62 Responses

  1. dustin
    dustin at |

    Nice List of gunslingers.

    1. Dan French
      Dan French at |

      My grand father was one of the mob who drug Miller out of the and hung him.
      This site is not completely correct. Miller and the others were in the city jail not a prison. The men that hired Miller and were hung with him were local businessmen and ranchers not outlaws. The mob formed in front of the Free Masons hall and walked to the jail two blocks away. If you look very closely at the photo on the right side of the crowd, behind the fence you will see the comedy team Laurel and Hardy who were waiting on a train. The mob passed the train station where laurel and Hardy were waiting for a train. They followed them to the horse barn and witnessed the hanging.

      1. Draza Mitrovich
        Draza Mitrovich at |

        That’s an amazing story. Thanks!

        1. James
          James at |

          I do find this hard to believe. Laurel was born in England and didn’t arrive in the USA until much later (not sure in the date but around 1919). Laurel first met Hardy in 1927. Millers hanging was in 1909. Doesn’t add up so your story cant be true.

  2. Michael
    Michael at |

    Sorry, Doc Holiday needs to be up there too, eleven confirmed kills and twenty-two more suspected or rumored. He once told someone that the only times he wasn't nervous was when he was working on teeth or killing somebody.

    1. TopTenz Master
      TopTenz Master at |

      Well, I love that quote, regardless of where he fits on this list.

    2. Ben D. Lawson
      Ben D. Lawson at |

      Sept. 30, 2013

      There is no clear evidence that Doc Holiday ever killed anyone before Tom McClaury at the
      “O.K.Corral” ( with a shotgun) granted he was involved in many gunfights, but since he was
      obviously the worst shot in the west very few(If any ) fatalities. In Docs profession ( Gambling,
      not dentistry) a hard reputation was a definite benefit.

      Doc was not just a dentist, he was a licensed Oral surgeon.

      I like Doc!

      1. Ariel Heart
        Ariel Heart at |

        in a rare book in my library, written by Sheriff Pat Garret who killed Billy the Kid and was a personal friend of Wyatt Earp, he claimed that Doc Holliday started killing as a teen. He killed a black child for swimming in the wrong swimming hole. I live in Colorado where Doc is reportedly buried and he knifed a man to death in Denver over a card game (knife instead of gun because there were no guns allowed in Denver at the time.) I think Doc’s reputation was well justified. In the book, Garret claimed that Doc was a hard man with no moral compass (made him sound like a psychopath) and didn’t understand how Wyatt was his friend.

        1. bones
          bones at |

          So what’s the title of the book and when was it published (and by whom)? I like the psychoanalytical approach which takes intellect – clearly Garrett was smart if indeed he wrote this book (or even had it ghosted). The bit about not understanding how an honest straight up man like Wyatt was his friend is very interesting.

  3. Dennis Starr
    Dennis Starr at |

    Wyatt Earp was NOT a "gunslinger". He should be replaced on the list by John Ringo or the Sundance Kid-

    1. Evan
      Evan at |

      Just because Wyatt Earp was a lawman doesn't mean he wasn't involved in a lot of gunfights. A lot of the guys on this list worked as sheriffs at some point or another. As for Johnny Ringo, there is almost no evidence that he ever participated in a real gunfight. He would get drunk and shoot unarmed men in bars, but outside of that his reputation is almost entirely myth. The same could be said for Holliday. He's rumored to have been in a lot of gunfights, but outside of the OK Corral there's only a few that are actually confirmed by historians.

      1. Archer834
        Archer834 at |

        The list is missing Kid Curry/Harvey Logan. There’s no question about him being in gunfights and being fast. There is a story too, that he could put a coin on the back of his hand, then draw and fire twice before the coin hit the ground.

    2. Rob Campbell
      Rob Campbell at |

      John Ringo was a nobody that shouldn't even be on the same page as Earp or Holliday.

      1. Brad Hartliep
        Brad Hartliep at |

        Wyatt Earp was a Nobody whose ONLY claim to fame is he lived long enough to sell his fiction to Hollywood.

      2. john harper
        john harper at |

        rob Campbell
        ringo was a back shooting goby dummy

    3. Lonesdave
      Lonesdave at |

      Wyatt Earp was famous mostly because he said, himself, that he was famous. Earp was on the police force of Wichita until he was released over a dispute . He ten went to Dodge City for a while. Some of his time in Dodge he was on the police force there.
      He was never the chief of police or head marshal in Dodge or any other town where he served, just one of the crew. Most of the time he did satisfactory at his job. He never “cleaned up” any town where he served either. In fact , in Dodge the city leaders wanted to keep a fine a balance between wild and tame in order to keep the attraction of the Texas Cattle drives.

