This episode begins by concluding my elimination challenge. Last week my team voted Sara and I into elimination were we had to shoot it out with S&W M&P 45 at rows of rotating light bulbs. I ended up smoking Sara 23 to 11 in that challenge and she was sent home. In this challenge I earned my teams respect and perhaps fear – they told me how I was shooting 3 times faster than her and had lightning fast reloads. All I can respond with is, “I told you guys I love this stuff, and I’m good at it too. I don’t have any awards or experience to show for myself, but I enjoy it. The pressure doesn’t get to me, when it comes down to it I’m only having fun and I can perform.”
At team practice, Colby introduces this team challenge’s weapon – the Benelli M4 Super 90. It’s a souped up tactical 12 gauge semi automatic shotgun. The M4 has a shorter barrel, and a special feeding system that allows the shooter to eject a round so he can manually feed another without the magazine forcing the next shell into the action – pretty unique. It’s a handy feature if an officer/soldier needs to throw a slug into the chamber quickly instead of buckshot feeding (or vice versa). But this did make it a little different for weapons manipulation then your old hunting pump gun at home. I had never fired a semi-automatic shotgun before, and my lifetime slugs fired round count was right about 3, so I’m not near as comfortable with this weapon as I was the other 2 rifles. Nevertheless I caught on quick and put a Benelli on my Christmas list. Taran Butler was the expert, and he is an awesome guy. He is a natural expert shooter, and a world class champion in several realms. Red team practiced first and while we were at the house waiting, Billy, who had trained under Taran before, gave us the rundown on the Benelli. For this challenge we will also have shot shell caddies, so we know we will be running to and from our team’s single shotgun and loading or reloading it. At our practice we take Taran’s teaching on the best way to load the shotgun, then get to work on finding where it hits for us, adjusting the sites to the majorities sight picture, and running heart rate drills while reloading and shooting. Everyone was doing well, and we felt ready for the challenge. We were anticipating some sort of relay, which is what we practiced with our “golf club” gun back at the house. These practices helped us work together as a team and build unity but also visualize the weapons we were to use.
Walking to the team challenge we saw 2 structures 40 yards away, with 50 large mason jars scattered throughout. This is exactly what we had prepared for, and it looked like loads of fun - lots of shooting, lots of action, and lots of targets to break! Our team’s strategy was to first shoot down the 2nd and 4th jars in the middle so we have a chance of them blowing and breaking out the ones beside it. It paid off and we picked up 2-3 spares this way. Billy was first then I followed, hitting 5/5. Our team did well, each shooting better than the red team. My second turn to shoot I hit 4/5, which gave me a 90% hit average, better than any other shooter this challenge. Billy cleaned up the final 3 jars his turn and in the end red team still had 19/50 left. We blew them away.
Red team has another hard decision to make; they end up sending Drew and Cliff to the elimination challenge, which was a very unique and elaborate setup. It was a series of ramps with 5 gaps in the track, which the shooter will close a gap by shooting a steel target. Then, “cannonballs” would roll down the tracks, and if the gaps were not closed they would fall out the play. The object was to keep all 5 gaps closed as the balls would be rolling down the tracks and let the balls make it to the end of the basket. The weapon for this was the Salient Arms Tier 1 Glock 9mm. A very sweet customized pistol perfect for this challenge. The shooters were supplied with plenty of 20 round magazines as well. Drew ended up getting 8 points and Cliff performed incredibly and received 18 points. Drew has left and we now have 13 marksmen in the house.
Next week will be an interesting challenge that will include a single action revolver, with the shooters dueling at large dice-style targets. The elimination will have the Bulldog Gatling gun. Don’t miss it!
Links for this episodes guns: