SHEDD, Ore. - Buckshot Shell-E stares intently down range, her hands resting lightly on the twin revolvers holstered on her hips.
Her leather chaps sway slowly back and forth. All is still.
Buckshot Shell-E pulls both pistols and fires off 10 rounds. She holsters her pistols and runs for her rifle, pulls it up and shoots nine times.
Then Buckshot Shell-E throws down the rifle and grabs her 12-gauge shotgun, pumps a shell in the chamber, fires, loads another shell, and fires again.
It all takes her 16 seconds.
She doesn’t miss a shot.
Shell-E is the nation’s best female shootist, holding five national championships in a unique sport: Cowboy Action Shooting.
Fortunately for Shell-E, who is from Lebanon, Ore., and whose real name is Michelle Reagan, the targets she aims at don’t shoot back.
The point of Cowboy Action Shooting is to have a good time - and stay safe.
“A lot of people just come out here to have fun,” Reagan said. “They don’t care how they shoot, as long as they’re safe.”
The Oregon Old West Shooting Society holds a Cowboy Action Shooting match twice a month at the Albany Rifle and Pistol Club just outside of Shedd, Ore.
The rules are actually pretty simple: dress like a cowboy, shoot guns from the late 1800s, and when it’s time to draw shoot as fast as you can without missing any of the targets.
Beginners and spectators are more than welcome, said match coordinator Jeremy Anderson, also known as Deaf Eagle.
All you need is a set of earplugs, a pair of safety glasses and a compelling alias. Eventually, you’ll need your own guns, but not on your first day.
Many new people are finding their way to Oregon Old West Shooting Society these days.
“We get one or two new members every month or so,” Anderson said.
On a recent Sunday morning, 45 members showed up ready to compete.
Cowboy Action Shooting is getting attention beyond the Northwest. It is one of the fastest growing shooting sports in the world, with close to 90,000 participants worldwide, Anderson said.
The OOWSS is a branch of the Single Action Shooting Society, an international Cowboy Action Shooting organization, Anderson said.
The group will host another match in Albany this Saturday, Jan. 22, beginning at 10 a.m.
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OOWSS holds two competitions every month. The complete schedule, along with rules and other information, is available at www.oowss.com.