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Wild West Discussion - October 2011

Originally published by Wild West magazine. Published Online: August 05, 2011 
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A slew of Old West gunfighters were born or later made their mark in Texas. How would you compare the Lone Star State to Arizona Territory, New Mexico Territory, Missouri, California and the rest of the Western frontier with regard to the number and deadly skill of its six-gun artists?


7 Responses to “Wild West Discussion - October 2011”


  1. 1
    Robert Impson says:

    New Mexico had Elfego Baca, who was one of the deadliest, but never got the recognition that the gringo gunslingers got.

  2. 2
    Steve McCarty says:

    Gun slingers in New Mexico, the ones who are remembered were the fellows tied up with the Lincoln County War. They include the Kid, Folliard, George and Frank Coe, John Middleton, Dick Brewer, Charlie Bowdre, Fred Waite, Frank McNab, Yginio Salazar, Dan Dedrick, Jimmy East, J.J. Dolan, Jesse Evans, Bob Olinger, Sheriff Wm. Brady, Pat Garrett, Barney Mason, Dirty Dave Rudabaugh, Billy Wilson, George Hindman, J. W. Bell, John Poe, just to name a few.

    Elfego Baca was not involved. Neither, much, was Charlie Siringo, but he said that he did meet the KId.

    But whenever discussions light upon gun play in New Mexico it usually falls upon the Kid, his fellow Regulators and rustlers and the men who were after them. Were other's spitting lead? Yep. We just haven't heard the shots.

  3. 3
    Fran Cook says:

    I go with Billy the Kid also. But he suffered his ill fate from a man who was as guilty of every crime Billy had committed and placed himself above Billy, a man he once wrangled with and befriended.

    Pat was no saint, neither was Billy. Billy was young and full of himself and the gun became a game with him, which is deadly.

    He was known for his constant practice with six shooter and winchester from both standing or riding his little race horse at break neck speed. He was pround to have accomplished sliding from the saddle to fire beneath his horses neck while at full gallop. A preformer yes, but foolish and boastful.

  4. 4
    Steve McCarty says:

    I doubt very much that the kid and Garrett were friends. They did know oneanother, but that was about it. Billy had a well established circle of friends and Garrett was not one of them. Nor were the men alike. Garrett was a hard nosed crusty fellow and the kid was a happy go lucky sort. They would have found little about the other to build a friendship upon. The kid may have run his three card monte game in the bar where Garrett worked, but there is no evidence that I can find that they were close friends. I do know the legend that they were, of course; but I don't buy it.

  5. 5
    Fran Cook says:

    Not friends but respected each others ability with weapons. Evans was the only man I believe that Billy sort of respected in a gunfight.
    Seemed they were equal in ability. Garrett was good and had a past of Buffalo Hunter and instinct in him.

    • 5.1
      Steve McCarty says:

      Certainly Billy knew that Garrett was dangerous. However, since he was in a leadership role (just before his capture at Stinking Springs) he could not show or even give voice to fear. His fellow gangisters expected the kid to lead and Billy understood what made up leadership traits. Showing fear is not one of them.

      Billy knew Garrett would shoot to kill. The kid had just lost his two best friends, both hit by bullets from Garrett's rifle.

      Garrett was tougher and most of the men he faced, however; he knew that the kid was his match. I agree with you that the men respected the danger presented by the other. Respect can breed friendship, but I doubt Billy liked Garrett, but Garrett, after he killed the kid, said that he was sorry that he did. No telling why he said that tho. Maybe he was tired of being hated.

      • 5.1.1
        Larry C says:

        Garret and Billy were good and fast but if they went against today's (2012) fast guns (like Canadians Mike Pantano and Nicole Franks) they would not clear leather when hit by either of these two at 40 yards. Nicole has shown that she can empty her gun into a 12 inch target at that distance in about 1/2 second.
        Then there is Bob Munden, regarded as the fastest man with a gun, can draw, fire, hit his target using a standard weight single-action revolver and return his gun to his holster 0.16 of a second.



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