Gunfighter Reference Books & Misc.

Age of the Gunfighter: Men and Weapons on the Frontier 1840-1900

A true best seller. Wonderful description of the life and times of the famous gunfighters. Excellent photographs and descriptions of hundreds of guns used by the gunfighters.

Clay Allison; Legend of Cimarron

Clay Allison considered himself a righteous man. But, as clearly illustrated in Truett's highly readable, fictionalized version of his life and times, Allison was usually at his most righteous about the same time his gun was clearing his holster. One of his problems was epilepsy. Another was whiskey. Together, they often prompted him to put action before thought. He is said to have accounted for some 20 burials, though his own granite grave marker states, "He never killed a man that did not need killing." This story chronicles his last days at home in Tennessee, his military service for the Confederacy, his marriage to the beautiful Dora McCullough, his ranching days, and, finally, his death in Texas. From a fun-loving farm boy who got kicked in the head by a mule, to a gunfighter with a hair-trigger temper, Clay Allison, dead at 47, was a legend waiting to happen. Truett, a skilled wordsmith, has made it happen. Budd Arthur (fiction)

Encyclopedia of Western Gunfighters

This is my favorite reference book on the Old West Gunfighters. Aside from the pictures, biographies and the individual gunfight details of 255 individuals, the tables at the beginning of the book offer a fascinating glimpse at the raw details of this group. Among other information, these tables include the gunfight statistics of the top gunfighters (# of shootouts & killings), average life statistics for a gunfighter, causes of death, and occupations. - Howard Darby

Gunfighters, Highwaymen, and Vigilantes: Violence on the Frontier

McGrath's "comparisons between crime rates in the east and on the frontier, in the present and the past, are both unique and convincing, and...[his] criticisms of other writers on frontier violence are telling" - Ralph Mann, New Mexico History Review

Gold Dust and Gunsmoke : Tales of Gold Rush Outlaws, Gunfighters, Lawmen, and Vigilantes

Packed with never-before-told tales of the American frontier, Gold Dust & Gunsmoke sends us galloping through the tumultuous California territory of the mid-nineteenth century, where disputes were settled with six-shooters and the lines of justice were in perpetual flux. Armed with meticulous research, John Boessenecker displays a remarkable knack for finding the perfect details to capture all the color, excitement, and hullabaloo of the Gold Rush. Published in tandem with the 150th anniversary of California’s statehood, these authentic stories of gunfighters, lawmen, vigilantes, and barroom brawlers are an important contribution to the rich lore of the American West.

Triggernometry: A Gallery of Gunfighters

First published in 1941, Triggernometry is a Who's Who of Western gunfighters on both sides of the law. Cunningham documents the lives of 17 gunfighters including, Wes Hardin, Ben Thompson, Billy the Kid, Jim Courtright, Tom Horn, Capt. Bill McDonald, Butch Cassidy, Capt. John R. Hughes, Bill Longley, Bill Hickock, Sam Bass, "Billy;quot; Breakenridge, John Slaughter, Dallas Stoudenmire, Bass Outlaw, "Jim" Gillett and General Lee Christmas. Cunningham devotes the last chapter to the discussion of the gunfighters' expertise with the fast draw, the "road-agent's spin," pistol fanning, the "border shift," "rolling" and "pinwheeling," and the use of various holsters and harnesses.

Draw: The Greatest Gunfights of the American West

James Reasoner has been praised for his well-researched and lively, suspenseful novels. Now, he proves that truth can be even more exciting than fiction. Known for his ability to make history come vividly to life, Reasoner strips away the dime novel legends and Hollywood myths to show us how the gunfighters of the Old West really lived, killed-and were killed. Among the true stories he brings us:

Doc Holliday's Last Gunfight * The Last Dalton Raid * The End of the Notorious John Wesley Hardin * Wild Bill's Tragic Mistake * The End of an Earp * Gunfight at Stone Corral * The Doolin Bunch vs. the U.S. Marshals * Rourke's Bad Luck Robbery * Shoot-out at the Tuttle Dance Hall * Wichita's New Year's Day Gunfight * Bat Masterson and the Battle of the Plaza * The Sam Bass Gang's Luck Runs Out * The Long Branch Saloon's Spectacular Fray * Ben Thompson and the Vaudeville Ambush * The Man Who Killed the Man Who Killed Jesse James

These are the shootouts and showdowns that gave the Wild West its name...recounted here with gritty accuracy, colorful detail, and all the drama of life-and death-on the frontier.
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