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playin' poker with Doc Holiday

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by mavracer, Jul 30, 2007.

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  1. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    these what would you carry in 1901/1920 threads with their answers of modern firearms.do you think the average HIGH ROADER with his modern HD/SD handgun in the latest speed holster would be able to survive a confrontation with the likes of a Doc Holiday with his colt thunderer or Wild Bill and his '51 navys.I for one would love to try my poker skills out but thats it I'd be real careful:uhoh:.
     
  2. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Doc's record in gunfights is somewhat sketchy: Based on a book I borrowed from my grandfather entitled "The Life and Times of Doc Holliday," one could conlude that he was either a crappy shot or that he was shooting to scare, rather than to wound or kill at times.

    That said, in a man on man encounter, violence of action (AKA "the initiative") will often win out. While I may not have been able to outdraw the man, had I been able to draw my gun and point it at him serrupticiously, I may have won in a gunfight. As always, shot placement is everything.
     
  3. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    Concerning the death of John Wesley Hardin, one of the best "pistoleers" of his day, it is said: ...if he was shot in front it was good marksmanship and if he was shot in the back of the head it was good judgment.

    I am not sure whether I would want to face off with a Doc Holliday, or a Bill Hickok, or a John Wesley Hardin, but they could be defeated, often by stealth and cunning.

    Oh, BTW, I was recently within 12" of one of Bill Hickok's 1851's, at the New Mexico Museum of Art. Also in the exhibition, which closed a week or so ago, was the 1873 that Pat Garrett used to kill Billy the Kid as well as the 10 ga. double that "the Kid" used during his breakout from Lincoln County.
     
  4. BADUNAME13

    BADUNAME13 Member

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    No.


    I read an article about this in a gunrag YEARS ago. Basically the conclusion was that the 'Old time gunslinger' would shoot on sight, shoot you in the back, catch you unawares...

    While the 'Modern Pistolario' would be worried about what 'Johnnie Law' would say AFTER the fight, and so is less likely to survive it.


    I must agree with the article.
     
  5. Croyance

    Croyance Member

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    One thing that set Wild Bill Hickock and Hardin appart from others was not just sheer skill, but a willingness to defend themselves when needed. You can train all the time, but that unhesitating mindset might not be ingrained.
    They had seen the elephant enough times to not only know what to do, but were not flustered any more. Their reputations helped too, as others knew they would do what was necessary.

    As for Doc Holliday, while he was often willing, his skill is in question. He had been in some close range firefights where nobody was hit.
     
  6. Noxx

    Noxx Member

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    .. and his opponents who escaped can probably thank the bartender for that. Doc was a well known drunk.

    Seriously tho, Holiday, or any of these figures had something most of us lack in spades, real world experience looking down the barrel. Presence of mind in the face of violence is more valuable than just about anything else you can bring to the table.

    I've had the good fortune to remain calm in most of the confrontations I've been in in my life, but that's not a fight I'd like to bet on, think I'd sooner retire to the bar next door.
     
  7. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    The thing about such as Hardin, Holiday, and Hickock is they were killers. They would not hesitate to kill. Most of us would.

    What we don't know about Holiday is how many he killed when they went to war against the Cowboys. That has never been documentated.

    Wes Hardin WAS documented at past 40 people he killed (who knows how many wounded.) He was known to practice at night with his six shooters in hotels. It has been wrote that other hotel patrons could hear his guns 'clicking' as he cocked and dropped the hammers. Even in the Longview jail where they had him, they let him show is stuff with his 'Hardin Vest'. They said he was very fast from that vest.

    Hickock was just a dead shot. Not real fast but real cool and a very good shot. Every morining he would 'unload' is two six shooters practicing and then clean and reload them to have a fresh load for the day. It is definatly documented he was a very good shot with those two 36s. And even when more modern guns became available, he kept on with his old cap-n-balls.

    Again, the main difference with Holiday is he was a killer. No hesitation. The other two were also killers but outstanding shoots. Hardin was more of shear speed, Hickock was more of cold accuracy under fire.

    As a result, notice how Hickock and Hardin were shot in the back, Holiday, being no threat to anyone, died in bed. You would have been crazy to challenge Hickock or Hardin to a fair fight!
     
  8. Croyance

    Croyance Member

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    That is why there were so few fair fights recorded.

