot us in the eye and invest our disability checks. What? Kyle explained that he had broken his neck a dozen years before, which helps explain his lack of reserve and his zest for life.

Elimination Challenge

Colby called it KIM's game, with KIM standing for "keep in memory." Each shooter had to look into a box at ten objects, close the box, cross a rope by dangling from it, and shoot those objects from an array of miscellaneous stuff that included all 10 objects along with 20 decoys. Each of the 10 objects hit would add 1 point, and each hit on a decoy subtracted a point.

Kyle decided to try to memorize them all, and Augie said he'd only do half and then go back for another look - even though they were only given 1 minute 15 seconds in which to do all of this!

Kyle lost his memory of the objects, but instead of going back he began shooting things as long as they looked familiar. Oooookay. Augie went back once but then he only had time to fire one more shot before time was up.

Augie hit 5 good targets and 1 bad one, so he had 4 points. Kyle? Well, he ended up with negative 1. That's right... he hit 3 good targets and 4 bad ones. And so we said good-bye to Kyle even as Greg happily warmed the bench. As Johnny Cash once sang, I hung my head. I imagine Kyle did, too.

The final four: Chris, Gary, Augie, and Greg.

Next week: Finale!

- Russ Chastain

Be sure to vote in this week's Top Shot poll!

Other Top Shot Season 4 Episode Reviews

- Season 4, Episode 1: Motorcycle Sidecar Shootout
- Season 4, Episode 2: Browning BAR and Grenade Launchers
- Season 4, Episode 3: Benelli Shotguns Galore; Season 2 Winner Chris Reed
- Season 4, Episode 4: Crossbows, Moving Targets, and Love
- Season 4, Episode 5: Flintlocks, Unpatched Balls, and Half-Cocks
- Season 4, Episode 6: From Cannons to Atlatls - and Beyond
- Season 4, Episode 7: Trick Shots and Cocky Teammates
- Season 4, Episode 8: Old British Guns
- Season 4, Episode 9: It's all About Rifles
- Season 4, Episode 10: SWAT Stuff
- Season 4, Episode 12: Season Finale

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