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Wild West And "fast Draw"

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#1 Sardaukar

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 1005 AM

Just out of curiosity, is there some historical evidence about how famous "gunslingers" (John Wesley Hardin, Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp etc.) and others actually shot their revolvers?

 

I don't think "fast draw" without much aim was the preferred method... And probably 2-handed shooting position neither.

 

Too lazy and busy to googlefu right now, so what is folks' opinion on this Grate Site™?


Edited by Sardaukar, 26 September 2019 - 1330 PM.

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#2 lastdingo

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 1223 PM

There are multiple 19th century drawings of gun duels from Europe and America, and all those I've seen showed some kind of single hand sights-using stance.


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#3 RETAC21

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 1233 PM

Just out of curiosity, is there some historical evidence about how famous "gunslingers" (John Wesley Hardin, Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp etc.) and others actually shot their revolvers?

 

I don't think "fast draw" without much aim was the preferred method... And probably 2-handed shooting position either.

 

Too lazy and busy to googlefu right now, so what is folks' opinion on this Grate Site™?

 

 

 

Shoot outs weren't as common as movies make it appear and ranges were rather short, so there was not much aiming involved. 

 

Take OK Corral: "Some members of the two opposing parties were initially only about 6 feet (1.8 m) apart. About 30 shots were fired in 30 seconds."

 

https://en.wikipedia...the_O.K._Corral


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#4 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 0223 AM

I remember reading that much that has been written on quick drawing is complete nonsense. That when someone goes for their gun, there is no way even an experienced gunman is going to suddenly outdraw them.

 

I think the first shots fired at OK Corral was a shotgun, which kind of defies the myth of quick drawing. Holliday walked into the fight already carrying it.


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#5 Markus Becker

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 0902 AM

From what I have read, the popular concept of quick drawing has been invented by the movies.

Actual revolvers from the era had longer barrels than their counterparts from the movies and I bet the holsters were optimised for secure carry too.
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#6 bojan

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 1025 AM

In the ~1975-1985 revolvers were, generally mish-mash of the cheap "suicide specials" converted percussion, cheap Belgian imports and only then "big 4" - Colt, S&W, Remington, Merwin & Hulbert.

Colt 1873. cost about 3 "average" monthly pays, cheap small revolver cost about weekly pay. Plus could be carried in the pocket. Guess which ones were more popular?


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#7 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 1438 PM

This may prove interesting, Wyatt Earp's probably mythical
Buntline Special.
https://www.kshs.org...cial-myth/13255

I was amused to see it turn up again in Wynona Earp.
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#8 Chris Werb

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 1538 PM

I remember reading that much that has been written on quick drawing is complete nonsense. That when someone goes for their gun, there is no way even an experienced gunman is going to suddenly outdraw them.

 

I had Charles King Sergeant prove that to me, beyond reasonable doubt, in person. No one can possibly react that fast.


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#9 bojan

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 1834 PM

This may prove interesting, Wyatt Earp's probably mythical
Buntline Special.
https://www.kshs.org...cial-myth/13255

I was amused to see it turn up again in Wynona Earp.

 

Earp carried S&W No.3 at OK Corral. He also later had Merwin & Hulbert double action. However he was also known in his older age to frequent gun shops and buy old guns, then gift them to the friends. Ofc, every one of those was used in the famous gunfight. :)


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#10 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 1841 PM

 

I remember reading that much that has been written on quick drawing is complete nonsense. That when someone goes for their gun, there is no way even an experienced gunman is going to suddenly outdraw them.

 

I had Charles King Sergeant prove that to me, beyond reasonable doubt, in person. No one can possibly react that fast.

 

 

Also pretty sure that no lawman ever faced a black-hatted outlaw on the middle of Main Street with mournful whistling music in the background and waited for him to draw first. :)


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#11 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 27 September 2019 - 0155 AM

 

This may prove interesting, Wyatt Earp's probably mythical
Buntline Special.
https://www.kshs.org...cial-myth/13255

I was amused to see it turn up again in Wynona Earp.

 

Earp carried S&W No.3 at OK Corral. He also later had Merwin & Hulbert double action. However he was also known in his older age to frequent gun shops and buy old guns, then gift them to the friends. Ofc, every one of those was used in the famous gunfight. :)

 

 

Yeah, there must be a half dozen guns he carried with him into OK Corral. Its a wonder they didnt hear him coming with all the clinking. :D

 

 

It does make an interesting point in that article, that the weapon used had to have a solid frame, because Wyatt was always clocking people around the head with them. Many of the guns made at that time were so flimsy in the frame, that kind of abuse would probably have bent them out of shape.

 

 

 

 

I remember reading that much that has been written on quick drawing is complete nonsense. That when someone goes for their gun, there is no way even an experienced gunman is going to suddenly outdraw them.

 

I had Charles King Sergeant prove that to me, beyond reasonable doubt, in person. No one can possibly react that fast.

 

 

Also pretty sure that no lawman ever faced a black-hatted outlaw on the middle of Main Street with mournful whistling music in the background and waited for him to draw first. :)

 

But they SHOULD have done. :D


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 27 September 2019 - 0156 AM.

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#12 Murph

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 0700 AM

I remember reading that much that has been written on quick drawing is complete nonsense. That when someone goes for their gun, there is no way even an experienced gunman is going to suddenly outdraw them.

 

I think the first shots fired at OK Corral was a shotgun, which kind of defies the myth of quick drawing. Holliday walked into the fight already carrying it.

Never take a pistol to a gunfight, take a shotgun.


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#13 Murph

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 0701 AM

Old time gunfighters carried extra guns, because it took so long to reload.  Also cross draw was popular due to the danger of static electricity causing the black powder to discharge.  Most old time gunfighters carried two sometimes three pistols.  But I would argue that the great gunfights were the exception rather than the rule they were immortalized because they were rare.  Most killings were ambush type murders.  I recommend an old book called Triggernometry  https://www.amazon.c...,aps,167&sr=8-1


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#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 0740 AM

 

I remember reading that much that has been written on quick drawing is complete nonsense. That when someone goes for their gun, there is no way even an experienced gunman is going to suddenly outdraw them.

 

I think the first shots fired at OK Corral was a shotgun, which kind of defies the myth of quick drawing. Holliday walked into the fight already carrying it.

Never take a pistol to a gunfight, take a shotgun.

 

 

Well Holliday may have been reckless, but he clearly wasnt stupid. :D


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#15 Sardaukar

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 0807 AM

Common sense also dictated that careful aim usually did beat quickness. I think there was at least one anecdote about that.

 

IIRC, J.W.Hardin was described that he was lethal because he was reasonably quick but also very cool-headed and lethal shot. Being a psychopath helped also.


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