Defense at a Distance

The evening before the trouble, Davis and James had been engaged in a card game that ended in an argument. Others suggest the bad blood rose over a woman both men were involved with. Regardless, harsh words were exchanged along with some threats.

The next day both men met downtown, across the town square from each other. Davis started the ball by pulling a pistol and firing. James also drew a pistol and, steadying it with both hands, fired one shot that ended the attack. Interestingly, James’ fight-stopping hit was at approximately 75 yards.

This particular fight took place in July 1865, in Springfield, MO. Davis “Dave” Tutt was hit in the heart by James Butler Hickok. It’s uncertain if Hickok was using a .44 Colt Dragoon or if he had already switched to the .36-caliber Colt Navy that would become his trademark. We do know he was armed with a cap-and-ball revolver utilizing the skimpy sights for which those guns are known. Regardless, Hickok fought with what he had at hand, and this is one example of the long-range capabilities of defensive handguns.

Read the rest of the article at Shooting Illustrated.

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