      He came to Dodge first in the spring of 1876 and left or good in fall of ’79. While there he left for periods while he went to Deadwood and another time to Texas. These were on personal reasons not while he was on the police force but as a civilian. While a deputy in Dodge he and another deputy shot at a retreating criminal. Both claimed to have fired the shot which killed him.
      While in Dodge he was on the posse which apprehended the murderer of singer, Dora Hand. This garnered nation wide news.

      In fall of 79 he want to Tombstone where his older brother, Virgil was policemen. He ran or sherif I the county there but was defeated. During the dust up there with the Clantons he was deputized for the incident. After the murder of his brother Morgan, he went on that vengeance ride where killed at least one person.

      After that, he was just a gambler and knockabout. When in the 1920’s he was approached by Author Sturat Lake who wrote the ficionalized book, Wyatt Earp, Frontier Marshal. The book was mostly made up by Lake from embellishments of Earp, himself and his wife.
      There were many better career policemen than Wyatt Earp. Of his long life he was a policeman a total of about 35 months. He was not a killer in the ranks of Clay Alison. As to Clay Allison, Earp had aleged that he had confronted Allison in Dodge and that Allison had backed down. It didnt happen. Earp wasn’t even on the street when this occurred.

      1. gibb
        gibb at |

        Lawdog. Law don’t go around here.

    4. Potto
      Potto at |

      Might as well replace Ringo with Holliday

  4. Dennis Starr
    Dennis Starr at |

    Or,as someone else said-Doc Holliday-

    1. Roger Kohn
      Roger Kohn at |

      Or perhaps Jesse James?

  5. Me-Mo
    Me-Mo at |

    "I'll be your Huckleberry"

  6. Brian
    Brian at |

    I agree that Earp does not belong on the list. He was never really considered 'deadly'. Doc Holiday better fits that epithet

  7. twogunlew
    twogunlew at |

    Doc Holliday only killed one man and that was at the Gunfight at the O. K. Corral. He was involved in several gunfights, mostly just maiming opponents, so he was a gunfighter because he did fight armed opponents. A gunfighter was someone who was good with a gun and willing to use this skill in a dispute, not exactly the best shot in the world like a sniper, but just someone willing to standup and fight a foe.

    Jesse James was not a gunfighter. The James – Younger gang was just a gang of cowards, not "revolver fighters". The James boys ran for there lives when a bunch of townspeople started shooting, and the Youngers did fight back but were shot to pieces.

    Wes Hardin was no doubt a killer, but he probably didn't kill 44 men. He probably embellished in his book, just to make things sound interesting. The deadliest gunfighter was probably someone who is not very famous today, and perhaps obsure back then.

    1. Trevor
      Trevor at |

      I agree with Mander. Kid Curry killed no less 30 people. he should be number 1 or 2

    2. Joe williams
      Joe williams at |

      The James younger gang were a band of men who fought ANd killed over A Hundred men in northfield they were attacked by an entire town of people armed with Various small arms, many of the townsmen were ex union soldiers, , the youngerS were shot during the raid n then again on the chase, , Cole was shot 12 times, shoot Any man on the abovE list 12 tImes n see who surrenders

      1. twogunlew
        twogunlew at |

        The townsmen were ordinary people and detroyed the ridiculour James Young Gang.

  8. Jim Roche NJ
    Jim Roche NJ at |

    I have always been fascinated with Billy The Kid, Although i dont want to glamorize what these men did in their time it certainly was a time to die with their Cowboy Boots on.

  9. Ryan Lance
    Ryan Lance at |

    What a great website. I truly enjoyed the background information on each man. It was very interesting and informative. A+.

  10. Lucas Wesley Amidon
    Lucas Wesley Amidon at |

    sweet number one…my dad gave me the middle name of Wesley because of John Wesley Hardin

  11. Night
    Night at |

    Billy the Kid only killed like four people

    1. Wiliam H. Bonney
      Wiliam H. Bonney at |

      Depending on who you ask.

      Some say 4, Some say 9, and some say 20+ (21 or 22 ish)

      Bottom line is nobody can confirm all these guys kills. After all most of these guys lived over a century ago.

      1. Ben D. Lawson
        Ben D. Lawson at |

        To imply that Wyatt Earp backed down Clay Allison ( And before that Ben Thompson) both\
        bonafied man killers) is ridiculous!

  12. James E Pettitt
    James E Pettitt at |

    I love the site…but wish to heaven I could correct it's many SPELLING errors. (As a kid wearing my own Bill Hickock gunset on, every Saturday morning I'd await "Gunsmoke" to come on TV; then I would wait for Marshall Matt Dillon (actor James Arness) to start his draw at the show's intro. I would outdraw him everytime and take much pride in myself. Years later, I found out that Arness was known to be horribly slow at drawing a gun– and was filmed many times before he could "beat" the gunslinger to the draw. How embarrassed I was!)

