The Most Famous Female Gunslinger, Ranked

Choose the female gunslinger you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 22, 2024 07:43
When it comes to the roster of notable figures from the Wild West, the tales of female gunslingers often bring a blend of intrigue and empowerment. These women, known for their exceptional prowess and sharpshooting skills, carved out their places in a predominantly male-driven era. Yet, their stories remain less familiar to many, overshadowed by their male counterparts. By casting your votes on this ranking, you contribute to shedding light on these formidable women, showcasing their significance in history and popular culture. Each vote helps adjust their ranking, presenting a clearer picture of their impact and preserving their legacies. Engage with the history and take part in recognizing the achievements of these resilient women.

Who Is the Most Famous Female Gunslinger?

  1. 1

    Calamity Jane

    Martha Jane Cannary, better known as Calamity Jane, was an American frontierswoman and professional scout known for being an acquaintance of Wild Bill Hickok and fighting against Native Americans.
    • Birth: May 1, 1852
    • Death: August 1, 1903
  2. 2

    Annie Oakley

    A renowned American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter, Annie Oakley's talent and fame came to light when she won a shooting match against traveling-show marksman Frank E. Butler, whom she later married.
    • Birth: August 13, 1860
    • Death: November 3, 1926
  3. 3

    Belle Starr

    Myra Maybelle Shirley Reed Starr, better known as Belle Starr, was an American outlaw who gained national notoriety. She was known for her involvement with the James-Younger Gang and her relationships with the outlaws Cole Younger and Jim Reed.
    • Birth: February 5, 1848
    • Death: February 3, 1889
  4. 4

    Pearl Hart

    Pearl Hart was a Canadian-born outlaw of the American Old West. She committed one of the last stagecoach robberies in the United States; her crime gained notoriety primarily because of her gender.
    • Birth: 1871
    • Death: December 30, 1955
  5. 5

    Lillian Smith

    Lillian Frances Smith was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter, rivaling Annie Oakley with her shooting skills and becoming one of the star attractions of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.
    • Birth: 1871
    • Death: 1930
  6. 6

    Mary Fields

    Also known as 'Stagecoach Mary', Mary Fields was the first African-American female star route mail carrier in the United States. She was known for her tough character and her ability to handle guns.
    • Birth: circa 1832
    • Death: December 5, 1914
  7. 7

    Cattle Kate

    Ellen Liddy Watson, better known as Cattle Kate, was a pioneer woman in Wyoming who was unjustly accused of cattle rustling and lynched by cattle barons. Her story is often cited as an example of the lawlessness of the Old West.
    • Birth: July 2, 1860
    • Death: July 20, 1889
  8. 8

    Laura Bullion

    Laura Bullion was a female outlaw of the Old West. Most notably associated with the Wild Bunch gang, she was involved in criminal activities such as robbery and counterfeiting.
    • Birth: October 1876
    • Death: December 2, 1961
  9. 9

    Rose Dunn

    Also known as the 'Rose of the Cimarron', Rose Dunn was romantically involved with outlaw George 'Bittercreek' Newcomb and was known for her involvement with the Wild Bunch gang.
    • Birth: September 5, 1878
    • Death: June 11, 1955
  10. 10

    Eleanor Dumont

    Known as 'Madame Moustache', Eleanor Dumont was an infamous gambler in the American West, remembered for her blackjack skills and the gambling parlors she opened in mining camps across the West.
    • Birth: circa 1834
    • Death: September 8, 1879

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous female gunslinger. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or gunslingerette is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 198 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each gunslingerette once every 24 hours. The rank of each gunslingerette is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


Additional Information

More about the Most Famous Female Gunslinger

Calamity Jane
Rank #1 for the most famous female gunslinger: Calamity Jane (Source)
In the late 19th century, the American West was a land of opportunity and danger. This period, known as the Wild West, saw the rise of many legendary figures. Among them were female gunslingers who defied the norms of their time. They stood out in a male-dominated world, earning respect and fear in equal measure.

These women often came from humble beginnings. Many faced hardships from a young age, which shaped their tough personas. They learned to shoot, ride, and survive in harsh conditions. Some lost their families to violence or disease, pushing them to fend for themselves. Others sought adventure or escape from societal expectations.

Their skills with firearms became their most notable trait. They could shoot with precision, often matching or surpassing their male counterparts. This prowess earned them reputations that spread quickly. Stories of their exploits traveled through towns, creating legends that still endure today.

These female gunslingers often wore practical clothing. Long skirts and corsets gave way to trousers and boots. This attire allowed them to move freely and handle weapons with ease. They blended in with cowboys and outlaws, making it hard to distinguish them from men at a distance.

Many of these women joined outlaw gangs. They participated in bank robberies, stagecoach heists, and train hold-ups. Their involvement in these crimes made them targets for lawmen. Yet, they often evaded capture through cunning and skill. Some even led gangs, commanding respect and loyalty from their followers.

Despite their criminal activities, these women were complex figures. Some had strong moral codes, targeting only those they deemed corrupt or unjust. Others sought revenge for wrongs done to them or their loved ones. Their motivations were as varied as their backgrounds.

These gunslingers also played roles in the fight for justice. Some worked as bounty hunters, tracking down criminals for reward money. They used their skills to bring lawbreakers to justice, often at great personal risk. Their knowledge of the land and ability to blend in made them effective in this line of work.

The lives of these women were filled with danger and uncertainty. They faced constant threats from lawmen, rival outlaws, and the harsh environment. Many met tragic ends, either in gunfights or through betrayal. Yet, their legacies lived on through tales and folklore.

In a world that often limited women's roles, these gunslingers broke barriers. They proved that women could be as tough and capable as men. Their stories inspired future generations to challenge societal norms and seek their own paths.

Today, the image of the female gunslinger remains iconic. She symbolizes strength, independence, and resilience. Her story reminds us of the diverse and often untold histories of the American West. Through her, we see a different side of this legendary period, one where women played crucial and unforgettable roles.

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