Can Women Outshoot Men?

From GUNS Magazine, July 1955

Editor's Note

Can women outshoot men? We showed in 1955 the answer was yes — and it’s still true today. From the original article’s subheader, “With shooting no longer just a ‘man’s game,’ wives now accompany husbands to ranges and often prove they are much better shots.”

Enjoy a fun look back at K.D. Curtis’ article from the July 1955 issue of GUNS Magazine.

Should a husband teach his wife to shoot?

Not unless he is willing to swallow his masculine pride and admit his wife is a better shot than he is. For the facts of life in this modern day and age-and even back in Wild West era-are that the female of the species is often more deadly than the male with a gun. Shooting long ago ceased to be a “man’s game” and today women often are able to prove their ability to outshoot men.

Oddly enough, beauty and marksmanship seem to go together. Some of the finest shots seen on the trapshooting and rifle range today are some of the finest looking girls seen anywhere. Modern-day shooting champs are often true beauties. Consider one of the best-known of women shooters, Mrs. Carola Mandel, national women’s skeet shooting champion for several years. She could win a beauty contest as easily as marksmanship honors. And yet last September at Waterford, Mich., Mrs. Mandel beat an entire field of men to become the first woman ever to win the 20 gauge open championship in the national skeet competition.

This Chicago beauty first started shooting at the urging of her husband, Colonel Leon Mandel, a Chicago department store merchant. Colonel Mandel is quite proficient with a shotgun and insisted on his wife taking up the sport, too. She did so with a vengeance and last year broke four world’s records. In March she was named captain of the All-American skeet team … all because her husband insisted she learn how to shoot!

Women seem to take to shooting quickly, once they get interested. Maybe it’s a woman’s eye for detail that makes them so proficient with guns. Once they catch the shooting bug, they become genuine enthusiasts, not only to avoid being left out of their husband’s hobby but also because of the sheer enjoyment, of shooting. There is also a thrill in beating men at a man’s game.

Typical of women who have outshot males is Corp. Pauline Gauthier of the Canadian WAC’S, who recently defeated all men in the Montreal regiment’s rifle meet, scoring 275 of 300 points. Two men tied for second with 268. A blonde sharpshooter. Margie Morton, is a member of the University of Arizona varsity rifle team and has scored higher than any of the men on opposing teams in several matches. A similar situation prevails on the Tucson, Arizona, High School rifle team where two girls, Lucretia Burleson and Gail Winston, are the two best shooters on the varsity rifle team.

Women start shooting for a variety of motives. Of course, there are some who resent being left out when hubby’s friends come over for an evening and retire to the gun den while Ma watches television. Others start shooting because it’s in the family. Pretty Kathy Walsh, who finished third in the women’s national pistol championships when she was only 14, proved to be her father’s daughter-her father being Colonel Walter Walsh of the Marine Corps, national service rifle champion in 1952. Kathy shoots like her pop, left-handed.

Another crack shot, Ruth Smith, California stale handicap champion, took up competition in skeet, trap and pistol just to follow in the footsteps of her brother, who was a sharpshooter. Ruth is proof that females can handle large caliber weapons and not complain about the kick of guns. The Los Angeles shot has an all-around battery including a Remington double 12 O/U, a fully engraved Parker trap gun, a Winchester Model 12 with fancy wood and full engraving topped off with a ventilated rib, and a scope-sighted custom Springfield 30-06. And there isn’t a muzzle brake or recoil pad among them! The Remington has a thin cell-type pad, and the Parker and Winchester both have thin rubber non-slip pads, but they are all for shooting efficiency-when that gun comes up to her shoulder, she brings it in neatly and rocks with the bounce.

Continue reading “Can Women Outshoot Men?” (Pg. 14) and the entire GUNS Magazine July 1955 issue, available as a free digital download.

Read More Classic GUNS Magazine Issues