This study examined the accuracy of design equations specified in the North American, European, and Australian/New Zealand standards for determining the shear-out capacity of bolted connections in cold-reduced steel sheets. The tested variables were end distance, bolt (hole) diameter, sheet thickness, edge distance, and material properties. The paper showed that the catenary action in a narrow strip downstream of the bolt has a significant effect on the shear-out capacity, and is not accounted for in the design codes. The contribution of catenary action was corroborated with finite-element analysis results. The paper also showed that the edge distance of a bolted connection has insignificant effects on the shear-out capacity, although it affects the failure mode. An additional finding is that shearing (rather than sawing) the end of a cold-reduced steel sheet sometimes can change the failure mode into end splitting, but not to the same extent as in hot-rolled steel plates. Based on the test results of 60 single-bolted specimens with end distances ranging from 1.25 to 3.0 times the bolt diameter, this paper derived a shear-out equation that is dimensionally consistent, continuous, and transparent, and that is much more accurate than the code equations. The proposed equation, which includes the bolt diameter as a parameter, was verified against independent test specimens with end distances as small as 1.0 times the bolt diameter. A resistance factor of 0.70 is recommended for use with the proposed equation for determining the shear-out capacity of bolted connections in cold-reduced steel sheets.