Skip to comments.How to Win a Three-Way Gunfight
Posted on 07/06/2012 1:20:50 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
How to Win a Three-Way Gunfight
Truels are things guaranteed to make any Western fifty percent better by adding a third person to a duel. Each person can choose his or her target, and the worst person might very well be the winner provided they play it smart. Learn how to win yourself a truel, gunslinger-style.
Game theorists have thought about the problem of duels for a long time. As much as the Old West was depicted as a lawless place where anything might happen, it was also known for hanging its criminals high which meant that the winner of any gunfight just might find himself being executed for being the fastest gun in the West. Theorists calculated whether it was better to draw fast, wait for the other person to draw fast so they used up their shot and you could wait and take good aim, and whether or not it might not be better to settle the whole thing with a coin flip, instead.
And then Martin Shubik, an economist, introduced a new element. What if, instead of a duel, people got into a truel? What if three people stood at the points of an imaginary equilateral triangle, picked their targets, and shot? Who would walk away? The fun thing about this truel is that it reworks the the entire concept, so that the least qualified person was most likely to walk away alive.
The rules of the truel are simple. Each person chooses their target and shoots. There are variants; each person shooting one at a time, each shooting simultaneously, random order, rotating order, and so on. For someone who couldn't even sling a gun over a fence, the truel seems like an even worse situation than a duel. Now there are two competitors that you have to beat. But your competitors have to contend with each other as well. Which means that they are not going to be aiming for the person who's least likely to shoot them.
So how do you win a truel, if you're the worst shooter? After all, if you aim at the best gunfighter and miss, you'll leave a very angry sharpshooter who will want to get back at you. If you hit the person, and even kill him or her, you'll have to stand still for the second best to shoot at you. In the end, the best move you can make is to drop you gun or shoot into the air, leaving the two strongest shooters to take each other out. Worst case: The situation doesn't change. Medium: At least one of the competitors is gone. Best case: You win the truel.
In fact, that's always the best move in a truel no matter who you are. Show that you're not a threat immediately. Assuming the other people aren't going to shoot you for a personal reason, they'll go after each other, leaving you the most likely survivor and possible winner. This might be why gunfights, in movies and life, were kept to two people. If truels actually existed, they might have become races to see who could drop their gun first, not who could drawer their gun first.
More background and references ...
“Duels, Truels, and Game Theory Gunslinger Rules” - http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/duels-truels-and-game-theory-gunslinger-rules/44764
“Distribution of winners in truel games” - http://digital.csic.es/bitstream/10261/7439/2/paper.pdf
Best “truel” standoff ever in the movies ...
The Good The Bad and the Ugly Finale - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXldafIl5DQ
Little Bill told Mr. Beauchamp that whenever a gunfighter is confronted with superior numbers he shoots at the best shot first.
Now I can challenge two people at a time.
High Noon only comes once a day, and with this technique I can work on my list of people to duel twice as fast.
Not too hard to figure...be faster than one guy and take the bullets out of the third guy’s gun while he’s sleeping. No problem!!
“You see, my friend, there are two kinds of people in this world - those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”
Why not just study the real thing and read up on the four-way shootout that Richard Davis (the founder of Second-Chance Body Armour) won when he was still delivering pizzas for the pizza shop he used to own?
What am I missing here? If you drop your gun and the others shoot your still dead less then a second after they shoot at each other.
Win in a 3-way gun fight? Strictly adhere to Rule 1 of a gunfight: Don’t be there.
One of the greatest movie lines of all time.
In the actual west, the famed walk down fast draw contest almost never happened. Holsters were unbelievably crude. At OK corral Wyatt Earp didn’t even have one. Like most shooters,, it was stuffed into his belt.
Guns were carried in coat pockets, pouches, belts, and army holsters.
Ambush and shooting from cover was the order of the day. The TV gunfight is about as real as the 50 shot peacemakers they usually use.
The TV gunfight is about as real as the 50 shot peacemakers they usually use.In the movie "Tombstone", Doc Holiday was able to shoot 4 times with his double-barreled shotgun.
I've never been able to find one of those....
Also, throughout the writings of that era the term “quick gun” was widely used. But it is always referring to a person who was quick to resort to a using a gun in a situation,, not to the 1950s concept of a super fast draw, from a thick buscadero holster.
Or be 1,000yds away in the hills, with a Barrett .50BMG and some good Leupold glass/BOR system.
“When you have to shoot someone, don’t talk, just shoot!”
Sometimes you just get lucky.
But was he lying, like English Bob?
In the shootout in Open Range, Costner’s character goes for the hired shootist first, figuring he is the most likely to keep his cool and shoot straight, and the rest being amateur killers might lose their nerve.
SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie. If you don’t want the climax ruined, then don’t watch. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
For those of you who’ve seen it or won’t see it, here is your shootout.
I’ve combed the internet to references concerning fast-draw gunfighters. The truth is: they were made up by eastern novelists and the myth was propelled by Hollyweird. Think about it. You want to arrest or or shoot someone and you’re going to hope you can pull your gun out of your holster faster than your opponent? There’s no way that’s going to happen. People seeking to arrest or shoot other people in the old west had their guns drawn and aimed.
Along with “when you have to shoot, shoot...don’t talk.”
And most often, the gun was a rifle, not a pistol.
Some accounts of the OK Corral shootout have Wyatt Earp carrying his pistol in his coat pocket. I even read one recent account that claimed he actually carried a “Buntline Special” in a specially made pocket of his coat.
Buntline Specials have been questioned for years as to their existence. Most stories had them with 18” barrels, but a recent (some years ago) article in Wild West indicated they likely had 12” barrels.
John Gilchriese, former director of the Wyatt Earp museum, had a .44 SW American owned by Earp. It was silver plated, and was thought to be the gun Earp carried at the gunfight because of its long barrel. This is now disputed. I have a replica of this gun from the Franklin Mint hanging on my office wall.
Best Western gunfight ever filmed.
Do the rules allow you to sequester the bullets of your opponent’s gun in your hand.