Gunfighters train in Tahoe |

Gunfighters train in Tahoe

Sarah Gonser

The dull thud of gut kicks, punches thrown and bodies hitting the ground filled the chilly morning air.

Six men punched and kicked each other around on Sunday in a quiet Tahoe Keys back yard. This was no barroom brawl carried over from the night before. This was practice time for The Gunfighters, a local three-member stunt team.

Alan Moore, Mark Cole and Dave Partlow Jr. got the stunt bug five years ago when they saw an Old West re-enactment.

“We always were into this kind of stuff, but after the Old West show we thought; why not get into this on a more proficient level?” Moore said.

The team has performed at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, the Virginia City Chamber of Commerce, the Calico Old West Ghost Town in Phoenix, on “Inside Edition” and at numerous other venues.

Their resumes list skills such as partial body burns, gun twirling, hangings and knife and whip work.

Sunday they got a special lesson from Take One Stunts founder Gary Roberts.

“The head must always follow the body, whether on a high fall or a body roll. I’ve seen a lot of people break bones that way,” warned Roberts as the men hurled themselves head-first into dives and rolls.

Roberts has been in the business 20 years and in 1987 founded Take One Stunts. His stunt credits include television shows such as “Rescue 911” and “Baywatch” and commercials for Nike, Volvo and Mountain Dew.

Roberts said the job and the numerous injuries incurred have become routine.

“Basically, this job is a license to play,” he said.

Roberts has had to pay to play. He has a titanium rod running the length of his spine, is missing a spleen and has pins and plates throughout his body.

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