Michelle Viscusi drew a lot of attention when she made her appearance on “Top Shot” as a season four contestant. In addition to being admired for her appearance on the show, and her subsequent modeling job for Maxim Magazine, Michelle has great depth and has worked hard to build herself a notable career. Michelle comes from a military background, where she first learned to shoot a gun and hone her ability, but it was only after her appearance on “Top Shot” that she decided to fully focus her energies on competitive shooting. Viscusi is brimming with personality, with an array of tattoos, active work in the modeling field, and owning a gun store.
Early Life and Family
Michelle Viscusi was born on 23 March 1990, in Arizona, USA. While she hasn’t shared any information about her mother or siblings, if she has any at all, she has revealed that her father was a police officer. Michelle was heavily involved in gymnastics growing-up, and became highly proficient in the sport. It was not until her father took the family to a shooting range and taught them all the basics of gun use that she realized that she wanted to follow in his path.
As soon as Michelle matriculated from high school, she quit gymnastics and enrolled into the US Army.
Michelle wanted to become a police officer and eventually a federal agent, and thought that the best way to get there was to join the Army National Guard, which she did at the age of 19.
Viscusi served as a military police officer as part of border control from 2009 until 2011. During her military training, Michelle Viscusi discovered her aptitude with a gun, and grew to enjoy the rigor of practice and gun care. She told Guns and Ammo that “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.” After more than five months of basic and AIT training, Michelle was able to join the Joint Counter Narcotics Task Force.
As a member of border control, her job was more focused on observation and reporting, but it was while she was on active duty that she was offered the opportunity to appear on “Top Shot”. She even recalls the struggle she went through to try and create an audition video, while stationed at the border.
“Top Shot” was a weaponry competition show that aired on History Channel from 6 June 2010 until 28 August 2013, for a total of five seasons. The show pitted up to 18 experienced and professional shooters against each other, eliminating them one by one until a winner remained. The group is divided into two teams for the start of the competition, and are given tasks to assess their proficiency with a wide array of weaponry.
The teams are first introduced to the weapon that is the focus of the challenge – which could range anywhere from a pistol to a hatchet – and given brief access to a professional and time to train. The two teams then compete, and the losing team selects two individuals to send to elimination. The elimination round works in much the same way, with a training period and then a competition, after which the loser is immediately sent home.
Michelle Viscusi appeared in the fourth season of the show in 2014, but was eliminated in the third episode after her team lost a “Double Tap” challenge. Michelle then failed the elimination round which required her and the other competitor to roll three wheels across a 35ft (10.7m) long track, by propelling them with buck shots and eventually slugs.
Although she was eliminated so early in the competition, this gave Michelle the first glimpse of what she wanted to do with her career.
Michelle Viscusi started her modeling career directly after her appearance on Top Shot. Her first job was a shoot for MAXIM, of which she is extremely proud. She also won the opportunity to be the spokesperson for Red Star Arms, a path which she stills follows today. Michelle explained to Guns and Ammo why she is so passionate about her opportunity to combine modeling and guns, saying “Modelling is also great! It’s fun to dress up in different outfits, and yet still be around weapons during the photoshoots I do.”
In 2013, Michelle was able to join the Glock Team and finally began to make her way in her competitive shooting career. Since then she has won more than ten notable titles. She started in 2013 when she won USPSA Area Production 7 Division High Lady, USPSA Area Production 8 Division High Lady, and Florida Open Production Division High Lady. Most recently, she won the 2019 IPSC Nationals Standard High Lady. Her teammates include Ashley Rheuark, winner of the 2019 Back Up Guns National Champion and 17 other titles, and Shane Coley, also ex-military.
Michelle Viscusi opened Defence Depot on 1 June 2015, and partnered with some of the best names in the business to establish a steady online business.
The logo of the company mimics the tattoo that Michelle has on her side of two guns positioned to form the letter ‘M’. The store carries everything from ammunition and gun oil, to training and signed posters, and brands such as Tartan Tactical, FireClean, and Atlanta Arms. Michelle continues to make appearances, and offer women advice on making a name for themselves in the industry.
Michelle gave birth to her daughter in 2014, and married her husband, Mac, a year later, who she refers to as “the love of my life.” They have since had another child, but choose to keep their family life far from the public eye.
In a 2012 interview with MAXIM, Michelle revealed that her tattoos held a lot of meaning to her. While she only had six tattoos at the time, it is highly likely that she has gotten more since then. Of the tattoos she had at the time, the rose and gladiolus on her shoulder were meant to represent her parents, while the “Assist. Protect. Defend.” on her forearm represent her desire to be involved in law enforcement, and use her skills to better the world. The pair of guns on her side in the shape of the letter “M”, upon which the Defence Depot logo is based, she got when she was 18.
Michelle Viscusi has dark brown eyes and dark hair that she wears slightly longer than shoulder length.
She has tanned skin, and a toned and fit body – making it unsurprising that she caught the attention of magazines such as Maxim, who captioned her photoshoot “Military police officer Michelle Viscusi made the History channel sexier when she appeared on its show “Top Shot.”
Net Worth and Salary
Michelle earns a notable salary for her activities as part of the Glock Team, describing her traveling to shooting competitions to My Gun Culture as “There’s usually a pile of cash waiting on my seat along with champagne.” She also runs a successful online gun supply business, Defence Depot, and has a steady modeling career. Michelle has a net worth estimated at close to $1 million, as of mid-2020.