Michelle Viscusi was an unknown 21-year-old military police officer from Arizona before she took her talents to Top Shot on the History Channel this season. Only a few months after the show hit the small screen, she's lighting up the pages of Maxim with her sexy curves, inked up arms and passion for firepower. It's rare that we find a woman comfortable at the range and dunked in a pool of cold water in a bikini holding an AR for the camera (see below).
Viscusi got dropped from Top Shot after a shotgun elimination competition featuring slugs and buckshot in the third episode, but exited with grace after her short stint on cable. The spotlight coupled with her charm and good looks were enough to garner plenty of attention inside and outside of the shooting world.
Sure, Maxim's photo shoot took it over the top with hand grenades and Desert Eagles, but that's what they do, and the photos won't disappoint the red-blooded males in the audience. Viscusi talked dating, booze (her favorite drink is a Vodka Red Bull) and all the other pop culture stuff with the cleavage connoisseurs, so we thought it better to ask some more gun-related questions.
G&A: First, we're not going avoid the subject, you're an attractive woman who can hold her own in the shooting world. A model and a shooter, we don't see that every day. Tell us about your history in both.
Michelle Viscusi: I would have to say, I enjoy them both! Shooting is fun for me and there's always a challenge. I'm always learning something new in the world of guns. Modeling is also great! It's fun to dress up in different outfits and yet still be around weapons during the photo shoots I do. I love that I get to model in the gun world, I wouldn't change it for any other "theme." Both guns and modeling are fairly new to me. I've been shooting since I was 19, when I joined the Army. After I finished with top shot, I started shooting pistols. So I'd say I've only been pistol shooting now for about a year. Modeling was just something I started up a year ago when I competed and won a competition to be the spokes woman for Red Star Arms.
G&A: You are featured in an upcoming edition of Maxim Magazine in a great spread. There's no question here. We just wanted you to know that's awesome.
MV: Thank you so much for recognizing that. It was definitely an exciting experience to shoot for them.
G&A: The Top Shot producers billed you as a "self-proclaimed tomboy." Did that mentality help you get into shooting growing up?
MV: You know, I have always been a "tomboy" never dressed girly or acted like a girl. I was always into gymnastics and once I quit I joined the military. I guess I just needed a new hobby to take up and thats when a gun fell into my hands. When I was young, I never of even thought about shooting or would have imagined that it would be a hobby of mine.
G&A: What led you to the Army National Guard and then the Border Patrol? How has that training effected your affinity for guns?
MV: I wanted to join the Army National Guard for training and experience to become a military police officer and then become a police officer as a career in the real world. I also wanted to better myself as a person and I knew that would happen if I went through so many months of Basic training. It helped me grow as a person and it has formed who I am today. Once I finished with the 5 months of Basic training and AIT training, a few months later I picked up a job with JCNTF. (Joint Counter Narcotic Task Force) That's when I worked with Border Patrol assisting them with observation and reports. The training that I have taken in from the military has helped me greatly. All of my training that I have obtained is everything I took with me to Top Shot. Im so happy and i really appreciate the opportunity i have received to make it on the Show. It has made me want to further myself as a markswoman and has helped me try and be better sharpshooter.
G&A: What did you do for your audition video for Top Shot? Did you ever think you'd make it on the show?
MV: My video for Top Shot was so incredibly lame, I figured I would never even hear back. I actually sent in an email with a photo and then I received a phone call from casting for the show. They asked me to send in a video, which being on the border most of the time, I barely had time to make it, so it wasn't very good. They had asked me to send another video of myself just talking. I had some great help along the way getting to speak with a Casting personnel. Overall, once I got both videos in with all information I felt I had a good chance, just because I was a female applying rather than the thousands of men trying to stand out.
G&A: How much drama was there in Top Shot House? Are we talking a scene more like Jersey Shore (drunk, crazy) or The Waltons (happy-go-lucky)?
MV: Our group did not have any Jersey Shore drama. We all got along pretty well. There wasn't really any tension while I was in the house. We all talked, played games together, and enjoyed a great dinner every night. We were a very "happy go lucky" bunch.
G&A: How would you describe the entire Top Shot experience? Is there anything that stood out?
MV: It was a once in a life time experience! So great, I would do it all over again. To be honest i get nervous to be in front of a camera so I was scared shitless before I was even there. Just getting use to cameras being around and trying to have a normal conversation while they're around, was definitely something new to me.
G&A: Were you happy with how the show turned out?
MV: Yes, the show came out great. If I could change one thing, it would be me being there longer.
G&A: What are your hopes for your career? Is there more modeling in your future? More reality TV? A professional shooting career?
MV: No matter what I've always wanted to be a police officer and become a federal agent. That will always be the main goal in my life. As life goes on right now, I would love to get more modeling opportunities and keep up with what I'm doing for Red Star Arms. I've got a few things coming up under my belt. As for a shooting career, I would love to just get sponsored for ammo so I could be out at the range practicing every day to better myself. I'm not so sure where I'll go with it, but would always love to improve.
G&A: Here's a few quick shot questions to close it out:
G&A: How many guns do you own?
MV: I own 5 of my own guns. My favorite Glock 34, Ak-47, Xdm 5.25, Ar-15, and a 1911.
G&A: What was your first gun purchase?
MV: My first purchase was my Stag Arms Ar-15. I had just came back from basic and hadn't gotten enough of my M4 while I was there.
G&A: Are you a CCW permit holder? If so, what gun?
MV: I am currently not a CCW permit holder, but just got a job at Caswells Shooting range in Arizona and would love to take the class to receive the permit.
G&A: 30-'06 or .270?
G&A: 1911 or Glock?
MV: Can I say both? They're both sexy! My gun of choice will always be a Glock though.
G&A: 9mm or .380?