Top Shot’s Ellermann Has 3-gun and More in His Sights


$100,000 is a lot of money. Money that can make a difference. Life changing money. But it’s not what you might call retirement money. At least that’s what Dustin Ellermann, winner of last season’s Top Shot on History Channel soon discovered after his 2011 win.

Despite the general hoopla that goes along with taking first place on a top rated show, there is still the reality of finding a job and earning a living. As the head muckety muck of Camp His Way, Dustin already has a job. One that he performs with his family and truly loves. But the Top Shot victory means there could be more.

“Taran Butler (experienced 3-gunner and expert on Top Shot) is trying to get me into 3-gun,” said Ellermann. “He said we’ll get you hooked up and you’ll end up in the top 10 sure enough because he believes in me.”

Most people who qualify for the show would jump at the chance to shoot for a living. But for Dustin, the work he does at Camp His Way is more of a calling then a job. A calling that requires something that most of us have precious little of: time.

“I’m not sure if I have that time to commit. But it sounds like fun so I might be going that way.”

Making it happen with LaRue and Savage

While filming Top Shot, competitors were presented with a number of different guns. Pistols, rifles and shotguns from almost a dozen different manufacturers. Although all were great fun, there were a few who stood out.

“I have a partnership with LaRue Tactical because they make some awesome guns,” Ellermann explained. “The OBRs is one of my favorites from the show.”

Before we could go into greater detail, another group of adoring fans came by with smiles, well wishes and additional adulations. It was a common theme throughout the SHOT Show interview. A few pictures and handshakes later, we’d made it to the NRA booth and finished things up.

“I’ve also done some local range days with Savage,” said Ellermann. “Met a lot of fans and got the Savage name out there. I get to fly out to the factory next week and build my own, so that’ll be fun.”

Dustin Ellermann looking for .338 ammo at the Hornady booth during the 2012 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fun is what Dustin seems to have in great quantity. With a supportive group of family and friends, his future appears both bright and unlimited. There’s talk of a Top Shot All-Star show, more personal appearances and a rise in Camp His Way applications that will keep the counselors busy for decades. The only problem, as if often the case in these situations, is the product of his own success.

“I also have a .338 coming from Savage.”

That doesn’t sound all that bad. What’s the problem?

“Problem is getting the ammunition,” Ellermann grinned “It costs a lot to feed those beasts.”

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