— BUCKSHOT ROBERTS’ LAST STAND — Buffalo hunter Andrew L. “Buckshot” Roberts rode his mule into Blazer’s Mill in Lincoln County, New Mexico, on a Thursday afternoon and made his way to the post office to pick up a check for the sale of his ranch.

Earlier the same day,  a heavily armed band of gunmen known as Regulators arrived in town and stopped to eat at a local restaurant.

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— TO LIVE AND DIE BY THE GUN — Two men eyed each other with respectful caution, staging a sort of methodical gunman’s dance, circling the town square, waiting for the perfect split second to draw down on the other.

In reality, scenes like this were rare in the Old West—mostly a figment of Hollywood’s imagination. Face-to-face gun battles were far from common. 

The rate of homicides in […]

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The Other "Billy the Kid"

On the afternoon of November 14, 1882, “Buckskin” Frank Leslie and Billy Claiborne spent most of the day in Tombstone’s Oriental Saloon drinking and mostly disagreeing with each other.

According to bartender E.H. Dean, one argument centered on Leslie’s refusal to call Claiborne, Billy the Kid.

Claiborne assumed the nickname after the real Billy the Kid’s death in the summer of 1881—although no one is clear why he did so.

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