Adam Benson
 Personal information

May 4, 1965[1][2]


Baltimore, MD[1]


Construction Project Manager[1]

 Competition information

Season One



Episode eliminated

"The Shortest Fuse"


Adam Benson was a contestant of Top Shot Season One and member of the Blue Team. After making it to the final seven, he became a member of the Green Team.

Personal life

Adam, who calls himself "The Last Great American Hero", has had experience with rifles, shotguns, pistols, the compound bow, and muzzleloaders. He worked formerly as a Marine rifle expert, where he was given the nickname "Bam-Bam". Adam currently competes in the International Practical Shooting Confederation Master Class in pistol and three-gun events. As well as having used many firearms as well as bows, Adam also designs and builds catapults for pumpkin-throwing contests. He is a Construction Project Manager from Baltimore, Maryland.[1][3]

Audition video

"When I heard about this Top Shot competition, I knew it was for me."
―Adam Benson[src]

In Adam's audition video, he is seen shooting at targets with weapons, as well as stating his background with the Marine Corps and the ISPC.[3][4]

Top Shot: Season 1

Week One

Adam Benson arrival

Adam arriving for Season One.

Adam arrived for Top Shot Season One, instantly being assigned to the Blue Team. After all sixteen of the contestants arrived, Colby Donaldson, the host of the show, announced the rules of the competition. After this, he let the competitors go into the house they would be staying in during the competition. After this, both the teams headed to the Shooting Range to participate in the first Practice Session. Here, the contestants used four historical firearms: the M1903 Springfield, SVT-40, Mosin-Nagant, and M14. Here, while he shot, Chris Cerino spotted for him, and Adam did the same for Chris. Both teams headed back to the house, where they decided on who would be shooting what weapon.

Adam Benson 1st TC

Adam aiming for his target.

The following day, both the teams headed to the Shooting Range again, but to compete in the first Team Challenge. Here, four stations were set up with each of the four weapons, with an obstacle in the way. Adam was assigned to the M14 with Chris Cerino, which meant that he would have to slog through a mud pit to get to his station. On the first station, Mike Seeklander and Andre Robinson of Red Team had made it to their station before Iain Harrison and Tara Poremba of Blue Team. It took a short time for both teams to hit their first target, but then Iain and Mike were up to shoot at their targets. It took both a while to hit their targets, but eventually, being at the last station, Adam and Chris got through the mud pit after every Blue Team member had already performed, with little concerns about Red Team, which was still stuck on the first station. After Chris hit his target in one shot, Adam was up to shoot, managing to hit it in one shot, resulting in Blue Team's victory.

After the challenge, both the teams headed to the house, where the Red Team held a meeting before heading to the Nomination Range to send two people to the Elimination Challenge. When Red Team returned, it was revealed to Blue Team that Mike Seeklander and Kelly Bachand would be sent to the challenge. The following day, the Red Team left to witness the first Elimination Challenge, in which Kelly came out victorious. When the Red Team returned back to the house, where they decided to hang Mike's shirt and anyone that would be eliminated after him, in a tribute to them.

Week Two

After the elimination of Mike, both the teams were given a night to rest before going back to the Shooting Range to engage in the second Practice Session, this time using the Beretta 92F under guidance by expert Ben Stoeger. Here, Adam did well with the weapon, and was excited for the following Team Challenge, though he had no idea what it was going to be.

Adam Benson 2nd TC

Adam about to shoot his target.

Both teams headed to the Shooting Range the following day to participate in the second Team Challenge. Here, seven tubes of decreasing diameter were set up. Whichever team was able to hit all the tubes in the fastest time was victorious. Blue Team had heard in advance that someone on their team would have to sit out, and they decided on James "Jim" Sinclair, due to his poor performance at the Practice Session. When Colby stated that the Red Team would decide, the Blue Team was disappointed when they chose Blake Miguez, one of the more experienced with the weapon. Both teams then assigned a person to each tube, choosing Adam for the fifth largest. After Simon "J.J." Racaza hit the fourth tube, Adam was up, and managed to quickly hit his target. After Tara Poremba and Chris Cerino hit the smallest tube, the weapon was back to Jim, who was the only one to miss his tube. After a long pause, Jim shot at his target and hit it. Blue Team beat the Red Team's score by 27 seconds, resulting in their second win.

