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|Gunslinger takes aim at keeping sport alive|
|Written by Haley Caldwell|
|Tuesday, 01 May 2012 03:53|
Watching a Cowboy Action Shooting competition is like being submerged into an old Hollywood Western film. Complete with aliases and 19th-century costumes, this 31-year-old sport attracts competitors from around the world.
Tombstone resident Charlene McMahon said he knows this sport inside and out. A titleholder of the Women’s World National Fast Draw Championship, the 1988 competition made Charlene the world’s most accurate female shooter.
“There are many women who can draw and shoot faster than me, but in this competition I hit the targets the most accurately under one second,” Charlene said.
Cowboy action shooters must draw, aim and hit their targets in a single second.
Single Action Shooting Society officials, the governing association of Cowboy Action Shooting, require that every member have a shooting alias. McMahon calls herself Ms. Charmin’.
She and her husband Pat McMahon, also known as Blaze Kinkaid, traveled around the West Coast for years to compete in SASS events.
“This was probably the best part of shooting,” Charlene McMahon said. “All of the time I got to spend with Pat (McMahon) was great.”
The couple won many of the competitions they attended, so they were able to pay their travel expenses with their prize money.
“When you break even on gas and hotels and things, you feel like you have done something good,” Charlene McMahon said.
She has won competitions held in Arizona, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Nevada, Utah, California and New Mexico.
“Yes, we definitely have traveled a lot,” Pat McMahon said. “But Charlene is a great shooter and it was always something fun for the both of us.”
However, Charlene McMahon said her competitive days have come to an end. She said she now enjoys assisting at competitions rather than participating in them, and is happy watching the games continue to thrive.
“Pat and I are raising our great-granddaughter and she is getting old enough so that we can teach her about gun safety and how to properly use one,” Charlene McMahon said.
The couple was awarded an honorary lifetime membership to SASS for their involvement in the organization and they plan on staying active even when they are done shooting.
“This really has been something else,” Charlene McMahon said.