Meet Gail Shuttleworth­, the Annie Oakley of Pike County

Dingmans Ferry. Twenty-three years ago, Gail Shuttleworth joined her father at CPA Rifles to pursue their shared goal of manufacturing the finest single-shot rifles in the world. A self-professed "control freak," she not only runs her factory in the woods with meticulous care, but finds time for extensive civic engagement, with travel and tennis also in the mix.

26 Feb 2020 | 08:10

You can’t think of Gail Shuttleworth, known for her superb sharpshooting, without thinking of the iconic Annie Oakley. Both are stars in this male-dominated sport.

Shuttleworth was practically born with a rifle in her hand.

The third of four children, she was exposed to rifles at a very early age. She learned to shoot when she was 12 at CMP (The Civilian Marksmanship program). At 15, she achieved the Distinguished Expert ranking, the highest ranking of the National Rifle Association (NRA). She was on the rifle team in high school and later was captain of the Princeton Rifle Team.

Shuttleworth graduated from Princeton in 1986. It was there that she met, fell in love with, and soon married her college sweetheart, Jeff Rosalsky. He's the executive director of the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in Dingmans Ferry. Together they make one of Pike County's power couples.

A factory in the woods

Gail's father, Paul Shuttleworth, an engineer and lifetime sharpshooter, started CPA Rifles in 1986. CPA stands for Carolyn (Gail’s mom) Paul Associates. Paul's goal was to manufacture the finest single-shot rifles in the world.

Gail joined her father in 1997, after returning from Hong Kong with Jeff, two children under three years old, and pregnant with their third child. They bought land in Dingmans Ferry, built houses for Carolyn and Paul as well as for Jeff and Gail.

They built a new factory in the woods of Dingmans Ferry to manufacture single-shot rifles, beautifully crafted reproductions of the Stevens 44 ½. Gail owns the factory, and Paul is the founder. They work extremely well together.

Paul and Gail have a small staff to help craft the rifle parts. Carolyn joins them there for lunch and helps with gardening around the factory.

Most of the rifles are custom-made to the customer’s specifications, which takes between four and six months. They produce four standard models that vary in barrel size, caliber, and stock style. But they occasionally have rifles in stock for immediate sale. They manufacture about 60 rifles a year, for collectors and shooters. The quality is excellent, and their company is well-respected worldwide. For more information about the company, see cparifles.com.

Community engagement

Gail doesn’t stop at just being a sharpshooter, gun manufacturer, wife, and mother to three accomplished, now-adult children. She is very civic-minded and involved with many organizations. She has many friends, takes time to socialize, and is extremely perceptive about people and issues. She is on the board of the Greater Pike Community Foundation and is active with Pike County Friends of the NRA, the NRA, The Pike County Chamber of Commerce, Women in Business, The American Single Shot Rifle Association, the Delaware Valley Single Shot Rifle Association, and the Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee.

Yet, she and Jeff make time for travel, tennis, hiking, and even deep-sea diving.

Whatever Gail does, she does it with excellence and grace. Jeff likes to tell the story of when they were shooting targets at the Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club. Someone shot a target hanging from a chain. The target got turned around so that it was almost at a 90-degree angle. The guys stood around looking at it.

Gail, true to form, said, “I can fix that.” She shot the target right on the edge so it spun around and was soon facing forward again. That was “pure Gail.”

“I’m a bit of a control freak," Gail said.

That’s probably because she’s such a perfectionist. The two characteristics are usually gene-linked.

It’s good to know that whatever Gail Shuttleworth does, she’s always on target.