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Old July 26, 2006, 02:24 PM   #1
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badlands bill oglesby

I saw him on the history channel. They said he made custom guns, some of which are the best on the planet. I did a web search but couldn't find a website. Anyone have a link?
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Old July 26, 2006, 02:49 PM   #2
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I think this is him

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Old July 26, 2006, 02:53 PM   #3
News Shooter
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This is an engraver, but it may also be the same guy. Good luck
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Old July 26, 2006, 03:00 PM   #4
Billy 45
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Great Show!!!

I saw Sharp Shooters on the History Channel also. Was very entertaining. I found a listing for Bill O. at the link below, but, it appears he does not have an active web site now.

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Old July 26, 2006, 05:33 PM   #5
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I saw Sharp Shooters on the History Channel also. Was very entertaining. I found a listing for Bill O. at the link below, but, it appears he does not have an active web site now.


That is messed up. It costs $5 a year to have a website. He really should put one up.
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Old July 26, 2006, 10:06 PM   #6
Don H
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Perhaps he has all the work he needs without a website.
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Old February 14, 2007, 09:47 AM   #7
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The Sharp Shooters show is on right now. I happened to notice that "Badlands Bill" continuously has his finger on the trigger of his weapons, while pointing in the air, or at anything in the area. He may be a great gunsmith, but not good PR for the many shooting sports/gun lovers like us.
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Old February 7, 2008, 09:43 PM   #8
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Bad Lands Bill ain't all he's cracked up to be. I don't know if he has too much work, but he sure as Hades didn't have any time to answer any of my phone calls and left messages for the eight months he had my Cimarron 1873 .45. Oh, yeah! He also f****d it up. Destroyed the frame and foisted an EAA Bounty Hunter on me as a replacement.

He might have been a big deal once, but I'd recommend you loiter with the plague before hoping he'll work on your piece.
M.D. Berk
SFC USA Ret. (NRA Life Member 21 yrs)
There's nothing like a good woman, a good pistol, and a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey
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Old February 7, 2008, 10:31 PM   #9
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Bill Oglesby is well known but I'm afraid Berk's story is not the first I've heard in regard to him. I've heard enough that I would look elsewhere. There are enough talented custom gunbuilders out there to not have to take a chance on a shaky reputation. What kind of work are you wanting to have done? Maybe someone here can make a recommendation.
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Old June 30, 2011, 06:35 AM   #10
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My experiences with Bill Oglesby

Here's Bill's web site as far as I can tell

<<Link deleted since it is non-functional>>

I've had two guns modified by Bill many years ago. One was a Winchester model 94 in 45 Colt which I had him smooth the action for so I could do better in cowboy action shoots in which I competed in just two (I was mediocre) The second was a .45 Colt 1911. Had Bill put in a match (made by Oglesby) barrel and bushing, adjustable sights, etc. The 45 really shot well, had a great trigger pull once Bill got done with it but I wound up not caring for the high profile sights. My current 1911 is another Colt. Had a beaver tale, replacement trigger and trigger job done and later sent it in to Wilson Arms for the Wilson Arms armor tuff finish and also had the slide to frame fit tightened up but left the original fixed sights left on. I love this gun and it shoots a lot better than stock thanks to the tightening up of the slide.

So how does Bill stack up as a gunsmith? I do know at least one gunsmith in the Springfield, IL area who derided Bill as a "gunmaker". Bill had a name in the area, the other guy didn't so I felt his criticism was entirely due to jealousy. That said, there are a number of gunsmiths in the U.S. who do terrific work, and as for Bill, undoubtedly a lot of his work is done by men who work for him. At the time, however Bill's special forte was reworking Ruger Single Action revolvers so they'd perform better in cowboy action shoots. i have every reason to believe he did excellent work on the Ruger Single Actions.

As a shooter, Bill was and is something else. I now live in Thailand so you can imagine how elated I was to see him performing on the History channel. Bill has given me personal demonstrations of his prowess with pistols and revolvers behind his shop in Illinois. I've seen him empty a forty five auto in about one second and hit what he was aiming at. I've seen him shoot two bullets in succession with a .38 Ruger single action and heard the gun go off just once. The two shots were faster than a machine gun could get them off and he could get them within one inch of each other right on target.

Never in my life did I believe such a thing was possible. They say it's one thing to shoot well in a match but it's another to win a gun fight when one has to be cool and calm and have a killer instinct. Well, I don't know about whether Bill has a killer instinct or not, but I felt very strongly when I saw Bill shoot that not one of the old time gun fighters, not Bill Hickok and not John Wesley Hardin or anyone else in that era could shoot a single action revolver like Bill could.

Last edited by JohnKSa; October 31, 2015 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Delete bad link.
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Old October 30, 2015, 08:29 AM   #11
Wicked Willie
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My experience with Badlands Bill

My experience with Bill Oglesby was a positive one. After meeting the man and speaking with him at a SASS regional event, he stunned me by offering "free of any charge other than shipping" to work on my 2nd generation Colt SAA. It was starting to peen the lock notches from an ill-timed bolt. He said that he had watched what I did for the event and wanted to recognize that through this work. Said to send him the gun and he would have his "best Colt 'smith" work on it to prevent further damage.

I did so. It was a fairly long turnaround but the gun came back in great shape. Peening of the notches had been corrected. The bolt timed up and dropped correctly and the action was almost too light. I removed the shim from under the custom mainspring and obtained a very crisp trigger release that broke like an icicle...somewhere in the area of 2.5-3 pounds. Quite a few parts had been replaced (and returned to me.) True to his word, I paid only shipping and any FFL fees.

This Colt had enormous sentimental value to me, since it belonged to my late father. I was hesitant to send it to him like that...never having done business with him before. By contrast, when the late Bob Munden handled the same gun...he had nothing good to say about it. Said it was a typical Colt and the action was "crap" and was actually hurting the gun. Bill, on the other hand, said he "understood" the value of the gun to me and would have his "best" work on it.

Everyone's experiences can be different but I have nothing but positive things to say of my experience with Badlands Bill.
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Old October 30, 2015, 09:02 AM   #12
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I can't say I know of anyone that has first hand experience with his work.
That being said I can say I have first hand experience with his shooting ability.
The man is an exceptional shooter, I believe he was a trick shooter sponsored by Winchester at one time.
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Old October 31, 2015, 12:55 PM   #13
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Oglesby website

I know I am late to the game but I did click on the link to what was described as his website posted June 30, 2011 by a member who joined that same day. All I can say is "DON'T DO THAT". I got one of the messages that is an indestructible page with "frightening audio" without going to the task manager and stopping your browser. I believe that this is a hacked site that requires the gullible to pay for removal of probably nonexistent malware.
Just don't click on that link.
Laws do not prevent crime or lessen evil. They only allow them to be identified and possibly punished.

Last edited by oldbadger; October 31, 2015 at 01:01 PM.
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