Looking Forward to History’s Top Shot Season 5 All-Stars

As I have written previously, the reality/competition show “Top Shot” on the History Channel played an important role in introducing me to gun culture. It showed me that guns are used for purposes other than killing, that marksmanship is an impressive skill, and that shooting is a safe and fun pastime/sport/occupation for many people. It significantly paved the way for my own foray (however limited) into guns and gun culture.

Courtesy of History Channel
Courtesy of History Channel

Some people in gun culture don’t like “Top Shot” because it is not simply about marksmanship, but also includes a healthy share of “drama.” It is, after all, a competition that takes place in the context of a semi-contrived reality TV show. The producers and editors work hard to develop storylines which include various conflicts that provide dynamism to the show’s narrative. I am a sucker for reality TV in general, so even though I know the drama is manufactured, I still end up rooting for some competitors and against others, thinking some are cool and others are jerks, yelling at the TV, live-Tweeting while I am watching, and so on.

On May 29th, History is bringing back “Top Shot” with a cast of 16 “all-stars” seeking “Redemption”: individuals who competed in but did not win in the first four seasons. I decided to re-watch the first four seasons of “Top Shot” leading up to the premier of Season 5, and just for fun will blog my thoughts.

Courtesy of History Channel
Courtesy of History Channel

Here is a rundown of the “all-stars” competing this season:

Season 1:

Kelly Bachand

Adam Benson

Chris Cerino

Blake Miguez

Peter Palma

Season 2:

Jamie Franks

Joe Serafini

Brian Zins

Season 3:

Alex Charvat

Phil Morden

Gary Quesensberry

Season 4:

William Bethards

Gabby Franco

Chee Kwan

Gregory Littlejohn

Kyle Sumpter


  1. Hey, Stuart – Thanks for the note. I didn’t see this article specifically but I have seen quite a bit of media coverage of the report. It’s interesting because the fact that gun sales are increasing while gun homicides are decreasing is something that people have known for a while, but I guess the source of the information gave it more credibility. I commented on the declining gun homicide rate a couple of times in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. I also wrote about how both pro- and anti-gun people use fear of increasing crime to justify their positions, despite the fact that both exaggerate the actual danger of crime. It’s all very interesting to me!


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