    Now those revolvers of Hickock's were about as powerful as .380 ACPs - though with a better site radius. It was recorded that he was ambushed by three men, the first that caught his attention was 75 yards away. Bill shot him dead in the heart and turned to face the other two.
    Can you imagine the skill to react quickly and hit somebody dead center, then have the confidence to turn your back on him?
    Only Bill Hickock's glaucoma was going to save you from him.
     
  9. gezzer

    gezzer Member

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    Fair fight means you are STUPID
     
  10. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Or in the words of my army combatives instructor, "If you're in a fight and you're not fighting dirty, you ain't fightin."
     
  11. BigG

    BigG Member

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    Read TRIGGERNOMETRY and you will have a better idea of how the old gunfighters like Hickok, Holliday, or Hardin approached a fight.
     
  12. BADUNAME13

    BADUNAME13 Member

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    Don't quote me, but IIRC wasn't it .38's?
     
  13. Croyance

    Croyance Member

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    Now I have read that the 1860 Colt Army revolvers - which Hickock occasionally used - were about the power of .38 Specials (+p). Now that was a .45 caliber ball with seven more grains of power (35 grains) than the 1851 Navy's.
    Any black powder types here?
     
  14. Checkman

    Checkman member

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    They didn't hesitate and acted first. That's what it takes to be a true killer. I'm a police officer and I long ago accepted the fact that if the **** hits the fan I'll probably be behind the power curve (1980's speak :D).

    Notice though that the majority of cops who are involved in gunfights are patrol or uniform officers. As a plain beat cop I use my ball point pen more then my Glock. I just don't know when somebody is going to decide it's time to start blasting away at me. And there I am with my Glock in it's Safariland Level 3 retention holster. The BG's have the initiative.

    However notice how rare it is for SWAT/TRT/SRT/HRT (pick your acronym) officers to be involved in gunfights. And the vast majority of the times when "hammers are dropped" (1880's speak :evil:) it's the SWAT officers walking out and the bad guy going either to the mourge or the hospital. Why? Because when SWAT goes in their weapons are at the ready and the decision has already been made that deadly force will be used if necessary. The BG is reacting to SWAT's action.

    Yes I know that this doesn't always happens, but then again there were times when the old time pistoleros also lost. Remember that when Hardin was finally arrested he surrendered even though he was armed. Why? Because the officers had their revolvers presented and cocked and just waiting for him to do something. Hardin knew that at that moment he had no initiative. It had taken awhile but law enforcement had learned the lesson that he had taught them. Ironically enough he surrendered without incident, because Johnny Law had gotten the drop on him.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  15. BigG

    BigG Member

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    I don't think you can make easy comparisons between cartridges and round ball revolvers. It may seem like the cap n balls are less powerful but the balls do much more damage than you would expect. Remember the balls are very light compared to a conical bullet, but the balls are soft lead and generally flatten out. Elmer Keith had no problem shooting game with a 1851 Navy.
     
  16. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    First...

    Holiday died of TB... It's not like he died of old age or something.

    Oh, yeah... And on "fighting fair"... well just take a gander at my sig line.:D
     
  17. CWL

    CWL Member

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    The best gunfighters had the coldness and skills to take aim before each shot. The rest just let bullets fly.

    Being that the average distance of Old West gunfights (not ambushes) was the distance of a poker table (much like today), one had to have real intestinal fortitude to stand there and take the time to make a good shot while all hell is breaking loose around them.
     
  18. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Member

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    Gunfights

    I'm in the middle of re-reading Steven E. Ambrose's Band of Brothers having recently finished re-viewing the TV mini-series. Presence of mind under fire seems to have been one of the factors that determined who prevailed and who didn't, in the ETO. (Yeah, I know, it's only luck that saves you from artillery--I didn't say that presence of mind is everything!)

    That said, I wonder who is responsible for the quote, "You can't miss fast enough to win a gunfight."

    And THAT said, were I transported to the Old West and tasked with killing someone, I'd bushwhack 'em. I'm not quite Quigley, but by Heck a rifle keeps the BG's further away, and that is a Good Thing.

    IMHO, the term "fair fight" is an oxymoron.
     
  19. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    No fair fight here. I'd say whatever I had to say to get the hell out of Dodge. If he came looking for me, I'd see just how accurate a Quigley rifle could be.
     
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