Thell Reed is an exhibition shooter, specializing in fast draw, who is a consultant to the movie industry, stuntman, armorer and extra. Reed began his shooting career at seven years of age when his father presented him with a pair of Colt pistols and built for him an indoor range in which to practice.
As a teenager Reed competed in Jeff Cooper's Big Bear "Leatherslaps" shooting competitions at Big Bear Lake, California. The Leatherslaps became the "South Western Combat Pistol League" or "SWCPL". Reed competed so successfully that he became one of the six "Combat Masters", so called because they would almost always take the first six places in the competition. Of the six Combat Masters, Reed had the quickest draw.
The Combat Masters were:
After the SWCPL matches, Reed went on to compete in fast draw competitions in which he achieved fame. His celebrity gained him entry into the movie industry and he became an advisor to the movie industry on the use of firearms. He trained actors such as Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt for acting roles involving the use of pistols.
- ""Beginnings" Thell Reed".
- Cooper, Jeff (2006). Shotluck. Wisdom Publishing. p. 51. ISBN 0-9655409-6-0.
- "Jeff Cooper's Commentaries Vol 4 No 11 September 1996 paragraph 23".
- "Biography for Thell Reed".