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FW cop Kyle Sumpter eliminated from 'Top Shot All-Stars'
Federal Way Police Department Cmdr. Kyle Sumpter is out of the competition on The History Channel show "Top Shot All-Stars" after a difficult episode that involved a longbow, a Steyr SSG 08 scoped rifle, and a crank-powered version of the Gatling gun.
The FWPD veteran had escaped elimination once already this season, but was unable to avoid it this time in a face-off with Jamie Franks in the Gatling gun challenge.
To start, competitors were truly put to the test with a longbow challenge involving the Black Widow high-performance bow. The competitors were tasked with shooting at a 30-foot target 100 yards downrange. Each circle on the target gave between 20-50 points. Unfortunately for Sumpter, he couldn't get dialed in, and he scored zero points for the challenge.
"When we walked up to the challenge, I thought I would be safe," Sumpter said, referencing his unaired but solid practice round. "I was stunned and very embarrassed I scored no points. I have no explanation for it, I felt like every one of those shots would hit."
For the Steyr challenge at the proving ground, Sumpter said he was at a disadvantage by going first.
"There was nothing new or complex about shooting it. Unfortunately, there was some un-luck of the draw, in that my name came up first, and I knew immediately that would put me at a slight disadvantage, because the other shooters would be able to see where my impact is, and make adjustments accordingly, and that's exactly how it played out," he said. "Sometimes we don't get good luck."
As "Top Shot" host Colby Donaldson pointed out during the episode, if there was an episode to be in the elimination challenge, it would be this one because Sumpter and Franks got the unique chance to play with the Gatling gun. Sumpter agreed, saying that's one of the privileges of competing on "Top Shot" — to be able to compete with weapons systems you'll rarely see anywhere else.
"There is no other time in my life that I'll shoot that gun. The gun itself is well over $30,000. The ammunition is cost prohibitive. There's no other time I will get to shoot that gun, so yeah, I got to shoot as much ammo as I could until the challenge was over," he said.
During the elimination challenge itself, the biggest issue for Sumpter was getting the bullets to properly feed into the Gatling.
"The gun I was assigned just wasn't as hungry as I was trying to feed it," he said. "It was reluctant to accept the ammunition I was trying to feed down its throat."
Sumpter and Franks were tasked with "chopping down" three 4-inch-wide telephone poles at varying distances downrange. Because of the loading issues Sumpter experienced, Franks jumped out to a quick lead, mowing down his first two poles in quick succession. Sumpter rallied, taking down two poles and catching up to Franks, but it was too little, too late.
"I knew he was already chipping away on his third pole when I was just starting to move over to start mine," he said. "It was a very slim chance that I would be able to catch up with him, because I still needed to reload, and I knew the reload was going to take a while."
While he's out for this season, Sumpter said he's open to try again if the "Top Shot" team were to ask him to come back.
"If they contacted me again, I would definitely do it again," he said.
The other Western Washington competitor for the all-star season, Kent resident Kelly Barchand, sailed smoothly through yet another episode, taking second place in the longbow competition and staying safe from the threat of elimination.
"Top Shot All-Stars" airs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays (HD) and 10 p.m. (non-HD). Full episodes and additional content are available at www.history.com/topshot.