Ken Barnes won the first of his eight career individual World Championships by taking the .410 bore title in 1966. It was only the seventh perfect score of 100-out-of-100 shot up to that time with the 410. At the 1967 Western Open Championships, he broke the first perfect 400-out-of 400 score in history using four gauges at one shoot, and, is still the only shooter to do so with pump action guns.
Between 1966 and 1969, Ken captured eight individual nationwide high averages for the year, five of which were world records at the time. He is the first shooter to carry a 99% all around average for the year, and again, the only to do so with pump guns. Ken was selected to the Sports Afield Magazine’s All–American Team twelve times between 1966 and 1978, being selected team captain twice. Between 1966 and 1969 he won 12 individual California State titles including the All-Around four consecutive years. He still holds the California State record of 27 individual titles won.
In 1974, Ken won his second world .410 title with his ninth perfect score with the Winchester Model 42 Pump gun, seven more than anyone else in history. That gun is enshrined at the Hall of Fame in San Antonio, Texas. After winning the 12 gauge title in 1975, Ken became one of only five shooters in history who have won a world title in each gauge.
Ken was inducted into the National Skeet Shooting Association Hall of Fame in 1979, and, the Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame in 1972. He is also a charter member of the California Hall of Fame. For the last thirty years, Ken’s only competition has been at the event named for him annually at the Kern County Gun Club.
Born and raised in Bakersfield, Ken was introduced to skeet shooting in 1962 by his friend, Pete Lokey, owner of Westchester Bowl. His first registered target shot at the old Kern County Gun Club below the Panorama bluffs was declared lost because the safety was still on. He fondly recalls that “I only broke four targets out of 25 the first time I shot”.
Ken and his father built and operated the tire store on Garces circle where he is remembered for putting up the “Big Indian” in the 1960’s. During the mid-70’s, he managed the gun department at Vincent’s Sporting Goods entering the real estate profession in 1978 until his recent retirement.
Ken feels very fortunate to have the shooting career that he has had and credits the support of his family and friends. Ken and his wife Loretta still live in Bakersfield and are blessed with five children and eight grandchildren.