  13. Mander
    Mander at |

    What? No Kid Curry? Look him up, he should easily be on this list.

    1. Matt
      Matt at |

      Kid Curry should be there. It is widely believed that the name “Kid” caused his exploits to be attributed to the Sundance Kid (who wasn’t much of a gunfighter). Curry was known to be faster.

  14. Muinghan
    Muinghan at |

    The body count of 44 for John Wesley Hardin was all from the recorded names of lawmen and two individuals he was actually convicted of killing — not the uinknown total of others who stood in his way.

    Neither King Fisher or KIller MIller should be on this list —they might as well have added Jessie James.

    Wyatt Earp has no business on this list whatsoever.

  15. Out of Nowhere
    Out of Nowhere at |

    Yes, by all means King Fisher , definitely top ten, from his statements and other witnesses, an argument between Fisher and four Mexican vaqueros erupted. Fisher is alleged to have clubbed the nearest one to him with a branding iron, then as a second drew a pistol Fisher drew his own pistol and shot the man, killing him. He then spun around and shot the other two, who evidently had not produced weapons and both of whom were merely sitting on the fence the entire time.

    Jim “Killer Milller ( supposed killer of Pat Garrett), no I don’t believe he should be among the ranks. Most of these 10 ranks are already scrambled, by someone’s bot suggestions.

    Where the frack is Mr. dandy Doc Holliday?!

    No kidding John Wesley Hardin made 40 or more counts, although, some of it is just hearsay.

    Wild Bill Hickok should be straight to # 01. There’s more to his biography than meets the iris. Even J.W.H., admired most of his gunshow marksmanship yadyadayda.

    Wyatt Earp should be #03, actually, he’s had a rough life as a teamster against raiding parties, comancheros, and outlaws as a teamster, saloon, of course, Marshal.

    No business my buddie eyeball?! No kidding, most famous gunslingers and outlaws, worked as lawmen, vigilantes, or regulators. According to Bat Masterson

    “Wyatt Earp was one of the few men I personally knew in the West in the early days whom I regarded as absolutely destitute of physical fear. I have often remarked, and I am not alone in my conclusions, that what goes for courage in a man is generally fear of what others will think of him – in other words, personal bravery is largely made up of self-respect, egotism, and apprehension of the opinions of others. Wyatt Earp’s daring and apparent recklessness in time of danger is wholly characteristic; personal fear doesn’t enter into the equation, and when everything is said and done, I believe he values his own opinion of himself more than that of others, and it is his own good report he seeks to preserve… He never at any time in his career resorted to the pistol excepting cases where such a course was absolutely necessary. Wyatt could scrap with his fists, and had often taken all the fight out of bad men, as they were called, with no other weapons than those provided by nature.”

    He was both more or less friendly and viciously, lethal if tempted.

  16. Ivan
    Ivan at |

    Where is Elfego Baca. He killed some six people in two days and then wounded eight more. Finally, he shot many more. I guess that a good-olde Hispanic gunfighter cannot make this list.

  17. Eriksen dickens
    Eriksen dickens at |

    Haha! This list is absolutely terrible.. king fisher was hardly a gunfighter but more of a cowboy type figure who for int’l a few scrapes with ranch hands..btk was not a gunfighter …he was a cattle rustler/hired hand who handled himself well and used a gun when he had to(only 4 kills). Jim miller?? Bank robber…tom horn was an indian hunter and bounty hunter?? Haha. Wyatt warp wasn’t even a gunfighter to be honest. Doc hollidy, kid curry, Luke short and dave matter should be on there before half those guys. Hickhock should be second or first.

  18. Don Wayne
    Don Wayne at |

    No Orrin Porter Rockwell on a top ten list of gun fighters? Get real.

  19. Devan
    Devan at |

    how about Jesse James? 16 individual kills and involved in the death of over 180 others! I think he deserves a place here.

  20. jim
    jim at |

    the old west sounds like it would be a wild time in life

  21. chris72sax
    chris72sax at |

    I’ve enjoyed the info and discussion. Hollywood has warped us to the point where somebody has to go full Rambo before we are impressed. I’d say anybody who’s ever stared down an armed man face to face and drawn his weapon win or lose is a badass to me.

    P S. I’ve got dibs on the porn name “John Wesley Hardon”!

  22. bundy
    bundy at |

    what about Ned Kelly
    smarter and tougher than any of them!!!!!!

