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Review - Video - Wild West Tech - Shootout Tech

I'm going to be posting a lot of reviews in the coming months based on the Wild West Tech video series from the History Channel. They are fun shows featuring David Carradine (of Kill Bill and Kung Fu fame) or his brother, Keith. Each episode focuses on a different topic of interest inthe Old West.

Today, I chose the Shootout Tech episode since shootouts are the main staple of any good western movie. Unfortunately, the shootouts portrayed in the movies are much more exciting and action-packed than what happened in the 1800s.

The main gun involved in a shootout was the six-shooter - mainly the "Peacemaker" Colt .45 caliber single-action revolver. The force was enough to knock down a man.

Interestingly, during this period, the "gunslinger" or "gunfighter" terms were not commonly used. People said "gunman" or "pistoleer".

February 8, 1887 - shootout between "Long Hair" Jim Courtright and Luke Short. Short hit Jim in the thumb who quickly switched hands (called a "border shift") but his gun jammed. Luke managed to shoot and kill him.

Jamming was common. Any type of moisture could interfere with the gunpowder and jam a gun. Malfunction could jam a gun.

1879 - Dodge City, Kansas - Frank Loving (Colt) vs Levi Richardson (.44 Remington) at the Long Branch Saloon. Although the guns they used were similar, Remington's balance was inferior to the Colt. Frank won the match.

July 1865 - Springfield, Missouri - the first recorded shootout was between Dave Tutt (professional gambler) and Wild Bill Hickok (who used a 1851 Colt Navy, cap revolver).

August 25, 1877 - Madam Maddie Silks vs Madam Kate who fought over Cort Thompson. They tried to shoot then they used their fists.

Welcome to the Wild West!

For the next few months, I'm going to switch gears and concentrate on the American Wild West which I am researching for my current manuscript. It's going to be fun! I've had the opportunity to visit actual historical sites and talk to experts in 19th century history, so be on the lookout for pictures.