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  • Women Who Shoot: The Pioneers of the Shooting Sports

    2 min read

    We all know who Annie Oakley is, but you may not be familiar with some lesser-known women throughout history who were instrumental in helping women gain acceptance in the shooting sports. 

    Here are just some of the women who paved the way for the rest of us:

    Margaret Thompson Murdock is a true pioneer in the shooting sports. She is one of the greatest female rifle shooters of all time - she was the first woman to letter in any sport at Kansas State University, then went on to join the elite Army Marksmanship Unit (and ended up teaching there too!). Her biggest claim to fame is that she was the first woman to become a member of the US Olympic shooting team in 1976 and she won a silver medal in women's three-position smallbore.

    Arizona native Ruby Fox was one of the greatest pistol competitors of her time. Her shooting career spanned from 1974 to 1992, and her accomplishments include winning 8 gold, 4 silver, and 4 bronze medals in international events and a silver medal in women's 25-meter pistol at the 1984 Olympics. She was also one of the first instructors for NRA's "Refuse to Be a Victim" program.


    Launi Meili started her shooting career very early - in 6th grade, she was already shooting with her local club. She was the first American to win a gold medal in women's three-position smallbore in 1992, the first Olympian from Spokane County, Washington, and she holds three individual world records. She now a head coach of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s rifle program.

    In 1937, Mrs. Albert F. Walker was declared the women's skeet shooting champion of the country by the National Skeet Shooting Association. She set the woman's record with 99 birds out of a possible 100 and outranked both men and women shooters in the District of Columbia and Maryland.

    Pat Laursen was the National Women's Skeet Shooting Champion in 1940, winning that title when she was only 19 years old. Shortly after becoming National Champion, she shot a 199 out of 200, almost winning the men's championship, as well as the women's!

    Do you know a woman who shoots that you would like us to highlight? Send us an email or get in touch with us on social media and tell us about her!

    Also in Women Who Shoot - Interview Series

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