Both the teams returned to the house, where the Red Team held a short meeting on deciding who to send to Elimination. After this, they headed to the Nomination Range. When the Red Team returned back to the house, it was revealed to Blue Team that Frank Campana and Brad Engmann were sent to the challenge. The following day, the Red Team departed to witness the second Elimination Challenge. They returned back to the house later in the day with Brad, who hung Frank's shirt.

Week Three

Adam Benson 3rd PS

Adam with the longbow during the Practice Session.

"It's astounding to hear that the old English longbows men were shooting 150-180 pounds. I mean, uh, for hunting, I use a 60-pound bow, 70-pound bow."
―Adam Benson after listening to Chris Palmer.[src]

After Frank's shirt was hung, both the teams were given another night of rest before going to the third Practice Session. Here, a large hay target was set up, and it was announced that the contestants would be using the longbow under guidance by bowman, Chris Palmer. Adam, having used bows before, likely did well during the practice and was ready for the next Team Challenge.

At the challenge the following day, a larger hay target was set up. Using the longbow, whichever team could hit closer to the bullseye of the target would be victorious. Before commencing in the challenge, Red Team had to decide on two contestants of Blue Team to sit out, deciding on Adam and Chris. Adam witnessed as Iain Harrison started for Blue Team, and when Kelly hit closer to the bullseye than him. For a while after that, nobody was able to hit any closer to the bullseye than Kelly until J.J. Racaza was up. For Red Team to win, Bill Carns had to hit closer to the bullseye of the target than J.J. However, he was unable to do this, resulting in the Blue Team's third victory.

When both the teams arrived back at the house, Red Team eventually held a meeting, with an exception of Brad, who was in the kitchen with the Blue Team. The Red Team then headed to the Nomination Range, and shortly after returned, announcing that Bill and Brad were sent to the Elimination Challenge. The following day, the Red Team left to witness yet another of these challenges. They arrived back at the house again with Brad, who hung the shirt of another competitor.

Week Four

After Blue Team's third consecutive victory and the elimination of Bill Carns, the teams were given a night to rest before going to another Practice Session. For the fourth Practice Session, using the AR-15, contestants were assigned to shoot at foe targets and try to hit as less friend targets as possible. The expert for this was the returning expert, Craig Sawyer. After everybody had went on Blue Team, Jim Sinclair was up, and caused concern for his team based on his time during the session.

Adam Benson 4th TC

Adam using the AR-15 in the fourth Team Challenge.

The following day, both the teams went to the Shooting Range to participate in the fourth Team Challenge. Here, a 6×6 grid was set up. On this, seven friend and foe targets were placed. If a team member was able to hit a foe target, their team would gain a point, but if they hit a friend target, their team would lose a point. To add the difficulty, the contestants were only given a small amount of time to look at the grid before it was obscured. After the Red Team decided to sit out Blake, J.J., and Iain, both teams strategized on how to memorize the location. They then started shooting. When Adam was up to shoot, Red Team already had 13 points, while Blue Team had only 5. Adam pulled his first shot low, hitting a friend target, but was able to hit six foe targets, bringing Blue Team's point total up to 10. Nearing the end, Red Team had a total of 20 points, while Blue Team had only 13. It was up to Jim Sinclair to get a perfect run to tie with the Red Team. However, Jim did not hit all his targets, only raising the point total of Blue Team to 16 points. If Peter Palma of Red Team was able to hit just four foe targets, he would make it impossible for Blue Team to catch up. Peter was able to do that, resulting in the Blue Team's first loss.

