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"Myths of the Old West" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2020 3:34 p.m. PST

"Duels in the street. Thousands of pioneers traveling in wagon trains killed by Indians. Lawless mining camps. And bank robberies nearly an everyday occurrence. This was how the Old West was, right? Actually, not.

First, let's take a look as the so-called street duels. Even though TV and western movies would have you believe that two gunfighters faced off from each other at a predetermined distance, gunfights like this were very infrequent.

Very rarely did two men "plan" for a duel. Most such fights occurred in the heat of an argument and at close range with shots being fired that were just as likely to hit innocent bystanders as the intended target. Oftentimes, it was necessary for the black smoke to clear the air to even figure out who the "winner" was, if any…."


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Angstboy2318 Oct 2020 1:22 p.m. PST

Gunfight at the OK Corral: 30 shots fired at 6 feet by 8 of the best known gunmen in the West. Maybe 8 shots hit (including a shotgun blast)

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2020 3:37 p.m. PST


Question: Best gunmen in the West… only from one side…?


gamershs20 Oct 2020 12:01 a.m. PST

Many of the men in the west were veterans of the American Civil War. They had seen death and as certain well known criminals learned at the Great Northfield Raid given a little warning bad guys died.

The problem was that the criminal types were glorified in books and pamphlets so a rather minor criminal was blown up out of proportion. Westerns were cheap to make and popular in the early movies so the image grew.

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