Skip to comments.Lessons on Gunfighting from Wyatt Earp
Posted on 12/24/2018 5:02:06 AM PST by w1n1
Here is an interview that Wyatt Earp shares on gunfighting. This was sometime in the 1910s he offered to give an interview about his thoughts on using a gun.
The most important lesson I learned from those proficient gunfighters was the winner of a gunplay usually was the man who took his time. The second was that, if I hoped to live long on the frontier, I would shun flashy trick-shootinggrandstand playas I would poison.
I was a fair hand with pistol, rifle, or shotgun, but I learned more about gunfighting from Tom Speers cronies during the summer of 71 than I had dreamed was in the book. Those old-timers took their gunplay seriously, which was natural under the conditions in which they lived. Shooting, to them, was considerably more than aiming at a mark and pulling a trigger. Models of weapons, methods of wearing them, means of getting them into action and operating them, all to the one end of combining high speed with absolute accuracy, contributed to the frontiersmans shooting skill.
The sought-after degree of proficiency was that which could turn to most effective account the split-second between life and death. Hours upon hours of practice, and wide experience in actualities supported their arguments over style. Read the rest of Wyatt Earp gun.
True given the nature of firearms of the time. Today, quick-draw specialists using modern single-action revolvers can draw and hit the target in under a second, faster than the eye can follow. Practice, practice.
Can they do it in a life or death situation (requiring a certain state of mind) using equipment suitable for everyday use (to include riding a horse and sitting down without the gun falling out of the holster)?
Self Defense shootings rarely require a quick-draw. Some do.They are the rare exception.
One of my favorite authors was Skeeter Skelton. He was also a serious historian of the West.
I remember one article in which he mentioned the best gunslingers of the time. With only a couple of exceptions, he said they were not really experts on shooting.
He also suggested that modern shooters were far more skilled but if he had to bet, he would put his money on the old timers.
The only one who actually killed a large number of men was John Wesley Hardin. His favorite lawmen included Dallas Stoudemyer, Jeff Davis Milton and Frank Hamer.
Thanks. Read the whole thing.
I enjoyed Skeeter’s work in Shooting Times magazine back in the seventies.
Earp would rather use the butt of his revolver than fire it. Amazingly when he died he had never been shot.
“Self Defense shootings rarely require a quick-draw. Some do.They are the rare exception.”
Listen up Glock fellows...with one in the chamber it’s like the Wyatt Earps/Doc Holidays of yore carrying eared back Peacemakers in their holsters.
Care to translate?
Thanks for posting, it was an interesting read!
Virtually all modern pistols have some form of “safe action” deign these days- a moderately long mid weight pull, kinda like a well tuned DA revolver....
What was your point again?
I like my Glocks with a 5 lb set up, my 1911s with a 3 lb pull.
My revolvers all have a nice SA pull, can’t recall when I pulled one DA... Of course, all my wheel gun are large calibers for hunting or bear wear.
I like Festers advice: “Shoot em in the back!”
Great read, thanks.
A little piece of trivia: When John Wayne first arrived in Hollywood, he learned cowboy mannerisms by watching... Wyatt Earp!
(This was around 1926. Earp was a movie consultant at the time.)
When drawing, keep your finger off the trigger or you will shoot yourself
Skill in shooting is only part of the equation.
Another, large part, is the willingness to pull the trigger on another human being.
People can be trained to do it.
Hunting big game is good training for it.
Jim Cirillo, of the New York City Police Department, was a modern gunfighter who shot and killed quite a few.
Over the course of years, he worked to find what made a good gunfighter for the police, and how they could be identified and recruited.
His questions to ask recruits for gunfighters were as follows:
1. Are you a competitive shooters?
2. Have you competed in major matches and placed or won awards?
3. Can you perform well under pressure and/or fear?
4. Are you a hunter?
5. Have you shot big game?
6. Do you like outdoor physical sports?
7. Do you collect firearms?
8. Do you reload ammo?
9. If over 28, are you married?
10. Do you have children?
11. Do you like people?
12. Do you attend civic affairs?
Cirrillo said if you answer yes to seven of the twelve questions, you can make it.
If you answered yes to all of them, you will do very well, and likely walk away from any armed encounter.
Most of Jim Cirillo's gunfights happened as part of the New York City Police stakeout squad in the 1960's.
Cerillo is a legend.
I would also like to know what Frank Hamer and William Fairbairne thought.
Hamer was in over 100 gunfights. Fairbairne was in even more, tho many of his were with knives.
Just noticed that it is spelled Cirillo not Cerillo.
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