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Rob Reed at published a lengthy interview with former Top Shot competitor Phil Morden. The self-taught marksman had a word or two to say about Jake Zweig’s assertion that the competition was a sham due to equipment unreliability. “Now, with the Infinity pistols, we each had our own pistol which we sighted in during the practice. We had a certain number of rounds for practice. You take five, six rounds, to sight it in to make sure your hitting on paper. Taran Butler helped us out with that. He was great, got everybody dialed in. Jake was hitting close to the bullseye with the pistol. You know, for Jake to say that the guns weren’t working all the time, yeah, they didn’t work all the time . . .

So while Jake might not known how to run the gun, but the gun she don’t run. Morden reckons it’s no biggie.

But, some of that can be operator error and some of that can be just that the gun isn’t running as it should be. I had some problems with my Infinity and I fixed them as fast as possible and ended up shooting one less target than the guy who was in third place. So, I could argue the same case. That my firearm didn’t work at certain points. I had failures to go into battery and when I hit the slide home it took a few seconds. I could argue the point that I missed out on three or four targets because of that which took me out of the top three. But, you have to understand that it’s a gun and it’s not always going to work.

Yes, but– random mechanical failures in various firearms doesn’t exactly create a level playing field. Unless all the guns have the same failure rate. Which they didn’t (Jake says at least one gun performed flawlessly). Again: the competitors weren’t sharing a gun. So while the competition wasn’t rigged, it’s a bit of a stretch to call it fair. Fair enough?

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  1. Robert,

    I don’t know who the “blogger over at” is but he did not write and publish that interview with Phil Morden, I did.

    I’m the Michigan Firearms Examiner at and that is my exclusive interview with Phil that he reprinted on his site in totality.

    He did link to me as the “article source” at the bottom. If you would have followed the link, or even looked at it closely, you would have seen I was the original author.

    If you can correct your attribution, and the link, in your post, I would appreciate it.

    I would file a DMCA complaint over that other site, but considering it’s a .CA domain, I don’t think it will do any good.

    Rob Reed
    Michigan Firearms Examiner

    • Thanks for the interview Rob.

      As for the topic itself, I could not care less but I thought this statement from Morden was odd:
      “But, it’s a firearm, and anybody who shoots enough knows these aren’t going to work all the time every time.”

      As long as I take care of the gun and don’t use defective magazines or bad ammo, my failure rate is something well under 1 in 1,000. Maybe it’s different for “race guns” but I would think unless you are competing in slow-fire that failures will cause you to lose the competition as much as missing will.

  2. I’ve never watched the show, so pardon if this is a stupid question. Does everyone use the same ammo? Load their own mags? Be pretty easy to screw with folks and cause malfunctions by switching up the loads or slipping a blank or a low power round in the middle of the mag. Look how 4th gen Glocks weren’t cycling with slow 115 grain loads. Load minors in a gun tuned for majors and it probably wouldn’t cycle either.

  3. When did it start that everyone is owed a fair competition? Equipment doesn’t always work properly: them’s the breaks. Are you saying that 3-gun competitions aren’t fair because everyone is using their own guns? What if one of their guns malfunctions? That guy’s gun worked better than mine, wah!!

    Maybe guns aren’t the right hobby for Jake. Perhaps he should take up driving a waaaaaahmbulance.

  4. First I heard that they each had their own gun. I had assumed (as the show leads you to believe) that they were all using the same gun. I can better understand Jake’s disappointment in the show now … But he’s still a whiney quitter.


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