Kim Clingan of Chattanooga didn't just break a national record last Friday in New Hampshire. She blasted it.
Competing in only her fourth Cowboy Lever Action silhouette event, the Chattanooga State Community College internal audit director hit 54 steel chickens in a row from 50 yards with a Henry Big Boy Steel rifle chambered in .357 magnum, without a scope.
The previous National Rifle Association women's record for that distance was 34 in a row, set 16 years ago.
Clingan was at the Pemigewasset Fish and Game Club in Holderness, N.H., in the Granite State Silhouette Cowboy Classic meet held in conjunction with Pioneer Sportsmen, Inc., of Dunbarton, N.H. She was there with her husband of 24 years, Dale Clingan.
In winning the A class of the competition in which each person shot at 10 full-size chicken targets from 50 yards, 10 pigs from 100, 10 turkeys from 150 and 10 rams from 200, Kim was perfect at the short distance. So when the discipline was over, she was given the chance to go for the women's national record for knocking down chickens.
Since it had been more than 30 minutes since she had shot the 10-for-10 in the initial phase of her event, she was given the standard sight-setting shot before resuming her firing in a quest for the record. She made that shot anyway and proceeded to get to 54 before missing.
As with the normal competition, she had 30 seconds to get ready and two minutes in which to squeeze off five shots, followed by a short break and another sequence.
"A Boy Scout troop up there was setting the targets, and those guys were great," Clingan said Wednesday. "I'd say they were about 10 to 14 years old, and it was pouring rain but they kept going out there and setting up the chickens. They were dripping wet but still cheering me on.
"That was one of the best things about it."
Said her husband: "She just kept hitting them and hitting them."
Kim has been doing some silhouette shooting for "six or seven years," she said, but only this year began participating in CLA events.
Formerly a Medicare auditor for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Kim began working at Chattanooga State 4 1/2 years ago. She grew up in Huntingdon, Tenn., but has been in Chattanooga since being hired at BCBST out of college in 1992.
Apart from rifle shooting, she enjoys gardening and crafts and collecting Hallmark ornaments.
"I guess we've got about 500 of those ornaments," Dale Clingan noted. "Her mom's got probably 700."
About her rifle record, he said, "She's still flying high over that. It's quite a feat."
Contact Ron Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6291.