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Why are so many Top Shot alumni shooting 3-Gun?

With the upcoming all star season of Top Shot still a month or two away it’s interesting where the show’s winners and contestants keep popping up. Iain Harrison is busier than a one legged man at an ass kicking contest, among other things working for Crimson Trace, hosting Outdoor Channel’s Rapid Fire, and trying to bail out RECOIL magazine as Editor. I assume he also had some hand in the Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun Invitational, which was shot by Top Shot alumni Chris Cerino and Chris Cheng.

YouTube seems to be the best way to keep up with some of the former contestants in the “offseason,” which is where I found Dustin Ellerman tearing it up at the (new to me) Fallen Brethren 3-Gun:

Scanning the results for that match shows a few other familiar names like Greg Littlejohn, Chris Cheng (again), but the real headline from that is Dustin’s 18th out of 139 finish in Tac Optics. Watching that video it’s easy to see the kid has some skill, but as we all know one stage does not make a match. Points-wise, that stage was actually his third best, with his first actually giving him a stage win. Success in Top Shot seems to be about equal parts luck, skill, and social engineering, but if you need more proof that Dustin is a guy to keep an eye on, watch him nip at Jerry Miculek’s heels while shooting Tac Optics to Jerry’s Open.

But this post isn’t really about Dustin, it’s about the fact that from everything I’ve seen, 3-Gun is the black hole that sucks in any Top Shot contestant who decided to stay in the shooting sports instead of heading back home to the farm. I think Taran Butler probably had it right a few months ago on Matt Burkett’s podcast when he said that it’s because 3-Gun is where the money is. Although there is no shortage of people in IDPA or USPSA with jerseys splattered with sponsor logos, if you are looking to start somewhere and make it a full time gig by racking up sponsors and visiting the prize table, you better start training your weakest of rifle, pistol, and shotgun.

Of course, the notable exception to this is the newest member of Team Glock and Top Shot Season 4 shooter Michelle Viscusi, who only has one sponsor on her jersey and appears to be largely working on pistol skills.

I’m not a betting man, but I’d put money on it staying that way, at least until that mythical Glock carbine finally comes out, in Q3 2087.

About Ben

Blog contributor. Active in IDPA and USPSA, and he won't flinch if you call him a rules lawyer. Ben is a beard wearing, bacon eating, whiskey drinking, motorcycle riding, coder.

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