Most Interesting People 2012: Gary Quesenberry

Gary Quesenberry

Top Shot contestant, 41

/ Why he’s interesting / There’s not a gun in the world that Quesenberry can’t shoot accurately. He finished third of 16 in the third season of the History Channel’s reality competition Top Shot. When he’s not competing on reality television, Quesenberry works as a supervisor in the Cleveland office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

/ Early memories / Quesenberry grew up in Sylvatus, Va., a tiny town in the mountains just north of North Carolina. Before he was old enough to hold a gun, Quesenberry’s dad would let little Gary pull the trigger while holding it for him. “He let me shoot old pop cans. I got used to the noise, the recoil of the weapon.”

/ His first gun / His uncle Mike bought him a .410 shotgun when he was 12 years old. “I was more proud of that old shotgun than I was of anything, and I’ll be forever grateful to my Uncle Mike for having that amount of confidence in me at such an early age.”

/ Favorite challenge / Quesenberry had to shoot an AK-47 while going through an obstacle course. “We had to jump in freezing cold, waste-deep water, crawl under wire, and the weather was just miserable. To pull off some of the shots was a lot of fun for me.”

/ Favorite shooter / Alvin C. York, one of the most decorated American soldiers during World War I. “He grew up in a situation similar to myself, growing up in the country with not a whole lot. He used marksmanship to provide for his family.”

/ Triple Nickel / There are 89 people in the world who hold the Triple Nickel, a prize that comes with shooting five targets from five yards away, all in five seconds. Quesenberry was the fifth person to win the Nickel. “It’s pretty cool. It’s a small group with a lot of camaraderie and a lot of, in our opinion, honor.”

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