"Just so you know, Adam. That is the first time anyone has missed the entire target."
I was dotting the 'I', Colby!
―Colby Donaldson and Adam Benson after Adam had voted.[src]

Both teams returned back at the house, where the Blue Team held their first team meeting. Jim and Tara volunteered to go to the Elimination Challenge due to their performance in the challenge, and then Iain volunteered as well, stating he thought he owed the Blue Team for the first challenge and his horrible performance at the Practice Session a day earlier. At the Nomination Range, Adam was the first to vote. He voted for Iain, jokingly dotting the second "I" in Iain's name just below the targe. He was then told to fire again and hit the target, hitting above the center. In the end, Iain and Jim were sent to the Elimination Challenge, with five votes to Iain and two votes to Jim.

The following day, the Blue Team went to the Shooting Range to witness the fourth Elimination Challenge. They arrived back at the house later with Iain in a joking manner and hung Jim's shirt in tribute to him.

Week Five

Adam Benson 5th PS

Adam using the Kentucky long rifle in the Practice Session.

"I've never had any experience with a flintlock, so I'm at a bit of a disadvantage from the start."
―Adam Benson on shooting the Kentucky long rifle[src]

After the Blue Team's first loss, they were hoping that they would be able to win the next challenge. After Jim's elimination, the contestants headed to a morning Practice Session the following day. Here, the 12 remaining competitors were to practice using the Kentucky long rifle under guidance by historical weapons expert, Garry James. Adam was not very confident with this weapon. After the Practice Session was over, both the teams headed to the house, where Adam held a meeting with two members of his alliance, Chris and Iain. Adam had already devised a plan to put J.J. and Blake against each other if the Blue Team lost to make the future of the competition easier. To do this, he called in Caleb Giddings and tried to encourage him into doing this. However, after listening to Adam, Caleb stated he didn't like politics and left. Adam did not think that Caleb would tell either J.J. or Blake, but to his anger, figured out the following morning that Caleb had in fact told both of them. This developed a new-found anger of Caleb before they headed to the Shooting Range.

Adam Benson TGTRaTU

Adam states his opinion to Colby.

"Adam. You're always good for a couple of words."
It's maddening living in this house. We have a chatterbox who won't shut up! It's killing me!
―Colby and Adam.[src]

Before talking about the Team Challenge, Colby first asked Denny Chapman of Red Team how he thought his team's cohesion was doing. After Denny answered, Colby asked Tara the same question. She stated she thought it was doing well, but then he asked Adam, who stated that he was maddened that Caleb told both Blake and J.J. about his plan. This inspired the Red Team to sit out both Adam and Chris. For the challenge, five targets were set up at 25, 50, 75, 100, and 125-yards. Whichever team could hit closer to the bullseye on the individual targets would gain a point, with an exception of the last target, which was equal to 4 points. After both teams decided on the shooting order, they started the challenge. Nearing the end, Blue Team had no points while Red Team had four. It was up to Caleb to hit the 4-point 125-yard target to tie with Red Team. However, this did not occur, resulting in Blue Team's second defeat.

Adam Benson 5th EC

Adam Benson during the fifth Elimination Challenge.

When the Blue Team returned to the house, they held a meeting, which ended up being more of a debate than a discussion. By the time the meeting had ended, the Blue Team headed to the Nomination Range. Here, Adam did not get an opportunity to vote. Everybody else had already voted, sending Caleb and Adam to the Elimination Challenge, with three votes each. The following day, both Adam and Caleb got up to attend a Practice Session for the Elimination Challenge. Here, they used the Winchester Model 1873 under guidance again by Garry James, shooting at the rungs on a ladder. Adam was comfortable using the weapon and did well shooting it. Eventually, after returning to the house, Adam spelled "RAT FINK" on the pool table with playing cards. This was later changed by Kelly Bachand of Red Team to "ACT UR AGE", but when Adam noticed this, he changed it to "ACT UR SIZE". Later, Blue Team left to witness the fifth Elimination Challenge, where two guillotines were set up. Whichever competitor was able to break the rope holding the guillotine up with the Winchester would win the challenge. Adam was the first to load and fire his weapon, but did not hit his rope. On his reload, he managed to hit the rope before Caleb. In the end, Adam won the challenge. He was congratulated by Caleb, despite previous circumstances. Blue Team then headed to the house, where Adam hung Caleb's shirt, regarding him as a "fallen hero".

