American flag
Sangamon County Rifle Association
Right Reason on Second Amendment Rights
Springfield, Illinois

Bill Oglesby
    Expert shot by History Channel
Springfield’s "Badlands Bill" Oglesby
 to be in sharpshooting documentary

By Daniel Pike
Staff Writer
Published Saturday, February 18, 2006

Illinois State Journal (Springfield, Il.) Exhibition shooter "Badlands Bill Oglesby" is no stranger to exposure, having traveled the world demonstrating his skills and appearing frequently on national television.

Still, Oglesby is gratified that The History Channel cable television network sought him out for an upcoming documentary on sharpshooters.

“It’s a prestigious show,” Oglesby said Friday morning at Oglesby and Oglesby Gunmakers Inc., the shop he runs on Andrew Road north of Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport. “They do their research when they put something together.”

A crew from Workaholic Productions, which is producing the show for The History Channel (Insight Cable Channel 60), filmed Oglesby at his shop Friday.

Luke Ellis, a producer for Workaholic Productions, said he couldn’t provide many details about the two-hour documentary, which has no air date yet. But Ellis said it will focus heavily on Oglesby and two other famous shooters who will help prove or disprove some historic sharp-shooting myths and legends.

In early January, the company flew Oglesby to Los Angeles with the other shooters, Tom Knapp of Minnesota and Jerry Miculek of Louisiana, to tape the main shooting portions of the show. On Friday, they shot Oglesby working in his shop.

Ellis said he learned about Oglesby on the Internet and was attracted to his reputation as a shooter and as a fourth-generation gunmaker.

“Very few people are doing this with any degree of consistency,” Ellis said.

Oglesby calls himself a “closet cowboy who never grew up,” and he’s parlayed a lifelong passion for guns into worldwide fame in the shooting community. He’s a sought-after panelist and exhibitioner and has contributed regular trick-shooting segments to “Guns & Ammo TV” on The Outdoor Channel (Insight Digital Cable Channel 421).

Oglesby has a particular interest in old-fashioned replica guns, and Ellis said he used single-action “cowboy style” guns for parts of The History Channel taping.

He’s also a prominent gunmaker, and some of his original designs have drawn the attention of big-name gun manufacturers.

Still, Oglesby - as skilled a jokester as a marksman - tried to shrug off his talents.

“It takes no brains to do it - if it did, I couldn’t do it,” Oglesby said. “It’s just practice, practice, practice.”

Daniel Pike can be reached at 788-1532 or

Sangamon County Rifle Association Home Page