An outgrowth of the Civil War, the gunfighter-era also spawned a number of outlaws. The term "gunfighter" itself referred to those men in the American Old West who had gained a reputation as being dangerous with a gun. With men who had become accustomed to violence and often having lost their lands or fortunes, being quick with a gun was often an easy transition.
The occupations of these gunfighters ranged from lawmen, to cowboys, ranchers, gamblers, farmers, teamsters, bounty hunters, and outlaws. During these violent days, most of the shootings occurred in Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, California, Missouri, and Colorado.
Though about a third of the gunman died of "natural causes," many died violently in gunfights, lynchings, or legal executions. The average age of death was about 35. However, of those gunman who used their skills on the side of the law, they would persistently live longer lives than those that lived a life of crime.
Most gunfights are portrayed in films or books as having two men square off, waiting for one to make the first move. This was rarely the case. Often, a gunfight was spur-of-the-moment, with one drawing his pistol, and the other reacting. Often it would develop into a shootout where both men bolted for cover. Other times, one or both were drunk and missed several normally easy shots. Many times the shootout was little more than one taking advantage of the other's looking away at an opportune moment. Regardless of popular folklore, the men who held noteworthy reputations as a gunfighter were not anxious to match up against another gunman with the same reputation. On the contrary, in cases where two men held a similar reputation, both reputable gunmen would avoid confrontation with one another whenever possible. They rarely took undue risks, and usually weighed their options before confronting another well-known gunman. This respect for one another is why most famous gunfights were rarely two or more well-known gunmen matched up against one another, but rather one notable gunman against a lesser known opponent or opponents.
Generally, two well-known gunmen coming into contact with one another would result in either the two keeping a distance but being social, or avoiding one another altogether. In cases where one well-known gunman was a lawman, and another was merely in town, the one that was visiting would avoid problems. He avoided confrontation with the gunman serving lawman.
How famous gunfighters died is as varied as each man. Many well-known gunfighters were so feared by the public because of their reputation that when they were killed, they died as a result of ambush rather than going down in a "blaze of glory". Others died secluded deaths either from old age or illness.
The Old West
In many ways, the "Old West" is a time period many modern folk wish to return to, a time of values, hard work and a simpler way of life. There are many groups who do these impressions and we'll soon have links to them! If you are interested in Old West reenacting, come back real soon and we'll have the goods.
Indian Old West Reenacting
There's a lot of folks who are into this and many do it to honor their ancestors. I'd sure like to showcase any groups that do this--one can never go wrong in my book, by honoring your ancestors.
Coming soon, some good links for Old West and Gunfighter Groups!
The Alberta frontier Shootists Society is a SASS? affiliated registered society. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation of the Canadian Frontier Heritage and to the promotion of Cowboy Action Shooting and good clean fun in the province of Alberta.
Cas City came to life as a service for subscribers on the cas-list, the first Internet email forum for Cowboy & Western Action Shooting. I started and founded it back in 1995.
Since then, Cas City has been established as one of the premier web sites promoting the sport.
The purpose with Cas City is to promote our sport nationally and internationally and make it a place where fellow shooters and suppliers can interact through various sections.
Cas City is an Internet junction without any specific bond to one single organization or group of members. All the members of our organizations are welcome to come into Cas City to share information about their activities.
We like to keep it a friendly place for entire families and individuals participating in our sport.
We and everyone in the town are anxious to welcome newcomers to the sport. Those that have not yet taken the first steps to join us, saddle up your horses.. gather your guns up and ride on into town. Stop in the Longbranch or any of the towns buildings, pull up a chair and join in the conversations?
You?ll not find any strangers here in CAS City?.What you will find is a whole heap of good people and friends that will go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
A website dedicated to the promotion of the fastest growing shooting sport of Cowboy Action Shooting! In our sport we compete in shooting events with weapons period to the 19th Century and made famous from the Taming Of The West! With the extreme dedication of our governing body, SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) we have grown to over 44,000 strong, with members and shooting clubs in every State of the Union and 11 different countries abroad. Our membership is comprised of the young & old, male & female, seasoned shooters & amateurs. Our strict adherence to SASS rules and regulations provides a safe shooting environment for competitors and spectators alike.
medlem af, hvis du har det Vilde Vesten som din hobby, dvs. cowboy, indianer, pelsj?ger og gunmen.
Dansk Western Selskab kan ogs? bestilles til at afholde foredrag. Vi fort?ller om forskellen p? Hollywoods og virkeligheds Wild West, om de mange berygtede banditter, lovm?nd m.m. Ligeledes fort?ller vi om danskeren Chris Madsens liv som US Marshal i Oklahoma samt andre dansker, som rejste vest p?.
Du kan ogs? bestille os til at lave udstilling om Det Vilde Vesten, cowboys samt Indianer.
Kontakt os for yderlige informationer.
A Danish site that covers the Wild West as a hobby, that's cowboy, indians, fur trapper and gun fighters. They have discussion about the differences between Hollywoods and the real Wild West Also, we have info about Danish Chris Madsens life as US Marshal in Oklahoma and other Danish westerners. And please contact us for information.
IBSARS is a group of shooters that compete in action matches based on the Old West Gunfighters. IBSARS stands for International Brotherhood of Single Action Revolver Shooters. The matches are GCF (Good Clean Fun) and we have a membership of around 35 that is always on the rise. Matches are held on the first Sunday of the month and each one is different.
The Sun River Rangers Shooting Society, or SRRSS, is a Montana club based out of Simms (near Great Falls). We are a cowboy action shooting organization.
For those of you who ain't heard, cowboy action is a lot like this: Ya see, first ya get yerself a bunch of good ol' boys and gals that wanna play some cowboys n indians with real guns and live ammo. Then, ya find a place (like our place) to go shoot it out. Take the Virtual Tour of our place and have a look see for yourself.
If you are interested in other Cowboy Action Shooting venues, location and contact information click on Montana CAS to your left.
The basics are real simple, ya dress up in old west period clothing, shoot old west period guns, and have old west period FUN. For a full description and range rules click on the links to your left..
The Single Action Shooting Society is an international organization created to preserve and promote the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting?. SASS endorses regional matches conducted by affiliated clubs, stages END of TRAIL The World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting, promulgates rules and procedures to ensure safety and consistency in Cowboy Action Shooting matches, and seeks to protect its members' 2nd Amendment rights. SASS members share a common interest in preserving the history of the Old West and competitive shooting.