Week Six

After losing two consecutive times, the Blue Team was hoping that they would be able to win the next Team Challenge. After Caleb's elimination, both teams were given a night of rest before getting up the following morning for another Practice Session. Here, the teams were to get used to handling the Colt Peacemaker under guidance by historical weapons expert, Spencer Hoglund. After leaving, Blue Team was confident that they might win, with an exception of Chris Cerino, who was uncomfortable with the weapon.

Adam Benson 6th TC

Adam shooting at the challenge.

The following day, both teams headed to the Shooting Range to engage in the sixth Team Challenge. Here, a saloon was set up with 50 targets. Whichever team could hit all the targets in the quickest amount of time would be victorious. After Red Team decided to sit out Blake Miguez, Blue Team decided the shooting order, assigning Adam to shoot third, after Chris Cerino and Tara Poremba. Adam was the first to miss a target for Blue Team, and only hit a small amount of targets. Overall, Blue Team finished the course in 7 minutes and 35 seconds. Then the Red Team was up, and they struggled through most of the course. In the end, Colby called time, announcing that the Red Team had exceeded the time limit given by the Blue Team, resulting in the first Red loss after their winning streak.

Both the teams returned back to the house, where Red Team held yet another team meeting before heading to the Nomination Range. When they returned from the Nomination Range, it was revealed to Blue Team that Andre Robinson and Kelly Bachand were sent to the Elimination Challenge. After hearing this, Adam asked Denny of Red Team, why he did not demand he go to the Elimination Challenge, due to Denny's performance at the challenge. Denny replied that he could have demanded it, but he didn't. Late the following day, the Red Team went to the Shooting Range to witness the sixth Elimination Challenge. Kelly came out victorious, and when Red Team returned home, he hung Andre's shirt in tribute.

Week Seven

Adam Benson 7th PS

Adam using the Winchester Model 1873 in practice.

"This is harder than it looks."
"That's why they call it trick shooting.
―Adam and Jon "Trick Shot" Wilson on trick shooting.[src]

After Andre's elimination, the teams were given time to rest before going to possibly one of the most difficult practices faced by the contestants. The focus was trick shooting under guidance by Jon "Trick Shot" Wilson. First, using the Winchester Model 1873, contestants were to look into a mirror and shoot a target behind them. Adam needed to be corrected by Jon with holding the weapon, but was able to hit the target. Next, contestants would use the Smith & Wesson M&P to shoot at small black dots. Doing this, Adam was able to hit at least one of the dots. Finally, using the Smith & Wesson Schofield, the contestants were to throw a cabbage under a rope and shoot it before it hit the ground. Adam was the first to try this, and after being given advice from the expert and his team after not being able to hit the first time, he still struggled.

The following day, the teams went to the Shooting Range again for the seventh Team Challenge. Here, four stations were set up for each trick shot. The only things that were different than in practice were the targets and the addition of shooting a half-can thrown under a rope. Before deciding who would shoot at what station, the Blue Team was for the first time given the opportunity to pick who was sitting out. They decided on sitting out Adam and J.J. due to performance at the Practice Session. Nearing the end, Blue Team had six points while Red Team had three. If Kelly Bachand would be able to hit two or more two-point half-cans, he could possibly win for Red Team. However, he was only able to hit one, resulting in the Blue Team's second consecutive victory.