  23. Pete
    Pete at |

    Ridiculous not to have Jesse James in the top 3 or 4. He killed at least 17 and was credited or at least partially credited with up to 180 from his bushwacking days – correct this error or your list is meaningless

  24. dalton
    dalton at |

    E otherThere were many gunfighters missing from this list and a good bit of rumors floating about but saying any of these men didn’t belong is bull maybe not top ten but when you kill another human in a fight where ether could die and u come out on top your a gunfighter there is two things that happen when u have to draw and take a life ether you look at it as me or them and put no more thought in it or you spend the rest of your life in regret but never felt more than the recoil of my weapon mainly when you have to take a life ether you are numb or scared or a combination of the two but to not back down and meet it head on muzzle to muzzle and come out on top even one or two confirmed you are a gunfighter
    back shootin murders who were to scared to face there target definitely shouldn’t make any list except for top ten p#$$?$ my opinion sure someone can argue my point but challenge u drop a hammer with lead flying at you and be steady and unflinching enough to fire one round and groundcheck your opponent thats where you weed out people willing to survive and (sorry for the expression pun or whatever) cowboy up and the people who ether get run over or who shoot you in your sleep unarmed or in the back

  25. Geoff
    Geoff at |

    No Jesse James in your list?! How can you not include the most famous outlaw of all? He killed at least 16 or 17 men and perhaps many, many more. Your list is worthless without him in the top 3 at least!

  26. Billy
    Billy at |

    Wheres the Manko from The Good The Bad And The Ugly he was really fast i seen him on the telly!

  27. Scott
    Scott at |

    There is more speculation than history in this list.

  28. Hemicharg3r
    Hemicharg3r at |

    Wow great info. Who can say what is truly accurate here? I watched Unforgiven tonite for the 15th time (give or take) and you may cringe but when Clint rides past Ned on the porch it is just surreal to me…. These guys are all legends for different reasons but let’s face it Kid Curry and Jesse James not on this list is a shame. Overall great info though thanks!

  29. Geoff
    Geoff at |

    Just one example of Jesse James’s skill was when he shot one of his gang who had fired at him while they were riding at speed. The dumb guy fired and hit Jesse’s hat and then paid the ultimate price for missing! Straight out of “For A Few Dollars More” ha! Get Jesse on this list!

  30. Jason
    Jason at |

    Cullen Baker should be on this list. He was rumored to have killed hundreds but more likely killed 50 or 60. Louis L’amour credited him for inventing the fast draw.

  31. Historian, Western World
    Historian, Western World at |

    The most famed gun slinger was actually a slow draw. Went by the name of no names, that is to say he never attended to a single identity. It is proven that he participated in single handedly killing over 1132 and gave the United States a tactical advantage unintentionally in it’s original formation.
    His name which is thoroughly documented to be the most well known identity was John Rambo.

  32. john Sutterfield
    john Sutterfield at |

    Alll this info is interesting. Opinions very, however I guess there will never be any way to document w who was really the fastest and then the most accurate.

  33. owlcreek
    owlcreek at |

    Scott Cooley, a pal of John Ringo’s from the Mason County War, Cochise County Sherriff, John Slaughter and Will Carver of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch are all more deserving to be on this list than Wyatt Earp. Murdering unarmed homesteaders from hiding was Tom Horn’s style. Harvey “Kid Curry” Logan should be 2nd to Wes Hardin, yet he wasn’t even mentioned.

  34. taz42o
    taz42o at |

    #1.Captian Johnathan Davis. Its alot easier to kill 50 in 10 years than it is to kill 11 in one fight.

  35. dominoboy
    dominoboy at |

    Down by the creek walking on water…..

  36. usmc retired
    usmc retired at |

    Ive been in several gunfights, people have no idea how scary it is when your trading rounds with someone trying to kill you. Movies and books glorify gun battles, trust me there is no glory in killing someone. Its kill or be killed. Most of those guys back then were trying to make a name for themselves in lawless lands drunk on wisky. Theres a big difference between a gunfighter and a killer, most of those guys were killers.

  37. Ben
    Ben at |

    From what I have gathered, many of the gunfighters were violent racists, and a significant number of their victims were former slaves who wanted to vote.

  38. Julie
    Julie at |

    Tom Horn died by hanging in Cheyenne,Wyoming after the wealthy ranchers of the day deserted him. Read Chip Carlson’s book, Blood on the Moon, for the facts of Horn’s life.

  39. Les Seely
    Les Seely at |

    Orrin Porter Rockwell killed more people than any of these guys, he is not as well known because of being in the far west. But he killed all the way from back east to the west coast. He was a real tough person.

    1. Rhino40
      Rhino40 at |

      Agreed, nobody ever mentions Porter Rockwell but he has the best backstory of any of them and killed more men then all of them. Though it’s hard to know for sure but he killed at least 50 men and some estimates go as high as 200. Most experts believe the real number is right around 100 men.


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