Granny Annie Talks Cowboy Shooting and… Zombies?

Marily Pierce aka Granny Annie at the recent 2nd Amendment Rally (photo by Don Hubbard)

Colfax, Iowa – The theme song to some spaghetti western with the silhouette of some cowboy chewing on a big cigar at the moment someone says “draw”.

Those days of gunfights in the middle of the street are mostly a work of Hollywood. There are a few exceptions, such as ‘Wild Bill” Hickok and his famous gunfight on the streets of Springfield, Missouri being one of them.

Today the West is but a memory, but a few enthusiasts continue to have fun representing that time period. Those few like to be a little competitive as well, and Granny Annie is about as nice a gunfighter you will ever come across.

Marilyn Pierce, aka Granny Annie, has been shooting ‘gunfighter’ for about 10 years now, and became the 2012 National Women’s Gunfighter Champion in February this year. On top of that, she’s been the 2009 & 2010 Iowa State Top Iowan Ladies Duelist, and the 2009, 2010, & 2012 Iowa State Overall Ladies Champion.

She’s recently put down a 25 second round at the 2nd Amendment Rally in Searsboro where we caught up with her. I asked her about her experience and how long she’s been shooting competitively. “We got serious about it maybe 6 years ago when we retired and started traveling,” says Marilyn.

Marilyn didn’t grow up with guns. “My mom and dad didn’t do that,” she says. “When I got married to the big guy [Doug Pierce aka Blacksmith Hoss], he grew up with guns.”

Their first year for Christmas, Doug gave her a .22 Ruger. “We did some sort of shooting from that point on,” says Marilyn.

So the couple spent their time practicing, either plinking some tin cans or shooting clay pigeons, for a while even before joining the cowboy shooting scene.

Marilyn says their son got them into the cowboy shooting. “And that’s kind of mushroomed. We’re spending his inheritance now,” she says with a laugh and a smile.

The Pierce’s have gotten into the sport so much that they built themselves a cowboy range, located near Colfax, where they hold two cowboy shoots a month through the summer. Twice a year, the undead Zombies make an appearance on the range for a ‘Zombie Shoot’. “Yeah, it’s not cowboy at all, and anything pistol caliber you can get 20 rounds downrange including magazine changes is acceptable for the shoot,” Marilyn says of the event.

Their next scheduled ‘Zombie Shoot’ is October 7 at their range in Colfax. If you want more information, you can visit them at their website

You might wonder why they call her ‘Granny Annie’? Marilyn explained that her “Cowboy Name” is a common feature among the scene, and many of the participants only know each other by that name, and not their real names. All cowboy shooters have an alias, aka real cowboys, like the legendary names of the past such as ‘Wild Bill” or “Doc Holiday’.

Marilyn says they meet a lot of people traveling around the country, and the cowboy community is like a family.

She remembers the recent flooding that hit Iowa, and they got calls from around the country checking on them. “Everybody knows your from Iowa, nobody knows exactly where, and we had phone calls from 12 states just to see if we were OK.”

Marilyn encourages people to come out and see what it’s all about. “It’s the most fun you can have legally,” she says with that unmistakable smile. “We have an awful good time at it.”



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