Counting down the Deadliest Gunslingers we have at number
Although not as well known as someone like Wild Bill Hickok or Wyatt Earp, Dallas Stoudenmire was a feared lawman in his day, and is known for participating in more gunfights than most of his contemporaries. After being wounded several times while fighting in the Civil War, Stoudenmire moved to the lawless city of El Paso, Texas to serve as sheriff. Only three days into his tenure, he became involved in one of the West’s most legendary battles, what is common known as the “Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight,” in which he shot three men. A few days after the fight, friends of the men Stoudenmire had shot hired the town drunk to assassinate him. But Dallas was able to get the drop on him and supposedly shot the man eight times, killing him. This only marked the beginning of what would be a bloody campaign for Stoudenmire as sheriff. Less than a year after these incidents, he would kill as many as six more men in gunfights while in the line of duty, eventually gaining a reputation as one of the most feared lawmen in Texas. Stoudenmire’s luck would not last forever, though, and in 1882 he was killed when a discussion between he and a group of his enemies escalated into a gunfight in which he was shot three times.
Henry McCarty, a.k.a. William H. Bonney or just “Billy the Kid,” started his life of crime with petty theft and horse thievery, but is said to have first killed a man at the age of eighteen. In 1877, he was deputized during the so-called “Lincoln County War” and rode with lawmen who were seeking to arrest a group of corrupt businessman responsible for the murder of an innocent rancher. Billy’s group, called “the Regulators,” became known for their wanton violence, and were themselves soon regarded as outlaws. The group was unfazed by their new classification as bandits, and proceeded to go on a killing spree, gunning down three people in the course of just three days, including a sheriff and his deputy. The group was eventually broken up by law enforcement, but the Kid managed to elude capture. He formed a gang, and increased his notoriety after shooting down a gambler in a New Mexico saloon. After a number of run-ins with the law, the Kid was again captured and sentenced to death, but he managed to escape after he got a hold of a weapon and gunned down the two men guarding him. After three months on the run, he was killed when Sheriff Pat Garrett and two deputies shot him to death in 1881. All told, Billy the Kid is said to have killed a total of 21 men, one for each of the years of his life, though this number is often regarded as inaccurate and exaggerated.
One of the most legendary figures of the Old West, Wild Bill Hickok was an actor, gambler, lawman, and gunfighter who was regarded as one of the most skilled gunslingers of his day. Hickok got his start as a constable and rider for the Pony Express, but he gained a reputation for being handy with a gun after he killed outlaw David McCanles with a single bullet from 75 yards away. Hickok has the distinction of being one of the few gunfighters to ever participate in a real “Western-style” quick-draw duel, when he killed a man named Davis Tutt, Jr. over a dispute concerning gambling debts. In 1869, Hickok was elected sheriff of Ellis County Kansas, and is said to have killed two men in his first month on the job. Although many of his exploits are legendary, probably the most famous aspect of Wild Bill’s life is his death, which occurred in Deadwood, South Dakota in 1876. Hickok was playing poker when he was shot in the back of the head by a gambler named Jack McCall, supposedly in retaliation for a prior insult. Hickok was supposedly holding a pair of Aces and Eights at the time, a combination now known as the “Dead Man’s Hand.”