Annie Oakley
Annie Oakley

By 1922, “Little Sure Shot” Annie Oakley had been famous throughout the United States and Europe for decades. She’d been born Phoebe Ann Moses (or Mosey) on Aug. 13, 1860, and had been shooting since a young girl.

Audiences to the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show had watched with amazement as this pint-sized woman showed an accuracy with a rifle that few men could hope to match. They’d watched her hit 4,772 glass balls out of 5,000 tossed in the air. She could hit a playing card from 90 feet—riddling it five times before it hit the ground. That display alone named free tickets with holes punched in them “Annie Oakley’s.”

One of her most popular tricks was splitting a playing card, edge on, from 30 paces. She shot dimes tossed in the air and cigarettes from her husband’s lips.

But on March 5, 1922, when she was 62 years old, she set new records at the Pinehurst Gun Club in North Carolina. On that day she broke all existing records for women’s trap shooting. She smashed 98 out of 100 clay targets. She hit the first 50, missed the 51st, and then missed the 67th.That’s not just a wow, but a wow-wow-wow!

Annie died nearly five years later, on Nov. 3, 1926.

Related Articles

  • Lillian Smith True West

    Annie Oakley wasn’t the only great female sharpshooter in the 19th century.  In fact, many…

  • Jack Helm death illustration

    Jack Helm is probably best known for being a victim of Texas’ Sutton-Taylor Feud (John…

  • calamity jane true west

    Western women said some pretty interesting things: “Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping…