Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Pearl Hart: Toting guns, these women of the Wild West shot down the view that life as a female pioneer was about cooking, sewing, cleaning and caring for children.

Born during a time when women stood in the shadows of their rugged men, these trailblazers proved that they were as good - if not better - than their male counterparts. Some of them became legends as outlaws, shocking society with their ruthless and unladylike behavior.

Martha "Calamity Jane" Canary epitomized this tough rebellious character. Hard-drinking, gun-slinging and bragging of her exploits, she often posed as a man to get ahead. Travelling to the West at the age of 13 with her parents, she eschewed the traditional female role and spent most of her time with the men and joining hunting parties. As Calamity Jane describes it, she was commended by the others as a remarkably good shot and a fearless rider. Later she worked as a scout, donning the male uniform and fighting the Indians.

The Wild West is well known for its colorful history, and it’s often portrayed as a place that was replete with saloons, gambling and gunfights. And whether lawmen or outlaws – nobody was anyone in the Old West unless they knew how to handle a gun. Some applied their skills as gunslingers to robbing trains, others combined quick-draw shooting with fiery tempers or a seemingly psychotic need to kill, and yet others used their abilities to enforce the law – even though their conduct was often questionable. Still, while we may not admire them for their exploits, we can certainly appreciate the skill of these renowned gunfighters. Here’s a look at 10 of the deadliest Wild West gunslingers.

Legend has it that famous outlaw Billy the Kid had killed as many as 26 men by the time he died, aged just 21 years old, although the total seems more likely to have been under 10. While there’s conflicting information about Billy the Kid’s true name and origins, he is widely reported to have been excellent with a gun. It seems most likely that he was born in an Irish district of New York City on November 23, 1859 and then settled in New Mexico in 1873, after being moved around the country by his mother.

In 1877 – following his engagement in criminal activity such as livestock rustling – Billy the Kid was hired by a wealthy English cattle rancher named John Tunstall in Lincoln County, New Mexico. The Kid’s job was to protect Tunstall and watch over his animals. And he was known for his lightning-fast draw, his lithe frame, and his readiness to fight with his fists if necessary. The Kid is said to have thought highly of his boss, and the two had a mutual respect. So when Tunstall was murdered in cold blood, Billy vowed to exact revenge on the killers.

Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Pearl Hart: Toting guns, these women of the Wild West shot down the view that life as a female pioneer was about cooking, sewing, cleaning and caring for children.

Born during a time when women stood in the shadows of their rugged men, these trailblazers proved that they were as good - if not better - than their male counterparts. Some of them became legends as outlaws, shocking society with their ruthless and unladylike behavior.

Martha "Calamity Jane" Canary epitomized this tough rebellious character. Hard-drinking, gun-slinging and bragging of her exploits, she often posed as a man to get ahead. Travelling to the West at the age of 13 with her parents, she eschewed the traditional female role and spent most of her time with the men and joining hunting parties. As Calamity Jane describes it, she was commended by the others as a remarkably good shot and a fearless rider. Later she worked as a scout, donning the male uniform and fighting the Indians.

Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, Belle Starr, Pearl Hart: Toting guns, these women of the Wild West shot down the view that life as a female pioneer was about cooking, sewing, cleaning and caring for children.

Born during a time when women stood in the shadows of their rugged men, these trailblazers proved that they were as good - if not better - than their male counterparts. Some of them became legends as outlaws, shocking society with their ruthless and unladylike behavior.

Martha "Calamity Jane" Canary epitomized this tough rebellious character. Hard-drinking, gun-slinging and bragging of her exploits, she often posed as a man to get ahead. Travelling to the West at the age of 13 with her parents, she eschewed the traditional female role and spent most of her time with the men and joining hunting parties. As Calamity Jane describes it, she was commended by the others as a remarkably good shot and a fearless rider. Later she worked as a scout, donning the male uniform and fighting the Indians.

The Wild West is well known for its colorful history, and it’s often portrayed as a place that was replete with saloons, gambling and gunfights. And whether lawmen or outlaws – nobody was anyone in the Old West unless they knew how to handle a gun. Some applied their skills as gunslingers to robbing trains, others combined quick-draw shooting with fiery tempers or a seemingly psychotic need to kill, and yet others used their abilities to enforce the law – even though their conduct was often questionable. Still, while we may not admire them for their exploits, we can certainly appreciate the skill of these renowned gunfighters. Here’s a look at 10 of the deadliest Wild West gunslingers.

Legend has it that famous outlaw Billy the Kid had killed as many as 26 men by the time he died, aged just 21 years old, although the total seems more likely to have been under 10. While there’s conflicting information about Billy the Kid’s true name and origins, he is widely reported to have been excellent with a gun. It seems most likely that he was born in an Irish district of New York City on November 23, 1859 and then settled in New Mexico in 1873, after being moved around the country by his mother.

In 1877 – following his engagement in criminal activity such as livestock rustling – Billy the Kid was hired by a wealthy English cattle rancher named John Tunstall in Lincoln County, New Mexico. The Kid’s job was to protect Tunstall and watch over his animals. And he was known for his lightning-fast draw, his lithe frame, and his readiness to fight with his fists if necessary. The Kid is said to have thought highly of his boss, and the two had a mutual respect. So when Tunstall was murdered in cold blood, Billy vowed to exact revenge on the killers.

Capture the Best of the West
A Winchester Model 92 Rifle honoring eight of the most unforgettable Western legends from both sides of the law.

Right side of receiver features portraits of outlaws Jesse James and Billy the Kid, plus lawmen Bat Masterson and Wild Bill Hickok.  Each has a banner bearing his name.  Also featured in the center of the artwork is the name of the Tribute, “Lawmen & Outlaws of the Wild West.”  The portraits are surrounded by elegant scrollwork in 24-karat gold.

Left side features portraits of outlaws John Wesley Hardin and Butch Cassidy, and lawmen Pat Garrett and Wyatt Earp. You will also find a Deputy Marshal’s badge and a hangman’s gallows standing for Justice.  Elegant scrollwork in 24-karat gold frames the entire scene.

10 Gunslinging Outlaws of the American Wild West - Listverse


Wild West Outlaws And Lawmen | HistoryNet

Posted by 2018 article

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