When both teams headed back to the house, Red Team held a short meeting before heading to the Nomination Range. After they returned back to the house, many members of Blue Team, including Adam, were annoyed to hear that Kelly was sent to the Elimination Challenge with Brad, thinking Denny should go because of his performance at the challenge. The remainder of Red Team left to witness the next challenge, in which Kelly came out of yet again. At the house, he hung Brad's shirt after his elimination.

Week Eight

"My heart's not really in throwing knives. Throwing a good weapon away just is like jumping out of a plane. I'm not real good with it."
―Adam Benson[src]

The contestants woke up after a night of rest to a rainy morning. Some of them were wondering what weapon they would be using on account of the rain, or if there would be a Practice Session at all that day. Despite some beliefs, a Practice Session did occur, but not with a firearm, but a throwing knife. While the contestants threw the knives at a target, expert Todd Abrams would try to help them. Adam struggled with throwing a knife, which caused concern to Blue Team, because both Adam and J.J., who was also performing poorly, had sat out in the last challenge and due to rules had to be in the following Team Challenge. Luckily Iain was very well with throwing the knives in practice, and could possibly make up for this. To get prepared Adam did darts with Chris and Iain at the house before the challenge.

Adam Benson 8th TC

Adam about to throw a knife.

"Adam and Iain really had a hard time sticking the knives."
―Kelly Bachand[src]

At the Team Challenge the following day, a wooden beam was set up with six targets before it and water in front of and behind the beam. Whichever team would be able to stick knives in all six of the targets would be victorious. On Adam's first, second, and third runs, he was unable to stick the knife in the target. When he was up a fourth time, his first knife to throw stuck in the target but fell out. He threw his second knife, but was still unsuccessful. Iain finished the course for Blue Team, ending with a time of 3 minutes and 5 seconds. Red Team was then up, and ended up with a time of 3 minutes and 10 seconds, being beat by only 5 seconds.

When both the teams returned home, the Red Team held no meetings. Denny simply asked the remaining Red Team members, Kelly and Peter, if they wanted to go against him in the Elimination Challenge, because he planned on going. After getting responses from both, the Red Team departed to the Nomination Range. Red Team returned later, announcing that Denny and Peter were sent to the challenge. Before the remainder of Red Team headed to the Elimination Challenge, Tara stated that she would be leaving from the competition to be with her dying father. Adam didn't want to see Tara leave, after never being nominated, but accepted it. Later, the Red Team left to witness the Elimination Challenge. Peter came back to the house victorious, and hung Denny's shirt.

Week Nine

Adam Benson new
"When it came time for me to shoot, I was last, I'd seen everybody perform, and I didn't feel as much pressure from whether I will get it or not."
―Adam Benson[src]

After the departure of both Denny and Tara, the remaining seven competitors were given a night of rest before getting up in the morning and heading to the Shooting Range. To their surprise, Colby stated that they had entered the individual part of the challenge, and that they would swap out their original jerseys for green ones. After swapping the jerseys, the now Green Team headed to the Shooting Range to compete in the first Individual Challenge.

Adam Benson 1st IC

Adam firing the Beretta 92F at his fuse.

Here, a fuse was set up connected to an explosive. Using the Beretta 92F, the contestants would attempt to sever the fuse to remain in the challenge. Before Adam was up to shoot, only Peter Palma was able to sever his fuse, and everybody else was unable to. Being last, Adam was not very pressured, after seeing so many unable to sever the fuse. On his fifth shot, he was able to sever the fuse. Then, the second round commenced, and in the end of that round, only Blake and Kelly were still unable to sever their fuse. To make things simple, a target was set up where the fuses were. Whichever of the contestants could hit closer to the bullseye would be safe. Kelly shot first, hitting just outside the bullseye. Then Blake was up, and to everyone's surprise, shot extremely low, resulting in his elimination.

