Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Champion Gunfighter

"Frank didn't lose the light of his cigarette during the encounter. Wonderfully cool man." George Parsons' journal entry, November 14, 1882. True West Magazine, March, 2014.

Not having been there I only know what I see, but I think being a champion gunslinger involves nerves or being cool under fire.

At a recent club practice we had a match between a older gunfighter who was world champion and a younger gunfighter who was a two time state champion.  Both were shooting at about 30% accuracy which means any point and shoot shooter hitting more than 60% would have defeated either.  The younger gunslinger was 30 milliseconds faster on average than the older gunfighter.  The match started with misses and then the older got up 1-0 on accuracy.  More misses then both hit twice in a row with the younger taking a 1-2 lead. Then the older gunfighter did the only thing he could do to have a chance, he let the younger draw fire and miss, then very deliberately drew, carefully aimed and tied the match at 2-2.  It was a clear attempt to unnerve the younger shooter or at least slow him down by the 30 millisecond difference.  The younger gunslinger was not unnerved and on the next shot won the match by the 30 millisecond difference.  You can see this match at search Arizona Gunslingers

The match was especially enlightening because before the start of the practice shoot, the younger gunslinger, being a mentor to most of the club, had gone on a prep rant on how this was cowboy fast draw, not cowboy slow pokey draw.  Apparently, he had been at an out of state shoot where he had been sent home by the slow pokey draw point and shoot shooters.

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