"I don't know how physical this challenge will be. I'm the old guy of the group and probably the least physical of the group. I like the brainpower. That's my weapon."
―Adam Benson[src]

When the now six remaining contestants returned to the house, there was a short confusion on hanging either a blue or green shirt in tribute to Blake. When Chris stated that hanging a blue shirt would be sticking with the pattern, Adam said that if they used blue it would look like the Red Team defeated him, but then realized that a Red Team member did, in fact, defeat Blake, making up Adam's mind to hang a blue shirt. Later, the contestants went back to the Shooting Range to go to the last Practice Session of the competition, using the Mosin-Nagant, SVT-40, TZ99, and HK93 under guidance again by Craig Sawyer. Along with this, physical endurance was added to the practice. Here, he paired with Chris Cerino, spotting for him when he shot and Chris doing the same for him. The Green Team returned to the house and was given a night of rest before the upcoming challenge.

Adam Benson 2nd IC

Adam with the SVT-40.

"You had to have a flawless run today and I did not have that."
―Adam Benson[src]

When the contestants arrived for the second Individual Challenge, they noticed a hill with four platforms on it. After Colby explained that the four contestants with the fastest times on their run would stay in the competition, Kelly started the course, and ended with a time of 1 minute and 30 seconds. After this, Peter, Chris, and Iain had gone before Adam. At the time Adam was up, Kelly and Iain were at risk of being eliminated. If Adam was able to finish the course in 1 minute and 25 seconds, he would be safe from elimination. On the hill, the first station was the TZ99. Adam loaded two rounds into the gun and hit on his first shot, and then shooting the other round out. At the second station was the HK93. Adam once again loaded two rounds and hit his target on the first shot and had to unload the extra ammo. With the Mosin-Nagant on the third station, he loaded only one round, but missed his target, making him have to reload the weapon, costing him lots of time. He reached the fourth and final station, which had the SVT-40. Adam quickly hit the designated target on the first time, finishing his run in 1 minute and 36 seconds, saving Iain from elimination. At this point, it was already certain that Adam had been eliminated, but J.J. was the last to go, and managed to get the course done in the fastest time of everyone, in 1 minute and 20 seconds. This resulted in Adam's and Kelly's elimination. Before leaving, both men said goodbye to the competitors.


Finale Audience S1

Adam about to witness the final challenge.

"Neck and neck!"
―Adam, observing the final challenge.[src]

After Adam's elimination, the remaining contestants headed back to the house where they hung both Adam's and Kelly's shirts. Adam was then present to see the final challenge between two members of his alliance, Chris and Iain, along with the other members of Green Team that had been eliminated prior to it. In the epilogue of the Season Finale, it is mentioned that Adam is looking forward for hunting season.[5]

Personality and traits

Adam was often considered a great asset to the Blue Team, due to his well-rounded skills. His plan against Blake and J.J. during Week Five helped show that Adam was thinking about getting farther into the competition and was confident that he would make it farther down. Because of his actions of plotting at an early stage, not forgiving and personally attacking Caleb have led some people to criticize Adam's personality. Despite Adam's arguments with Caleb however, he seemingly managed to forgive him after he had eliminated Caleb. Chris had stated that Adam was juvenile yet mature, and that he had devised all the crazy things Blue Team did.

At the house, Adam made friends with numerous competitors. As members of his alliance, Adam became great friends with Chris, Iain, and Tara. He had also gained friendship with members of Red Team, including Kelly, Denny, and Brad. Despite the circumstances between Adam, J.J., and Blake, it is likely that Adam had regained the friendship of both of them.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Adam Benson. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 12:28, July 1, 2011, from .
  2. Facebook: Adam Benson on Top Shot
  3. 3.0 3.1 Meet Adam Benson. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 11:30, July 7, 2011, from
  4. YouTube - Adam Benson - Top Shot Audition
  5. Top Shot: Season Finale

External links

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